Originally from Lake Charles, Louisiana, James Miller was initiated in 2013 at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette while pursuing a bachelor's degree in nursing. He graduated in 2015 and currently works at the Mayo Clinic as a cardiac surgery and transplant ICU registered nurse.
In June 2020, James was awarded one of fifteen Circle of Excellence awards by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses due to his commitment to achieving excellent outcomes in the care of acutely and critically ill patients.
James served as a signal support system specialist with the United States Army and Army National Guard for eight years while also participating as a cadet in the Army ROTC program at ULL. He has volunteered with many organizations throughout his life and recently served as a reviewer for the Rochester chapter of the Minnesota Council for the Gifted and Talented 2020 GATEway Science Fair and as a volunteer nurse with the Good Samaritan Clinic.
Let’s get to know James!
- Why did you accept the invitation to join Phi Kappa Phi?
I joined the Society to continue to build on the camaraderie that I felt throughout the halls of Judice-Rickels, the honors building of my alma mater. Phi Kappa Phi has a global community of scholars and professionals, and being able to share my thoughts and connect with professionals across the world in support of one another is a unique opportunity.
- What movie title best describes your life?
The Pursuit of Happyness best describes me because I believe one of the answers to life is to be happy. I actively pursue happiness and believe that having the ability to wake up every day within your happiness is beautiful.
- What phone app do you use most?
I use the Calm app to practice mindfulness and focus. It allows me to find my balance.
- What is the most important lesson you learned in the past year?
I had the opportunity to partner with physicians and medical students working on a research project investigating how patients are represented in medical education curricula to identify sources of unintentional bias or misrepresentation. I also worked on a research project with physicians in gastroenterology investigating the role of bile acid replacements in inflammatory gastrointestinal diseases. The most important lesson I learned through these research projects was understanding the level of diligence necessary to produce quality research.
- At a party, where can someone find you?
At a party, I can be found by the vinyl record player listening to jazz saxophonist John Coltrane’s masterpiece A Love Supreme.
- What is the first concert you attended?
The first concert I ever attended was by the pianist Ludovico Einaudi. It was fascinating and heartwarming, and I probably spent the concert with my eyes closed visualizing the music taking me on a reassuring journey while shifting my perspectives.
- What is your hidden talent, and how do you use it to your advantage?
My hidden talent is attention to detail, and it has allowed me to be thorough and accurate throughout my life. My talent can be used in any situation, from working through complex clinical problems at the hospital to playing the board game Monopoly against my siblings.
- If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
If I could travel anywhere it would be to the Galápagos Islands. I was first introduced to the Galápagos as a child reading National Geographic magazines, and I found the island’s unique ecosystem fascinating. Fast forward to my freshman year in high school when I was on the Quiz Bowl team, I remember the winning question that came my way—where are the world’s oldest giant tortoises found? I hesitated at first because I could not believe I knew the answer. After encouragement from my team, I answered the Galápagos Islands and we won the match. So, I have fond memories of learning about the Galápagos Islands and am planning to visit sometime soon as a learning photographer with hopes my photos can give someone inspiration like the National Geographic magazine gave me.
- What was the best book or series you’ve read or watched?
The best series that I have watched is the Qatsi trilogy. It is a series of three non-narrative films titled Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance, Powaqqatsi: Life in Transformation, and Naqoyqatsi: Life as War. Watching these films was like watching a visual poem unfold right before my eyes.
- Who is your hero?
My hero is my older sister U.S Army Capt. Rita C. Miller who would always tell me, “no excuse, just results.” At a young age, she had to accept many responsibilities and make sacrifices for her younger siblings and the unconditional love that she has for us is truly remarkable. I would not be as successful as I have been without the foundation she established for me. I admire Rita for her many unique values, including her strength, integrity, and determination.
To learn more about James and connect, visit his profile within our online member community, here.
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