Catherine R. Miller

Honored by:Mary Jo Stanley
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Catherine R. Miller ranks just below my parents as the person who most profoundly influenced my world-view during my formative years. Catherine was a global educator before the term was coined. Long before such things were commonly done she brought the wider world into her high school Spanish classrooms through recordings of Spanish opera visits from Latin American students from various colleges requiring us to keep current event notebooks of news articles from Spanish-speaking countries and putting on Fiestas for the public including appropriate food dress dances and the learning of Spanish songs. Threaded through this was her constant push to make us see the complexities of political situations there and here ("There are at least three sides to every issue") and to help us understand and value the backgrounds (social and political) differences and similarities and the importance of other cultures. In short she introduced or strengthened our awareness of the Family of Humankind.

Through all of her years Catherine's private life has matched her frequent public utterances. Indeed it is a seamless whole. Predating any organized "migrant council" she was teaching English to local Puerto Rican workers helping families who worked in the tomato fields to improve their living conditions serving as translator and advocate -- and she mobilized others including past and present students to help. Again and again her voice has been heard in meetings in letters to the editor and to legislators and others in personal telephone calls and in notes or packets of information dropped off at the front door. She has promoted justice and equity through her words as well as her continuing actions on behalf of all disenfranchised people of whatever background.

Catherine's other great cause is world peace and related global issues. She has devoted her time skills tireless energy and resources to that end. One can begin to appreciate the scope of her involvement and interests when one reads her biographical data.

Now in her 80s Catherine remains an inspiration and a model for what one committed and determined person can do. Her still-blazing passion and her tenacity and accomplishments both prick the conscience and encourage all who are working to make the world a better place to keep on trying!

-In loving appreciation of Catherine R. Miller