Dr. Dana Miller is the director of the Developing Leader Coaches Capstone Program for the Master of Arts in Management (MAM) program at Doane University in Lincoln. She began at Doane as dean of students on the Crete campus in 1987. In 1990, she began her Ph.D. program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and continued to work for Doane as an adjunct instructor, teaching several undergraduate courses on the Lincoln campus. While her career path was higher education administration, Dr. Miller discovered she is especially passionate about teaching and working with non-traditional students. In the early nineties she was instrumental in developing the graduate program's research/thesis courses and creating the portfolio, Leading Edge, and Developing Leader Coaches alternative capstone options. Prior to coming to Doane, she was Director of Student Activities at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, and spent five years running residence halls for Chapman College in Orange, California, and Biola University in La Mirada, California. She also spent some time in the corporate world, working her way up from the mailroom to advertising and assistant buyer for a major chain of grocery stores.
Ph.D. (Administration, Curriculum, & Instruction), University of Nebraska, 1992
M.A. (College Student Development), Azusa Pacific University, 1983
M.A. (Christian Education), Talbot Theological Seminary, 1981
B.A. (Christian Education), Vancouver Bible College, 1978
- Leadership from the Inside Out (BUS 785)
- The “Person” as Leader Coach (BUS 786)
- Creating a Value-Added Leadership Legacy (BUS 787)
Creator and Director of Capstone Programs, Master of Arts in Management program (Thesis, Portfolio, Leading Edge, Developing Leader Coaches), Doane University, 1994-Present
Adjunct Instructor, Undergraduate and Graduate Courses, Doane College–Lincoln Campus, 1990-1993
Dean of Students, Doane College, 1987-1990
Doane University, 1990-Present
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1992-2013
Qualified Administrator, Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), 2019
Doane University’s Impact Award, 2016
Certified Life and Leadership Coach, Center for Credentialing and Education
(CCE), (Trained through the Institute for Life Coach Training, ILCT), 2015
Qualified Administrator, PeopleMap Personality Assessment, 2013
Trainer, Emotional Intelligence and Diversity Institute of Los Angeles, 2012
Qualified Administrator, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, 1988
- McVea, K. L., Miller, D. L., Creswell, J. W., McEntarrfer, R., & Coleman, M. J. (2009). How adolescents experience smoking cessation. Qualitative Health Research, 19(5): 580-592.
- Miller, D. L. (2007). The seeds of learning: Young children develop important skills through their gardening activities at a midwestern early education program. Applied Environmental Education and Communication, 6(1): 49-66.
- Creswell, J. W., & Miller, D. L. (2000). Determining validity in qualitative inquiry. Theory into practice, 39 (3): 124-130. (13,526 citations as of 2021)
- Padula, M. A., & Miller, D. L. (1999). Understanding graduate women’s reentry experiences: Case studies of four psychology doctoral students in a midwestern university. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 23(2): 327-343. Reprinted as a chapter in Innovations in Feminist Psychological Research.
- Miller, D. L., Creswell, J. W., & Olander, L. S. (1998). Writing and retelling multiple ethnographic tales of a soup kitchen for the homeless. Qualitative Inquiry, 4(4): 469-491.
- Miller, D. L. (1997). One Strategy for Assessing the Trustworthiness of Qualitative Research: Operationalizing the External Audit. Institute of Education Sciences.
- Textbook Reviews for Merrill/Prentice Hall Publishing Co.
Getting To Know Your Professors
Why did you become an instructor? How did you become interested in teaching?
One of my great mentors, Dean of the Lincoln campus, Janice Hadfield, asked me to design and teach a leadership course. I did, and during the two years I was earning my Ph.D. at UNL, taught several undergraduate courses at Doane-Lincoln. I discovered two things: I absolutely LOVE non-traditional students, and love teaching! I have long been passionate about helping people grow and reach their full potential (this is also why I have a certified life coach credential). When Doane developed the MAM program (then MAA) I was asked to design and teach the research courses and advise our graduate students through the thesis process (I’m a bit of a research geek; especially qualitative research).
Our first graduating class walked across the stage in May 1994 and I have had the privilege of working with every graduating MAA/MAM class since then. One of my favorite authors, John Powell, said that being human is dynamic; we are always in the process of becoming. It is a joy to be part of our students’ journeys, and to have even a small part in helping them become their best selves. Two things in particular are rewarding about working with non-traditional students: 1) They bring so much to the classroom – rich life and work experiences – that make our discussions thoughtful and relevant, and 2) Our students are excited about learning, especially about being able to APPLY what they are learning immediately in their workplace. I love Doane – Doane faculty and staff truly care about students. I love my wise and dedicated colleagues. But if you ask me why I am “in this” role, first and foremost, it’s because I love our students, and having the opportunity to make a positive impact on who they are as individuals and leaders.
What is one of your favorite quotes and why?
This is a great question. I am a Myers-Briggs ENFJ, and am inspired by quotes. Identifying one favorite quote is challenging. I’m also a bit of a rule breaker, so I will share two. I have a framed quotable card sitting by my computer that reads: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” (Neale Donald Walsch). And more than once I’ve shared Richard Bach’s quote with students: “We teach best what we most need to learn.” The content that I teach is about leadership. Leadership is about self-awareness and emotional intelligence, living on purpose and in alignment with our core values, living authentically and in character, and continually striving to become our best selves. Leadership is about learning to be fully present and in the moment with ourselves and others (a reminder that our heritage is as human “beings” not just human “doings” as Kevin Cashman says in his book, Leadership from the Inside Out). Leadership is about being inclusive, being bridge-builders, understanding our impact on others, and being intentional about the kind of impact we want to have; the legacy we want to leave.
Both quotes are relevant to what I am continually learning and teaching.
Becoming self-aware, emotionally intelligent human beings is often uncomfortable. Growth can be uncomfortable. I often tell students that change – moving out of our comfort zones – takes a great deal of courage. But doing this is so important, because that is where the learning happens!
How can I get to know you better? How do you engage with students outside the classroom?
Reach out! One of the most rewarding parts of my job includes getting to know students. I keep in contact with many of our grads because of the relationship we’ve built over the years. I am a connector and am genuinely interested in getting to know who you are, and learning more about your story. I generally respond to emails within hours. I am also always willing to help and provide feedback. I love connecting in person and will meet anywhere that works for you (and am happy to meet via Zoom if that’s most convenient for you). And I am always up for coffee or lunch!