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Pictured is civil engineering technology alumna Nicole Miller, civil associate for Michael Baker International. | Photo submitted by MillerMeet Nicole Miller

Job title and organization: Civil Associate II, Michael Baker International
Degree earned:
Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering Technology, 2014
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pa. (Penn Hills Township)
High school: Penn Hills High School
Now living in: Pittsburgh, Pa. (Robinson Township)
Hobbies/interests: Graduate school, golf and my dogs
LinkedIn: Nicole Danielle Miller

Alumna Nicole Miller was recently nominated for a 2017 ATHENA Young Professional Award.

Tell us about your career and volunteer work that led you to being nominated for an ATHENA Award.

Before coming to Point Park University, I was a math middle and high school teacher and volleyball coach. The desire to help people has always been in me. As a civil associate for Michael Baker International, I've served as a mentor for recent engineering grads who need someone to look up to and ask questions. I try really hard to be a good example professionally and personally, especially to the younger women engineers.

I have volunteered at Pressley Ridge's annual Ice Cream Fundae at the Pittsburgh Zoo and was a middle school mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Additionally, I served on my company's employee charities board for two years.

Lastly, I was a member of Leadership Pittsburgh's Class of 2017. For our community impact project, we contributed to a global art movement called Inside Out to highlight and celebrate the cultural diversity of the Carrick neighborhood in Pittsburgh.

What factors made you choose Point Park University's civil engineering technology program?

The civil engineering technology program at Point Park was a perfect fit for my work schedule. A lot of my coworkers had graduated from Point Park and had great things to say about the program. I also liked that there were a lot of hands-on learning opportunities in the program, which have been very useful when practicing civil engineering in the real world.

How have your Point Park classes helped you in the civil engineering work you do?

I definitely gained a strong engineering foundation from Point Park. In many of the classes, we gained valuable hands-on experience in labs or in the field (such as surveying) to understand both practical applications of theory and how instruments work. These experiences have given me an advantage in my career and helped me to be realistic in the engineering work I do. The small class sizes, especially in the labs, were absolutely ideal for me as they allowed me to always be a participant and not a spectator.

Do you have a favorite Point Park memory?

I have many memories from Professor Garson's classes and the stories he shared. He is a phenomenal teacher, but he is also tough and very particular. I've never had a professor who wanted us to learn more than he did. In his Structural Analysis class, I made a mistake on my homework so bad that he drew a mushroom cloud on my paper. It was very well done; I underestimated his artistic ability.

My experiences with all of the faculty in the NSET department are memorable. They are characters and their personalities are unforgettable! I'm so grateful to have been a part of this program.

What are your career goals?

Currently, I'm pursuing my M.B.A. degree. At Michael Baker International, I'd like to start working more with project management and business development and combining my technical background with my people skills into a role that best suits me and Michael Baker.

What advice do you have for our female engineering students?

In both school and in the workplace, ask questions, support your colleagues, help one another and work as a team. For female engineers, I think finding positive role models and mentors will really help you grow personally and professionally, as engineering is still a male-dominated field. And always give back; no one grows without help, so pay it forward!