Posted on Tuesday, September 23, 2008
They say you can never go home again, but HWS alums often prove that not to be the case at all. From Oct. 1-3, Hobart College welcomes alumnus Michael J. Miller '83 home as the 2008-2009 John Henry Hobart Fellow in Residence for Ethics and Social Justice.
Throughout his professional and scholarly work, Miller has put ethics into practice as one of the pioneers in manufacturing as well as research and development in microbiology, sterility assurance and many related fields. He serves as the senior research fellow in the Manufacturing Science & Technology Division of Eli Lilly & Co. in Indianapolis; is the author of more than 80 related publications and presentations; serves as the editor of the Parenteral Drug Association Encyclopedia of Rapid Microbiological Methods.
"In an era where accessibility of health care is a critical social issue-- worldwide, drug companies have faced their share of ethical challenges. Dr. Miller has endeavored, from within the pharmaceutical industry, to promote social justice and to be responsive to the health needs of ordinary people, throughout his career," said Associate Dean Chip Capraro. "He has made his a life of consequence, carrying forward the values and skills of liberal learning at the Colleges into his work, and that is why he was awarded this year's Hobart Fellowship."
While on campus, Miller will speak on the particulars of his work, and how an ethical vision has been integral to his life as a successful professional, editor and scholar. "Mr. Miller will interact with students and faculty in four different classes across the curriculum: microbiology, biomedical ethics, sociology of business, and the economics of caring," said Capraro. "In each class, from a variety of perspectives, Miller will discuss the availability of drugs to patients worldwide. He'll also explain how HWS provided the disciplinary and ethical framework for the work he does." In addition, Miller will give a talk to faculty, titled "Sociologist to Microbiologist to Global Leader in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing: A Liberal Arts Success Story", at 11:45 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 3 in the Common Room.
"We designed the fellowship for a sustained interaction with the HWS community, at multiple venues, and with a variety of constituencies," explained Capraro. The program, an extension of what was once John Henry Hobart Day, was begun in 2001, with two goals in mind: to recognize and honor men and women whose careers have engaged them in work deeply grounded in an ethical perspective and which directly impacted people's lives, and to support a sustained interaction between those men and women and our students at the Colleges.
"There is a great deal of reciprocity in this program," Capraro explained. "The program exists as much to honor the achievement of the Fellow as to teach us more about their mission and values. The recipients often remark on how much they have benefitted from their interaction in the HWS community."
Miller holds a Ph.D. in microbiology and biochemistry from Georgia State University (GSU), a B.A. in anthropology and sociology from Hobart College and has served as an adjunct professor at GSU and the University of Waterloo, School of Optometry. Recently, he was awarded PDA's Distinguished Service Award and was named Microbiologist of the Year by the Institute of Validation Technology.