Clara Miller selected as women's, gender, and sexuality studies marshal

Michaela Harpster
May 06, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — As part of Penn State’s 2020 spring commencement activities, Clara Miller will represent the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies in the College of the Liberal Arts as its student marshal.

In response to the growing coronavirus pandemic, orders from the state government and recommendations from global public health organizations, Penn State will hold its spring 2020 commencement ceremony via livestream on May 9. The virtual ceremony will recognize all Penn State undergraduate students and all graduate students in the Penn State Graduate School.

Miller will graduate with a bachelor of science degree in women’s studies and a minor in plant pathology. Her faculty marshal is Christine Libby, assistant teaching professor of history, religious studies, and women’s studies.

Miller kept busy throughout her time at Penn State. She was the president of the Blooms and Shrooms Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology organization. As president, Miller organized a showcasing of “Fantastic Fungi” at the State Theatre in downtown State College for participants to have the opportunity to see fungi up close. She also organized campus plant-disease walks and a career preparedness workshop, and she hosted a networking event for graduate and undergraduate students to learn about the different research opportunities on campus.

In addition, Miller was an undergraduate researcher for the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and the College of Agricultural Sciences. She has a publication for her work studying the “roles of science and political technologies in surveilling marginalized populations in India.” Her extensive dedication to research awarded her four Undergraduate Research Awards.

Committed to feminism, Miller served on the executive board of Penn State’s TRIOTA chapter, which is an honor’s society for students in the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her work with TRIOTA included organizing events, panel discussions, workshops and more on feminism, the LGBTQ+ community and activism.

Reflecting on her time as a Liberal Arts student, Miller mentioned that the College of the Liberal Arts gave her access to a plethora of enriching opportunities. She said, “Penn State Liberal Arts has given me access to research opportunities, independent studies, and an individualized education with intimate class sizes, all of which have given me skills vital for my future career and graduate school.”

After graduation, Miller will work in disability support services while applying to graduate school. Eventually, she wants to earn a doctorate degree in women’s, gender and sexuality studies.

Miller offers first-year Liberal Arts students the following advice.

“Know your limits, stick to them, and say no sometimes. School is hard and extremely demanding. Take time to prioritize your health and well-being, and don't be afraid to let others know that that is what you are doing,” she said. “There is no timeline for school, you can take a break if you need one, and you'll be surprised at how understanding others will be. School will always be there. Make sure you are too.”

This is the 24th in a series of stories on the 24 student marshals representing the College of the Liberal Arts during the spring 2020 commencement activities.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated May 06, 2020