Miller earns academic staff award for excellence

Teresa Miller

Teresa Miller, assistant director and counselor in University Counseling Services at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, was selected for the 2023 Academic Staff Award of Excellence.

“It’s exciting to be recognized for my efforts, and I was excited that my supervisor thought well enough of me to nominate me in the first place,” said Miller, who was nominated by Deirdre Dalsing, director of University Counseling Services at UW-Platteville.

Miller, who has been with University Counseling Services since 2013, graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor of Science in sociology and a minor in psychology and then earned her master’s in social work from the University of Chicago. A first-generation college student, she is a licensed clinical social worker with experience treating mood disorders, anxiety, ADHD and trauma.

Feeling a push to help others using the values of compassion, acceptance and social justice, Miller was drawn to the hands-on work of empowering others through supporting the mental health of students at UW-Platteville. Through her work, Miller hopes to model to students that they have a right to be themselves completely. She feels honored when safe relationships are developed and students are able to acknowledge their feelings and communicate them with her.

Miller’s favorite part of working at UW-Platteville is the students, whether it’s through her role as counselor or advising the Green Bandana Project, an organization that spreads awareness and provides support for those struggling with mental health issues and those who have been affected by suicide. In an effort to bring a more comprehensive approach to suicide awareness and prevention on campus, Miller became a certified QPR (question, persuade, refer) suicide prevention trainer. Since 2022, she’s worked with the UW System Behavioral Healthcare Committee’s initiatives, which has allowed her to share her expertise, enabling her to have a larger impact on campus than she may have had if she were only doing individual trainings.

Believing no one should feel bad for seeking out ways to better themselves, Miller hopes to help students learn that their self-care and individual perspective is valuable and that counseling is a brave way to focus on making positive change.

“I aim to work with mental health concerns using a growth mindset,” said Miller. “This means gently and compassionately reminding students that their negative feelings, thoughts or actions are not personal flaws, nor are they an indicator of their future success, but they might be something they wish to alter, and there are tools to help them change if they’re ready to.”

Miller will be recognized at the university’s annual faculty and staff convocation.

The Academic Staff Award of Excellence is presented to an instructional or non-instructional academic staff member with a minimum of 12 consecutive months of employment at UW-Platteville who has provided essential services to the university while demonstrating excellence of performance, personal interaction, initiative and creativity.