A Love of Math Led to the Classroom

A Love of Math Led to the Classroom

Prof. Mary J. Miller fell in love with math as a high school student. She was excellent at it, but it was a different time and she didn’t get much encouragement.

“In my generation, a woman who was good at math had to be a teacher,” Miller said.

Both her parents had their own businesses. Her father was a welder and her mother ran a welding school. They taught their three kids how to weld, but Miller could not get the hang of it, so her father had her mother teach her the bookkeeping.

“I learned bookkeeping before I even learned calculus,” she said.

She realized accounting was her skill.

After high school, Miller did not go straight through college. It took her six years as a part-time student at the University of New Haven to earn her bachelor’s degree in accounting. After, she earned her Certified Public Accountant , the license to practice public accounting regulated by the state.

She practiced public accounting in Connecticut, but said she wanted to share her knowledge with the up and coming business students in a second career.

“All this knowledge is useless unless I share it,” Miller said.

She started taking classes to become a teacher. Then she began teaching in community colleges, but when a spot opened up at her alma mater, she took it. She teaches business classes for business majors and non-majors. Miller admits it can be difficult because they are hard courses, but she tries to make it better each semester.

Nadia Bernabé a rising senior, went to Miller for help after changing her major during her junior year. She didn’t think she was going to graduate on time, but with Miller’s help Bernabé is graduating May 2019, only a year behind.  

“I walked into the meeting with her and she had a game plan,” Bernabé said.

Miller helped Bernabe work with the classes she had already taken in her past three years.

If there’s one thing that Miller wants her students to know.

“I care. And I’m here for them,” Miller said.