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5 Questions with Faculty: David Miller

ALBANY, N.Y. (Dec. 14, 2016) — David Miller is an associate professor in the School of Education’s Division of School Psychology, part of the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology. 

He is president of the American Association of Suicidology, the oldest and largest membership organization in the U.S. devoted to understanding and preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it.

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David Miller (Photo by Mark Schmidt) 

What are you working on now?

My area of expertise is youth suicidal behavior generally and school-based suicide prevention in particular (many people aren’t aware that suicide is the second-leading cause of death among people ages 10 to 24 in the U.S.). I’m excited about several projects I am currently working on, including studies examining the effectiveness of school-based suicide prevention programs. Additionally, serving as president of the American Association of Suicidology allows me to promote suicide prevention on a national level and witness first hand some of the exciting new developments in the field.

What made you decide to pursue your field?

As I tell my students, school psychology is a profession that can have a broad and significant impact on a variety of academic, behavioral, social and emotional domains in the lives of children and adolescents. I was attracted to the field of school psychology for the same reasons that keep me excited about it today – the opportunity to alter the trajectory of students’ lives and promote their mental health and well-being. There is no better place to do that than in our nation's schools.

What’s your favorite class to teach?

I greatly enjoy teaching all of my courses. If forced to choose one favorite class to teach, however, I would probably choose Introduction to School Psychology. It's a required course for all first-year students in our graduate programs in school psychology. From my perspective, it provides the foundation for the roles and functions of contemporary school psychologists that permeates our entire program.

If you weren’t teaching at a university, what would you be doing?

I can’t imagine a job I would like more than the one I currently have. That said, if I weren’t teaching at a university I would probably be working as a school psychologist, perhaps in a specialty school, such as a school for students with severe emotional/behavioral problems. I had the good fortune of working in that capacity in a nationally-recognized laboratory school affiliated with Lehigh University prior to my academic position at UAlbany.

What’s the best thing about working at UAlbany?

Many things come to mind, but probably first and foremost is working with many great students and colleagues at a university whose priorities (i.e., research, teaching and service) match my own. Upstate New York, particularly the Capital Region, is also a great place to live.

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