James Miller is in the Student Recreation Center six days a week. “I know the employees there and have a good relationship with them,” he said.
And that’s the kind of thing he likes about UAF. The feeling of belonging doesn’t end at the SRC’s doors.
“It’s got that sense of being small without being small. It’s still got that sense of community,” he said. “Like the professor-student relationships — I’ve had a really good experience with most professors. They’re really helpful.”
Miller, a political science major, grew up in Fairbanks, but his family moved to Kansas when he was 14. “I chose to come back to UAF just because I like the place,” he said.
That’s in part because he enjoys the outdoors. “It’s so beautiful, especially in the summer and fall,” he said. “There’s so much to do outside. I really love it.”
Some of Miller’s outdoor activities begin with those daily visits to the SRC. He signed up with the Army ROTC program, and he’s training to compete on its ranger challenge team.
“Tomorrow, our show-up time is 6 a.m.,” he said. Sometimes it’s earlier — 4 a.m. for a 10-mile trek.
Miller also joined the student government, Associated Students of UAF, as a senator.
Miller will enter the Army as an officer after graduation, and he’s open to a career there, as his dad had. He’s also thinking about law school, which would also follow his dad’s footsteps. He suspects a degree from UAF could help in whatever path he pursues.
“Saying I have a degree from a university in Alaska, that’s going to raise people’s eyebrows,” he said.