Kevin Miller (’78) considers himself a classic first-generation OSU student. He had come from a family of loggers and military servicemen, and he didn’t have a lot of focus when he started college. By his junior year, he had changed his major five times. “I didn’t have any idea what I wanted to do,” he says.
He took one of Ron Lovell’s journalism classes on impulse, just to fill up his schedule. After a couple more journalism courses, he changed his major one last time. Within six months — and with Lovell’s strong encouragement — Miller was editor of the Barometer.
Lovell recognized Miller’s potential and encouraged it. Not only was Miller a talented writer, he was willing to work. And while Miller didn’t think he could do the editor’s job, Lovell did. “You need to do this,” Lovell told him.
Writing, Miller discovered, was something he liked, was good at and could make a career out of. Which he has. After working at newspapers in Oregon and Montana, Miller spent more than 20 years at the Register-Guard in Eugene in a number of top editorial posts. Miller came to OSU in 2006 to became editor of the Oregon Stater alumni magazine.
Although Miller credits Lovell with helping him find his focus and stay focused, he says his experience is not uncommon at OSU.
“Part of the OSU story is helping students who don’t know what they want to do find their way,” Miller says. “OSU will help you find a career that’s useful and rewarding.”