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OIE director wins World Citizen Award

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Photo by Xidan Zhang/ xidan.zhang@mu.edu

Photo by Xidan Zhang/ xidan.zhang@mu.edu

Terence Miller, director of the Office of International Education, was awarded the World Citizen Award by the International Institute of Wisconsin Saturday night.

The award, which has been handed out since 1996, recognizes those who play a leadership role in shaping the International Institute of Wisconsin and who are committed to helping both the local and global communities.

According to the IIW mission statement, the organization is “dedicated to the promotion of international cooperation, understanding and a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural perspective.”

Prior to his work at Marquette, Miller spent 10 years serving as a lay missioner for Maryknoll, a men’s religious order that focuses on living and working in poor communities around the world. He spent most of his time working as a policy analyst and director of Maryknoll’s Office of Justice and Peace in Washington, D.C.

Miller also spent three years as a human rights attorney in Linares, Chile. There he worked on the Commission of Truth and Reconciliation, which investigated the citizens who were executed or “disappeared” under the rule of Augusto Pinochet, the leader of Chile’s military dictatorship from 1973 to 1990.

While the official numbers are still unclear, a government report by the Chilean National Commission of Truth & Reconciliation places the number of persons killed or kidnapped by the regime at at least 3,200, many of whom were tortured.

The human rights violations by the government are still being investigated today. Miller said he found the U.S.’s role in bringing Pinochet to power troubling.

“As a U.S. citizen, (I) really want to make sure that the next generation of leaders understands that reality so that these atrocities can be prevented in the future,” Miller said.

Miller said his background inspires his work with the OIE. The office assists both international students on Marquette’s campus and domestic students who study abroad.

Miller has witnessed tremendous growth in the OIE since it was created six years ago. In 2007, 14 percent of students had studied abroad by their senior year. That number has grown to 23 percent, Miller said.

“What it shows is (that) Marquette students are demonstrating eagerness to learn and bring that back,” Miller said. He specifically mentioned the South Africa Service Exchange Program as an example of students doing service work and using their skills to help others.

Tim Gotfredson, a global student assistant and a senior in the College of Business Administration, said the OIE helps connect Marquette students with international communities.

“The OIE is a portal that allows both international students studying at Marquette and domestic students studying abroad to learn from and interact with cultures from all over the world,” Gotfredson said. “Terry’s contribution to the advancement of the international community epitomizes that of a model global citizen.”

The OIE is designed to expose students to other cultures, both in Milwaukee and abroad.

OIE is important for Marquette because it provides exposure to diversity and different cultures for our students,” said Alex Onyiego, a junior in the College of Health Sciences and a global student assistant. “Miller is an integral part of OIE and the main driving force behind all we do.”

For Miller, working with both international students and students who study abroad is key to educating students.

“The next generation of leaders need to have opportunities to learn languages, study overseas, learn the history, economics and political realities of people across the world,” Miller said.

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