Tag Archive: Thanksgiving


Over the past few years, one of my most successful and important blog pieces has been my “Why I’m Thankful on Thanksgiving” posts.  I get an opportunity to reflect upon the last year of my life and give thanks to those that made the progress I’ve seen possible.  This year will be no different, as I’ve managed to continue seeing my goals come to be thanks to the assistance and guidance of those around me.

While I haven’t seen monumental career changes this year, I continue to do a job that I love and am inspired every day by my students to be a better professor and person.  What follows is not a comprehensive list of those responsible for where I am, but a list of those that I respect and admire and have made this year one of the best ever.

My new wife, Jacqueline

2014 was a monumental year for my personal life.  After being together through good times and bad for seven years, Jackie and I finally got married.  We had been engaged and planning  our wedding for nearly two years, so needless to say that consumed most of my time.  Anyone that was fortunate enough to be in attendance will certainly vouch that we had an amazing time.  From the 75 degree late September weather, to the beautiful scenery at Hunter’s Valley Winery, to the most amazing wedding food (and cake from Bella’s Bliss Bakery), to having all of our friends together to celebrate, our wedding was one for the ages.

In addition, we had the opportunity to have our honeymoon in the most beautiful place in the world, Punta Cana.  It was an amazing experience for many reasons, but I can’t help but get the feelings out of my mind about the level of poverty we witnessed in our time there.  Truly, after the honeymoon was over, I was indeed thankful to have a beautiful wife, a loving family, and a career I love.

Our Fantastic Wedding Party!

Our Fantastic Wedding Party!

My best man, Bart Kaminski

Bart and I have had an interesting friendship, one that culminated with a tear-jerking best man speech at the wedding.  But he also has given me an opportunity to advance my career with our new endeavour of Hop Hedz Gear (http://www.hophedzgear.com), where I am the marketing director.  While over the past five years or so I’ve been involved with social media, I now have a tremendous opportunity to handle all aspects of marketing for an emerging business with a killer product.  It is amazing the amount of faith both Bart and business partner Brett have put in my ability to showcase the company, not just at shows, but online as well.

My Loving and Supportive Family

This year was a bit difficult for me family wise, in that my mother has been in and out of the hospital with heart problems.  I honestly must say that I’ve never been so worried as I’ve been for her over the past few months.  For those wondering, she is doing okay, but it seems that this is going to be a lingering problem for the rest of her life.  Hopefully, things for her begin moving in the right direction so her health can be something that she doesn’t worry about in the future.

Also, I can’t thank my family enough for all of the assistance that they provided us with the wedding.  They were able to take care of several things that we simply didn’t have time for or didn’t think of even doing.  Special thanks go out to my sister Danielle, who made a beautiful bridesmaid for Jackie, but also served as emotional support for her as well.

Finally, My Students

For all of the times that my students make me crazy, there are even more times that they drive me to become a better professor.  And while some of them may get upset that I dock them points for being late or tell them to get off of their phones, I promise they will look back at me as being influential too.  I look back at two of my favorite professors, Dr. James Laux (Slippery Rock) and Dr. Ted Carlin (Shippensburg) and realize that it’s not the easy teachers that make something of you, it’s those that challenge you to be the best you can be.

When scheduling classes, I remember asking “How easy is Professor X?”, when I should have asked “What did you learn from Professor X?”.  Life is not easy, and as soon as my students realize this fact, they may understand why I am hard on them.  It’s not because I want to be rude or because I like to give them a hard time, it’s because I want the best for them in ways that many of my professors did not.

Truly everyone associated with my life has helped make me the person I am today.  It was an honor and a privilege for each and every one of you to spend your day(s) with me and my new bride at our wedding day.  I hope that each and every one of you understands how much I value your friendship and I hope that we can continue to share these special moments of our lives for years to come.

Paul Miller

pmiller@kollisionmedia.com

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495/

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 In the time that I’ve been writing this blog, my life has gone in many different directions.  I’ve become very social-savvy,  if you will, to the point that I now represent 10 different small businesses in the Harrisburg, PA Metro Area.  I have become Social Media Manager at a very successful company, KollisionMedia (http://www.kollisionmedia.com) and I write for the company’s blog (http://www.kollisionmediablog.com).  I’ve also written articles for The Central Pen Blog as well as other various websites over the past year.

But something happened to me in 2013, however, that may change my life forever, I was hired as Part-Time faculty at Central Penn College.  Teaching has always been a dream of mine going back to my decision to go to Graduate School at Shippensburg University in 2005.  My journey has been quite interesting to say the least. 

Since completing graduate school in 2009, my job search was one of dismay, disappointment and heartbreak.  I interviewed for a variety of jobs that I should have had no issue getting, but somehow I never got that call.  As it has been well-documented on my blog, the Social Media Summit was one thing I look back at as life-changing.  So, with a few lucky breaks and proper networking, I was able to land my dream position as a Communications and English professor at Central Penn College.

In my time here, I’ve learned an immense amount, but also have had the opportunity to understand what being a professor is all about, helping students achieve their goals.  I’ve never had so much delight then when I see a student “get it” whether right in front of my eyes or in their work.  It makes me look back at professors that I’ve had in the past and make me wonder.  I wonder things like:  “It really seems like that person was just collecting a paycheck” or “Wow, this person really made me who I am today”.  I hope that my students look back at me years from now and think that I in some way impacted their lives for the better.  In my opinion, this is the true job of a professor; to help young students live up to not only their potential, but goals they have set for themselves.

Obviously, I wouldn’t be who or where I am today without a few specific individuals in my life.

My fiancé, Jackie – Jackie has been one person that has always been there for me.  I can’t explain enough how important she is to who I am today and how I got here.  Also, we are just under one year from getting married!

My family – My story about my family is similar to others.  I had a great family that supported me, but when I came home with bad grades they obviously were upset.  At times, I wished they’d just get off my back.  In hindsight, however, I’m so glad that they didn’t or else I may not be where I am today.

Dr. James Laux – Dr. Laux was one of my favorite professors as I spent time at Slippery Rock University.  He taught me so much about Communications, but also taught me a lot about life as well.  In my opinion, he was solely responsible for making me into the person I am today, and for that I am eternally thankful.

All of my colleagues at Central Penn College – I have had the pleasure of meeting many fantastic academics here at Central Penn College.  People that continue to push me to be the best professor I can be.  I appreciate everyone’s willingness to answer questions, assist me when I have problems, and to guide me through issues in class. 

I had an opportunity last week to do my first Workshop “Digital Media and the Job Search” last week at Central Penn.  Not only was it a rousing success based on attendance, I was able to get amazing feedback from my colleagues and students who attended.  I want to make sure that this group of students doesn’t go through the same struggles that I did.  I want them to feel the way that I do someday, having a career and a family that you love.

Happy Thanksgiving!