“I don’t need to be a ‘big writer,’ I just want to write about ‘big things,’” said Noel Miller, the newly hired editor of The Slate news section.
Miller is the Slater of the Month for October because of her passion for journalism and willingness to learn.
Miller knew by the end of her junior year of high school at Christian School of York that she wanted to be a journalist. The school did not have a newspaper, but Miller had a passion for writing stories.
She decided to pursue journalism after hearing a TED Talk by journalist Lyra McKee. The journalist spoke about her trip to Orlando following the Pulse nightclub shooting. She talked with those who helped the victims and emphasized the importance of having (sometimes) uncomfortable conversations with people who are different from themselves. McKee said those conversations can save lives.
McKee’s words resonated with Miller’s life experiences.
“I came from a small and conservative high school where I was told I had a certain place in the world as a woman,” Miller said.
She was inspired to pursue news writing after reading a BBC story about women suffering from domestic violence in India. She saw the power of writing.
“No one was helping these women until someone wrote and published a story about them,” she said. “All it takes is one person, one event or one action to put something into motion.”
Miller took her passion to Shippensburg University where she is a rising junior communication/journalism major with an emphasis in print and online media. She is also minoring in women and gender studies.
Miller joined The Slate in fall 2019 as an assistant news editor. Although quiet at first, Miller came out of her shell and quickly proved her dedication to the craft.
Miller penned her favorite story as the semester drew to a close last December. She did not plan on covering the topic, but is glad she did.
Miller and other members of the SU Student Media Living Learning Community (LLC) were on a field trip visiting the Newseum in Washington, D.C. While standing outside the Newseum, the group witnessed a piece of the Berlin Wall inscribed with a letter to President Donald Trump en route to the White House. The portion of the wall was a “gift” to Trump to commemorate the 30th anniversary of its fall.
After seeing the wall, Miller called her editors and pitched the story idea. Her passion led her to write “It’s Better to Tear Down Walls,” which allowed her to express herself and come out of her shell as a writer.
Through her hard work and dedication she quickly rose to become a news editor in January 2020.
“It feels like it’s my first step towards where I want to be in life,” Miller said.
Miller cites her motivation to continue writing to the sense of community she feels while working at The Slate. She is appreciative of the supportive group of friends who share her passion and acknowledge her hard work.
“It’s a really awesome thing to see everyone’s stories come together and blossom into something special,” Miller said.
She said being a member of The Slate allows her to better her writing skills and give her the experience she needs for her future career.
Miller strives to live by this quote: “When the whole world is silent, even one voice is powerful.”
Miller intends to continue to be a voice and hopes to encourage more people to become involved with journalism.