A Fort Huachuca employee who once thought little about getting an education recently garnered a full-ride scholarship and will be headed to Harvard for three years of schooling at no expense to him.
â€œItâ€™s not the biggest deal in the world, and I recognize that, but itâ€™s huge personal goal to even make it into Harvard coming from the background I did,â€ said Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation scholarship recipient Arthur Miller.
â€œI didnâ€™t give a lot of thought to education before joining the military. It wasnâ€™t until later in my military career when I injured my lower back, that I thought, â€˜Iâ€™ll use some of my education benefits and go to college and see what I can do there,â€™â€ Miller said.
Miller, who works at the Fort Huachuca Army Education Center as an education services technician, said it was while he was working at the center that he first started using his education benefits.
â€œI got started in a community college, and just continued from there. I fell in love with it. Some of my education requests were denied, at times, because I was taking nine classes at once, not nice credit hours but nice classes while being a full-time Soldier. I just really fell in love with learning and the kind of learning environment that college and universities provided,â€ Miller said.
The education services technician, who is originally from San Diego, first started his college career in 2007 while he was enlisted in the Army. He joined the military out of inspiration after 9/11 as a 54B, which is now the 74D military occupational specialty which deals with nuclear and biological chemical warfare.
â€œI only applied to Harvard University. I come from a background of Irish and Jewish descent, but my family had very little education, mostly blue collar workers. I am the first one who graduated or even went to high school in my family, so Harvard has always been this ultimate personal goal,â€ Miller said.
â€œIf I could go there [Harvard] coming from the family that I did, it would be just a huge personal accomplishment. Also, I think it would raise the bar for my kids and show them regardless of where you come from you can always progress and do whatever you want with your life,â€ he added.
Miller will be heading to Boston June 1 with his family to start the summer semester to get the feel for Harvard and see how intense the courses will be.
He will be studying computer science through the Engineering and Applied Sciences Department. â€œI want to do several things with my degree. I have a desire to work in an industry that merges technology and bio systems, so hopefully [Iâ€™ll work in] something that intersects between computer science and medicine or bio-information systems,â€ Miller said.
â€œThere are degree plans in the fields that do intersect; right now I am going to the University of Arizona and I am majoring in biochemistry and computer science. I took the separate approach because I want to go into a little different direction than just biotechnology,â€ he added.
Miller received the SMART scholarship after he applied, which included writing an essay, submitting some of his work along with some of his undergrad research, in specific fields that dealt with the overall movement called the singularity.
Miller explained singularity as â€œthe point at which information systems become equally intelligent as human beings so they will be able to have at least some form of artificial intelligence that will match our own intelligence. They will be able to write their own software systems and come up with solutions that we would come up with through studying or intuition, so a little bit more advanced computer systems.â€
Miller applied for Harvard at the end of last falls semester. He found out he was accepted to Harvard about a month and a half ago. â€œIt was kind of a mixed feeling because I was happy and thrilled, but at the same time I knew there wasnâ€™t a practical way I could afford it but then I got notified of the scholarship about a week later. Then I was thrilled,â€ he said.
The scholarship is for three years, and Miller will graduate with a masterâ€™s degree in computer science.
For more about the SMART scholarship, go to smart.asee.org.