Nishann Miller, College of Agricultural Sciences

Nishann Miller has learned how to be brave and resilient in the face of hardships.

As a full-time, first-generation student from a low-income family, Miller worked 25 to 30 hours a week and was an Ag Ambassador for the College of Agricultural Sciences.

“At times it becomes hard to balance your personal life with academics, work, and professional development opportunities,” Miller says.

Balancing a personal life as well as a full school load can be even more difficult when there is a loss in the family.

“This fall semester she lost her grandfather, a critical support and mentor in her life,” says Shannon Archibeque-Engle, director of diversity and retention for the college. “Still, Nishann is constantly positive, hardworking, respectable, respectful and reliable.”

As difficult as the loss of her grandfather was, Miller continued to persevere this semester. “In life you lose things and have to deal with personal problems, but you can’t always let that affect you negatively,” she says.

Resilience is a defining trait in Miller, who grew up in the Denver area. Before she became a student at CSU, she was rejected admission twice due to low grades, but she did not give up. On her third application attempt, she was granted admission and has spent the past year and a half as an agricultural business student.

Miller became interested in agriculture at a young age. When she was a kid, her family faced financial hardships that resulted in a lack of healthy food. Her mother understood the need for the family to eat healthier, so they often went gleaning at local farms, collecting what was left in the fields after the crops had been harvested.

Miller also competed on the Westernaires horse drill team in Jefferson County when she was a teenager. Her love for horses led her in the direction of equine science, but she quickly learned that she was also passionate about business.

When Miller graduates, she plans to accept a consulting position at a financial advising firm. She eventually would like to start her own nonprofit organization.

“I am really looking to think of myself less and to help and impact others in a positive way,” she says.