• An economist.
  • Passionate about politics.
  • From Portland.
  • Forward-thinking.
  • A vinyl record collector.
  • An intern for the Portland Trail Blazers.

Willamette helped Michael hone his critical thinking and analytical writing skills.


Michael debates economic policy with his advisor, Professor Jerry Gray.


Michael, who interns for the Portland Trail Blazers, heads to Smullin Hall.

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Questioning the Status Quo

Michael Miller examines global challenges through an economic lens.

Why I Value Willamette

"Many undergraduates don't experience the research opportunities and relationships I've had with my professors at Willamette," Michael Miller says. "Outside of class, the interactions I've had with faculty have led to numerous intellectual conversations and project ideas.

"Willamette has helped me develop and refine the analytical tools I need to create new ideas for change."

Academic Life

Michael is already well on the path to reaching his goal of improving economic policies and promoting democracy through the exchange of ideas.

During his time at Willamette, the economics major has co-authored articles for publication with his mentor, Professor Jerry Gray, and presented his research at an international conference.

Economic policies can guide everything from what food we eat to where we live, Michael says.

So when he sees people around the world living in less-than-desirable conditions, he questions why this is happening and what can be done about it, specifically through the lens of economics.

Beyond the Classroom

Michael's work was enhanced by two prestigious grant awards from Willamette: the Carson Undergraduate Research Grant and the Presidential Scholarship.

The former funded his independent research project on natural rate theory and the Federal Reserve.

The latter provided Michael with one semester's tuition and covered his research expenses for a project relating to labor market prospects for college graduates.

The Future

Michael aspires to follow in the footsteps of author and activist Noam Chomsky by using the written word to help others examine global challenges critically.

"My professors have taught me to be curious about both sides of every argument and to consider how people develop their perspectives on issues.

"These skills will benefit me as I become a writer who encourages others to use the same tools."

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