Madison Miner (Class of 2023)

Madison Miner

  • Junior majoring in Public Health (Human Disease & Epidemiology track); co-major in Pre-Medical Studies
  • Minor in Spanish
  • From Durham, North Carolina
  • Member of the Miami RedHawks Synchronized Skating Team
  • HAWKS Peer Health Educator; member of both Delta Epsilon Mu (Miami’s pre-health fraternity) and Sigma Delta Pi (Hispanic Honor Society)
  • Participant in the Summer Scholars Program
  • Conducted dental research with public health professor Valerie Ubbes
"Attend events that interest you, and don’t be afraid to reach out... that kind of help has been really valuable to me."

Why Miami?

Madison Miner in her official synchronized skating team profile photo.

"I first heard about Miami through the skating world. Miami is one of the only schools where you can skate and be a varsity athlete at the university. From there, I came to campus for a tour and fell in love!

"I also did a Summer Scholars Program at Miami before my senior year of high school. I really loved the professors that I worked with during that program and had positive experiences. I also really enjoyed both Miami’s academic and skating opportunities that would be afforded to me here.

"Before I started my freshman year, my parents recommended that I choose a major that was outside of the traditional pre-med majors like biology or chemistry. I met with career advisors and faculty who directed me towards where my academic abilities would be best suited. I soon found an interest in public health and declared that major coming in. I took a few intro classes and loved it.

"I also came into Miami’s pre-medical studies program with a pre-dental focus because I knew I wanted to do something in the medical field. I then took an anatomy course and really enjoyed it. It helped me realize that I wanted to study the whole body, not just the mouth. This summer, I transitioned from being pre-dental to fully pre-med."

Best Miami Experiences

"During my freshman year before the Covid-19 pandemic, the synchronized skating team competed at the US Synchronized Skating Championships . We have something called ‘the Sea of Red,’ where all the Miami fans wear red, have pom-poms, and cheer for you from the stands. Everyone was covered in Miami gear and screaming while we were warming up, and it was my first time competing at Nationals. My family and my boyfriend were there too, and it was so moving to have my whole support group there. That was definitely my ‘Miami moment!’

Madison Miner with fellow HAWKS Peer Health Educator Agbomheire Kadiri.

"I’ve also really enjoyed being a HAWKS peer health educator. We work to promote the wellbeing and health of students on campus. In the role of a peer health educator, we do tabling events about alcohol use and misuse, sexual and interpersonal violence, and mental health to name a few. We also do freshmen orientation events and give presentations in residence halls and classrooms. Our work is exceedingly important, and it’s something that I stand by one hundred percent.

"As a Spanish minor, I’m currently taking a community service-based Spanish class. I have been tutoring Spanish-speaking fourth and fifth graders to help them with reading comprehension and math. Having this opportunity has also allowed me to explore socioeconomic status, access to education, access to transportation—all factors in a community that affect people beyond the ability to speak English."

Miami and the Liberal Arts

"I feel that my education at Miami has been very well-rounded. I've had excellent professors such as teaching professors Meredith Erb and Heeyoung Tai and senior lecturer Tracy Haynes in key classes like organic chemistry, biochemistry, and physics. These core topics have been a great foundation for me.

"This is probably going to sound unusual, but I think my favorite class so far has been organic chemistry. I absolutely loved that course, which was taught by a fantastic professor, Dr. Erb. I really enjoyed the thought process of organic chemistry and the way that your brain has to work through the problems in order to solve them.

"My major in Public Health is focused on a community-based approach to understanding the health status and access to care that people in the community have. We look at the different factors that affect community health, and how those factors can be improved upon to better everyone and their surroundings.

Madison Miner at the 2020 Skating Nationals.

"I've loved the environment and the community aspect of my Pre-Medical Studies co-major. I feel like I have a core group of people with me—we take the same classes, work through the same struggles, and bounce ideas off each other. It feels very much like a group effort, like we're all working together to achieve the common goal of making it to med school. "

Conducting Dental Research

"Last summer I did research with public health professor Valerie A. Ubbes. The project first came to my attention when I was primarily focused on being a pre-dental student, and Dr. Ubbes was doing research on how to better represent dentistry in children's literature.

"She started by doing an analysis of how medicine is represented in children's literature, and then she began reviewing books on dentistry to compare the two. She argued for a need to increase the representation of dentistry in children's literature so that children feel comfortable and welcomed in a dentist’s office.

"I began my work with Dr. Ubbes reading and analyzing the selected children's books. My role shifted slightly after this to become more research-oriented as I helped to write our final paper."

"I think Dr. Ubbes helped me to take a broader approach to my studies and look at something from a different perspective. The research pushed me in my education to think outside the box. I never would've thought to connect that a child would feel more comfortable at the dentist’s if they first looked in a children’s book and saw a dentist, knew what that dentist’s office looked like, or knew what the tools looked like. This research experience pushed me to reconsider how I thought about the importance of engaging my audience as a teacher by forcing myself to think about receiving educational materials from the point of view of the learner."

Advice to Students

"I recommend that you go in with the understanding that your path doesn't need to be set right now. When you’re 18 years old and a freshman in college, you have so much time to be able to figure out where you want to go and what you want to do with your life. I think I initially felt pressure to make a decision, when in reality it didn't need to be made yet. Your path is very malleable, and you can pick and choose. Take the time to explore your interests to really determine where your passions lie.

"As a student athlete, I always step back and reflect on where I was as a senior in high school. My dreams and aspirations were to be here, and my Miami experience is the fruition of that. When it gets tough or when you have an exam the night of a practice, just remember that there's a reason why you're doing what you're doing, and that you love the sport and being a part of such an amazing program. Just enjoy it!"

[October 2021]