Impact and Research

Personal Health Crisis Creates Change

Miami student and cancer survivor Christie Currie is using her education to help people who are trying to regain their health—like she was when she was diagnosed with cancer in high school. The knowledge and skills that Currie has developed at Miami, in combination with her experience, has given her an outlet to create change in the area that she cares about most.

All Miami students have the opportunity to combine passion and education, but each outcome is unique. For Currie, that outcome sits at the intersection of marketing, entrepreneurship, and health—exactly where her interests collide.

A Life-Saving Gift

Veronica Mullen stands with her arm around Jordan Ryan

Still on dialysis after eight years, Jordan Ryan found her condition worsening and was forced to stop taking classes in her third year at Miami. After a miracle match was discovered, Jordan would go on to meet the special donor with a Miami connection, who by her example saved not only Jordan's life, but the lives of others.

For more on Jordan's story, see A Life-Saving Gift.

Health Research

Dr. McMurray studying a monitor screen alongside a couple of his students

Opiod Overdose Effects on the Brain

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 130 people die per day from an opiod overdose. While most research focuses on prevention, Matthew McMurray, assistant professor of psychology, works with both undergraduate and graduate students to study whether or not long-term neurological effects exist after recovery from an overdose. McMurray hopes that as more people survive overdoses, their study will inform follow-up care and risk of relapse in addiction treatment.

Read more about what happens after an overdose.

Mobile phone showing a list of mental health apps for purchase

Question Arise About Mental Health Apps

As more consumers turn to mobile apps for healthcare support, researchers at Miami University are studying whether the tools are helping or hurting patients. 

Findings gathered by assistant professor Joshua Magee and graduate student Sarah Adut show that while mental health apps show promise, they have a long way to go. Magee and Adut warn consumers to do their homework, looking for credibility, transparency, and user experience.

student doing research

Studies on Alcohol Addiction

Three Miami undergraduates are conducting health research on different aspects of alcohol addiction. Through this research, they hope to answer questions about the following:

  • Correlation between traumatic childhood life events and addiction
  • Influencers for underage binge drinking
  • Drunkorexia—overexercising to avoid gaining weight from drinking

Read more about these research studies in the full news story.

"LEED"-ing in Sustainability

Pond on Western campus

Miami University is committed to sustainability in our academic programs, physical campus and operations, and university mission by promoting environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and economic viability.

Ten years of sustainability successes include a 44% reduction in carbon emissions and 29 LEED-Certified buildings. In 2019, Miami was awarded its first STARS Gold rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). 

For more details on Miami's STARS assessment as well as future goals for protecting the environment, see Sustainability.

Power of Tower Gardens

Watch Parkinson, clinical faculty in Miami's nutrition and dietetics program, demonstrate how a tower garden works.

For years, Miami faculty and students have been partnering with students from the local school district in experiential projects, and now tower gardens have become the latest high-tech tool used by the Department of Kinesiology and Health to teach students on and off campus about nutrition. Purchased for use in Miami's Food Science Lab and local elementary schools, tower gardens are vertical systems that grow food hydroponically with aeroponics—a process for growing food in an air and water environment indoors or out.

Registered dietician and nutritionist Nancy Parkinson hopes that by engaging the students in the process of a tower garden—from germinating their seeds and tending them as they grow, to sharing and eating healthy delicious foods together—students will learn about the sustainability and environmental impact of home-grown food and the nutritional benefits that prevent disease and other chronic health issues.

Active Campus

student shooting a basketball
3,500 athletes participate on 800 intramural teams.
students dancing in a group fitness class
The Rec Center offers 80+ group fitness classes each week.
students running on treadmills
Each treadmill at the Rec averages 10 hours of use a day.
student doing a push-up
The Rec Center offers personal training packages for members and non-members.
an instructor leading a spinning class
An estimated 60-70% of all students have participated in a Rec Center class or program.
faculty and staff participating in a fitness class
Faculty and staff made nearly 2000 visits to the Phillips Hall fitness center during Fall 2017.
students and staff using various machines at the Rec
The Rec Center welcomed 50,000 visitors in October 2017.
student climbing the rock wall
The Outdoor Pursuit Center offers a climbing wall, bouldering cave, and ropes course.
student making a shot on goal during a broomball game
More than 1,500 club athletes participate on 54 club teams.
students running on the track
An average of 7,720 people use the Fitness Center at the Rec every week.
female student lifting a barbell
There are 8,850 pounds of dumbbells at the Rec Center.
students at a color run
The MEDLIFE 5K Color Run is just one of the many heart-healthy activities organized by students every year.
students playing sand volleyball
Miami has three regulation sized sand volleyball courts.

Celebrate and Preserve Oxford

We're fortunate to be surrounded by so many natural areas and parks here in Oxford, Ohio. But ensuring that these areas are around for years to come requires our attention and commitment. Here are a few simple ways you can celebrate and preserve our environment.

Trade disposable cups for reusable mugs and bottles

Many coffee shops and major chains offer a few cents off your drink for bringing in your own mug or cup. A reusable mug made from quality materials can keep your drink hotter or colder for longer than paper cups. And of course, they reduce waste!


Every time you choose to recycle, you're reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills and conserving natural resources. For Butler County residents, recycling is included as part of regular trash removal services. There are also 35 recycling drop boxes located throughout the county.

Spend time at your local park

Take time to unplug and soak in the beauty that surrounds our great town! From the walking paths at Oxford Community Park to more than 1,000 acres of natural areas, there is a lot to explore around Oxford.


Tess Cassidy graduated early to hike the 2,190-mile Appalachian Trail before starting a new job. Jackson Gray and two friends paddled all 981 miles of the Ohio River in a canoe and kayak to raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention.

Follow their journeys

Partners in Health

John Bailer teaching in a classroom

Students App Addresses Opioid Crisis

A new interactive web app, developed by Miami students, promises to become an important component in battling the opioid crisis in Butler County. John Bailer, a Miami University Distinguished Professor and Chair of Miami’s Department of Statistics, said his class was asked by the county coroner to develop tools to explore overdose death data. In the fall of 2017, multiple student teams worked on this project and presented their work at the end of the semester. Read more about this important project.