Students are important to Sarah Miller, assistant professor of history at USC Salkehatchie. In fact, she says they are the highlight of her job. “I like to teach,” says Miller with a smile. “And I like to make history real to my students. When they see my passion, they become more engaged and more interested in the material.” That means incorporating visuals into her lectures – everything from a lynching photo to juxtaposing battlefield photos and carnage with photos showing those same battlefields today. Students in her classes are also required to visit a historic site. Miller’s commitment to learning – and to her students – was recognized this year, when she was awarded the first-ever John J. Duffy Regional Campuses Excellence in Teaching Award. She was selected from all USC regional campuses as best representing the award’s commitment to teaching, advising, and mentoring. “We are so proud of Dr. Miller and delighted to have one of our own receive the first of these awards,” says Dr. Ann Carmichael, dean of USC Salkehatchie. “She is an outstanding teacher who is passionate about her subject and eager for her students to learn. She is active in research, which enhances her lectures and the class-room experience. Outside the class-room, she supports our students as well, often attending athletic and other student-centered events. She is a shin-ing example of the caliber of faculty we have here at USC Salkehatchie.” Miller says she makes a special effort to get involved with her students because she believes it makes her more approachable, allowing students to come to her when they need help. Also, she simply has a lot of school spirit and loves to support the athletic teams and take part in student events, everything from Halloween costume parties to Salk Olympics com-petitions. Last season, she became the advisor for the cheer team, a student group that came together to support the basketball team, wearing facepaint and performing cheers from the stands. Miller’s primary area of interest is Native Americans, and she has taught a Native American history course at Salkehatchie. She serves as vice president of the Colleton County Historical and Preservation Society, co-chair of the Salkehatchie Stew: Colleton Collection steering committee, and a member of the executive committee for the Walterboro Antiques, History, and Arts Festival.