Nursing student dedicated to advancing racial justice on campus and in her profession
Sarah Miller ’24, a first-year nursing major at St. Catherine University, was named the first recipient of the University’s George Floyd Memorial endowed scholarship. This competitive annual scholarship, funded by a generous, anonymous donor with an initial endowed gift of $250,000, honors the life of George Floyd and will benefit one Black American student pursuing a degree or career that promotes social justice issues, specifically those related to racism.
“Sarah is a wonderful representative of what we aspire for our students as she is a strong, thoughtful leader,” said Anita Thomas, PhD, executive vice president and Provost at St. Catherine University. “It was a competitive pool of nominees for our inaugural year, and all of the students were very impressive. Education is an expression of social justice, one of the founding values of St. Catherine University, and this scholarship is a renewed commitment to that value.”
Miller, who was selected out of a pool of 12 nominated students, was one of the student organizers for the Peaceful Protest and March for Racial Justice held in April in St. Paul. She was motivated to do so following the murder of Daunte Wright, and plans to continue in that spirit as a student by partnering with fellow first-years to create a social justice-focused organization that would host events, run a food and clothing drive for Daunte Wright’s family, hold a book drive for incarcerated BIPOC women, and write letters to legislators to appeal for better laws that serve all constituents.
In addition to Miller, the student nominees who were advanced this year for consideration included:
- Juwayria Abdulkadir ’23, Public Health
- Gabrielle Agbenyiga ’23, Social Work
- Louise Ba- Political Science ’24, Economics and Public Policy
- Aaron Barnes ’22, Physical Therapist Assistant
- Chando Horvath ’24, Women and International Development
- Sabrina Kubisa ’22, Global Health
- Miyah Walker ’22, Exercise and Sports Science
- Rohma Mohamed ’23, Public Health
- Bethleham Yewhalawork ’22, Public Health
- Qiana Dukek ’22, ASL
- Karri Drain ’23, International Business and Economics
ReBecca Koenig Roloff ’76, president of St. Catherine University, wrote in her letter of support for Miller’s nomination that “I was very impressed with how Sarah followed through on an action that she felt was important to lead for the community.” Roloff noted that, in a subsequent meeting with the student, “she also exhibits a leadership quality that will serve her well as she prepares to work for understanding and helping to ever improve the future of nursing. That is, Sarah works to ensure that many voices are heard. This is a quality that connects directly to our mission, which is to educate women to lead and influence.”
Miller’s plans as a future nurse include not only representing BIPOC healthcare professionals in an underrepresented area, but also applying lessons she has learned in the economics field to drive solutions for racial healthcare inequities and further understanding of the detrimental effects of discrimination in a healthcare setting.
“Social justice is a journey, not necessarily an endpoint “ Miller wrote in her application. “Because of this, I expect I will be seeking justice for George the rest of my life since he didn’t have the chance to live out the rest of his.”
About the George Floyd Memorial Endowed Scholarship
The history and values of St Catherine University and our founders inspire a response to the call for racial justice brought forth by the death of George Floyd, Jr. on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The George Floyd Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund is an answer to this call and fuels our commitment to education as an expression of social justice.
The George Floyd Memorial endowed scholarship fund is a prestigious annual scholarship intended to support a current Black American Student pursuing a degree at St. Catherine that prepares a student for a career to lead and promote social justice specifically related to racism.