The Gabe W. Miller Memorial Foundation awarded its 10th Gabe Miller Scholarship to Rachael Dietkus-Miller, a first year MSW student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The University matched the Gabe Miller Scholarship.
Mrs. Dietkus-Miller received her bachelor's in sociology, with an emphasis in social movements and their organizations, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2000. As an undergraduate and since, she has demonstrated her strong commitment to social change by her volunteer and paid positions.
She has grown from a volunteer to an executive along the following path: AmeriCorps volunteer; Program Director - Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty; Program Director, Director of Development and Associate Director - YWCA of the University of Illinois; Executive Director - Downtown Danville, Inc; and Advocacy Manager of the YWCAs statewide.
Mrs. Dietkus-Miller was a Fellow of the World YWCA and Delegate to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights & Human Rights Council in 2006. There were only two women nominated by the YWCA USA.
She has authored and presented to the American Sociological Association "Working from the Bottom UP: Grassroots Organizing and the Dichotomy Between Activist Lawyering" and "Orderly Social Progress and Racial Measures: The ACLU and the Fight for Individual Rights Over Personal Safety and Freedom."
And she has participated, chaired and led many organizations and panels, too numerous to list here, but by way of example: President, currently, and member - UIUC Graduate Social Work Association; President, currently, and member - Champaign County ACLU; and '04-'06 Commissioner - City of Urbana Human Relations Commission.
Mrs. Dietkus-Miller was also awarded the IVI-IPO Harold Washington Award in 2003; the Verdell Frazier-Young Award '98-'00; and the Gloria Steinem Award in 1999.
Ms. Dietkus-Miller attended Northwestern University School of Law's First Annual Conference on Wrongful Conviction and the Death Penalty, as did Gabe. Both their senses of social justice were spiked by that experience. There were very few younger persons in attendance, but, unfortunately, she does not remember Gabe from that event.
All of the Foundation' scholarships are need-based. Mrs. Dietkus-Miller's situation highlights just how important the Foundation's scholarships and the universities' matches are to the graduate students. Without divulging personal finances, suffice to say that the Gabe Miller Scholar has what could only be called a crushing student debt load from undergraduate days, Mrs. Dietkus-Miller has cut back about one-half on her primary job (and its income) to have the time and energy to excel in her MSW program and still holds two jobs - 20 hours per week at the YWCA and 10 hours per week at the Women's Resources Center (an assistantship). Her husband is a professional nurse, having gained his experience as a medic in Iraq.
Update 2012: Rachael was identified as one of the "40 Under 40" community leaders by Central Illinois Business Magazine, in part for her co-founding the "CUBD (Champaign-Urbana Design Organization) Gives: Project Non-profit Makeover" program and her service on the CUBD Board and to United Way's Community Leaders Program. She is currently a Licensed Social Worker for the VA, having started as a Patient Advocate and now as Administrative Officer-Engineering Services. Rachael and her husband are the proud parents of Vivian, born a year ago this last September.
Rachael Dietkus-Miller is doing her best. The Foundation is proud to be of help to her.For further information, please contact The Foundation.
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|1st Gabe Miller Scholar||Trish Snell, M.S.W., University of Denver, 2006; Ph.D., Notre Dame University|
|2nd Gabe Miller Scholar||Dawn Davis, Illinois State University|
|3rd Gabe Miller Scholar||Lauren White, Illinois State University|
|4th Gabe Miller Scholar||Cheryl Lockett, Illinois State University|
|5th Gabe Miller Scholar||Shani L. Trapp, University of Illinois|
|6th Gabe Miller Scholar||Christopher S. Perri, Loyola University Chicago (LUC)|
|7th Gabe Miller Scholar||Carlos F. Moran, University of Southern California (USC)|
|8th Gabe Miller Scholar||Audrey L. Tousant, University of Southern California (USC)|
|9th Gabe Miller Scholar||Thomas J. Malczyk, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UI)|
|10th Gabe Miller Scholar||Rachael Dietkus-Miller, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UI)|
|11th Gabe Miller Scholar||Stephanie D. Moss, University of Southern California (USC)|
|12th Gabe Miller Scholar||Ananda Leinartas, Jane Addams College of Social Work of the University of Illinois, Chicago|
|13th Gabe Miller Scholar||Zuleika Andrade, University of Southern California (USC) School of Social Work|
|14th Gabe Miller Scholar||Kristopher Koester, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) School of Social Work|
|15th Gabe Miller Scholar||Whitney Welsh, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) School of Social Work|
|16th Gabe Miller Scholar||Jana Hernandez, Loyola University Chicago|
|17th Gabe Miller Scholar||Lauren Higbee, University of Illinois Chicago / Jane Addams Colllege of Social Work|
|18th Gabe Miller Scholar||Lauren Belding, University of Illinois, Chicago / Jane Addams College of Social Work|
|19th Gabe Miller Scholar||Jennifer Copeland, Loyola University, Chicago|
|20th Gabe Miller Scholar||Jenny Vu, University of Southern California|
|21st Gabe Miller Scholar||Alison Lehner, Loyola University, Chicago|
|22nd Gabe Miller Scholar||Annie Azriel, University of Illinois, Chicago / Jane Addams College of Social Work|
|23rd Gabe Miller Scholar||Danielle Perry, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) School of Social Work|
|24th Gabe Miller Scholar||Raji Shivshanker, University of Southern California|
|25th Gabe Miller Scholar||Lynette De Dios, University of Illinois, Chicago / Jane Addams College of Social Work|
|26th Gabe Miller Scholar||Nakisa Choupani, University of Southern California|
|27th Gabe Miller Scholar||Sarah Mesick, Loyola University, Chicago|
|28th Gabe Miller Scholar||Ashley N. Grabb, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign|
|29th Gabe Miller Scholar||Ivan Gonzalez, University of Southern California|
|30th Gabe Miller Scholar||Tiara Smith, University of Illinois, Chicago / Jane Addams College of Social Work|
|31st Gabe Miller Scholar||Candyss Newman, Loyola University, Chicago|
|32nd Gabe Miller Scholar||Melissa Farmer, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign|