Have you heard about Dr. Michelle Miller-Day? From national health campaigns to the theater, she commands the stage. Transfer student, Brittney Kuhn, sat down with Dr. Miller-Day to talk about her new book and more. Find out what she’s doing here, at Chapman’s School of Communication, and why our spotlight is on her in this interview.


I hear you’ve written a new book, what is it about?

It’s called Communication Among Grandmothers, Mothers, and Adult Daughters: A Qualitative Study of Maternal Relationships. It pairs with my new course I’m teaching this spring (COM 456: Communication Between Mothers & Daughters).

(*Good to know, just in time for registration…)


What inspired your research?

It was a serendipitous combination of my doctoral dissertation and a play in Arizona that I was in, which both portrayed the relationships between mothers and their adult daughters.


I’ve heard that you love to do live theater, are you currently in any shows?

Yes, I am staring in Steel Magnolias at the Ernest Borgnine Theater in Long Beach. Live theater is a hidden gem, and really makes for a wonderful experience.

(If you haven’t spent a night at the theater, you’re missing out!)


I had the pleasure of listening to you speak about some of your projects during a Student Advisory Board meeting, and I was very impressed and inspired to find out that you are the Co-President of REAL Prevention. What is unique about your successful drug & alcohol prevention and health program?

Rather than having theoretical scenarios, we use real people’s stories and apply narrative theory to promote communication confidence. Real narratives have an authentic impact, especially in youth substance prevention.


Other than making an ongoing impact on our youth, what do you find most rewarding? Sitting on a beach with my dogs! (She has 3; a Terrier, a Poome, and a Retriever/Newfoundland.) Honestly, seeing my students succeeding and doing what they love, is MOST rewarding.


What tips can you share to promote student success?

TAKE INITIATIVE! Don’t sit and wait for people to tell you what to do.


Being that a lot of us students are newer to Orange County we are always looking for cool places to visit locally. Are you willing to share a secret spot or two?

Tanaka Farms (in Irvine) is an awesome experience that many people don’t know about.

(*This time of year, in particular, is quite magical!)


Personally, I feel that professors teach so much more than what we find in textbooks, do you have any words of wisdom as we begin our careers?

Yes, don’t eliminate yourself from opportunities. I have heard so many people say they don’t fit the requirements so they don’t apply for a job. Things can be taught, still go for it!


Dr. Michelle Miller-Day is a gem to get to know. From listening to her speak about her 30 years of qualitative research funded through the National Institute of Health to her artistic outlet on the stage, she has so much life experience and knowledge to share. I look forward to the next time I get to sit down with her over a mini box of chocolates and find out more about research methods and life itself. Don’t wait to sign up for her course this spring, it’s an experience you won’t want to miss!