Robert Miller has always had a deep appreciation for the U.S. Armed Forces but he never dreamed that he would receive a scholarship from the Department of Defense. After meeting with his Penn State Berks honors adviser who encouraged him to look into the program, Miller applied for and was thrilled to receive the Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship for Service Program from the U.S. Department of Defense. He is the first student from Penn State Berks to receive this award.
According to Miller, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering from Douglassville, he will work for the Department of Defense as a civilian for one year in return for one year of scholarship support. After graduation, he will be assigned to the Picatinny Arsenal, the Joint Center of Excellence for Guns and Ammunition, which provides products and services to all branches of the U.S. military, located in northern New Jersey. Miller will be assigned to the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), an international hub for the advancement of armament technologies and engineering innovation, where he will work as a systems engineer.
“I recommend that STEM students look into the SMART scholarship,” states Miller. “The extensive application process makes you think and figure out who you are as a person.”
Miller goes on to state that he hopes to work for the Department of Defense for some time as he foresees a future career in that area. He also plans to earn his M.B.A. and work in project management.
During his time at Penn State Berks, Miller has been part of the Honors Program, the Student Veterans Coalition and the Outdoors Club. He also works as a tutor in the college’s Learning Center and as a technical writing intern in the Safety Department of Carpenter Technology.
When asked how the college is preparing him for the future, Miller states, “The engineering professors come from diverse backgrounds–some from graduate school and others from industry. Their different perspectives have taught me how to handle various situations. I have also learned how to manage time, stress and make something out of nothing in my engineering courses.”