St. Bonaventure University senior Chernice Miller of Brooklyn has been named the 2016 recipient of the Dr. Mary A. Hamilton Woman of Promise Award.
Miller will receive the award at a ceremony Tuesday, March 15, in Dresser Auditorium of the John J. Murphy Professional Building on campus. The program begins at 4 p.m. and is open to the public.
The Woman of Promise Award recognizes a female journalism and mass communication student who has excelled both in and out of the classroom, set an example for peers and demonstrated great promise for success in future endeavors. The award is named in honor of Dr. Mary Hamilton, ’59, retired associate professor and professor emerita with the Russell Jandoli School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Miller is a journalism/mass communication and theater double major and a student in the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP).
“Chernice is an incredibly talented young woman,” said Dr. Pauline Hoffmann, dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. “She excelled in two majors earning the respect of her HEOP colleagues in the process. She is a delightful young woman and our second HEOP student to win the Woman of Promise Award.”
Miller attended Brooklyn Theater Arts High School, so she arrived on campus with a strong background in theater and a desire to pursue a career marrying her love of writing and theater arts. As she completes her final semester at Bona’s, Miller is eyeing a career as a writer or editor for a magazine or perhaps as a screenwriter.
“The journalism field has so many options,” Miller said. “Journalism has taught me so much more than pen to paper. It’s pen to screen, pen to stage, it’s phenomenal.”
Through her academic and co-curricular involvement, Miller has had the opportunity to direct, travel, stage manage, write a film, and plan events for many organizations on and off campus. She has stage managed nearly a dozen productions for the theater program, growing in confidence and ability each time.
“Prof. Becky Misenheimer and I began asking Chernice to participate in casting meetings after auditions and in developing the season choices. Chernice contributed many thoughtful comments and ideas,” said Dr. Ed. Simone, professor of theater and director of the university’s theater program.
Miller’s presence is shown through her charismatic perseverance and her belief that smiles, laughter and a helping hand can change the world.
“Chernice stops by my office a lot, and it’s a treat to talk with her. When she leaves, I feel better than I did when she came in,” said Pat Vecchio, who is Miller’s academic adviser in the journalism program. “She’s terrifically self-assured, and she has always known what she wanted to do during her college years.”
Miller is now working on completing her senior projects. Her journalism capstone is a film noir titled “Her Closet.” She wrote and produced the film, which she describes as “murder mystery-esque.” For her theater capstone, Miller is drawing on skills she’s honed through the theater program and as a member of the University Choir to produce an evening of “scenes and songs” that will be performed in the Garret Theater in April.
“I’ve learned so much through my capstones and I’m so proud of what I’ve done,” she said.
The St. Bonaventure campus has been an incredible source that drove Miller’s passion for the advancement of people and societal change.
Miller’s involvement on campus has extended to working at the Quick Center for the Arts and tutoring HEOP students. She has also interned with the Warming House, participated in the Bona Buddy program and served as a First-Year Experience program peer coach and mentor.
Miller is honored and proud to join the ranks of promising women and hopes to do the title justice.
“We in theater are not at all surprised that Chernice was chosen as a Woman of Promise. We’ve seen her living the promise of her intelligence, creativity and personality for many years, and we have no doubt she’ll continue,” said Simone.
MASS COMMUNICATION alumna Deb Henretta, Class of 1983, will be the keynote speaker at the Woman of Promise event. Henretta is a senior adviser to SSA & Company and recently retired as group president of Procter & Gamble.
At SSA & Company, Henretta works to help companies better use big data and data analytics to drive stronger, sustained top-line and bottom-line results. She took on this new role in 2015 after a 30-year career with Procter & Gamble. During her career with P&G, Henretta led a number of large global businesses including the $20 billion beauty business with more than 50 brands sold in more than 150 countries around the world. In her seven years as group president of Asia, Henretta consistently grew top-line and bottom-line results, more than doubling the size of the Asia business.
Henretta has been consistently recognized as an influential business leader, including seven consecutive years on Fortune magazine’s U.S. and international rankings of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business. In 2008, she received a U.S. State Department appointment to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)’s Business Advisory Council. In 2011, she was appointed chair of this 21-economy council, becoming the first woman to hold the position. In this role, she advised top government officials, including President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
In 2010, Henretta was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by St. Bonaventure. She previously served on St. Bonaventure’s Board of Trustees and is a current member of the School of Journalism Advisory Board. In addition to her bachelor’s degree from St. Bonaventure, Henretta earned a master’s degree in advertising from Syracuse University.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things. St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #5 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. Our students are becoming extraordinary.
Application forms, procedures and additional information
There are many ways to experience
St. Bonaventure for yourself
Learn more about the programs that interest you