Citing the joy of companionship and camaraderie of all the people she works with, Barbara Miller retired on March 31, 2022. Known to many as first pilot of the Stockbridge star ship, her 24 years of University service also trace the history of our School's renaissance.
Barbara was first hired to UMass in 1998 as a Bookkeeper I in the Department of Entomology in Fernald Hall. She managed all of the accounts related to entomology (the study of insects), and quickly earned the rank of Bookkeeper II. In a prelude to the campus resurgence of Stockbridge pride, Entomology was merged with the Plant & Soil Department, creating the Plant, Soil, and Insect Science (PSIS) Department in 2004.
Eight years later, PSIS was absorbed by the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, and the 4-year bachelor degree program at Stockbridge was launched in 2012. When the multi-million dollar renovation of Paige Laboratory was completed in 2014, Barbara moved to Paige along with key faculty, and served as Assistant to the Director, Wes Autio.
Reflecting on the wide variety of tasks she is relied upon to do, Barbara describes herself as a "Jack of All Trades, Master of None." She manages the School's various buildings, laboratories, and classrooms, and oversees the scheduling of academic courses each semester. Barbara trains and supervises student employees, but she also does the paperwork to hire and pay them. When new faculty are hired, and speakers invited to campus, Barbara arranges the payments for their travel and lodging.
When new mailboxes appear, office doors are keyed and labeled, and supplies are re-stocked, Barbara's hand is behind it all. Stockbridge merchandise designs? Barbara. Need a size re-ordered? Barbara. How'd that Stockbridge booth appear at Homecoming? Barbara. Remember our centennial celebration? Barbara. She can be proud of all the different things she does to meet the needs of diverse groups, including administration, faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students, parents, alumni, and the general public.
Barbara says that she has 3 plans for retirement: Continued service to the Order of the Eastern Star, a charitable service organization where she served as Grand Treasurer for many years; spending time with her husband Peter, doing travel to Alaska, Hawaii, and Ireland; and a well-deserved cruise the next time Winter strikes.
Colleagues and alumni can email messages of thanks and congratulations to Barbara at email@example.com