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Alumni Feature: Dr. Ruth Thompson-Miller

Dr. Ruth Thompson-Miller has had a productive career in academia, winning many awards and honors, while publishing and presenting her work in many forums. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida in 2004, as a McNair Scholar and University of Florida Scholar. She later when on to receive her doctorate in Sociology from Texas A & M University in 2011. After graduate school, she accepted an Assistant Professor position at the University of Dayton. Her research focuses on the long-term psychological consequence of trauma in the black community in the south; a form of collective PTSD—segregation stress syndrome. She anticipates that future research will delve deeper and focus on the impact of violence against women of color and how the legal system played a part in sanctioning human rights violations and crimes globally.

Dr. Thompson-Miller on her time at UF:

I have fond memories of walking through Turlington Hall at the University of Florida. As an undergraduate, I wasn’t sure about a major until I attended a class taught by Dr. Kesha Fikes. Dr. Fikes powerful insights, brilliance, intellect, and her thoughtful way of giving students the tools to grapple with our common sense knowledge, changed my life. Her class created an avenue for me to reevaluate the way that I viewed the world and my life in ways that still resonates with me today.  The professors in the department of anthropology sparked a passion that continues to inform my research, scholarship, and academic career. I will be forever be thankful for the Dept of Anthropology at the University of Florida.

Publications and Presentations

  • Currently, she has published two books, four articles, nine book chapters, and three essays—one in the Chronicle of Higher Education, and two in the American Sociological Association newsletter.
  • She has published seven encyclopedia entries; three other published academic works (including a podcast for the journal Violence Against Women, a three part series in the BlackAtlanticStar, and a teacher’s handbook for the documentary, You Belong To Me).
  • Dr. Thompson-Miller was featured in the documentary, “You Belong to Me” and featured on the Discovery Channel show, “A Crime to Remember: The Shot Doctor.”
  • Recently she completed a Ted Talks type Video where she talks about her research on segregation stress syndrome
  • She was also recently invited to be a Michael Davis Lecture Series at the University of Chicago
  • She has given more than 20 academic conference presentations, including two internationally in South Africa. She has presented in Seattle, Washington; New York, Chicago, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Philadelphia. The conference focuses on social justice and human rights issues throughout the United States.

Honors and Awards

Dr. Thompson-Miller’s commitment to scholarly productivity has also been acknowledged in the honors and awards she has received throughout her career.

  • She has received the University of Dayton Seed Grant in 2012, 2013, and 2015
  • She was awarded a National Institute of Mental Health Fellowship by the American Sociological
    Association from August 2006 to 2009
  • Additionally, she received honorable mention two years in a row for the prestigious Ford
    Foundation Minority Fellowship; one year she was the first runner up
  • In the summer of 2011, she was selected to attend a summer training workshop at the Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research Institute for Social Research (MCUAAAR).
  • Currently she is in the process of rewriting a grant to resubmit to the National Institute of Health for the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities
  • In addition, she has applied for the Ford Foundation Postdoc Fellowship