Meet Laura Miller, director of energy and sustainability, who enjoys visiting U.S. National parks and spending time outside when she is not helping to lead the University’s “green” initiatives.
May 20, 2022
The lifeblood of the University of New Haven are the faculty and staff members who dedicate their lives to helping our students reach their goals. Periodically, we’ll introduce you to a member of the staff so you can learn more about them – beyond their day-to-day work.
Next up is Laura Miller, director of energy and sustainability, who went to the same Liverpool high school as a well-known musician.
Renee Chmiel: Have you recently tried any new activities or hobbies?
Laura Miller: As I have an 18-month-old daughter, my free time has been spent taking her on adventures outside in our garden, walking our golden retriever Sandwich, visiting parks and playgrounds, and, in the summer, going to fun spots like the zoo and aquarium. When I do get some time to myself, I enjoy doing yoga, and I try to do a 10-minute meditation every day as I believe this is very important to help reset the mind and reduce stress. Before our daughter arrived, my husband and I enjoyed travelling to U.S. National Parks, and we have managed to visit twelve parks so far in seven states. Our goal is to make it to all of the national parks, and we are excited to bring our daughter along with us.
So far, we have visited:
Capitol Reef, UT
Grand Canyon, AZ
Grand Teton, MT
Mount Rainier, WA
RC: What do you enjoy the most about the springtime?
LM: As much as fall is my favorite season, I do like the return of the warmer weather and lighter evenings after months of cold and dark. Throughout the year, I love to take my dog Sandwich for walks. We enjoy forest walks and steeper hikes, and in the spring and summer she can cool off in local streams. I also like to do a little planting in our garden as we continue to add to our perennial collection. Some of my favorites include lavender, allium, and tulips.
RC: What are your favorite restaurants in the West Haven/New Haven area?
LM: Before COVID, I enjoyed eating at the Turkish House with co-workers in West Haven. I love that it is within walking distance from my office and has the best hummus. I also enjoy Arethusa Dairy and Modern Apizza in New Haven. My order from Arethusa would typically be strawberry ice cream, or a seasonal pick such as peach. As for pizza, my favorite is bacon and onion with mozzarella. They also offer gluten-free crusts, which are amazing!
RC: What are three “fun facts” about you?
LM: I went to the same high school as John Lennon.
I have two master’s degrees, one in secondary education, and one in geography and sustainability. I grew up with a pony called Rosie who I used to ride and visit on the weekends. I had her from ages 5-15. I entered her into jumping shows and had so much fun on the farm as a child.
RC: Where did you grow up?
LM: I grew up in Liverpool, England. I moved to Connecticut in 2008, and I have been here ever since. Growing up in the UK was fun, and I lived about a 20-minute bus ride from the City Center and very rarely needed a car. I used to like shopping with my friends and family on weekends and finding hidden restaurants. I love garlic bread with cheese, and I would often seek out little cafes that had this. I also enjoyed that there was always something going on in the city, so it was easy to feel connected to others. I completed my undergrad in Liverpool, too, so I enjoyed experiencing it as a student as well as a resident.
RC: What do you enjoy the most about your role at the University?
LM: In my role as director of energy and sustainability, I enjoy that no two days are alike. One day I may be off working with a group of students who are helping me with educational outreach on a topic such as composting or recycling. The next day I might be auditing buildings from basement to roof to help identify more energy-efficient and money-saving options to help the campus to reduce its carbon footprint. I love working in the Office of Facilities. My co-workers have become like extended members of my family, and I couldn’t ask for a more supportive experience.