Continuing in Community after Graduation
By Charlene Underhill Miller (PhD '99)
I found my academic preparation at Fuller to be invaluable. Even so, my favorite memories in the Marriage and Family Therapy program were created outside the classroom. I now look back gratefully upon a host of extraordinary experiences of community which, at the time, I took for granted: shooting the breeze in the Catalyst; "studying" on the third floor of the old library; and dining with professors in their homes.
During our years on campus, Fuller prepared us to launch our practices, begin our pastoral ministries, or move to the mission field. In my case, Fuller's faculty and my fellow alumni/ae have been some of my greatest personal and professional resources since graduation, as we have supported and encouraged each other and worked together in ministry.
I recognize that many alumni/ae have not been able to stay connected to the Fuller community to the same extent that I have enjoyed. This past year I was honored to be appointed to Fuller's Alumni/ae Council. In this capacity, I hope to help extend the "continuing Fuller community" that I have experienced to more of my fellow alumni/ae, and help others reconnect both with Fuller and with alumni/ae in the ways that have blessed my life and work.
These days, how we connect ranges from "old school" networking lunches to new social networking sites. And there are always the many great programs offered at Fuller's various campuses. People don't "graduate" from their families, and I look forward to sharing the Fuller family with more and more of my fellow alumni/ae as we reconnect and stay connected through the Fuller community.
Charlene Underhill Miller (PhD' 99, MA '85) leads an active psychotherapy practice with offices in Malibu, Santa Monica, and Pasadena. After teaching and supervising at Fuller for 10 years, Charlene moved to the Los Angeles Westside and is now in her tenth year as an adjunct professor in marital and family therapy at Pepperdine's Graduate School of Education and Psychology. Charlene resides with her husband, John Miller (MDiv '80), and son Matthew in Malibu.