| by Stephen Diehl

News Stories, People

Miller, Dion
Dion Miller MAIPD ‘22

When the pandemic shutdown brought Dion Miller’s Peace Corps plans to a screeching halt in 2021, he decided there was only one course of action: go back to school.

The University of Washington–Bothel graduate knew he wanted to study some form of international development, and Middlebury kept popping up every time he searched for programs. He liked what he saw and enrolled in the Institute’s International Policy and Development (IPD) program.

With classes online due to the pandemic, Miller was pleasantly surprised by how engaged he could be in an online program—always feeling involved, working as a graduate assistant, working on projects in Monterey, and even serving as president of the student organization BUILD, which offers free language classes to the community. He also enjoyed in-person learning when he attended the Middlebury Language Schools Arabic School in Vermont over the summer.

Ultimately, Miller’s patience paid off when he landed a position working for UNICEF in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for his Professional Service Semester, which helps students secure graduate-level internships, jobs, or consultancies. He was supported with a Freeman Foundation Award, which provided $5,000 to cover the unpaid internship.

He says the experience has given him great insight into how UNICEF and the UN work in general and he’s enjoyed the sudden immersion into another culture.

It’s Not Just Office Work

Dion Miller MAIPD ’22 has been immersed in both policy making and its results during his international Professional Service Semester as a program evaluator with UNICEF in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.