For 21 years, Kansas native Michael Miller fulfilled his lifelong dream of working as a special agent for the FBI.

The work Miller did and the lessons he learned during his career are among the reasons he was recently honored with the Fort Hays State University Alumni Achievement Award. 

 

“It means a great deal,” Miller said. “When I was 18 years old, the last thing I wanted to do was go to college. I ended up with three college degrees (associate of science in radiologic technology, bachelor’s degree in general science, master’s degree in physical education) that I had no interest in. I didn’t really believe in myself that I could even go to college or earn a degree.”

Miller, who retired from the FBI on May 31, was deployed twice to New York City after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; prevented violence against Westboro Baptist Church members and counter-protesters; worked with the Topeka Jewish community when it became concerned about shooters and other threats; and coordinated searches and testimony tied to a plot to attack a southwest Kansas mosque. 

Miller said he wanted to begin working counterterrorism because all related efforts are proactive. 

“You’re trying to figure out who these people are that are trying to do the bad things domestically or internationally before it happens,” he said.

Miller hopes the Fort Hays Achievement Award reflects well on his efforts and collaboration with other law enforcement personnel. 

“It was always a team effort, and I was part of a lot of people making an effort,” he said. “I can share that with all the people that have encouraged me and got me where I was going and helped me get done what we needed to accomplish.”