A member of the University of Wyoming Extension communications and technology team received the organization’s Creative Excellence Award at the annual extension training conference in November in Laramie.
Steve Miller joined extension in 2005 as editor. He writes and edits news releases and also articles and magazines for internal use and public distribution in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Prior to joining extension, Miller worked as a reporter, photographer and editor at newspapers in Colorado, Idaho, Nebraska, Montana and Wyoming.
“At every turn, Steve works diligently to connect the work of extension with the human lives we touch and let those real voices shine through,” said David Keto, UW Extension communications and technology manager.
His writing has been recognized through numerous awards from the Association for Communication Excellence, an association of colleges of agriculture in land-grant universities, and the Wyoming Press Association.
Miller is able to find new perspectives and new voices to help tell stories of extension and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources that truly resonate with audiences, noted Keto.
Jennifer Thompson, small acreage outreach coordinator for UW Extension, has worked with Miller on many extension projects, including over 14 years of collaboration on the quarterly Barnyards & Backyards magazine.
Thompson notes that many might not consider the amount of work and creativity it takes to be a good editor.
“Whenever I am reviewing an article and find myself stuck wondering why the piece just isn’t working and where to even start, I can send it to Steve and he’ll quickly put his finger on where the issues lie,” said Thompson.
Miller has helped with over 560 articles in the Barnyards and Backyards magazine, which is just one part of his efforts. He writes numerous stories and press releases, as well as edits stories, edits internal college publications, takes photographs and posts to social media.
“His titles still catch my interest, his bylines make me laugh as they do many others across our state and his creativity gives life and meaning to our words,” said Thompson.
Keto also recognizes Miller’s creative mind can sometimes be understated. Miller is a quiet and practical innovator and an important member to the communications and technology team, Keto said.
“Steve possesses a great talent for quiet observation and his eye toward innovation, and his ability to see where innovation can fit within UW Extension are invaluable to our organization,” said Keto.
Miller has a unique ability to re-inspire the traditional and true through his creativity, said Whit Stewart, extension sheep specialist.
“Without Steve’s storytelling ability, I think many of extension’s efforts would go unknown and underutilized,” said Stewart.