Chad grew up in a small town in northwest Wisconsin, spending a lot of time fishing, hunting and gardening—for at least a few months of the year. In high school and most of college, Chad worked painting ornamental concrete lawn ornaments. His interest for horticulture began when he was about twelve years old, when a neighbor lady gave him some flower bulbs—namely dahlias, gladiolus and cannas. From that summer on, his interest with flower bulbs and ornamental plants grew.
He enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls (UWRF) in horticulture, and had a great mentor and advisor, Dr. Terry Ferriss. Miller did a couple of internships, one in Californiain plant breeding and one in the Netherlands for greenhouse cut flower production—both of which had a significant impact on his education. After UWRF, Miller enrolled at Cornell University for a M.S. and Ph.D., working with Drs. Bridgen and Miller, respectively. After completing the Masters degree, Chad received the Dreerfellowship and spent a year conducting floriculture and breeding research in the Netherlands. Miller has always enjoyed the academic setting and has wanted to teach horticulture. It was his aspiration to be able to help others learn not only about plants but help others learn about themselves and the world around them. Miller is excited about the ornamentals position at K-State, as there is a lot of opportunity to pursue two passions—horticulture and teaching, in conjunction with colleagues and students who have similar interests.
Outside of work, Chad loves to travel and experience new cultures. He would really like to visit the African continent and go on safari, to see both the wildlife and flora. Cooking is another interest and Chad enjoys serving up a tasty dish now and then. Other activities include gardening, birding, photography, tennis, racquetball, fishing, and spending time with friends and family. And finally, his favorite animal is…the bison.