Debra Miller

Debra Miller

Take risks. It's okay to fail. Debra Miller , General Education Instructor , The Art Institute of California—San Diego, a campus of Argosy University

Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

I never imagined I’d become a teacher. After working on a few Hollywood films, I met some people from George Clooney's entourage who told me I’d be a great teacher because of my educational background and my personality. A few years later, I was helping students here to succeed.

How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

I try to apply current events to the material we cover in each class. We talk about whether a particular event is an example of the past repeating itself, how many times it’s happened, and whether it’s a global phenomenon. It helps students reflect on their own experiences, share their ideas, and make connections.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

In my Film and Society class, we review films in terms of their cultural importance and how it can apply to each student's life. We talk about choices people make, how those things exemplify our own choices, and the end result. For our final project, we compare originals vs. remakes in terms of how the original reflects the culture at the time and how the remake reflects the changes that have occurred in society and the world.

What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

Take risks. It's okay to fail.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I’m currently working on a screenplay for a feature film.