Reaching for the stars and headed to Spain
For her final project in Bluffton’s Linear Electronics class, Isabel Miller ’25, a physics and pre-engineering major from Dayton, Ohio, drew on her childhood passion and built an astral cloud star projector.
“I like space, like really like space. When I was a kid, I went to a museum, and we built telescopes out of a paper towel roll,” explained Miller. “You could change the magnification, and we looked at the constellations in the planetarium. Ever since, I’ve loved it.”
Miller developed her skills in science and construction through Science Olympiad competitions in middle school and high school. When she was introduced to the program, Miller says she was told girls competed in the “study” events while guys did the “build” events.
“It was petty, but I decided to do the build events, and I’ve enjoyed it since,” said Miller. “I like the outside-of-the-box-type thinking required, solving things, being hands-on.”
However, Linear Electronics provided a new challenge for Miller because she had very little experience with building electronics. Her star projector featured an LED circuit, with various lights and buttons to create different color schemes. Miller said she appreciates Bluffton’s small class sizes because professors like Dr. Luke Myers, associate professor of physics, can tailor instruction to the benefit of each student.
“The one-on-one work is a lot of help. It’s a lot easier to talk to your professor when you have an issue,” said Miller. “We can prepare and talk about the areas I can pursue in my future.”
A student-athlete, Miller credits the women’s golf team for providing her with an instant friend group on campus. However, she’s also formed connections through Anime Club, Spanish Club and Multicultural Student Organization. Miller works in the theatre department and most recently served as stage manager for the fall play.
“I used to do everything in high school. I was a three-sport athlete, so I’m used to being very busy. My mom’s motto is “Go-go-go. You can sleep when you are dead,’” laughed Miller. “I’ve drawn back a bit in college.”
Next semester, she’s pursuing credits for her Spanish minor by studying abroad in Barcelona.
“I knew coming in I was going to go abroad. That was non-negotiable,” said Miller. “I was told I would never regret the decision and to just do it.”
Despite the packed schedule, Miller will be able to complete her undergraduate studies in four years at Bluffton. Following graduation, she plans to continue her education in aerospace engineering.