September 20, 2006
McMillan named September Student of the Month
Coming to Kansas from Pensacola, Fla. was a bit of a culture shock at first for Cowley College’s Tamara McMillan. However, the decision to travel so far from home was a good one as she was recently named Cowley’s September Student of the Month.
McMillan, the daughter of Walter and Michelle McMillan, has an older brother, Walter, 22, and a sister, Natoree, 14. Grandparents are, Ernestine and Walter McMillan, and Perry and Azalene Wallace.
McMillan, a nursing major, was involved in track and ROTC at W.J. Woodham High School in Pensacola, Fla. Her stepsister Jennifer Williams had already decided to come to Cowley to play basketball and throw the discus for the track team, so McMillan chose to accept a track scholarship to come to the school.
After one semester, Williams decided to transfer to a community college closer to home. However, McMillan never thought about leaving Cowley. The decision turned out to be a wise one as she has thrived both academically and athletically.
Along with being a key member of the Lady Tiger track and field team, McMillan is a student ambassador, the Black Student Union President, resident assistant in the Kirke W. Dale dormitory, and is involved in Tyger Tawk and PAWS. She is also taking 19 hours of class work this semester and has been on the Dean’s Honor Roll list each semester at Cowley.
Being named Cowley’s September Student of the Month came as a surprise to McMillan.
“It is exciting being the first Student of the Month (of the school year),” McMillan said. “It lets me know that people actually pay attention to the stuff that I do.”
As a freshman member of the Lady Tiger track and field team, McMillan placed 14th in the weight throw at the NJCAA Indoor National Championships. She also placed second in the Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division in the discus and finished in the top-13 in the shot put, discus, and hammer at the NJCAA Outdoor National Championships.
McMillan did not begin competing in track and field until her junior year in high school. However, she has learned a lot over the past four years and has high hopes for the upcoming season.
“I want to be an All-American in each of my events,” McMillan said. “I think we have a chance to win nationals if everybody stays healthy.”
McMillan credits Veronica Anderson, a former teammate at Cowley and the March Student of the Month, with being a major influence in her life.
“She really helped me a lot while she was here,” McMillan said.
Cowley head track and field coach Mark Phillips has high praise for McMillan.
“Tamara is truly a remarkable young lady,” Phillips said. “She is one of our team leaders and serves as an example with her academics and work ethic.”
McMillan is being actively recruited to compete at NCAA Division I schools, but plans to wait until after the indoor track and field season to make a decision on where she will go after Cowley.
“My time here has been remarkable,” McMillan said. “I hate to have to leave after this year.”
McMillan, who likes to shop in her free time, hopes to someday work in the nursing profession.
“I like to help people,” McMillan said.
Whatever she chooses to do with her life, she will strive to do it well.