Editor's note: Natalie Davis Miller joined the internal communications team as managing editor at the end of August following Carol C. Bradley’s retirement in June. Natalie brings with her more than 20 years of writing and editing experience, including writing three children’s books about Olympic athletes.
Tell us about your professional background.
I’ve done a number of different things in my life, with my career starting out in law enforcement. I’ve worked in higher education as both a teacher and an administrator. My professional writing background includes working as a senior staff writer at Saint Mary’s College as well as my freelance writing career.
How did you go from law enforcement into writing?
I have a B.A. in psychology with a minor in English, and an M.A. in criminal justice. I worked in criminal justice for about 15 years total, and when I left to be at home with my daughter, it was the perfect time for me to pursue a writing career. I freelanced law enforcement-related articles for a weekly news magazine in Indianapolis. That segued into other types of stories and for different publications.
What has been your most unusual job?
I was a police officer. The job is not unusual, but it is different from many other jobs I’ve had.
How does police work inform your approach to writing?
Police officers have to be observant, ask the right questions, be investigative and interview well. You have to be able to tell the story in a clear and accurate fashion. All of this applies to journalism, particularly the skill of working with people and getting them to feel at ease while they share their story.
What appeals to you about the NDWorks position?
I consider myself a forever learner, so I love the opportunities I have at Notre Dame to learn new things. For me, this means learning about people and what interests them, learning about the history of the University, learning lesser-known facts. I want the reader to say, “Really? I didn’t know that,” or “That is so interesting!”
What kind of stories do you like to write?
I’ve always enjoyed profiles. There’s the story that most people might know about you, but I’m looking for the other story. The one that informs who you are or why you do what you do.
What kind of stories are you looking for from readers?
We are interested in stories that highlight the best of Notre Dame. That includes coverage about departments that take a unique approach to their work, which could be replicated elsewhere at the University. We also enjoy profile ideas about people with interesting backstories or experiences that colleagues would be interested in knowing. Then, of course, we cover stories that reflect the University’s priorities of research, global concerns, faith and service.
Natalie Davis Miller started as managing editor of NDWorks in August. She hit the ground running. Check out her “Taste That!” article on the new concession food available in Notre Dame Stadium. Natalie loves meeting people. Email her at email@example.com with story ideas or just to have a cup of coffee. (Photo by Barbara Johnston, University of Notre Dame)