skip navigation

Humans of Hillsdale: Mark Miller

Humans of Hillsdale: Mark Miller

Mark Miller — Energetic 

Class of 2021  |  Charger Cross Country & Track and field  | Medford, New Jersey

WORDS: Calli Townsend


Hillsdale cross country coach Richard White calls Mark Miller the Energizer Bunny. If you ask Mark what he thinks of that, he'd say it's a pretty accurate description.

"I definitely think I'm usually energetic at practice or meets, so I'd say thats just who I am," Mark said. "When I'm at meets and I have to get ready to exert myself I'm like that, but many times outside of athletics it's something I try to contain. I've been that way since a child so that's something I'm working on."

While his energy level is naturally pretty high, he does get some help from coffee.

"I usually have two cups a day," he said. "Today I had a 16 ounce from AJ's, then a cup at lunch, and then another 16 ounce. My hands are really clammy right now."

He says hopes his happy, energetic personality helps his teammates, especially when they're nervous before races. 

"I've never really asked them if it helps, but I've read that if you get nervous, you're supposed to turn it into excitement instead of focus and quiet, so my natural instinct is to start running around or doing whatever. I think it could potentially help and show them that, hey you gotta lighten up." 

Mark definitely knows how to teach people to lighten up with his fun personality and his "hidden talents." When asked what they were, he said he didn't have a specific answer in mind, but he knew he could a lot of random things.

"I can make a cricket noise, I can wiggle my ears, and I can raise my eyebrow, but just one of them," he said. 

If you catch him actually sitting still, you might find him reading, most likely from one of his many textbooks. 

"I like science textbooks," he said. "I went to the library when I was in Allendale and got a physics book that talked about electricity. I have a neuroanatomy book. I keep all of my textbooks from all of my classes — I never sell them back. I also like to go on Wikipedia just to learn new things." 

As much as he loves nonfiction, he recently started reading a new series called Ender's Game, a science-fiction series about  a boy preparing for wars in space.

Mark's intrigue of all things science, especially as it pertains to the brain, stems largely from what he's learned from his older brother. 

"My brother has epilepsy and when I was younger that's all I really knew, but as I got older I realized it happens in the brain," he said. "With my brother specifically, the doctors couldn't figure out where it was happening in the brain so he was never given any specific treatment, so I'd try to learn more about his disorder and that kind of sparked my interest in the brain."

He now is studying math en route to pursue a career in neurology, although he's still open to other ideas. But for now, he says his dream job would be working as a neurosurgeon.

"My first inclination was to be neurologist or neurosurgeon, that's always been my dream job," he said. "But now I'm starting to learn about other types of jobs that don't necessarily need a medical degree. I could be a researcher working with technology."

Whatever he decides to do, he will surely bring his full energy, effort, and positive attitude.

"I get scared obviously, but I try not to worry too much. I just try my best and if I fail, I fail, and if I do it well, then that's good."