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Alumni Success

Oversees Daily Operations of Film Festival that Attracts over 200,000 Visitors

Dr. Louida Miller
2017, Doctor of Business Administration in Business Administration
Argosy University, Los Angeles
Office Manager for the Pan African Film Festival

“The education I received from Argosy University, Los Angeles has helped me to be an effective ethical and nonjudgmental researcher.”

Oversees Daily Operations of Film Festival that Attracts over 200,000 Visitors

Dr. Louida Miller took a nontraditional path to her current career. Following the death of her husband and the conclusion of a 32-year position with the United States Postal Service, Louida decided it was time to being anew. She wanted to give back to the community—and after 42 years of being out of school, she began working toward a Bachelor of Science in Human Services. She then pursued a master’s degree in Family Therapy and Counseling. “My passion for helping others has prompted me to advocate for senior citizens and young adults who struggle financially,” she said. “I intend to open a resource center where I can empower others who are faced with difficult situations.”

Louida was inspired to continue her education by her parents. Her father worked during the day and studied at night while her mom earned a high school diploma when Louida was in 10th grade. “These examples left an indelible mark on my life,” she stated. Her mom went on to earn a certificate in nursing while her siblings also pursued advanced degrees. “The legacy of education has continued, as my son is an educator as well. He inspires and motivates his students. I am thankful for the examples of my father, mother, brother, sister and son, knowing they have been instrumental in my success.” She also overcame a speech impediment to build confidence and show—from an early age—her ability to handle adversity.

Today, Louida is the office manager for the Pan African Film Festival, (PAFF an 11-day festival that takes place each February in the Cinemark Rave 15 Theatres Crenshaw Baldwin Hills Mall in Los Angeles, California. “The festival includes 180 film screenings from over 540 countries,” she said. There’s also an awards ceremony and gala for the filmmakers and attendees. “Approximately 200,000 people attend the festival from around the world. I serve an integral role on PAFF’s year-round staff, serving in multiple capacities.” Louida oversees daily operations and acts as a liaison between the filmmakers, art directors, actors and artists. She also tracks all films to be screened and coordinates PAFF volunteer staff, hospitality coordinators, technical directors, stage managers and student interns.  

This year, PAFF celebrated its 26th year anniversary. It’s known as the most prestigious entity to focus positive imagery in film on the African Diaspora. PAFF is an official Oscar-qualifying festival for shorts and live-action films and holds screenings for several works that are up for consideration for the Academy Awards.

Louida added that earning a Doctor of Business in Administration in Business Administration from Argosy University, Los Angeles in 2017 was the best thing she did for her career. “This field requires knowing how to operate an organization and I have extensive experience from an entrepreneurial, corporate and non-profit perspective,” she stated. “I can continue to pursue my professional and academic work in the area of business and human services. Choosing this degree has developed patience for diverse personalities as well as a willingness to grow and learn.”

Louida referred to herself as a lifelong learner and plans to publishing works in the future. She added that she chose to attend Argosy University because of its reputation, location and because it was recommended to her by her undergraduate instructor.

“One benefit of earning a doctoral degree at my age is having the title of Dr. Louida Miller,” she proudly mentioned. “I immediately noticed the impact as an elder within my community, serving as a trail blazer for youth.” She was excited to note that the Youth and Millennial Department of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and Christ Liberation Ministries recognized her commitment to education by presenting her with the Living Legacy Millennial Award. Louida was also the 2017 scholarship recipient from the Association of Pan African Doctoral Scholars (APADS). And in June 2018, she’ll serve on a panel for Black Principal Investigating Initiative. “I have been invited to empower youth through literacy with Bolanile’s Book Club Inc. with a scholarship named in my honor entitled the Dr. Lou’s Literacy Scholarship,” she said.

She’s also received recognition from the Pan African Film Festival and the African Channel-Night of Tribute, been awarded a certificate of commendation from the City of Los Angeles and received an honoree film award from African TV Channel.

Louida added that her education helped her to become an effective, ethical non-judgmental researcher. “I see the individuals that I encounter for who they are and for what areas they are seeking,” she said. “My research skills have grown, equipping me with the skills and knowledge needed to be successful. My years of educational and professional experience will allow me to be effective as a researcher, working with the clients, cultures and families.”

She recommends that current students make a commitment to further education. “Commit yourself to professional development and maintaining a positive attitude,” she stated. “Constantly pursue your dreams. The final reward will be worth it.”

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