Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Kimberly A. Miller-Spillman, April 17, 1992

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:04 - Work and expectations at the University of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Okay, this is the third and final interview of Dr. Kimberly Miller and Allen Putman.

Segment Synopsis: Miller-Spillman discusses her work as a Teaching Assistant (TA) at the University of Kentucky. She discusses how there is no full accountability placed on the TA’s, and also talks about her balance between teaching and research. She discusses the work she contributes to the university, along with the work she wishes to contribute in the future, including reaching tenure. She discusses challenges she faced getting to the point where she is now. She also explains some of her worries and concerns.

Keywords: Accountability; Challenges; Research; Teaching assistants; Tenure

Subjects: College administrators; College facilities--Planning; College teachers--Tenure

00:07:36 - Goals, ambitions, and creativity

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Partial Transcript: What, concretely, do you hope to achieve within the next ten years?

Segment Synopsis: Miller-Spillman addresses her plans for tenure, along with what type of contribution that she plans to leave for an apparel design area. She wants to create new opportunities for students after she retires, and talks about her goals with her profession and what she would like to do in her department. Miller-Spillman discusses her creative thinking and visions she has for the future, and explains her passion for this type of work.

Keywords: Apparel design; Fashion Institute of Technology; Ground zero; Merchandising; Professional development

Subjects: Clothing and dress; College teachers--Workload; Fashion; University of Kentucky. College of Design

00:11:35 - Time management and work distribution at the University of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Now, let’s talk about distribution of effort.

Segment Synopsis: Miller-Spillman discusses how many hours a week she is working. She explains how long she spends doing research, and how she handles it. Additionally, Miller-Spillman touches on how students will come to her for help with what they need.

Keywords: Administration; Advising; Assistant professors; Office hours; Preparation; Research

Subjects: College department heads; College teachers--Job satisfaction; College teachers--Selection and Appointment.; Education--Study and teaching.; School management and organization.

00:19:21 - Yearly timeline and general research at the University of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Um, how do you spend your summer? Research?

Segment Synopsis: Miller-Spillman talks about the different research opportunities she’s been involved in and what events she's taken part in. Miller-Spillman elaborates on what her main focus is in research, such as the overlap between fun and fantasy, and the many ideas of self. Her research is based on Ikers' theory of “Dressing for Fun and Fantasy.” Miller-Spillman addresses how she used to always get quantitative data, but now that she is on her own, she wants to balance it with qualitative data.

Keywords: Dress; Fun and fantasy; Reality; Secret-self; Social psychology

Subjects: Clothing and dress; College students--Employment.; Fashion.; School management and organization

00:28:04 - Manner and funding of Miller-Spillman’s research

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Partial Transcript: Is your research adequately supported?

Segment Synopsis: Miller-Spillman describes the support she feels and goes into detail about how nobody stands in her way despite the negative comments. She then explains the funding she receives and how she works. Greek life was briefly incorporated into Miller-Spillman’s research. She then elaborates on what her main focus is in research, such as the overlap between fun and fantasy.

Keywords: Clothing and dress; Human environmental studies; Money distribution; Sociology; Symbolic interaction

Subjects: Education--Finance--Kentucky.; Greek letter societies; Teachers--Salaries, etc.

00:38:24 - Spillman’s teaching methods

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Partial Transcript: Um, what classes are you teaching for the current semester?

Segment Synopsis: Miller-Spillman discusses the different teaching methods she uses in various classes she teaches, along with the enrollment of each class. She talks about the distribution and type of each class, describing what she believes her students gain most from her class.

Keywords: Apparel production; College students; Discussion seminar; Image; Individual projects; Lab; Lecture; Reputation; Visual design

Subjects: Clothing and dress; College credits; Education--Study and teaching; School discipline.; Tactics; Teachers--Kentucky; University and colleges--Departments.

00:46:15 - Student vs. teacher life

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Partial Transcript: How many hours of preparation do you invest in one hour of classroom teaching?

Segment Synopsis: Miller-Spillman feels that students are given too much power; she tries her best to help the students, but they can never be pleased. Therefore, there is always something negative for them to say. Miller-Spillman discusses how she’s still trying to figure out student life and the student population. She then explains how each student needs their own opinion and has the right to voice it.

[Silence between 00:47:01-00:47:13]

Keywords: Administration; Challenge; Challenges; Office hours; Outlet; Right; Student evaluation; Students; Victim; Voice

Subjects: College attendance; College students--Political activity.; College students--Social conditions; College students--Social networks.; Universities and colleges--Curricula.; Universities and colleges--Evaluation

00:49:38 - Students' opinions on her teaching

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Partial Transcript: Um, can you tell me a story that relates to your teaching?

Segment Synopsis: Miller-Spillman tells a story about a student who left the university she was working at, then came back and expressed to her how good her teaching was.

Keywords: Belligerent; Challenge; Excellent teaching; Lab; Student

Subjects: College administrators--Rating of; Education, Higher--Kentucky--Lexington; Universities and colleges--Curricula

00:52:10 - Flaws in the education system

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Partial Transcript: Um, and then the last section we’ve got is on policy.

Segment Synopsis: Miller-Spillman discusses how the education system in the U.S. is in bad shape and needs change. She says that policy changes need to be done. She believes that people who do not experience the classroom setting have too much influence on what happens within the classroom.

Keywords: Change; Complicated; Education; Policy; Respect; Teaching styles

Subjects: College environment; College students--Conduct of life; College teachers--Political activity.; Educational change--Kentucky; Educational change.; Educators

00:53:57 - Teaching college students to respect higher authority

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Partial Transcript: And given, uh, the current interest in this area, in what manner can you account for your work to the taxpayer?

Segment Synopsis: Miller-Spillman focuses on her work as a taxpayer and explains that she needs to teach students to have self-respect, which will lead them to respect higher authorities.

Keywords: Higher authority; Individuals; Self-esteem; Self-respect; Standards

Subjects: College students; Educators; Universities and colleges.