Published on April 14, 2021 by Sara Roman  
Caroline Miller

In 2018, the School of Health Professions surprised Margaret Johnson, professor and chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, with the endowment of the Margaret L. Johnson Scholarship. The fundraising efforts for the scholarship were immensely personal, with the majority of donors being close friends of Johnson, including members of her church, former colleagues, professors and classmates.

This year, Caroline Miller, 2020 B.S. in communication sciences and disorders graduate and a second-year M.S. in speech language pathology student, was selected as the 2020-21 Margaret L. Johnson Scholarship recipient.

Through the needs of her brother, Caroline Miller saw firsthand the role a speech language pathologist can have not only on a child, but the members of a child’s family and community.

She was drawn to a career in education and medicine and also felt a desire to impact others. As she learned more about communication sciences and disorders and continued to see her brother’s experience, she knew from the way speech language pathology integrated teaching, science and counseling that it was a perfect fit.

“As I encountered professionals in the field, I saw their heart for others and how they went above and beyond to show up for their clients, which inspired and encouraged me to pursue this career path,” said Miller. “As I continued in classes and observation, I consistently felt more and more affirmed that this is my calling.”

Miller came to Samford as an undergraduate communication sciences and disorders major. She was a member of Samford University National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (SUNSSLHA), frequently engaged in volunteer activities on campus and in the community, and she served on the state Speech Hearing Association of Alabama’s board. When it was time to pursue her graduate study, Miller says she knew that she wanted to continue her education at Samford. The Margaret L. Johnson Scholarship afforded Miller with this opportunity.

As a graduate student, Miller says she has been blown away by the manner professors approach teaching. “They aim to help us grow and apply what we learn to our clinical placement. They push us beyond the area of academia and personally address our strengths and weaknesses. Because of this program, I enter my clinicals confidently and eagerly look forward to what is to come,” she said.

Caroline Miller Teaching“Even years from now, when I am practicing speech-language pathology out in the real world, I know I will always credit Samford's faculty and leadership for everything I know about being a clinician and servant leader,” said Miller. “This scholarship granted me more than an incredible education - it also provided me with mentors, rich experiences, friends and a perspective on this profession that I would not have gotten otherwise - to pursue my calling with the gifts I have been giving with the aim of glorifying Christ.”

To support the Margaret L. Johnson Scholarship visit

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.