Kevin. L. Miller - Columbus State Community College 50th Anniversary

For Kevin Miller, Columbus State was all about building confidence.

"My time at Columbus State validated to me that I could continue my education beyond high school," Kevin said. "My Columbus State education allowed me to set my career goals higher."

That foundation has served him well. Miller graduated with an associate degree in Law Enforcement (now Criminal Justice) from Columbus State in 1990, then continued his education with a bachelor's degree from Ohio Dominican University and a master's degree in Public Administration from The Ohio State University.

Today, he's the executive director of the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission, which will become the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities agency beginning October 1, 2013.

"Everything that I've accomplished professionally started at Columbus State," Miller says.

While serving on village council in his hometown of West Jefferson, Miller began his career in state government in 1993 with the Ohio Department of Youth Services. From 2003-2005, he served as chief of staff for the agency.

"My Columbus State education allowed me to set my career goals higher."

He was appointed executive director of the Ohio Board of Cosmetology from 2005-2011, before being appointed executive director of the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission by Governor John Kasich.

Miller says one Columbus State professor was instrumental in his pursuit of a degree.

"Gene Downey was an instructor in the Law Enforcement program," he explains. "He understood that being Irish Catholic, like we both were, meant that pursuing a career as a police officer was in my blood. After my first year, he met with me as my advisor and we discussed my progress and plans after graduation.

"He said, 'Kevin, you are way too smart not to continue your education. Go get your bachelor's degree while you can and then decide what career path you want to take,'" Miller says.

Miller notes that he is the father of a special needs child and he and his wife are also actively involved in several organizations with a focus on increasing awareness of the effects of autism.

Images: A Year in the Life of Columbus State