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Grace Ju Miller

Dean of Natural and Applied Sciences

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active learning chinese brush painting community gardens experiential pedagogies international courses marine biology moringa research plant tissue culture sustainable tropical agriculture


  • PhD, Plant Physiology/Horticulture, Purdue University
  • MS, Plant Physiology/Agronomy, University of California-Davis
  • BA, Botany & Art, Duke University

Career Highlights

  • I care deeply about using science and technology to help the poor and the marginalized. As a plant biologist, I have served on the Women in Plant Biology Committee and on the PUI (Primarily Undergraduate Institution) Steering Committee for American Society of Plant Biologists. I had the privilege of leading workshops on helping women scientists with topics such as work-life balance, negotiations, giving and receiving feedback. On the PUI Steering committee, I organized workshops to attract biologists to PUIs where they can teach and continue research. I enjoy mentoring younger faculty in their early careers.
  • I started the Indiana Wesleyan University’s Alliance Garden 12 years ago and it continues to thrive and is now a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). I have been on faculty at Gordon College and started an international course called Sustainable Tropical Agriculture which I continued teaching at Indiana Wesleyan. This class studies at the ECHO Farm in Fort Myers, Florida and continues for two weeks in Guatemala working with farmers on sustainable agricultural techniques. I worked at ECHO farms in Fort Myers for four years as the Seed Bank Director after 11 years at Gordon College.
  • At Taylor, I have been Dean the last 5 years overseeing the sciences, education, and social sciences. I have led three Spring Break trips to the ECHO farms and enjoy working to serve with Taylor students an organization that gives hope to the hungry.
  • I have focused my research on Moringa, a tropical tree with medicinal, antibacterial, and water purification qualities. I have two papers submitted and under review.


I am a Third Culture Kid raised in the Philippines. My parents escaped from China to the Philippines in 1947. When I was a child, we immigrated to the US and I finished elementary and high school in Connecticut and Virginia. After attending Duke University, I was a US Park Ranger at Cape Lookout National Seashore and spent several summers as a backpacking guide for Young Life Wilderness Ranch in Colorado. I taught rock-climbing and outdoor skills. I got my MS at the University of California-Davis, worked for a biotech company, and eventually moved to Indiana to get my PhD. I continued to work a few summers at the Young Life camp. I had majored in Art and Botany for my BA, and I continued to take Chinese art classes and supported my graduate school with my art exhibits.

I am a strong believer in experiential education and love taking students on field trips, snorkeling experiences in the Caribbean, and traveling to the rainforest. My two grown children took my international classes, and it was fun to see them experience what their mom did all those years she was gone for weeks at a time! We spent two years in Morocco teaching high school at an orphanage and it was one of the hardest jobs I ever had. As Dean at Taylor, I am passionate about helping my department chairs discover their potential as Christian leaders, I love to see innovative ideas come to fruition, and I love to see faculty mentoring students.

My husband and I continue to support mission work and love working with international students. My daughter and her husband graduated from Asbury Seminary and live in Kentucky. My son is a middle school science teacher in Marion. We enjoy kayaking and hiking in Indiana.

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." (3 John 1:4)

Dr. Miller wtih students at Echo Farm Dr Grace Miller and her family