Kent State University alumnus pledges $2 million for scholarships and a professorship

KENT, Ohio – Kent State University alumnus Earl Miller and his wife Marlene Wicherski have pledged $2 million to fund three scholarships and a professorship in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Miller, who grew up in Lyndhurst, is the Picower professor of neuroscience at MIT and co-founder of an information technology company. The pledge reflects his undergraduate days at Kent State, when his family faced challenging financial times, the university said.

“Kent State made a world of difference in my life,” Miller said in a news release. “I hope these gifts will make a difference to others.”

Kent State President Beverly Warren said the couple’s support will allow Kent State to “continue our multidisciplinary efforts to unlock the secrets of brain function and address the complex interaction of factors contributing to brain health.”

The gift will support the following areas:

  • The Earl K. Miller First Generation Scholarship will help undergraduate students who are the first in their family to attend college, who are pursuing a degree in neuroscience and who can demonstrate financial need.
  • The Earl K. Miller Last Dollar Scholarship will support undergraduate students who are experiencing a financial hardship. Preference will be given to neuroscience students and secondarily to students majoring in biological sciences or experimental psychology.
  • The Earl K. Miller Medallion Scholarship will aid academically gifted undergraduate students majoring in psychological sciences with a focus on experimental psychology. The award is part of the Founders Scholars Program.
  • The Earl K. Miller Professor of Neuroscience award will endow a tenure-track faculty member in the Department of Psychological Sciences with a focus on neuroscience or experimental psychology within the College of Arts and Sciences. The recipient will receive an annual award during a five-year appointment to further the faculty member’s research and/or professional development.

Miller received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Kent State in 1985 and his doctorate in psychology and neuroscience from Princeton University in 1990.

He has academic appointments in the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory and the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT.

Miller is a co-founder of SplitSage, an information technology company based in Arlington, Massachusetts, that focuses on cloud-based analytics profiles. Wicherski is the owner of Marlene Wicherski Research Consulting and former research officer for the American Psychological Association.