A digital special section of | Subscribe

Emma Dorantes

Emma Dorantes

Staff attorney, legal advocate | Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission | Class of 2003

If he didn’t know it already, Emma Dorantes wants to make sure he does now:

As UI professors go, no one had a more profound impact on the future Champaign litigator/advocate than Joe Miller.

“Having started as ‘undeclared’ at UIUC in the fall of 1999, I was just old enough to vote in the 2000 elections, and a year later, aware enough to be traumatized by the images of the second plane hitting the Towers on 9/11,” says Dorantes (BA ’03, political science/Spanish; JD ’08). “Professor — and later, Dean — Joseph T. ‘Joe’ Miller helped me find my peace, and my place, in all of it.

“Joe taught me International Politics and Policy as well as Politics of the Vietnam War in a small room in Allen Hall in the spring of 2002. A Vietnam veteran himself, Joe’s clear, matter-of-fact style resonated deeply with me, and offered insight into wartime politics that helped me find solace as I tried to make sense of my rapidly changing world.

“While he never made his personal experiences the focus of our classes, his lessons stuck with me in ways beyond anything my more ‘academic’ political science professors could teach, and I am ever grateful for having had a teacher like him around at that time in my own history.”