TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI)—Dr. Deanna McMillan strives to make a difference in her community. While she was at rehearsals for a Black History Performance on Sunday she sat down to reflect.
"I'm surrounded by great people all the time," said McMillan. "I've never ever been in a community where there's so many giving people."
Dr. McMillan was born and raised in Queens, New York. After developing a love for engineering she moved away to Pennsylvania for college, graduating with three degrees and becoming the first African American woman in the United States to complete her Ph.D. in Construction Engineering.
"I've lived in different places in the country. Because you've got to go where they're building," said McMillan.
McMillan's career brought her to Greater Lafayette in 2007. She taught at Ivy Tech and also served as the Director of Internships and lecturer at Purdue.
"It's just like, you know, you give a man a fish he'll eat for a day," said McMillan. "Teach him how to fish, he'll eat for a lifetime. Well, if I teach someone how to build, if I teach people how to build, then that's my way of contributing back to the community."
She now serves as the Director of Development for Home with Hope, providing safe and affordable housing for clients in recovery from substance abuse. But her efforts don't stop there. She's also a part of several local groups.
"We have the opportunity to serve and actually elevate the Greater Lafayette area," said McMillan.
She said being honored as a remarkable woman in the community wasn't something she could've imagined. But she's proud her actions are positively impacting lives.
"As long as I can serve God and make a difference in the community I will continue to do so until God tells me to move," said McMillan.