Glenn A. Miller earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in assessment from Southern Illinois University in 1967. In 1976 he began working as a consultant to the Arizona court system that ran one of the first federally-funded DWI programs in the United States. He was faced with the challenge of identifying individuals who needed help for substance use problems. As the number of DWI offenders far exceeded expectations, he recognized the need to develop a screening tool that was brief, objective, and accurate as a means of identifying these individuals, even when they were unwilling or reluctant to self-disclose, so that they might be referred to treatment. Thus began a subsequent twelve-year period of arduous research that led to the development of the SASSI. In 1988, Glenn published the original SASSI and founded The SASSI Institute.
On July 30, 2013, Dr. Miller passed away. We at SASSI not only lost a leader, but we also lost a friend. Glenn personified the SASSI mission: helping people who suffer from alcohol and other drug problems and the professionals who serve them. At the United Way kick-off luncheon that fall, we learned Glenn had met with the executive director of a local non-profit just days before he died. They discussed research data collection and charitable work, in a continuation of that mission. By that time, his body had been much weakened from cancer treatments, but his spirit and dedication had not. That was classic Glenn: always in search of a way to do more for those affected by addiction.
We who work here continue to be inspired by Glenn every day as we arrive at the beautiful setting in Southern Indiana that SASSI calls home. And while we may never stop missing him, we will all strive to carry on his legacy.
Portion of this was originally published in SASSI News & Reports Volume 16, Number 1, 2015