Perhaps her parents somehow knew what a wise and scholarly person their daughter would become when they named her Sage. Certainly Sage Miodov Streck (VU ‘04) epitomizes all that her name implies. Armed with the knowledge obtained as a Valpo English/History major and a Christ College Scholar, she has applied her wisdom and diplomacy to a position as Constituent Representative for U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) for the last six years.
Service to the People of Oklahoma is paramount for both Sage and husband Jerry (VU ’03), an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Oklahoma, who works as a prosecutor in the Consumer Protection Unit. Having met in a Valpo British history class, their relationship blossomed and their communication skills were sharpened while serving on the Honor Council.
“Honor Council taught me a lot about how to work in a group dynamic with both peers and faculty members in an environment of mutual respect,” says Sage. “As an investigator and as the Appeals Board Chairman, I sometimes encountered students and even parents who were very unhappy with a hearing’s outcome or demanded that the university overrule the council’s decision. Those situations can be uncomfortable for all parties involved, and I learned effective ways to communicate during difficult conversations.”
The ability to conduct difficult conversations is imperative in her work. The majority of the people who contact her office are frustrated and angry about their inability to resolve their particular problem by themselves.
“It’s my job to facilitate a solution,” Sage explains. “I work primarily with Medicare but also, to a lesser degree, with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Department of the Interior. Basically, my job is to cut through bureaucratic ‘red tape’ and facilitate communication between constituents and the person or persons within a federal agency who can assist them with their problems.”
Always fond of politics, Sage became involved with College Republicans as a VU freshman, participated in “Get Out the Vote” campaigns, attended political rallies, and volunteered for local campaigns. The activities allowed her to meet candidates and observe the political process at the grassroots level. An internship with Senator Inhofe’s office intensified her passion for politics.
“It was amazing to see exactly how a Senator’s office operates and to learn that crafting and sponsoring legislation was only part of that operation,” recalls Sage. “People contact their Senator’s office about anything and everything, and it’s the staff’s responsibility to assist constituents however they can. I really love being a part of that!”
In addition to her job and VAN participation, Sage is involved as a fundraiser and a State Advocacy Co-Chairman with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The disease once incapacitated her for many weeks as a VU sophomore. Though appreciative of many wonderful professors before and after her illness, she remains especially grateful to Professor Mike Owens.
“He went out of his way to help me,” Sage explains. “Sending class discussion updates for every lecture I missed, creating extra-credit assignments that were easy for me to complete at home, and allowing me to turn in papers via email. He and his wife Professor Sandra Visser prayed for me weekly at their small group Bible study. He made me feel valued as a student and as a person during a very difficult time in my life, and I’ve never forgotten that.”