A Letter of Gratitude to Dr. Shaila Miranda

Dr. Shaila Miranda has taught me that I am the author of my story. I have known Dr. Shaila Miranda for many years. During this period, she has outperformed as a mentor and an educator. Throughout my two years at the University of Oklahoma, Dr. Miranda has taken the initiative to know her students on a personal level. I first met Dr. Miranda at a riveting presentation she gave at the M.B.A. Program Prelude Week. After further interactions with Dr. Miranda, she inspired me to seek a dual-masters-degree, M.B.A. and M.S. in M.I.S rather than the traditional M.B.A degree. Dr. Miranda helped me realized my hidden passion for information systems [technology]. It takes an exceptional mentor to recognize and instill a vision so powerful that it can alter the course of a mentee.

A few semesters after our original meeting, she learned about a non-profit I was about to start. She saw how I leveraged social media to forward the cause. This inspired her to become a Sooner Ally, and other M.I.S. faculty followed suit. This demonstrates the passion and the conviction as an outstanding educator. Dr. Miranda is willing to listen, learn, and act based on her interactions with students just as much as she is willing to support them. She was demonstrating social awareness and became a model professor for those other professors in the department but model inclusive behavior to her students.

As one of her students, I was completely engaged in the course she was teaching. Her curriculum was remarkable, her lectures and active learning with real world data gave the class an invaluable insight. Dr. Miranda’s passion and commitment towards education could be seen throughout the semester when she sought employees from Devon, and other local companies, to help facilitate our education. This was her demonstrating managing relationships, which has allowed her to educate her students at a deeper level.

Her commitment to her students did not end at the end of the term. This was evident when she nominated me to represent the University of Oklahoma at the Information Systems and Walmart IT Summit. She coached the students individually, and as a group, to give us a competitive edge in the competition. As if that was not enough, her commitment to her students is so vast that she drove the team to Arkansas and attended our presentations with a video recorder at hand. It was with her lessons that took our team to 3rd place in the Walmart IT Summit Competition. She made us self-aware of ourselves and our surroundings; this is what gave us the competitive edge.

As graduation neared, she arranged mock interviews helped me land two job offers. Upon receiving both job offers, she assisted me in the decision-making process. She engaged my self-awareness and self-management sides of emotional intelligence to help me make the right decision. It was that decision, that got me the job I have now, that has allowed me to attend Colorado Technical University, to finally complete the doctorate. Thus, words cannot express how grateful I am for this outstanding educator. She got to know me as an individual, mentored me, and made me who I am today.

She had believed in me when others didn’t, and for that, I am grateful for it. She developed me into the person I am today, and she even provided me a key piece of advice towards my dissertation (the tool I eventually used to analyze my data), and she wasn’t even in the same school nor in my committee. She was still managing her relationships with me, beyond the years of completing my education in that department. She shows me that the boundaries of mentorships and relationships exist outside of an organization and traverses time. This is what I can learn from her, to believe in people that you lead.