Protect Stony Brook's Professor Miranda

  • by: Carolyn L
  • recipient: People who care about education, English, writing, and Stony Brook University
To whom it may concern, Hello, my name is Carolyn Laurino. I’m a Sophomore here at Stony Brook University. I've been very shy for most of my life. It wasn't a huge problem in my pre-college life because I grew up knowing pretty much the same people from elementary school through high school. But when I came to college it was challenging for me.  I had trouble making friends and finding where I fit in. I started feeling painfully lonely and depressed, until one day everything changed. I decided to tag along with my roommate to the club she was going to. It was called FANS- foreign and native students. It seemed interesting enough since I'm interested in various cultures. That club, and more importantly the professor who ran that club, turned my college experience around. The club isn't just for international students to hang out with native students, it's a place where everyone is not only safe but welcome. Everyone is free to voice their opinion, and Professor Miranda makes sure everyone is heard. It's the kind of environment where you feel instantly comfortable, knowing that everyone there is going to support you. Professor Miranda always made sure to do this for all of his students. He has touched countless students lives and made Stony Brook into a welcoming environment from people of every background.  He's passionate about writing, as you can tell from all the articles he writes. But he's even more passionate about helping his students, even if they aren't in his class.  He has been the catalyst for the academic growth of so many students, and we would all be lost without him.  So, when I found out he was being laid off, my jaw dropped.I couldn't believe it. I was even more dumbfounded by the reason.  It seems he's likely being laid off because he forgot to include something in the syllabus, or because of budget cuts. He encompasses all that stony brook wishes to be and to represent. I recognize that forgetting to include important information could have been costly to the university, however, his presence at Stony Brook is priceless, and is certainly worth keeping in the budget, and far outweighs the mistake he made. Please, for the sake of all the students who would be lost without him, and all the future students who may not get a chance to be helped by him, reconsider your decision to lay off professor Miranda.  Here are some testimonies from just a few of the students whose lives he touched: "I am in my Senior year at Stony Brook, and I can still attest that professor Miranda is one of the most, if not the most influential professor that I have had here at Stony Brook. He has been a mentor, a counselor, and above that, he has been a brother.  Professor Miranda always worked hard alongside me when it came to WRT 101 and 102. In my freshman year, I explained to him that I was from Trinidad and that my writing style was different, and that it would take some adjustment to the U.S. style of writing. He listened, and helped me as I progressed. When I told him I was working towards an A in his 102 class, again he listened, and he responded. He said, “Amma be tough on you [if you want this A].” He taught me the value of earning. He saw the potential in me as a leader, and had decided two years ago to put me in a position of power to help run the F.A.N.S. program here at Stony Brook. This has given me great confidence as a leader, and has helped me to give back to the Stony Brook community." -Kraig Koylass “Hello, I’m Hoseok Lee, I was an international student at Stony Brook University. I am writing this article because I have something important that I want to say about the current situation of Prof. Matthew Miranda. Recently I heard Prof. Matthew Miranda was being laid off. However, I cannot understand why Stony Brook University made that decision. Thus, I want to contribute to this petition for several reasons. First of all, he is a good advisor and friend to all students. As an international student in Stony Brook, I have known Prof. Matthew Miranda since the 2015 spring semester, when I started at Stony Brook. he runs a social club named F.A.N.s(Foreign and Native students) as a supervising professor. Every Friday, members of this club meet up, and I met with him during these meetings. He was always kind to everyone and became a good friend to me. I was a stranger at that time and his kindness was a huge help to get used to campus life for me. It was also same to other international students. Every student in this social club gets a help or advice from.Now, Stony Brook University has become more globalized than ever, so the existence of this professor is truly helpful to current Stony Brook University for all students. However, it does not mean he only focus on the meeting and students of the social club. As a writing professor, he always focuses on caring students of his writing class first. As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, I met him in every Friday and saw what he did. He always consulted with students of his writing class. He only talked with club members when he finished consulting and his works. My friends in F.A.N.s and I also got bits of advice about writing when he had a free time. Like this, he never forgot to work as a writing professor at Stony Brook University. he always shows an earnest attitude to his work and teaches his students kindly. For these reasons, I think Prof. Mattew Miranda has enough quality to teach students at Stony Brook University. The layoff of this professor is a huge loss to students and university. I hope you reconsider the decision about him.” -Hoseok Lee “I'm an international student from Korea. It breaks my heart to see my favorite professor to get laid off. He really changed my life and opened new perspectives for not only me but all of his students including the club that he is supervising called Foreign And Native Students.  He is just not a teaching professor or a researcher at Stony Brook University. He is more than that. He truly cares and is passionate about students. He doesn’t give up on students. In Writing class, he always makes extra time to go over any questions or concerns in and outside or the class. He is one of the reasons why I stayed at Stony Brook University. He not only helped me improve my writing skill but he helped me to become a better global citizen and an adult. He is a great advisor. Anytime when I have to discuss any concerns, I consult with Professor Miranda. He helps us with problems that even counselors and advisors cant. He is the only adult that I can talk to and rely on as a mentor. If it wasn’t for him, I would have transferred last year. The club that he created F.A.N.S. is the right club for me. It helped me to be a better communicator. I was so shy at first, but meeting people from different cultures and backgrounds helped to be a better global citizen. Ironically, it is really hard to meet people in Stony Brook who you can actually relate to. And here, you can be who you truly are. You can share something within you and people will be willing to understand as much as possible. F.A.N.S. is also a great motivator for me. I can’t wait to be there and meet my friends and talk to Professor Miranda. I can even proudly say that it is my comfort zone. I really recommend to the students out there who are struggling to find where one belongs. With all the reasons, the layoff of Professor Miranda will be a huge loss for both of the students and the faculty in Stony Brook University. He is not only a great Professor in class but also outside of the class.” -Zoe Choo “I know Professor Miranda very well. I took WRT 101 with him last year, and from that experience, I can say that he is one of the best writing professors at Stony Brook University. When I heard about his layoff from SBU, I was so shocked because SBU won't get another kind person like him. Since English is not my first language, I was not ready to take this course last year, but when I took Prof. Miranda, I realized that his class is not a boring writing class instead it was the most fun class that I was always ready for. He is a kind, loyal, helpful, and caring person. When I wrote my paper, he used to support my arguments and helped me to write more evidence rather than the summary. In fact, when he didn't have time the other day, he told me to call him on Skype, and he helped me clear my questions. So, I talked with him on Skype at around 11 pm for almost 20 minutes. I am pretty sure most of the professors at SBU will not go so far as to skype a student in the middle of the night to help with academic problems. He is the professor who is very calm and generous. He always smiles, and help his students in each and every possible way he can. He is the person who motivated me to learn writing. He cares a lot about his students, especially the students whose first language is not English. Because of my experience, I recommended three of my friends to take English with him and they are taking him this semester. When I asked them how it was going, they were so happy to be taking it with him. So, from all these, I just want to say that removing Prof. Miranda from SBU is a great loss. He's an English gem and nobody is better compared to him. Also, just check on ratemyprofessors and classie evals, and you can see how highly everyone thinks of him. I want department to see how good he is, how kind he is, how much he is liked by all the students, how much he is remembered by the students, etc. I am very upset with these bad news. So, I urge the school to not remove Prof. Miranda from SBU.  Thank you.” -Yash Trivedi “I've only had Professor Miranda this semester, and while I have not had him for long, I've looked forward to taking his class. I knew he was a good professor according to everyone talking about his class, and the ratings on ratemyprofessor. That's why I chose his class. Now having been in his class for roughly a month, it has been one of my most interesting writing classes. I find myself eager and motivated to trek to his classroom in physics building despite it being my only class of the day and it being late. He manages to keep class entertaining and rolling and I can tell that all the students in the room want to be there, from the many active discussions we have. WRT 303, the current class I have with him, is an important class in my opinion. It allows students to find themselves through writing and learn to polish their writing skills much more. Not to mention how nice it is to have peer editing for the personal statement that many students who plan on attending graduate school undoubtedly will write. He also introduced me to the club FANS. Bunch of cool people in that club, really nice play to be to just unwind after a long week. I used to never be involved on campus when it comes to clubs, but FANS has had a successful attendance from me thus far, all thanks to Matthew Miranda. Without him, writing classes on campus are just not as fun. ” -Mao Xiang “Professor Miranda is the best professor I have met here in Stony Brook. Three years ago, I came here for the first time as an international undergraduate. Even though I always wanted to study for my doctorate, I was not sure that I could make it because of my language barrier. My writing skill was miserable, and I couldn’t even speak anything in English except some very simple sentences. However, thankfully, I met Professor Miranda in his class. My writing skill improved a lot through the course. This is because he made me enjoy writing. In addition, with some of his students, he founded a club named Foreign and Native Students for foreign students, like myself, who want to improve their speaking, and American students having a mind to learn about other cultures. Through this club, I have improved my speaking; I could start to express my thoughts in a classroom setting, assimilating myself into the American education system. Improving my English with Professor Miranda, I have overcome my language barrier and I finally achieved my goal as an undergraduate, to become a Ph.D student. This might sound like only one student’s story to you, but what I really want to say is that I am not the only person who met Professor Miranda. It is understood that I cannot do anything to bring him back; however, I just want you to know that Stony Brook University has lost one of the most excellent teachers in New York.” -Jeonghyeop Kim “I have only known Professor Miranda for a short amount of time but I have noticed that he was very different from the other writing professors I’ve had. I enjoy the fact that he is very engaging with his students and actually seems interested to get to know us. It is refreshing to have a professor who is understanding and accommodating to the needs of his students. Despite only knowing him for a short period of time, he has already shown me that he is compassionate, sympathetic, engaging, and an overall wonderful professor. Through his class, I was able to join a club, FANS (Foreign and Native Speakers) and have met many new people. Joining this club gave me the opportunity to interact with new people who I have never have the chance to meet and talk to. During class, he asks us stimulating questions and always respects our opinions even if it was different from his. I think it is a shame that students will not have the chance to have Professor Miranda in the future. “ -Anonymous student “Although I didn't have Prof. Miranda formally as a writing professor, he has been one of the few faculty members at Stony Brook to really have a profound impact in my life. Because of his involvement in FANS, I can say that I've grown as a college student-- and most importantly as a person. Matthew Miranda provides the spark of social life and interactions among students that Stony Brook is in need of. It is through him and his work that I have built bonds that have the potential of becoming life-long. As a biology major, Prof. Miranda has left a mark greater than any biology or chemistry professor has. He is more than just a professor; to many he is a mentor and a friend. ” -Greg Quevedo “Professor Miranda is an inspiring writer and instructor. He turned writing into a process of discovery, motivating me to write with passion, purpose and creativity. He has been a great mentor to me, not only while I was taking a writing class with him, but throughout my entire undergraduate career. He has helped me gain more confidence and has always encouraged me to challenge myself. I am grateful for having had the chance to learn from him and expose myself through writing. Not only is he a great professor, he is also a true friend who always supported me.” -Mirna Kheir "In summer of 2016, Professor Miranda was the first writing professor I had as a EOP freshman that was transitioning into Stony Brook University. I felt my first set of courses were the most important because they gave me an idea of what the university was like and what it would feel like during the actual school year. Professor Miranda was welcoming. He was, of course, a professor, but he felt like someone you could go to office hours to talk to, not just about class. He was caring and you would just know if you had a class with him. All the students in the class, who are now close friends, were excited to go to his class. Professor Miranda taught us skills to use in writing, in life. He taught us experiences. He taught us individually based on reading our writings. He got to learn each one of us as a person. I decided to pursue on creative writing because of him. He encouraged me to bring out my creativity in any kind of writing. And today, I am pursuing my minor as a creative writer. I even published 3 books. Professor Miranda told me to take my chances and I did. He wasn’t just a professor, he was a friend. We need more professors like him, bring back professor miranda. " -Angie Liu
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