Shaila Miranda: From Dogs to Hogs

Shaila Miranda
August 28 , 2023  |  By Lori McLemore

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When Shaila Miranda first came to the United States from Bandra, India, a coastal suburb of Mumbai, to pursue a Ph.D., she wandered around the University of Georgia campus and was immediately confused. Why was everyone wearing red and black?
It was her initiation to college sports in the U.S. and its associated apparel. After being introduced to the UGA dogs some 37 years ago, she is now ready to call the hogs!
On August 17, Miranda started at the Sam M. Walton College of Business as the chair of the Department of Information Systems. While she is new to Northwest Arkansas, she is welcoming it with open arms. She is looking forward to walking and jogging in nearby parks and can’t wait to explore the Boston Mountains, Beaver Lake and hiking hilly terrain.
“Fayetteville is gorgeous,” Miranda said. “The views are amazing!”
Miranda and her husband Craig Russell, professor emeritus of human resource management, along with their three cats Jasper, Tiger and Zuzu, are getting settled in Fayetteville after living in Norman, Oklahoma, for 21 years. They share a 20-year-old daughter who lives in Austin, Texas.
The couple both previously worked at the University of Oklahoma, where Miranda was the W.P. Wood Professor at the Price College of Business. She spoke about her previous students at Oklahoma almost like a proud parent and boasted of their successes and promotions. She will miss her students, but she won’t miss the tornadoes.
“I will miss a lot of the people there. I have a lot of good memories there,” Miranda said. “I take a lot of pride in students.”
Transferring to Walton College and chairing its information systems department has its advantages.
“ISYS (information systems) is an intellectual powerhouse,” she said. “Being invited to the cool people’s party … how could I say no?!”
In college, Miranda initially pursued the study of psychometrics – psychological testing, assessing and measuring – but then switched to information systems when she realized the demand for computing careers. She combines her psychology and sociology background in her work researching and analyzing socio-technical systems.
“I am mainly interested in how people talk about things,” Miranda said. “How you talk about information systems determines mindsets and the use of technology.”
Within her research, Miranda, author of Social Analytics: Network and Text Methods with NodeXL and R, examines social networks such as Reddit and Discord, mines the data and then analyzes it. She notes that many people have a lot to say about various issues, but often struggle to verbalize how they really feel. Her research dives into social media threads to discover patterns and trends.
“By analyzing conversations, you can discover what people really want but may not be able to articulate.”
Miranda’s short-term goals are to learn as much as possible from her team. Long-term, she will explore ways to unleash Walton College’s well-known computational resources capabilities and find ways to grow and complement existing data sets. She also wants to prepare junior faculty to step into leadership roles in the department and at the college.
“There are so many exciting things happening! My aim is to find ways to allow people to excel at their jobs.”

Lori McLemoreSince 2013, Lori McLemore has served as the marketing and communications officer for the Sam M. Walton College of Business. In this role, she writes press releases and features articles to promote the work of students, faculty and staff. 

Prior to working at Walton College, she worked as the director of web strategy and operations for Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the national headquarters for 3,500 Boys & Girls Clubs. She was part of the core team to establish an intranet site for Clubs around the globe and the public internet site for the national nonprofit located in Atlanta.

Lori holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Auburn University ... and loves BOTH the Arkansas Razorbacks (Woo Pig!!) and the Auburn Tigers (War Eagle!!)