By Shoshanah Marcus, News Editor
Dr. Linda Shires, the chair of the department of English at Stern College, retired following the Fall 2020 semester after holding the position for over 10 years. Subsequently, Dr. Matt Miller has been promoted to fill this position.
Dr. Shires has been a Professor of English at Stern College since 2008 and has been the chair of the English department at Stern College since 2009. She shared her gratitude with the YU Observer saying, “As I leave Y.U., a special thanks goes to Dean Bacon, Assoc. Dean Orlian, and Jane Galland at Stern, to my exceptional colleagues in the English Department, both full-time and adjunct — always standing by each other, and to all our hard-working, committed faculty members in the Humanities.” Dr. Shires continued to reflect on her time at Stern College, stating, “While I’ve enjoyed creating new courses, I’ll especially miss teaching Holocaust Representation and classes in my publishing field of Victorian literature. Stern students stand out as kind, generous, and intelligent. It has been great fun to stay in touch with those who went on to become high school teachers, M.A. and Ph.D. students, psychologists, social workers, lawyers, editors, business leaders, and artists across the USA, Canada, UK, and Israel.”
Dr. Shires acted as a mentor for many students, including those writing their honors theses. Rachel Liebling (SCW ‘22), one of Dr. Shires’s mentees, shared, “Dr. Shires pinpoints exactly where you need pushing, guiding an expansion of your individual faculty for intense thought from that personalized starting ground. And, so you grow. While strictly adhering to scholarly accuracy, Dr. Shires equally encourages that you find your meaning, as ‘often the grand meanings of faces as well as of written words may lie chiefly in the impressions of those who look on them’ (George Eliot).”
Since 2008, Professor Miller has been working as an associate professor of English at Stern College. Miller shared his excitement with the YU Observer, “I am honored to be given the chance to play this new role within the English Department at Stern. While it would be impossible to replace such a singularly effective Chair as Professor Shires, I will at least try my hardest to live up to the standards of fairness and hard work that Shires embodies. It is my goal to make this transition as seamless as possible for students and faculty, and I plan to continue in the same tradition that our English majors have known so far.”
Miller is excited to undertake this new position. He explained, “for now, I am just focusing on learning to do this job to the best of my ability; however, in the future, I look forward to pursuing new initiatives to keep the major in English at Stern at the forefront of fresh ideas and opportunities for our graduating classes.”