e-Veritas Archive | September, 2010

A discussion on U.S.-Cuba relations

With Cuba recently announcing upcoming layoffs for some 500,000 state employees and former Cuban leader Fidel Castro making remarks that his country’s economic model is broken, a group of prominent experts gathered Monday on the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus to offer their take on U.S.-Cuba relations. The event, “American Ambassadors in Conference: U.S. Policy toward Cuba,” was hosted by UM’s Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies (ICCAS) and the Cuban Heritage Collection of the UM Libraries.

Panelists included, from left, Otto Reich, president of Otto Reich Associates, LLC, of Washington, D.C., who served as U.S. ambassador to Venezuela from 1986 to 1989; Luis Lauredo, an international and governmental relations consultant and former U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States; James Cason, president of Center for a Free Cuba and a former ambassador to Paraguay; and Jaime Suchlicki, director of ICCAS and Emilio Bacardi Moreau Professor of History at UM.

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A commanding performance

In a performance that gave weight to a Newsweek description that called her “the most exciting individual in American theatre,” actress, playwright, and author Anna Deavere Smith, University Professor at New York University Tisch School of the Arts and a Henry King Stanford Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at the University of Miami’s Center for the Humanities, presented “The Changing Landscape of Doctor-Patient Relationships” on Monday at Gusman Concert Hall.

Smith, founder and director of the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue, is known for looking at controversial events from multiple points of view. Her theater and film work combines the journalistic technique of interviewing her subjects with the art of interpreting their words through her performance. She has held appointments at Stanford and at the Yale School of Medicine. Stanford University Medical School recently commissioned her to create a project on diversity in the medical school.

After her performance at UM’s Gusman Concert Hall, Smith signed copies of her latest book.

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Music for young minds

Incorporating music into everyday learning activities, the Infant and Toddler Music Curriculum Project created by a Frost School faculty member is helping to improve developmental skills in children—while also aiding the healing process of one injured child.

Frost School faculty member Joy Galliford works with children at the United Way School of Excellence, one of two sites that are taking part in her UM Infant and Toddler Music Curriculum Project.

Suffering brain trauma from a serious accident, 4-year-old GianLucca had barely uttered a word as he lay in a hospital bed for weeks recovering from his injuries.

Aurora Ojito, GianLucca’s teacher at Sagrada Familia childcare center in Miami, would go to the hospital often to visit her ailing student, always shedding tears at the sight of the boy who was once so full of life but had now become a child with so little to say.

“He liked to play and socialize with the other children,” Ojito recalls, “and he really loved music.”

That gave GianLucca’s caseworker and nurses an idea. They asked teachers at the boy’s school to send a CD of his favorite songs—ballads he enjoyed listening to during his participation in a University of Miami Frost School of Music program aimed at enhancing developmental skills in children through music.

When the CD arrived and the nurses played the song Hola, the boy smiled for the first time since his tragic accident and began to sing.

Read the full story

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Empowering women

Melanne Verveer, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, spoke September 7 on “Making the Most of the MDG Summit: Advancing Progress through Empowerment of Women and Girls” at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. Verveer’s address was part of a series of dialogues on global issues made possible by the University of Miami School of Communication Knight Center for International Media and CSIS. Above, from left, Lisa Carty, deputy director and senior adviser at the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, with U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues Verveer.

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Topping off ceremony for Life Science & Technology Park

The University of Miami and developer Wexford Miami, LLC, celebrated a milestone Wednesday in the construction of the state-of-the-art 1.6 million-square-foot UM Life Science & Technology Park with a “topping off” ceremony. At the ceremony, traditionally held when a building reaches its height, University and other executives signed a ceremonial steel beam for the six-story R&D Building One. The park’s first structure, the 252,000-square-foot building is expected to be completed by summer 2011. The “topping off” symbolizes the progress of the development and serves as a token of a positive future.

Pictured from left, Joe Reagan, vice president of Wexford Science and Technology; James Tien, dean of the College of Engineering; Michael Katz, president of MAMCO, the University’s real estate arm; Pascal J. Goldschmidt, senior vice president of medical affairs and dean of the Miller School of Medicine; UM Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc; and Jim Berens, president of Wexford Science and Technology.

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