e-Veritas Archive | September, 2011

Celebrating the Spirit of Women and Philanthropy

Donna Karan addresses more than 1,000 women and others at the 11th annual United Way Women's Leadership Breakfast.

The 11th Annual United Way Women’s Leadership Breakfast was held at UM’s BankUnited Center on September 28, bringing together more than 1,000 of the most driven, influential women in the community to advance United Way of Miami-Dade’s work in education, financial stability, and health. International fashion icon Donna Karan delivered the keynote address at an event that included remarks by Congresswomen Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

“Each and everyone of us has the power to help make the change that’s needed today,” said Karan, who, while still actively engaged in designing, channels much of her time and energy into her Urban Zen Foundation, which she started in 2007 to advance wellness, preserve cultures, and empower children.

Her message echoed many of the principles championed by the United Way, an organization focused on improving education, financial stability, and health.

“Unless we work united, the changes we’re working for won’t happen,” Karan said, urging members of the audience to help create change in schools and health care.

 Her keynote address, delivered to Women Leadership members who have each made an annual gift of $1,000 or more to United Way, came as the University of Miami continued fundraising efforts as part of its United Way campaign, a annual drive that has raised more than $1 million for the past four years in a row.

During the breakfast, UM President Donna E. Shalala, who was honored at the event along with her mother, Edna, noted that one of the most important aspects of UM’s United Way campaign is its large participation rate. She praised UM employees for not only donating funds but also giving “generously of their time and heart.”

“It all comes back to us in one way or another,” President Shalala said at what turned out to be the largest Leadership Breakfast ever.

Breakfast attendees got the opportunity to hear firsthand just how much their United Way dollars have helped, listening to Danielle Cabo, a former runaway, explain how the organization has helped change her life.

“I wake up knowing that today I won’t be abused,” said Cabo, who plans to attend college.

Breakfast co-chairs Susan Miller, a UM trustee, and her daughter, Leslie Miller Saiontz, also spoke at the event, as did Congresswomen Ros-Lehtinen, a UM alumna, and Wasserman-Schultz.

Ros-Lehtinen said that as more and more social services are cut, “we depend on people like you and organizations like United Way to fill in the gaps.”

Wasserman-Schultz asked those in attendance to think about what they could do to improve the lives of children. “The United Way thinks about that every day,” she said.

Posted in Freeze Frame, ’Canes in the CommunityComments Off

The Launch Pad Wins a Grand Prize at MetroBroward Lighthouse Awards

The Launch Pad, the University’s Miami unique entrepreneurship initiative, won a Grand Prize from the Metro Broward Economic Development Corporation at the recent MetroBroward Lighthouse Awards. The Launch Pad received an unrestricted grant of $2,500.

The MetroBroward Lighthouse Awards were created in 2009 to raise awareness of the valuable contributions made by the small business development industry in South Florida. The awards recognize the outstanding contributions of organizations that have made an impact on the success of regional small businesses in the areas of advocacy, consulting assistance, and start-up assistance.

The Launch Pad is UM’s entrepreneur and innovator resource center, the first one in the country to be housed in a university career center, treating entrepreneurship as a viable career choice. It is part of the Toppel Career Planning and Placement Center and strives to provide students and alumni with the guidance and resources they need to transform innovative ideas into sustainable enterprises.

The Metro Broward Economic Development Corporation is a certified community development financial institution and small business success center located in Lauderhill, Florida. Its mission is to be a catalyst for small business success.


Posted in Briefly Noted, HonorsComments Off

UM Surgeon Jagajan “JJ” Karmacharya Dies in Nepal Plane Crash

Jagajan "JJ" Karmacharya

Jagajan “JJ” Karmacharya, associate professor of clinical surgery, chief of vascular surgery at the Miami VA hospital, and associate program director of the vascular surgery fellowship, died September 25 in a plane crash in his homeland of Nepal, where he had gone to visit his ailing mother. Also killed were Karmacharya’s fiancée, one of his brothers, a sister-in-law, and the 15 other passengers and crew who were aboard a Buddha Air sightseeing flight to Mount Everest.

Speaking for the grieving Lucille and DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery and the broader Miller School family, Alan S. Livingstone, the Lucille and DeWitt Daughtry Professor and chairman of the department, said words are inadequate to express the depth of sorrow over the tragedy, and for Karmacharya’s far-too-short legacy. He was 45. Read the full story

Posted in Briefly Noted, In MemoriamComments Off

Discussing the U.S. Role in Afghanistan and Pakistan

With the United States’ relations with Afghanistan and Pakistan still an issue of paramount importance, Marc Grossman, President Obama’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, discussed American policy in those countries during a talk last Friday on the University of Miami campus.

Speaking to an audience at UM’s Storer Auditorium, Grossman discussed a range of issues related to Afghanistan and Pakistan. The U.S. faces a crucial year for its war strategy in Afghanistan, where the administration wants to withdraw 33,000 U.S. forces by the end of next summer. Meanwhile, in Pakistan, U.S.-Pakistani relations have plunged to their lowest point in years.

Grossman was appointed the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan on February 22, 2011. For nearly 30 years, he served as a Foreign Service officer with the U.S. Department of State, beginning with his first assignment in Pakistan, where he served from 1977 to 1979, and ending as the State Department’s third-ranking official, under secretary of state for political affairs, a position he held from 2001 to 2005. Following his retirement from the Department of State in 2005, Ambassador Grossman was a vice chairman of the Cohen Group.




Posted in Freeze FrameComments Off

Celebrating Diversity in the Workplace

Nerissa E. Morris (center), UM vice president of Human Resources, accepted the award on behalf of UM. Standing with her are Cindy Lau-Evans (left), president of the Greater Miami Society for Human Resource Management, and Heather E. Vogel (right), president of HR Florida State Council.

The Greater Miami Society for Human Resource Management honored the University of Miami with its sixth annual Diversity and Inclusion Award on September 20. The award recognizes organizations and individuals whose diversity and inclusion practices transcend the norm. UM was honored for best practices and innovative initiatives for promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Examples of UM’s diversity and inclusion practices include:

  • Engagement in special recruitment efforts to attract veterans, including those with disabilities.
  • Establishing the Scientists and Engineers Expanding Diversity and Success (SEEDS) program to orchestrate grassroots efforts that promote opportunities for women and minority scientists and engineers.
  • Supporting programs to assist underserved communities in Miami-Dade County, including the Jefferson Reaves, Sr. Health Center, Families First Network, and more.

Posted in Freeze FrameComments Off

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