e-Veritas Archive | February, 2017

Attend the ‘Make the Magic Gala’ April 15 and Help Send a Child to Camp Kesem Miami

Camp Kesem Miami, a chapter of a national community of student leaders that supports children through and beyond their parent’s cancer, is holding its biggest fundraiser, Make the Magic Gala, at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 15, at the Shalala Student Center. Join the “magic” and enjoy a dinner catered by South Florida Events, a comedy show, a chance at winning great silent auction items, including but not limited to $100 off a tandem skydive provided by Miami Skydiving Center, a wine-tasting class, and a Disney Staycation package. Come join us for “A Night at Camp” filled with love, laughter, dinner, activities, and prizes. All proceeds go to sending a child to camp.

For more information, email Camp Kesem Miami. To make a donation, visit the donation page.




Posted in Comments Off

‘Uncaging History': Hundreds Honor the Trailblazers Who Integrated UM

By Meredith Camel
UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 26, 2017)—When alumni Denise Mincey-Mills, Antonio Junior, and Phyllis Tyler—co-chairs of the Black Alumni Society’s First Black Graduates Project Committee—described the four years they devoted to sifting through Ibis yearbooks and University Libraries’ archives to learn more about the struggles and successes of UM’s black graduates of the 1960s and 1970s, they called it “uncaging history.”

That history sprang to life this weekend during UTrailblazers, a celebration that brought hundreds of people to campus to honor those who blazed a trail of diversity and inclusion during the first two decades of racial integration at UM. Friday events included a campus bus tour, presentation by Professor of History Donald Spivey to introduce the Richter Library’s We Were Pioneers exhibit, an opening ceremony reception with President Julio Frenk, an alumni-student forum, and a keynote address by alumnus Harold Long, who founded United Black Students at the University of Miami in 1967.

On Saturday, more than 400 people attended the UTrailblazers Gala at the Shalala Student Center, including some trailblazing alumni who had not been back to campus in decades but are now eager to reconnect with their alma mater. Patricia Roberts, a double alumna of the School of Education and Human Development, lives in Miami but had not been back to campus since she graduated with her master’s degree in 1973. “Oh, I’ll be back,” she said at the event while marveling at the beauty of the campus that has changed so much.

Roberts’ reflections about the experiences she had as a student and as the University’s first black cheerleader are living, along with the oral histories of nearly 60 other UTrailblazers, in video testimonies captured by the UM Alumni Association on Friday and Saturday. The videos are part of the University’s continued effort to not only “uncage” but also to cultivate additional insight on its past. (Read more about UM’s first black graduates.)

In an effort to continue blazing trails of opportunity and inclusion at the University, donors to the First Black Graduates Projects Endowed Scholarship are building a fund that will, in perpetuity, award $2,500 to two black students per year. Alumnus Johnny C. Taylor Jr. announced at the gala that the fund has reached more than $91,000, plus his own $25,000 pledge.


Posted in NewsComments Off

Smart Cities Conference Plans for New Future

Special to UM News


The inaugural conference was held in the Miami Design District’s Moore Building.

MIAMI, Fla. (February 24, 2017)—The inaugural Smart Cities Miami Conference, hosted last week by the School of Architecture and Center for Computational Science, brought industry visionaries, technology experts, government planners, and the public together to focus on the “disruptive power” that the mobilization of new technology will have in our cities and on our lives.

“We are at the threshold of significant transformations in the urban environment provoked by new services and practices that mobilize emerging technology,’’ Rodolphe el-Khoury, dean of the School of Architecture said in kicking off the conference held February 23 and 24 in the Miami Design District’s Moore Building. “These disruptive powers, along with more radical disruptions are sure to change the ways we imagine, shape, inhabit, use, enjoy, manage, and govern the urban realm.”

Added Nick Tsinoremas, director of the Center for Computational Science (CCS), “We live in unprecedented times where technology transforms the way we live and interact with the city. This conference is our first attempt to bring together all the stakeholders—government, industry, academic institutions, and the public—to engage in discussions to understand and shape these transformational forces.”

The forum for cutting-edge research and interdisciplinary perspectives was designed to connect UM and the larger community of entrepreneurs and innovators who are rapidly reinventing Miami as an incubator for tech start-ups with the development and planning agencies in the public and private sectors who are guiding the evolution of one of the fastest-growing cities in North America.

The keynote speaker, Antoine Picon, the director of research at Harvard Graduate School of Design and an expert on the Smart City phenomenon, talked extensively about the changes brought to cities and architecture by digital tools and digital culture as well as the need for technology to embrace sociocultural issues. He emphasized that the city of the future will combine human with artificial intelligence and that from this, a new awareness will arise.

In an interdisciplinary collaboration, Joel Zysman, CCS’s director of Advanced Computing, and Jean-Pierre Bardet, dean of the College of Engineering, led discussions about transformation through datafication, environmentally sustainable technologies, innovation, artificial intelligence, and the best uses of technology solutions.

The School of Architecture’s RAD-UM Lab and several technology companies also shared their demos and start-up innovations, showcasing mixed-use building blocks for a smart city environment.

During the second day of the conference, a Zenciti Workshop, a multidisciplinary team led by Dean el-Khoury examined and discussed a project for a smart city, designed from the ground up on a site in Mexico’s Yucatan, just outside Merida. Zenciti will illustrate a customized city on a unified platform, serving as a prototype of the future.

As Picon suggested, every city, even if not yet identified as a “smart city,” needs a plan.

The conference was made possible with the support of contributing sponsors Zenciti, Intel, DDN Storage, and the Miami Design District.


Posted in NewsComments Off

Can Dance Improve Your Mental Abilities?

A University of Miami study suggests that both aerobic and more sophisticated dancing can enhance mental capacity.

By Barbara Gutierrez
UM News

DanceCORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 23, 2017) — A study at the School of Education and Human Development showed mental improvements after 10 weeks of dance classes. The findings suggest that exercise might improve mental function by learning new movements, as well as improving aerobic capacity.

The study was conducted at UM’s Laboratory of Neuromuscular Research and Active Aging, in collaboration with Arthur Murray Dance Studio. Sean Nicolle, a graduate of UM’s Doctorate in Exercise Physiology program, led the study and used the findings and analysis as his doctoral thesis.

Forty volunteers, from 40 to 80 years old, participated in 10 weeks of either ballroom or aerobic dance classes. Subjects were tested for mental function, both on a computer and using a movement test in a physical environment at the beginning and at the end of the study.

Why compare aerobic to ballroom dance? The ballroom dance group was focused on learning new steps (movement patterns), while members of the aerobic dance group were busy trying to keep their heart rate up (aerobic capacity).

The researchers found that both groups improved mental functioning. Michela Laureti, of Arthur Murray Ballroom Studio, explained that the mental benefits of ballroom dance come from the process of learning new steps, as well as working with partners. Aerobic dance is thought to improve blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain, and the aerobic dancers might also have had to pay attention to quickly changing movements.

Nicolle explained that the goal wasn’t just to see what kind of dance improves mental function, but to understand how the brain and mind work.

He believes that “the brain adapts in specific ways to what is demanded of it. It doesn’t have to be dance. Everything with a mental demand will make the brain adapt. The mental benefits of dance classes are probably different than those of rock climbing.

“We would expect dance classes to improve mental functions related to rhythm and coordination, while learning something like rock climbing would probably challenge the brain to improve mental functions related to anticipation, planning, and problem solving,” he said.

The study is titled “Impact Of Dance Complexity on Computer-Based And Movement-Based Cognitive Performance.”



Posted in NewsComments Off

Activities Director Receives NACA Legacy Award

By Andres Tamayo
UM News


Joshua Brandfon

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 22, 2017)—The National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) recently recognized Joshua Brandfon, the University of Miami’s director of student activities and student organizations, with its NACA Legacy Award for both his longtime volunteer service to the organization and future volunteer aspirations.

“I’m thankful to have been nominated for this award and appreciate being recognized for my contributions to the association,” Brandfon said. “NACA helps us better serve UM students by providing us with the knowledge, research, and resources we need to do our jobs well.”

As the director of student activities and student organizations, Brandfon is responsible for setting an overall vision and defining the co-curricular experience through campus programming. He directly advises UM’s homecoming program and student funding board (SAFAC).

“Josh is one of our innovative minds ensuring that we are anticipating future student trends and student union needs and is a major contributor to the Division of Student Affairs’ efforts to drive student engagement,” said Gail Cole-Avent, executive director of Student Life.

Over the years, Brandfon and his staff in Student Activities have volunteered their time to help plan programs and events for NACA. Brandfon, who has been heavily involved with the association since his days as a graduate student at the University of Connecticut, has served in both regional and national roles.

Currently, Brandfon serves on the NACA Research and Scholarship Group and was recently part of a committee that helped develop NACA’s new strategic plan. He’s a candidate for the NACA Board of Directors and works closely with fellow NACA professionals, agents, and artists to share and implement ideas on how to enhance student engagement on campus.

Brandfon is happy with what he and his team have accomplished over the years. “I look forward to continuing to give back to an organization that has given so much to me throughout my career,” he said.

For more information on the Department of Student Activities and Student Organizations, visit the website.

Posted in Honors, NewsComments Off

  • Features
  • Tags
  • Popular
  • Subscribe
  • Subscribe to the Veritas RSS Feed
    Get updates to all of the latest Veritas posts by clicking the logo at the right.

    You can also subscribe to specific categories by browsing to a particular section on our site and clicking the RSS icon below each section's header.

UM Facebook

UM Twitter