e-Veritas Archive | March, 2017

Inspiring Women to Find Their Purpose

The 46th annual UM Women's Commission Breakfast

The 46th annual UM Women’s Commission Breakfast

Sometimes the best things in life aren’t things—they’re opportunities to find your purpose. That’s the message Constance Collins, president and executive director of Lotus House Women’s Shelter, told more than 130 University of Miami students, faculty, and staff who attended the 46th annual University of Miami Women’s Commission Breakfast on Wednesday at the Shalala Student Center.

Collins was 46 years old in 2005 when she retired from a 22-year career as general counsel and chief operating and financial officer for a major real estate investment firm. She realized she didn’t want her legacy to be “building buildings and accumulating things,” she said. “Now I live a blessed life serving as a bridge between the haves and have-nots.”

In 2006, Collins opened Lotus House, a shelter in Miami’s Overtown district for homeless women and children. The shelter currently houses more than 250 women and children daily, and construction is under way on Lotus Village, a five-story, 500-bed complex with a wellness center, health and dental clinic, computer library, children’s day care, arts and activity lab, and other services.

Following the keynote address, the Women’s Commission presented its 2017 May A. Brunson Award, named in honor of the University’s second dean of women, to Ann Olazábal, professor and vice dean of undergraduate education in the School of Business Administration, who founded the school’s Women in Business Group to support development of women in the professional workplace, particularly in predominantly male industries.

The Women’s Commission presented its Louise P. Mills Award, which recognizes students who exhibit “leadership, creativity, caring, and high academic performance,” to Monica Bustinza, a senior political science major and president of the nonpartisan student organization Get Out the Vote. Her leadership elevated civic engagement at the U to unprecedented heights, including a record 2,500 students registering to vote and designation of UM as a Voter-Friendly Campus by Campus Vote Project and NASPA—Student Affairs Educators in Higher Education.

In addition to the breakfast, the Women’s Commission hosted or participated in several activities this academic year, including Get Out the Vote initiatives, the Patricia A. Whitely Women’s Leadership Symposium, a lunch-and-learn discussion on the Culture Transformation featuring School of Education and Human Development Dean Isaac Prilleltensky, a Veterans Day celebration for the Veteran Students Organization, and a partnership with Junior League of Miami to donate more than 400 books for two housing communities benefiting survivors of domestic violence.

The forthcoming Reflect & Reignite event on Friday, April 21 at 12 p.m. invites all members of the UM community to share future programming ideas.



Posted in NewsComments Off

Open Discussion on Caribbean Studies at UM

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 29, 2017) – UM faculty members whose research focuses on the Caribbean came together at the University of Miami Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas on Wednesday to share current initiatives, evaluate possibilities for cross-disciplinary collaboration, and discuss how the Institute can support these efforts.

“There is great potential to do interdisciplinary work and we are very happy to catalyze support,” said Dr. Felicia Marie Knaul, the institute’s director.

The discussion was moderated by Kate Ramsey, associate professor of history and faculty lead for Hemispheric Caribbean Studies at the institute. “Extending cross-disciplinary communication among faculty and graduate students working in Caribbean studies may lead to new collaborative possibilities,” Ramsey noted.

Faculty members from Educational and Psychological Studies, Biology, Modern Languages and Literatures, History, the Cuban Heritage Collection at the UM Libraries, International Studies, English, Musicology, and Obstetrics and Gynecology shared ideas on how to support each other’s work and achieve better communication.

“What does it really mean for us to have an interdisciplinary conversation and produce something that is uniquely UM?” asked Donette Francis, associate professor of English.

Kathleen Sealey, associate professor of biology, added, “We have an obligation and an opportunity to help the Caribbean countries and be their resource.”

As the discussion evolved, Knaul asked the group for a “dashboard of projects” to forge a more robust Caribbean-focused scholarly community at UM. “What we are doing here is reaching out to the Caribbean in a very strong way,” she said.


Posted in NewsComments Off

#MeetaCane Campaign to Connect Employees University-Wide

MeetACane Natacha CaballeroWith more than 15,000 employees across all of our campuses, it can sometimes seem impossible to put a face to a name or email address. The #meetacane social media campaign will connect the University of Miami family across all platforms. Every week, you will get a chance to meet a ’Cane and learn more about what they do at the U, why they love working here, and a few fun facts about themselves. Look out for a new face and friend every Friday on InsideUM’s InstagramTwitter, and Facebook accounts.

We want to hear from U, too! If you would like to be featured in the Meet a ’Cane campaign, send  an email to InsideUM@miami.edu and we’ll forward you our short questionnaire.

Follow us along at @Inside_UM on Twitter and Instagram and Inside UM on Facebook.

Posted in InsideUMComments Off

UM Names New Executive VP and COO

Nova Southeastern University’s Jacqueline A. Travisano will be UM’s Executive Vice President for Business and Finance and Chief Operating Officer.

UM News

TravisanoCORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 23, 2017) – Jacqueline A. Travisano, a business and financial expert in higher education currently at Nova Southeastern University, has been named executive vice president for business and finance and chief operating officer of the University of Miami.

At NSU, Travisano—whose career encompasses 26 years of service leadership at higher education and nonprofit organizations—oversees assets in excess of $1.3 billion and an annual operating budget of $625 million.

In her new position, Travisano will be responsible for all financial functions, including accounting, financial reporting, budgeting and planning; treasury services, (including investing endowment, pension assets and working capital, credit strategies and external financial relationships); information technology; supply chain; campus planning; and facilities design and construction at UM.

Travisano begins her new post on June 1.

Named one of South Florida Business Journal’s Influential Business Women of 2014, Travisano also will oversee campus and facilities management; emergency preparedness; parking; research administration; auxiliary operations, including on-campus retail; entertainment and dining facilities; and human resources.

“Jackie fills a critically important role at the University of Miami that is in direct response to the ambitious goals we’ve established as we move toward our centennial, which is less than a decade away. She will be an integral member of our leadership team who will have a positive impact on the future of our university,” said UM President Julio Frenk, adding that the University found the ideal candidate for the position “right in our own backyard.”

“Dr. Travisano has a strong track record as a successful agent of change,” said Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises, who chairs UM’s Board of Trustees. “I am confident that she will be a strong and energetic leader at the U.”

“I am grateful and humbled by the opportunity to join the University of Miami, one of the top research universities in the country,” said Travisano. “This is such an exciting time for the University, and I look forward to celebrating many successes as a member of the ’Cane family.”

David Ertel, chief financial officer and chief strategy officer for health affairs at UM, will continue to serve as interim senior vice president and chief financial officer until Travisano assumes her duties.

Travisano has served as NSU’s executive vice president and chief operating officer since 2011, setting the overall direction, management, and effective administrative operations of the university in support of its mission, core values, and Vision 2020 initiative. NSU is a private not-for-profit university with more than 23,000 students and graduate programs in medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, law, nursing, education, and business.

Immediately prior to joining Nova, Travisano served as vice president for business affairs and chief financial officer at St. John’s University in Queens, New York.

In 2015, the 1,000 Plus Club for Cancer Research recognized her as Woman of the Year. That same year, she was named Student of the Year by the NSU Abraham S. Fischler College of Education, where she earned a doctorate in higher education leadership.

Three years ago, the National Diversity Council honored her with its Glass Ceiling Award, and in 2013 and 2014 the Boys and Girls Club of Broward County recognized her as one of Broward’s Top 100 Women. In 2012, the Florida Diversity Council honored her as one of the state’s most powerful and influential women.

Travisano’s charitable works include service on the Board of Directors for the ARC of Broward County and the Honorary Board of the Special Olympics of Broward County, and service on the Board of Directors for the March of Dimes of Broward County. Travisano is also an active member of the Royal Dames for Cancer Research. In 2014, she served as chair of the 45th Annual Royal Dames Tiara Ball, raising more than $400,000 for Nova’s Rumbaugh-Goodwin Institute for Cancer Research.

In addition to her doctorate in higher education leadership from NSU, Travisano is a certified public accountant and holds an M.B.A. from Chatham University and a B.S. in business administration from Robert Morris University.

She and her husband, Peter, live in Davie, Florida, and have four children and two grandchildren.

Posted in Appointments, NewsComments Off

Physics Professor Wins Air Force Grant

By Andrew Boryga
Special to UM News


He Wang

He Wang, an assistant professor of physics, joined the University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences just last August but she is already making big waves.

Late last year, Wang was notified that she won a grant from the prestigious 2017 Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFSOR) Young Investigator Research Program (YIP) to continue investigating the potential application of next-generation LEDs, solar cells, transistors, and lasers.

YIP is a research grant award that is open to scientists and engineers at research institutions across the United States who received a Ph.D. or an equivalent degree in the last five years and who show exceptional ability and promise for conducting research.

The objective of the grant is to foster creative research in science and engineering, enhance career development of talented young researchers, and increase their opportunities to recognize and tackle significant challenges in the fields of science and engineering.

Wang’s winning proposal was titled “Structure-Photophysics-Function Relationship of Perovskite Materials.”

Her research focuses on investigating device physics and photophysics of organic and organic-inorganic hybrid optoelectronic materials. In layman’s terms, optoelectronics is the study and application of electronic devices and systems that source, detect, and control light. An example would be solar cells or LED devices.

Wang said she is excited about the award.

“I have been studying these subjects for some time and I look forward to using the resources of this grant to gain even more insight,” she said.

She tunes the structure of thin films comprised of these materials, uses laser spectroscopy to understand dynamics, and combines her knowledge of physics and engineering to think about the potential application of next-generation LEDs, solar cells, transistors, and lasers.

In her proposal for YIP, she focused on studying a new classification of materials associated with this field: organic-inorganic hybrid perovskite materials. Perovskite is a specific type of crystal structure found in materials that can be used for solar cells and LED technology.

Over the course of the next three years, she will use aspects of physics, chemistry, materials science, and engineering to study the fundamental behavior of these materials and what they could possibly be used for in the future.

This will be a continuation of the research she began when she entered Princeton University as a graduate student in 2008. After receiving her Ph.D. in electrical engineering at Princeton in 2013, she was a postdoctoral fellow in physical chemistry at UC Berkeley for nearly three years before joining the College of Arts and Sciences’ physics department.

There were over 230 proposals for the YIP last year and grants were awarded to just 58 scientists and engineers. In total, these young researchers received $20 million, or $360,000 per winner. The grant is spread out over the course of three years and can be used to support research, hire personnel, and acquire any necessary lab equipment.




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