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Iron Arrow Honor Society Tappees—Fall 2016

Honored Tappees – Fall 2016

Monica Bustinza — President, Get Out the Vote; Founder, Meals From the Heart; Workshops Chair, Patricia A. Whitely Women’s Leadership Symposium; Transfer Senator, Student Government; Fellow, Campus Vote Project; Student Representative, White House Civic Workshop; Service Learning Volunteer, Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy; Women in Public Service Scholarship, American Society for Public Administration; Newman Civic Fellow

Natalie Diala — President, National Pan-Hellenic Council; President, A Week for Life; Historian, Community Service Chair, and Social Action Chair, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated; Vice President, Public Relations Student Society of America; Counselor, Horizons; Planning Committee Designee, LeaderShape South Florida; Marketing Chair, Miss University of Miami; Ronald A. Hammond Scholar; Dean’s Student Circle, School of Communication

Vicky Egusquiza — President, Parent Medical Association; President, Medical Alumni Association; Alpha Omega Alpha; Phi Beta Kappa; Voluntary Faculty, UM Pediatric Department; Voted America’s Top Pediatrician; Member, Miami Circle; Fellow, American Academy of Pediatrics; Bylaws and Credentialing Committees, Miami Children’s Hospital; News Bureau Consultant, Baptist and Palmetto General Hospitals

Frank Eismont — Esteemed Member, UM Operating Room, Graduate Medical Education & Underwriting Committees; Chairman, UM/Jackson Orthopedic Residency Education Program; Cgaur, AIA Emerging Leaders Committee; Board of Directors, American Board of Orthopedic Surgery; 2005 Thomas Whitecloud Award; 2004 Russell Hibbs Award; 2003 ACGME Parker J. Palmer ‘Courage to Teach’ Award

Lance Harke — President, Miami Shores Chamber of Commerce; President, Miami Shores Bar Association; President, Legal Services of Greater Miami; Peter T. Fay American Inn of Court / Barrister; Order of the Coif; Soia Mentschikoff Award for Excellence in Writing; Inductee, Legal Services of Greater Miami Hall of Fame; Miami Shores Citizen of the Year; Omicron Delta Kappa

Osamudia James — UM Standing Committee on Diversity and Inclusion; UM Promotions & Tenure Committee; Tenured Liaison, School of Law Junior Faculty Development Steering Committee; AAUP Litigation Committee; UM SEEDS Grant Recipient; Miami Law BLSA & ACLS Celebrating Outstanding Faculty Member Award; Legacy Miami Magazine South Florida’s Top Black Educators; Lawyers of Color 50 Under 50 Honoree; Derrick A. Bell Award Recipient

Noor Joudi — Student Trustee, UM Board of Trustees; Executive President, UMMSM Student Government; Class President, Class of 2018 Council; Chair, Admissions and Student Services Student Committee, ISA Steering Committee Member, LCME Re- accreditation Process; President, UM Muslim Association; Pre-Clinical Director, OB/ GYN Interest Group; 18th World Congress of Pediatric & Adolescent Gynecology Award

Brad Kaaya — 3-year starting Quarterback, UM Football; Team Captain; 4th in Miami history for career passing yards; 23rd Annual Walter Kichefski Endowed Football Scholarship Award; Athlete Volunteer, F.S. Tucker and G.W. Carver Elementary schools; Three-year pen pal to elementary school children

Nicole Katz — Cultural Chair and Secretary of La Federacion de Estudiantes Cubanos, Recruitment Chair of Chi Omega Fraternity, President of Rho Lambda Honor Society, Student Government’s Health and Wellness Liaison, U-Outreach Marketing Chair and Elections Commissions Officer, Mentor for CaneBuddy, TedX Miami Logistics committee, Camp Kesem Miami Counselor, Hecht College Council, President’s 100

James “Jim” Joseph Larrañaga — Two NCAA Sweet 16 appearances, 2012-13 and 2015-16; National Coach of the Year by four separate awarding organizations, 2012- 13; Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year, 2012-13 and 2015-16; Led UM to No. 2 National Ranking; ACC regular season and ACC Tournament titles; No. 2 seed in NCAA Tournament, 2012-13

Sandra Lemmon — Director, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine MD-PhD Program; 2015 UM Graduate School Best Graduate Program Director Award; 2010 Lawrence Gibert Distinguished Seminar Lecturer

Ilana Mayer-Hirshfield — President, Regional Chief Information Officer; Latino Medical Student Association; CAC Assistant Director for On-Campus Enrollment; Translator Coordinator, DOCS; Events Coordinator, Fall Ball Chair, UMMSM Executive Student Government; MD/MPH Ambassador, Academic Societies; Vice-President, Jewish American Medical Student Association; Vice-President, Hispanic American Medical Student Association

Kierin Mukerjee — Chair, Football Chair, and Basketball Chair, Category 5 Spirit Programming Board; Recruitment and Retention Chair, National Gandhi Day of Service; Public Relations Vice Chair, School of Business Administration Senator, Student Government Senate; Individual Development Chair, Canes Catalyst; Committee on Student Organizations; President’s 100; Student Ambassador, Student Alumni Association; Omicron Delta Kappa; Foote Fellow; Isaac Singer Scholar; Bermont Carlin Scholar; Honors Research Scholar

Alexis Musick — President & Founder, Nourish International; Co-President, UM Alternative Breaks; Programming & Logistics Coordinator, Treasurer, Camp Kesem Miami; President & Project Coordinator, Art of Healing; Elections Commissioner, Campus Liaison Council, Freshman Leadership Council, Student Government; Newman Civic Fellow; Omicron Delta Kappa

Nadee Nissanka — Parliamentarian, Secretary, Vice President, Biomedical Graduate Student Government; PIBS Student Mentor; BGSG Teaching and Learning Committee; Exhibit Leader, Brain Fair; 2016 NIH/NIDDK F31 Fellowship; Bursary Travel Award for Mitocholdrial Medicine: Developing New Treatments for Mitochondrial Disease Conference; 2016 GSA Academic Excellence, Leadership and Service Award

Adrian Nuñez — Founder and Executive Director, TEDxUMiami; Program Coordinator, Orientation; Program Coordinator, Great Start; Freshman Leadership Council Project Coordinator, Student Government; Spirit Day Event Chair and King and Queen Chair, Homecoming Executive Committee; Committee Member, Miss University of Miami; Ambassador, Preisdent’s 100; Mentee, NASPA Undergraduate Fellow Program

Ashley Pittaluga — Vice-President, Student Government; Freshman Leadership Council Project Coordinator; Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, & Hurricane Howl Co-Chair, Homecoming Executive Committee; Board of Trustees Undergraduate Representative; UM Representative, NACA Leadership Institute; 2015 Iron Arrow Sophomore Leadership Award

Daniel Salahuddin — Gold Humanism Honor Society; Miller School of Medicine Admissions Committee; DOCS – Stonybrook Community Assistant Project Manager; Certified Application Counselor; President, Family Medicine Interest Group First Year Representative; Vice President, Student National Medical Association; Assistant Trip Coordinator, Caneshare; Global Health Scholar Award Recipient.

Allison Silverstein — Alpha Omega Alpha; Research Associate, Paul Farmer Global Surgery Fellowship; President, American Medical Women’s Association and Pediatrics Interest Group; Past National Board, Region 4 Director of the American Medial Women’s Association; Assistant Logistics Coordinator, & Project Manager, Department of Community Service, Trainer and Mentor, UMMSM Academic Societies

Samantha Spring — 2nd Vice President & Recording Secretary, Zeta Tau Alpha; Florida Zeta Lady Award; Vice President of Recruitment, UM Panhellenic Association; Secretary, Rho Lambda Honor Society; Vice Chair, Rathskellar Advisory Board; Outstanding Panhellenic Sophomore and Junior awards; Foote Fellow

Connor Verheyen — President, UConnect Undergraduate Research and Networking Organization; Chair, Engineering Student Ambassadors; Co-Founder, Co-President and National Liaison, Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science; Foote Fellow Mentor; Stamps & Singer Scholarship Interviewer; Amgen Scholar; Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society

Kevin Weaver — Program Leader, Department of Orientation; Marketing Intern, Athletics Department; Sigma Phi Epsilon; President’s 100; Executive Committee Homecoming; Clinton Global Initiative University Participant

Posted in Honors, News

The Launch Pad Celebrates Seven Years of Empowering Decision-Makers

The Launch Pad Celebrates Seven Years of Empowering Decision-Makers

By Maya Bell
UM News

Celebrating The Launch Pad’s anniversary are, from left, Adrian Alvarez, Sam Palmer Shields, Isabelle Martinez, Will Silverman, Elijah Kirkland-Andrews, Connor Masterson, and Robert Welbon.

Celebrating The Launch Pad’s anniversary are, from left, Adrian Alvarez, Sam Palmer-Shields, Isabelle Martinez, Will Silverman, Elijah Kirkland-Andrews, Connor Masterson, and Robert Welbon.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (August 26, 2015)—About one a day. That’s how many ideas walk into The Launch Pad at Toppel every year. Not by themselves, of course, but in the laptops, notebooks, sketchpads, hearts, and brains of University of Miami students and alumni yearning to start a new venture.

Over the past seven years, nearly 300 of those ideas have evolved into start-up companies and about 900 jobs, which by many measures would make the first-of-its kind resource center for budding entrepreneurs an unqualified success. But as The Launch Pad celebrated its seventh anniversary with an open house on Wednesday, co-founder William Scott Green, senior vice provost and dean of undergraduate education, and director Will Silverman said they measure success not by what The Launch Pad’s participants—or their businesses—make, but by what they learn.

And that’s incalculable.

“What we’re really doing is creating empowered decision-makers,’’ said Silverman, a former biomedical researcher who joined The Launch Pad as a Venture Coach at its inception in fall 2008 and became its director four years later. “We don’t tell people what to do. When they come in and say, ‘I want to sell cookies,’ we help them figure out what they mean by asking the right questions. Do they want to sell at farmer’s markets, or do they want to be the next Mrs. Fields?”’

And even though roughly 3,500 students and alumni have come to The Launch Pad hoping to start or strengthen their ventures, Green added, it is not a small business development corporation. “It is,” he said, “a fundamental exercise in experiential learning. The Launch Pad’s programs are co-curricular and voluntary, and each venture is unique. Students in The Launch Pad learn entrepreneurship individually, by trying it on, so to speak, to see if it fits them. That kind of learning tends to be durable, to stick with you.”

Lucy Calamari, who earned her business degree in 2013, knew she had to give it a try in 2011, when she heard about The Launch Pad, the first college center to promote entrepreneurship as a viable career option, at orientation.

“My first stop was here,” Calamari recalled, sitting inside The Launch Pad’s Whitten University Center office (it’s not really at the Toppel Career Center), while students lined up on the patio outside to learn about the guidance, encouragement, and networking opportunities Silverman and The Launch Pad staff and volunteers offer.

“I dropped in and said, ‘Hello, I’m Lucy, and you are going to see me a lot,’’ Calamari said. “I knew I wanted to make chocolates and I knew how to make my chocolates, but that’s all I knew. What my business was going to look like and how I was going to develop it, I had no clue.”

Three years later, Calamari’s Lucky Lucy Chocolates, with their distinctly South Florida flavors—including mango, key lime, mojito and café mocha—won the $10,000 grand prize in the alumni category of the University of Miami’s 2014 Business Plan Competition, hosted by the School of Business Administration.

That “seed money,” Calamari said, enabled her to learn another lesson and expand her line. “When you have more money to spend on raw materials, you spend less for it,” she said. “So I am doing well, making a living, and new products.”


The Launch Pad’s Sam Palmer-Shields hands out T-shirts to students at the open house celebrating the resource center’s seventh anniversary.

As Green enjoyed the sights and sounds of new students eager to learn more about The Launch Pad at the open house celebration, he noted there is no single recipe for entrepreneurial success, no set of skills, that once mastered, bestows a certificate in entrepreneurship. But on The Launch Pad’s seventh anniversary, he reflected on one key reason for its success:

“The Launch Pad is effective because all the businesses are authentic,” he said. “It’s not a theoretical exercise about a potential venture with a potential business plan. It’s for real.”

For more information about The Launch Pad, call 305-284-2789, visit The Launch Pad online, or drop by on the first floor of the Whitten University Center, room 1319.



Posted in Freeze Frame, News

Tropical Gastronomies Launches Culinary History Initiative

Tropical Gastronomies Launches Culinary History Initiative

By Sarah Block
Special to UM News

From left are Cristina Favretto, Norman Van Aken, Mandy Baca, and Gretchen Schmidt.

From left are Cristina Favretto, Norman Van Aken, Mandy Baca, and Gretchen Schmidt.

Local food experts reflected on South Florida’s abundant natural offerings, strong multicultural seasonings, and rich supply of untapped resources—all shaping the area’s evolving culinary landscape—during a panel discussion last week at UM Special Collections’ “Tropical Gastronomies,” featuring chef and cookbook author Norman Van Aken, food blogger and Edible South Florida editor Gretchen Schmidt, and author and historian Mandy Baca. 

Moderated by Special Collections Head Cristina Favretto, the discussion touched on well-established fares and flavors such as stone crabs, citrus, and mangos, the formation of Van Aken’s New World Cuisine, and how recent developments like the farm-to-table movement are shedding light on lesser-known edible flora and fauna.

The event was held as part of a UM Libraries-wide exhibition exploring the rich culinary traditions of South Florida, Cuba, and the Caribbean. Vintage restaurant postcards and menus, local organizational cookbooks, dining brochures from Pan American World Airlines, Inc., and other materials are on display from Special Collections. During the event, Favretto announced that Special Collections aims to further its collection of food- and cooking-related materials through the establishment of the Culinary History Collection of Florida, and is seeking donations of historical materials such as restaurant menus, local and regional recipe books, oral histories with chefs, and images of restaurants, grocery stores, and farmers markets

Individuals interested in contributing to the archive are encouraged to contact Special Collections at 305-284-3247 or asc.library@miami.edu.

Posted in Features, News

UM Joins Partnership for a Healthier America

UM Joins Partnership for a Healthier America

Healthier.PartnershipCORAL GABLES, Fla. (November 17, 2014)—The University of Miami is joining the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) in a three-year commitment to make its campus healthier by adopting guidelines around food and nutrition, physical activity, and programming.

PHA works with the private sector and honorary chair First Lady Michelle Obama to make healthier choices easier. In joining the partnership, this initiative will impact nearly 17,000 students and more than 14,000 faculty and staff on campus.

“The University of Miami is proud to be at the forefront of this national partnership,” said President Donna E. Shalala. “As one of 20 schools in the first cohort, the University has reaffirmed its commitment to creating a culture of wellness and fostering a healthy lifestyle for our students and campuses, in all aspects of daily life.”

Shalala served as secretary of Health and Human Services during the Clinton administration, and is currently co-chair of the Nutrition and Physical Activity Initiative under the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC).

The University’s new PHA initiative supports BPC’s 2012 report, “Lots to Lose: How America’s Health and Obesity Crisis Threatens our Economic Future,” which called on large institutions, including hospitals and universities, to procure and serve healthier foods using their market power to shift food supply chains and make healthier options more readily available.

The partnership was announced on Sunday, November 16 at the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) 2014 Annual Meeting & Exposition. UM is one of the first schools to sign on to PHA’s Healthier Campus Initiative, which includes 19 other colleges and universities, collectively impacting more than 500,000 students and 126,000 faculty and staff. Ashley Falcon, assistant director for wellness, represented UM at the APHA meeting.

The University’s commitments to the Partnership for a Healthier America include a wide range of health and wellness initiatives focusing on three key areas: food and nutrition, physical activity, and wellness programming. The commitments range from offering healthier food options at on-campus dining locations and supporting locally grown, sustainable menu items to developing physical activity guidelines for campus audiences and bolstering its already comprehensive wellness programming.

“Colleges and universities are in a unique position to help shape tomorrow’s leaders, whether they are teachers, coaches, policymakers, CEOs, moms, or dads,” said PHA Chief Executive Officer Lawrence A. Soler. “We know that going to college is a time of change for many students—we also know that means it’s a time when new habits are formed. By creating healthier food and physical activity environments today, campuses and universities are encouraging healthier habits that will carry over into tomorrow.”

Across campuses, the Herbert Wellness Center and UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center provide educational opportunities to raise awareness and develop wellness skills, while UM Dining Services provides healthy menu options, nutritional information, and the assistance of a registered dietician. The availability of fresh produce from the weekly farmer’s market and organic food buying club, both initiatives established by student organizations, further supplement these efforts by increasing the availability of healthy choices on campus.

For more information on PHA’s Healthier Campus Initiative, visit www.ahealthieramerica.org/campuses.

Posted in News

From Food to Finances, Meditation to Men’s Health, UM’s Week of Well-Being Promotes Holistic Health

UM News
By Robert C. Jones Jr.

Fidelity's Kathy Murphy with UM President Donna E. Shalala during one of the Week of Well-Being's many offerings.

Fidelity’s Kathy Murphy with UM President Donna E. Shalala during one of the Week of Well-Being’s many offerings.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (April 07, 2014) — It was a “wakeup call” for Kathy Murphy’s mother that came at the wrong time. With three of six children in college, her husband died at 57, leaving her to raise a family alone and figure out how to budget and save.

“We focused a lot on saving, but not investing,” Murphy, president of Fidelity Personal Investing, told an audience of about 300 University of Miami employees. Continue Reading

Posted in Features, Freeze Frame, News

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