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Toppel Career Center Executive Director Awarded Fulbright

Toppel Career Center Executive Director Awarded Fulbright

UM News

Christian Garcia

Christian Garcia

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (July 25, 2014)—Christian Garcia, the executive director of the Patricia and Harold Toppel Career Center, has received a Fulbright Scholar Program Award to participate in the US-Germany International Education Administrators Program. He will head to Germany in October for a two-week seminar designed to familiarize U.S. higher education administrators with Germany’s higher education system, society, and culture.

Garcia is among only 20 recipients of the Fulbright German study program, which is open to full-time college administrators who have significant involvement with international exchanges, alumni affairs, fundraising, or career services. He has plenty of experience with the latter. Joining the career center as associate director in 2001, he helped transform the center into one of the nation’s most innovative and dynamic, most recently spearheading its expansion and move to a new high-tech home on Ponce de Leon Boulevard.

He also serves on the board of directors of the National Association of Colleges and Employers, a Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based nonprofit that connects college career services and recruiting professionals interested in the employment of college graduates.

On his Fulbright, Garcia will spend the first week in Berlin, attending briefings and government meetings and visiting campuses and cultural events. During the second week, he’ll travel with a smaller group to other German cities.

The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by then-Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the longtime chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who had a profound influence on America’s foreign policy. His vision for mutual understanding shaped the prestigious exchange program that bears his name.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, it operates in over 155 countries worldwide and awards approximately 8,000 grants annually, but just a few hundred to teachers and professionals. U.S. and foreign students and scholars receive the overwhelming majority.

Posted in Briefly Noted, Honors, News

Nine UM Students, Alumni to Impact the World as 2013-2014 Fulbright Scholars

Nine University of Miami students and alumni have been selected to receive Fulbright awards to study, teach, and conduct research in eight different countries for the 2013-2014 academic year, continuing UM’s upward trend in student Fulbright grant recipients.

Of the nine awardees, eight have accepted the grant: Gary Bonnewell, Natalie Cain, Wendy Castillo, Shersil Prentice, Megan Roy, Juan Pablo Ruiz, and Cheryl Walker are among the approximately 1,700 U.S. citizens who will travel overseas as part of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Marie Hanewinckel will spend this summer in Wales as a Fulbright Summer Institute participant.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

Gary “David” Bonnewell (B.S. ’13, Applied Physics and German) has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) grant to instruct students in Germany in English language and U.S. culture. Bonnewell has several years of experience as a tutor, mentor, and camp counselor and has developed a strong love of the German language and culture as a German Studies major at UM. He is considering a career as an educator after his Fulbright teaching experience.

Natalie Cain (B.A. ’13, International Studies) has been awarded a Fulbright Study Grant to research the occurrence of the Triatomine insect, which causes Chagas disease, as it correlates to seasonal changes in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Founder and president of the UM Chapter of United Against Infectious Diseases, Cain has participated in health-related volunteering and study programs throughout Latin America and is fluent in Spanish. She plans to enroll in a dual degree M.D./M.P.H. program upon returning to the U.S.

Wendy Castillo (M.S.Ed. ’13, Education and Social Change) plans to use the skills she has gained as a Teach for America corps member to teach English language and U.S. culture to Mexican students on a Fulbright ETA grant. She will enrich her classroom in Mexico by sharing dance moves from her hip-hop dancing background and incorporating dance into her pedagogy. Castillo plans to enroll in a doctoral program in education policy after the Fulbright grant year.

Marie Hanewinckel (B.A. Candidate 2015, International Studies and Political Science) will travel to the United Kingdom to participate in the 2013 Fulbright Summer Institute in Wales. Foote Fellow and head delegate of the UM Model United Nations Team, Hanewinckel is the first UM recipient of this unique undergraduate US-UK Fulbright award, which provides a six-week cultural and academic program held at three internationally renowned Welsh universities—Cardiff University, Bangor University, and Aberystwyth University—and focuses on the theme of “Contemporary Wales: Industry, Politics, Culture and Change.”

Shersil Prentice (B.A. ’13, Political Science) will teach English language and lead other school-related activities on a Fulbright ETA grant in Malaysia. A 2011 Benjamin A. Gilman Scholar, she has served as a tutor for all types of students—from kindergartners to undergraduates—and holds minors in education and business administration. Upon returning to the U.S., Prentice plans to teach at the elementary or secondary level for a few years before pursuing a Ph.D. in Education Policy with a Master of Public Policy.

Megan Roy (B.M.  ’13, Music Education) will teach English language and U.S. Culture to university students on a Fulbright ETA grant in Poland. A member of the Iron Arrow Society and an accomplished trombonist and jazz vocalist in her own right, Roy plans to incorporate in the classroom her love for jazz and helping others express themselves. After her Fulbright year, Roy will attend William Paterson University to pursue a Master’s of Music in Jazz Studies and Performance.

Juan Pablo Ruiz (B.S. ’13, Biomedical Engineering and English) has been awarded a Fulbright Study Grant to conduct research at the Tsetse and Trypanosome Research Institute in Tanzania on species diversity of trypanosomes in wildlife populations in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and their role in African Trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness). A 2012 Goldwater Scholar, Ruiz has published journal articles related to his research on stem cells. He spent a summer in Tanzania repairing medical equipment at a government hospital as part of the Engineering World Health program. Upon returning from Tanzania, he will study biomedical sciences at Oxford University with the support of a Gilliam Fellowship and NIH/Oxford-Cambridge Scholarship.

Cheryl Walker (B.A. ’12, Music) has been awarded a Fulbright ETA grant to teach English language and U.S. culture to students in Germany. She will draw on her love of teaching and German culture to create a meaningful educational experience for her students, as well as conduct research for a family biography she plans to write. Her professional goal is to teach literature of modern German authors in U.S. high schools.

Monika Freiser, a third-year medical student in the Honors Program in Medicine, has been selected as an alternate for a Fulbright grant to Sweden.

The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support. The program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide. Many Fulbright alumni go on to earn the top honors in their fields, including the Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize.

The UM campus deadline for 2014-2015 U.S. student Fulbright applicants is August 12.  Click here for details.


Posted in Features, News

2012-2013 UM Fulbright Scholars Announced

Seven UM students have been awarded 2012-2013 Fulbright scholarships to study, teach, and conduct research abroad. The recipients are among the approximately 1,700 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2012-2013 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and represent the largest class to date of outbound UM Student Fulbright Scholars.

Jethro Cessant ’12 (English Teaching Assistant Grant, South Korea) intends to use his experience as an ESL teacher and former ESL student to impart knowledge of the English language to his students in a way that will build up their confidence. A double major in International Finance and Marketing (School of Business Administration) and Psychology (College of Arts and Sciences), he also hopes to intern at a local business firm as a way to further exchange knowledge about U.S. and Korean culture.

Leah Danville ’12 (English Teaching Assistant Grant, Malaysia) plans to emphasize experiential learning to bring a diverse and comprehensive understanding of English language to the Malaysian classroom. As an African-American female, she hopes to provide students with a different perspective of American English and culture. Leah, who graduated from UM’s School of Communication, also looks forward to contributing to the preservation of Malaysia’s social and natural wealth through community service.

Justin Pressman ’12 (Study Grant, Russia), a graduate of the Frost School of Music, will study orchestral conducting at the Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg Conservatory under the tutelage of maestro Leonid Korchmar. He also plans to intern at the Mariinsky Theater in order to further his understanding of the musical and administrative aspects needed to be a successful conductor.

Stephanie Ruiz ’12 (English Teaching Assistant Grant, Turkey) was previously exposed to Turkish culture and language as an exchange student at Koc University in Istanbul, which will help her foster a positive dialogue with her students. Outside the classroom Ruiz, a graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences, will engage in community service programs, such as minority education initiatives.

Jill Ulrich ’11 (Study Grant, Germany) will conduct anti-malarial drug research at the University of Heidelberg’s state-of-the-art parasitology lab under the guidance of Michel Lanzer. Her research will point to new policies for malaria treatment programs by furthering the understanding of Plasmodium’s drug resistance mechanisms. A graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences, Ulrich intends to involve herself with the German Society of Parasitology “Young Parasitologists” Program and entertain her love of salsa dancing at the small Salsa Academy in Heidelberg.

Carolyn Zimmerman, Doctoral Candidate, Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences (Study Grant, Italy) will examine the military defeat of Siena in 1555 and examine how an elite civic and academic culture responded to the forced shift in their moral, social, religious, and gendered values resulting from their newly dependent status.

Jessica Zucker ’12 (English Teaching Assistant Grant, South Korea) plans to use her role as an ETA to encourage her students to pursue their dreams. Drawing on her leadership experience at UM, where she was a student in the College of Arts and Sciences, Zucker hopes to institute Women’s Lacrosse and Model UN teams at her Korean school to help her students develop confidence outside the classroom.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 300,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists in more than 150 countries the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

The UM campus deadline for 2013-2014 U.S. Student Fulbright applicants is August 13, 2012.  Click here for details.

Posted in News

UM Fulbright Scholars Set to Embark on Research Adventures Around the World

UM Fulbright Scholars Set to Embark on Research Adventures Around the World

Fulbright scholars, from left, Liz Rebecca Alarcon, Chirag Gheewala, and Rachel Libby will soon embark on research endeavors in Costa Rica, Spain, and the Dominican Republic, respectively. Photo courtesy Meg Pukel

The University of Miami had ten students from all degree levels and five different schools recommended to the 2011-12 Fulbright Program by a national selection committee. Of those ten, six were selected as grantees and one as an alternate.

“That’s definitely the most Fulbrights granted to UM students ever in one year,” says Kefryn Block Reese, director of Prestigious Awards and Fellowships.

Five of the six grantees have accepted the awards and will participate in what is the largest U.S. international exchange program that offers opportunities for students, scholars, and professionals to study, conduct research, and teach at schools around the world. It was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by then-Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright. Continue Reading

Posted in Features

Miami Law Alumnus Named Microsoft General Counsel

Miami Law Alumnus Named Microsoft General Counsel

By Mary Lynn Lyke
Special to UM News

Horacio Gutierrez 2013

Horacio Gutierrez

CORAL GABLES. Fla. (November 10,2015)—Microsoft Corporation has elevated Miami Law alumnus Horacio Gutierrez to the post of general counsel. Gutierrez, who joined the leading tech company after earning his J.D. from the University of Miami in 1998, has served as Microsoft’s corporate vice president and deputy general counsel since 2006. As general counsel, he will head Microsoft’s large team of legal, regulatory, and corporate affairs professionals throughout the globe.

Robert T. Maldonado, national president of the Hispanic National Bar Association, called Gutierrez “a role model to Latino law students and lawyers across the country.”

When he came to the University of Miami School of Law, Gutierrez already had three legal degrees. He was also a full-time international consultant for a Miami law firm. But the native Venezuelan needed a J.D. degree before he could sit for the state bar, so he signed onto an exhausting schedule at Miami Law.

He studied at night, on weekends, in the summer, working full time, helping raise his family, and graduating summa cum laude. “Were it not for the understanding that the dean of the law school and the dean of students had of my situation, the flexibility they showed, the mentorship they offered me to be able to navigate the requirements, I may not have gone to law school and attained a J.D. anywhere in the U.S.,” said Gutierrez, a distinguished 50-year-old who speaks with a light Latin American lilt, his hands emphasizing his words.

Since 2006 he has held the influential role of corporate vice president and deputy general counsel in charge of Microsoft’s worldwide intellectual property group, responsible for protecting, developing, and maintaining a massive portfolio of more than 37,000 patented innovations. In this role, Gutierrez waged and won his share of fierce legal battles protecting Microsoft’s patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. It’s a Herculean task at a company that invests more than $10 billion a year on research and development innovations.

But he became best known for his skills as a savvy deal-maker, an IP boss whose Microsoft team would rather negotiate than litigate, cutting headline-grabbing licensing agreements with the Novells, Nokias, and Samsungs of the high-tech world.

Licensing agreements allow companies to use intellectual property rights as a kind of currency to trade with one another and make deals in a “business-like manner,” outside courts, said Gutierrez.

Bartering IP rights is a new way of doing business in an era of rapid-fire technological advances. It speeds products to market faster and spurs innovation, said Gutierrez. Several decades ago, a company might have created every component of its products in-house. Today, a single product from a company can have patented components from hundreds of companies.

Gutierrez points to the smartphone, which contains what might have been dozens of devices a decade ago. It’s a phone, a digital music player, a GPS device, a high-definition camera, and video recorder. Apply a software-enabled app and it can be almost anything: flashlight, star-finder, Scrabble board, drawing tablet. All those separate components are developed by separate companies with separate patents, linked through a 21st-century labyrinth of licensing.

“When you get any consumer electronics product in your house—a television set, a stereo—you pull it out, unwrap it, plug it into the wall, and you start using it. You can feel it, see it, touch it. What you don’t see is the intricate web of intellectual property licensing arrangements that preceded the purchase of the device by you and existed among dozens of Asian, European, and U.S. companies,” said the Miami Law alumnus, who was named the No. 1 most influential global IP market maker by the Intellectual Asset Management Report.

Along with a reputation for making deals, Gutierrez, who was the Hispanic National Bar Association Region XVI President for Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington from 2012 to 2014, has earned a reputation for making a difference in his field. He founded the groundbreaking HNBA/Microsoft Intellectual Property Law Institute, a week-long program that introduces Latino law students to the profession and its practitioners. The goal is to boost what he describes as the “severely” low number of Hispanics practicing IP law.

“The HNBA is proud that such an active and committed member of the HNBA family continues to rise through the ranks of the corporate legal and tech community,” said Maldonado. “We commend Horacio not only for his professional achievements, but also for his dedication to advancing the cause of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.”

Gutierrez grew up a lawyer’s son in Maracaibo, Venezuela. At the age of 16, he talked his parents into letting him move to the capital of Caracas to study law at the prestigious Universidad Católica Andrés Bello; on summer break, he enrolled in his first software coding class and “fell in love.”

At the Caracas university, he earned two degrees: a bachelor of laws degree and a specialization diploma in corporate and commercial law. Degree No. 3 brought him to America for studies as a Fulbright Scholar at Harvard Law School. He earned his LL.M. there in 1991.

Studying for his fourth degree at Miami Law, Gutierrez, who’d come from a civil law background in Venezuela, immersed himself in the U.S. common law system, taking foundational courses in constitutional law, contracts, torts, and other building blocks of the American legal system. He weighed the two systems, studying differences and commonalities. “For me, every class was an exercise in comparative law.”

He describes the environment at Miami Law as encouraging and supportive. Over the course of his studies, his professors became his mentors and his friends. Many remain so today. “That experience is unlike anything I had anywhere else,” said Gutierrez, who has also served as adjunct lecturer at the school and in 2013 was named Lawyer for the Americas by the school’s Inter-American Law Review.

Gutierrez had just graduated from Miami Law when Microsoft started calling. He signed on in 1998 as lead attorney for corporate and commercial legal matters in most of Latin America and the Caribbean. The software giant’s “cutting-edge legal opportunities” have immersed him in everything from international contracts to cross-border counterfeiting, government surveillance, telecommunications, and privacy rights. Before taking the IP lead, he had a four-year stint in Paris as associate general counsel for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. More recently he had taken on a new leadership role as corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Microsoft’s products and services group.

A year before his promotion to general counsel was announced this November 6, the keen legal scholar told Miami Law Magazine he was ready for whatever came next. “No one at Microsoft has put a limitation on what I am expected to do,” he said. “And I certainly haven’t put one of myself.”

An earlier version of this article originally appeared in the Fall 2014 issue of Miami Law Magazine.



Posted in Appointments, News

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