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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

Honoring the Best of the Best

UM News

Patricia Abril and David Graf

Patricia Abril and David Graf

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 9, 2018)—The Faculty Senate voted unanimously at its January meeting to bestow the 2018 Outstanding Teaching Award on Patricia Abril, a vice dean and professor of business law at the Miami Business School, and the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award on historian and archeologist David F. Graf, a world authority on Rome’s ancient Arabian client-kingdom, Nabataea.

Both professors will receive their awards at the Faculty Senate Awards Ceremony on Monday, April 16, when Stuart A. Miller, chair emeritus and longtime member of the University of Miami Board of Trustees, also will be honored with the Senate’s James W. McLamore Outstanding Service Award. The Senate selected Miller for one of its highest honors in November.

Abril, vice dean of graduate business programs, will be recognized for her excellence and distinguished record of teaching. She joined the Business School faculty in 2004, after practicing law and working for the Univisión Network in a business capacity. Her popular courses, many of which she developed, include all aspects of business law, business ethics, and negotiation.  She is known among her students for her interactive classes and mentorship.

Her research interests include intellectual property and privacy law, and she has served on national committees shaping legislation on privacy.

A graduate of Harvard Law School, Abril has received numerous awards for excellence in teaching at the Business School, and a number of national awards for excellence in scholarship, research, and career achievement.

Graf, the director of the Joint Saudi-American Jurash Project and the Hellenistic Petra Project (Jordan) in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Religious Studies, will be recognized for his outstanding scholarly achievements. He will present a short lecture on his research at the ceremony, which the University community is invited to attend.

A specialist in the Greco-Roman world in the Levant and Arabia, Graf just returned from a leave in Jerusalem, where, as the Seymour Gitin Distinguished Professor at the Albright Institute for Archaeological Research, he wrote a monograph on the history of the Nabataeans, an ancient people who claimed what is now Petra, Jordan, a UNESCO World Heritage site, as the capital of their kingdom.

A member of the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, Graf received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. A 2003 Fulbright Scholar in Saudi Arabia and an NEH fellow in Jordan (2014), he has excavated in Turkey, Israel, Jordan, and Egypt. He is the co-editor of the multi-volume Anchor Bible Dictionary (1992), author of Rome and Its Arabian Frontier from the Nabataeans to the Saracens (1997) and more than 130 scholarly articles.

The awards ceremony will be held at 5 p.m. on Monday, April 16, at the Newman Alumni Center.

Posted in Honors, News

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