United Black Students Kick Off Black Awareness Month

BAMIn a ceremony honoring the many achievements of African-Americans and other people of color, United Black Students kicked off its annual Black Awareness Month celebration last week, continuing a tradition that began in 1962 when the month-long observance of important people and events in the history of the African Diaspora began. From panel discussions and lectures to gospel music performances and a step show, this year’s BAM, with its “Black By Popular Demand” theme offers a full slate of activities.


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New Service Brings Food to Your Doorstep

Favor2Building on the success of Tapingo, a mobile app that enables faculty, staff, and students in a hurry to pre-order ready-to-go meals on campus, UM Dining Services and Student Government have just introduced Favor, an app that allows members of the University community to have menu items from UM’s retail eateries delivered wherever they are on campus in an average of 30 minutes.

“We felt there was a huge necessity for delivery–whether you’re studying in the library for finals or don’t have a moment to come up for air from a project,” Rylee Bowles, Student Government liaison for Dining Services said. “Facilitating a delivery program was a high priority in our initiatives this semester.”

To take advantage of the delivery service, just download the Favor app on your iPhone or Android, order from any UM Dining retail location (excluding the Outtakes convenience stores), then kick up your heels until your delivery arrives. The delivery service, which began on the Coral Gables campus on Monday, February 1, operates daily from 11 a.m. to midnight, and costs $3 for orders of any size but first-time users can have the delivery fee waived by entering the code UOFMIAMI.

For more information about Favor, contact Amanda Goodwin at 305-284-4577 or amg425@miami.edu.

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Career Center Honors Inaugural Toppel Award Winners

By By Bárbara Gutiérrez
UM News


Christian Garcia and Roberta Goode

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 4, 2016)—Often it takes a village to get an internship, a job, and a career. That was the message behind the Toppel Career Center’s inaugural Toppel Awards, which were presented Thursday during a ceremony in the BankUnited Center’s Hurricane 100 room.

Toppel honored nine people, companies, and organizations that are promoting and encouraging professional development among themselves and others during the luncheon that drew more than 100 invited guests.

“It is clear that career education does not only happen within the walls of a career center,” said Christian Garcia, associate dean and executive director of the Toppel Career Center. “It happens across campus, inside classrooms, at internship sites, and more.”

Wearing her Iron Arrow jacket, honoree Roberta Goode, a professor in the College of Engineering’s Biomedical Engineering Department, accepted the Excellence in Career Education Award for her outstanding work in mentoring students and preparing them to enter the workforce.

Goode, who founded a course to help students transition from the theoretical world of engineering into the practical, real-life biomedical field, said the honor was very personal to her.

“After graduating from UM 18 years ago, I found myself struggling in the first job because I did not know FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulations or laws that govern the practice,” she said. “I was given the chance to teach a course (which included laws and regulations) to UM students, and now they’ll never struggle the way I did.”

Also tapped for an award was undergraduate Marian Li, who received the Student of the Year Award in the undergraduate category. Li, who majored in business administration and graduated in December with a Bachelor of Science in Health Science, credits the Toppel Career Center for her success. She worked there for two years, first as a receptionist than as a peer counselor who critiqued résumés and advised other students.

Following the advice of Toppel counselors, she participated in several internships in the health field that proved instrumental in her nabbing a full-time job at AON Hewitt, a human resources and outsourcing company.

“Going to work at Toppel every day kept me focused on my goal of getting a job,” said Li. “The professional staff there gave me wonderful opportunities and even provided great advice that I would have never imagined I needed.”

In the category of Private Employer of the Year, the Nielsen Company took the honors. Nielsen has partnered with UM for the past seven years and has hired more than 20 UM graduates. Their program fosters relationships between their employees, many of whom are UM graduates, and UM students. Through the internship program they provide mentoring and career coaching to all participants.

During the luncheon, each winner received a plaque with an inspirational quote designed by Gapingvoid, the agency that created the inspirational cartoons that grace Toppell’s walls.

Garcia also recognized the invaluable contributions of Patricia and Harold Toppel, whose generous donations established the center and allowed it to transform into one of the nation’s leading career centers.

The Toppel Awards were judged by a selection committee made up of students, University staff and faculty, and recruiters who could provide unbiased reviews of the nominees, said Garcia.

The winners in other categories were:

Distinguished Administrator: Susie Picar, UM assistant director of student employment

Student Group of the Year: Student Government

Student of the Year (Graduate): Alexander Kreymerman

Internship of the Year: Estefan Enterprises

Recruiter of the Year: Steve Hunsicker, from the Peace Corps

Employer of the Year (Not-for-profit/public): U.S. Marine Corps

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Expert to Lead Planning for LGBTQ Center

UM News


Ronni Sanlo

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 3, 2016)—The University of Miami has announced that it will increase the resources available to support students of all gender identities and sexual orientations by establishing a dedicated center on campus. To plan the scope of what the center should offer, the University has engaged Ronni Sanlo, a foremost expert on LGBTQ issues in the realm of higher education, to conduct a series of meetings to create strategic plans for the UM center.

A forum for UM students will take place at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, February 16. The next day, Wednesday, February 17, Sanlo will lead a daylong strategic-planning session with the UM community, including faculty, staff, and alumni. To participate, register by Friday, February 12. The planning session will be followed on Wednesday, February 17 by Letters to Anita, the award-winning documentary about Sanlo, who lost custody of her childcare after she came out as a lesbian. Doors open at 7 p.m. for the 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. screening, which takes place at UM’s Cosford Cinema.

“Dr. Sanlo is one of higher education’s most sough-after experts on LGBTQ issues,” said Pat Whitely, vice president for student affairs. “I am delighted she has accepted our invitation to join us at UM as we seek to create a truly first-rate and inclusive LGBTQ Center.”

A Miami Beach native who formerly served as an HIV/AIDS epidemiologist for the Florida Health Department, Sanlo is the director emeritus of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center at UCLA, where she served as the senior associate dean of students and professor/director of the UCLA Masters of Education in Student Affairs.

She previously served on the higher education faculty at California State University Fullerton, and as director of the University of Michigan LGBT Center.

Sanlo is the founding chair of the Consortium of Higher Education Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Professionals, and is the originator of the award-winning Lavender Graduation commencement event, which the University of Miami first held in 2015.

The screening of Letters to Anita at the Cosford Cinema is free and open to the public, but RSVP is required by February 12. Sanlo will be on hand to answer questions following the film.

For more information, email lgbtq@miami.edu.


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Senate Taps Two Sylvester Faculty for Top Honors

Special to UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 3, 2015) — Two of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center’s most esteemed practitioners — Laurence R. Sands, M.D., M.B.A., a renowned colorectal surgeon, and Eugene R. Schiff, M.D., one of the world’s leading authorities on liver diseases — have been unanimously selected by the Faculty Senate to receive two of its most prestigious awards, the Outstanding Teaching Award and the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award.

Among the University’s highest honors, the awards will be presented along with two previously announced awards at the 2016 Faculty Senate Awards Ceremony on Monday, April 11.

Laurence R. Sands

Laurence R. Sands

 Sands, professor of clinical surgery and chief of the Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery, was selected as this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Teaching Award for his distinguished record and commitment to providing students with the highest quality education and for inspiring them to strive for success.

A leader in the use of minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery for colon cancer, Sands is involved in every element of surgical education for medical students and post-graduate trainees and is known for using his energy and talent to provide students with the best education at every opportunity. For example, in response to a major concern of residents and students about the balance of clinical service and educational opportunities, he reorganized clinical/surgical rotations to increase educational opportunities.

Demonstrating their gratitude for his inspiration and dedication to their education, the Miller School’s 2011 graduating class selected Sands for the 2010 George Paff Teaching Award.

Schiff, the director of the Schiff Center for Liver Diseases and Leonard Miller Professor of Medicine, will be honored at the April ceremony for his outstanding scholarly achievements. He will also present a short lecture on his research.

For decades, Schiff and his late father, Leon, a renowned gastroenterologist and hepatologist, led the University’s clinical research aimed at developing improved treatments and cures for hepatitis B, C and D, cirrhosis, and the entire spectrum of liver and biliary tract disorders.

In 2011, the younger Schiff became the first holder of the Dr. Nasser Ibrahim Al-Rashid Chair in the Division of Hepatology and director of the new Schiff Center for Liver Diseases, the successor to the informal Center for Liver Diseases he and his father established in 1982.

Eugene R. Schiff

Eugene R. Schiff

Co-editor of the Eleventh Edition of Schiff’s Diseases of the Liver, Schiff has authored and co-authored more than 400 articles, books, and book chapters concerning liver diseases and related topics. He is the past president of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, past chairman of the Biliary Section of the American Gastroenterological Association and was governor of the American College of Physicians for the state of Florida for four years. He was a member of the Gastroenterology Subspecialty Board of the American Board of Internal Medicine and former Chair of the FDA Advisory Committee on gastrointestinal drugs. He is also the recipient of numerous honors and awards.

The Faculty Senate previously voted to honor School of Law Professor Richard L. Williamson with its James W. McLamore Outstanding Service Award and, for the first time, to bestow a Special Faculty Senate Award posthumously, honoring the life and work of Eckhard Podack, a distinguished cancer researcher and educator at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center who passed away October 8.

All members of the University community are invited to attend the awards ceremony, which will begin at 5 p.m. at Storer Auditorium at the School of Business Administration, and will be followed by a reception.

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