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Lake Osceola Bridge a Living Laboratory for Students

By Barbara Gutierrez
UM News

From left are Omid Gooranorimi, Carlos Morales, and Guillermo Claude.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (August, 27, 2015)—Students from the College of Engineering and School of Architecture got some real-world experience recently when they spent time at the construction site of the Lake Osceola bridge that will span the lake and give pedestrians an easier route across campus.

Wearing hard hats and sweating under the sweltering sun, the students, under the direction of Antonio Nanni, professor and chair of the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, and staff from Moss Construction, helped install reinforcement bars made of fiber reinforced polymer (FRP), instead of standard steel. The FRP bars do not corrode easily and stand the test of time.

They also installed 16 sensors that will lie underneath the concrete to monitor the stability of the structure.

“This is part of the research and work that we do in civil engineering,” said Guillermo Claude, a Ph.D. student in engineering. “We get our hands dirty and have the opportunity to carry out real work. It is a great opportunity for us students.”

Slated to open in early October, the 210-foot-long bridge will stretch from the Lakeside Patio to the Billings Walkway that borders the Eaton Residential College parking lot.

For now, it has become a living laboratory for the students who are learning the ins and outs of bridge construction.

“It is great for UM to invest in us this way,” said Omid Goornarorimi, a second-year Ph.D. student in engineering. “These sensors that we are installing will help us monitor the stability of the bridge over time.”

For Italian-born Marco Rossini, a civil engineering student from Politecnico di Milan, who is working on his master’s degree and spending the academic year at UM, the bridge project provides a unique opportunity.

“I would never have this chance back at home,” he said. “I am so grateful to the University of Miami for the chance to get real experience.”

 

 

 

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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.”

LaunchPad1

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.

 

 

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Community Leader Stanley Arkin Passes Away

Stanley Arkin

Stanley Arkin

UM News

CORAL GABLES. Fla. (August 27, 2025)—Stanley Arkin, a lifelong Hurricane, civic leader, and volunteer who chaired the board of governors at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute’s Anne Bates Leach Eye Hospital (ABLEH), passed away August 22, leaving an enduring mark on the institutions and community he loved. He was 82.

A 1953 graduate of the University of Miami, Arkin was a life member of the University of Miami’s Board of Trustees. As chairman of ABLEH’s board of governors from 1995 to earlier this year, he oversaw initiatives that resulted in the expansion of the hospital’s surgical suites and the renovation of its patient care areas, lobby, and waiting rooms.

“Stanley will never be forgotten at Bascom Palmer,” said Eduardo Alfonso, chairman of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. “He provided guidance and wisdom to all of us who had the good fortune to work with him.  First as a volunteer, and then as chairman of the board of governors, he dedicated his heart, time, and energy to the institute that he loved.”

As president of Arkin Construction, Arkin built many projects in South Florida, including parts of Mount Sinai Medical Center, the Miami Beach Hilton, and the Miami Beach Jewish Community Center. After his retirement, he formed Arkin Consulting and worked on such projects as the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Braman Management, and Jungle Island. He also served on the Miami Beach City Commission from 1984 to 1991.

“Stanley Arkin was just a wonderful human being with a passion for Bascom Palmer and a life member of the Board of Trustees,” former UM President Donna E. Shalala told The Miami Herald. “He was always the first to volunteer.”

Arkin was predeceased by his wife of 56 years, Jill, who often accompanied him to Bascom Palmer and was known for her grace and elegance. He is survived by their three sons, Bradley, Robert and Gregory; three grandchildren; and his brother Jules.

Donations in Arkin’s memory may be sent to Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, to the attention of the Development Department, 900 NW 17th Street, Miami, FL 33136.

 

 

 

 

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Nominate a Junior or Senior for the 2015 Professional Development Academy Class by September 4

Professional Development AcademyThe Toppel Career Center invites faculty, staff, and administrators to nominate a junior or senior student for the Fall 2015 Professional Development Academy class. The academy is an intensive program designed to help students develop knowledge and skills necessary for career success. The program allows participants to explore critical professional proficiencies identified by employers. Proficiency areas include Workplace Professionalism, Critical Thinking and Reasoning, and Communication.

Applications for this elite program are being accepted until Friday, September 4. To nominate a student, please email Esther Lamarre the following information: the student’s name and email address, and a brief message indicating why the student would be a good fit for the academy.

For more information, contact Esther Lamarre at 305-284-1820.

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Proudly Out and Online

LGBTQ AlliesThe World Wide Web made its public debut in 1991—the same year the GLBC became the University of Miami’s first official group for gay, lesbian, and bisexual students. The Internet has grown exponentially over the last 24 years, and so has the University’s commitment to supporting members of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions. New to the Web this fall is miami.edu/lgbtq, featuring information on programs, events, and campus resources for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) students. The site also includes a link to the IBIS (I Believe in Solidarity) Ally Network, a group of UM faculty, staff, and students who completed an intensive training session on ways to help LGBTQ students thrive on campus. Miami.edu/lgbtq is the first online resource dedicated to serving the needs of our LGBTQ ’Canes and allies.

 

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