President Shalala’s Advice to Women Commission: Connect Your Interests with Others

By Meredith Camel
UM News


President Shalala urged about 250 attendees at the annual Women’s Commision breakfast to “reach out and help someone, especially another sister.”

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 26, 2015)—Students often ask University President Donna E. Shalala how she wound up on President Bill Clinton’s cabinet, as the longest-serving secretary of health and human services in history. Her answer: “Look around the room and figure out which one of your friends is going to be president, and keep in touch!”

As keynote speaker of the University of Miami Women’s Commission’s 44th Annual Breakfast, Shalala emphasized the importance of networking—on an individual basis and through organizations like the Women’s Commission—to “connect your interests with others to make the biggest impact.” The remarkable impact of her 14 years as president earned her the commission’s 2015 May A. Brunson Award, which recognizes her unwavering efforts to improve the status of women at the University.

As reported in the commission’s annual Sun Spots and Cold Waves report, women presently hold 49 academic or administrative dean-level positions and 129 senior administrative positions, compared with 27 dean-level women and 21 female senior administrators in 2006. These and other positive changes are not the result of giant leaps but “hundreds of deliberate steps,” Shalala said, also noting that leadership is not about being a “queen bee” and staying above the fray; it’s about service and mentorship, making a living while also making a good life.

“You’re not counted unless you reach out and help someone, especially another sister,” Shalala told more than 250 attendees at the Student Activities Center.

Shalala, who will be leaving the University at the end of May, thanked the Women’s Commission for its tribute to her late mother, Edna, who was born in a time when women didn’t have the right to vote. She also acknowledged the value in forming coalitions with men in the ongoing push toward equality.

“I tell all the men I work with that I assume they’re all feminists committed to equal opportunity,” she said. “And if they’re not, they’d better tell me.”


Senior Noelle Mendez received the Louise P. Mills Award for her efforts to promote equality.

Following presentation of the May A. Brunson Award, the Women’s Commission recognized senior-year student Noelle Mendez with the Louise P. Mills Award for her commitment to equality as a leader in events such as Walk a Mile in Her Shoes and the Clothesline Project, her advocacy of improving self-image among the student body, and her work as a research assistant for the YES Institute.


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Ticket Distribution for Family Day with the Miami Marlins Begins This Week

In appreciation of the dedication and outstanding work of its employees, the University of Miami will host Family Day with the Miami Marlins on Saturday, May 2, at Marlins Park in Little Havana. The Marlins will take on the Philadelphia Phillies, which will be preceded by a lineup of special pregame activities.

Beginning this week, each regular employee, as well as contract employees, can pick up one complimentary ticket and purchase up to two additional tickets for $1 each; extra tickets will be available for $9 apiece. Children under 3 do not require tickets. Each ticket comes with a food voucher for a hot dog, chips, and a fountain drink or bottle of water.

You must have a valid ’Cane Card (UM ID) to receive your tickets; only one ID card per person will be permitted, and you cannot bring anyone else’s ID to purchase tickets for them. You can receive tickets only at a single ticket distribution session; you cannot go multiple times. If you plan to sit with other UM employees, you must pick up your tickets together, at the same time and distribution site. Cash only will be accepted for all ticket purchases. Family Day tickets will be available for sale at all ticket distribution sites on all days while quantities last.

Ticket distribution will begin Tuesday, March 31, and will continue on multiple dates thereafter. Contract employees must pick up their tickets at the Foote University Green location near the Richter Library. Miller School and University of Miami Hospital employees can pick up tickets at either the Miller School or UMH distribution sites.

Pregame and Postgame Activities
The event will feature pregame activities for the entire family. Family activities and entertainment will be located on the West Plaza from 2 to 3:15 p.m. Pregame on-field ceremonies will highlight the University of Miami.

Ticket Sale Dates

  • Coral Gables campus: Tuesday, March 31 (Foote University Green), Monday, April 13 (Foote University Green), and Thursday, April 23 (The Rock), from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Gables One: Tuesday, March 31, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the upper-level parking lot.
  • Miller School campus: Wednesday, April 1, Friday, April 17, and Wednesday, April 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Schoninger Quadrangle.
  • Rosenstiel School campus: Thursday, April 2, and Thursday, April 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Breezeway.
  • University of Miami Hospital: Tuesday, April 14 (Seminar Center A/B), from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Friday, April 24 (Seminar Center C), from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.



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See the Winning Design for Team UM’s Corporate Run/Walk T-Shirt

Corproate.Run T-shirtThe competition was stiff, but the University’s Culture Transformation Team has selected Isabel Vera’s design for the Dri-Fit T-shirts Team UM will wear in the 2015 Mercedes Benz Corporate Run/Walk.

Along with the theme for this year’s race—”At the U We Transform Lives”—the orange T-shirt features Sebastian on the front and the iconic U, formed by two hands, over the word “know” on the back.

“As in ‘U know, UM is it,”‘ said Vera, senior administrative assistant in Bascom Palmer Eye Institute’s Department of Surgery. “I was very surprised but very happy to win and look forward to seeing a lot of orange and green on race day.”

The 2015 Corporate Run/Walk is scheduled for Thursday, April 23, at 6:45 p.m. at Bayfront Park in downtown Miami. The T-shirt contest was sponsored by Human Resources, Well ’Canes, and the Herbert Wellness Center.

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Knight Foundation Grant to Help Fund New Recital Hall

By Julia Berg
Special to UM News


The generous gift will enable the Frost School of Music to move forward with the final design and construction of a “high-tech recital hall befitting its reputation.”

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 20, 2015) — The Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music at the University of Miami was awarded a $7.5 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to name and support construction of a new John S. and James L. Knight Recital Hall at the Frost School of Music, on UM’s Coral Gables campus.

Announced by Alberto Ibargüen, president and CEO of the Knight Foundation, at a March 8 community gathering at the Perez Art Museum Miami, the generous gift will be  combined with other donor pledges, including $2 million from the Paul J. DiMare Foundation and $1.2 million from Dorothy and David Weaver, to  enable the Frost School of Music to move forward with the final design and construction of the estimated $15 million project.

Knight Foundation’s naming gift also puts the Frost School of Music over its $40 million fundraising goal for Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami.

The Frost School, Ibargüen said, is already considered one of the top music schools in the country and will now “build a high-tech recital hall befitting its reputation.”

He announced the gift in conjunction with a total $25 million Knight Foundation investment in South Florida that also includes $5 million for the Perez Art Museum Miami, and $5 million for the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami. The balance will be allocated to fund challenge seed grants via the Knight Arts Challenge in South Florida through 2018.

“Great art defines and lifts the soul of a community. The arts create a sense of place and help bind us to each other with common experience. They help us explain the way we feel and represent who we are,” Ibargüen said. “Knight’s goal is to help build the community we all want to live in, a community where art is general and available to everyone, in all of our neighborhoods.”

The new Knight Recital Hall at the Frost School of Music, which is planned to seat approximately 200, will be designed for live acoustic and recorded music presentations, live streaming, multi-camera video projection, and other high-tech capabilities that will help meet the growing interactive performance needs of students and faculty of the Frost School, as well as the surrounding community.

The school presents more than 350 high-quality concerts, recitals, and events each academic year.

“This incredible endorsement from Knight Foundation will enable the Frost School of Music to build its vision of the recital hall of the future, with emphases on how to bring young audiences to classical and other treasured art music, partner with other arts organizations both regionally and nationally to premiere interactive multi-media creations, and broadcast the creativity of our students and faculty in groundbreaking ways,” said Shelly Berg, dean of the Frost School of Music.

Knight Foundation’s generosity has recently funded other key institutions in the Miami region, including a naming gift for the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, and major support for New World Symphony, Miami City Ballet, and Miami International Film Festival. Through the Knight Arts Challenge it continues to fund grassroots artists and arts organizations annually “that are providing fresh and innovative work so that everyone has a chance to make their idea a reality.”

The Frost School of Music was a recipient of a $500,000 Knight Arts Challenge grant three years ago to build its Henry Mancini Institute’s HMI: Outbound community outreach music program, to bring high-quality genre-blending chamber music programming to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and numerous public schools in Miami-Dade County.

The University of Miami recently dedicated its new Patricia Louise Frost Music Studios, a 41,089-square-foot twin-building complex featuring 77 multi-purpose chamber music and teaching studios, two extra-large studios, a reception and information center, and a furnished breezeway. Designed by award-winning architects Yann Weymouth and HOK and built by Skanska USA, the facility is touted as the first building project in Coral Gables designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification, with sustainable features such as energy-efficient windows, rooftop solar panels, and cisterns that reduce water and electricity usage.

The complex was made possible by the benefactors, Phillip and Patricia Frost, whose landmark gift back in 2003 renamed UM’s music school in their honor. Featuring a new grand entrance into the school, the studios honor Patricia Frost’s lifelong commitment to music education as an elementary school principal and higher education advocate.

Julia Berg can be reached at 305-284-4895.

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A Celebration of All Things Haiti

UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 23, 2015) – Haitian flags lined the walkway leading to the University of Miami’s Ashe Administration Building. Students, faculty, and staff sampled Haitian delicacies and looked at beautiful and amazingly detailed Haitian art displayed on tables at UM’s Rock plaza. And Haitian music filled the air, providing an ideal opportunity to learn some of the traditional dance moves of that island nation.

UM celebrated Haitian Culture Week on the Coral Gables campus March 23-27, kicking off five days of activities with an opening day ceremony of all things Haiti. “The week represented an excellent opportunity for the UM community to learn more about one of the most prominent cultures in Miami,” said Guerdiana Thelomar, president of the Haitian student organization Planet Kreyol, which organized the week of activities. “Oftentimes, Haiti is seen in a negative light, so we hope that through programs such as Haitian Culture Week we can show the beautiful, mystical, and vibrant side that people don’t often get a chance to experience when learning about Haiti.”

Other events included a panel discussion on the role Haitian Americans play in keeping the Haitian culture alive in the United States, the Miss Planet Kreyol Cultural Pageant, a Haitian-style carnival, and a day of service in Little Haiti. View the slideshow of the kickoff event.




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