Commission Sees ‘Sunspots’ When Charting Women’s Progress on Campus

By Meredith Camel
UM News

WomensCommissionCORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 16, 2014)—Of the 13,600-plus employees at the University of Miami today, the majority (63.2 percent) are women. But back in 1971, when 11 concerned women founded the University’s Women’s Commission, female faculty, employees, and students were far less represented here and on college campuses nationwide.

Over the years, the Women’s Commission has advised the administration on ways to open opportunities for women—so much so, that 611 of the 927 promotions taking place in 2014 went to women.

These facts are a few “sunspots” in the current climate of female employment at the U that Wilhemena Black, program administrator for Workplace Equity and Performance, shared with members of the Women’s Commission last Wednesday, October 15.

Black noted that the University has been tracking data on women in its workforce since the mid-1990s. While her department distributes a fact sheet called “Sunspots and Cold Waves” every March at the Women’s Commission’s annual breakfast, last week’s lunchtime presentation in the University Center delved deeper into the numbers that highlight the prominent roles women play at the U—from senior administration positions to faculty appointments to clerical posts. Minority women who work at the U is another data point that Black and her colleagues are now charting.

One area of employment where men largely outnumber women is on the University’s faculty, though the gap has been closing gradually over time. Understanding these data, Black explained, can help inform the University’s recruitment and search committee strategies.

“Generally there is a philosophy with respect to diversity here at the University, and our workforce is a reflection of that commitment to diversity,” Black said.

For more information on the Women’s Commission, including upcoming events, visit the group’s facebook page.



Posted in NewsComments (0)

Animate Your Story during Homecoming and Alumni Weekend

The University of Miami’s Homecoming 2014 festivities kicks off at 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 23 with the Opening Ceremony at the Lakeside Patio, featuring the movie Ratatouille and a dessert competition called “Cooking Up Some U Spirit.”

“Animate Your Story” is this year’s homecoming theme, honoring Disney’s Pixar Animation with ’Cane spirit. Other activities include:

Hurricanes Help the Hometown: “Together, Even the Smallest Can Achieve the Greatest Goal,” which will bring students together on Saturday, October 25 for a day of service. Registration begins at 9 a.m. at the Lakeside Patio.

Blood Drives on Monday, October 27 and Tuesday, October 28, when students, faculty, staff, administrators, and other employees are encouraged to “Fill Your Quota” and donate blood in the Student Activities Center Grand Ballroom from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Donors must present a valid ’Cane Card.

Organized Cheer: Students will show the campus how U’ve Got a Friend in Me” on Monday, October 27 at 7 p.m. on the SCC Lakeside Patio Stage. Inspired by the animated movie Toy Story, campus organizations are assigned a character from the movies to show their UM spirit through funny scripts and entertaining dances for a night of fun performances.

On-Campus Service Project: On Tuesday, October 28 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., SAC Activities Rooms North and South will be filled with students, faculty, staff, administrators, and other employees to help create hygiene kits for the nonprofit organization Clean the World. Just like in Monsters, Inc., the event “2319!” will not only count for organization participation points but also give back to the global community.

Homecoming King & Queen:  The competition will be held Wednesday, October 29 at 8 p.m. in the SAC Grand Ballroom. Twelve contestants—six females and six males—will participate in the “Superhero Showdown” with an introduction, spirit round, talent round, and poise round.

Alma Mater Singing Competition: Organizations will “Just Keep Singing, Singing, Singing” during preliminaries on Friday, October 24 at 6 p.m. in the Rathskeller as they sing the alma mater, a creative rendition of it, and continue with a ’Canes twist to other songs. The top three will continue to the finals on Thursday, October 30 at 10:45 a.m. at the SCC Rock Plaza.

Spirit Tree: Immediately following the Alma Mater finals, Homecoming participants will walk to the Ashe Building and present a short skit to accompany their respective organization’s decorative ornament for the Spirit Tree on Thursday, October 30.

Homecoming Concert: Matt and Kim and Fabolous will perform at this year’s homecoming concert at the BankUnited Center on Thursday, October 30 at 8 p.m. Student tickets are available at the UC ticket window. Faculty/staff with a valid ‘Cane Card may pick up two tickets while supplies last from the Department of Student Activities (SAC 206). Alumni may reserve tickets by calling the University of Miami Alumni Association at 1-866-UMALUMS (862-5867) or 305-284-2872.

Parade: UM’s annual homecoming parade kicks off on Friday, October 31 at 7 p.m. and will run along Walsh Avenue, Merrick, and Stanford Drive to celebrate “Spirit Is Out There.” See colorful and spirited floats accompanied by music and dancers parade through campus. This event is free and open to the community.

This year, cancer-free Miami Hurricanes football great Jim Kelly will serve as Grand Marshal for Alumni Weekend and Homecoming festivities.

Hurricane Howl: Immediately following the parade will be one of UM’s most cherished traditions, the boat-burning ceremony and fireworks on Friday, October 31 along the waterfront of Lake Osceola. The ceremony involves setting a wood boat on fire in the middle of the lake. Food trucks and Dory’s Block Party will open at 6 p.m. on Merrick and Stanford Drive, and the boat-burning countdown starts at 8:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the community.

Football Game: The Miami Hurricanes will host the North Carolina Tar Heels at Sun Life Stadium on Saturday, November 1. Grand Marshal Kelly also will serve as honorary captain for the game, which has been declared a #KellyTough Green Out. All ’Canes fans are encouraged to wear green to the game to show their support for the fight against cancer.

For more information on Homecoming events, visit the UM Homecoming 2014 Facebook page. For more information on Alumni Weekend, call UM’s Alumni Association, 305-284-2872 or visit http://www6.miami.edu/alumniweekend. For information regarding tickets to the sporting events, visit http://www.canestix.com.

Posted in Events, NewsComments (0)

UM Recognized for Wellness

Special to UM News


From right are Jennifer Cohen, executive director of benefits; Nerissa Morris, vice president for human resources; and Stephanie de Souza, development director for Miami Heart Walk, Greater Miami/Fort Lauderdale.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 9, 2014)—The American Heart Association has named the University of Miami a Fit-Friendly Worksite for the fourth year in a row. This designation honors the University for taking steps to enhance the health and well-being of its faculty and staff through workplace wellness programs and facilities. UM achieved gold-level recognition as a Fit-Friendly Worksite.

“We are excited to receive this honor once again,” said Nerissa Morris, vice president for human resources and chair of the UM Wellness Advisory Council. “We know that a healthy workforce leads to an engaged workforce, which is why it is important that we continue to offer various wellness programs throughout the year for faculty and staff.”

Morris said that the University’s wellness programs are of utmost importance to the Wellness Advisory Council. The University’s wellness offerings include wellness centers on the Coral Gables and Miller School of Medicine campuses; the Well ’Canes incentives program, which motivates employees to participate in wellness activities to earn up to $300 cash; Walking ’Canes; Be Smoke Free; Weight Watchers at Work; and free preventive care benefits for faculty and staff who are on a UM health care plan.

To learn about UM’s wellness programs, visit miami.edu/wellcanes.


Posted in Honors, NewsComments (0)

Researcher Awarded $3.3 Million Grant to Reduce Teen Pregnancy through Gaming

Special to UM News

NORRIS_2014CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 2, 2014)—The National Institute of Nursing Research has awarded a five-year (2014-2019), $3.3 million grant to an investigator at the School of Nursing and Health Studies to support an innovative program aimed at reducing teen pregnancy and the risk of sexually transmitted infections among Latina adolescents. Professor Anne Norris will utilize “Mighty Girls,” a novel intervention that uses cutting-edge technology to create a highly interactive video game which provides live, realistic simulation of peer pressure. Players talk directly with avatars as they would with their peers, and in this way practice building evidence-based communication skills for resisting peer pressure.

“U.S. teen pregnancy rates among the overall population have been declining for years but are still high among Latinas,” explains Norris, “and the costs are considerable. Besides the profound and unmeasurable effect of unwanted pregnancy on the physical and emotional health of the teenager and her family, there are quantifiable associated socioeconomic costs. For example, lost tax revenue resulting from decreased maternal educational attainment and productivity has been estimated at $3.2 billion. However, in addition to preventing unwanted pregnancy and reducing socioeconomic costs, Mighty Girls empowers young girls to ‘use their voices to make wise choices.’ What is most exciting about this funding from the National Institute of Nursing Research is the opportunity it provides to make a positive difference in the lives of young Latinas and to use rigorous research methods to demonstrate the value of this difference.”

Norris and her colleagues tested Mighty Girls in a previous R15 feasibility trial and found the results encouraging. The current study, funded under the NINR’s R01 mechanism, will be conducted with seventh-grade Latinas enrolled in 20 middle schools in Miami-Dade County. The study is a collaborative effort involving Guillermo Prado of the Miller School of Medicine, Eileen Smith of the Institute for Simulation and Training at the University of Central Florida, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and nationally and internationally renowned investigators in the fields of communication science, public health, and economics.

Norris and her interdisciplinary team will follow the girls into ninth grade, a period in which risky behaviors typically increase. Half of the schools will be randomly assigned to receive the experimental intervention in addition to standard in-school sex education, while the other half will receive the standard in-school sex education. Mighty Girls’ inclusion of peer-pressure resistance strategies that do not jeopardize friendships makes the program highly acceptable to girls of this age group.

“It is exciting that with NINR funding we are bringing a promising intervention to one of our community’s most vulnerable populations,” said School of Nursing and Health Studies Dean Nilda (Nena) Peragallo Montano. “The model incorporates Latino values in its techniques. We have found that you have to approach a population you want to help from the framework of its own values, and Mighty Girls does this.”


Posted in NewsComments (0)

Help the UM Libraries Help You

UM Libraries (UML) will soon conduct a quick online survey to obtain feedback from library users on the Coral Gables and Rosenstiel School campuses. The confidential survey, administered by LibQUAL+, will assess the current information needs of faculty and students and help identify opportunities for improving library services, programming, and facilities. The survey will be available beginning Monday, October 27 through the UML website. For more information, please contact Lisa Fish, LibQUAL+ project coordinator, at 305-284-4049 or via email at libqual@miami.edu.

Posted in For Your Benefit, InsideUM, NewsComments (0)

  • Features
  • Tags
  • Popular
  • Subscribe
  • Subscribe to the Veritas RSS Feed
    Get updates to all of the latest Veritas posts by clicking the logo at the right.

    You can also subscribe to specific categories by browsing to a particular section on our site and clicking the RSS icon below each section's header.

UM Facebook

UM Twitter