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Faculty and Staff Support the U: Julie Kornfeld Fuels Passion for Public Health by Removing Barriers

Julie Kornfeld

Julie Kornfeld

Julie Kornfeld is so inspired by the graduate students she guides in the master’s in public health (M.P.H.) and the combined M.D./M.P.H programs at the Miller School of Medicine that she is compelled to help them succeed. “They are passionate about transforming the health of our communities,” says the assistant dean for public health in the Department of Public Health Sciences. “But graduate education is expensive, and I want to help remove the financial barriers for our students.”

Kornfeld has been contributing to the University for more than 20 years through the United Way and Momentum2 campaigns. “My donations have primarily been focused on providing scholarships for our public health students,” she says. “My dream is for every qualified student to be able to afford the training they need to address our nation’s public health problems.”

Kornfeld grew up in Philadelphia and worked in television and the nonprofit sector before joining the University 21 years ago. A double UM alumna, she earned a master’s degree in public health in 1997 and a doctoral degree in 2009. Her husband, Fred Silverman, a TV producer and communications consultant who also has taught at UM, is now enrolled at the University as a graduate film student. They have three children, Dylan, Morgan, and Ely.

“We all volunteer our time and raise funds for nonprofit organizations,” she says. “There are so many needs in our community, and we believe its important to give something back.”

At the University, Kornfeld plays a critical role in the development and implementation of the Miller School’s public health curriculum. Since 2010, she has served as the co-principal investigator on an educational development grant to accelerate the M.D./M.P.H. program so students can obtain both degrees in four years rather than five. She is also an active instructor for a wide variety of public health courses, including special seminars for dual degree programs at the law and medical schools.

Reflecting on the importance of donations, Kornfeld says, “I believe that all faculty and staff members should support UM. It’s important for our University’s future and it demonstrates to our students and co-workers that we truly believe in what we do every day.”

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UM’s Newest ’Canes Urged to ‘Tackle Big Problems’

By Robert C. Jones Jr.
UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (December 18, 2014) – With final exams now over, the last research papers written, and master’s and doctoral theses already vigorously defended, graduates at the University of Miami’s 2014 fall commencement were issued a daunting challenge Thursday before their college degrees were even conferred: “Help us build and grow a society that is willing to tackle big problems,” Chuck Todd, political director of NBC News and the moderator of the network’s flagship Meet the Press Sunday morning public affairs program, told them.

“You’ve lived through two decades of political paralysis, so this is your challenge—lead us out of this mess,” said Todd.

A self-described political junkie who has earned a reputation as one of the most passionate journalists and sharpest analysts in American media, Todd told graduates that Gen Xers and Baby Boomers had failed them, noting the two wars, financial crisis, and rapid polarization they have witnessed in their lifetime.

“We have left a mess, a real leadership void,” he said. “The greatest strides we’ve made have been in the world of technology. Then again, what have we done with this technology? We didn’t cure cancer.” Social media, which was supposed to bring people closer together, he said, has been used “to help segregate us as a society. … These new social networks, while prolific, have become monolithic. And it’s really had a negative impact on society, especially on our politics. Somehow, despite the access we have to everyone around the world, we’ve allowed ourselves to become more isolated.”


Todd, who was named an Honorary Alumnus at the ceremony, urged UM’s newest ’Canes to realize how much the country needs “you to get us past this division and selfish behavior,” referring to the well-publicized rifts between Democrats and Republicans.

His sage advice to the students: love what you do for a living, always remember that the little things matter, find a way to say “yes,” take risks early in life, and never take family for granted.

A Miami native who turned down a music scholarship to attend UM because his mother wanted him to experience life outside his hometown, Todd reminded students that he still has passion and love for the U. He noted that some of his life’s most memorable moments occurred on the UM campus—from his first French horn solo at Gusman Concert Hall to his first Little League base hit at Mark Light Stadium.

UM, he said, is just as important to his upbringing as his education at George Washington University, where he attended college. “I always say when you go to the University of Miami, it looks like America in the 21st century,” he said.

Two honorary degrees were conferred at the ceremony. Husband and wife economists Alice Rivlin, a senior fellow in the Economic Studies Program at Brookings and the founding director of the Congressional Budget Office, and Sidney G. Winter, professor emeritus of management at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and one of the leading figures in the revival of evolutionary economics, both received honorary doctoral degrees of humane letters.

More than 1,000 undergraduate, graduate, and law students received their newly minted degrees at the ceremony, held at the BankUnited Center. Read profiles of some of UM’s stellar graduates, including the School of Communication’s Iris Barrios and Miami Law’s Vanessa Joseph and Brendan Corrigan.

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Santa’s Sporty Elves Help Kids Give an allCanes Christmas

By Annette Gallagher
UM News

Thirty-seven children were invited on a shopping spree at allCanes.

A record 37 children took part in the allCanes shopping spree.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (December 15, 2014)—Santa and his elves had a little extra help from Sebastian the Ibis and the University of Miami family Monday night. UM athletics personnel, including Director of Athletics Blake James, men’s basketball head coach Jim Larrañaga, women’s tennis coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews, men’s tennis coach Mario Rincon, and several UM cheerleaders teamed with coaches’ wives and UM family volunteers to help underprivileged children shop for holiday presents for their families at allCanes.

A record 37 children from the local Police Athletic League, the Boys & Girls Club, and the Bryan Pata Foundation were treated to pizza, crepes, cookies, and other goodies before Santa gave each of them an allCanes gift card loaded with $95.The amount was chosen, explained Edrick Pata of the Bryan Pata Foundation, to commemorate his brother Bryan, a slain UM football player who wore No. 95 during his UM career. Edrick, their mother Jeanette, and Bryan’s two sisters attended the shopping spree.

Former NBC 6 anchor and proud UM alumnus Tony Segreto, who participates in the event every year, emceed the evening. “My ties to UM will be forever, and [allCanes manager] Harry [Rothwell] is a dear friend, but it’s the cause, the looks on the kids’ faces, hearing who they want to shop for. It took a millisecond to say yes because it’s the right thing to do.”

Before the shopping started, Edrick Pata urged the kids to “excel in everything you do, academically, athletically, in whatever you do.”

A couple of the kids were able to shop with a genuine Miami Hurricane. DeMarcus Van Dyke, who played for the ’Canes through 2010, was in town and answered the allCanes call for volunteers. “We are family at Miami,” he said. “Anytime I’m needed, I’m there—whatever I can do to help the kids.”

Van Dyke said he was initially a little intimidated when he met Bryan Pata during his senior year of high school, but found him to be “the nicest guy in the world.”

Kelly James, wife of Blake James, joined other coaches’ wives, including Kelly Golden, Al Golden’s wife; Kenia Coley, offensive coordinator James Coley’s wife; Amber Carroll, wide receivers coordinator Brennan Carroll’s wife; Tawny Brown, linebackers coach Hurlie Brown’s wife; Shakeira Scott, tight ends coach Larry Brown’s wife; and Liz Larrañaga, Jim Larrañaga’s wife, in helping the children pick presents for their families.

“It was awesome!” said Liz Larrañaga, who took part in the special night for the first time. “The children are respectful and so appreciative and it’s nice to see them smile. It’s always a good thing when everyone is smiling!”

Harry Rothwell, manager of allCanes, said the evening marked the 14th year that allCanes has given back to the community in this way. “Once people volunteer at this event, they keep doing it. It makes you feel good, and who doesn’t love that?”

To fund the festivities, allCanes absorbs some costs directly, sells $5 donation stockings, and involves corporate partners. This year, UHealth, Milam’s Supermarkets, Flanigan’s, The Big Cheese, and The Crepe Maker all contributed to the evening’s success.

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Students Transform Industrial Site into Hialeah’s Own Midtown Miami

By Robert C. Jones Jr.
UM News

Chloe Pereira, a student from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, points out one of the features of her East Hialeah master plan to Xinyu He.

Chloe Pereira, an architecture student from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, points out one of the features of her East Hialeah master plan to Xinyu He.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (December 9, 2014) – When University of Miami architecture student Chloe Pereira and more than 50 of her classmates toured a 90-acre, transit-oriented site in east Hialeah last September, they quickly took note of the area’s close proximity to Miami International Airport, the historic train station that now serves as the southern terminus for the Tri-Rail commuter coach, and large tracts of land dotted by factories and warehouses.

What they didn’t see were mom-and-pop stores, boutiques, parks, and pedestrian-friendly streets—urban design characteristics reminiscent of Midtown Miami. “But we knew the site had boundless potential,” said Pereira. Read the full story

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The Lure of the Caribbean: UM Alumnus Hermes Mallea Talks about the Elegance of the Caribbean Playgrounds of the Rich and Famous

By Peter E. Howard
UM News

Hermes-MalleaCORAL GABLES, Fla. (December 03, 2014) — Hermes Mallea spent nearly an hour showcasing the Caribbean playgrounds of the rich and famous with the pace of a speed-dating encounter that took you from Bermuda and Barbados to Jamaica and Antiqua and Cuba’s hedonistic heights.

He showed how architects spun a web of elegance and simplicity in their work through nonstop slides and photos of properties as varied as Palm Beach’s haughty Mar-a-Lago to Laurance Rockefeller’s fabled RockResorts in the U.S. Virgin Islands. There were the Victorian gingerbreads and those with European influence, and the breezy haciendas sans air conditioning or door locks. Read the full story

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