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Business-Minded Youngsters Visit UM to Learn the Secrets to Entrepreneurial Success

Warren Buffett’s Secret Millionaires Club “Grow Your Own Business Challenge” kicked off at the University of Miami on Monday with a launch event attended by more than 150 elementary and middle school students.

By Robert C. Jones Jr.
UM News

UM alumna Jacki Stanley gives advice to youngsters during the national launch of the Secret Millionaires Club ‘Grown Your Own Business Challenge.’

UM alumna Jacki Stanley gives advice to youngsters during the national launch of the Secret Millionaires Club ‘Grow Your Own Business Challenge.’

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 20, 2014) – Jacki Stanley, B.B.A. ’12, was only 12 years old when her father told her about the dream he had in which someone told him to start a new line of sneakers for girls. “We were vacationing in San Francisco,” Stanley recalled, “and one day at breakfast, Dad starts telling us about his dream and drawing these incredible pictures of shoes.”

It wouldn’t be until Stanley’s junior year at the University of Miami that she would partner with her father in launching a brand of shoes that encourages girls to be creative. Today, colorful Bobbi-Toads sneakers are sold with toes embossed on their white toecaps, allowing the wearer to embellish them with nail polish, clean them off the next day, and start all over again with any design they choose. Read the full story

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Off-Field Battles Forged UM and NFL Hall of Famer Jim Kelly

Jim Kelly, who will serve as grand marshal for UM’s 2014 Alumni Weekend and Homecoming festivities, faced some of the NFL’s fiercest defenders as a quarterback for the Buffalo Bills. His toughest battles, however, would be fought away from the field.

By Robert C. Jones Jr.
UM News

Jim Kelly finished his Miami career with 406 completions, 5,233 passing yards, and 32 touchdowns.

Jim Kelly finished his Miami career with 406 completions, 5,233 passing yards, and 32 touchdowns.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 23, 2014) — It was the game that put Miami Hurricanes football on the map—a November 1979 road matchup against powerful Penn State.

Making his first collegiate start at quarterback for Miami was Jim Kelly, a kid from East Brady, Pennsylvania, who grew up dreaming about playing for the Nittany Lions. Read the full story

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A New Place to Call Home: Braman Miller Center for Jewish Student Life Breaks Ground

Special to UM News

Hillel

From left are Jeffrey Miller and Debra Braman Wechsler, Hillel at UM Capital Campaign co-chairs; UM President Donna E. Shalala; and Noreen Gordon Sablotsky, chair of UM Hillel’s Board of Directors.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 16, 2014)—On the final day of the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot, University of Miami Hillel held a groundbreaking ceremony to officially begin construction on the new Braman Miller Center for Jewish Student Life.

Thanks to a lead naming gift of $2.5 million from two of Miami’s most distinguished families, the Bramans and the Millers, who were on site for the groundbreaking, UM Hillel will be renovated to meet the needs of more than 2,000 Jewish and non-Jewish UM students alike. Plans include a new lobby, kosher café, dining room, multipurpose classroom space, and prayer sanctuary.

“Here at the University of Miami, Hillel gives Jewish students a place to call home—a place where they can connect with their culture, deepen their spirituality, energize their commitment to community service, and develop relationships that will last a lifetime,” said UM President Donna E. Shalala.

The event, which was attended by 80 UM students, trustees, donors, local and national Hillel leaders, and members of the local Jewish community, was held outside the current Hillel building and in front of a “sukkah,” or booth, made from branches and palms, following Jewish tradition.

“Hillel helps nurture and engage our community. Here, students find meaning and purpose. Yes, they find food, and many times, they find themselves,” said Jacob Solomon, president and CEO of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. “Hillel is the best chance the Jewish community has to impact Jewish identity. Across continents, 18 time zones, and on 550 campuses in North America alone, this foundation helps build the future of the Jewish people.”

Eric Fingerhut, president and CEO of Hillel, said, “Our success in building Jewish life on campus depends greatly on our university partners. President Shalala, thank you for that partnership and for the good soil on which to grow and thrive here on campus.”

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Faculty and Staff Support the U: Associate Provost Keeps Her Alma Mater Moving Forward

Mary Sapp

Mary Sapp

Mary Sapp knows that financial support from faculty, employees, and alumni is a big reason the University of Miami is rising steadily in the national rankings. “These contributions play a major role in improving the quality of our educational and research programs, as well as our campus facilities,” says Sapp, M.S. ’86, associate provost for planning, institutional research, and assessment.

Sapp’s own generosity has earned her membership in UM’s Loyalty Society, which honors alumni donors who make gifts for two or more consecutive years. “On a personal level, I feel good about helping to keep our University moving forward by donating to my alma mater each year through the Annual Fund,” she says.

Sapp’s office conducts ongoing research on the University’s programs, studying such key indicators as the academic credentials of students and faculty, graduation rates, and research grants. “We analyze those data to help senior leadership with planning and strategic decisions,” she says. “It’s certainly a lot more rewarding to provide reports that show the great progress we’re making.”

A native of Ohio, Sapp came to Miami in the early 1980s with her husband, Stephen Sapp, professor of religious studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. The Sapps, who have two grown sons, Eric and David, spent several years living on campus when Stephen Sapp was the resident master at Eaton Residential College. “We really enjoyed being around students and found it to be a very energizing experience,” Mary Sapp says.

Sapp had earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in quantitative psychology before joining the University of Miami, initially as an IT consultant and then as associate director of planning and institutional research. While working and raising a family, she completed her master’s degree in computer science at UM.

“I believe strongly in the value of education, particularly at the university level,” she says. “Education can level the playing field so that minority, immigrant, and low-income students can succeed on their personal merits.”

With its cultural diversity, high academic standards, and beautiful campus, Sapp regards UM as a very special place to work. “When you believe in what you are doing, you can get involved with our University in so many ways, including athletics and cultural activities. There are so many opportunities for personal enjoyment and professional development, and becoming a donor at any level is one of the ways to show your support for our U.”

Read about other faculty and staff who support the U.

 

 

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See a Smoker? Gently Remind Them That UM Is Smoke Free

Be.Smoke.FreeCORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 9, 2014)—Sixteen months after the University of Miami joined the ever-growing list of institutions of higher learning to prohibit smoking anywhere on their campuses, the U is, for the most part, smoke free. There may, however, be occasions when you encounter a student, visitor, or fellow employee lighting up, which raises the question: What should I do?

The answer lies in UM’s smoke-free campus policy, which places the collective responsibility of enforcing the smoking ban on faculty, staff, and students, who “are encouraged to directly and politely inform those unaware of the policy, or remind those in disregard of it.”

“Every member of our campus community should feel comfortable in gently reminding individuals who are smoking on campus that smoking is not permitted anywhere,’’ said Ricardo Hall, assistant vice president for student affairs and dean of students. “Our experience shows that the vast majority of individuals quickly comply.”

Faculty and staff also are encouraged to make smokers aware of the University resources available to help them, their families and friends, and the broader community kick their highly addictive habit, which is exceedingly difficult to accomplish alone.

“Quitting is hard. It may be the hardest thing smokers ever do, but in keeping with the University’s commitment to wellness and the creation of the healthiest workplace possible, the University makes it easy for smokers to take the first step,” said Nerissa Morris, vice president for human resources and chair of the UM Wellness Advisory Council. “We continue to offer free resources to help smokers quit.”

Among them is UM’s award-winning Be Smoke Free smoking cessation program, which offers free Quit Smoking Now classes to UM students, employees, their family members, and the community at large. The six-week program includes group session counseling, education, and quit-smoking aids—such as nicotine replacement therapies—that together can help smokers minimize cravings, bolster resolve, and build a new sense of self free from the grip of nicotine addiction.

“Because nicotine is highly addictive, willpower and knowledge about the health hazards of using tobacco are not enough to help most people quit,” says Mohammad Asad, coordinator of the Be Smoke Free program. “Your cessation group can support you throughout your quitting process.”

The support group was key for Steven Peace, a senior manager at the Miller School of Medicine-based Florida Cancer Data System who began smoking in high school and vowed he’d stop at age 50—but failed every attempt. Six years later, he turned to the Be Smoke Free program to help him keep his promise, and succeeded.

“I feel so much better, and the Be Smoke Free program was a great way to help me quit. It was convenient, friendly, and supportive,” Peace says. “If you haven’t quit, it’s a good time to do so. You’ll be happier and healthier, and you will be able to breathe—and smell—so much better once you do.”

In addition to feeling (and smelling) better, Peace notes another benefit. He’ll no longer have to pay the smoker’s surcharge, which will double to $100 a month, for his UM health insurance.

The Quit Smoking Now classes are held at the Herbert Wellness Center on the Coral Gables campus and the UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center on the Miller School campus, but wellness center membership is not required to attend. For a complete schedule and more information, visit miami.edu/besmokefree. To register, call 305-243-7606 or email Asad at MAsad@med.miami.edu.

The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program is another resource available to help employees and their dependents engage in conversations about the importance of quitting through free and confidential consultations.

Initiated by students who overwhelmingly supported a smoke-free Coral Gables campus, the smoke-free policy originated on the Miller School of Medicine campus in 2010. The Gables campus began phasing in its own policy the following year, initially restricting smoking to designated areas and prohibiting smoking everywhere as of August 1, 2013.

The policy specifically prohibits inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted cigarette or electronic cigarette, cigar, pipe, or other such device that contains tobacco or other smoke-producing products anywhere on campus, including University-owned or leased property, facilities, buildings, passageways, or parking garages.

So faculty and staff who see smokers anywhere on campus should gently remind them to extinguish their products, and encourage them to consider kicking their habit. As President Donna E. Shalala said in August 2013, when the Coral Gables campus joined the medical campus in becoming 100-percent smoke free, “We can all contribute to the success of the initiative by letting others know about the new policy and pitching in to help them comply.”

 

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