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Faculty and Staff Support the U: Grateful Alumna and Mom Gives Thanks by Helping Students and Building a Better U

Nancy Ryan

From left, Nancy L. Floyd Ryan, her son, Sean, his girlfriend, Kandice “Candy” Calvete, and Darlene Sapp, Nancy’s girlhood friend, show their spirit before the UM/FSU game in Tallahassee last October.

For the past 35 years, Nancy L. Floyd Ryan has spent her days helping University of Miami students. As executive assistant to Patricia Whitely, vice president for student affairs, she answers questions, points students in the right direction and, from time to time, serves as an informal counselor.

“It brings me joy to see our students succeed,” Ryan said. “I watch them grow from their freshman year until they cross the stage at graduation, and go out in the world with the values and experiences they gained at our University.”

Among those students is her son Sean, 24, an undergraduate in the College of Arts and Sciences who, like his parents, has a deep allegiance to the U. Back in 1989, Ryan and her husband, Robert, consulted a doctor at the School of Medicine for fertility treatments. Although Ryan had only a 50 percent chance of having a child through treatment, she became pregnant the very next month.

Today, Ryan gives back to the institution that she says played such an integral role in her life—personally, professionally and educationally—by donating to the University through the United Way campaign, as well as directly to the Division of Student Affairs and the Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center.

“I am forever indebted to the University,” Ryan said. “Sean practically grew up on campus, as one of the first Mini-Cane Camp attendees, and is now a ’Cane loving his experience at the U. Our little family definitely bleeds orange, green, and white!”

A native Floridian who grew up in Hialeah, Ryan pursued an associate degree at Miami Dade Community College before marrying and moving to England and Texas. In 1979 she returned to Miami, taking a position at UM as executive assistant to William R. Butler, then vice president for student affairs. When Butler retired 19 years later, she continued in that role with Whitely.

During the 1980s, Ryan took night classes at UM, earning her bachelor’s degree in business administration while working her day job. In 1999 she was tapped into the Iron Arrow Honor Society.

“My job has given me the ability to help students and has allowed me to work in a great environment,” Ryan said. “Now, it’s my turn to give back and make a difference in others’ lives. I want to keep our University moving forward and help build a better world for our children.”

Have you made a commitment to support the University of Miami, or know a colleague who has? Share your story or nominate a UM faculty or staff member here, and you will be entered for a chance to win a special gift.

 

 

 

 

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Walking a Mile in Her Shoes: ’Canes Community of Men Don Heels to Fight Violence against Women

By Robert C. Jones Jr.
UM News

walk-a-mile-in-her-shoes-5

Participants in the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event make their way back to the UC Rock, where the march began.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (April 11, 2014) – Christopher Hartnett’s pain was only temporary. The tight-fitting stilettos he donned could be removed whenever he was ready, but the psychological damage suffered by victims of sexual assault endures.

“My physical pain is just a slither of what rape victims go through,” said Hartnett, associate director of housing and residence life at the University of Miami, after he completed a symbolic mile walk organized to fight sexual assault and change attitudes and practices that demean women. “Many people think of rape as just a woman’s problem, but men can be a part of the solution and need to be engaged.” Read the full story

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From Food to Finances, Meditation to Men’s Health, UM’s Week of Well-Being Promotes Holistic Health

UM News
By Robert C. Jones Jr.

Fidelity's Kathy Murphy with UM President Donna E. Shalala during one of the Week of Well-Being's many offerings.

Fidelity’s Kathy Murphy with UM President Donna E. Shalala during one of the Week of Well-Being’s many offerings.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (April 07, 2014) — It was a “wakeup call” for Kathy Murphy’s mother that came at the wrong time. With three of six children in college, her husband died at 57, leaving her to raise a family alone and figure out how to budget and save.

“We focused a lot on saving, but not investing,” Murphy, president of Fidelity Personal Investing, told an audience of about 300 University of Miami employees. Read the full story

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The Doyenne of Digital News

By Maya Bell
UM News

During her conversation with President Shalala, Huffington talked about the need to unplug and recharge in order to be successful.

During her conversation with President Shalala, Huffington talked about the need to unplug and recharge in order to be successful.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (April 09, 2014) — Her wake-up call sounded urgently in April 2007, when three years after launching The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington collapsed in her office, cracking her cheekbone and leaving a gash over her eye.

Suffering from exhaustion and sleep deprivation, the Cambridge scholar, syndicated columnist, radio and TV host and, by then, author of 10 books who was destined to become the Doyenne of Digital News and one of Forbes’ Most Powerful Women, began to question her own success. Read the full story

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’Canes Community Makes It a Family Affair at Marlins Park

By Robert C. Jones Jr.
UM News

MIAMI, Fla. (April 6, 2014) – Powered by the pitching of Jose Fernandez and the slugging of Giancarlo Stanton, the Miami Marlins notched their fifth win of the 2014 Major League Baseball season Saturday, defeating the San Diego Padres 5-0 at Marlins Park in Little Havana.

But what the box score doesn’t say is that not all of the attention was focused on The Fish. The team would share the spotlight with thousands of University of Miami faculty and staff who turned out at the ballpark for UM Family Night with the Marlins. Face painting, autograph sessions with Marlins players, on-field pregame ceremonies, performances by the UM band, and live post-game music with DJ Laz were among the many activities enjoyed  by employees and their families.

Six UM employees threw out first pitches. They included Norm Parsons, executive director of the Wellness Centers on the Gables and Miller School campuses, who is retiring after 43 years of service; Ed Gillis, dean of enrollment management, who is retiring after 22 years; School of Law professor Richard Williamson, who has served as chair of the Faculty Senate for five years; Jessica Driemeier, student services manager for the Intensive English Program on the Coral Gables campus; Natali Latorre, associate director of marketing for Bascom Palmer Eye Institute on the Miller School campus; and Cristy Barrera, office manager in Facilities Administration at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

Hundreds of employees visited the MyU: Faculty and Staff Thank You Tent on the West Plaza, receiving temporary U tattoos and Sebastian bands. They also got a look at the UHealth Physical Therapy Clinic, which, when the Marlins aren’t playing, is open to patients by appointment. UHealth Sports Medicine is the official sports medicine provider for the Miami Marlins and the Miami Hurricanes.

The biggest winners of the day, however, were University of Miami students who received scholarships from the Miami Marlins Foundation. The philanthropic arm of the two-time World Series champion Marlins donated $12,500 in much-needed funds to UM, with $7,500 going to Matthew Friedman, a graduate student in the School of Education and Human Development’s Sport Administration Program, and $5,000 being given to the Suzanne Rayson Scholarship Fund for students enrolled in the School of Communication’s Broadcast Journalism Program.

Jimmy Oves, a technician at University of Miami Hospital, who attended Family Night with his wife, Yuriam, and sons, Alex and Jimmy Jr., summed up the day best: “A perfect way to spend time with my family,” he said. “Everything about it—the activities, the food, and the game—is great.”

 

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