Faculty Senate Honors ‘Change Agents’ at Annual Awards Ceremony

By Robert C. Jones Jr.
UM News

From left, Jay Skyler, Mary E. McKay, and René Sacasas.

From left, Jay S. Skyler, Mary E. McKay, and René Sacasas.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (April 15, 2015) – René Sacasas was a curious eight-year-old the first time he ever set foot on the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus. That was 60 years ago, and Sacasas’ family had come to get a close-up look at the school to which his older sister had just been accepted. Read the full story

Posted in Briefly Noted, Features, Honors, NewsComments (0)

‘Islands of Creation’ Captures UM Researcher’s Fascinating Speciation Studies

By Robert C. Jones Jr.
UM News

Uy (Islands of Creation)

The groundbreaking research of J. Albert C. Uy, documented in the film Islands of Creation, could help unravel the mystery of speciation. Here, Uy and his wife, UM researcher Floria Mora-Kepfer Uy, return to Frigatebird Island, part of the Solomon Islands, after conducting fieldwork. Photo courtesy of Day’s Edge Productions.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (April 8, 2015) – An evolutionary biologist fascinated by the way new species evolve, J. Albert C. Uy has longed to have his research featured in a film geared toward the general public. But concerns over the way some nature documentaries distort science always dissuaded him from collaborating with filmmakers.

Read the full story

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‘Know Justice, Know Peace’ Symposium Addresses Race, Social Injustice, and the American Dream

By Megan Ondrizek
UM News

UM Professor David Ikard, left, moderates the “Know Justice, Know Peace” panel discussion, which included, from left, activist Johnetta “Netta” Elzie, writer and author Jelani Cobb, Sybrina Fulton, and Pittsburgh rapper Jasiri X.

UM Professor David Ikard, left, moderates the “Know Justice, Know Peace” panel discussion, which included, from left, activist Johnetta “Netta” Elzie, writer and author Jelani Cobb, Sybrina Fulton, and Pittsburgh rapper Jasiri X.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (April 2, 2015) — A diverse and passionate audience of nearly 200 students attended the “Know Justice, Know Peace” symposium at the University of Miami’s Student Activities Center last Wednesday, listening to a panel discussion and voicing their concerns about race, social justice, police conduct, and the concept of the American dream.

Moderated by David Ikard, director of Africana Studies and professor of English in UM’s College of Arts and Sciences, and co-sponsored by UM’s Africana Studies Program and the Division of Student Affairs, the discussion acknowledged students’ ability to take a stand against racism, particularly when their personal experiences are deeply rooted in social injustices. Read the full story

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Faculty and Staff Support the U: Media Management Expert Feels the Thrill of Changing Times, and Helping Others

Michel Dupagne

Michel Dupagne

Professor Michel Dupagne, Ph.D., recognizes the importance of scholarships in helping talented students in the School of Communication achieve their dreams. In 2005, he and his brother Alain established the Lucy Chatelain Endowed Communication Scholarship in memory of their mother. “I believe that providing scholarships to those in financial need is critical to the long-term success of the University of Miami,” he says. “I have been privileged to serve on the faculty for more than two decades, and it is a pleasure to support our future scholars.”

Dupagne is a nationally recognized leader in the small but growing field of media management, which focuses on the business side of the media industry. “We are trying to gain a better understanding of how the media industry is changing and evolving in the digital age,” he says. In keeping with that goal, Dupagne will earn an M.B.A. in management from the School of Business Administration in December.

“The media industry continues to splinter, moving away from its traditional focus on the mass markets toward almost every type of niche market you can imagine,” he says. “Advances in technology, such as streaming video, are also disrupting traditional business models, since consumers can now bypass a cable or satellite TV provider and get video content directly from an online site.”

Dupagne joined the School of Communication in 1994, after earning his doctorate in mass communications with a business minor from Indiana University. Since then, he has studied new communication technologies, international communication, media economics, and other issues. He also has conducted award-winning research on such topics as consumer high-definition television diffusion and educational use of podcasting. He coauthored the book High-Definition Television: A Global Perspective, and serves on the editorial boards of the American Communication Journal, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Journal of Media Economics, and Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly.

“This is a thrilling time to be in media management,” says Dupagne. “I feel very grateful that our University has supported my teaching and research, allowing me to develop professionally through the years. Now is a great time for me to give something back, and I encourage other faculty members and employees to contribute as well. Together, we can really make a difference.”

Read about other faculty and staff who support the U.

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Summer Scholars Program Gives High Schoolers Taste of College—and College Credits


The Summer Scholars Programs helped sophomore Aalekhya Reddam, an avid scuba diver, decide to pursue a career in marine science while she was still in high school.

UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (April 2, 2015)—As an avid scuba diver in high school, Aalekhya Reddam wondered if a career in marine science would suit her. For three weeks between her junior and senior year, the University’s Summer Scholars Program allowed her to test the waters—and earn college credits. “The program exceeded my expectations,” says Reddam, now a sophomore at UM who plans to pursue a Ph.D. and a career in marine research. “It showed me I actually enjoyed studying marine science. It was one of the best experiences of my life.”

Open to highly motivated high school juniors and seniors who can live on campus or commute from home, Summer Scholars offers six college credits in a dozen academic specialties—from marine science and digital media production to forensic investigation and theatre arts. As in past years, this year’s program, which will run from June 27 through July 17, will enable high school students to take college-level classes with their peers, learn time management skills, and explore South Florida on weekend excursions—while experiencing college life and learning from renowned UM professors.

For Reddam, an international student from Singapore, the program had the added bonus of bringing her parents an extra measure of comfort when she left home for college. Since their daughter had already lived on campus, made friends, and enjoyed living in Miami, they knew she would feel at home in her new environment. “I knew what to expect so my mother was more comfortable sending me here,” she said.

Employees and alumni may be able to enjoy another bonus. Employees may be eligible to apply for partial tuition remission for the program, and alumni can receive a $500 tuition grant.

“The Summer Scholars Program offers employees and alumni an unparalleled opportunity to share their legacy,” said Rebecca MacMillan Fox, dean of the Division of Continuing and International Education. “And Summer Scholars have an unparalleled opportunity to experience college life and grow both academically and socially.”

Ingrid Vasiliu-Feltes, a UM alumna and faculty member at the Miller School of Medicine, took advantage of the partial tuition rebate last summer. She said her 15-year-old son, Patrick Visan, enjoyed the program so much he plans to sign up again this year and convinced one of his friends at Ransom Everglades School to join him.

“He loved all the choices of courses—there are so many good ones it’s hard to pick—and he loved the labs, the projects, the field trips, the professors and lecturers, and the other kids he met,” Vasiliu-Feltes said.

For Reddam, who spends many afternoons working in the toadfish lab at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Studies, Summer Scholars remains “the perfect mix of academics and extracurricular activities.”

“It definitely did help me decide what I wanted to study,” she said. “In fact, it made my decision. It also introduced me to so many new people, some I’m close friends with even now, so starting college with people I knew made the transition easier.”

Applications for this year’s Summer Scholars Program will be accepted until May 1, or until the program has reached capacity. Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible to reserve space in their preferred program.

To learn more about tuition remission, employees should visit Education Benefits. For more information about the program, visit www.miami.edu/SSP or call 305-284-5078.

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