Professional Development

Putting People First

Essentials of Leadership participants learn how to become better leaders by focusing on people.

Technology continues to rapidly change the way we do business.

Patients no longer wait to see a physician to learn more about a treatment or drug, people no longer seek help from the library’s Reference Desk before researching their topic of choice, and consumer reviews have a significant impact on future sales. With this ever-changing landscape to consumerism and digitization, leaders are constantly challenged to stay ahead of the game.

To see how the University is facing these challenges, five senior leaders from both the academic and medical enterprises gathered to discuss their strategies on Tuesday, October 10, during the Business of the U panel discussion. Attended by more than 100 participants and their supervisors, Business of the U is the kick-off session of Essentials of Leadership, a professional development program for managers at the University.

Moderated by Nerissa Morris, vice president for human resources, the distinguished panel of guests included Jeffrey Duerk, executive vice president and provost; Charles Eckman, dean of libraries and University librarian; David Ertel, chief financial officer and chief strategy officer for UHealth; Laurence Gardner, executive dean for education and policy at the Miller School of Medicine; and Ben Riestra, chief administration officer for the Lennar Foundation Medical Center.

When asked about their roles in facing these challenges, leading their teams, and carrying out the University’s strategic vision, their responses were varied, but carried the common theme of delivering great service.

“Patients come first,” stated Dr. Gardner referring to the one thing his area must not lose focus on in the face of change. “We are a 24/7 clinical operation that also conducts research. We have to remember how lost and how frightened we can feel as a patient, and remember to be empathic, understanding, and caring. No matter how committed we are to rounding or to writing that proposal for philanthropy, as soon as a call or email from a patient or family member comes in, we must stop what we’re doing and respond because that takes priority.”

To help make sure patients come first, leadership at Lennar believes in taking care of employees. “At Lennar, we wanted to create a better experience, the human experience,” said Riestra. “Happy people provide great patient care. I try to get to know my staff and learn about their families. I’ve often received comments on how happy our staff is, and that makes a difference.”

Successful leaders know that while it’s important to understand emerging trends, they must also remember to focus on the people around them—patients, students, and employees.

The Essentials of Leadership program supports UM leaders in their role as coaches and mentors. The six-month program helps participants explore their individual leadership style, understand the four main learning styles, gain confidence in handling difficult conversations at work, and expand their professional network with colleagues across the University.

Learn more about the program.

Posted in For Your Benefit, InsideUM, Professional DevelopmentComments (0)

LGBTQ-Ally Mentorship Program Seeks Mentors

Now in its fourth year, the LGBTQ-Ally Mentorship Program, which pairs undergraduate students with employee mentors who offers support, guidance, and friendship, is looking for new mentors who will:

– Offer support and guidance in personal, professional, and academic areas of campus life

– Be able to direct mentees to LGBTQ+ campus and community resources

– Increase mentorship capacity for LGBTQ+ identified students

If this interests you, please complete the application by Monday, October 16. If you have any questions about the application or the program, please contact Anthony Sis at aes262@miami.edu or Danny Gomez at lgbtq@miami.edu. Please note that mentors are required to attend a two-hour training/social on Wednesday, October 25,  from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Shalala Student Center,  activities north room, the first event of the year!


Posted in InsideUM, Professional DevelopmentComments Off

All in the (‘Canes) Family

By Steve Pierre
UM Communications

From left are Michelle, Josh, and Kelsey Valencia

From left are Michelle, Josh, and Kelsey Valencia

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 5, 2017)—Michelle Valencia has seen not only her career at the U grow since she started as a full-time employee in 1989, but also her son and daughter. “They spent much of their earlier years at Canterbury Preschool and around the Coral Gables campus,” Valencia, now the director of publications at the School of Law, said about Josh and Kelsey, both UM students. “Since they were young, they both really wanted to come to UM as students—it was their dream.”

As Josh, a senior, and Kelsey, a freshman, make the most of their UM education, Valencia is grateful for her own student experiences, and the tuition remission benefit she can share with her children. A double ’Cane, she earned her undergraduate degree in journalism and English in 1988, and joined the University staff the following year, initially working with University Advancement in various roles before joining the School of Law in 2008.

Her employment not only allowed her to further her own education at little cost—she earned her master’s in higher education through the tuition remission program—but imbue her children with the ’Canes spirit and traditions from birth.

“We are very much a ’Canes family and they grew up learning to bleed orange and green,” Valencia said. “They knew they wanted to come here and knew what a blessing tuition remission would be, especially for a school of this caliber.”

Kelsey began her classes in the School of Nursing and Health Studies this fall, while Josh, who is studying motion pictures, has taken advantage of the opportunity to study abroad.

As Valencia continues her career at UM and her children work toward their degrees, she encourages her colleagues to learn about the opportunities tuition remission may open up. “I think everyone should look into it, whether it is for themselves, their kids, or even a spouse. It is truly an amazing benefit.”


Posted in Benefits, For Your Benefit, Professional DevelopmentComments Off

Learning and Growing


Krishnan Kottaiswamy, ETL developer, hosted the ‘One Action’ presentation for about 20 of his UMIT colleagues.

Wish you could predict the future? A small group of University of Miami Information Technology staff learned the basics of predictive analytics—the use of data and statistical algorithms to predict future trends and behavior patterns—at a lunchtime presentation hosted by one of their peers. This was the first of a series of brown bag lunches implemented by the Decision Support and Planning and Institutional Research teams as their “One Action” in response to the results of last year’s faculty and staff engagement survey.

“Collaboratively, our teams reviewed the survey results and discussed the opportunity to focus on professional development,” said Sheryl Borg, executive director of Decision Support Services. “Working together as a blended team for the past two years has given us a unique opportunity to share diverse skills. Now we’re formalizing that. The team is strengthened as each team member has opportunities to learn and lead others in learning.”

Krishnan Kottaiswamy, ETL developer, hosted the presentation for about 20 of his colleagues. “We’re considering predictive analytics to assist in forecasting future plans for the University community.” Kottaiswamy said. “This was a great opportunity to teach others about it.”

The lunches will be hosted quarterly and anyone on the team can submit a topic for consideration. “We plan on having more sessions and eventually involving others going forward,” Kottaiswamy said. “Everybody has different skills—if anyone wants to learn through these sessions, they could transfer their knowledge and help each other grow.”

In addition to the brown bag lunches, the team created a shared calendar, where anyone can post webinars and conferences, and a resource library to share learning materials. UMIT Decision Support leaders encourage team members to dedicate up to five hours per month for professional development and to provide meeting rooms to support learning activities.

What have you learned lately? Share your story with InsideUM at InsideUM@miami.edu. In the meantime, don’t forget to take advantage of all the U has to offer, from tuition benefits to online learning, at ulearn.miami.edu and Lynda.com.



Posted in Professional DevelopmentComments Off

Last Chance to Join Essentials of Leadership Program Series 9

Launched three years ago to transform University managers into leaders, the Essentials of Leadership program (EOL) is launching it 9th series. Over 400 managers are now equipped to lead people to perform at their best and drive results that make a greater impact as the U moves toward its new century.

If you’d like to become a transformational leader and make an impact on a professional and personal level, EOL is for you. Visit the EOL homepage for more information and make sure your supervisor submits the Program Commitment Form by Wednesday, August 2, if you want to join the program.


Posted in For Your Benefit, Professional DevelopmentComments Off

  • 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