Briefly Noted

UM Appoints New Vice Provost for Institutional Culture

Special to UM News


Isaac Prilleltensky

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 10, 2016)—Isaac Prilleltensky has been appointed vice provost for institutional culture at the University of Miami. As vice provost, his primary responsibility will be the ongoing implementation of the University’s culture transformation initiative. In addition to this new role, Prilleltensky will continue to serve as dean of the School of Education and Human Development and report to the provost.

Prilleltensky will focus on developing programs to actualize the values embraced by the University community. In addition, he will be in charge of evaluating the culture transformation initiative. He will also serve as a resource for the team that has been established by President Julio Frenk to create the framework for a culture of belonging at the U.

“This position will be critical to aligning University efforts to be one U—to be a place where each individual feels valued and has the opportunity to add value at the U,” said President Frenk. “Isaac’s lifelong dedication to the study of individual, organizational, and community well-being will be a tremendous asset as we work together on this important initiative.”

In the past, the University has worked with external consultants in the fields of service excellence and culture to create a foundation for culture change. Phase two of the culture transformation initiative brings these efforts inside the U, with Prilleltensky at the helm. Phase two of the culture journey will expand on the foundation of values, behaviors, and standards that have been established University-wide. The existing culture leadership team will grow to include new members and will continue to be chaired by Executive Vice President and Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc.

“I look forward to working with all of our friends across the University as we begin phase two,” said Prilleltensky. “Speaking on behalf of the entire UM community, I would like to extend our collective thanks to the culture coaches, work team members, and others who have gone above and beyond their duty to help with this effort.”

Posted in Appointments, NewsComments (0)

Career Center Honors Inaugural Toppel Award Winners

By By Bárbara Gutiérrez
UM News


Christian Garcia and Roberta Goode

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 4, 2016)—Often it takes a village to get an internship, a job, and a career. That was the message behind the Toppel Career Center’s inaugural Toppel Awards, which were presented Thursday during a ceremony in the BankUnited Center’s Hurricane 100 room.

Toppel honored nine people, companies, and organizations that are promoting and encouraging professional development among themselves and others during the luncheon that drew more than 100 invited guests.

“It is clear that career education does not only happen within the walls of a career center,” said Christian Garcia, associate dean and executive director of the Toppel Career Center. “It happens across campus, inside classrooms, at internship sites, and more.”

Wearing her Iron Arrow jacket, honoree Roberta Goode, a professor in the College of Engineering’s Biomedical Engineering Department, accepted the Excellence in Career Education Award for her outstanding work in mentoring students and preparing them to enter the workforce.

Goode, who founded a course to help students transition from the theoretical world of engineering into the practical, real-life biomedical field, said the honor was very personal to her.

“After graduating from UM 18 years ago, I found myself struggling in the first job because I did not know FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulations or laws that govern the practice,” she said. “I was given the chance to teach a course (which included laws and regulations) to UM students, and now they’ll never struggle the way I did.”

Also tapped for an award was undergraduate Marian Li, who received the Student of the Year Award in the undergraduate category. Li, who majored in business administration and graduated in December with a Bachelor of Science in Health Science, credits the Toppel Career Center for her success. She worked there for two years, first as a receptionist than as a peer counselor who critiqued résumés and advised other students.

Following the advice of Toppel counselors, she participated in several internships in the health field that proved instrumental in her nabbing a full-time job at AON Hewitt, a human resources and outsourcing company.

“Going to work at Toppel every day kept me focused on my goal of getting a job,” said Li. “The professional staff there gave me wonderful opportunities and even provided great advice that I would have never imagined I needed.”

In the category of Private Employer of the Year, the Nielsen Company took the honors. Nielsen has partnered with UM for the past seven years and has hired more than 20 UM graduates. Their program fosters relationships between their employees, many of whom are UM graduates, and UM students. Through the internship program they provide mentoring and career coaching to all participants.

During the luncheon, each winner received a plaque with an inspirational quote designed by Gapingvoid, the agency that created the inspirational cartoons that grace Toppell’s walls.

Garcia also recognized the invaluable contributions of Patricia and Harold Toppel, whose generous donations established the center and allowed it to transform into one of the nation’s leading career centers.

The Toppel Awards were judged by a selection committee made up of students, University staff and faculty, and recruiters who could provide unbiased reviews of the nominees, said Garcia.

The winners in other categories were:

Distinguished Administrator: Susie Picar, UM assistant director of student employment

Student Group of the Year: Student Government

Student of the Year (Graduate): Alexander Kreymerman

Internship of the Year: Estefan Enterprises

Recruiter of the Year: Steve Hunsicker, from the Peace Corps

Employer of the Year (Not-for-profit/public): U.S. Marine Corps

Posted in Honors, NewsComments (0)

Senate Taps Two Faculty for Top Honors

Special to UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 3, 2015) — Two of the Miller School’s most esteemed practitioners — Laurence R. Sands, M.D., M.B.A., a renowned colorectal surgeon at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Eugene R. Schiff, M.D., one of the world’s leading authorities on liver diseases — have been unanimously selected by the Faculty Senate to receive two of its most prestigious awards, the Outstanding Teaching Award and the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award.

Among the University’s highest honors, the awards will be presented along with two previously announced awards at the 2016 Faculty Senate Awards Ceremony on Monday, April 11.

Laurence R. Sands

Laurence R. Sands

 Sands, professor of clinical surgery and chief of the Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery, was selected as this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Teaching Award for his distinguished record and commitment to providing students with the highest quality education and for inspiring them to strive for success.

A leader in the use of minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery for colon cancer, Sands is involved in every element of surgical education for medical students and post-graduate trainees and is known for using his energy and talent to provide students with the best education at every opportunity. For example, in response to a major concern of residents and students about the balance of clinical service and educational opportunities, he reorganized clinical/surgical rotations to increase educational opportunities.

Demonstrating their gratitude for his inspiration and dedication to their education, the Miller School’s 2011 graduating class selected Sands for the 2010 George Paff Teaching Award.

A renowned gastroenterologist and hepatologist , Schiff, the director of the Schiff Center for Liver Diseases and Leonard Miller Professor of Medicine, will be honored at the April ceremony for his outstanding scholarly achievements. He will also present a short lecture on his research.

For decades, Schiff has led the University’s clinical research aimed at developing improved treatments and cures for hepatitis B, C and D, cirrhosis, and the entire spectrum of liver and biliary tract disorders.

Eugene R. Schiff

Eugene R. Schiff

In 2011, he became the first holder of the Dr. Nasser Ibrahim Al-Rashid Chair in the Schiff Center for Liver Diseases, the successor to the informal Center for Liver Diseases he and his late father, Leon, established in 1982.

Co-editor of the Eleventh Edition of Schiff’s Diseases of the Liver, Schiff has authored and co-authored more than 400 articles, books, and book chapters concerning liver diseases and related topics. He is a former president of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (his father was the first president), past chairman of the Biliary Section of the American Gastroenterological Association and past governor of the American College of Physicians for the state of Florida, a post he held for four years. He was a member of the Gastroenterology Subspecialty Board of the American Board of Internal Medicine and former Chair of the FDA Advisory Committee on gastrointestinal drugs. He is also the recipient of numerous honors and awards.

The Faculty Senate previously voted to honor School of Law Professor Richard L. Williamson with its James W. McLamore Outstanding Service Award and, for the first time, to bestow a Special Faculty Senate Award posthumously, honoring the life and work of Eckhard Podack, a distinguished cancer researcher and educator at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center who passed away October 8.

All members of the University community are invited to attend the awards ceremony, which will begin at 5 p.m. at Storer Auditorium at the School of Business Administration, and will be followed by a reception.

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Alumnus Appointed Dean of the Graduate School

UM News

Prado photo

Guillermo “Willy” Prado

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 1, 2016)—The University of Miami has appointed UM alumnus Guillermo “Willy” Prado, the Leonard M. Miller Professor of Public Health Sciences and the director of the Division of Prevention Science and Community Health at the Miller School of Medicine, as the new dean of the Graduate School, effective immediately.

“Dr. Prado is well positioned to raise the Graduate School at UM to a new level of excellence, thanks to his passion as a researcher and educator,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc.

As dean of the Graduate School, Prado will work in partnership with the deans of the schools and colleges to support and develop strategies for attracting the next generation of scientists and researchers to graduate education at the University of Miami.

He will specifically manage the process of external program reviews and new program proposals, oversee the selection process for University of Miami graduate fellowships, chair the Graduate Council meetings, and meet regularly with graduate program directors, among other duties.

“This appointment is particularly meaningful to me because the University of Miami has been my academic home for 15 years, inclusive of my graduate training,” said Prado, who earned his Ph.D. in epidemiology and public health in 2005 and his Master of Science in statistics in 2000. “My plan is to work collaboratively with University leadership, graduate program directors, and the rest of the University community to continue to increase the quality of graduate education for our students.”

Prado joined the UM faculty in 2007. In the areas of research, he has served as principal investigator of approximately $10 million of National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. He also has served in the roles of mentor and co-investigator of approximately $60 million of NIH and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funding, including a leadership role on two NIH-funded center grants.

His research has appeared in more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, including The Journal of the American Medical Association, Pediatrics, American Journal of Public Health, and American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

During his tenure, Prado has led the development of the Ph.D. program in Prevention Science and Community Health, as well as redesigned the epidemiology doctoral program. Having taught more than 10 graduate courses in prevention science, epidemiology, and biostatistics at UM, Prado has mentored many junior faculty, post-doctoral students, and graduate students.

As chief of the Division of Prevention Science and Community Health since 2013, Prado has overseen a research program endowment of $375,000. Before that, he led the Ph.D. in Epidemiology Doctoral Program and served as acting chief of the Division of Epidemiology.

John L. Bixby, vice provost for research and professor of pharmacology and neurological surgery, chaired the search committee for the Graduate School dean and describes Prado as the “best of the best.” Noting that Prado will play a key role in UM’s progress in education and research, Bixby said, “Even among a number of highly impressive applicants who interacted with the Search Committee, Willy’s personality, accomplishments, and insight stood out. I am personally delighted that he will be our next dean.”

“Willy is an extraordinarily bright, dedicated public health researcher whose enthusiasm for his work is infectious,” said José Szapocznik, chairman of the Department of Public Health Sciences, who recruited Prado to the faculty after he completed his doctoral degree. “His work in prevention science has made him a superstar at UM and in the national scientific community.”

Prado replaces M. Brian Blake, who was named provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs at Drexel University last spring. In the interim, Angel Kaifer, professor of chemistry and senior associate dean for research and graduate education in the UM College of Arts and Sciences, served as dean.

Posted in Appointments, NewsComments (0)

Take These 10 Steps to Boost Your DCC Fundraising

Special to UM News

An important part of participating in the Dolphins Cancer Challenge  on Saturday, February 20, is raising vital funds for cancer research at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. Remember that every penny raised by riders, walkers, runners and virtual participants goes to Sylvester and that’s what the DCC is all about. With two and a half weeks to go, now is your time to give your fundraising efforts one last push. Here are 10 ways to boost your fundraising:

1) Ask your friends, family, and coworkers
Asking for money is not easy, but consider this: by asking for a donation, you are inviting people to join the fight against cancer by supporting Sylvester’s innovative cancer research. Cancer has touched all of us in one way or another, so the mission of the DCC, and your commitment to supporting it, will resonate with everyone you ask.

2) Make your own donation
Reinvigorate your fundraising momentum by donating to your own team. Lead by example and encourage others to donate as well.

3) Aim high and be specific
Ask for a specific and larger amount from those you know can make bigger gifts. Don’t forget to specify that 100 percent of every dollar raised is donated to cancer research at Sylvester.

4) Expand your reach by using social media
Tag your friends and potential donors on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by using the hashtag #TeamHurricanes. Make sure to repost Sylvester’s DCC posts.

5) Send emails
Send emails to your network of potential donors directly from haku on the DCC website or draft your own message from your preferred email account. Include a link to your personal fundraising page. Sending periodic emails to your donor base is a great way to update them on your fundraising progress or training, and also to remind them to make a contribution if they have not done so already.

6) Include fundraising links in your email signature
In your personal and/or work emails, include a link to your personal fundraising page. Also consider including links to the websites of the DCC (DolphinsCancerChallenge.com) and Sylvester (Sylvester.org) for those who want to learn more about both organizations.

7) Ask about matching gifts
Ask your donors if their employers offer a matching gift program for an easy way to double the impact of their donation and strengthen the fight against cancer.

8) Host a fundraising brunch or dinner
Invite your friends, family, and coworkers to a brunch or dinner at your favorite local restaurant. Tell them why you are riding/running/walking in the DCC and ask them to support you by making a donation. And while you’re there, ask the restaurant to make a contribution as well.

9) Make a video
Make a short video explaining what inspired you to participate in the DCC or train for the big day and upload it to your team page as well as your social media channels. Ask your friends to share the video on their channels as well.

10) Meet in person
Catch up with your potential donors in person. They will appreciate the time you take to meet with them and your conversation will go a long way in motivating them to make a donation.

If you have not signed up for the DCC yet, make sure to do so as soon as possible by visiting TeamHurricanes.org.


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