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USF Honors Frenk with Honorary Degree

05-15-17-USF-Frenk-608x342Before conferring nearly 3,800 degrees to the University of Miami’s spring 2017 graduates last week, UM President Julio Frenk, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., received another degree of his own—from the University of South Florida where he delivered the commencement address at the USF Health Ceremony.

USF System President Judy Genshaft and Charles J. Lockwood, M.D., senior vice president for USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine, presented the USF Honorary Degree to Frenk at their May 5 ceremony when 450 newly minted nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, and other health professionals walked the stage in Tampa.

Frenk, the former health minister of Mexico and former dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, congratulated the  students for making “an existential commitment to improving the human condition through your unique blend of knowledge, skills, experience, and compassionate care.”

He also told them their graduation coincides with a moment in history that can be characterized with two words: change and complexity. “In particular,” he said, “health care is being shaped and challenged by unprecedented economic, technological, and social forces. It is changing from a system that rewards volume to one that rewards value; from care that is fragmented across highly specialized silos into care that is integrated across collaborative teams of health professionals.”

 

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Fernandez and Ronda Honored for Embodying Public School Success

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Rudy Fernandez and Barbara Ronda

UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (May 11, 2017) — Two University of Miami leaders—Rudy Fernandez, vice president for government and community relations and chief of staff to President Julio Frenk, and Barbara Ronda, associate vice president and chief administrative officer for the University of Miami Health System—were among the high-achieving graduates of Miami-Dade County Public Schools honored last week by The Education Fund.

Fernandez and Ronda, both 1991 graduates of Southwest High School, and 23 other community and business leaders received the Sapoznik Insurance Public School Alumni Achievement Awards at the fund’s annual For the Love of Art charity auction at the Miami Airport Convention Center on May 10 for embodying the success of a public school education.

The Education Fund, a nonprofit, works with the private sector to support and promote quality public education in Miami-Dade’s public schools by providing teachers and students with resources they need to be successful. Each year, the organization honors distinguished alumni who have made an impact on Miami-Dade County, which Fernandez and Ronda  have—and which their early leadership roles portended. Back in 1991, he was Southwest’s student government president and she its senior class president.

Today, Fernandez, who also serves on the boards of the United Way of Miami-Dade, the Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation, and the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, is a member of the third class of the Presidential Leadership Scholars program, a national leadership development initiative that draws upon the resources of three U.S. presidential centers.

Prior to joining UM in 2007, Fernandez served as special assistant to the president in the George W. Bush White House and held senior positions in the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Bush-Cheney 2004 Campaign, and the Republican National Committee.

In addition to her duties at UM, Ronda serves on the board of directors of the Health Foundation of South Florida, which promotes health and disease prevention in Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. She also was selected last year for the inaugural class of the Carol Emmott Fellowship, a cutting-edge program that accelerates the leadership capacity and impact of women leaders in health care.

Ronda, who joined UM in 2013, previously served as assistant vice president for strategic operations and business development at the  International Medicine Institute and as director of strategic operations and business development for managed care.

Prior to joining UM, she held several positions in the Jackson Health System and at Miami Children’s Hospital.

 

 

 

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Josh Brandfon Elected to NACA Board

UM News

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Josh Brandfon

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (May 11, 2017)—Joshua R. Brandfon, director of Student Activities, Student Organizations, and Student Center Complex programs at the University of Miami, has been elected to the board of directors of the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) by the organization’s members. Earlier this year, the national organization dedicated to promoting student learning through engagement in campus life, awarded Brandfon one of its top achievement awards, the NACA Legacy Award.

At UM, Brandfon has helped create a climate that promotes and encourages student involvement and engagement. He also helps oversee the implementation of major university events, including distinguished guest lectures and dignitary visits, and serves as the primary administrator responsible for the management of more than 750 student organization accounts.

Brandfon, who began his relationship with NACA as a member of the Northeast Region Showcase Selection Committee, was a 2006 recipient of a NACA Educational Foundation McCullough Graduate Student Scholarship. Since then, he’s won many NACA awards for his leadership and service: the Outstanding Service Award in 2007, the NACA South C. Shaw Smith Founders Award in 2010, the Outstanding Service Citation in 2012, and this year’s NACA Legacy Award.

Over the years, he has chaired both the South Regional Conference Program Committee and the National Convention Program Committee. More recently, he served on the NACA Research and Scholarship Group, the Strategic Plan Task Force, and the inaugural cohort for NACA LEAP (Leadership and Effectiveness in Association Practices).

“With over ten years of experience with NACA’s various positions, Josh’s extensive knowledge of our association will serve us well as we begin the execution of a new strategic plan,” said Toby Cummings, NACA’s executive director. “Josh is a favorite presenter at our conferences and has been published in Campus Activities Programming magazine. He will be a wonderful addition to the leadership team.”

Brandfon received his B.A. in politics and economics from Brandeis University and his M.A. in educational leadership from the University of Connecticut. He anticipates completing his doctor of education from the University of Miami in 2018.

Established in 1960, NACA is the recognized leader in higher education for providing members with knowledge, ideas, and resources to promote student learning through engagement in campus life. NACA offers a variety of events, educational institutes, publications and networking opportunities for colleges and universities across the country. The association’s programs focus on program planning, risk management, multicultural education, concert management, student and professional leadership development, student government and more. For more information visit www.naca.org.

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UM Named One of America’s Best Employers by Forbes

Independent survey reflects employee pride

Forbes-Best-EmployerCORAL GABLES, Fla. (May 10, 2017) —The University of Miami is ranked No. 15 on the 2017 Forbes list of America’s Best Employers—the highest-ranked University in the nation and the highest-ranked organization in Florida. This is the first time UM has been included on the list, which is based on independent surveys of employees.

“We are proud and honored to receive this recognition,” said Nerissa Morris, vice president for human resources. “We work hard to foster a culture where employees are able to grow, feel valued, and contribute to our missions. Knowing our employees recommend the University as a place to work is a powerful statement. Today, we feel the strength of the UM spirit and sense of community across the University.”

Released Tuesday, May 9, the Forbes rankings recognize the nation’s top 500 large employers and the 300 best mid-sized employers.

To compile the rankings, Forbes partnered with Statista, an online statistics provider, to conduct an independent survey of more than 30,000 employees across 23 industries. Participation in the survey was voluntary, and respondents were recruited from thousands of sources to maximize reach and representation.

Participants, who were contacted anonymously online—not through their employer—were asked their willingness to recommend their employer on a scale from 0 to 10. The scores were then analyzed, involving highly selective criteria, which determined the University of Miami to be one of America’s best.

View the full list at Forbes America’s Best Employers.

 

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Recognition for ‘White Sand Black Beach’

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Greg Bush and Florida’s first lady, Ann Scott, at the Florida Book Awards ceremony.

Greg Bush, an associate professor of history, has won a prestigious silver Florida Book Award for non-fiction for his book about a pivotal struggle in Miami’s civil rights history, White Sand Black Beach: Civil Rights, Public Space and Miami’s Virginia Key.

Bush, who was honored with other winning authors from across the state in Tallahassee last month, said he never imagined his life would be consumed largely by “what I learned from our history as I became an advocate (and organizer) trying to preserve and enhance the public spaces along Miami’s waterfront.”

In White Sand Black Beach, Bush chronicles the unique story of Miami-Dade County’s “black” beach, the current state of Miami’s public waterfront, and the potential to stimulate civic engagement. As he notes, environmentalists, community leaders, and civil rights activists have come together recently to revitalize Virginia Key, which was begrudgingly designated as a beach for African-Americans in 1945 after activists protested Jim Crow-era laws that denied blacks access to the recreational waterfront.

The beach became a vitally important gathering spot for African-American families and represented a tangible victory in the continuing struggle for civil rights in public spaces. But, as white leaders responded to desegregation by decreasing attention to and funding for public spaces in general, the beach was largely ignored and eventually shut down.

Bush was one of more than 200 writers to compete for the awards, which recognize, honor, and celebrate the best books about Florida published in the previous year. The competition is coordinated by the Florida State University Libraries with assistance from across the state.

For more information on the full list of winners, visit the Florida Book Awards

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