Toppel Career Center Seeks Nominations for 2017 Toppel Awards

The Toppel Career Center is seeking nominations for the 2017 Toppel Awards to honor University of Miami students, student organizations, faculty, staff, alumni, and employers who exemplify a commitment to the professional development of themselves and/or others. The Toppel Career Center encourages faculty and staff to nominate groups and/or individuals who deserve to be recognized with awards such as Student of the Year, Student Group of the Year, Alum of the Year, Employer of the Year, Distinguished Administrator, and Excellence in Career Education. Nominations are due by Monday, November 28. Finalists will be notified by mid-January.

To learn more and to submit a nomination, visit The Toppel Awards or call 305-284-5451.

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UM Among Leaders in Least Student Debt

UM News

financing_umcampus_138-940x529CORAL GABLES, Fla. (September 13, 2016)—The University of Miami is emerging as one of the top research universities in the country graduating students with some of the least debt when they collect their diplomas.

In fact, students at UM are graduating with an average debt of $19,000, the fifth lowest among top private research universities, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 “Best Colleges” rankings, released Tuesday.

“The University of Miami is very aware of the high cost of attendance at private institutions and the burdens imposed by high student debt,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc.  “We are working hard to reduce the debt of our neediest students, and will continue to do so as our resources permit.”

Currently, the University is working toward a goal of providing financial aid to meet 100 percent of undergraduate student need, an ambition announced by UM President Julio Frenk during his inauguration in January when he stated: “If education is to fulfill its crucial function of expanding opportunities, we must build a bridge between excellence and access.”

In the U.S. News rankings, the University of Miami is ranked 44th in the “Best National Universities” category, jumping up from No. 51 last year. UM is the top-ranked school in Florida.

In addition, UM is ranked as one of the top universities for U.S. veterans. It is now 27th in the nation in the “2017 Best Colleges for Veterans” category, offering benefits and assistance to help veterans and active-duty service members pursue their education.

“The University has had strong ties with military veteran and active-duty service members throughout its history. The commitment to educate and provide services to these men and women, who represent our country, is held in high regard,” said Gail Cole-Avent, executive director for student life and advisor for the Veterans Student Organization, a chapter of Student Veterans of America. “Over the past five years, I’ve served in an integral role in supporting the academic and leadership endeavors of these students, as well as working with university colleagues to ensure that policies and operations meet the evolving needs. Most importantly, the greatest joy has been working directly with the students to establish an environment that facilitates the development of community.”

UM is also listed among the top universities in the country, at 24th, for having the largest proportion of undergraduate international students attending the University. U.S. News cites this category as important because, “In a global culture, befriending and learning to collaborate with students from other countries can be rewarding personally and professionally.”

Earlier this year, U.S. News awarded the Miller School of Medicine’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute the No. 1 ranking in its “Best Hospitals 2017 Edition,” the 15th time in 27 years that it has garnered this accolade. Additionally, the Miller School of Medicine ranked among the top 50 in the 2017 edition of “Best Graduate Schools” climbing 12 spots in 10 years.

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Faculty Senate Calls for Awards Nominations

The Faculty Senate is encouraging University faculty to send in their nominations for any or all of the Senate’s annual awards, which each year includes the James W. McLamore Outstanding Service Award, the Outstanding Teaching Award, and the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award.

Nomination materials for each of the awards,which recognize the exceptional efforts of noteworthy members of the University community, are due to the Faculty Senate office by Wednesday, October 12.

Find nomination criteria and more detailed information about each award by clicking on the award titles below.

The James W. McLamore Outstanding Service Award recognizes service above and beyond the call of duty by a member of the University community.

The Outstanding Teaching Award recognizes outstanding teaching by a faculty member with a substantial record of teaching at the University.

The Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award recognizes either a single outstanding scholarly achievement or a lifetime of distinguished accomplishment in any area of research or creative activity.

Awardees, who are selected by a highly competitive, peer-review process, will be presented with their awards at the 2017 Faculty Senate Awards Ceremony on Monday, April 3, 2017, in the Robert and Judi Prokop Newman Alumni Center, starting at 5 p.m.



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Smith College Honors Renaissance Scholar

Special to UM News

MihokoSuzukiCORAL GABLES, Fla. (August, 31, 2016)—During the fall term, University of Miami English Professor Dr. Mihoko Suzuki is calling Massachusetts her temporary home as she assumes her new role as the 2016-2017 Ruth and Clarence Kennedy Professor in Renaissance Studies at Smith College, a distinguished women’s liberal arts college in Northampton.

“I am honored to have been invited to take part in this prestigious interdisciplinary appointment,” said Suzuki, who also serves as director of the Center for the Humanities at the College of Arts and Sciences. Past Kennedy Professors have included renowned scholars such as Felix Gilbert, a German historian of Renaissance Italy; Jean Seznec, a French art historian and literary scholar; and more recently, Peter Stallybrass, an English Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, who specializes in the history of the book.

As Kennedy Professor, Suzuki will present a series of three public lectures under the title: “Antigone’s Example: Early Modern Women’s Political Writing in Times of Civic War.” The first lecture, “Christine de Pizan and the Origin of Early Modern Women’s Political Thought,” will take place September 20; the second, “Political Writing High and Low: Women of the French Fronde,” is set for October 25; and the third, “The English Civil Wars: Margaret Cavendish and her Contemporaries,” is scheduled for November 29.

Suzuki will also teach an upper-level seminar, “Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe: The Art of Self-Fashioning,” which will focus on writings by women in Italy, France, England, and Spain that range from political thought to drama, poetry, narrative fiction, and autobiographical prose.

“The seminar’s enrollment is limited to 12, and the students had to be chosen by an application process,” Suzuki explained. “Those who were accepted are from a wide variety of disciplines, from literature to film, anthropology, psychology, and government. The students are engaged in the topic and have already requested the syllabus in advance of the beginning of classes.”

Suzuki earned her A.B. in history and literature from the College Scholar Program at Cornell University and her Ph.D. in comparative literature at Yale University. She is the author of Metamorphoses of Helen: Authority, Difference, and the Epic; and Subordinate Subjects: Gender, the Political Nation, and Literary Form in England, 1588-1688. She has also published numerous articles as well as many edited books on Renaissance and early modern literature and culture, English and European, with an emphasis on gender and authorship. She coedits, with her University of Miami colleagues Anne J. Cruz (MLL) and Mary Lindemann (History), the award-winning Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal.

Her current project, for which she received fellowships from the Folger Shakespeare Library and the New York Public Library, is a book on women’s political writing during times of civil war from the late middle ages to the French Revolution.

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Professor Wins Premier Psychology Award

Blaine Fowers

Blaine Fowers

Professor Honored by American Psychological Foundation 

By Barbara Gutierrez
UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (August, 29, 2016)—Blaine Fowers, a professor of educational and psychological studies in the School of Education and Human Development, has been awarded the Joseph B. Gittler Award from the American Psychological Foundation for his contributions to the philosophical foundations of psychology.

The annual award, which includes a $7,500 honorarium, honors theoretical psychologists who question the basic assumptions most psychologists take for granted. Among them: whether it is possible to study human psychology in a value-neutral way, whether human psychology can be explained only in terms of causal forces, or whether humans have agency or choice. They also ponder whether humans are fundamentally separate individuals or initially social creatures who only later become individuals.

“The Gittler award is an honor to receive because it is the premier award given to recognize work on the philosophical foundations of psychology in North America,” said Fowers. “The importance of the award was indicated by its first two awardees, Jerome Bruner and Daniel Kahneman (who also won a Nobel Prize), two giants in psychology.”

The Gittler award was established through a bequest from Joseph Gittler, Ph.D., who wished to recognize psychologists who are making and will continue to make scholarly contributions to the philosophical foundations of psychological knowledge.

Isaac Prilleltensky, dean of the School of Education and Human Development, said Fowers’ work helps to illuminate fundamental assumptions underlying psychological thinking.

“His contributions reveal the culturally embedded nature of much psychological thinking and practice. If you want to be a better psychologist, or a better consumer of psychological theories and services, you have to understand the philosophical foundations of the discipline,” Prilleltensky said. “Fowers has helped psychologists and the public at large to understand unquestioned assumptions about the profession, dealing mainly with biases towards individualism.”

Fowers joined the faculty in 1990 and served as the director of training for the doctoral program in counseling psychology from 1997 to 2005 and as department chair from 2005 to 2009. In his role as a teacher, Fowers provides instruction in character development and flourishing, research methods, the evolution of human social life, and preparation for academic careers.

He has an active research team of doctoral and undergraduate research assistants who are engaged in the interdisciplinary study of the virtues of kindness, fairness, and friendship. The author of two books, The Evolution of EthicsVirtue and Psychology and Beyond the Myth of Marital Happiness, Fowers also coauthored Re-envisioning Psychology and the forthcoming Human Frailty and Flourishing. His scholarly interests center on the contributions of Aristotle’s ethics to a richer understanding of psychological theory, research, and practice.

Fowers received a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. He served as an assistant professor at the University of New Mexico before coming to Miami.

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