Florida Campus Compact Honors UM for Its ‘Culture of Engagement’

 By Megan Ondrizek
UM News


From right are Andrew Wiemer, director of the Butler Center for Service and Leadership; student Guerdiana Thelomar, UM’s 2014 Newman Civic Fellow; and Ashley Arostegui, associate director of the Office of Civic and Community Engagement.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 22, 2014)—The University of Miami was recognized with two awards from Florida Campus Compact at the Annual Awards Gala on Wednesday, October 15 at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.

Through the work of the Office of Civic and Community Engagement, along with the William R. Butler Center for Volunteer Service and Leadership Development, UM received the Engaged Campus of the Year for the Independent Sector, an award that recognizes exemplary cross-campus commitment to advancing the civic purposes of higher education.

UM also received the 2014 Student Affairs Partnering with Academic Affairs Award, which recognized the work of the new UM Civic Scholars Program. The University received the award for its effective development of a bridge between academic and co-curricular student involvements in an innovative and exemplary manner. The partnership demonstrates high levels of cooperation, commitment and input, or joint participation between student affairs and academic affairs, as well as an ability to successfully accomplish its goals and positively impact all stakeholders with the full support of administrators, faculty, staff and students.

“We are thrilled that the hard work we’ve done over the last few years to infuse a culture of engagement at UM is being recognized statewide,” said Robin Bachin, assistant provost for civic and community engagement. “Our own innovative programs, as well as our exemplary partnership with the Butler Center, have created greater opportunities for UM students and faculty to participate in community-based learning experiences across disciplines.”

The Office of Civic and Community Engagement actively promotes its mission of engaged scholarship, where academic service-learning meets community-based research. The office links the classroom with the community through hands-on, experimental education, in courses and projects, that develop and translate academic knowledge and critical thinking into community engagement and civic responsibility.

“This is a great honor for the University of Miami, but most importantly truly reflects the impressive work of our students and their involvement in the community as engaged scholars and future leaders of our local, national, and global community,” said Andrew Wiemer, director of the Butler Center.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary of service and leadership in the community, the Butler Center, within the Division of Student Affairs, offers a wide range of volunteer and advocacy-based service opportunities for UM students, staff, and local community members, including one-day special events, classroom experiences, ongoing involvement with more than 40 service organizations, and volunteer opportunities during fall and spring break.

Florida Campus Compact, the state affiliate of Campus Compact, is a national presidential membership organization comprised of 53 college and university presidents in Florida and more than 1,100 nationally who are committed to helping students develop the values and skills of active citizenship through participation in public and community service.

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UM Recognized for Wellness

Special to UM News


From right are Jennifer Cohen, executive director of benefits; Nerissa Morris, vice president for human resources; and Stephanie de Souza, development director for Miami Heart Walk, Greater Miami/Fort Lauderdale.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 9, 2014)—The American Heart Association has named the University of Miami a Fit-Friendly Worksite for the fourth year in a row. This designation honors the University for taking steps to enhance the health and well-being of its faculty and staff through workplace wellness programs and facilities. UM achieved gold-level recognition as a Fit-Friendly Worksite.

“We are excited to receive this honor once again,” said Nerissa Morris, vice president for human resources and chair of the UM Wellness Advisory Council. “We know that a healthy workforce leads to an engaged workforce, which is why it is important that we continue to offer various wellness programs throughout the year for faculty and staff.”

Morris said that the University’s wellness programs are of utmost importance to the Wellness Advisory Council. The University’s wellness offerings include wellness centers on the Coral Gables and Miller School of Medicine campuses; the Well ’Canes incentives program, which motivates employees to participate in wellness activities to earn up to $300 cash; Walking ’Canes; Be Smoke Free; Weight Watchers at Work; and free preventive care benefits for faculty and staff who are on a UM health care plan.

To learn about UM’s wellness programs, visit miami.edu/wellcanes.


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Twice as Nice: UM Recognized Again as Local Corporation of the Year

From left are Sophia Galvin; Todd Kimpton of JM Family Enterprises; Dana Hill of Florida Blue; Beatrice Louissaint, president and CEO, Southern Florida Minority Supplier Development Council; John Shipley; Jay Narang of GDKN Corporation; Erasmo Acosta of The Miami Herald; and Dionne Vidal from American Airlines.  Picture courtesy of Afreeman Photography

From left are Sophia Galvin; Todd Kimpton, of JM Family Enterprises; Dana Hill, of Florida Blue; Beatrice Louissaint, president and CEO, Southern Florida Minority Supplier Development Council; John Shipley; Jay Narang, of GDKN Corporation; Erasmo Acosta, of The Miami Herald; and Dionne Vidal from American Airlines.
Picture courtesy of Afreeman Photograph

The University of Miami was recognized as the Southern Florida Minority Supplier Development Council’s (SFMSDC) Local Corporation of the Year at the council’s 39th Annual Awards Gala at Jungle Island on September 26.

This is the second time the University has received the council’s highest honor, which is awarded to organizations that consistently demonstrate a commitment to women and minority business development and have established world-class supplier diversity programs.

Accepting the award on behalf of the University, John Shipley, vice president of finance and treasurer, noted that it solidifies the ongoing work of the Business Development Program, which manages supplier diversity at UM, and the importance of University support in South Florida’s diverse community of business owners.

Sophia Galvin, director of inclusion programs, also expressed her gratitude for the recognition of UM’s continuing commitment to supplier diversity.

“Receiving this award is such a wonderful honor, because it comes directly from our stakeholders,” Galvin said.  “It’s terrific to be recognized as a good corporate citizen.”

Some of UM’s supplier diversity programs include UMatch, industry-specific commodity driven matchmaking events that connect women and minority owned businesses with internal decision makers; Mentor/Protégé, a program that pairs UM executives with minority businesses based on their specialty and specific business needs; and a supplier diversity advisory board composed of key stakeholders who help propel the program.

Other competitors in the award category included Broward Health and Jackson Health System.

For more information on these programs, visit miami.edu/bdp or contact Sophia Galvin.



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Legendary ’Cane Receives Fond Farewell with Tropical Flair

By Meredith Camel
UM News

Norm Parsons showed his characteristic humility, grace, and warmth at his retirement party.

Norm Parsons showed his characteristic humility, grace, and warmth at his retirement party.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (September 18, 2004)—Looking dapper in his tuxedo with ’Canes-themed bow tie and cummerbund, Norman C. Parsons, Jr. greeted each person who attended his retirement party on Wednesday, September 17, the same way he greeted people over the past 43 years—with a genuine smile and warm handshake, followed by “How are YOU,” his hands forming the U.

Transformed into a tropical paradise, the Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center’s second-floor basketball gymnasium held hundreds of ’Canes who gathered to honor the man they call “Mr. P.,” “Mr. Wellness,” or “Hey Norm!” The guest list was a veritable who’s who of UM history, including President Emeritus Edward “Tad” Foote II, former Provost Luis Glaser, and the man who first hired Parsons as intramural director—former Vice President for Student Affairs William “Bill” Butler.

Also in the crowd were Terry Williams Munz, B.B.A. ’77, recipient of the nation’s first female athletic scholarship, granted in 1973 by then-golf coach, Mr. P., as well as a tapestry of Iron Arrow jackets. Parsons, who initially refused to accept an Iron Arrow invitation until women were invited to join, later served as the honor society’s advisor from 1995 to 2009.

A steel drum band played in the background while faculty, staff, alumni, and friends enjoyed refreshments, reverie, and a five-hole putt-putt challenge. Just outside the pop-up oasis, guests who recorded a personal video tribute received a raffle ticket to win a Norm Parsons bobble-head doll—its hands positioned, of course, in a U. Several speakers shared reasons why Parsons is one of the most beloved Hurricanes of all time.

“Norm has been here longer than most of the buildings on campus,” said Sergio Gonzalez, senior vice president for University Advancement and External Affairs. “Norm, you’re a transformational leader, an icon to thousands of students. You’ve touched the lives of so many people that the world is a better place because of you.”

President Donna E. Shalala called Parsons an “extraordinary citizen of our community” and thanked him for keeping us healthy.

It was Parsons, in fact, who introduced the term wellness to the UM community in the late 1980s and made sure that everyone knew—and lived by—his motto: “You get an education at the University of Miami, but you get a life at the Herbert Wellness Center.”

Patti, B.B.A. ’57, and Allan Herbert, B.B.A. ’55, M.B.A. ’58, recounted how Parsons’ friendship and leadership garnered their support for the center that bears their name, as well as the Love Bridge at the center’s entrance, which is dedicated to those who fell in love at the U. The Herbert Wellness Center staff announced that the annual intramural golf tournament is henceforth named the “Norman C. Parsons, Jr. Intramural Golf Scramble.”

In his characteristic humility and grace, Parsons gave credit to his staff and many others for their dedication and teamwork over the years. He introduced new Executive Director of Wellness and Recreation Scott Levin and encouraged everyone to fill out their “Hey Scott” cards.

Parsons noted that the U also played an important role in finding his true love, wife Linda McDonald, M.Ed. ’78. She was a golf coach at Broward Community College while he was coaching the Lady ’Canes golf team, and they met on the competition circuit. As he teared up, Parsons told a Hawaiian shirt-clad Sebastian to deliver a bouquet of flowers to his “best golf partner.”

And to Bill Butler, he said, “Thank you for hiring me in 1972. You took a hell of a chance on me, and I hope it paid off.”




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UM Receives CASE Award for Superior Fundraising Program

UM News

Sergio M. Gonzalez

Sergio M. Gonzalez

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (August 27, 2014)—The University of Miami has received a 2014 CASE Educational Fundraising Award, an honor the Council for Advancement and Support of Education bestows on educational institutions with superior fundraising programs. In selecting UM for an Overall Performance Award in the private research institution category, judges analyzed three years of fundraising data and numerous indicators of a mature, well-balanced program, including the breadth and growth of UM’s base of support.

“CASE’s recognition is a testament to the dedication of many people—starting with our president, Donna E. Shalala, and her entire administrative team, and including our amazing staff, volunteers, members of the Board of Trustees, faculty and students, and, of course, our loyal donors,” said Sergio M. Gonzalez, senior vice president for University Advancement and External Affairs. “I am so grateful that our supporters know the value of investing in UM and believe in furthering its progress and impact. Together, we are building one of the world’s greatest research institutions.”

UM, which launched Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami in 2008, has raised $1.3 billion of its $1.6 billion goal from more than 140,000 individuals.

An international association of more than 3,600 educational institutions, CASE serves nearly 74,000 advancement professionals in 82 countries.



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