President Shalala Receives Harry S. Truman Legacy of Leadership Award

By Maya Bell
UM News

UM President Donna E. Shalala displays the Truman Award with Clifton Truman Daniel, honorary chairman of the Truman Library Institute and President Truman’s eldest grandson (left), and John J. Sherman, chairman of the Truman Library Institute. Photo credit: Mark McDonald.

UM President Donna E. Shalala displays the Truman Award with Clifton Truman Daniel, honorary chairman of the Truman Library Institute and President Truman’s eldest grandson (left), and John J. Sherman, chairman of the Truman Library Institute. Photo credit: Mark McDonald.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (April 11, 2014) – In 1948,President Harry S. Truman noted that leaders who ably serve their nation during trying times send a message to future generations: “Do your duty, and history will do you justice.” More than 65 years later, on the evening of Thursday, April 10, the Harry S. Truman Library Institute that Truman established to inspire young people to embrace that motto and choose paths of service and purpose honored his legacy by recognizing UM President Donna E. Shalala with its Harry S. Truman Legacy of Leadership Award. Read the full story

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Three Stand-Out Scholars Recognized for Their Achievements

UM News


Jubilation: Provost’s Award for Scholarly Activity recipients, from left, Michael Miller, Sylvia Daunert, and Andrew Leone exchange congratulatory handshakes at last Friday’s ceremony.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (April 3, 2014) – Her work is reminiscent of Fantastic Voyage, the 1966 science fiction film in which a submarine and its crew—reduced to microscope size—enter the bloodstream of a comatose patient and embark on a journey to his brain to destroy a clot with a surgical laser.

In Sylvia Daunert’s case, however, she is experimenting with nano-sized particles, not miniature submarines, to deliver drugs to specific targets in the human body. Read the full story

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Professor Osamudia James Named to Lawyers of Color’s 50 Under 50 List

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (April 7, 2014)—School of Law Professor Osamudia James has been named to Lawyers of Color’s 50 Under 50 list, published in the April 7 “Law School Diversity” issue. The listing is a comprehensive catalog of minority law professors who are making an impact in legal education.

“It is a privilege to be recognized as an influential minority law professor under 50,” said James. “Academia has given me opportunities to participate in important dialogues about how identity and the law interact in the United States, and it is affirming to know that my contributions to those conversations are valued.”

James writes and teaches in the areas of education law, race and the law, administrative law, and torts. Her more recent work includes “White Like Me: The Diversity Rationale’s Negative Impact on White Identity Formation,” which will be published in the New York University Law Review; “Opt-Out Education: School Choice as Racial Subordination,” to be published in the Iowa Law Review; “Predatory Ed: The Conflict Between Public Good and For-Profit Higher Education;” and “Dog Wags Tail: The Continuing Viability of Minority-Targeted Aid in Higher Education.”

“Osamudia James is a truly gifted teacher and scholar whose leadership in the national conversation about education and race is really important,” said UM School of Law Dean Patricia D. White.

In January, the American Association of Law Schools’ Minority Groups Section named James co-recipient of the 2014 Derrick A. Bell, Jr. Award, which recognizes a junior faculty member who, through activism, mentoring, colleagueship, teaching, and scholarship, has made an extraordinary contribution to legal education, the legal system, or social justice. The award is named in honor of the first tenured African American law professor at Harvard Law School, who co-founded Critical Race Theory.

“Teaching is an awesome responsibility, as it means I play an important part in shaping the way my students understand both the law and their role in our legal system,” said James. “Being an educator, however, is also a joy—nothing matches the delight of witnessing students transform into attorneys, knowing that I was able to help them realize their potential as lawyers.”


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Three University of Miami Student Publications Take Top Media Honors

UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 21, 2014) — Three student publications—Ibis Yearbook 2013, Distraction Magazine, and The Miami Hurricane newspaper—were recognized among the best in the nation last week, with the yearbook and magazine each earning Gold Crowns from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA), and The Miami Hurricane taking the College Media Association’s (CMA) top David L. Adams Apple Award for the best newspaper of its size.

Ibis and Distraction received the CSPA’s highest honor during a March 14 ceremony in New York City. The next day, at the annual CMA Spring Conference, also held in New York City, The Hurricane won its first first-place Apple Award in the Best Newspaper category for a four-year school with 5,000 to 10,000 students.

“We are honored, proud and humbled to have been selected,” said Stephanie Parra, editor-in-chief of The Miami Hurricane, who attended the ceremony. “This award inspires us to continue to excel.”

Randy Stano, advisor to Ibis and Distraction, noted that the Gold Crown is the CSPA’s highest and most rigorous honor. “These publications go through a second round of judging after the normal critiques and medalists honors,” he said. “The second set of 12 judges have no clue as to the previous rating or honor for the entries.”

UM was one of three universities to walk away with two Gold Crowns. Distraction also received third place in the CMA’s 2014 Apple Awards for “Best Magazine Spread, four-year school.”

Ibis Yearbook picked up its eighth Gold Crown overall—fifth in a row—and 11th Crown honor in the past 12 years. The 2013 Ibis was led by Sandra Montalvo, editor-in-chief, and Katherine Lee, managing editor.

In the past three years, The Miami Hurricane has garnered top recognition from multiple outlets, including the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP). The Hurricane also was selected as one of the regional winners for best all-around newspaper by the Society of Professional Journalists.

“I’m extremely proud of the fine work produced every week by The Miami Hurricane, from students who are passionate about serving the UM community with good journalism,” said Bob Radziewicz, the paper’s faculty advisor.


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School of Law Students Win Prestigious Frankfurt Investment Arbitration Moot Court Championship

From left are the School of Law's third-year student, Joseph Matthews, Coach Andrew Riccio, second-year student Benjamin Keime and third-year student Abirami Ananthasingam.

From left are School of Law third-year student Joseph Matthews, coach Andrew Riccio, second-year student Benjamin Keime, and third-year student Abirami Ananthasingam.

Special to UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 19, 2014)— For the second time, the University of Miami School of Law’s moot court team won the Frankfurt Investment Arbitration Moot Court, which ended in a tie. UM Law’s team, second-year student Benjamin Keime and third-year students Abirami Ananthasingam and Joseph Matthews, shares the top prize—including scholarships to The Hague Academy of International Law—with the distinguished Sciences Po Law School in Paris.

The competition, considered one of the most prestigious international student competitions with a focus on investment protection, was hosted by Goethe-University Frankfurt in Germany.

Throughout the week of March 10-14, the UM School of Law team competed against 41 law school teams from countries around the world, including Bulgaria, China, France, Germany, Greece, India, and the United Kingdom.

“The highlight of the competition was arguing in front of some of the most prestigious practitioners in the field of international law and competing against some of the most elite schools in the world,” said Ananthasingam, vice president of UM’s International Moot Court and president of the International Law Society. “As the rounds became more and more difficult, the more the depth of Miami Law’s knowledge and advocacy skills shone through.”

The Frankfurt Moot Court serves as a platform for students who want to compete on an international level and have a passion for investment protection. Teams present their arguments orally before tribunals of arbitration composed of investment treaty specialists.

“I have worked with Abirami and Joseph for two years already,” said Paula Arias, director of the International Moot Court Program. “They competed last year on a different moot, and we won best oralist and best memorial. The students wanted to compete again because they enjoyed it so much. This year, I decided to give them the opportunity, and I selected them, along with Benjamin, to compete in Frankfurt. I knew they would work hard and do everything necessary to succeed in Germany. And I was not wrong.”

Investment protection has increasingly become a hot topic in the international community and has been recognized as one of the more intellectually challenging branches of international law.

“The Frankfurt Moot is an amazing opportunity, as it attracts such a diverse pool of international schools,” said Matthews, who is president of UM’s International Moot Court.

“The fact that it is free to participate in allows an intense depth of global perspective, which creates a truly remarkable atmosphere,” he continued. “Our quarterfinals against Gujarat University India was intense; they ultimately won best Asian regional team and really tested our ability to adjust our arguments to their unique style and answers. Our semifinals against Norman Manley Jamaica was also a nail-biter. Not only were they our biggest threat going into this competition, but our round against them was a rematch from 2011, when Miami also went head-to-head against Jamaica in the semifinals. The Jamaicans proved to be formidable adversaries, as they won best team for a Non-OECD country and also best team from the Caribbean region. But ultimately Miami mustered through with a win and moved onto the finals.”

The team was coached by L Andrew S. Riccio, J.D. ’11, an associate with Assouline & Berlowe, where he practices international arbitration and litigation. He was a member of the UM team that competed and won in Frankfurt in 2011, the last time UM Law clinched the competition.

“It was an honor and a pleasure for me to return to Frankfurt,” Riccio said. “Coaching this talented team was a fantastic experience, and I am, of course, so thrilled with the outcome.”

Arias said that Riccio started working with the team over the summer. “It was the first time Andrew was leading the team as coach, which makes me extremely happy because I can see how much the students can learn from former students,” Arias said. “I have only words of appreciation for all the dedication Andrew put into this year’s team.”

Arbitrators Charles Brower of 20 Essex Street, Abby Cohen-Smutney of White & Case, and Judge Awn Al-Khasaweh of the International Court of Justice judged the UM School of Law team.

“We were shocked when Science Po France beat George Washington University in their own semifinal match,” Matthews said. “Miami and George Washington both tied in the Washington, D.C. pre-moot, and we as a team were really impressed by how well-versed GW was in the case.”

Each member of UM’s moot team receives a three-week placement at The Hague Academy of International Law.

“The International Moot Court Program prepares our students to be great lawyers and gives UM recognition as a great school in international law,” Arias said.


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