Office of the Vice Provost Announces 2015 Provost’s Research Awards

Special to UM News

CORAL GABLES, FLA. (January 23, 2014) — The Office of the Vice Provost for Research has announced the recipients of the 2015 Provost’s Research Awards, which will provide salary support and direct research costs to faculty for a wide range of research topics–from the chemical communication of toadfish to the epidemiology of a stock market bubble. In all, 55 faculty representing 29 departments in nine schools and colleges on the Coral Gables and marine campuses were selected for the awards.

The Provost’s Research Awards are designed to foster excellence in research and creative activity and increase the overall research portfolio at the University of Miami. Applicants are reviewed by faculty subcommittees of the Research Council representing the arts, business, humanities, natural science, engineering, and social sciences. Funding is awarded in three categories based on discipline: the Max Orovitz Research Award in Arts and Humanities; the James W. McLamore Research Award in Business and the Social Sciences, and the Research Award in the Natural Sciences and Engineering.

Approximately 150 applications were evaluated based on their scholarly, scientific and/or creative merit, the likelihood that the work will lead to major peer-reviewed outcomes, and the opportunity for faculty career enhancement.

View a list of this year’s awardees.

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Beloved Scholar M. Minnette Massey Passes Torch to Charlton Copeland

By Catharine Skipp
Special to UM News


M. Minnette Massey and Charlton Copeland

CORAL GABLES, FLA. (January 23, 2015)—She has been described as indomitable, outspoken, adorable, irascible, and deeply decent, with a splash of salt. He has been called spirited, astute, erudite, committed, and good humored.

On Thursday, January 29, M. Minnette Massey, professor of law emerita, will formally fulfill a promise she made in 2008 to Charlton Copeland, professor of law.

As Massey, former acting dean of Miami Law, half a century on the faculty, early adopter of diversity, and the undisputed queen of civil procedure, exited her final class, she turned to Copeland—still a new professor with only a year under his belt—and delivered the scepter. “It’s up to you now,” she bequeathed.

Copeland will be appointed the inaugural holder of the M. Minnette Massey Chair in Law on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at the Lowe Art Museum.

Massey first arrived at the University of Miami in 1944 as a freshman, class of 1948. She would graduate from Miami Law in 1951 and join the faculty in 1958, while simultaneously earning an LL.M. as a Kenison Fellow at New York University.

The fair-haired, green-eyed spitfire was one of the “First Wave,” fourteen woman pioneers who elbowed their way into the male-dominated world of American law school professors. Massey began teaching legal research as an assistant law librarian, but rapidly asserted her dominance in the machinations of Florida civil procedure.

She would catch the attention of U.S. Supreme Court Justices Hugo Black and William O. Douglas, who admired her dazzling intellect and skills as a raconteur. Think Shirley MacLaine, only loads smarter. She ascended to assistant dean, then first woman dean, all the while imprinting armies of young lawyers as masters of the intricacies of litigation and the rightful leaders of their profession. She was a force to behold, and she used her powers to lead the law school into integration of both the faculty and student body.

When Copeland was born, Massey was already a decade past her midpoint at Miami Law. He would take a long, but far more interesting path to the steps of 1311 Miller Drive.

On his road to becoming a law teacher committed to the ideal of the training of lawyers and scholarly engagement, the young New Orleanian Copeland would weather many New England winters: first at Amherst College, then through both Divinity and Law School at Yale University. From there, he would clerk in South Africa for two justices of the Constitutional Court, then return to clerk at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. After clerking, he was an associate at Hogan & Hartson in Washington, D.C. Copeland began his academic career as a visiting professor at Northwestern University School of Law.

The Florida sun would finally shine on Copeland in 2007 when he was invited to join the faculty at Miami Law. From the lectern or the pulpit, the charismatic Copeland holds his audiences spellbound, although he suspects that such a feat is easier when students haven’t been introduced to the material through an episode on Law & Order.

Whether teaching civil procedure, administrative law, or federal courts, Copeland’s classes are highly sought after. His goals as a teacher are always to keep his students engaged in the subject matter by demonstrating the commonsense dimension of often-arid areas of study. Additionally, he aims to demonstrate the relevance of these subjects to both the practical questions that lawyers face and the fundamental issues of policymaking in a democracy. Copeland considers himself first and foremost a teacher of lawyers who, he expects, will do great things in their respective communities.

Copeland’s passion for teaching is fueled by his scholarly interests. His primary area of research during his time at Miami Law has been an attempt to rethink our conceptualization of the national-state relationship as reflected in state and national institutions. In both his writings on federalism and his more explicit writing on the theological dimensions of law and politics, Copeland has been influenced by his belief that there is something normatively consequential in our being stuck in a polity with others with whom we disagree, and that our political and legal institutions and discourses reflect the tensions created by this reality. He has not shied away from tackling issues of contemporary moment, including the federalism debate surrounding the Affordable Care Act and the debates over marriage equality.

Copeland once met a Miami Law alumnus, who credited Massey with having gotten him a life-changing internship in Washington, D.C. at the National Labor Relations Board. So impressed by the impact Massey had on students, Copeland is proud to be the inaugural faculty member in Miami Law’s Washington, D.C., Semester-in-Practice, which combines an externship in Washington, D.C., with coursework in Copeland’s Federal Policy Making.

From Massey, Copeland inherited the role of faculty advisor for the Florida Supreme Court internship program. He fondly remembers that in a conversation with Massey a few years into his advising, she complained that he had seemingly picked the students with the best academic record, forgetting the impact that the program could have on the lives of students whose promise could be seen despite less than stellar grades. She reminded him that teachers are empowered to imagine futures for students that they don’t yet see, and sometimes teachers are best-equipped to help them achieve such futures.

It is fitting that the first M. Minnette Massey Chair in Law is Massey 2.0, also known as Charlton Copeland.

The M. Minnette Massey Chair in Law was established through the generosity of a consortium of Miami Law alumni and friends, and by a lead gift from Lawrence B. Rodgers, J.D. ’67. In honor of her pioneering role, The Massey Chair will be permanently attached to the dean’s position at Miami Law. All future deans will be known as Dean and M. Minnette Massey Chair in Law. In the interim, the chair will rotate among Miami Law faculty and be awarded for two-year terms.

RSVP for the installation ceremony.


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UM Architects Win ‘Best of the Best’ in City Redevelopment

UM News

Lauderdale-by-the-SeaThe School of Architecture’s Jaime Correa and Steven Fett were awarded the Florida Redevelopment Association’s (FRA) 2014 President’s Award for their collaborative redesign of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea’s main street. As FRA President Jeremy Earle noted, “it is a stark contrast to what was there before” and has had a “profound” impact on the local community and economy.

“By redesigning the public realm, the project addressed drainage problems, added new plazas that mimicked sand dunes, created brick paver promenades and reconfigured parking areas,” Earle wrote in explaining his selection of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea’s Commercial Boulevard Streetscape Improvement Program as the “Best of the Best” in the FRA’s 2014 Best Book.

“In addition to all of this,” Earle continued, “the town was able to incorporate an extensive public art program in the project, and include sustainability features and materials such as using locally sourced recycled construction products and materials, new LED light fixtures, new street furniture made of recycled wood or plastic, and native drought-tolerant landscape plantings.”

As a result, Earle said, pedestrian traffic has increased upward of 60 percent, businesses are reporting significant increases in sales, property values are increasing, and the hospitality industry is seeing increased private sector interest and investment.

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Carnegie Foundation Honors UM with Prestigious Community Engagement Classification

By Megan Ondrizek
UM News

CCE - Carnegie CEC digital sealCORAL GABLES, Fla. (January 8, 2015) – The University of Miami has been selected to receive the 2015 Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. As a first-time recipient of the classification, UM joins a growing list of more than 360 United States institutions proven to demonstrate practices of community engagement through mission, culture, leadership, resources, and practices.

“I am delighted that the Carnegie Foundation has recognized the University of Miami, our Office of Civic and Community Engagement, and its director, Dr. Robin Bachin, for our collective commitment to community engagement,” said Thomas J. LeBlanc, executive vice president and provost. “We owe our community and our students the opportunity to learn and grow from the teaching and research of our faculty, and our commitment to that mission has shaped our community engagement initiatives throughout our history. This important recognition from one of the leading voices for higher education is both welcome and well deserved.” Read the full story

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Center for Computational Science Announces 2014-15 Fellows

The Center for Computational Science’s (CCS) Fellows Program, which inspires a new generation of leaders in computational science, has announced its second cohort of fellows. These four outstanding students, who were selected for the 2014-15 academic year, will receive the expertise and resources to work on the cross-disciplinary project of their choice:

  • Katherine Dale, Foote Fellow, Marine Science, Biology, Computer Science, for a project on Big Data Analysis in Marine Genomics, with mentorship from Doug Crawford, of the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, and Geoff Sutcliffe, of the Department of Computer Science.
  • Lyssa Goldberg, Foote Fellow, Journalism, Political Science, Computer Science, for a project on Media Coverage Biases in Reporting on the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict, under the mentorship of Joseph Uscinski, of the Department of Political Science, Mitsunori Ogihara, of the Department of Computer Science and CCS, and Alberto Cairo, of the School of Communication and CCS.
  • Matthew Field, Cancer Biology Program, Miller School of Medicine, for a project on Retinoblastoma Genomics Analysis for Variant Discovery, with mentorship from William Harbour, M.D., Miller School of Medicine, and Nick Tsinoremas, CCS.
  • Chun Wu, Department of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, Miller School of Medicine, for a project on Brain Insulin Regulation in Cocaine Addiction and Obesity, under the mentorship of Deborah Mash, Ph.D., Miller School of Medicine, and Stefan Wuchty, of the Department of Computer Science.

For more details about the CCS Fellows Program, please visit http://ccs.miami.edu/ and click on Education.

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