Felicia Marie Knaul First Economist Admitted to Mexican National Academy of Medicine

UM News


Academy Vice President Teresita Corona, left, and President Armando Mancilla Olivares, right, formally induct Felica Marie Knaul into the Mexican National Academy of Medicine.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (July 6, 2017)—The University of Miami’s first lady, Felicia Marie Knaul, one of the hemisphere’s leading health care researchers, scholars, and advocates, has been selected for membership into the prestigious Mexican National Academy of Medicine.

Knaul, the director of the University of Miami Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas and professor at the Miller School of Medicine, is the first economist admitted to the academy, which was founded in 1864 to improve the health and needs of the Mexican population. She joins her husband, UM President Julio Frenk, the former health minister of Mexico, who was admitted to the academy in 1989. In addition, Knaul’s father-in-law, Dr. Silvestre Frenk, is an honorary academy member and served as its president in 1976.

This highly selective academy has admitted just over 1,100 members through its 150 years of existence. Knaul’s nomination, which represents a great honor and opportunity to serve and participate in the objectives of the health system in Mexico, acknowledges her professional trajectory, as well as her academic and research contributions, both in Mexico and globally, and opens new opportunities for collaboration between UM and Mexican researchers and clinicians.

An international health and social sector economist who has worked extensively in Latin America, Knaul has produced more than 190 academic and policy publications, including several papers on Mexico and health reform in The Lancet, where she co-authored the Commission Report on Women and Health. She currently chairs the Lancet Commission on Global Access to Palliative Care and Pain Control, which is slated to publish a major report in late 2017.

New academy member  Felicia Marie Knaul, with her father-in-law Silvestre Frenk, who served as the academy's president in 1976.

New academy member Felicia Marie Knaul, with her father-in-law Silvestre Frenk, who served as the academy’s president in 1976.

Knaul has strong ties and dedication to the health sector of Mexico. She founded the Mexican nonprofit Cáncer de Mama: Tómatelo a Pecho, which undertakes policy-oriented research and promotes advocacy, awareness, early detection and palliative care initiatives for breast cancer throughout Latin America. Since 1993, she has led a group of researchers anchored at the Mexican Health Foundation focused on health systems and health economics. She is also Honorary Research Professor of Medical Sciences at the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico (INSP).

“I am honored to have been inducted into the National Academy of Medicine of Mexico and reaffirm my commitment to advancing health research and advocating for health in the Americas,” Knaul said. “I look forward to forging even stronger links between the University of Miami and the stellar research community dedicated to health and health care in Mexico. ”

The induction ceremony for new members took place on June 28 in Mexico City.



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Honoring a Champion for Children

Bernard Perlmutter and Whitney Untiedt, chair-elect  of the Public Interest Section of The Florida Bar

Bernard Perlmutter, with Whitney Untiedt, chair-elect of the Public Interest Section of The Florida Bar

UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (June 29, 2017)—For the second time in his career, Miami Law’s Bernard Perlmutter, a longtime champion of Florida’s most vulnerable children, has received The Florida Bar’s Honorable Hugh S. Glickstein Child Advocacy Award for his many contributions to child law.

“Professor Perlmutter has been at the forefront of advocating for children’s rights for decades, and Florida’s most vulnerable children have benefitted greatly from his work,” the bar said in announcing the award bestowed by its Children’s Rights Committee of the Public Interest Law Section.

A professor of clinical legal education who 20 years ago founded and co-directs Miami Law’s Children & Youth Law Clinic, Perlmutter has represented thousands of abused, abandoned and neglected children, taught countless students to be their advocates, and helped advance and protect child rights by litigating numerous federal and state court class action lawsuits seeking reform of Florida’s foster care system. He was involved in the landmark Florida Supreme Court case that established due process protections, including the right to an attorney and a pre-commitment hearing, for foster children committed by the state to psychiatric facilities.

He’s also been involved in cases challenging the death penalty for juvenile defendants and the shackling of children in juvenile court, and for protecting children’s medical privacy rights in juvenile and family court hearings.

A member of the Florida Bar Commission on the Legal Needs of Children, he has served on the boards of directors of Florida’s Children First, the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, the National Association of Counsel for Children Law Office Project Advisory Board, among others.

In addition to the Glickstein Award, which Perlmutter received in 2002, he has received many other honors for his advocacy, including the National Association of Counsel for Children’s Outstanding Legal Advocacy Award, the Clinical Legal Education Association’s Award for Excellence in a Public Interest Law Case or Project, the C. Clyde Atkins Civil Liberties Award from the Greater Miami Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, the inaugural Miami-Dade County Children’s Trust Champion for Children Award, and the Mental Health Advocate of the Year Award from the Florida Statewide Advocacy Council.

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CASE Recognition for the Inauguration

CASE-InaugurationCORAL GABLES, Fla. (June 22, 2017) —The Council for Advancement and Support of Education has recognized the University of Miami with Circle of Excellence awards for its celebration of President Julio Frenk’s inauguration and outreach to alumni during the weeklong extravaganza.

With an entry submitted by the Division of University Advancement, the University received a gold award in the multi-day events category for the breadth and scope of the programs that accompanied Frenk’s January 29, 2016, inauguration as UM’s sixth president.

Beginning with a Celebration of Women’s Athletics Luncheon on January 24 and ending with a discussion on Our Global Future: Teaching, Research, and Discovery in Our New Century on January 30, the events collectively honored UM’s traditions, embraced the broader community and highlighted Frenk’s bold, new strategic vision for the institution’s next century.

In the category of Alumni Outreach, the Office of Alumni Relations’ entry earned a silver award for the University’s unique and creative engagement of alumni during inauguration week.

Following the theme “Charting the Course to Our New Century,” Alumni Relations sent inauguration kits, designed as vintage suitcases, to 16 alumni clubs across the nation, which gathered for ’Canes Communities Tip-Off Parties prior to the nationally televised UM men’s basketball game against Duke.

More than 350 alumni-owned businesses in South Florida also received the kits and “Proud Supporter of the U” window clings, showcasing ’Canes pride and the impact ’Canes have on the economy.

Among the many other initiatives and events recognized by both awards was the introduction of ’Cane Talks, the lively 10-minute presentations from UM visionaries that have become a new UM tradition—and a means to showcase the depth of UM talent. All ’Cane Talks are live-streamed and archived online, and several have been featured at We Are One U alumni gatherings across the nation.

This year’s CASE awards, which were judged by peer professionals both inside and outside education, were the most competitive yet, drawing 3,300 entries and reflecting what CASE President and CEO Sue Cunningham called “talent and ingenuity.”

“These awards acknowledge superior accomplishments that have lasting impacts, demonstrate a high level of professionalism and deliver exceptional results,” she said.

The leading resource for professional development, information and standards in the fields of education fundraising, communications, marketing, and alumni relations, CASE serves nearly 3,700 universities, colleges, schools and related organizations in more than 82 countries.



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Recognition for Superior Fundraising

UM News

Sergio Gonzalez

Sergio Gonzalez

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (June 8, 2017)—In recognition of its fundraising performance over the past year and its longer-term success, the University of Miami has received two significant Educational Funding Awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

UM was one of only two institutions in the category of private research/doctoral institutions with endowments under $1 billion to receive CASE’s award for Overall Fundraising Performance, which honors institutions that show solid program growth, breadth in the base of support, and other indicators of mature, well-maintained programs. In fiscal year 2016, UM raised more than $236 million, a $42.5 million increase over the previous year.

UM was also among a select group of private and public institutions of all sizes to receive the 2017 Sustained Excellence Education Fundraising Award, which recognizes institutions that have received CASE’s top fundraising awards in at least three of the last five years.

“These awards are a testament to the dedication of our incredible advancement team and the generosity of our loyal donors. It is also a tribute to President Julio Frenk, our tireless volunteers, members of the Board of Trustees, and faculty,” said Sergio M. Gonzalez, senior vice president for University Advancement and External Affairs. “I am proud of our advancement team and thankful that our supporters continue to recognize the value of investing in UM and believe in advancing its excellence.’’

The awards are based on 350 data points voluntarily submitted by 554 eligible institutions to the Council for Aid to Education’s annual Voluntary Support of Education survey. An expert panel of volunteer judges evaluates the survey data blindly, and selects the winners based on a number of factors, including a pattern of growth in total support and overall breadth in program areas.

The first university in Florida to reach the $1 billion mark in fundraising, UM raised a total of $3 billion during two Momentum campaigns conducted under former President Donna Shalala’s leadership and is in the preparatory phase of its first campaign under President Frenk’s tenure.

Case is an international association of more than 3,600 educational institutions, which serves nearly 81,000 advancement professionals in 82 countries.

Read more about the CASE awards.

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A Rare Violin in Honor of a Rare Woman

In the prodigious hands of Frost School of Music violin student Miclen LaiPang, a 300-year-old Guarneri violin makes its University of Miami debut while honoring community leader, philanthropist, and education advocate Sue Miller.

UM News

With the Miller siblings, Jeffrey, Leslie, and Stuart, and Dean Shelly Berg behind him, senior Miclen LaiPang plays the Sue Miller Viloin, a 1714 Guarneri.  

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (May 31, 2017)—The moon was rising over Miami Beach on a recent Friday night as friends and family arrived at the Miller family home to pay tribute to a beloved community jewel, the late Sue Miller, who passed away in November 2016.

The highlight of the evening was the debut of a rare 1714 Giuseppe Guarneri ‘filius Andreae’ violin, purchased recently by the Frost School of Music through a major donation from the Miller family in honor of their matriarch, an avid music lover and tireless community supporter. Now called the Sue Miller Violin, the instrument will be loaned to a talented Frost School violin student each year upon the recommendation of the string faculty.

During the evening, Frost senior Miclen LaiPang played one of the most daunting pieces in the violin repertoire, Paganini’s Nel cor più non mi sento (variations on a theme from the opera La Molinara by Paisiello) on the Guarneri violin. Next, Frost faculty violin artist Charles Castleman, playing his Stradivarius, joined LaiPang on the outdoor stage. Accompanied on the piano by Wideman Piano Competition winner Asiya Korepanova, D.M.A. ’16, they performed the beautiful slow movement of J.S. Bach’s Double Violin Concerto.

“This Guarneri has silvery timbre in its high register that is so characteristic of a Stradivarius,” Castleman says. “But it also has the ability to ‘dig in’ and have a nice ‘growl’ in its low register, which devotees of Guarneri violins love. It’s got the best of both worlds in one instrument. I’m incredibly pleased that Miclen and other students of the Frost School will have such a fine instrument to help launch their careers.”

Sue Miller’s husband, the late Leonard M. Miller, who founded Lennar Homes, was a longtime member of UM’s Board of Trustees and served as its chair in the 1990s. Their three children, Stuart Miller, J.D. ’82, who also chaired the Board of Trustees; Jeffrey Miller, A.B. ’84, and Leslie Miller Saiontz, hosted the Guarneri’s unveiling, an event filled with music, laughter, and joyous reminiscing—“definitely the way our parents loved to entertain,” Jeffrey Miller said.

The Guarnari’s debut also launched the Miller Instrument Collection campaign to raise additional funds to purchase two dozen other high-end instruments for the Frost School. Before the tribute performance started, over $40,000 already had been donated or pledged for additional string, brass, and woodwind instruments.

Comedian Alonzo Bodden, who was introduced as an eminent musicologist and shared the Guarneri’s pedigree and design features with the audience, switched the rare instrument off stage with an inexpensive violin. He then proceeded to drop the instrument while handing it to Stuart Miller, who was on stage with his siblings for a close-up viewing. The move elicited big gasps and cries until his siblings revealed their ruse.

“It’s hard to pull anything over on Stuart,” said sister Leslie. Added Jeffrey, “He’s such a practical joker, the look on his face was priceless. I think it’s going to be pay-back time, big-time; I’d better be on my toes!”

Frost School of Music Dean Shelton Berg expressed his gratitude. “Thanks to a magnificent gift from the Miller family, Frost School of Music students will be privileged to play a 300-year-old masterpiece violin from one of the greatest of the Italian makers, dedicated to the memory of one of Miami’s most significant philanthropists, Sue Miller. Nothing could make me more proud.”

The Miller family’s generosity has left an indelible mark on the University of Miami, particularly its Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, with gifts totaling over $200 million since 2004, including $6 million to the Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music.

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