Student Employment Accepting Nominations for Student Employee of the Year

The Office of Student Financial Assistance and Employment is seeking nominations from student supervisors for the UM Student Employee of the Year Award. The selected student will receive a scholarship and will be recognized during National Student Employment Week in April. Nomination forms are due to the Office of Student Employment by Friday, March 9. For rules and eligibility requirements, view the nomination form. For more information, contact Connie Diaz at cadiaz@miami.edu or 305-284-8319.

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Nominate an Outstanding Student, Faculty, or Staff for Women’s Commission Recognition

The University of Miami Women’s Commission is currently accepting nominations to recognize outstanding members of the community—regardless of their own gender—who have supported women or women-related concerns at the University of Miami. All nominees will be recognized at the Annual Women’s Commission Breakfast on Tuesday, March 20, at 8 a.m. in the Shalala Student Center Grand Ballroom. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to attend. Nominate a faculty/staff member for the May A. Brunson Award. Nominate a student for the Louise P. Mills Award.  All nominations must be submitted by Thursday, March 8, at 11:59 p.m.

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Holocaust Educator Honored by Florida Legislators

Miriam Klein Kassenoff is the director of the School of Education and Human Development’s Holocaust Teacher Institute.

UM News


Miriam Klein Kassenoff

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 14, 2018) – A Holocaust survivor and educator, Miriam Klein Kassenoff, director of the School of Education and Human Development’s Holocaust Teacher Institute, was honored by the Jewish Legislative Caucus of Florida for her outstanding work in the Jewish community.

Kassenoff, along with two other Floridians, received the recognition during a breakfast on February 13 in Tallahassee as part of the first Jewish American Heritage Week (February 12-16, 2018) established by Representative Emily Slosberg, of Delray Beach, and Senator Daphne Campbell, of Miami-Dade County.

“I am deeply honored that Representative Slosberg and Senator Campbell have chosen me for this very meaningful tribute,” said Kassenoff. “It has been a long journey for me coming from Nazi-occupied Europe as a young Jewish child fleeing, running, and hiding, clutching my parents’ hands, and finally reaching freedom in the United States of America.”

Kassenoff, who studied at Yad Vashem, the International Center for Holocaust Studies in Israel, is a graduate of the international Vladka Meed Teachers Program and leads the Holocaust Teacher Institute at UM.

Every summer the institute convenes teachers from Miami-Dade County Public Schools and provides them with a five-day intensive course on how to teach the lessons of the Holocaust so that the horrific event will not be forgotten.

In addition to serving as an adjunct lecturer at the School of Education and Human Development, Kassenoff serves as the public school system’s Education Specialist for Holocaust Education. She is a frequent speaker and presenter on Holocaust education at conferences and workshops nationwide and has co-authored, with Dr. Anita Meinbach, “Memories of the Night: Studies of the Holocaust,” “Studying the Holocaust through Film and Literature,” and The Grolier Teacher’s Study Guide on Holocaust Studies.”



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Best Workplace for Commuters

PrintFor the second year in a row, the University of Miami has been named among the Best Workplaces for Commuters for offering exceptional commuter benefits that meet criteria set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and National Center for Transit Research National Standard of Excellence.

Need ideas on how to take advantage of the wide range of options and discounts UM’s Department of Parking and Transportation offers to help faculty, staff, and students choose healthier, cheaper, greener and more pleasant ways than driving their own vehicles to and from campus? Here’s a few from employees who shared how they’ve helped make UM the Best Workplace for Commuters.

Miami-Dade Transit Discount

“For over ten years, I have used the Miami-Dade Transit Metrorail discount program to commute to the Coral Gables campus and currently to the medical campus. The program allows me to commute without stress, and I am able to read a book or listen to music undisturbed.”

Tracy L. Moore
Program Coordinator and Senior Administrative Assistant
Department of Pathology Residency and Fellowship Programs
Miller School Campus


“I cycle 17 miles round trip each day to the Coral Gable campus. I get to say ‘hello’ to people along my way and have even managed to convert some people into saying ‘hello’ back to me now! I find that I have more time and can plan my days better as I always know how long it takes me to get to work and back. I am sedentary at work most of the day and find biking as a great way to stay in shape, and I feel relaxed at the start and end of my shift.”

Caroline Shipman
Police Dispatcher
University of Miami Police Department
Coral Gables Campus

Commuter Benefit Combination

“Most mornings I walk to meet up with my carpool ride to the office. Other days, I’ll take Miami-Dade Transit to University Station and walk to the office from there. Walking in the morning provides exercise that I wouldn’t normally get when driving to campus, and public transportation relieves me of the stress that I have had in the past when driving to campus.”

Dena Chism
Events Coordinator
Department of Parking and Transportation
Coral Gables Campus

Lluvia Resendiz, mobility manager for Parking and Transportation, recognized the importance of commuter benefits for the greater UM community. “Our goal is to continue to help our students, faculty, and staff save time and money while contributing the University’s sustainability initiatives through progressive transit programming,” she said.


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With Feathers and Beak, This Hat Speaks Engagement and Appreciation

By Michael R. Malone
UM News


From left are Campaign and Donor Relations team members Darlene E. Gonzalez, Emily Wilson, Barbara Gonzalez, Hildee Wilson, and Ivette Mancha, who found the hat on ebay.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (January 30, 2018)—When Ivette Mancha, events director for University Advancement, spotted the vintage Hurricanes’ Ibis hat—big droopy eyes, protruding orange beak and all—on eBay, she knew right away her team would love the idea. Mancha and colleague Hildee Wilson had been tasked with advancing the Campaign and Donor Relations team’s “one action” to better recognize and appreciate team players, and the quirky feathered hat was a sure winner.

“We knew we’d have some fun with it—it was so ‘Cane spirited—and the hat was in great condition,” Mancha remembered. Five of the donor team’s members—including Mancha herself—have since donned the hat as proud winners of what has become the team’s Ibis Recognition Award.

The award stems back to the Gallup faculty and staff engagement survey conducted in 2016. President Julio Frenk announced a summary of those results in a University message on February 16, 2017. While the University engagement level was “higher-than-average” and employees gave a high favorability rating and reported a “sense of purpose, clarity around goals and expectations,” the survey encouraged that University workplace culture be further improved by expanding collaboration and learning, welcoming feedback, and building better connections.

Individuals and departments collectively were tasked to create one action based on the survey results.

Samantha Dietz, executive director of programs in the Office of Institutional Culture, helped facilitate the donor team’s retreat last spring. “We were trained as ‘engagement champions’ and asked to help the teams interpret their results from the survey,” explained Dietz, who helped the team identify the area that would best support a stronger Culture of Belonging. “The conversation focused on the process of growing and developing together—improving engagement—which contributes everything to team success and achievement.”

“As a team we scored well on the survey, yet because we’re always on the move, always planning the next event, we realized that one of the things we sometimes fail to do as much as we want is to recognize each other,” said Darlene Rebello-Rao, assistant vice president for Campaign and Donor Relations. “Our team is held to a high level of excellence, and that can get stressful. Yet we know that together we can get it done—and we don’t want to take that for granted.”

The Ibis Recognition Award didn’t cost a lot of money, and the team has enjoyed the opportunity to experience and appreciate each other in a new, fun way. It has served in a light-hearted way to promote shared culture and values, while advancing the team’s mission to support philanthropy at the University through stewardship, events, development communications, and campaign planning.

To date, Emily Wilson, Darlene Gonzalez, Barbara Gonzalez, and Mancha have all been recognized with the award. Another awardee will be named soon to wear the long-beaked peak performance hat.

Wilson, the inaugural Ibis Recognition winner, suggested it would add to the fun to document the Ibis’ activities as it travels desk to desk. So the team began filling a photo album—Ibis with the turn-over chain, bundled up on a chilly day, sipping a macchiato, on holiday, on game day—wherever the “champion” takes it.

What’s clear is that wherever the Ibis goes with someone on the Campaign and Donor Relations team, the hat helps to lift everyone’s wings just a bit and to encourage team appreciation and classic ’Cane spirit.



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