Briefly Noted

Iron Arrow Expands by 22 Extraordinary ‘Canes

Iron Arrow Spring 2018With the telltale beating of a single drum and a tap on the shoulder with an iron arrow, members of the Iron Arrow Honor Society renewed one of the U’s greatest traditions last week, marching across the University in a solemn procession to bestow one of the U’s greatest honors: membership in the organization that recognizes students, faculty, staff, and alumni who exemplify love of alma mater, character, leadership, scholarship, and humility.

In addition to stellar faculty and staff—Joy Beverly, associate faculty master at Pearson Residential College and faculty advisor to the UPup service club; Carie Penabad, associate professor of architecture; and Humberto Speziani, assistant vice president for Business Services, to name a few—new members include many amazing students. Among them: Hunter Carpenter, executive chair of Hurricane Productions; Brianna Hernandez, president of Get Out the Vote, and Christopher Stowell, a member of the men’s basketball team, among others.

For a full list of the fall inductees, view Iron Arrow’s recent tappees.

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Pioneering Oceanographer Mark Donelan Passes Away

UM News


Mark Donelan

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 16, 2018)—Mark Donelan, a professor emeritus of oceanography who turned the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science into a hub of international wave dynamics research, passed away in Canada on March 12 after a short illness. He was 75.

Recruited to the University of Miami from a federal research post in Canada in 1996, Donelan pioneered the fields of wave dynamics and air-sea interaction research, and scientists and students from the world over came to Virginia Key to work with and learn from him.

He established the Air-Sea Interaction Laboratory (ASIST) at Rosenstiel and was a leader of two major wave measurement field programs, the Surface Wave Dynamics Experiment (SWADE) and the Shoaling Wave Experiment (SHOWEX). He also pioneered the development of wave forecast models, working to incorporate his deep understanding of air-sea coupling to improve operational forecasts.

“More than anything else, he will be remembered as a consummate scientist with a shining keen intellect, a deep understanding of the physical world and a gentle soul. He strove for excellence in everything he did and expected the same from all those around him,” said Brain Haus, director of the Rosenstiel School’s Alfred C. Glassell Jr. SUSTAIN Laboratory, who worked closely with Donelan. “He was legendary for making changes to get things right, no matter how late or inconvenient, always with a polite, quite grace. It is these qualities that will continue to inspire the many scientists, students and staff from all over the world who had the good fortune to work with him.”

Spanning 50 years, many of his publications were transformative works that remain standards in the field. His latest paper, on the oceanic drag coefficient in high winds, was published just over a month ago. A fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the American Meteorological Society, he was a recipient of the AMS’s Sverdrup Gold Medal.

Born on the West Indian island of Grenada to Ivy and William Donelan, Donelan was the middle of three brothers who grew up playing on the sandy beaches, in the cool waterfalls, and in the blue ocean.

With a thirst for knowledge and the help of a kind aunt, he immigrated to Montreal to complete a degree in electrical engineering at McGill University (1964). During that time, he met his first wife, June, with whom he had two children, Laura and Maxwell, after moving to Vancouver, where he earned his Ph.D. in physical oceanography at the University of British Columbia (1971).

He later completed his postdoctoral fellowship at Cambridge University, before settling in Burlington, Ontario, where he began a successful 20-year career as a federal research scientist at the Canadian Centre for Inland Waters.

When UM came calling in 1996, he and June happily moved to Miami, where they could spend their weekends sailing around the Keys. After June’s death in 2006, Donelan retired from RSMAS, and began a new chapter in his life by reconnecting with his old sweetheart, Susan Ramsay, who he married in 2009. They settled in the Cowichan Valley, British Columbia, where Donelan continued to study the mysteries of waves, the ocean, and the atmosphere.

In addition to his wife, Susan, Donelan is survived by his children, Laura and Maxwell, stepson Andrew Lacroix, step-daughter-in-law Janelle, stepdaughter Jill, and 11 grandchildren.

There were no firm plans for a celebration of Donelan’s life but his family anticipated an academic celebration in the future. In lieu of flowers, they asked that donations be made to UNICEF and that any fond memories be sent to Susan Ramsay (slmramsay@gmail.com), Laura Donelan, (laura@dancingcreek.ca), and Max Donelan-Cloud (max.donelan@gmail.com).




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University of Miami Recognized as Gold-Level ‘Exercise is Medicine’ Campus

CHAMP-stretchCORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 22, 2018)— The University of Miami has earned gold-level status for its Exercise is Medicine on Campus (EIMOC) programs, an initiative led by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and American Medical Association to promote physical activity and health on college campuses.

UM earned EIMOC’s highest recognition for creating partnerships between healthcare and exercise departments that provide physical-activity prescriptions and encourage students and employees to take advantage of recreational facilities and health and fitness programming.

The University is among 38 gold-level colleges and universities that will be recognized for their EIMOC programs at a special session, held in conjunction with the annual ACSM meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 30.

“This recognition is a result of many collaborations of the entire University community to promote exercise,” said Tony Musto, director of fitness programs at the Herbert Wellness Center and UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center. “What is really impressive is that most of the programs and protocols that earned us this award have been in place for years, clearly showing how advanced we are.”

UM’s EIMOC initiative includes several programs and services hosted by the UM Wellness Centers for students, employees, and community members promoting safe, smart, and effective physical activity. Currently 500+ individuals participate in EIMOC activities between both UM campuses.

For individuals prescribed physical activity supervised by exercise professionals like physiologists, the Herbert Wellness Center and UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center offer the Supervised Exercise Program. Intended to improve cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, mood, concentration, and sleep patterns, the Supervised Exercise Program targets individuals with cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity.

Research shows that physically inactive older adults who become active can offset 50 percent or more of their physical loss during these years. Living Independently Through Fitness and Exercise (L.I.F.E.) at the Herbert Wellness Center is designed specifically for individuals 65 years of age or older to improve strength and flexibility, enhance activities of daily living, remain independent for as long as possible, and prevent falls.

Further, there are approximately seven to 10 million people worldwide living with Parkinson’s disease, and studies show that the repetitive rhythm and movements of cycling help decrease symptoms in Parkinson’s patients. Exercise helps people with Parkinson’s maintain balance, mobility, and daily living activity. Following its success at the UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center, the Herbert Wellness Center introduced Cycling for Parkinson’s, a program in line with the most current research indicating the benefits of cycling. The program features two one-hour cycling sessions a week where participants are able to keep a steady pace.

Another EIMOC initiative is SHAPE-UP, an incentive program designed to encourage participation in fitness and wellness programs. Full-time and regular part-time UM faculty and staff, and their spouses who have UM health insurance, are eligible to earn a 20 percent rebate on the cost of a membership by checking in and working out at either wellness center at least 10 times a month.

In order to coordinate these programs, the Herbert Wellness Center works with a committee of collaborators comprising colleagues from the Department of Wellness and Recreation, Student Health Services, the Student Counseling Center, Housing and Residential Life, the Sandler Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Education, and ’Canes Care for ’Canes. This committee creates programs to address overarching health and fitness needs for students and staff, utilizing the resources and expertise of each department.

To continue its legacy, UM continues to educate physicians and wellness professionals on the importance of EIMOC initiatives. Third-year medical students attend a mandatory Wellness Week as part of their general primary care clerkship. This five-day rotation includes nutrition education and smoking cessation but focuses on understanding EIMOC through a basic fitness assessment and consultation, a one-hour observation of a supervised exercise program, exercise prescription education for special populations, and explanation of and mandatory attendance to five various group exercise classes.

This is the first year ACSM has recognized UM’s EIMOC program, which provides the opportunity for campuses to enhance their image as a healthy academic environment, emphasizing the commitment to utilizing exercise as medicine to create a culture of wellness.


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Dean Prado Appointed to Research!America Board

UM News

Prado photoCORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 16, 2018)—Graduate School Dean Guillermo (Willy) Prado, whose research focuses on the prevention of risky health behaviors in adolescents, has been elected to the board of directors of Research!America, a national advocacy and public education nonprofit committed to promoting research that improves health.

“I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to work alongside the distinguished leaders that comprise the board of directors of Research!America,” said Prado, the Leonard M. Miller Professor of Public Health Sciences and the director of the Division of Prevention Science and Community Health at the Miller School of Medicine. “I am eager to advance Research!America’s mission to elevate the visibility of the importance of research in improving the nation’s health.”

Prado joins the board along with Derek Rapp, president and chief executive officer of JDRF, which is a global leader in funding research for type 1 diabetes.

“Derek Rapp and Dr. Guillermo Prado have committed their careers to improving the lives of patients and supporting efforts to accelerate medical progress,” said Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America. “They bring a wealth of experience to our board and our alliance will benefit tremendously from their longstanding dedication to research for health.”

A double UM alumnus who was appointed dean of the Graduate School in 2016, Prado has focused most of his career on preventing drug use, unsafe sexual behavior, inactivity, poor diet, and other behaviors associated with adolescent morbidity and mortality, particularly in Hispanic youth.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has continuously funded his research on Hispanic adolescent health since the first year of his doctoral program in epidemiology and public health, which he completed in 2005, after earning his Master of Science in statistics in 2000.

Since earning his Ph.D., he has been a principal investigator (PI) Co-PI, or senior mentor of approximately $80 million in HIV, substance abuse, and obesity prevention studies funded by the NIH and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

He is currently the PI of two NIH-funded research grants—one in drug abuse and HIV prevention and the second in obesity prevention—and he has been recognized by numerous organizations for his research, mentoring and training of early career scientists.

“We are incredibly proud of Dr. Prado being elected to the Board of Directors of Research America as it is a reflection not only of his exemplary leadership in advocating for the role that basic and translational research plays in our country, but also the University of Miami’s stature,” said Jeffrey Duerk,  executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. “Willy has been a creative and passionate leader of our Graduate School and I am thrilled to see he will have the opportunity to share his talents on the national stage.”

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Maryam Laguna Borrego Appointed to the Florida Commission on Human Relations

Maryam Laguna Borrego, assistant vice president for public affairs, was appointed to the Florida Commission on Human Relations by Governor Rick Scott. Her term runs from March 2018 through September 2021.

“I am honored by the appointment,” said Borrego, an experienced public affairs, communications, and fundraising professional who joined the University last summer.

Established in 1969 to enforce the Florida Civil Rights Acts, the commission ensures that all people have access to equal opportunities in employment, housing, and public accommodations.


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