Freeze Frame

‘Sinking City’ Showcases Diverse Voices

UM News


Chantel Acevedo, far left, faculty advisor for Sinking City, launched the literary magazine with students and contributors last week.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (December 2, 2016)—Miami’s vulnerability to climate change and sea-level rise goes far beyond infrastructure and institutions; it threatens the future of its most valuable asset—its diverse multicultural and multilingual community. Sinking City, a new online literary journal published semi-annually by students in the UM Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing, is committed to showcasing diverse, multilingual voices in works that drive conversations about the environment and other relevant topics.

“It’s very important for writers to also be good literary citizens, in other words, to give back to the community that they are a part of,” says Chantel Acevedo, A.B. ’97, M.F.A. ’99, associate professor of English and faculty advisor for Sinking City. “The work that putting together a literary journal takes can represent the best of that kind of citizenship.”

Sinking City hosted a launch party on Thursday at Tinta y Café in Coral Gables, where several contributors to the inaugural issue read their work, including UM poetry professor Maureen Seaton, who read her “Sonnet for Snapper Creek.”

Sinking City accepts poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and works of art.


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Felicia Knaul Participates at 2016 APEC CEO Summit


From left are UM’s Felicia Knaul, Peru Vice President Mercedes Aráoz, and   Merck CEO of Healthcare Belén Garijo.

UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (November 25, 2016)The University of Miami had a key presence in the recently held 2016 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in Lima, Peru. Dr. Felicia Marie Knaul, director of the University of Miami Institute for the Americas and professor at the Miller School of Medicine, participated in multiple sessions. Peruvian Vice President Mercedes Aráoz, a UM alumna, and Minister of Health Patricia Garcia hosted and led many aspects of this global landmark two-day event.

A forum of 21 economies in the Asia-Pacific region, APEC seeks to achieve prosperity among member economies. This year’s CEO Summit highlighted the importance of “Quality Growth and Human Development” as well as the key role of women in healthy economies.

During a discussion on “Driving Sustainable Health Systems to Achieve Quality Growth and Human Development,” Knaul focused on the often-ignored roles women play in both the economy and health care.

“Women are the motors of economic growth who also produce the majority of both paid and unpaid health care. Yet, health systems are disabling instead of enabling women,” Knaul said at the Executive Health Dinner held in conjunction with the CEO Summit.

Knaul’s participation was part of ongoing collaboration with Belén Garijo, member of the executive board and the CEO of Healthcare at Merck, who has been spearheading work at APEC on examining the relationship between healthy women and healthy economies. This work builds on her research published in The Lancet on women and health.

While at the summit, Knaul also met with Peruvian Vice President Aráoz, a leading voice and defender of women’s empowerment who graduated from UM’s School of Business Administration. She has accepted an invitation to speak at UM and share her thoughts on women as leaders. In meetings with Garcia, the Peruvian minister of health who graduated from the Miller School of Medicine’s William J. Harrington Fellowship Program, Knaul advanced collaborative work aimed at closing the global divide in access to care for women, particularly cervical cancer screening and treatment, with the Peruvian Ministry of Health, the U.S. National Cancer Institute, and the University of Miami.

In addition, Knaul participated in the Women in Parliaments’ APEC Women Leaders Breakfast, which featured Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who encouraged ongoing work in which UM is deeply committed on women, health, and the economy. An ongoing series, the breakfast strengthens connections between women in leadership roles in politics, business, and social development initiatives across the Asia Pacific and serves as a network for building dialogue around issues impacting the region.



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International Thanksgiving Helps Bridge Cultural Divides

UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (November 18, 2016) – Hailing from countries as different as China, Colombia, Japan, Kuwait, and Mexico, hundreds of students came together last Friday in the University of Miami’s Allen Hall courtyard to celebrate and showcase the cuisine and customs of their respective lands, as UM’s Intensive English Program (IEP) held its 33rd International Thanksgiving—an event IEP executive director Michelle Alvarez says demonstrates that “by sharing we can bridge cultural divides.”

IEP students, many of them wearing the traditional dress of their homeland, served food that ranged from Chinese dumplings to Middle Eastern machboos (spiced chicken and rice). Some of them even sang, played musical instruments, and gave other cultural performances, including a martial arts demonstration by Kuwaiti students.

This year’s International Thanksgiving coincided with the IEP’s 65th anniversary. To mark the occasion, about 50 of the program’s alumni returned to the place where they learned valuable English-language and academic study skills that helped them to enter and succeed in a U.S. institution of higher learning.

“We’re the first step as they embark on their academic careers in this country,” Alvarez said of the IEP, which is run by UM’s Division of Continuing and International Education. “Just the fact that they (IEP alumni) were wiling to come back and assist currently enrolled students in setting up displays for this event shows their connection and love for the program.”


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UM Hillel Celebrates 75 Years of Jewish Belonging

Guests and students joined UM Hillel to celebrate past achievements and raise awareness of future endeavors.

By Jennifer Palma
UM News


Many guests celebrating UM Hillel’s 75th anniversary dressed as one of their favorite Jewish figures.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (November 10, 2016) —The influence of Hillel on the University of Miami campus extends far beyond the typical practice and appreciation of Judaism. During its 75th anniversary celebration at the Braman Miller Center for Jewish Student Life this month, guests were greeted with a contagious energy reflective of the organization’s mission and values.

“One of the more important things I discuss with students and University officials is that UM Hillel is here to work as an indispensable partner to the University to build a stronger, more diverse, and respectful community,” said Igor Khokhlov, executive director of UM Hillel. “While our main audience tends to be Jewish students, our doors are open to everyone and we are very proud of the partnerships we have created on campus.”

The partnerships and relationships that have been fostered through Hillel’s 75 years on campus were on full display during the anniversary celebration, where guests dressed as their favorite Jewish figure—or food. (One couple came as a bagel and lox.) Also in attendance were student representatives and members who eagerly shared stories and updates about their experiences and plans to continue growing and sharing their faith.

“Rabbi Lyle and Hillel take a new approach to studying and practicing Judaism,” said student Mallory Madfes, a senior in the College of Engineering. “I have been encouraged to grow my faith and appreciation for my religion in new ways through programing and events created for many different student interests.”

That’s exactly what attracted Rabbi Lyle Rothman to UM Hillel last year. “While I was in seminary, I served as the rabbinic intern at Columbia/Barnard Hillel,” he said. “During that time, I realized that I wanted to work on campus because Hillel is truly a dynamic organization. Ultimately, I decided to come to UM Hillel because of the opportunity to shape Jewish life on campus with such a diverse population; there is nothing more exciting than Hillel’s pluralistic approach to Judaism.”

During the anniversary celebration, it was apparent that the approach embraced by Hillel’s team is impacting both the student and local communities.

Junior Olivia Sacks, Hillel’s campus engagement intern, spent the evening telling peers and guests about the broad range of programming on and off campus. Everything from traditional celebrations of Shabbat and the High Holiday, to community service to yoga with discussions support Rothman’s pluralistic approach to practicing Judaism and make students of various backgrounds and religious beliefs feel welcome.

“Hillel is truly a home away from home for many students, including myself,” said Sacks. “It is a place on campus where students of various denominations and religious affiliations can discover a sense of belonging.”

That, said Khokhlov, is by design. “While remaining true to the essence of the organizational mission of being a central address for Jewish life on campus, Hillel has succeeded in creating the atmosphere where students are welcome—regardless of their gender, background, political, religious, or sexual preferences,” he said. “Students know that Hillel is a safe space, a space that challenges them and offers opportunities to grow as leaders, professionals, and Jews.”

UM Hillel’s team of seven professionals, who hail from around the world, share Rothman’s vision for enhancing not only Jewish life, but all lives, at the U.

“I know my rabbinate on campus will be grounded in caring for and nurturing souls,” Rothman said. “More than being a caregiver, I want to guide people’s souls to realize their potential. I look forward to sharing my love of prayer and learning with the students, staff, and faculty of the University of Miami.”

While the 75th anniversary of Hillel garnered the attention of students and guests, it is Hillel’s cultural embrace and acceptance that continues to make an everlasting impact on the UM community.



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‘Canes of All Ages ‘Make Their Move’ and Celebrate Homecoming

With its spectacular fireworks, traditional boat-burning ceremony, parade of classic cars and “Make Your Move” board game-themed floats, Homecoming festivities presented by Student Affairs and the Homecoming Executive Committee Friday night was a nostalgic extravaganza for thousands of current students and alumni, including Grand Marshal and NFL Hall of Famer Cortez Kennedy, who returned to campus to celebrate the U. The revelry continued Saturday when the Hurricanes defeated Pittsburgh 51-28, with junior quarterback Brad Kaaya throwing four touchdown passes and scoring on a run in the offensive slugfest at Hard Rock Stadium.

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