Freeze Frame

Swim into Healthy Living at the Herbert Wellness Center

By Myranda Tarr
Special to UM News
Aprile Tampa

Aprile Tampa

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 19, 2016) – Everyone longs to find their true calling in life. For Aprile Tampa, B.B.A., ’09, that calling is swimming. So it was no surprise the University of Miami alumna became an aquatics instructor. When the opportunity to teach youth and adult aquatics community classes at the Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center presented itself, she jumped, or rather swam, for it.

Originally from Fort Lauderdale, Tampa came to UM in 2005 to study business management. During her first semester at the U, Tampa began working at the Herbert Wellness Center. After exemplifying the facility’s high standards of service, she quickly transitioned to a head lifeguard and then facility supervisor.
“I really enjoyed working at the Herbert Wellness Center and getting to know the staff and patrons during my shifts,” says Tampa. “I truly felt like I had a say in the day-to-day operations.”
Tampa found her aquatics calling one afternoon when the facility was in need of a swimming instructor. She stepped up and taught that class. Little did Tampa know that one class was just the beginning for her.
“I was searching for another outlet for exercise and wanted to try something different,” says Tampa. “I’ve found that swimming helps maintain both my physical and mental health.”
Though the instructor also works full time as a sales manager at a local security company, she considers teaching aquatics her second profession.
“What I love most about working at the Herbert Wellness Center is the different kinds of students, alumni, and community members I get to be around,” she says. “Everyone has a different story, a different reason they are at our facility, and I love learning about them and giving them an experience they will love!”
Whether you are training to compete in a triathlon or simply looking to become a stronger swimmer, Tampa teaches a variety of classes to fit your needs. The instructor says swimming is a low-impact exercise that anyone can enjoy, whether you are 3 years old or 83.
Tampa adds, “I like to give all my students a safe space to test their skills and learn as much as possible.”
In addition to youth and adult aquatics classes, the Herbert Wellness Center offers various instructional classes in martial arts, tennis, salsa and belly dance. To view the entire schedule, click here.
Registration for instructional community classes closes Sunday, October 30. A free trial for each class (first meeting only) is available through October 30, excluding youth aquatics. For more information or to register for classes, click here.

Posted in For Your Benefit, Freeze Frame, Health and LifestyleComments (0)

Glee Star Alex Newell Sings Praises of Self-Acceptance

Alex Newell

Alex Newell kicked off the U’s commemoration of LGBTQ History Month.

By Meredith Camel
UM News

Stepping onto the stage in 6-inch heels and a long, silken weave flipped over his left shoulder, actor and singer Alex Newell captivated the audience at the Shalala Student Center with his sultry voice and soulful heart. Presented by the UM LGBTQ Student Center, Newell’s visit on Monday, October 18, is among several campus events commemorating LGBTQ History Month.

After singing “I Know Where I’ve Been,” a tune from the musical Hairspray that Newell also performed on the hit TV show Glee as the transgender character Wade “Unique” Adams, Newell sat down for a conversation with freshman musical theatre major Lexi Thammavong and to answer questions from the audience. Newell, who grew up singing in church every day, responded to a question about his identity as a gay man within a religious community by emphasizing the importance of “loving the skin you’re in.”

“If I have to sew in 27 inches of hair and wear 6-inch heels to tell people to love themselves, I will do it,” Newell said. “You’re doing the world a disservice by not letting people get close to you and by not being yourself.”


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Camner Family Donates Rare Musical Treasures to the University of Miami

By Sarah Block
Special to UM News

Finding hard-written notes on original scores, like this notation in the Rossini book,

Frost School Dean Shelton Berg said finding old, hand-written notes, like this one in a book of Rossini scores, is exhilarating for present-day musicians.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 13, 2016)—University of Miami Trustee Alfred Camner, his wife, Anne Camner, and their four children, all of whom are UM alumni, have made a donation to the University of rare and valuable scores composed by musical giants—from Beethoven to Gershwin—that were printed and bound during the composers’ lives.

Alfred, J.D. ’69, and Anne, J.D. ’72, along with children Danielle Camner Lindholm J.D. ’95, Errin Camner L.L.M. ’99, Lauren Camner Winter M.B.A. ’98, and Andrew Camner B.A. ’09, donated several hundred scores, collectively forming the Camner Family Music Collection, to the Marta and Austin Weeks Music Library and Technology Center at the Frost School of Music, where it will be available to UM students, researchers, and the public.

“It is our family’s desire that this collection of first and early printed music editions form the true start to creating an extraordinary musicological resource, unmatched by modern editions,” said Alfred Camner, who, with his wife, also endowed UM’s Camner Center for Academic Resources.

The collection features historical works spanning three centuries and with origins in many parts of the world. Collection materials include rare lithography-printed and leather-bound editions of Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Alceste (1767), Georges Bizet’s Carmen (1875), and Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring (1913), among many others published between the 18th and 20th centuries.

Shelton Berg, dean of the Frost School, calls the gift a “transformative” resource for members of the Frost School and beyond. “When we look at a recently published score of a musical work from 100 years ago or more, we are seeing the music as something ‘from the past,’” Berg says. “Conversely, when a student performer or researcher examines an original edition score, with the marginal notations, the music is suddenly ‘in the present.’ They are experiencing it in the time of its creation. It’s hard to describe the exhilaration that produces.”

The Camner Collection arrives as the University is preparing to carry out new initiatives supporting educational innovation and encouraging new pedagogical approaches in the classroom. Frank Cooper, research professor emeritus at the Frost School, says this timing is important. “In an age where electronic media have taken over, there are no research materials to compare to original objects, in this case, printed scores from the times of the composers themselves. How invaluable for researchers today and for many generations to come.”

In details such as marginal notations, Camner says, the collection reveals how scores were studied and used in practice, in concerts, and in opera houses through time. Additionally, notes may point to how the music has evolved. “There is no substitute for the feeling a scholar or music student gets from handling a score that might have been used by Beethoven or Verdi or Puccini or Stravinsky, scores published in their lifetimes, edited by them, and often later corrected or changed,” Camner says. “These first and early editions are the closest we get to a sense of the time and place and world of the composer, a time when the composers often depended on the sales of these scores for their livelihoods.”

Nancy Zavac, who heads the Weeks Music Library, says that the Camner Collection brings a new level of research prestige to the library, which houses a wide range of musicology resources, including modern books, journals, and recordings, as well as unique and distinctive materials. “All music librarians are eager to have treasures in their collections. The Camner Collection is such a thing. It is exciting for me and my staff to care for, and greatly enhances our holdings.”

Dean of Libraries Charles Eckman expressed deep gratitude to the Camner Family for donating this important collection. “Miami is notable for the presence of several individual collectors of rare and unique cultural and bibliographic treasures,” he said. “The Camner Family is to be commended for their appreciation of the scholarly and teaching value of this private collection, and we celebrate their generosity of spirit in enabling the exposure and application this collection will have at the University of Miami for current and future generations of researchers and students.”


Posted in Freeze Frame, NewsComments (0)

Love of Language, Literature, Theater Brings First Cuban Student in Decades to UM

By Barbara Gutierrez
UM News

cuban-studentThe first time that Dainerys Machado Vento walked into the University of Miami’s Otto G. Richter library and its Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) to research Cuban literature of the 50s and 60s, she realized that everything she needed was at her fingertips.

“In Cuba many of those documents are either in very bad condition or do not exist at all,” she said. “When I first came to this library and saw how easily I could pick up any book, by a Cuban author or anyone, I cried. Being surrounded by the freedom of ideas, it was beautiful.”

Machado Vento, a doctoral student in the Modern Languages and Literature Department at the College of Arts and Sciences, is the first Cuban citizen in decades to come to UM on an F-1 student visa, a nonimmigrant visa issued to those who want to pursue studies in the U.S. Her enrollment is another sign of the changing relationship between the U.S. and Cuba, which renewed diplomatic relations in July 2015.

The number of students studying at U.S. higher education institutions from Cuba has been steadily climbing. In 2015, the number was 94, a 36 percent increase from 2014, according to Open Doors data supplied by the Institute of International Education.

“It is my hope that we will welcome many more students like Ms. Machado Vento,” said UM President Julio Frenk, who met with her in his office shortly after her matriculation. “As the University of Miami fulfills its aspiration to be the Hemispheric University with a global impact, we will be strengthened by the enriching exchange of talented students and scholars from across the Americas.”

As a child growing up in the bustling Havana neighborhood of El Cerro, a block away from a well-known baseball stadium, Machado Vento was a bookworm, often staying in her room reading rather than joining other friends who were playing baseball or other games.

“People would kid me and say come out and play but I preferred to stay inside,” she said.

She loved writing and theater but decided to study journalism because it offered her the skills and creative freedom to follow her interests. In 2009, she graduated from the University of Havana with a journalism degree and started working at the magazine Bohemia that, like all Cuban publications, is run by the Cuban government’s Ideological Department. At Bohemia, her beat did not mirror her interests. She wrote about construction and tourism. But, she reflects, this allowed her to hone her skills in writing and journalism.

Her interests in theatre led her to work at La Union de Escritores de Artistas de Cuba (UNEAC) and to write for Tablas-Alarcos, an editorial house that published cultural magazines. At the University of Havana, her thesis was on the noted Cuban playwright Virgilio Piñera, who had been ostracized by the Cuban government for his ideological rejection of government censorship, as well as his open homosexuality.

“I looked at the rehabilitation of his image in the Cuban press including the social and economic context going on at the time,” said Machado Vento. Her work and a chance meeting in Cuba with Lillian Manzor, associate professor of UM’s Department of Modern Languages, earned her an invitation to a theatre festival celebrating Piñera’s work held at UM’s Ring Theatre in 2012. It would be her first visit to the United States.

During the festival, Machado Vento presented her work on a panel before Miami friends and colleagues and attended all the plays that the festival offered that weekend.

“I fell in love with the University of Miami,” she said. “Friends wanted to take me to see the buildings downtown or to the supermarkets. I was floored by the UM Library.”

In 2014, she returned to the U.S. to take part in a conference by the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) and visited Miami briefly. In 2014, she took the bold step of applying for a Master’s Program at the Colegio San Luis in Mexico and was accepted as the first Cuban student to ever study at that institution. She would research the connection between literature and the press, two of her major interests.

While there, she met her husband, a Mexican writer named Xalbador García. In 2015, she applied to the doctoral program at UM and for the student visa.

“Everyone told me that it could not be done,” she said. “I said politics has put us in a strait jacket. I am going to choose freedom.”

Three days after she applied she received the visa. She now lives within walking distance to Calle Ocho, in Miami’s famed Little Havana neighborhood, and commutes to Coral Gables four times a week for classes.

For Professor Manzor, having Machado Vento at UM in the doctoral program is a great asset.

“Dainerys comes to us with a B.A. from Cuba and an M.A. from Mexico,” said Manzor. “This means that she comes with an outstanding background as a generalist. She also brings with her the perspective and experience from two different educational systems in Latin America. This is invaluable to our graduate program.”

Machado Vento plans to continue her investigation of Cuban writers, especially contributing women writers who wrote for Cuban magazines in the 1950s. She believes that there is great work to be done in bridging the literary traditions from inside and outside the island.

“We have lived split for so many years,” she said of Cubans on the island and in exile. “But in the end our culture continues to be the same; our art is the same and the literature is the same. Investigating the literature could help to bring unity.”

Machado Vento has learned one other valuable lesson on her journey.

“For many of us in Cuba it is hard to dream,” she said. “But now I can dream.”

Read this story in Spanish

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Miller School Researcher Finds Peace Teaching Meditation

By Myranda Tarr
Special to UM News

Lunthita Duthely

Lunthita Duthely

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (September 28, 2016) – Meditation is not just a pastime for Lunthita Duthely, B.A., ’86, B.S., ’86, M.S., ’92, an assistant research professor at the Miller School of Medicine. Though the faculty member spends much of her time guiding medical student research and managing HIV/AIDS research databases within the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, her heart also lies with instructing free meditation classes at the Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center and the UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center.

Born in New York City of Haitian descent, Duthely began her undergraduate education at the University of Miami in 1981, studying computer science and chemistry. It was during these formative years when Duthely took her very first meditation class at the U.

“I benefited greatly from UM’s free meditation classes,” explains Duthely. “After that first experience, I knew my life was changed for the better.”

Upon completing her dual undergraduate degrees, Duthely received her first permanent position at the Miller School. The UM alumna brought together her skills in database programming with her interest in medicine and health, specifically HIV/AIDS research, to work as a programmer and analyst.

“The HIV/AIDS epidemic was on the rise in South Florida and I was eager to get involved with that research,” says Duthely, who also holds a doctor of education from the University of Phoenix. “What’s more, the epidemic was also affecting the Haitian community, which hit very close to home.”

Soon after, a perfect opportunity opened up to create and manage databases supporting HIV/AIDS research within the Department of OB/GYN. Duthely delayed her original plans to move to Europe in order to pursue this three-year commitment.

Nearly a decade after her first meditation class, Duthely began meditating on a regular basis and continues to practice with Master Sri Chinmoy. Seeing the incredible effects of meditation in her personal and professional life, Duthely became a meditation instructor in 1994 and has been teaching at the Herbert Wellness Center since 1997.

“I saw how the practice of meditation impacted my life, and so many others I met,” she says. “I was motivated to share the experience with others.”

The Department of Wellness and Recreation believes that achieving optimal health requires finding a balance between physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, occupational and global wellness, the seven dimensions of wellness. Duthely finds that practicing meditation has had a positive impact on all aspects of her life.

“I teach at the Herbert Wellness Center because I truly believe in all dimensions of wellness and try to live by them each and every day,” adds the instructor. “Also, as a meditation facilitator representing Sri Chinmoy Centres International, it is our philosophy to offer classes free of charge.”

Meditation classes at the Herbert Wellness Center and UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center are free and open to the public.

There are three remaining classes at the Herbert Wellness Center taking place on Friday, October 21, Friday, November 18, and Monday, December 5, all from 7:30 to 9 p.m. For more information or to register for a class, call 305-284-5433 or click here.

The three remaining classes at the UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center take place on Fridays, October 21, November 18, and December 16 from 1 to 1:45 p.m. For more information, click here. Duthely also teaches Hatha yoga classes at the UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m.

Duthely believes everyone should take a few minutes a day to “recharge” their inner battery with a quiet and still mind.

“Meditation is perfect for anyone who inhabits Mother Earth and breathes this precious air,” she says.

Posted in Freeze Frame, Health and LifestyleComments Off

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