Freeze Frame

Spanish Legacies: Children of Spain’s Immigrants Provide a Window to Adaptation

Special to UM News

From left are  Felicia Marie Knaul, President Julio Frenk, Alejandro Portes, and Cándido Creis, honorary  consul of Spain in Miami.

From left are Felicia Marie Knaul, President Julio Frenk, Alejandro Portes, and Cándido Creis, honorary consul of Spain in Miami.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 22, 2017)— A unique effort by UM Research Professor Alejandro Portes to produce the first reliable and representative study of the condition and future prospects of second-generation immigrants in Spain—where almost 13 percent of the country’s population is foreign-born—was the subject of last week’s colloquium at the Cuban Heritage Collection of the Otto G. Richter Library.

Written by Portes and two co-authors, ‘’Spanish Legacies: The Coming of Age of the Second Generation’’ explores how the children of immigrants—the second generation—are coping with the challenges of adapting to Spanish society, comparing their experiences with those of their peers in the United States. For the book, Portes, Rosa Aparicio, and William Haller used a groundbreaking data set based on both survey and ethnographic material collected from a sample of almost 7,000 second-generation students who were interviewed in Madrid and Barcelona in 2008 and then followed and re-interviewed four years later.
“Very seldom does one have the opportunity to work with such a rich set of data,” said moderator Dr. Felicia Marie Knaul, director of the University of Miami Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas, which co-hosted the event with the Department of Sociology in the College or Arts and Sciences, and the Cuban Heritage Collection at the University of Miami Libraries.

Introduced by Dean of Libraries Charles D. Eckman, President Julio Frenk lauded lauded Portes, who holds appointments in sociology and law at UM and is professor emeritus of Princeton University, for his life’s work: “We are privileged to have Alejandro Portes as our leading scholar on immigration. Having this kind of scholarship helps elevate the social discussion on an issue of growing policy importance.”

Also participating in the panel discussion were Jennifer Lee, chancellor’s fellow and professor of sociology at the University of California, Irvine; and UM’s George Wilson, professor of sociology and David Abraham, professor of law.

“Thank you for both reviving and elevating the scholarship on immigrant and second-generation assimilation with Spanish Legacies,” Lee told Portes.

During his commentary, Portes highlighted the size and complexity of the data set, adding a touch of humor: “It is impossible to lie without statistics,” he said.

The longitudinal study, which was complemented by qualitative interviews, enabled a better examination of existing theories and hypotheses of immigrant adaptation, providing not only a solid base for comparative studies elsewhere, but also inspiration for future policies.

As Abraham noted, “The book makes a compelling case for conducting cross-national research on immigration.”





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E-Week Celebrates the Power to Make a Difference

By Andi Fuentes
Special to UM News


High school students put their engineering skills to the test during one of the activities held last Thursday as part of Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 23, 2017)—Making your own lip balm and stacking cups so they don’t fall—that’s engineering? Indeed, it is—as more than 200 high school girls discovered on Thursday at the Society of Women Engineers’ National Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day at the University of Miami.

Those fun learning activities helped illustrate the analytical thinking and critical reasoning skills every engineer needs to succeed. The students also toured laboratory facilities at UM’s College of Engineering and listened, enthralled, as Cynthia Gundersen, CEO of AMU Engineering, talked to them about her career path to leading a NASA-affiliated design and development firm.

This year’s celebration of National Engineers Week (E-Week) included the signature event of the UM Society of Women Engineers chapter and many other activities focused on the goal of E-Week, which is to highlight the contributions the engineering profession makes to society. It is celebrated annually during the third week of February to honor President George Washington, an engineer.

Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day was just one of the E-Week at the U programs that brought pre-college students to campus. Approximately 300 high school students from around South Florida kicked off the week on Friday, February 17, by participating in Build It, a design competition sponsored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. At Build It, Sebastian the Ibis welcomed the students and Miami-Dade County Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, the morning keynote speaker.

“You are the future of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics—and you will be the ones to build and improve our world,” Carvalho told the audience.

Other daily programming included the Graduate Engineering Student Council’s poster display session, which gave every engineering student an opportunity to see how researchers share their results. Eager throngs of undergraduates avidly listened to graduate students explain their work—showing just how important such efforts are for engineers developing new technologies and products.

Later in the week, the Biomedical Engineering Society hosted a Biomedical Industry Night with a panel discussion led by several noted alumni, followed by networking for students and professionals in the biosciences. The UM chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers welcomed UM President Julio Frenk and CoE Dean Jean-Pierre Bardet to a forum on STEM diversity—an evening devoted to supporting the ongoing efforts by senior leaders to build a culture of belonging and excellence for every student.

The UM chapter of engineering honor society Eta Kappa Nu hosted a programmable engine Raspberry Pi design competition, and the week wrapped up with a shoreline cleanup day sponsored by Engineers Without Borders, proving that engineering makes life better around the world and in our own South Florida back yard.

Of course, no E-Week is complete without fun, and the Society of Hispanic Engineers welcomed all students to a picnic for the U “familia.” The Institute of Industrial Engineers Dunk Tank was, as always, a welcome and fun way for students to unwind on the Engineering Green.

Bardet has a simple, yet profound, message for everyone who participated in National Engineers Week: “You’ll have the power to make a difference! By becoming an engineer, you solve problems that are important to society. Engineering is a ‘helping profession’ and as an engineer you can clean up the environment, develop new medicines to make life better for those who suffer, and solve problems to make the world a better place. But what really matters is that you’ll get to do societal good on a local and global scale.”

At the U, global impact starts in the classroom and extends to service and student leadership. Once again, the 2017 University of Miami College of Engineering E-Week highlighted how our engineers excel in the lab, in the community, and wherever they reach out to help encourage future STEM leaders.


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Essentials of Leadership Program Graduates 7th Class

02-13-17-EOL-Graduation-390Launched 2 1/2 years ago to transform University managers into leaders, the Essentials of Leadership Program (EOL) just graduated its seventh class, bringing to 385 the number of managers who are now equipped to lead people to perform at their best and drive results that make a greater impact as the U moves toward its new century.

If you’d like to become a transformational leader and make an impact on a professional and personal level, the EOL program is for you. Visit the EOL homepage for more information and view a photo gallery from the seventh graduation on February 2.


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Children Explore Endless Opportunities on UM Campuses

Special to UM News

TakeChildrentoWork2University of Miami students may learn about sustainability of natural ecosystems, life-saving medical procedures, and advances in architecture from textbooks, but last Thursday more than 230 children, ages 8 to 14, experienced these fields firsthand as the U hosted its annual Take Our Children to Work Day on the Coral Gables, Miller School, and Rosentiel School campuses.

Children of UM employees participated in a full day that provided a glimpse into the many ways their parents and other employees transform lives at the U. The day on the Coral Gables campus kicked off with a warm welcome by special guest Jim Larranaga, UM men’s basketball head coach, at the Shalala Student Center. On the medical campus, parents and children started their day with an energetic pep rally led by Sebastian the Ibis and Hurricane Athletics cheerleaders at the UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center.

Once parents returned to their offices and labs, the children were divided into groups to enjoy a variety activities, which included interacting with nursing patient simulators; learning about otolaryngology; practicing their physical wellness with yoga and Zumba; and getting up close and personal with Aplysia, large sea slugs.

Explore the full range of activities the children participated in by viewing a photo gallery of the Coral Gables/RSMAS event and Miller School event.


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UM Celebrates the Year of the Rooster

UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (January 30, 2017)—From a colorful lion dance to a demonstration of Chinese calligraphy, and from a powerful drum performance to a tasty feast of Chinese cuisine, the University of Miami community celebrated Lunar New Year on Monday, joining hundreds of millions of people across Asia in marking the Year of the Rooster.

Held on the Lakeside Patio, UM’s annual observance of the holiday, which is also known as Spring Festival in China, was presented by the Asian American Students Association, the Chinese Students and Scholars Association, and the Hong Kong Students Association.

Approximately a sixth of the world’s population observes Lunar New Year, with each new year associated with one of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.

According to Chinese astrology, if you were born in the year of the rooster, you are very observant, hardworking, resourceful, courageous, and talented.

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