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Students Screen Top Films in Los Angeles, Fill UM with Pride

By Robin Shear
UM News

At Raleigh Studios Hollywood, UM alumnus Paul Orehovec shows UM film students and recent graduates around the set of Major Crimes, the TV series he co-produces with fellow 'Cane Michael Robin, A.B. '85.

At Raleigh Studios Hollywood, UM alumnus Paul Orehovec, far left, shows UM film students and recent graduates around the set of Major Crimes, the TV series he co-produces with fellow ‘Cane Michael Robin, A.B. ’85.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (June 5, 2015) —From a migrant worker in Beijing to a would-be “Marielito” in Cuba, from hacking computers to “hooking up” in college, the ’Canes Film Showcase offered a wide variety of subject matter and style for the 450 attendees who filled the Directors Guild of America Theater on Hollywood’s famed Sunset Boulevard last Thursday.

The annual event, in its 10th year, showcases five student films selected by judges as the best of the ’Canes Film Festival, held each spring at UM. Those students then get to travel to Los Angeles to mingle with an impressive array of industry professionals and alumni.

“I swell with pride when I see the quality work our students produce,” commented School of Communication Dean Gregory Shepherd after the screening. “The quality is tied to the education they receive and the amazing job our faculty are doing.”

In addition to a Hollywood who’s who that included industry veteran David Isaacs (M*A*S*H, Mad Men), A.B. ’71, actor Dawnn Lewis, B.M. ’82, and director John Herzfeld, ’69, among many others, there were a number of University Trustees in attendance, along with Interim President and Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc, who called the students’ films “fabulous,” citing their “incredible professionalism” and impressive range of subject matter.

The films included Espionage 101, Home, I Want to Beat Up Clark Peters, The Mermaid, and El Mar y Él. Tony Mendez, producer and director of El Mar y Él, grew up in Miami and took his inspiration from his uncle’s tale of trying to leave Cuba in the 1980s. Mendez said HBO Latino has optioned his project in the U.S. and that it is set to be released in October.

The highlight of the showcase came when audience members had the chance to vote via Internet for their favorite film. I Want to Beat Up Clark Peters, about a college guy who seeks revenge after the woman he’s casually seeing starts seeing someone else, won both the City of Angels audience favorite award and the Best of the Fest Award from the professional panel of judges.

Accepting the awards, Joseph Picozzi, the movie’s writer, director, and producer who graduated this spring from the School of Communication, credited his cast and crew of fellow ’Canes, many of whom were in the audience.

“It’s great that people like it. There were some amazing films that also deserve the same recognition,” said Picozzi. “I saw a story that wasn’t being told about the hook-up culture. It’s something all of my friends were going through.”

Picozzi said he plans to move to Los Angeles in July with a fellow ’Cane to pursue his chosen career.

It’s a decision Paul Orehovec, B.S.C. ’02, encouraged as he showed a group of 20 UM film students through the inner sanctum of Raleigh Studios Hollywood, where he has worked for “one third of his life.”

The students had ample opportunity to ask technical and detailed questions, examine advanced camera equipment, and see a working set, thanks to Orehovec, co-producer with Michael Robin, A.B. ’85, of the TV series Major Crimes.

Speaking from his experience of 11 seasons with the studio, Orehovec urged UM students to get out of Miami and give L.A. a shot.

“There’s this excitement about being here, about creating. I highly recommend it. At the very minimum give it a try,” he said. “I learned more in my first year of being here about the way things actually work than can ever be taught in school. You just have to be in it, you just have to see it. It’s an adventure. It’s fun.”

But it’s also highly competitive, he noted. “Out here you’re a small fish. You have to work harder, but the reward is definitely bigger.”

Kenny Langer was one of those inspired by Orehovec’s pep talk. This year was the first time screenplays were judged at the Canes Film Festival at UM, and Langer’s feature-length Villify was the inaugural winner. Langer, who received recognition Thursday evening, is shopping around his script about a closeted teen who agrees to sleep with his best friend’s girlfriend to help break them up. Like Picozzi and several other recent UM film grads, Langer plans to move to L.A. in the coming months. “Here I go!” he exclaimed with a smile.

UM is also going to L.A., noted Dean Shepherd, with its Los Angeles semester program launching in January 2016.

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No Wake Zone: Oceanographer Free Dives into Her Research

Special to UM News

Paris.Free.Dive

UM alumna and associate professor Claire Paris-Limouzy is at the top of her game, as both a scientist and free diver.

MIAMI, Fla. (June 5, 2015)As an associate professor in ocean sciences at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Claire Paris-Limouzy, M.S. ’87, spends many days observing the minuscule movements of fish larvae in an underwater, drifting laboratory.

But she hasn’t just developed specialized scientific instruments to listen to and observe these important but often unnoticed life forms on the reefs and in the open ocean. She has discovered a unique way to imperceptibly interact with her research subjects in their environment. She uses her competitive talents as a certified free diver to minimize the human intrusion.

“The bubbles from SCUBA disturb the pelagic environment,” said Paris-Limouzy, a native of southern France who spent a lot of time in the ocean as a child.

The Rosenstiel School alumna is at the top of her game, both as a scientist and free diver. She has led numerous groundbreaking studies on larval dispersion and navigation, including one that showed that reef fish larvae can smell the presence of coral reefs from as far as several kilometers offshore, and can use this odor to find their way home. She also found that fish larvae migrate in groups and communicate by emitting sounds.

She has developed innovative scientific instruments and sophisticated computer models to predict how fish larvae, as well as other planktonic organisms and pollutants, are transported with the ocean currents. These tools were used in helping to track the behavior of oil during the Deepwater Horizon blowout, and they continue to be used to simulate the fate of oil, predict oil spill impacts, and optimize the first response to future spills.

A member of the United States Freediving Association, Paris-Limouzy was selected for the Team World Championships in 2014 and for the Individuals World Championships in 2015. She is ranked by AIDA International (Association Internationale pour le Développement de l’Apnée) and holds a Performance Freediving International certification.

Her goal is to promote scientific free diving nationwide through the American Academy of Underwater Sciences with the Rosenstiel School as a frontrunner.

Paris-Limouzy got hooked on the sport after her husband, Rosenstiel School alumnus Ricardo Paris, M.A. ’92, now also her coach, signed them up for free-diving lessons six years ago to celebrate her birthday. Turns out it was the gift of a lifetime.

“Free diving makes you feel one with the environment and promotes a sense of peace and fulfillment,” said Paris-Limouzy, who notes that finding her potential and having no fear of diving deeper have made her a better scientist.

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Brats, Baseball, and Brains: UM Celebrates 10th Family Day with the Miami Marlins

It wasn’t just another day at the ballpark, but a festive outing that celebrated outgoing UM President Donna E. Shalala’s remarkable 14-year tenure, the dedication of UM faculty and staff, their bonds with family, friends, and colleagues, and the promise of bright, young minds. The University of Miami’s annual Family Day with the Miami Marlins, held Saturday at Marlins Park in Little Havana, was all that and more. At the West Plaza, thousands of UM employees and their families and friends visited the Faculty and Staff Thank U tent, where they received orange U rally towels and enjoyed a panoply of pregame festivities, including face painting, autograph sessions with current and former Marlins players, photo opportunities with the Sebastian the Ibis and Billy the Marlin, and more.

Shalala, who was feted with a video tribute that played on the park’s jumbo screen, and UM Police Chief David Rivero threw out first pitches before the Marlins blasted the Philadelphia Phillies 7-0 in a stadium dotted with ’Canes waving those orange towels and pumping orange-and-green foam Us given to those who arrived early. But the Marlins weren’t the only winners, as the Miami Marlins Community Foundation awarded two generous scholarships to deserving ’Canes—Chelsea Mulkey, for her studies in the School of Education and Human Development’s Sport Administration Program, and the School of Communication’s Daniel New, who received the Suzanne Rayson Scholarship in Broadcast Journalism. Rayson, who served as the Marlins director of broadcasting from 2002 to 2008, passed away after a battle with cancer.

An estimated 19,000 UM employees and their guests participated in this year’s Family Day with the Marlins, the tradition begun 10 years ago to show the U’s appreciation for faculty and staff, who in addition to transforming lives every day through teaching, research, and service, have contributed more than $35 million to Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami.

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Returned Volunteers Share ‘Stories of the Peace Corps’

By Robert C. Jones Jr.
UM News

peace corps event 2

From left, Steve Hunsicker, field-based recruiter for the Peace Corps’ Southeast Regional Recruitment Office; Peace Corps director Carrie Hessler-Radelet; Knight Foundation President Alberto Ibargüen; and UM President Donna E. Shalala.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (April 22, 2015) – He spoke of creating a new “army,” not one of tanks and rifle-toting soldiers, but teachers, engineers, agricultural scientists, and other civilians who would give two years of their lives to help people in countries of the developing world. When President John F. Kennedy issued his executive order establishing the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961, a new generation of leaders was born.

Among the first volunteers to enlist: Donna E. Shalala, a recent graduate of the Western College for Women, who turned down her father’s offer of a new car to stay home, and instead went to Iran, where she lived in a mud village and taught at an agricultural college from 1962-1964. Read the full story

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’Canes Saturate the Corporate Run with UPride

MIAMI, Fla. (April 23, 2015) — Torrential downpours weren’t enough to discourage University of Miami faculty and staff from lacing up their sneakers to run—or stroll—the 3.1 miles of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz Miami Corporate Run, held Thursday in downtown Miami. Wearing specially designed orange T-shirts featuring the UM logo and Sebastian the Ibis, 1,453 members of Team UM—the most in the school’s history—joined more than 26,000 other competitors for the 30th anniversary of the event, which proved to be a saturating affair as skies opened up. All members of Team UM received a UM T-shirt, Metrorail pass, and food voucher and were entered in a drawing for prizes such as roundtrip airline tickets. View the slideshow below. And for additional Corporate Run photos of Team UM, click here.

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