Freeze Frame

NBC Universal’s Vice Chairman Shares His Recipe for Success

By Zoe Kafkes
Special to UM News


NBC Universal’s Ron Meyer and School of Communication Professor Ana Francois chat at Shoma Hall.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 13, 2014)—What do you get when you take a high school dropout, luck, a few white lies, and a lot of hard work? The answer is Ron Meyer, vice chairman of NBC Universal.

Meyer spoke to School of Communication students last Monday, October 13, in Shoma Hall on the Coral Gables campus. During a Q&A session, Meyer told students about his experiences, and gave advice on the movie industry and how to build a career.

A high school dropout and son of two German-Jewish immigrants, Meyer joined the U.S. Marine Corps at age 17. When his service concluded, he knew he wanted a job as a Hollywood agent and began his search, lying about his education and past employment. He applied for more than 150 jobs, and succeeded after asking every person he came across if they knew anyone in the industry who could help. His mom’s friend’s husband’s sister’s husband was the key.

Asked what students should know before entering the workforce, Meyer said, “Even though at the University of Miami you are at one of the best communications schools in the United States, you still are not special.” He urged students to differentiate themselves from others and noted that success rests on being in the right place at the right time.

Meyer made sure to answer all student questions, speaking for an hour longer than his scheduled appearance. Questions included what to do upon graduation, how to deal with disapproving parents, where the industry is headed, and about his professional experiences.

The final questioner asked Meyer if, in his more than 20 years at NBC Universal, he was ever bored. His answer was a firm no, summarizing in one word the value of his life’s journey through Hollywood.

Meyer is 70 years old and looks forward to continuing his career with NBC Universal.

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All Pinked Out: Zeta Tau Alpha Battles Breast Cancer

From a Survivors Celebration to T-shirt sales benefiting cancer research, the UM chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha kicked off Think Pink Week on the Coral Gables campus.

UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 8, 2014) – The sisters of Zeta Tau Alpha had always organized and participated in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month activities, passing out pink ribbons, collecting yogurt lids as part of Yoplait’s Save Lids to Save Lives campaign, and donning running shoes and shorts for the Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure. But this year they ramped up their efforts by bringing to the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus some of the many survivors who have conquered a disease that is the most common form of cancer in women, regardless of race or ethnicity.

Teaming up with Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, the UM chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha hosted a Survivors Celebration Tuesday as part of its Think Pink Week of activities. Wearing T-shirts that read “Think Pink,” survivors joined ZTA sisters on the Foote Green to form a human pink ribbon, the international symbol of breast cancer awareness.

“We have so many sisters who have been directly impacted by this disease,” said Laura Zebib, director of philanthropy for the UM chapter of the women’s fraternity that has made breast cancer awareness its key focus. “Education is really the key to prevention, especially in young women.”

To that end, breast cancer survivors Lainey Kieffer, a UM family nurse practitioner, and author Paula Holland Delong spoke, respectively, about early diagnosis in college-age women and life after breast cancer.

As part of ZTA’s Think Pink Week, the fraternity also spearheaded efforts to turn UM into a pinked-out campus with the Coral Gables campus’s iconic fountains illuminated in pink, tree trunks festooned with pink ribbons, and pink-lit signage—all of which will remain through October.

In addition, ZTA is selling T-shirts and $20 tickets to the October 21 Miami Heat game against the Houston Rockets, with proceeds benefiting breast cancer research and education through the Zeta Tau Alpha Foundation.


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UM Community Takes A Stand Against Sexual Violence

By Julie L Earl
UM News


Taking a stand: At the University Center last Thursday, a UM student signs a banner in support of efforts to end sexual violence.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (September 26, 2014) – U Got Consent? Members of the Yellow Rose Society asked the University of Miami community that question last Thursday, as they took a public stand against sexual violence. “It’s something important that everyone should be aware of,” said Guerdiana Thelomar, a member of the student organization dedicated to women’s empowerment. “It’s an issue that’s prevalent throughout universities and is only recently coming to light.” Read the full story

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‘Out of the Darkness’ Walk Sheds Light on Suicide Prevention

With more than 39,500 lives lost to suicide each year, a community of hundreds participated in an annual walk on the UM campus to raise awareness about suicide prevention.

UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (September 22, 2014) – The numbers are both saddening and shocking: Every 13.3 minutes, someone in the United States commits suicide. Every 60 seconds, a suicide attempt is made, and among teens and young adults, it is the second leading cause of death. With those sobering statistics in mind, hundreds of people gathered on the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus Sunday for the annual Out of the Darkness Community Walk, aimed at raising awareness about suicide prevention.

Participants included students, UM employees, and residents from many South Florida communities. Some walked as part of a team. Others wore T-shirts with the photo of a loved one or friend who committed suicide. The recent suicide of Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams weighed heavily on the minds of many people.

Pascal J. Goldschmidt, senior vice president for medical affairs, dean of the Miller School of Medicine, and CEO of UHealth, and Charles B. Nemeroff, Leonard M. Miller Professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, were among those who spoke prior to the walk, which featured the release of butterflies in memory of those who died by suicide.

The annual walk and others like it held around the nation are part of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s signature fundraising campaign.

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From Seat Belt Use to Distracted Driving, Safety Fair Helps Raise Awareness

UM News

Safety Fair

With Florida Highway Patrolman Joe Sanchez monitoring its operation, a rollover accident simulator is demonstrated during UM’s annual safety fair, which was held on the UC Rock Plaza.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (September 18, 2014) – Ejected from their vehicle during a violent rollover accident, the bodies of a man, woman, and small child went soaring through air, landing lifeless on the green space in front of the University of Miami bookstore as a crowd of onlookers reacted in shock.

While paramedics and law enforcement officials would normally arrive at such a tragic scene within minutes, there would be no such response on this day. After all, it wasn’t real—just a simulation conducted with crash test dummies and the cab of a pickup truck mounted on a trailer equipped with hydraulics.

The purpose: to show what happens to automobile occupants when they don’t wear safety belts in a rollover crash.

It was just one of the teaching tools demonstrated last Thursday at a safety fair on the Coral Gables campus aimed at raising awareness about the dangers of impaired and distracted driving, and the importance of buckling up.

The rollover simulator, operated by Florida Highway Patrolman Joe Sanchez, proved to be the day’s most dramatic demonstration. But it was a pair of ordinary-looking goggles that gave students and employees the chance to become active participants. Dozens of people attempted, unsuccessfully, to perform the walk-and-turn field sobriety test while wearing the special goggles, which simulate impaired ability.

Held on the UC Rock Plaza, the safety fair featured the UM Police Department, UM Parking and Transportation, Association of Commuter Students, PIER21 (the William W. Sandler, Jr. Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Education), RED (Responsible and Educated Drivers), and members of the UM Student Government executive board.

The Dori Slosberg Foundation, Florida Highway Patrol, Miami-Dade Expressway Authority, City of Miami Beach, and AAA/Traffic Safety Foundation also participated.


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