Tag Archive | "college of arts and sciences"

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Goran’s Gifts: UM Celebrates Creative Writing Professor Lester Goran’s Legacy October 23-24

A memorial celebration of the late Professor Lester Goran’s creative writing legacy at the University of Miami will begin Thursday October 23, with Recent Alumni Readings at 6:30 p.m. at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables, and continue Friday, October 24 with an evening of readings and memories of his life and legacy at 6 p.m. in the CAS Gallery at the Wesley Foundation House, 1210 Stanford Drive, Coral Gables.

Goran, who  began developing creative writing courses for undergraduates in 1961, founded the MFA in Creative Writing Program and taught more than 20,000 students in his 53 years at the University. He published eight novels and three collections of short stories and mentored scores of well-published writers.

Free and open to the public, the Thursday night celebration will feature Daisy Hernandez, reading from A Cup of Water Under My Bed; Jason McCall, reading Dear Hero; Kristine Snodgrass, reading from War on Pants; and Natalia Sylvester, with Chasing the Sun.

Also free and open to the public, the Friday celebration is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, the English Department’s Creative Writing Program, the MALS program, and the Mangrove Literary Journal. The evening will feature former students Chrissa-Jean Chappell, reading from More than Good Enough; Terrence Cheng, from Sons of Heaven; Paul Perry, from Gunpowder Valentin: New and Selected Poems; and  Michelle Richmond, from The Year of the Fog; and special remarks by Professor Eugene Clasby,Matthew Aspery Gear, and Chauncey Mabe.

A reception will follow. Please RSVP at http://as.miami.edu/goranrsvp.

For more information, contact UM’s Creative Writing director, M. Evelina Galang, at mgalang@miami.edu or Creative Writing Community Outreach and Events Coordinator Melissa Burley at m.burley1@umiami.edu. For information about parking, please see UM Parking Information.


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Global Imaginaries, Media and Aesthetics: A Symposium on the Work of Néstor García Canclini

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, the Joseph Carter Fund, and the College of Arts and Sciences present “Global Imaginaries, Media and Aesthetics: A Symposium on the Work of Néstor García Canclini” on Friday, October 3, from 5 to 8 p.m. in the CAS/Wesley Gallery, 1210 Stanford Drive, Coral Gables campus. Three scholars from the University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences and a Mexican media and urban studies scholar will address two books recently published by Néstor García Canclini, distinguished professor of anthropology at the Universidad Autonóma de México City.

For more information, and to RSVP, click here.

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Colombia’s Peace Negotiators Share Firsthand Accounts at UM Meeting

By Barbara Gutierrez
and Marie Guma-Diaz
UM News


From left are Marta L. Jaramillo, Colombia’s consul general in Miami; CLAS Director Ariel Armony; Colombian Ambassador to the U.S. Luis Carlos Villegas; and lead Colombian negotiator Humberto De La Calle Lombana.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (September 18, 2014)—An unprecedented meeting took place last week at the University’s Newman Alumni Center between the Colombian government negotiators—who are negotiating peace with the country’s main guerilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)—and more than 50 journalists, academics, and UM students.

The meeting, which was the first in the U.S., provided a unique opportunity for members of the media and academics to hear firsthand accounts about the peace negotiations being held in Havana, Cuba, to try to end the 50-year-old conflict that has claimed more than 250,000 lives in the South American country.

The event was hosted by UM’s Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS), in collaboration with the Fundación Gabriel García Márquez para el Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI) and the Colombian Office of the High Commissioner for Peace.

“Miami is a strategic site for this meeting, which focuses on a process of historical proportion. It reflects our deep commitment to Latin America,” said Ariel Armony, the director of CLAS who was instrumental in bringing the forum to UM. “This has been an enriching experience of the highest intellectual level. We gave a great deal of thought to this type of gathering—of coming together with a clear purpose with the best national, international, and local journalists and the best of our academic world.”

Negotiators Humberto de la Calle Lombana, who leads the Colombian government delegation in Cuba, and Sergio Jaramillo Caro, the high commissioner for peace, presided over the event along with Colombian Ambassador to the U.S. Luis Carlos Villegas, who said holding the forum at UM was of extreme importance, particularly because of the large Colombian community in South Florida.

“Miami is one of the key spots geopolitically, economically, and commercially for our country,” said Villegas. “UM has one of the strongest programs on Latin America in the country and it is only logical that an important matter like the peace process in Colombia should be discussed here.”

The two-hour session, which was by invitation only and designed to provide up-to-date information to those interested in the peace process, was conducted in Spanish. It came two years after members of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos’ government began negotiations in Cuba with the FARC, which the U.S. government regards as “narco-terrorists.”

To date, negotiators have reached partial agreement on three elements—land reform, political participation, and drug trafficking—of the five-point agenda. The two remaining points center on truth and reparations for victims, and the end of the conflict, which includes a cease-fire.

Members of the press and academics at the event were able to ask questions and interact with key figures in a respectful, but spirited discussion moderated by Jaime Abello Banfi, general director of FNPI. The event was attended by numerous prestigious media organizations, including the BBC, CNN, Reuters, Radio Caracol, and Mundo Fox, among others.

“The forum gave me a better understanding of the process and a hint of where the negotiations are heading,” said Diego Urdaneta, correspondent for Agence France Presse. “The University played a fundamental role in providing a neutral territory to discuss the process without trepidation.”

Other participants included academics and international business and policy experts from UM and other institutions who see Miami as a significant site for this gathering, said Bruce Bagley, professor of international studies at the College of Arts and Sciences.

“The seminar hopes to reach the very large Colombian community in South Florida, and explain a process that can greatly improve conditions in their country under President Juan Manuel Santos,” said Bagley.

The event also gave students the opportunity to see political theories applied in complex, real-life situations and witness the development of a treaty that has the potential to change the direction of a country and impact the entire continent.

“It’s an occasion to turn theory into practical solutions,” said Nashira Chavez, a Ph.D. student in the Department of International Studies. “It’s an intense intellectual exercise because you need to connect all the dots when you see the process up close.”




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SEEDS ‘You Choose’ Leadership Award Applications Due September 22

Applications for the SEEDS program (Scientists and Engineers Expanding Diversity and Success) “You Choose” Leadership Awards are due September 22. Targeting pre-tenure and tenured faculty, “You Choose” accepts applicants from individuals and groups. The activities are not pre-defined. Previously awarded projects include: mentoring programs, research collaborations, visits from prominent national experts, interdisciplinary seminars, and writing workshops. For more information, view the full application guidelines.


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The U’s Historic ‘Front Door’ Wins Three Preservation Awards

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The U’s Historic ‘Front Door’ Wins Three Preservation Awards

UM News

1300 Campo Sano now houses

Once the center of campus, 1300 Campo Sano now houses the Departments of Geography and Regional Studies, International Studies, and Political Science.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (August 21, 2014)—Once boarded up and riddled with leaks, mold, rot, and termite damage, the wooden building that served as the University’s first registration and administration center has won three major preservation awards that honor UM’s restoration of the structure’s 1947 appearance while modernizing it for 21st century use.

Known by its 1300 Campo Sano address, the two-story building long occupied by the College of Arts and Sciences has received the American Institute of Architects Florida/Caribbean Chapter’s Honor Award of Excellence for Historic Preservation, the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation’s Outstanding Achievement Award for Restoration/Rehabilitation, and the Dade Heritage Trust’s Outstanding Restoration of a Historic Site Award.

“The building was the front door of campus, the beginning of the beginning of the modern university its founders dreamed it would be,” said noted historian and preservationist Arva Parks McCabe, a senior member of the UM Board of Trustees who wrote a book about Coral Gables and UM founder George Merrick.

Like the University’s own history, the destiny of the building that was home to the Department of Art and Art History for half a century was inextricably tied to the end of World War II, when millions of veterans seized the opportunity to attend college on the 1944 Servicemen’s Adjustment Act, or GI Bill. Almost overnight, the enrollment at UM, which was still in a temporary location on LeJeune Road to the north, nearly tripled to 5,800.

“It was an optimistic time in history,” Parks McCabe said. “We had won the war and all the GIs came back, and that is why the University of Miami became what it is.”

The heady times, though, created a quandary for UM’s first president, Bowman Ashe: How would UM accommodate the students who would flood the permanent campus?

Enter the U.S. Army, which donated the temporary wooden structures it had quickly erected for the war to universities. When the surplus buildings arrived on the UM campus by rail and in pieces, Ashe turned to South Florida architects Robert Law Weed and Marion Manley—the first woman architect in Miami and a pioneer in her field—to redesign them for the “avant-garde, international-style” they envisioned for Merrick’s “great university for a great city.”

“They integrated modernist elements: repeated large windows, a wide breezeway joining the building, and a very graphic design,” said Janet Gavarrete, associate vice president for campus planning.

The Office of the President, director of admission, and dean of the Graduate School would settle into the breezy, new space at 1300 Campo Sano, and every student would pass through it. By the late 1950s, administrators had moved on, and the art department moved in, turning the building into a hub of creativity for student artists—until 2000, when the aging structure was closed for safety.

About a decade later, the City of Coral Gables cited 1300 Campo Sano for historic preservation, and the University hired alumnus R.J. Heisenbottle, B.Arch. ’84, one of Miami’s best-known preservation architects—to preserve the building’s architecture but bring it up to modern codes and standards. It was a mammoth undertaking.

Extensive roof leaks had destroyed all of the interior finishes, and mold covered most surfaces. Termite damage and wood rot had left the structure so fragile that it had to be supported by metal braces. The mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and life safety systems no longer worked.

The contracting team from Turnkey Construction installed new impact-resistant windows and doors that matched the original ones, utilized salvaged wood for the flooring, and stripped and reinstalled the original siding. They also integrated new air-conditioning technology to minimize ductwork and allow individual temperature control in each room.

The results are remarkable. Today, 1300 Campo Sano is a peaceful yet dynamic, light-filled oasis for the Departments of Geography and Regional Studies, International Studies, and Political Science—and the winner of three awards for historic preservation.

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