Tag Archive | "Division of Student Affairs"

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In Memoriam: William W. Sandler, Jr.


UM News

William J. 'Bill' Sandler, Jr.

William W. ‘Bill’ Sandler, Jr.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (August 10, 2017)—Former Dean of Students William W. Sandler, Jr., an epic figure at the University of Miami who counseled, mentored, and befriended four generations of students during his 43 years at the U, passed away August 6 at his Key Biscayne home. He was 83.

Sandler, who began his career at the University in 1962 as a counselor for men in the old Dean of Men’s Office, continuously rose through the administrative ranks, serving as dean of student personnel or dean of students for a quarter century, until his retirement in July 2006.

Sandler always considered himself first and foremost an advocate for students. He was instrumental in shifting the Division of Student Affairs’ focus to giving students a role in University governance and a voice in issues that mattered to them. During his time, those issues included fewer regulations on their personal lives, representation on the Board of Trustees, a rathskeller on campus, overseas conflicts, and the plight of black students.

As he put it, “We learned to work more closely with students. We became student advocates rather than university administrators.”

Pat Whitely, vice president for student affairs, who considered Sandler a mentor, said he had a profound impact on countless students and student affairs administrators like herself.

“He was known for his kindness, patience, and unflappable manner, regardless of the student challenges facing him,” Whitely said. “It was such a privilege to work closely with him.”

Over his tenure, Sandler advised fraternities and sororities, developed the Student Discipline System, instituted a student-run honor code, oversaw the Campus Chaplain’s Association, and cofounded the Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Education, which today bears his name.

Arriving at the U in the days when Interstate-95 didn’t exist, stop signs halted traffic on US 1, and campus life was disrupted by student unrest and major hurricanes, Sandler witnessed many transformative changes in the community, the student body, and the campus. He and his wife, Anita, started their own family in Building 29, one of the old World War II-era apartments on Walsh Avenue that were torn down to make way for what is now the Watsco Center. He and his daughters, Lisa Zingler and Kristine Sandler, who attended the U, were often seen walking around Lake Osceola, feeding the ducks and watching the mullet jump.

“I’ve seen a lot of changes since ’62,” Sandler said before his retirement. “They’ve all been great things. The University has become great and well respected in those years.”

Originally from Sunbury, Penn., Sandler attended Mansfield University and Pennsylvania State University, where he studied education and counseling psychology. He met his future boss and mentor, Dean Noble Hendrix, at an education convention in Philadelphia and was delighted to learn the young university had three dean openings. He immediately applied for a vacancy, anxious to take his young bride from the cold to the tropics.

He left the U briefly in the mid-1960s to become dean of students elsewhere but quickly returned because he had sand in his shoes—and the growing reputation and promise of the U in his heart. “If I go anywhere…with a U on my shirt I get all kinds of people talking to me,” he proudly noted. “It really is great to be a ’Cane.’’

Inducted into the Iron Arrow Honor Society in 1974, Sandler had many other honors over his lifetime, including the Lambda Chi Alpha Order of Merit, the Panhellenic Council’s Administrator of the Year Award, and the National Lambda Chi Alpha Award for Distinguished Service.

In addition to his wife of 55 years and his daughters, he is survived by grandchildren Lauren Zingler Davis, Shawn Zingler, Ricky Saborido, and William Saborido.

A celebration of his life  will be held at 4 p.m. on Sunday, September 17, at the Newman Alumni Center. Donations in his memory can be made to The Sandler Center For Alcohol and Other Drug Education, 1306 Stanford Drive, UC #2250, Coral Gables, FL 33146.

 

 

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Volunteers Needed to Welcome New Students during ‘Cane Kickoff 2017


 The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, the Division of Student Affairs, and the Human Resources Office are teaming up to encourage staff across all campuses to volunteer for ’Cane Kickoff 2017, our fall undergraduate new student orientation program. Volunteers will manage the Information Stations on the Coral Gables campus Tuesday, August 15 through Thursday, August 17. These covered Information Stations serve as rest stops for our new students and families as they navigate around campus to participate in orientation events. Volunteers serve as an on-campus resource by answering questions and helping to direct students and families.

The welcoming of new students and their families is one of the most exciting times on our campus, and the Department of Orientation and Commuter Student Involvement is asking for your help to make it a truly amazing experience! You can, with the approval of your supervisor, sign up in advance for a two-and-a-half-hour block of time between 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Volunteers will be invited to a training session, which includes an opportunity to answer any additional questions, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 8 at the Shalala Student Center.

If you are interested in serving as a campus ambassador, please register at https://goo.gl/forms/bvcZ4zdzpjpiihCB3. If you have any questions or any difficulties registering, please contact leslie.leonard@miami.edu.

 

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Josh Brandfon Elected to NACA Board


UM News

Josh-Brandfon

Josh Brandfon

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (May 11, 2017)—Joshua R. Brandfon, director of Student Activities, Student Organizations, and Student Center Complex programs at the University of Miami, has been elected to the board of directors of the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) by the organization’s members. Earlier this year, the national organization dedicated to promoting student learning through engagement in campus life, awarded Brandfon one of its top achievement awards, the NACA Legacy Award.

At UM, Brandfon has helped create a climate that promotes and encourages student involvement and engagement. He also helps oversee the implementation of major university events, including distinguished guest lectures and dignitary visits, and serves as the primary administrator responsible for the management of more than 750 student organization accounts.

Brandfon, who began his relationship with NACA as a member of the Northeast Region Showcase Selection Committee, was a 2006 recipient of a NACA Educational Foundation McCullough Graduate Student Scholarship. Since then, he’s won many NACA awards for his leadership and service: the Outstanding Service Award in 2007, the NACA South C. Shaw Smith Founders Award in 2010, the Outstanding Service Citation in 2012, and this year’s NACA Legacy Award.

Over the years, he has chaired both the South Regional Conference Program Committee and the National Convention Program Committee. More recently, he served on the NACA Research and Scholarship Group, the Strategic Plan Task Force, and the inaugural cohort for NACA LEAP (Leadership and Effectiveness in Association Practices).

“With over ten years of experience with NACA’s various positions, Josh’s extensive knowledge of our association will serve us well as we begin the execution of a new strategic plan,” said Toby Cummings, NACA’s executive director. “Josh is a favorite presenter at our conferences and has been published in Campus Activities Programming magazine. He will be a wonderful addition to the leadership team.”

Brandfon received his B.A. in politics and economics from Brandeis University and his M.A. in educational leadership from the University of Connecticut. He anticipates completing his doctor of education from the University of Miami in 2018.

Established in 1960, NACA is the recognized leader in higher education for providing members with knowledge, ideas, and resources to promote student learning through engagement in campus life. NACA offers a variety of events, educational institutes, publications and networking opportunities for colleges and universities across the country. The association’s programs focus on program planning, risk management, multicultural education, concert management, student and professional leadership development, student government and more. For more information visit www.naca.org.

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Laurels for Unsung Heroes


Brown-2

Joanne Brown was stunned when Jennifer Rau, left, and Pat Whitely, right, named her the Division of Student Affairs Unsung Hero for the 2016-17 academic year.

By Mike Piacentino
Special to UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (April 7, 2017)—When Joanne Brown received an invitation to attend the Division of Student Affairs Laurel Awards breakfast held on April 6, she thought that her Office of Financial Assistance was nominated for a departmental award. Instead, Brown was stunned to learn that she was named the division’s “Unsung Hero” for the 2016-17 academic year. The Unsung Hero award recognizes an individual outside of the division who makes a fundamental, yet often unrecognized, impact on the student experience.

“There are so many people in our office who work tirelessly to help students so the team being recognized would not have surprised me,” said Brown. “But I had absolutely no idea that I was nominated for individual recognition. It was a complete surprise, but a lovely surprise.”

Brown came to UM in 2005 and worked most closely with undergraduate student scholarships. For the past three years, she has served as the director of financial assistance, ensuring students receive their awards and being flexible when responding to various student needs. According to her nominator, University Ombudsperson and Assistant to the Vice President Jennifer Rau, Brown is always willing to help a student and their family, and she takes the time to make sure they understand all of their options.

“Her phone number was the first one I memorized at the U,” said Rau, who was also honored with a Laurel, The Patricia A. Whitley Student Affairs Enrichment Award. “I remember my first week on the job when Joanne called me back at 6 p.m. about a student — apologizing for the hour but wanting to make sure the student received the assistance they needed.”

Brown credits much of her and her team’s success to the solid partnership between the Office of Financial Assistance and the Division of Student Affairs

“From time to time my work with students spills over beyond just finances,” Brown said. “I had a student who suddenly had no adequate housing mid-semester. But helping the student find funds for campus housing is only good if that student could then get into campus housing. It was helpful to be able to pick up the phone and call a colleague in the Department of Housing and Residential Life to ensure that the student had a safe place to live.”

In its 19th year, the Laurel Awards is an annual celebration hosted by the Division of Student Affairs to recognize the outstanding efforts of the division’s staff, student employees, and campus partners. Awards recognize both outstanding individuals as well as departmental initiatives that make a transformative impact on the student experience. Criteria for the various awards emphasize employees who model UM’s DIRECCT values and deliver service excellence on a consistent basis. In addition to Brown and Rau, this year’s other Laurel Award winners were for:

Outstanding Job Performance
Leslie Leonard, Student Life
Frances Cabrisas, Student Center Complex

Exceptional Work with Students
Alexander Martin, Student Activities and Student Organizations
Christine Stroface, Housing and Residential Life

Outstanding New Student Affairs Employee
Van Bailey, LGBTQ Student Center
Whitney Plazter O’Regan, Dean of Students Office

Outstanding Job Performance (Students)
Sylvia Reyes, Graduate Student, Student Activities and Student Organizations
Peter Khoury, Undergraduate Student, Housing and Residential Life

Outstanding Collaborative Initiative
Theater in Action: Bystander Intervention

Outstanding Department Initiative
Tunnel of Oppression

“The Laurel Awards is a time to celebrate and reflect on the past year’s accomplishments,” said Michael Baumhardt, co-chair of the 2017 Laurel Awards and associate director of programs for Student Activities and Student Organizations. “Together with the planning committee, we were honored to recognize our accomplished and deserving staff.”

The Laurel Awards is also a time for the division to recognize departing staff and graduate students. This year’s awards recognized two departing senior administrators: Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc and Ricardo Hall, associate vice president and dean of students. Each received a replica “U” statue.

“Both Provost LeBlanc and Dean Hall have made a direct and positive impact on the student experience at the University of Miami,” said Patricia Whitely, vice president for student affairs. “I will miss their input and perspective on the multitude of decisions we make every day, and I wish them well on their future endeavors.”

Learn more about the Laurel Awards and view all the previous winners on the Laurel Awards website.

 

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‘Make a Career Out of Making a Difference’

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‘Make a Career Out of Making a Difference’


Activist and community organizer Alicia Garza stresses the need for a richness of ideas to help solve society’s problems.  

By Megan Ondrizek
UM News

#BlackLivesMatter's Alicia Garza addresses students at the Shalala Student Center.

#BlackLivesMatter’s Alicia Garza addresses students at the Shalala Student Center.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 10, 2017)—In a visit originally planned for Black Awareness Month, Alicia Garza—social justice activist, community organizer and co-founder of Black Lives Matter—told the story about the movement and its impact on society Thursday evening at the University of Miami.

But she was focused on the future.

“It’s 2017… Four years since Black Lives Matter came onto the scene,” Garza said. “We’re at a different moment now. It’s time for us to pivot into ‘what are we going to do,’ not just how we got here.”

Introduced by student Gabrielle Hand, Garza addressed an audience of more than 150 students, faculty members, and staff gathered in the Donna E. Shalala Student Center grand ballroom.

“I understand blackness as a political language. The only identity politics moving through this country right now are the politics of white identity. Everything black is cool right now, except for black people,” Garza said, eliciting applause, snaps, and excitement from the crowd.

And while Garza hopes that society can eliminate the use of race as a political language, she doesn’t want to live in a color-blind world. “I do want to be seen,” she said.

Addressing the students in the room, Garza urged them to act.

“We need your minds to figure out the biggest problems that our society faces today—your wisdom, your talents, your skills. We need your brilliant minds with some sense of right and wrong,” she said. “Ask yourself: ‘What do I want my legacy to be?’ And know that you can make a career out of making a difference.”

Garza is currently the special projects director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance. She has been named to the Politico50 Guide of Thinkers, Doers, and Visionaries Transforming American Politics, among other honors.

Earlier in the day, Garza spoke as a guest lecturer for the Black Lives Matter interdisciplinary course called “Race, Class, and Power: University Course on Ferguson and the #BlackLivesMatter Movement,” taught at the Miami Law School by Professor Osamudia James.
The evening lecture was sponsored by the Office of the Provost, Division of Student Affairs, Student Life, Multicultural Student Affairs, and Housing and Residential Life.

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