Tag Archive | "Division of Student Affairs"

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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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Nominate Outstanding Students for Laurel Awards by March 16


The Division of Student Affairs is seeking nominations for the Laurel Awards, an annual celebration that recognizes outstanding Student Affairs staff members and student employees who exemplify outstanding job performance and exceptional work on behalf of students. Nominations are due no later than Thursday, March 16.

In addition to awards that recognize the individual contributions of professional and student staff, a new award has been added to this year’s lineup to recognize collaborative efforts between Student Affairs and other departments across the University. The Outstanding Collaborative Departmental Initiative Award recognizes two or more departments within or outside of Student Affairs that take a collaborative approach to positively affecting the student experience through new or enhanced programming or service. Members from such departments are encouraged to nominate their programs for this award.

The full criteria and descriptions of all awards as well as the nomination form is available at www.miami.edu/laurelawards.

 

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Dean of Students Heads to Lehigh University

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Dean of Students Heads to Lehigh University


UM News

Ricardo Hall

Ricardo Hall

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 22, 2017)—Ricardo Hall, who helped create extraordinary student experiences for thousands of University of Miami students during his 11 years as associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students, has been named vice provost for student affairs at Lehigh University, a private research university in Pennsylvania.

Hall, who will assume his new duties on June 30, will lead one of Lehigh’s largest divisions, which includes the Dean of Students Office, the Health and Wellness Center, University Counseling and Psychological Services, Health Advancement and Prevention Strategies, the Women’s Center, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Pride Center, and the ROTC.

Calling Hall’s pending departure “bittersweet,” Vice President for Student Affairs Patricia A. Whitely lauded his leadership, logistical expertise, professional accomplishments, and “calming presence” during student crises. She said her longtime colleague is well suited to take on his new role at Lehigh, which has been counted among the nation’s “Hidden Ivies”—schools that rival the Ivy Leagues.

“Ric is a wonderful role model for our students. He is always willing to have a conversation with a student about any issue or concern and demonstrates the highest level of integrity,” Whitely said. “His leadership has truly impacted UM and we will always be grateful. We wish him well and know the Lehigh community is indeed fortunate.”

A bowtie aficionado known among students for his wise counsel, humor, racquetball challenges, and impressive PEZ collection, Hall said it was his good fortune to “have spent the past 11 years at a top-tier university, working with exceptional students, and alongside skilled and caring colleagues.

“I also don’t take for granted that I’ve served with a vice president for student affairs who is universally regarded as one of the nation’s best,” he said of Whitely. “My time at UM has certainly helped prepare me to embrace this significant leadership opportunity at Lehigh.”

Tapped into the Iron Arrow Honor Society in 2012, Hall joined UM in 2006, after 10 years in student affairs roles at Wake Forest University in North Carolina and Clemson University in South Carolina. In addition to overseeing UM’s Greek life, the chaplain’s office, alcohol and drug education, judicial affairs, veteran student services, and the 24-hour crisis response team, he is an adjunct faculty member in the School of Education and Human Development, and a trusted advisor to Student Government and the Committee on Student Organizations.

Under his leadership, Whitely said, the U’s Greek system more than doubled and the Sandler Center for Alcohol and Drug Education received a $1 million endowment for the Posner Substance Abuse Education Fund.

Hall earned both his bachelor’s degree in business management and his master’s in higher education administration from Ohio University and his doctorate in educational leadership from Clemson. A frequently requested speaker, he has presented locally, regionally, and nationally on such subjects as mentoring, student discipline, diversity, leadership skills development, Greek Life, and wellness.

“From his previous role, we know that he can work across divisions and across colleges to continue to develop and sustain a Lehigh student experience that is truly distinctive,” Lehigh Provost Pat Farrell said in announcing Hall’s appointment, which followed a national search.

Added Anne Anderson, an associate professor in the Perella Department of Finance who chaired Lehigh’s search committee, “The fact that he was already known to many in the Student Affairs division was very telling. They knew of his work, his accomplishments, and his reputation, and they were very enthused at the prospect of working with him. He is someone who is interested in the personal development of the students, as well as the professionals working for him.”

UM will now begin its own national search for Hall’s successor.

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