Tag Archive | "Graduate School"

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President Frenk’s Public Health Course Bridges the Gulf


By Maya Bell
UM News

INSP

Students who took the public health course that President Julio Frenk, front center, taught in Mexico gather for a post-course group photo. Not pictured are UM students who listened in on a live webcast.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (August 10, 2017)—President Julio Frenk returned to Mexico last week to teach a course on a subject he knows well—the fundamental concepts of public health—at the now-renowned National Institute of Public Health (INSP) he helped launch 30 years ago.

As INSP’s founding director and Mexico’s former minister of health, Frenk brought a wealth of knowledge and insight to the intensive eight-hour course that literally spanned the Gulf of Mexico. Held over four days at INSP headquarters in Cuernavaca, each two-hour class was simultaneously made available via live webcast to graduate students at the University of Miami.

“It was a great opportunity and very worthwhile,” said Daniel Samano Martin del Campo, a physician who earned his medical degree in Mexico and is pursuing his master’s in public health at the Miller School of Medicine.

“What I like about Dr. Frenk is his ability to connect complex ideas and concepts and paint a big picture—but it is his own picture with his background as a social scientist,” Samano continued. “I’ve gone to many of his talks around the U, not necessarily about public health, and every time he leaves you with a message—a meaningful message with words of wisdom you can apply to real-life scenarios.”

Like Samano, Frenk earned his medical degree in Mexico before pursuing his master’s in public health. The former dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, UM’s sixth president was, in fact, among the pioneers of public health, a field that INSP has nurtured in Spanish-speaking countries around the world. Widely considered the top public health doctoral program in the developing world, INSP was created in large measure to conduct the research that would inform public policy.

“In the course of a decade and a half, it completely changed the character of the public health research and education in a developing country,” Frenk told The Lancet for a profile of INSP the medical journal published in February.

The institute was the brainchild of Guillermo Soberon Acevedo, who was president of Mexico’s National Autonomous University when Frenk was a medical student there and who went on to become Mexico’s minister of health in 1982.

When Frenk followed Soberon as Mexico’s health minister in late 2000, he relied on INSP work to establish Seguro Popular, which brought health coverage to millions of uninsured Mexicans. INSP research also led to an increased cigarette tax and more nutritious food in schools.

For Samano, who grew interested in public health during his mandatory social service year in a small, rural community outside Mexico City, Frenk’s real-world experiences and ability to explain the interactions between complicated health care systems, research, finances, and other complexities not learned in medical school made the virtual course particularly worthwhile.

“It was in that small community of 6,000 that I realized medicine goes beyond treating one person at a time,” Samano said. “I wanted to learn more about the system and how to expand health to communities, not just persons. He’s spent his life doing that.”

Graduate School Dean Guillermo “Willy” Prado said giving students on both sides of the Gulf access to a world authority on public health is consistent with the University’s aspiration of being a hemispheric institution.

“The goal of public health scientists and practitioners is to achieve health equity and improve the health of populations globally,” Prado said. “INSP’s public health course taught by President Frenk, a leading public health expert, covered methods and concepts to help achieve this important goal.”

 

 

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Dean Prado Named ‘Research Exemplar’


UM News

Prado photo

Guillermo “Willy” Prado

Graduate School Dean Guillermo “Willy” Prado, an internationally known expert in effective intervention strategies for at-risk youth, has been named a “research exemplar” by The Research Exemplar Project at Washington University School of Medicine.

Prado, the Leonard M. Miller Professor of Public Health Sciences and director of the Division of Prevention Science and Community Health, was nominated for the honor in the Biomedical Science Division by UM’s John Bixby, vice provost for research.

“Dr. Prado’s career provides a clear example of the close relationship that exists between research integrity and research quality,” Bixby said. “He combines excellence in both management and mentorship of his research team with high-quality, high-impact research.”

Funded by an NIH career development grant awarded to Alison Antes, assistant professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM), The Research Exemplar Project is a partnership with WUSM’s Professionalism and Integrity in Research Program, directed by James DuBois.

Their project, which aims to honor and enable others to learn from high-impact researchers who maintain an impressive reputation for professionalism and research integrity, yielded many outstanding nominations. A review panel narrowed down the nominees to a cohort of biomedical research exemplars and a cohort of STEM research exemplars.

Each of the exemplars was interviewed by WUSM researchers to identify and share their practices for leading research teams. Research exemplars also received a personalized award and are featured on the project website.

Prado, who earned his Ph.D. in epidemiology and public health and his Master of Science in statistics from UM, has focused his research on strategies to prevent obesity, drug use, and HIV infection in at-risk youth, particularly Latino youth. Over his career, he has received an estimated $75 million in funding (as principal investigator or co-principal investigator) from such agencies as the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As his bio on the exemplar website notes, “Colleagues view him as a role model for junior faculty, for Latino faculty, and for high standards of data analysis and interpretation in public health and epidemiology. They commend his leadership in developing a university-wide program in the Responsible Conduct of Research and describe him as thoughtful, fair, and insistent on high ethical standards at all times.”

 

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Graduate Students Host Child Psychology Research Conference


UM News

SFPCRCCORAL GABLES, Fla. (May 12, 2016) — Graduate psychology students from the College of Arts and Sciences teamed up with peers from Florida International University to host a collaborative research conference that encouraged students and faculty to take their research in child psychology beyond labs and classrooms.

With almost 90 graduate students, faculty, and mentors in attendance, the South Florida Child Psychology Collaborative Research Conference (SFPCRC) served as a unique opportunity to use research as a way to connect across academic institutions and participate in a nurturing learning community in which all participants have similar research interests.

“For graduate students, mentorship and networking are invaluable resources,” said keynote speaker and Graduate School Dean Guillermo “Willy” Prado. “The SFPCRC conference provides students with the opportunity to present their research and obtain valuable feedback from students and mentors across the participating academic institutions and community partners.”

During the conference, 27 graduate students from the University of Miami, FIU, and Florida Atlantic University presented their current research in a conversational and supportive environment. Additionally, students and mentors alike had the opportunity to develop partnerships with community agencies such as the United Way, The Children’s Trust, and the Early Learning Coalition to better understand how their research can enhance many community programs for children.

Johayra Bouza, a Ph.D. candidate in UM’s Department of Psychology, said the SFPCRC conference is unlike any local or national research conference she has attended. “This conference is unique in that it is organized by graduate students for graduate students,” she said. “It is one of the few settings in academia where graduate students have the opportunity to be the focal presenters and develop relationships with mentors from various areas of child psychology. The larger national conferences aren’t able to offer the same level of interaction and often times students don’t have the opportunity get feedback from the distinguished faculty outside of their university or their community partners.”

 

 

 

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Graduate School Recognizes Faculty, Staff, and Students


UM News

Graduate students from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science join Graduate School Dean Guillermo “Willy” Prado, left, as he presents Rosenstiel’s M. Danielle McDonald with the 2015-2016 faculty mentor of the year award.

Graduate students from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science join Graduate School Dean Guillermo “Willy” Prado, left, in presenting M. Danielle McDonald, center, with the 2015-2016 Faculty Mentor of the Year Award.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (April 18, 2016)—The Graduate School recognized its top graduate students and faculty at the 2015-2016 Graduate Awards Ceremony, including the Miller School’s WayWay M. Hlaing as the Outstanding Graduate Program Director and the Rosenstiel School’s M. Danielle McDonald as Faculty Mentor of the Year.

The ceremony, held April 15 on the Moss Terrace at the Shalala Student Center, encourages the UM community to celebrate the work of all of its graduate students, faculty, and staff, focusing on accomplishments throughout each school and college. In addition to Hlaing, associate professor of epidemiology and director of the epidemiology Ph.D. program, and McDonald, associate professor of marine biology and ecology, seven students from multiple disciplines and all three campuses were honored in categories of Graduate Student Exemplar, Outstanding Research Assistant, and Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant.

They are:

Outstanding Teaching Assistants:
Julia Wester, The Graduate School

Outstanding Research Assistants
Xin Gao, College of Engineering
Alejandro Mendez, Miller School of Medicine
Noah T. VanBergen, School of Business Administration

Graduate Student Exemplar
Rebecca P. Duncan, College of Arts and Sciences
Andrew Fisher, Miller School of Medicine & College of Arts and Sciences
Odelya Kadosh, School of Education and Human Development

View more pictures from the ceremony on Facebook.

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Alumnus Appointed Dean of the Graduate School

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Alumnus Appointed Dean of the Graduate School


UM News

Prado photo

Guillermo “Willy” Prado

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 1, 2016)—The University of Miami has appointed UM alumnus Guillermo “Willy” Prado, the Leonard M. Miller Professor of Public Health Sciences and the director of the Division of Prevention Science and Community Health at the Miller School of Medicine, as the new dean of the Graduate School, effective immediately.

“Dr. Prado is well positioned to raise the Graduate School at UM to a new level of excellence, thanks to his passion as a researcher and educator,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc.

As dean of the Graduate School, Prado will work in partnership with the deans of the schools and colleges to support and develop strategies for attracting the next generation of scientists and researchers to graduate education at the University of Miami.

He will specifically manage the process of external program reviews and new program proposals, oversee the selection process for University of Miami graduate fellowships, chair the Graduate Council meetings, and meet regularly with graduate program directors, among other duties.

“This appointment is particularly meaningful to me because the University of Miami has been my academic home for 15 years, inclusive of my graduate training,” said Prado, who earned his Ph.D. in epidemiology and public health in 2005 and his Master of Science in statistics in 2000. “My plan is to work collaboratively with University leadership, graduate program directors, and the rest of the University community to continue to increase the quality of graduate education for our students.”

Prado joined the UM faculty in 2007. In the areas of research, he has served as principal investigator of approximately $10 million of National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. He also has served in the roles of mentor and co-investigator of approximately $60 million of NIH and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funding, including a leadership role on two NIH-funded center grants.

His research has appeared in more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, including The Journal of the American Medical Association, Pediatrics, American Journal of Public Health, and American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

During his tenure, Prado has led the development of the Ph.D. program in Prevention Science and Community Health, as well as redesigned the epidemiology doctoral program. Having taught more than 10 graduate courses in prevention science, epidemiology, and biostatistics at UM, Prado has mentored many junior faculty, post-doctoral students, and graduate students.

As chief of the Division of Prevention Science and Community Health since 2013, Prado has overseen a research program endowment of $375,000. Before that, he led the Ph.D. in Epidemiology Doctoral Program and served as acting chief of the Division of Epidemiology.

John L. Bixby, vice provost for research and professor of pharmacology and neurological surgery, chaired the search committee for the Graduate School dean and describes Prado as the “best of the best.” Noting that Prado will play a key role in UM’s progress in education and research, Bixby said, “Even among a number of highly impressive applicants who interacted with the Search Committee, Willy’s personality, accomplishments, and insight stood out. I am personally delighted that he will be our next dean.”

“Willy is an extraordinarily bright, dedicated public health researcher whose enthusiasm for his work is infectious,” said José Szapocznik, chairman of the Department of Public Health Sciences, who recruited Prado to the faculty after he completed his doctoral degree. “His work in prevention science has made him a superstar at UM and in the national scientific community.”

Prado replaces M. Brian Blake, who was named provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs at Drexel University last spring. In the interim, Angel Kaifer, professor of chemistry and senior associate dean for research and graduate education in the UM College of Arts and Sciences, served as dean.

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