Tag Archive | "HR-Benefits"


All in the (‘Canes) Family

By Steve Pierre
UM Communications

From left are Michelle, Josh, and Kelsey Valencia

From left are Michelle, Josh, and Kelsey Valencia

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 5, 2017)—Michelle Valencia has seen not only her career at the U grow since she started as a full-time employee in 1989, but also her son and daughter. “They spent much of their earlier years at Canterbury Preschool and around the Coral Gables campus,” Valencia, now the director of publications at the School of Law, said about Josh and Kelsey, both UM students. “Since they were young, they both really wanted to come to UM as students—it was their dream.”

As Josh, a senior, and Kelsey, a freshman, make the most of their UM education, Valencia is grateful for her own student experiences, and the tuition remission benefit she can share with her children. A double ’Cane, she earned her undergraduate degree in journalism and English in 1988, and joined the University staff the following year, initially working with University Advancement in various roles before joining the School of Law in 2008.

Her employment not only allowed her to further her own education at little cost—she earned her master’s in higher education through the tuition remission program—but imbue her children with the ’Canes spirit and traditions from birth.

“We are very much a ’Canes family and they grew up learning to bleed orange and green,” Valencia said. “They knew they wanted to come here and knew what a blessing tuition remission would be, especially for a school of this caliber.”

Kelsey began her classes in the School of Nursing and Health Studies this fall, while Josh, who is studying motion pictures, has taken advantage of the opportunity to study abroad.

As Valencia continues her career at UM and her children work toward their degrees, she encourages her colleagues to learn about the opportunities tuition remission may open up. “I think everyone should look into it, whether it is for themselves, their kids, or even a spouse. It is truly an amazing benefit.”


Posted in Benefits, For Your Benefit, Professional DevelopmentComments Off


The Perfect Equation

By Steven Pierre
University Communications


Zac, Zoe, and Chelsea Cosner

The beach, palm trees, and mild winters of Miami were a far cry from College Station, Texas, where Chris Cosner started his academic career. The budding mathematics department at the University of Miami also made Cosner certain his move to Miami in 1982 would be a good one. “My former university was in a small town, and having grown up in San Diego and the Bay area, it was boring,” the professor of mathematics recalled. “The circumstances here were positive and Miami as a city was enticing—it felt like home.”

But, for Cosner, the icing on the cake was the tuition remission benefit offered as part of joining the University. He wanted to start a family and being able to send his future kids to college at little cost was a big draw. “At that time, I didn’t know what my kids would want to do, but this at least provided a feasible option at a great university,” Cosner said.

For his children, Chelsea, Zac, and Zoe, UM became the perfect fit for their interests after high school. “It turned out that Chelsea and Zoe wanted to go in the direction of medicine. Zac, on the other hand, was more of an outdoor type, so he was interested in environmental science,” said Cosner.

The tight-knit, community-oriented siblings were accepted into a variety of schools around the country—but none with the potential experiences offered at UM. “It worked out great and they all went into areas where UM is well represented. Their interests matched up well with the departmental strengths at UM,” said Cosner.

Between interning in Miller School of Medicine labs and studying abroad, Cosner’s children made the most of their undergraduate experience. Chelsea graduated in 2015 with a degree in neuroscience; Zac and Zoe, fraternal twins, graduated in 2017, Zac with his degree in ecosystems science and Zoe with hers in biochemistry and math. Although the three followed separate paths since graduation, with Chelsea and Zoe in medical school and Zac promoting ecotourism in Florida, Cosner says they’re still close. “The kids hang out together from time to time and whenever they’re home. They’re really tight.”

Knowing the value of education, Cosner always hoped to send his children to a school that would help them reach their goals, and UM’s programs and tuition remission benefit proved to be the perfect equation. “I knew that UM was great when I got here and I knew that it was improving, so the chances of UM being able to provide a great education for my kids were only increasing with time.”

To learn more about tuition benefits, visit benefits.miami.edu.


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Faculty and Staff Shape Their Bodies, Minds—and Kids—during Week of Well-Being

From talks by author Jimmy Page on finding the “one word” that can simplify your personal and professional life, to financial planning seminars, sessions on breast health and disease prevention, and wellness fairs featuring free chair massages, vision screenings, and a fitness camp led by UM alumna and personal trainer Nicole Chaplin, the University’s third annual Week of Well-Being, held April 6-10, provided a number of opportunities for employees and students on all three campuses to tone, tighten, and test their bodies and minds

It also gave the children of UM employees the chance to see what their parents and other adults do at the U.  The week concluded Friday with the annual “Take Our Children to Work Day,” which featured all sorts of activities for children ages 8 to 14 under the theme “#MPOWR, Knowledge + Choice = Strength.” On the Gables campus, the day included a pizza lunch at the Student Activities Center and visits to schools and colleges.

“It was an amazing week,” said Nerissa E. Morris, vice president for human resources, which spearheads Week of Well-Being. “Each year participation and enthusiasm surrounding the event grow. It was great to see faculty, staff, and students from across our campuses and at several satellite locations engaged in wellness activities. From wellness fairs, to financial education, a focus on culture transformation, and the involvement of families during Take Our Children to Work Day, it truly was an impactful week.”

Morris credited extraordinary teamwork for making the week a success. “I’d like to extend my sincerest thanks to all who participated—to supervisors for supporting participation, and especially to the event organizers and volunteers.”

Posted in Freeze Frame, NewsComments Off


Update on VitalMD and Aetna

VitalMD is a large physician practice in Florida consisting primarily of ob-gyn and pediatric providers. The University recently learned that, after several months of negotiations, the contract between VitalMD and Aetna will be terminated on November 15. Negotiations are ongoing between Aetna and VitalMD, and the University has expressed to Aetna its desire to retain VitalMD within the Aetna network. Although our hope is that an agreement will be reached prior to the stated termination date, it is also possible that an agreement will be reached after that deadline passes.  Should that occur, UM will work with Aetna to process any claims incurred during the termination window.  We will continue to provide updates each week.

If you have any questions, please contact HR-Benefits at 305-284-3004 or complete the online form.

To schedule an appointment with a UHealth Ob-Gyn, call UHealth Connect, the UM employee-dedicated appointment line, at 305-243-CARE (2273).


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From Food to Finances, Meditation to Men’s Health, UM’s Week of Well-Being Promotes Holistic Health

UM News
By Robert C. Jones Jr.

Fidelity's Kathy Murphy with UM President Donna E. Shalala during one of the Week of Well-Being's many offerings.

Fidelity’s Kathy Murphy with UM President Donna E. Shalala during one of the Week of Well-Being’s many offerings.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (April 07, 2014) — It was a “wakeup call” for Kathy Murphy’s mother that came at the wrong time. With three of six children in college, her husband died at 57, leaving her to raise a family alone and figure out how to budget and save.

“We focused a lot on saving, but not investing,” Murphy, president of Fidelity Personal Investing, told an audience of about 300 University of Miami employees. Read the full story

Posted in Features, Freeze Frame, NewsComments Off

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