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’Canes Community Makes It a Family Affair at Marlins Park

By Robert C. Jones Jr.
UM News

MIAMI, Fla. (April 6, 2014) – Powered by the pitching of Jose Fernandez and the slugging of Giancarlo Stanton, the Miami Marlins notched their fifth win of the 2014 Major League Baseball season Saturday, defeating the San Diego Padres 5-0 at Marlins Park in Little Havana.

But what the box score doesn’t say is that not all of the attention was focused on The Fish. The team would share the spotlight with thousands of University of Miami faculty and staff who turned out at the ballpark for UM Family Night with the Marlins. Face painting, autograph sessions with Marlins players, on-field pregame ceremonies, performances by the UM band, and live post-game music with DJ Laz were among the many activities enjoyed  by employees and their families.

Six UM employees threw out first pitches. They included Norm Parsons, executive director of the Wellness Centers on the Gables and Miller School campuses, who is retiring after 43 years of service; Ed Gillis, dean of enrollment management, who is retiring after 22 years; School of Law professor Richard Williamson, who has served as chair of the Faculty Senate for five years; Jessica Driemeier, student services manager for the Intensive English Program on the Coral Gables campus; Natali Latorre, associate director of marketing for Bascom Palmer Eye Institute on the Miller School campus; and Cristy Barrera, office manager in Facilities Administration at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

Hundreds of employees visited the MyU: Faculty and Staff Thank You Tent on the West Plaza, receiving temporary U tattoos and Sebastian bands. They also got a look at the UHealth Physical Therapy Clinic, which, when the Marlins aren’t playing, is open to patients by appointment. UHealth Sports Medicine is the official sports medicine provider for the Miami Marlins and the Miami Hurricanes.

The biggest winners of the day, however, were University of Miami students who received scholarships from the Miami Marlins Foundation. The philanthropic arm of the two-time World Series champion Marlins donated $12,500 in much-needed funds to UM, with $7,500 going to Matthew Friedman, a graduate student in the School of Education and Human Development’s Sport Administration Program, and $5,000 being given to the Suzanne Rayson Scholarship Fund for students enrolled in the School of Communication’s Broadcast Journalism Program.

Jimmy Oves, a technician at University of Miami Hospital, who attended Family Night with his wife, Yuriam, and sons, Alex and Jimmy Jr., summed up the day best: “A perfect way to spend time with my family,” he said. “Everything about it—the activities, the food, and the game—is great.”


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Three University of Miami Student Publications Take Top Media Honors

UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 21, 2014) — Three student publications—Ibis Yearbook 2013, Distraction Magazine, and The Miami Hurricane newspaper—were recognized among the best in the nation last week, with the yearbook and magazine each earning Gold Crowns from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA), and The Miami Hurricane taking the College Media Association’s (CMA) top David L. Adams Apple Award for the best newspaper of its size.

Ibis and Distraction received the CSPA’s highest honor during a March 14 ceremony in New York City. The next day, at the annual CMA Spring Conference, also held in New York City, The Hurricane won its first first-place Apple Award in the Best Newspaper category for a four-year school with 5,000 to 10,000 students.

“We are honored, proud and humbled to have been selected,” said Stephanie Parra, editor-in-chief of The Miami Hurricane, who attended the ceremony. “This award inspires us to continue to excel.”

Randy Stano, advisor to Ibis and Distraction, noted that the Gold Crown is the CSPA’s highest and most rigorous honor. “These publications go through a second round of judging after the normal critiques and medalists honors,” he said. “The second set of 12 judges have no clue as to the previous rating or honor for the entries.”

UM was one of three universities to walk away with two Gold Crowns. Distraction also received third place in the CMA’s 2014 Apple Awards for “Best Magazine Spread, four-year school.”

Ibis Yearbook picked up its eighth Gold Crown overall—fifth in a row—and 11th Crown honor in the past 12 years. The 2013 Ibis was led by Sandra Montalvo, editor-in-chief, and Katherine Lee, managing editor.

In the past three years, The Miami Hurricane has garnered top recognition from multiple outlets, including the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP). The Hurricane also was selected as one of the regional winners for best all-around newspaper by the Society of Professional Journalists.

“I’m extremely proud of the fine work produced every week by The Miami Hurricane, from students who are passionate about serving the UM community with good journalism,” said Bob Radziewicz, the paper’s faculty advisor.


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Former Saks CEO Stephen Sadove Talks Retail

By Chelsea Wortham
UM News


Stephen Sadove doles out advice to School of Communication students during a Q&A that followed his talk.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 3, 2014) – Mobile Internet devices that have led to greater access to communication have changed the overall retail experience for shoppers, shifting power away from merchants and manufacturers to the consumer, Stephen Sadove, former chairman and CEO of Saks Incorporated, told a group of University of Miami School of Communication students on Thursday.

Speaking in Shoma Hall on the topic “What’s Going On with the Retail Consumer Today?” Sadove discussed the evolution of “omni-channel retailing”— the experience shoppers have with retailers through computers, brick-and-mortar stores, television, radio, direct mail, and even shipping.

Sadove’s talk also touched on issues ranging from branding and consumer trends to cyber security, mobile Internet usage, consumer purchasing power, and marketing innovation. His remarks were preceded by a private luncheon with UM President Donna E. Shalala, trustees, School of Communication Dean Gregory Shepherd, and members of the school’s Visiting Committee.

Sadove, who joined Saks as vice chairman in 2002, became CEO in 2006, and successfully steered the Fortune 1000 operator of high-end department stores through a global recession, provided students with firsthand knowledge of the retail and consumer sectors while also giving advice on effective leadership.

“What differentiates people in their career is coming up with new products and new ways of doing things,” he told students. “Don’t focus on wanting to be a CEO; focus on learning about the field. Learn as much as you can in that field.”

Nicole Saunders, a sophomore journalism and public relations student interested in the beauty, fashion, and entertainment industries, described Sadove’s visit as an “enriching experience.”

“My two biggest takeaways were when Sadove spoke on the importance of brand positioning and the importance of an office culture,” Saunders said. “I also loved when he said, ‘As a CEO you are a quarterback. Your job is to make sure you’re on top of it.’ ”



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Photographer Maggie Steber Shares Haiti’s Riches in Words and Pictures

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Photographer Maggie Steber Shares Haiti’s Riches in Words and Pictures

UM student Gaelle Mortel honors photographer Maggie Steber with certificate on behalf of Planet Kreyol during Steber’s February 20 event at UM Libraries Special Collections. Steber shared twenty-five year relationship with Haiti through her award-winning photography and vivid storytelling.

UM student Gaelle Mortel honors photographer Maggie Steber with a certificate on behalf of Planet Kreyol, a Haitian student organization, during Steber’s February 20 talk at UM Libraries Special Collections.

By Sarah Block
Special to UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 28, 2014)—Faculty member Maggie Steber, an award-winning photojournalist who has spent 25 years photographing Haiti, wants people to know the riches of the western hemisphere’s poorest nation.

“A lot of people think of Haiti as just another little country that is very poor, and very corrupt, and has a long history of hypocrisy,” Steber said last month at her discussion on “The Audacity of Beauty” at UM Libraries Special Collections. “But it’s also very important to understand that Haiti is a country that had the only successful slave revolt in the history of the world.”

That fact is a point of pride for the country, a pride that Steber’s photos reflect loudly, even those taken during Haiti’s 1986 riots over rising food prices. One of those photos shows a family sliding a box of food under a shuttered warehouse door. As Steber, the former art director for The Miami Herald, explained at the February 20 discussion, by week’s end, mounting pressure by the people forced Haitian President Jean-Claude Duvalier, whose dictatorial regime was the source of the protests, to flee the country.

“People rich and poor took to the streets hugging, dancing, and singing,” said Steber, whose work has appeared in Newsweek, National Geographic, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, and The  Sunday Times of London.

Steber dedicated herself to capturing the spirit of the country and its people, and today her photography of Haiti is valued for both its historical and artistic significance. “Maggie’s photos show there is beauty even in the face of great tragedy,” said Manuscripts Librarian Beatrice Skokan, who was involved with the Libraries’ inclusion of Steber’s work in the Collaborative Archive of the African Diaspora, made possible with a grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida. A series of her large-scale prints are on display in “The Truth Marches On,” an ongoing exhibition through the end of March at the Otto G. Richter Library, commemorating Black History Month.

During her talk, Steber recalled how Haiti continued to be riled by political upheaval and gang violence through the late 1980s. “People were trying to vote and trying to change things, and they were killed for it,” she said, noting that survivors often asked her to photograph the bodies, to ensure that those who had sought change were not forgotten.

As a journalist and an artist, Steber places a high importance on knowing the subjects of her photography. She aims to blend into her environment, using modest camera equipment, and she learned to speak Creole from street children who would lead her to stories. “As a photographer if we can attach our pictures somehow to a larger idea than just the moment that we’re in, those pictures become more important and lasting,” she said.

After years of covering the headlines, Steber began visiting Haiti when it was quiet. One of the photographs she shared at “The Audacity of Beauty” is of a farm wife and her children posing for a portrait they requested after noticing Steber taking pictures in their village. “They put on their best clothes, and I fussed over them for a while, and even took out my tripod,” Steber said. “This was really a special moment for them.”

When the shoot was over, she turned around and realized the entire village had lined up to have their own portraits taken. “This is the thing about Haiti: it’s a place that is full of lessons. And if you will open yourself up to them, you will be changed by it,” she said.

When she returned with the prints weeks later, villagers came running from the fields. “They were laughing and they were crying, and rolling on the ground…and they were so excited because they had these pictures that could become heirlooms for each family.”

It was, Steber said, the first time in her already long career that she understood the real value of a photograph.

Today, aside from her UM faculty position, Steber is a mentor for young photographers in Haiti. At her talk, she announced that a proposal she had made to National Geographic on behalf of the nonprofit Fotokonbit had been accepted that day. The photographers for the story will be Haitian teenagers. “It will be Haitians showing us the beauty of their country, and that’s a great step forward,” she said.

At the end of the event, Steber answered questions from the audience about her experiences. UM student Gaelle Mortel was the last to raise her hand and took the microphone to present an honorary certificate to Steber on behalf of Planet Kreyol, a UM Haitian student organization. Steber has attended and spoken at the organization’s events, including a recent vigil on the anniversary of the 2010 earthquake, from which the country is still recovering. Mortel then addressed the audience, remarking that Steber is one of them—if not by heritage, “by association, and by the heart.”


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Faculty and Staff Support the U: Professor Emeritus Continues Her Support with Legacy Gift

Okhee Lee-Salwen

Okhee Lee-Salwen

Okhee Lee-Salwen, a professor in the School of Education and Human Development for 22 years, feels a profound sense of gratitude to the University of Miami.

When her husband, School of Communication Professor Michael B. Salwen, Ph.D., was stricken with cancer in 2001, his colleagues and students kept him active and engaged as he battled valiantly against the disease. Before Salwen passed away in 2007, he and Lee-Salwen decided to formally thank UM through a planned gift by including the University in their estate plans.

“During the six years Michael was ill, he could work only part time,” says Lee-Salwen. “When he needed surgery or chemotherapy, he could not work at all. The University was very supportive during that entire period. In addition, Michael was among several faculty members who received an award for their academic achievements. We were both very touched by the respectful way the University treated him as a scholar at such a painful time.”

After making a series of smaller gifts over several years, Lee-Salwen recently endowed the Michael B. Salwen Scholarship Fund in the School of Communication and the Michael B. Salwen Graduate Scholarship Fund in the School of Education and Human Development in memory of her husband. “Michael and I were poor when we were doctoral students,” says Lee-Salwen. “So, we felt it was appropriate for us to help students who need financial support to attend our University.”

Now a professor of science and childhood education at New York University, Lee-Salwen returns regularly to the School of Education and Human Development, where she made significant contributions in the field of science education, such as developing a curriculum for English-language learners and students in low-income urban settings. In 2004 she received the Distinguished Career Award from the American Educational Research Association Standing Committee for Scholars of Color in Education.

Today, the professor emeritus encourages other members of the UM family to give back, even in small amounts, or through a bequest or other planned gift. “This was my academic home for more than two decades, and I believe in saying ‘thank you’ for the support,” she says.  “There are many ways of giving and the personal rewards are truly priceless.”

To learn more about making a planned gift, please visit www.miami.edu/plannedgiving or contact Cynthia Beamish, executive director of the Office of Estate and Gift Planning at 305-284-4342 or um.plannedgiving@miami.edu.

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