Tag Archive | "Toppel Career Center"

Toppel Center Recognizes Champions


Toppel Center Recognizes Champions

Members of the University of Miami community and UM partners recognize those who support career readiness with the Toppel Awards

By Jennifer Palma
UM News


From left are the Toppel Center’s Executive Director Christian Garcia, Director of Employer Engagement Alicia Rodriguez, benefactor Patricia Toppel, and awardee Shirelle Jackson.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 22, 2017)—Students, recruiters, employers, and three employees—Shirelle Jackson, Ann Helmers, and Justin Tatman—were honored last week for their dedication to impacting the future careers of UM students through the University of Miami’s Patrica and Harold Toppel Career Center and beyond.

As Christian Garcia, associate dean and executive director of the Toppel Career Center, was quick to mention, “career services are everyone’s business at the University of Miami.” While he and his team  lead the way on various career-based initiatives, Garcia attributed much of the center’s success to career champions both on and off campus. The Toppel Awards were created to honor and recognize the outstanding achievements and tireless efforts of the many champions from the past year.

Jackson, the assistant athletic director for student athlete development, who likes to say she tries to prepare athletes to go from the locker room to the boardroom, received the Distinguished Administrator Award for making “sure every student has a Plan B to ensure their future.”

Helmers, the director of career services and alumni relations in the College of Engineering, received the inaugural Patricia Toppel Award for an unsung administrator who consistently makes an impact on the work Toppel does.

Tatman, a lecturer in the School of Education and Human Development’s Department of Kinesiology and Sport Sciences, received this year’s Excellence in Career Education Award for enlisting the Toppel Center’s help in preparing students in his Athletic Training course.

Other categories and honorees included the following:

Student Group of the Year

Noted for their continuous support of career-focused events, Delta Sigma Pi was awarded Student Group of Year. The coed business fraternity was recognized for its commitment and passion for career readiness by hosting their own career events, alumni panels, and workshops throughout the year. The fraternity’s endeavors often include non-members and have had a great impact on the UM community.

Graduate Student of the Year

Among the many “career champions” in attendance, Miller School of Medicine graduate student, Celeste Amadei, echoed the importance of mentors as she accepted the award for Graduate Student of the Year.

As a Ph.D. student in biochemistry and molecular biology, Amadei took it upon herself to fill a void for children in Miami-Dade County. In an effort to provide education, outreach, and mentorship to children interested in science, she founded Women in Biomedical Science. The organization encourages children to explore career options in science-related fields and provides mentoring and support along the way.

Undergraduate Student of the Year

As a student who has benefitted from the support of mentors during his time at UM, Malik Bibby stressed the importance of giving back during his acceptance of the Toppel Award for Undergraduate Student of the Year.

“I encourage you to give as much as you can to everything around you,” he said as he thanked everyone who offered support during his time as a student.

Bibby, a senior in the School of Education and Human development and a medic in the Florida National Guard, was praised for his unique leadership abilities that inspire those around him. In his numerous roles on campus, Bibby is consistently recognized as a student who empowers other students to be the best version of themselves in every aspect of life.

In addition to recognizing student career champions, the ceremony also celebrated the partnerships across and beyond campus that have been essential to Toppel’s success. The awardees for the 2017 Toppel Awards are listed below:

Student Group of the Year

Delta Sigma Pi

Student of the Year (Graduate)

Celeste Amadei

Student of the Year (Undergraduate)

Malik Bibby

Alum of the Year

Kara M. Cavuto

Recruiter of the Year

Catherine Rodriguez, U.S. Department of State

Employer of the Year (Private)


Employer of the Year (Public/Not-for-Profit)

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Local Employer of the Year

Northwestern Mutual

Inaugural Patricia Toppel Award (Employer)

Kathleen Cymbaluk, Federal Bureau of Investigation






























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Toppel Career Center Congratulates Finalists for 2017 Toppel Awards

The Toppel Awards recognize outstanding students, faculty, staff, alumni, employers, and recruiters for their commitment to career education and personal career development. Toppel is excited to share the finalists for each award category on our Toppel Awards page. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, February 21. Thank you for your nominations!

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Encourage Students to Attend the Spring Career Expo on February 22

The Toppel Career Center invites faculty and staff to encourage students to attend the Spring Career Expo on Wednesday, February 22 in the Watsco Center from 1 to 5 p.m. This hiring and recruiting event attracts hundreds of companies from various industries from across the country.

Please share this event in any newsletters, list servs, and any other interactions you may have with students. Physical promotions are available upon request. For any faculty and staff who would like to attend, please contact bettyz@miami.edu to be placed on the  special guest list.

Students can register for the event at https://miami.joinhandshake.com/career_fairs/1292/student_preview.




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Nominate a Junior or Senior for the Spring 2017 Professional Development Academy Class

The Toppel Career Center invites faculty, staff, and administrators to nominate a junior or senior student for the Spring 2017 class of the Professional Development Academy, an intensive program designed to help students develop knowledge and skills necessary for career readiness and success. The program allows participants to explore critical professional proficiencies identified by employers. Proficiency areas include Workplace Professionalism, Critical Thinking & Reasoning, and Communication.

Applications for this elite program are being accepted until Monday, January 23. To nominate a student, email Esther Lamarre the student’s name and email address along with two to three sentences indicating why the student would be a good fit for the academy.

For more information, contact the Toppel Career Center at 305-284-1820.



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Toppel Career Center Seeks Nominations for 2017 Toppel Awards by November 28

The Toppel Career Center is seeking nominations for the 2017 Toppel Awards to honor University of Miami students, student organizations, faculty, staff, alumni, and employers who exemplify a commitment to the professional development of themselves and/or others. The Toppel Career Center encourages faculty and staff to nominate groups and/or individuals who deserve to be recognized with awards such as Student of the Year, Student Group of the Year, Alum of the Year, Employer of the Year, Distinguished Administrator, and Excellence in Career Education. Nominations are due by Monday, November 28. Finalists will be notified by mid-January.

To learn more and to submit a nomination, visit The Toppel Awards or call 305-284-5451.

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