Tag Archive | "University of Miami Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas"

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How Female Business Leaders Succeed

A conversation with Belén Garijo and Felicia Marie Knaul

By Alexandra Bassil
UM News


Belén Garijo, left, and Felicia Marie Knaul share a laugh at the inaugural Women’s Leadership Forum.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 23, 2017)—During Women’s History Month, the University of Miami Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas and the School of Business Administration’s Center for Health Sector Management and Policy and Women in Business Group presented real-world tips and advice at the institute’s inaugural Women’s Leadership Forum. The topics ranged from career success and work/life balance to other issues affecting women globally.

During his welcoming remarks to over 50 students, faculty, staff, and guests, School of Business Interim Dean Anuj Mehrotra highlighted the importance of the forum. UM President Julio Frenk said that women are at the heart of the University’s education and engagement efforts, and introduced Belén Garijo, CEO of healthcare and executive board member for Merck KGaA in Darmstadt, Germany. Frenk also mentioned Garijo’s leadership and her corporation’s support of “Healthy Women, Healthy Economies,” an initiative designed to promote good practices to enhance women’s economic participation by improving women’s health.

Institute Director Felicia Marie Knaul, also a professor at the Miller School of Medicine, started the Q&A session by asking Garijo to share advice after her long career as a physician-scientist in the chemical, pharmaceutical, and life sciences industry, and as CEO of Merck KGaA over the past six years. At Merck, Garijo is responsible for the health care business sector, comprising the biopharma, consumer health, allergopharma, and biosimilars businesses.

“From day one you are in charge of your career and must be willing to take the challenges and make them opportunities,” said Garijo. As an example, she said after earning her medical degree in Spain, a surplus of physicians made it difficult to begin a practice. With that realization, she decided to take an opportunity to start as a clinical researcher in the pharmaceutical industry. Garijo also advised the attendees not to let others influence their desire to achieve career success and to network as much as possible.

Knaul also brought up work/life balance, to which Garijo advised seeking employers that have flexible working models, telecommuting, and parental leave so having a family life is possible. In addition, they discussed Garijo’s commitment to increase gender diversity in management and emphasized that success is usually driven by a top-down approach.

Garijo also shared Merck’s role as the only private sector company to join the “Healthy Women, Healthy Economies” initiative. The socially responsible company chose the project to impact women’s lives in developing countries in an effort to address access to health care, gender-based violence, birth control and the safety of women.

Closing remarks and a recap were offered by the founder of the Women in Business Group, Ann M. Olazábal, vice dean of Undergraduate Business Education and professor of business law. In her remarks, Knaul mentioned that future Women’s Leadership Forum guests will include singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman Gloria Estefan, a UM alumna; Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo; and Kathleen Sebelius, former U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services.


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Closing the Gap on Gender Equity in Latin America

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 2, 2017)—The challenges of indigenous women, women’s political representation, and reproductive rights were among the topics discussed last week at a symposium on post-millennium gender and equality in Latin America, hosted by the University of Miami Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas.

The symposium brought together scholars from different countries, disciplines, and perspectives, including Fernando Filgueira, the former deputy minister of education of Uruguay. He discussed the interactions between gender and class inequality in Latin America and its impact on the possibilities and patterns of women’s economic empowerment. “Education favors women, though educational career segregation does not,” he said.

Another speaker, Jennifer Piscopo from Arizona State University, explored the question: “Did Latin America’s left turn improve women’s representation in government?”

The event organizer, Merike Blofield, associate professor in the Department of Political Science, and the institute’s faculty lead of Gender and Social Development, led the conversation on gender equality in policies in relation to violence and reproductive rights. Fellow speakers Christina Ewig, from the University of Minnesota, and Caroline Beer, from the University of Vermont, joined the discussion. “We had a great opportunity to share recent academic work on gender equality in Latin America,” said Blofield.

The symposium is part of the institute’s activities centered on the United Nations International Women’s Day on March 8. This year’s theme is Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030. “I am convinced that we will be able to move this discussion forward in the context of Latin America and the Caribbean,” Dr. Felicia Marie Knaul, the institute’s director, said.



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Spanish Legacies: Children of Spain’s Immigrants Provide a Window to Adaptation

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Spanish Legacies: Children of Spain’s Immigrants Provide a Window to Adaptation

Special to UM News

From left are  Felicia Marie Knaul, President Julio Frenk, Alejandro Portes, and Cándido Creis, honorary  consul of Spain in Miami.

From left are Felicia Marie Knaul, President Julio Frenk, Alejandro Portes, and Cándido Creis, honorary consul of Spain in Miami.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 22, 2017)— A unique effort by UM Research Professor Alejandro Portes to produce the first reliable and representative study of the condition and future prospects of second-generation immigrants in Spain—where almost 13 percent of the country’s population is foreign-born—was the subject of last week’s colloquium at the Cuban Heritage Collection of the Otto G. Richter Library.

Written by Portes and two co-authors, ‘’Spanish Legacies: The Coming of Age of the Second Generation’’ explores how the children of immigrants—the second generation—are coping with the challenges of adapting to Spanish society, comparing their experiences with those of their peers in the United States. For the book, Portes, Rosa Aparicio, and William Haller used a groundbreaking data set based on both survey and ethnographic material collected from a sample of almost 7,000 second-generation students who were interviewed in Madrid and Barcelona in 2008 and then followed and re-interviewed four years later.
“Very seldom does one have the opportunity to work with such a rich set of data,” said moderator Dr. Felicia Marie Knaul, director of the University of Miami Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas, which co-hosted the event with the Department of Sociology in the College or Arts and Sciences, and the Cuban Heritage Collection at the University of Miami Libraries.

Introduced by Dean of Libraries Charles D. Eckman, President Julio Frenk lauded lauded Portes, who holds appointments in sociology and law at UM and is professor emeritus of Princeton University, for his life’s work: “We are privileged to have Alejandro Portes as our leading scholar on immigration. Having this kind of scholarship helps elevate the social discussion on an issue of growing policy importance.”

Also participating in the panel discussion were Jennifer Lee, chancellor’s fellow and professor of sociology at the University of California, Irvine; and UM’s George Wilson, professor of sociology and David Abraham, professor of law.

“Thank you for both reviving and elevating the scholarship on immigrant and second-generation assimilation with Spanish Legacies,” Lee told Portes.

During his commentary, Portes highlighted the size and complexity of the data set, adding a touch of humor: “It is impossible to lie without statistics,” he said.

The longitudinal study, which was complemented by qualitative interviews, enabled a better examination of existing theories and hypotheses of immigrant adaptation, providing not only a solid base for comparative studies elsewhere, but also inspiration for future policies.

As Abraham noted, “The book makes a compelling case for conducting cross-national research on immigration.”





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Faculty Awarded Grants to Advance Scholarship across the Americas

Special to UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (January 12, 2017)—Nine proposals from 25 University of Miami professors have been awarded grants for multidisciplinary research groups and individual projects from the University of Miami Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas (UMIA). UMIA grants are intended to encourage interdisciplinary discussion and research on key challenges facing the Americas, including Latin America, the Caribbean, immigrant populations of and in the region, and Miami as a hemispheric hub.

Twenty-two submissions from 67 faculty members were reviewed by a multidisciplinary committee comprised of five faculty members from the College of Arts and Sciences, the Miller School of Medicine, the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, and the School of Communication. Among the criteria considered were quality, impact, breadth, innovativeness, inter-disciplinarity, sustainability, and the balance of grant awards among academic units and geographic emphases.

The research groups to be supported by the grants include the following:

Language and Democracy in the Americas:  Otávio Bueno, Department of Philosophy; Tracy Devine Guzmán, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures; Kunal Parker, School of Law, conveners. | Christina Civantos, Ralph Heyndels, Lidiana de Moraes, Department of Modern Languages and Literature, College of Arts and Sciences |Romy Lerner, Gema Pérez-Sánchez, Ileana Porras, School of Law.

Building upon the Language and Democracy discussion group and conference organized and hosted at the University of Miami in 2013, the project will examine how linguistic diversity challenges, enriches, empowers, and endangers democratic projects and processes across diverse temporal and geographic contexts.

Toward a Geographic Clearinghouse of Intimate Partner Violence Services and Community Determinants in Miami-Dade County:  Justin Stoler, Department of Geography and Regional Studies, College of Arts and Sciences | Jessica Williams, School of Nursing and Health Studies |Donna Coker, School of Law | Nick Petersen, Department of Sociology, College of Arts and Sciences.

The project creates an Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) knowledge base that will serve as an important public resource for linking IPV and health care providers, and act as a reference guide for local residents in need of assistance. The clearinghouse will also provide a platform for future research exploring disparities in community-level IPV indicators and resources.

The University of Miami-Organization and Method College Collaboration to Establish a Multifaceted Research Infrastructure for Public Health: Viviana E. Horigian, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, convener. |Eddy Pérez, Miller School of Medicine, Organization and Method College of the Dominican Republic | Hermes Florez, Kathryn McCollister, Sunil Rao, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine | Nelson Arboleda, country director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dominican Republic.

The project generates dialogue and collaborative exchange leading to the formulation of research questions, design, and methods for studying cardiovascular disease in the Dominican Republic.

In addition to the research groups, the faculty members below received grants to initiate or continue individual research projects.

Conquering Distance: Argentina and the Fortunes of Steam-Age Globalization, 1860-1910: Eduardo Elena, Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences.

The Novel 1960s: Form and Sensibility in Caribbean Literary Culture:  Donette Francis, Department of English, College of Arts and Sciences.

Empowering Local Comadronas in Indigenous Guatemala: A Tool for Sexual and Reproductive Health: Victoria Orrego Dunleavy, Department of Communication Studies, School of Communication.

Does Democracy Breed Relief? Governance, Mosquito Abatement, and Zika in the Americas: Michael Touchton, Department of Political Science, College of Arts and Sciences.

Blood and Stone: Afro-Cuban Religious Interventions for HIV Awareness, Education, and Treatment: Martin Tsang, University of Miami Libraries.

In addition, Patricia Saunders, Department of English, College of Arts and Sciences, was the recipient of the grant for a Book Manuscript Workshop. Her book, under contract with Rutgers University Press, is entitled Buyers Beware: Epistemologies of Consumption in Caribbean Popular Culture.

“Faculty grants play a key role in advancing scholarship and strengthening the University’s focus on Latin American and Caribbean studies,” said Dr. Felicia Marie Knaul, UMIA director. “We are excited to support these multidisciplinary projects that address a number of challenges across the Americas.”

UMIA’s mission is to create and share knowledge bridging the Americas, strengthening the myriad areas of the University of Miami undertaking research pertaining to the hemisphere.


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Dr. Felicia Marie Knaul Honored with Fairchild Garden’s Philanthropy Award

UM News


From left are Susan Abraham, Barbara Hevia, Brittany Lopez Slater, Daisy Johansson, Marisa Toccin Lucas, Felicia Marie Knaul, Swanee DiMare, Ana Milton, Lydia Touzet, and Frances Sevilla Sacasa.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (January 11, 2017)Dr. Felicia Marie Knaul, director at the University of Miami Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas and professor at the Miller School of Medicine, received the Fairchild Philanthropy Award at the 6th Annual Splendor in the Garden hosted by Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.

Knaul was joined by seven of South Florida’s leading women in garnering this year’s award, given in recognition of their contributions to the community.

“It is a great honor to receive this award and join such an outstanding group of philanthropists. Fairchild is a tremendous asset to our community and our world,” said Knaul. “Its efforts to protect and promote biodiversity and conservation are critical to reducing the effects of climate change in South Florida and beyond. President Frenk and I are very grateful to Fairchild for its wonderful collaboration with the University of Miami, especially in preserving the trees and beautiful orchards of Smathers Four Fillies Farm.”

One of the premier conservation and education-based gardens in the world, Fairchild is dedicated to exploring, explaining, and conserving the world of tropical plants. In addition to honoring members of the community, its annual awards ceremony features tours of its gardens and a fashion show organized by Neiman Marcus Coral Gables.

Among the event’s honorary co-chairs this year was Swanee DiMare. She and her husband, UM Trustee Paul DiMare, are long-time supporters of the University

This year’s honorees also included Susan Abraham, A.B. ’80, Daysi Johansson MSED ’89, A.B. ’88, Brittany Lopez Slater, Marile Lopez, Ana Milton, BSEE ’87, J.D. ’93, Marisa Toccin Lucas, and Silvia Rios Fortun. Previous honorees include former UM President Donna E. Shalala.

Former UM President Donna E. Shalala was among the 2015 honorees.

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