e-Veritas Archive | August, 2010

Celebrating all that’s new

In what has become an annual tradition, University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala, faculty members, coaches, band members, cheerleaders, and Sebastian the Ibis welcomed hundreds of students as new Miami Hurricanes at last Sunday’s President’s Picnic for New Students. The picnic, held at President Shalala’s residence, introduced UM’s new student arrivals to many of the ’Cane traditions, including the ubiquitous U symbol.

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Senator fights for Haiti hospital funding

From left, Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, Christopher Mosley, senior vice president and chief administrative officer of Jackson Health System, U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, Fabiola Surena, her father, Claude Surena, a senior official from the Haiti Ministry of Health, and Barth Green, professor and chair of neurological surgery, listen to a doctor talk about the patients at the Project Medishare hospital in Haiti via the Ryder Trauma Center's RP-7 robot.

In a visit to the Ryder Trauma Center last Friday, U.S. Senator Bill Nelson vowed to continue his efforts to secure funds for the critical care and rehabilitation hospital established in Port-au-Prince by the Global Institute and Project Medishare after Haiti’s devastating earthquake.

Originally located in four tents at the edge of the airport, the hospital moved to an existing community hospital in June and continues to serve as a vital critical care and rehabilitation hospital as well as a training center for local physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals eager to fill the large gaps in Haiti’s shattered health care system.

Barth Green, professor and chair of neurological surgery who co-founded Project Medishare to improve health care access in Haiti, said Project Medishare is counting on a $17.7 million federal grant to operate the hospital over the next 18 months and help Haiti build a sustainable health care system. Nelson, Florida’s senior senator, wrote a letter urging the U.S. State Department to direct a portion of the Haiti relief funding in the 2010 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act to the hospital.

“My compliments to all of you,’‘ Senator Nelson told Green, Miller School of Medicine Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, and Enrique Ginzburg, professor of surgery, during his visit. “What you’ve done is heroic and it’s in the best tradition of America. I will continue to be your advocate.’‘

During his visit, Senator Nelson also witnessed firsthand the capabilities of the mobile Remote Presence RP-7 robot, which through wireless communication is allowing physicians at the hospital in Haiti to consult with specialists at the Ryder Trauma Center. Donning a mask and yellow gown, the senator also visited briefly with a Haitian patient who, more than seven months after barely surviving the earthquake, just improved enough to leave the ICU.

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Mark Hampton FAIA exhibition now open at School of Architecture

The University of Miami’s School of Architecture presents the Mark Hampton Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) Exhibition through Thursday, September 30 in the Irvin Korach Gallery at the Jorge M. Perez Architecture Center, Coral Gables campus. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

Hampton is a renowned architect from the Tampa area known for pioneering sustainable tropical houses designed to catch tropical breezes. Hampton’s style is characterized by a remarkable awareness of space and meticulous attention to both interior and exterior design.

Hampton opened his own Tampa firm during the 1950s and was associated with the Sarasota School of Architects. His notable buildings include the Amaryllis Park Primary School, now part of the Booker School campus; the McIntosh Student Center Middle School in Sarasota; Galloway’s Furniture Showroom; St. Mary’s Episcopal Church; and the Laura Hampton and Webb residences in Tampa. In Miami, Hampton renovated the Wolfsonian Building on Washington Avenue in Miami Beach and designed the Bal Harbour Shops. He was made a fellow by the American Institute of Architects and received the AIA Florida/Caribbean Region Honor Award. In 1974 Hampton opened a private practice in Coconut Grove.

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A move to higher learning

Thousands of UM students moved back into the residential college dorm rooms last week in preparation for the new academic year.

University of Miami freshman Brittani Campelo held one end of a bed sheet and pulled it taut across one edge of her mattress, not letting go until her mother Monica tucked in the other end of the sheet. Standing directly behind them was 18-year-old Christine Callahan, removing a few items from a neatly packed box. And over in the corner of the room, Brittani’s father, Jorge, unpacked a laptop computer and fiddled with the Internet connection.

It was Move-In Day for Brittani, Christine, and thousands of other UM freshmen, who began arriving on the Coral Gables campus last week, unpacking book bags, boxes, and carts with the assistance of their parents, siblings, and friends marking the start of the new academic year.

For the majority, it’s their first time living away from home for an extended period of time.

“It’s a little nerve racking, knowing that I’ll be away from home for so long,” said Brittani, as she and Christine, her new college roommate, looked over their new digs on the third floor of McDonald Tower in Hecht Residential College. “But at the same time, I’m excited to get the chance to meet new people and start college.”

The two roommates, who both plan to major in biology, said UM has made the process of adjusting to college life a lot easier, matching and providing them with each other’s contact information so they could communicate well before they arrived on campus—standard practice for the Department of Residence Halls.

“A lot of our students have never had to share a bedroom before let alone live with someone for nine and a half months,” said Jon Baldessari, associate director of residence halls. “That can be a big adjustment. That’s why we encourage them to dialogue with each other before they meet.”

Christine Callahan, left, and Brittani Campelo meet Sebastian on Move-In Day.

Brittani and Christine communicated initially on Facebook and then via telephone, discussing and agreeing on who would bring which items. Brittani brought the microwave oven and couch. Christine, the refrigerator and digital television set.

“I would have been a lot more anxious had we not communicated beforehand,” said Christine, who is from Maryland and has a twin sister at UM.

Last Thursday, as they settled into their room at Hecht, which for the first time along with Stanford Residential College will be exclusively occupied by freshmen, the two discovered they had more in common than they initially discovered. Both enjoy sports—Brittani plays soccer and lacrosse while Christine likes volleyball—and both are thinking about buying bikes through UM’s UBike program.

But there was still work to be done. Monica Campelo, Brittani’s mother, reminded her about the importance of organization, while father Jorge reminisced about his own college days and how roommate matching didn’t exist in his time.

“I met and communicated with my roommates for the first time when I got to college (Fredonia State),” he said. “I roomed with a farmer from mid-Pennsylvania and a young man from Buffalo. Luckily, we got along great. But the way UM and other colleges are doing it now, giving students an opportunity to talk before they meet, is just great.”

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Spreading Hope

Law students remove mulch at Montgomery Botanical Center, one of more than a dozen sites at which students volunteered as part of the Hope Day of Service.

From a small patch of weed-covered land at a historic Virginia Key beach to a dining hall where the homeless gather daily for hot meals, University of Miami law students picked up pitchforks and serving spoons last Saturday at more than a dozen sites across Miami-Dade County, performing good deeds as part of a day of service designed to teach them the responsibility of giving back to the community.

The annual Hope Day of Service saw more than 200 students volunteer their time and efforts in an event that has come to herald the start of a new academic year at UM’s School of Law.

Volunteer sites ranged from a homeless assistance center in Homestead, where students prepared and served meals, to Ronald McDonald House in Miami, where they cleaned and sorted donations.

“Hope Day is critical because lawyering is about advocacy,” said Marni Lennon, assistant dean for public interest and pro bono and director of the HOPE Public Interest Resource Center, which spearheads the event. “Law students and lawyers have a responsibility to give back to the community. If lawyers do not understand the communities in which they serve as lawyers, opportunities for problem-solving are missed, and marginalized communities and populations continue to be silenced.”

In Homestead, Hope volunteers began arriving at the Community Partnership for the Homeless before many of the center’s residents had even stirred, preparing hamburgers, baked beans, and pastries before serving the food to about 300 people.

“It means a lot to the men, women, and children living at our center to know that others in the community care about them and that other people take time from their busy lives to help,” said Sharon Haxton, volunteer and community liaison at the center.

Read the full story

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