e-Veritas Archive | June, 2011

UM Fulbright Scholars Set to Embark on Research Adventures Around the World

Fulbright scholars, from left, Liz Rebecca Alarcon, Chirag Gheewala, and Rachel Libby will soon embark on research endeavors in Costa Rica, Spain, and the Dominican Republic, respectively. Photo courtesy Meg Pukel

The University of Miami had ten students from all degree levels and five different schools recommended to the 2011-12 Fulbright Program by a national selection committee. Of those ten, six were selected as grantees and one as an alternate.

“That’s definitely the most Fulbrights granted to UM students ever in one year,” says Kefryn Block Reese, director of Prestigious Awards and Fellowships.

Five of the six grantees have accepted the awards and will participate in what is the largest U.S. international exchange program that offers opportunities for students, scholars, and professionals to study, conduct research, and teach at schools around the world. It was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by then-Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright. Read the full story

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UM Hosts Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative Global Conference

Donna Shalala and Rosabeth Kanter

Harvard University’s Advanced Leadership Initiative, a program designed to prepare experienced leaders to take on new challenges in the social sector, wrapped up its three-day Global Conference at the University of Miami’s Newman Alumni Center on June 17, with UM President Donna E. Shalala and other experts participating in a lively discussion about higher education.

President Shalala, a professor of political science, was joined on the “Higher Education Workshop” by Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor of Business Administration at Harvard and director of the Advanced Leadership Initiative, and Charles Ogletree, the Jesse Climenko Professor of Law at Harvard. Also present were several UM faculty members and administrators, including Sergio M. Gonzalez, senior vice president of University Advancement and External Affairs; Rebecca Fox, the president’s chief of staff; Terri Scandura, dean of the Graduate School; Frances Aldrich Sevilla-Sacasa, interim dean of the School of Business Administration; and Rosa Gonzalez-Guarda, assistant professor at the School of Nursing and Health Studies.

The symposium was the Initiative’s first outside of Harvard. Miami was selected because of its global influence and reputation as the gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean.

Days one and two of the conference featured several sessions, including one on civic engagement and community service, which was co-led by UM Senior Vice Provost William Scott Green. Former Miami-Dade County Commissioner Katy Sorenson also participated.

Former FIU President Modesto Maidique, former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, and Miami Dade College President Eduardo Padron also participated in the conference.

After Wednesday morning’s welcome from Thomas LeBlanc, executive vice president and provost of UM, as well as Alberto Ibarguen and Dennis Scholl, from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the first two days of the conference addressed topics such as “Thinking Outside the Building” to identify areas of common interest and productive action, “Setting an Advocacy Agenda,” and “Taking Good Ideas to Scale.”

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Excavating Jurash

UM archaeologist David Graf’s exploration of Jurash establishes the site as an important stop along the ancient pre-Islamic caravan trade route.

UM scholar David Graf, who has been surveying and excavating archaeological sites for the past 32 years, is seen here recording inscriptions found at Jurash in southwest Saudi Arabia.

Eroded by the elements and the march of time, the ruins at Jurash in southwest Saudi Arabia still held a trove of ancient artifacts just awaiting discovery. But finding them would take both time and careful excavation. An international team of archaeologists would get the first crack at it, descending upon the city in the Asir Mountains three years ago to begin excavating a site that dates back to 500 B.C.

Among the explorers was a University of Miami religious studies professor who began surveying and excavating archaeological sites some 32 years ago. Read the full story

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Creating Agents of Social Change

A new master’s program at the School of Education prepares students for leadership roles in the not-for-profit sector with an emphasis on strategies that help communities solve and prevent problems by concentrating on their strengths, not their weaknesses.

Graduate students in the School of Education’s Community and Social Change Program met with staff at the Florida Keys Children’s Shelter last January, brainstorming solutions to the organization’s challenges.

They were supposed to help change things, improve conditions for the less fortunate. But some of the nonprofit organizations where Casta Guillaume worked  had little impact on solving the problems that fray the fabric of neglected communities. That harsh reality  frustrated the 24-year-old Guillaume, a Haitian-American with a deep social conscience.

So she decided to do something about it, enrolling in a new University of Miami graduate program that would teach her how to help communities cure their ills by focusing on their strengths, not their weaknesses. Read the full story

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