e-Veritas Archive | December, 2011

UM’s Mr. Fix It Hangs Up His Tool Belt

At Tommy Brown's retirement luncheon, UM President Donna E. Shalala called him "the last of a generation of people who can fix anything."

One of Tommy Brown’s first jobs as a new employee in the University of Miami’s carpentry shop was hanging wooden doors and installing wall-mounted AC units in some of the school’s old World War II-era buildings.

That was almost four decades ago, long before most of UM’s latest and modern structures were erected. As newer buildings opened, the fixtures and amenities inside them got more sophisticated, and Brown and his coworkers in UM’s Facilities department had to bone up on the new technology.

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Jackie Nespral Gives Advice on Overcoming Obstacles, Persevering

Accompanied by UM President Donna E. Shalala, Jackie Nespral, left, A.B. ’89, acknowledges the audience as she departs the commencement ceremony.

Newly minted degrees in disciplines ranging from the arts and humanities to law, music, and the sciences proved to be the just rewards for more than 800 students who graduated at the University of Miami’s December commencement ceremony. But along with their academic accomplishment, students also got a valuable lesson in how to deal with failure, overcome obstacles, and persevere—courtesy of a successful UM alumna who was often told she wouldn’t make it.

“They said I was too young, too pretty, and had an accent,” Jackie Nespral, multiple Emmy-winning anchor of NBC Miami (WTVJ) told graduates during the December 15 exercise, held at BankUnited Center. “Needless to say I proved them wrong…I didn’t let the naysayers sway me from my goal.” Read the full story

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School of Education Faculty Member and Colleague Publish Book on Early Biliteracy Development

Mileidis Gort, assistant professor of teaching and learning in the School of Education, and Eurydice Bauer, associate professor of curriculum and instruction at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, have published Early Biliteracy Development: Exploring Young Learners’ Use of Their Linguistic Resources (Routledge). The edited volume provides findings from empirical research with young bilinguals growing up with English and Spanish, Chinese, German, or Turkish in home and school contexts and practical applications of these findings.


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Akmal Younis, Associate Professor in the College of Engineering, Passes Away

Akmal Younis

Akmal Younis, an associate professor in the University of Miami’s College of Engineering, died suddenly on Saturday, December 3. He was 48 years old.

Younis, whose research included biomedical imaging, medical informatics, and networks and information security, received both his master’s and Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Miami and had been a faculty member in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering since 2001.

“We are saddened to have lost a gifted and promising colleague,” said College of Engineering Dean James M. Tien. “One of my first decisions as incoming dean of the college in 2007 was to strongly support [Younis] for tenure and promotion. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.” Read the full story

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English Professors Casillo, Russo Publish New Book

John Paul Russo, professor of English and classics and acting chair of the Department of English in the University of Miami’s College of Arts and Sciences, and Robert Casillo, UM professor of English, have published The Italian in Modernity (University of Toronto Press). The book examines the conceptualization of Italy since the end of the Renaissance, taking in such topics as travel writing, gender, modernization and decline, economic and cultural history, national character and stereotypes, immigration, and film.


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