e-Veritas Archive | February, 2013

Florida Governor Rick Scott Visits Sylvester Cancer Center

From left are Representative Erik Fresen, Stephen D. Nimer, Governor Rick Scott, Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, and UM President Donna E. Shalala

From left are Representative Erik Fresen, Stephen D. Nimer, Governor Rick Scott, Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, and UM President Donna E. Shalala

Florida Governor Rick Scott took a whirlwind tour of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center while in Miami recently, stopping to shake hands with many surprised patients and employees before meeting with center Director Stephen D. Nimer, UM President Donna E. Shalala, and Miller School Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt to stress his commitment to improving cancer care in the state.

“We were thrilled to have him visit the cancer center and delighted in his interest in cancer,” Nimer said. “He commended us on the progress we have been making and stressed the importance of improving cancer care throughout the state of Florida as one of his primary objectives. We are very pleased by the commonality of interests and dedication to the mission.” Read the full story

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UM Celebrates Chinese New Year

With an elaborate dragon and lion dance, Kung Fu demonstration, a fire hoops show, dances, and themed tents that featured everything from Peking opera masks to calligraphy, the University of Miami celebrated the Chinese New Year on February 18, turning the Coral Gables campus into a showpiece of Chinese culture. View the slide show.

UM’s Chinese Students and Scholars Association joined the Asian American Students Association in hosting the second annual event, which helped ring in the Year of the Snake. With hundreds of people participating in the activities, the event also included popular Chinese games, ballet juggling, a flower dance, a traditional Chinese costume show, and food tents featuring dumplings, steamed buns, and tea.

“We felt that building from the foundation of last year’s event that this year we would showcase Chinese culture and enrich the cultural experience of the students on campus to an even fuller extent both with our tent activities and performances,” said Yifan Zhang, vice president of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association. “We could not have done it without the support from a lot of awesome people and the University. It was a great collaboration.”


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A Concrete Idea that Floats: Engineering Students Build a Concrete Canoe

College of Engineering - Concrete Canoe @ Lake Osceola

Civil engineering students Catie Goldstein and Matt Kowalski glide through the waters of Lake Osceola aboard the 22-foot-long M-305 concrete canoe.

A life vest strapped around her torso, Catie Goldstein stood midship beside the 22-foot-long green and orange canoe that rested on the bank of Lake Osceola as her classmate Matt Kowalski grabbed hold of the craft’s stern.

With a mighty shove, the two University of Miami engineering students launched the canoe into the still waters of the lake, jumping into the hull and promptly picking up oars as it began to float away. Read the full story

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Three Honored with Faculty Senate’s Highest Awards

A physician-researcher whose work has helped transform AIDS from a fatal illness to one that can be managed through drug therapy, a scientist and instructor with a gift for communicating difficult concepts to his students, and a professor who specializes in health care management and health economics are the recipients of the University of Miami Faculty Senate’s highest awards.

Margaret Fischl, professor of medicine, director of the Miami AIDS Clinical Research Unit, and co-director of the Miami Center for AIDS Research at the Miller School of Medicine, is the 2013 recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award. Richard Myers, a lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Miller School, is the Outstanding Teaching Award winner. And Steven G. Ullmann, professor of management and director of the Center for Programs in Health Sector Management and Policy at the School of Business Administration, is the recipient of the senate’s James W. McLamore Outstanding Service Award.

All three will be honored at the Faculty Senate Awards ceremony and reception on Wednesday, April 10 at 5 p.m. in Storer Auditorium at the School of Business Administration on the Coral Gables campus. All members of the University community are invited to attend.

Working as a young physician in South Florida during the early 1980s, Fischl was among the first to describe the outbreak of HIV in male and female heterosexual patients of Haitian ancestry. “Her early research provided the critical studies to understand the clinical spectrum of HIV infection,” wrote Jose Szapocznik, professor and chair of epidemiology and public health, who nominated Fischl for the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award. “Dr. Fischl’s scientific studies also contributed greatly to the early knowledge base on HIV transmission and her research documented the lack of casual and household contact transmission of HIV.”

Fischl served as a lead researcher on a clinical trial that evaluated the first drug—Zidovudine, or AZT—used to treat HIV, establishing that drug therapy could be successfully directed against the virus and laying the groundwork for future treatments for the condition.

“I am honored to accept the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award on behalf of myself, colleagues with whom I have collaborated with over the years, my hard-working staff, and, most importantly, all the patients who have participated in our studies,” said Fischl.

Myers, a leading educator in the field of biochemistry and molecular biology, was nominated for the Outstanding Teaching Award by the late Walter A. Scott, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, who passed away January 28.

“Dr. Scott passed away just days before the award announcement, which makes receiving it bittersweet but even more deeply appreciated,” Myers said.

In his nomination letter, Scott described Myers as a “truly intuitive and enthusiastic teacher who cares about the students he teaches and has a gift for communicating complex concepts as well as the excitement of exploring molecular biology.”

Myers has consistently received top evaluations from his students since he began teaching at the University in 1997 and has been selected twice as Outstanding Student Mentor. He also won the Stanley Glaser Award for outstanding research, which focuses on genetic recombination in stem cells and bacteria and the development of innovative genetic systems for studying human diseases.

The McLamore Outstanding Service Award, which recognizes service above and beyond the call of duty by a member of the University community, is Ullmann’s second Faculty Senate honor. In 2011 he received the Outstanding Teaching Award.

“Superb” and “awe-inspiring” is how School of Business Administration Dean Eugene W. Anderson, in his nomination letter, described Ullmann’s record of service. Ullmann, he noted, has served in a variety of positions within not only the business school but other areas across UM, including dean of the Graduate School, vice provost for faculty affairs and University administration, interim director of University Libraries, and head master at Mahoney Residential College.

“He has also consistently engaged the community locally, nationally, and internationally,” Anderson wrote. “It is no surprise that he continues to be requested to serve in leadership roles, and the results of his participation usually result in win-win solutions.”


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Parents Council Members Tour Student Activities Center

Gary Tarbe, left, senior project manager for the University of Miami’s Facilities Design and Construction division, leads one of the groups of parents that toured the Student Activities Center. Made possible by a generous lead gift from the Fairholme Foundation, the center will include gathering and programming space, a student organizations suite, retail outlets, a new Rathskeller, and other features. It is part of UM’s Momentum2 campaign.

Gary Tarbe, left, senior project manager for the University of Miami’s Facilities Design and Construction division, leads one of the groups of parents that toured the Student Activities Center. The facility, which will include gathering and programming space, a student organizations suite, retail outlets, a new Rathskeller, and other features, is made possible by a generous Momentum2 campaign lead gift from the Fairholme Foundation.

About 85 parents of current University of Miami students took an enlightening college field trip on February 15, touring a new facility that will cater to the needs of their sons and daughters when it is completed later this year: UM’s new 119,000-square-foot Student Activities Center. The group, which was visiting the Coral Gables campus for a Parents Council Meeting, also met with senior leadership officials and faculty members, who updated them on University news and initiatives.

Comprising about 100 families, the Parents Council’s mission is to involve parents of students in campus and regional activities, enrich student experiences, provide meaningful opportunities for parent involvement, and strengthen the financial foundation of the University. “It helps tremendously in engaging our parents,” says Georgia Noble, director of the Parents Program. “We consider them our ambassadors.”

Noble notes that some parents host a select number of the UM Alumni Association’s Summer Send-Offs, receptions held in different cities that connect incoming freshmen and transfer students with alumni. Some of the parents also host their own private receptions, inviting other parents and families of students. Two such gatherings were held last January in Hong Kong and London.

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