e-Veritas Archive | October, 2013

Budding Global Movement for Zero-Energy Homes Takes Another Step at UM Conference

UM's John Onyango, left, and Masa Noguchi, of the University of Australia, are among ZEMCH's co-founders.

UM’s John Onyango, left, and Masa Noguchi, of the University of Australia, are among ZEMCH’s co-founders.

As a native of Kenya who studied architecture in Indiana and Scotland and worked in places as diverse as Ireland and the United Arab Emirates, John Onyango believes that architecture from one region and climate can inform architecture from another.“It is all connected,” he says, “especially in this era of climate change, where rising sea levels and temperatures will impact the comfort and affordability of our homes.”

Last week, the architecture professor showcased that philosophy in South Florida by bringing the second international conference of Zero-Energy Mass Custom Homes, or ZEMCH, to the University of Miami. Co-founded by Onyango and other like-minded architects in 2010, the budding organization is dedicated to promoting the global production of socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable homes—affordable, comfortable, and mass-producible homes that can be customized for their climate and locale to use little or no energy, reducing or eliminating their carbon footprint.

Drawing dozens of students and more than 50 architects and ZEMCH adherents from countries as different as Italy, Iran, South Africa, and Australia, the conferees were welcomed to the School of Architecture’s Stanley and Jewell Glasgow Lecture Hall by Acting Dean Denis Hector, who told the group that changing—or better yet, instilling—energy-conserving behavior will be among their biggest challenges.

Recalling a telling moment, Hector harkened back to his days as a young architect in Stuttgart, Germany, where a young neighbor, fascinated by foreigners, often visited Hector and his roommates. One day, Hector said, the boy returned from wandering around their apartment utterly astonished to find a light on in the empty kitchen.

“This is a child who had never walked into a room where the light was on and there wasn’t somebody in the room. It was that culturally ingrained,’’ Hector said. “All these issues of energy are issues that have to do with your ability to be energy-conserving, but also our ability to persuade the inhabitants to be energy-conserving.”

Founded at the Glasgow School of Art, which is affiliated with the University of Glasgow, where Onyango was a student, ZEMCH aims to enhance collaborations between the housing industry and academia and establish a forum for resolving the design, production, and marketing issues that impede the delivery of sustainable and mass-customizable homes in both developed and developing countries.

One of the goals, said another ZEMCH co-founder, Japanese architect Masa Noguchi, is publishing a textbook to share the diverse and expanding body of ZEMCH knowledge. He was happy to announce that the ZEMCH Network, which consists of five regional centers in Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, Scotland, England, and the United States, would officially grow by one more—in Italy—at the three-day conference that ended November 1.

“We are not quite at the foundation of a movement,” said Noguchi, who was Onyango’s teacher in Glasgow and now lives in Melbourne, Australia. “We are still in the basement, but every baby step counts.”




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Industrial Engineers at Work


Teamwork: Students from Miami-area middle and high schools display their industrial engineering prowess, coming up with a process to make as many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as possible in a 20-minute period.

Rondell Pittman, an 11-year-old at Downtown Miami Charter School, knows exactly what he wants to be after completing a recent field trip to the University of Miami. “An engineer,” he said confidently. “I would know how to fix anything and design whatever I want, even my dream car.”

Pittman was one of about 20 youngsters from Miami-area middle and high schools who spent Friday on the UM campus learning about different engineering disciplines. Their visit, organized and hosted by the UM chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), included a tour of the laboratory facilities at the College of Engineering, presentations, and activities that tested their problem-solving skills.

“The earlier we can expose kids, especially those from underrepresented groups, to engineering, the more likely it is they’ll enter the field,” said Amanda Adams, an industrial engineering major and president of UM’s NSBE chapter. “That’s one of the reasons we wanted to do this event.”

Adams captivated her young audience during the lecture phase of the event, telling them how industrial engineers have helped fast food restaurants save millions of dollars by showing them how to prepare sandwiches faster and more efficiently.

“There’s a science to how fast people prepare food,” Adams told them. “Industrial engineers pride themselves on being efficient and effective. They’ve helped companies like Burger King and Starbucks.”

The young students then put their industrial engineering skills to the test, competing in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich-making contest that required them to make as many of the treats as possible in 20 minutes.

The students, who were divided into groups of three, managed to make more than 100 PB&J sandwiches, all of which were donated that same day to a local homeless shelter.

Sixteen-year-old Deja Lundy, a student at Booker T. Washington High School, was particularly ecstatic about attending the special event.

“I wanted to be a beautician,” she said. “But now, maybe I could become an engineer and design my own smartphone.”


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University of Miami Leadership Addresses NCAA Report

The University of Miami received the NCAA Committee on Infractions report on October 22, concluding a more than three-year process that included an investigation conducted by the NCAA and an appearance by senior University officials before the Committee on Infractions in June.

The University cooperated fully with investigators and took responsibility for its actions by proactively self-imposing severe penalties, including an unprecedented two-year bowl ban in football, withholding the football program from competing in the ACC Championship Game in 2012, and instituting substantial recruiting restrictions.

The University accepts the findings and the additional penalties as detailed in the Committee on Infractions report and will not appeal. The University is grateful to the Committee for a fair and thorough hearing.

As a proud member of the NCAA, the University of Miami remains committed to its fellow institutions and to the core principles that we—the members of the association—have always believed in.

To read more about the NCAA Investigation of the University of Miami, visit www.miami.edu/ncaainvestigation.

The following are statements from the Chair of the Board of Trustees Leonard Abess, President Donna E. Shalala, and Director of Athletics Blake James:

University of Miami Board of Trustees Chair Leonard Abess
“The University of Miami moves forward today stronger and rededicated to the high ideals that have always sustained it. I am proud of our leadership and staff, who conducted themselves throughout this process with integrity, forthrightness, and in the spirit of full cooperation.”

President Donna E. Shalala
“The Committee on Infractions report closes a challenging chapter in the history of the University of Miami.

“I am grateful to our coaches, staff, and student-athletes for their dedication to the University and to intercollegiate athletics. I also want to thank Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford for his steadfast support.

“Finally, I want to apologize to the Hurricane family, as we have asked for your patience, faith, and support during a difficult time. Thank you for standing with us.”

Director of Athletics Blake James
“Our honest and committed efforts to address these allegations have made us stronger. We have already taken many proactive steps to ameliorate any concerns, and we will continue to improve in all areas. Now it is time we look ahead and work diligently to support our student-athletes.”


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Noted Physical Anthropologist Cynthia Beall Delivers SEEDS Lecture

SEEDS Presents: Cynthia Beall, Distinguished Professor in Anthropology

Cynthia Beall lectures at UM’s Newman Alumni Center on October 21.

During the course of her research on indigenous populations living in some of the world’s tallest mountain regions, physical anthropologist Cynthia Beall discovered that Himalayan Tibetans adapt differently than other people to being oxygen-deprived at high altitude.

Instead of their bodies producing more red blood cells as lowlanders and other high-altitude populations do, Tibetans exhale high concentrations of nitric oxide, a gas that inside the body expands blood vessels and improves blood flow and oxygen delivery to tissue.

That was among some of the research findings Beall, Distinguished University Professor at Case Western Reserve University, shared with a group of University of Miami faculty members on October 21 at the Newman Alumni Center.

Her talk, “Adaption and Health among Highlanders of the Andes, Tibet, and Ethiopia,” was presented by UM’s Scientists and Engineers Expanding Diversity and Success (SEEDS) initiative, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Department of Anthropology.

Beall’s work among Andean, Tibetan and East African highlanders is widely regarded as having broadened our understanding and knowledge of human evolution and high-altitude adaptation.

Highlighting the research that has earned her international renown, Beall noted that some native highlanders in Ethiopia share with Tibetans the ability to maintain low blood hemoglobin concentrations at high altitude, making them less susceptible to chronic mountain sickness.

About 20 UM faculty members attended Beall’s lecture, including Ann Brittain, associate professor of anthropology, who attended graduate school with Beall at Penn State. “She was always highly intelligent and energetic,” Brittain said of Beall. “We always knew she was going places.”

Beall had a private lunch with a group of UM graduate students the following day.

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Variety of Festivities Planned for Homecoming and Alumni Weekend

Thousands of alumni from around the country will travel back to South Florida to join current students, faculty, and community members to celebrate the University of Miami’s Homecoming 2013 festivities, which this year run Wednesday, October 30 through Saturday, November 9.

Featuring a theme that honors the past, present, and future of UM, homecoming will include activities such as the king and queen competition, Hurricanes Help the Hometown Stop Hunger event, concert, parade, Hurricane Howl, UM vs. Virginia Tech football game, and more.

Homecoming Opening Ceremonies: Homecoming festivities will kick off on Wednesday, October 30 at 6 p.m. with the Opening Ceremony and Alma Mater singing competition preliminaries. This event will feature a Dr. Seuss Costume Spirit Contest and entertainment on the Student Activities Center Patio.

Blood Drive: Monday, November 4 – Wednesday, November 6, University of Miami students, faculty, staff, administrators, and other employees may donate blood in the Student Activities Center Ballrooms from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day.

Homecoming King & Queen: The final round of the competition will be Monday, November 4 at 8 p.m. in the SAC Ballrooms. Eight men and eight women will compete for the Mr. & Mrs. U-Ville king and queen crowns.

Hurricanes Help the Hometown: Set-up for this Stop Hunger Now meal-packaging service event begins November 5 at noon in the SAC Center Ballroom. Shifts run from 12 to 8 p.m., or until all 50,000 meals are packaged. All participants must sign in upon arrival.

Organized Cheer: Wednesday, November 6 at 7 p.m., participating Homecoming teams will put on an entertaining night of skits and musical numbers in the SAC East and Center Ballrooms.

Alma Mater Singing Competition: The finals of the Alma Mater Singing Competition will take place November 7 at 10:45 a.m. on the UC Rock, rain or shine.

Spirit Tree: Immediately following the Alma Mater finals, Homecoming participants will walk to the Ashe Building and present a short skit to accompany its ornament for the Spirit Tree.

Homecoming Concert: Gareth Emery and Big Sean will perform at this year’s homecoming concert at the BankUnited Center on November 7 at 8 p.m.

Parade: UM’s annual homecoming parade kicks off on Friday, November 8 at 7 p.m. and will run along Merrick and Stanford Drive. See colorful and spirited floats accompanied by music and dancers. This year’s Grand Marshal is two-time NBA Champion and former Hurricanes Basketball great James Jones, B.B.A. ’03. This event is free and open to the community.

Hurricane Howl: Immediately following the parade will be one of UM’s most cherished traditions—the boat burning ceremony and fireworks on November 8 along the waterfront of Lake Osceola in the center of campus. The boat burning ceremony involves setting a wood boat on fire in the middle of the lake. Food trucks will open at 6 p.m. on Stanford Drive, and the boat burning countdown starts at 8:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the community.

Women’s Basketball Game: On Friday, November 8 at 5 p.m. in the BankUnited Center, the UM women’s basketball team will take on the University of North Florida.

Men’s Basketball Game: That same night at 10 p.m., UM’s men’s basketball team goes up against St. Francis of New York at the BankUnited Center. The game will stream on ESPN 3.

Football Game: The Miami Hurricanes will host the Virginia Tech Hokies at Sun Life Stadium on Saturday, November 9.

For more information on Homecoming events, visit the UM Homecoming 2013 Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/UMHomecoming. For more information on Alumni Weekend, call UM’s Alumni Association, 305-284-2872 or visit http://www.miami.edu/alumniweekend/. For information regarding tickets to the sporting events, visit http://www.canestix.com.


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