e-Veritas Archive | June, 2014

WW II Vet, Former POW, and UM Alumnus Tells His Story

By Robert C. Jones Jr.
UM News

Jack Diamond recounts his World War II service and life in a German POW camp during a StoryCorps interview on the UM campus.

Jack Diamond recounts his World War II service and life in a German POW camp during a StoryCorps interview on the UM campus. Photo by Andrew Innerarity.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (June 27, 2014) – There was little they could do. Cut off from the rest of the 106th Infantry Division during the early days of the Battle of the Bulge, Pfc. Jack Diamond and his fellow soldiers would soon be surrounded by German forces, leaving them to face the grim reality of becoming prisoners of war. Read the full story

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Applications for 2015 Provost’s Research Awards Now Being Accepted

Applications are now being accepted for the 2015 Provost’s Research Awards, which foster excellence in research and creative scholarship as well as provide support for salary, direct research costs, or both. The awards are classified into five categories based on discipline: the Max Orovitz Research Awards in the Arts, the Max Orovitz Research Awards in the Humanities, the James W. McLamore Research Awards in Business, the James W. McLamore Research Awards in Social Sciences, and the Research Awards in the Natural Sciences and Engineering. Miller School of Medicine faculty are not eligible for these awards.

Applications are due October 6. For more information and specific instructions on how to apply, click here.

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Faculty and Staff Support the U: Retired Air Force Officer Remains on the Frontlines—of UM Information Technology, and Giving

As an information technology specialist in the U.S. Air Force, Darren Roach served in the Pentagon and the White House.

As an information technology specialist in the U.S. Air Force, Darren Roach served at the Pentagon and the White House.

Retired Lt. Col. Darren Roach, B.B.A ’91, M.B.A. ’92, knows the difference scholarships can make. “I would not have been able to earn an M.B.A. if not for the donors who funded my scholarship,” says the alumnus, who joined the University of Miami a year ago as senior manager of Application System Development in Information Technology. “Now, it’s my turn to give back to our great University.” Read the full story

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President Shalala Weighs in on ‘The Risky Business’ of Climate Change

By Megan Ondrizek
UM News

UM President Donna E. Shalala.

UM President Donna E. Shalala.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (June 24, 2014) — On Tuesday, University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala joined the debate on climate change as a member of The Risky Business Project, a joint, non-partisan initiative. Shalala partnered with fellow former political leaders to discuss global trends and the economic risks of climate change. Read the full story

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Medical Student and Former Navy Pilot Named UM’s First Tillman Military Scholar

Special to UM News

MIAMI, Fla. (June 24, 2014) —William Burns, a former U.S. Navy fighter pilot who is entering his fourth year as a medical student, has been named the University of Miami’s first Tillman Military Scholar. The $15,000 award is given by the Pat Tillman Foundation to active-duty service members, veterans and military spouses who are pursuing higher education, and who wish to continue to be of service to others.

“Many would think twice about going back to school later in life for a second career,” said Burns, 40, a lieutenant commander who has been in the Navy for nearly 20 years. “Instead, I see it as an opportunity to continue my service to others through healing. I believe my operational experience will give me a unique perspective in the Navy Medical Corps, and I am excited about the future.”

Burns is the first UM applicant ever selected for the honor, and the only applicant out of seven from UM selected this year. The Pat Tillman Foundation — named for the Arizona Cardinals star who left a successful professional football career in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks to enlist in the U.S. Army, and who was killed in Afghanistan two years later — selected a total of 60 scholarship recipients from 7,500 applications received nationwide.

“This is a tremendous honor for Will and the school,” said Alex J. Mechaber, M.D., Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education and associate professor of medicine. “I cannot think of a student better suited for this award. Will is a class act who represents the fine qualities that the late Pat Tillman displayed.”

The Pat Tillman Foundation agreed.

“William stood out for his desire to not only continue his service at home, but also to leverage his military leadership skills in a new field — medicine,” said Cara Campbell, the foundation’s program manager. “Nearly a quarter of Tillman Military Scholars have similarly gone on to pursue their education in medicine. We’re proud to support him in that endeavor.”

Burns will meet his fellow Tillman Military Scholars at the fifth annual Pat Tillman Leadership Summit, which is being held June 26-29 at Roosevelt University in Chicago.

He became a pilot after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1995, in part because he originally hoped to be an astronaut. Although that never happened, his career has been filled with plenty of Earth-bound excitement. Over the next 16 years, he was deployed to the Mediterranean, to Kosovo, and twice to Iraq and three times to Afghanistan to provide close air support in his F/A-18C Hornet to ground troops in the thick of the action.

Ultimately, however, it was the quieter times during stateside duty that led Burns to medicine.

“I had thought about becoming a physician while I was at Annapolis, but aviation won out,” he said. “I’m not big at sitting behind a desk, so I looked for something else to do in between deployments. When I was stationed with theVFA-25 squadron in California in 2008, I became a volunteer EMT. Later, while working at the Pentagon, I became a volunteer firefighter/EMT for Fairfax County, Virginia. In 2010, I began applying to medical schools.”

In some ways, Burns’ gradual shift into medicine was predestined. Growing up in Tulsa, Okla., he had medical-military role models right at home. His mother was a nurse anesthetist, and his stepfather was a family physician — both had served in the U.S. Army Reserve — and his father had been a U.S. Army Special Forces medic in Vietnam.

Burns is a lifelong Hurricanes fan with a strong interest in international medicine, so the Miller School was also a natural choice. Since he arrived, he has distinguished himself through his leadership — he has been president of his class three years running — and through his commitment to service — he becomes the new executive director of the Mitchell Wolfson Sr. Department of Community Service program, known as DOCS, in the fall.

He has also volunteered his time and expertise through Medical Students in Action (in the Dominican Republic) and Project Medishare through Caneshare (in Haiti), as a Step 1 Review Course teacher and anatomy teaching assistant, and as a volunteer counselor during Heart Week at Camp Boggy Creek, which serves seriously ill children and their families.

Burns will owe the Navy four years of active duty service after he graduates, and unlike most of his classmates, he will be matching with a residency at a military medical center. If he pursues emergency medicine, his options will be Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, in Virginia, or Naval Medical Center San Diego, in California. If he pursues his other interest, trauma surgery, a third option will be Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

“I am committed to service,” said Burns, “but I also am always seeking new challenges. I look forward to a career in medicine because it will fulfill both of those goals.”

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