e-Veritas Archive | February, 2015

Preventing Sexual Violence on Campus Is Everyone’s Job

By Robin Shear
UM News

Peter F. Lake

Peter F. Lake

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 27, 2015)—The University of Miami hosted a seminar titled “Preventing Campus Sexual Violence and Understanding UM Responsibilities under Title IX” on Thursday led by Peter F. Lake, an internationally known expert in the field. A professor of law, Charles A. Dana Chair, and director of the Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy at Stetson University College of Law, Lake, who is also his institution’s interim Title IX coordinator, had a simple message about a complex subject:

Title IX compliance is everyone’s job.

Enacted by Congress in 1972, Title IX is a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. It aims to eliminate barriers to educational opportunity caused by sex discrimination, including sexual harassment and violence.

The all-day seminar offered an overview of Title IX regulations with specific reference to the growing national concern about sexual violence on college campuses.

Storer Auditorium was nearly full, with attendees from throughout the University, including the medical and marine campuses, as well as the School of Law.

“This is a very, very important day for us at the University,” Patricia A. Whitely, UM’s vice president for student affairs, said. “I am delighted that this session has come together.”

Lake pointed to key Title IX cases of the last few years, such as those out of Yale, the University of Montana, and UNC Chapel Hill. He cited a report published in April 2014 by the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault called “Not Alone,” available at notalone.gov, which offers a series of Frequently Asked Questions to help navigate this complicated but potentially life-saving regulatory issue.

The bottom line is not only to know all the regulations of Title IX, said Lake, but also to humanize them and adopt the spirit of Title IX on an institutional level by owning and enacting it in four key areas: organization and management, investigation and discipline, victim and respondent rights and needs, and campus culture/climate. Compliance comes from “here and here,” Lake said, pointing to his heart and his head.

According to Lake, one in five women is sexually assaulted while in college, with freshmen and sophomores targeted most often. “Alcohol has been weaponized,” he added, referring to the increasing number of cases of “incapacitated assaults,” where victims are under the influence.

President Donna E. Shalala, who convened a 25-member Campus Coalition on Sexual Assault Prevention and Education at the University, spoke frankly at the opening of the event. “We have zero tolerance,” she said. “We are serious about the safety of everyone who works, studies, and gets services here. We want to create an atmosphere and culture that clearly says what is acceptable. We are fearless about taking on these cases.”

To learn more about Title IX compliance and resources at the University of Miami, visit http://www.miami.edu/index.php/wep/title_ix.


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At UM, Girls See Engineering Isn’t Just For Boys

By Robert C. Jones Jr.
UM News


Kelsey Kleinhans, a Ph.D. biomedical engineering student, explains her research to a group of high school girls attending UM’s Introduce A Girl to Engineering Day.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 26, 2015) – For Dasia Gibson it was the banana that shattered into more than a dozen pieces after being dipped in liquid nitrogen. For Danica Forestal it was watching her uncle delete a virus from a PC. And for Saige Drecksler it was the memorial service she attended for the astronauts of the doomed Challenger and Columbia space shuttle missions.

While each high school girl had a different story to tell of what ignited their passion for engineering, it was the common goal of learning more about the field’s many academic and career opportunities that brought them together Thursday for Introduce A Girl to Engineering Day on the University of Miami campus.

More than 220 teenage girls from 18 Miami-Dade public and private high schools attended the daylong event, touring UM College of Engineering labs, learning about the research being conducted by some of UM’s female engineering students, and putting their problem-solving skills to the test in a series of brain-twisting exercises.

“Engineering is still a male-dominated field,” said UM biomedical engineering major Stacie Arechavala, who, as the high school outreach coordinator for the UM chapter of the Society of Women Engineers, organized Thursday’s event. “We’re helping these girls learn about a fascinating field that can positively affect lives and change the world.”

Arechavala, who became interested in biomedical engineering after two of her friends suffered traumatic brain injuries in high school, noted that the College of Engineering’s 28 percent female enrollment rate is far above the national average of 15 percent. But she would still like to see those numbers grow.

“Girls need role models,” she said.

The youngsters at UM’s Introduce A Girl to Engineering Day had plenty of role models on Thursday. Doctoral student Kelsey Kleinhans gave groups of high school girls a tour of her biomedical engineering lab, explaining how she is conducting experiments with pig tissue to learn more about the repair and prevention of injuries in humans.

Ann Zapala, a sophomore biomedical engineering major from Chicago, taught the girls about the efficiency of assembly line production, having them perform an experiment that showed they could produce more origami-style figurines by using the widely used manufacturing process as opposed to one worker assembling the figures alone.

The high school students also competed in a contest to see which team could build the longest and strongest bridge out of K’NEX construction toys.

Drecksler, a student at Coral Park Senior High School, came away from the event even more determined to achieve her dream of becoming an aerospace engineer. Said the high schooler: “My goal is to make space travel a reality for everyone.”

Introduce A Girl to Engineering Day was part of Engineers Week at the College of Engineering, with other events including a Simulation Boot Camp, concrete canoe demonstration, entrepreneurs forum, and more.



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UMIT Celebrates Success of Year Up Apprenticeship Program

Special to UM News

The University of Miami Information Technology (UMIT) department, which embarked on a successful pilot program with Year Up, an apprenticeship program aimed at helping student interns realize their true potential, recently celebrated the graduation of its first two interns and welcomed two new interns to the department.

Year Up’s mission is to provide students with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. They achieve this mission through a one-year intensive training program that provides students, ages 18-24, with a combination of hands-on skill development, college credits, and corporate internships. During the first six months of the program, students attend Miami Dade College on a full-time basis, taking courses in Information Technology, Financial Operations, Project Management, Business Communications, and Professional Skills. During the final six months of the program, students are placed in an internship with a corporate partner working 34 hours per week.

Prior to initiating the pilot program at UM, UMIT reached out to various organizations that are actively involved in providing internship opportunities to Year Up students, including Harvard University’s IT department, MIT Sloan School of Management, Johns Hopkins University, and Baptist Health Systems. Other national corporate partners include American Express, Google, AT&T, Morgan Stanley, Time Warner, Brown University, Dell Systems, and many others. At a local level, South Florida partners include JP Morgan Chase, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Baptist Health South Florida, Memorial Healthcare Systems, DHL, World Fuel Services, Bacardi, and several other organizations throughout the community.

Initially, UMIT selected two Year Up students, Isabella Hainlin and Jonathan Morales, to work as Help Desk Technicians. The interns and department staff shared many positive experiences throughout the six-month pilot. Although Isabella and Jonathan were both nervous when they first came onboard, they quickly acclimated, formed a strong partnership with department mentors and peers, developed professional skills, and learned more about technology than they anticipated.

Last month, the UMIT department proudly celebrated their graduation from the Year Up program, and as a result of their success, welcomed Jedidah Murray and Andre Williams as its new Year Up interns. UMIT looks forward to continuing its efforts in support of our community through professional development initiatives.

Visit the Year Up website at www.yearup.org for additional details about their local program and corporate partnerships.

For more information about UMIT’s Year Up partnership, contact Veronica Maristany.

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UM Celebrates Lunar New Year with a Journey Down the Silk Road

UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 24, 2015) — From a dynamic dragon dance to a dazzling display of kung fu and from fearless fire twirling acts to interactive booths boasting East Asian cuisine, Chinese calligraphy, crafts, and more, the University of Miami celebrated the Lunar New Year in style Monday with a “Journey Down the Silk Road.” Hundreds of students, faculty, staff, and visitors enjoyed the evening event, which was held in the University Center Lakeside Patio area and organized by the Chinese Students and Scholars Association and the Asian American Students Association. View the slideshow.

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Coastal Construction Funds Design Studio Building for School of Architecture

The Thomas P. Murphy Design Studio Building is being designed by Miami's world-renowned architecture firm Arquitectonica.

The Thomas P. Murphy Design Studio Building is being designed by Miami’s world-renowned architecture firm Arquitectonica.

By Annette Gallagher
Special to UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 23, 2015) – Coastal Construction, a major builder in South Florida, has pledged $3.5 million to construct a state-of-the-art design studio building at the University of Miami School of Architecture. The gift will support Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami.

Tom Murphy Jr., president and CEO of Coastal Construction, is passionate about supporting education in architecture and, in fact, got his start while a UM student, working on fraternity houses.

“My family has been building in Florida for over 60 years,” Murphy said. “Learning to design buildings using the latest technology in a collaborative environment is critical to being able to create cities and communities that will last. My family is proud to be able to provide this facility for UM students to learn to build, to create, and to work together.”

The Thomas P. Murphy Design Studio Building will be LEED-certified and include studios to accommodate about 120 students. A fabrication lab and modern workstations, designed to enable advanced digital production, will be included as well. A lounge, computer lab, presentation areas, review spaces, and offices are additional amenities. The building is being designed by world-renowned Miami architecture firm Arquitectonica, by a design team led by School of Architecture adjunct faculty member Raymond Fort and Arquitectonica principal Bernardo Fort-Brescia, who moved to Miami in 1975 to teach at the School of Architecture. The facility will occupy about 20,000 square feet, including outdoor workspace and an outdoor jury area, when completed.

“We are determined to provide our students with state-of-the-art facilities that sustain our traditions and enable innovation,” said Rodolphe el-Khoury, dean of the UM School of Architecture. “I can’t think of a better learning and working environment than the Studio Building—elegantly designed and masterfully engineered to house a field of activities under one sweeping roof —where our talented students can collectively immerse themselves in our studio culture. We are grateful to Tom Murphy and Coastal Construction for enabling us to take that culture to the next level.”


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