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Miss Concert

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Statue Removal

The Reporter’s Carolina Soto tells us how much she misses attending concerts in person, yet another joy COVID-19 has robbed us of this year.

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Alexandra Jugenheimer is expected to provide a lot of offense for the Lady Sharks this season after hitting .425, scoring 21 runs and adding 16 RBI last season.

A&E

Luisa Santos, a 2012 graduate of the Honors College at Kendall Campus, won a spot on the Miami-Dade County School Board in district 9.

Big Bat SPORTS

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On Board

Angelo Lopez believes that in order to have a more accepting and inclusive society, we must remove confederate statues that still exist.

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4VOL. 11, ISSUE 3 — NOVEMBER 20, 2020

TWO-TIME NATIONAL PACEMAKER AWARD WINNER

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NEW PRESIDENT

Miami Dade College Selects First Female President In School’s 60 Year History MADELINE PUMARIEGA, CURRENTLY THE EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND PROVOST AT TALLAHASSEE COMMUNITY COLLEGE, PREVIOUSLY WORKED AT MDC FOR 25 YEARS. SHE WAS WOLFSON CAMPUS PRESIDENT IN 2013. By Adriana Dos Santos adriana.dossantos002@mymdc.net Twenty months and two presidential searches later—Miami Dade College finally has its next president. The Board of Trustees unanimously selected Madeline Pumariega, the daughter of Cuban immigrants and a former basketball player at Kendall Campus, as the College’s fifth permanent president Tuesday morning. She is the school’s first female president. “To every young girl out there, I was the first Hispanic and first female Chancellor [of the Florida College System] and I'm now the first female president of the College,” Pumariega said in an interview with The Reporter. “We can [do it] together—we can for sure.” The BOT deliberated for less than 15 minutes before trustee Marcell Felipe made a motion recommending Pumariega. Within seconds, the rest of the board supported the decision. “Madeline is someone that has combined local knowledge of the community and the state-level TURN TO NEW PRESIDENT PAGE 5 DANELIS OLIVERA-HERRERA / THE REPORTER

SECOND CHANCE

He Went From High School Dropout To SGA President After Getting A Second Chance At MDC ‰‰ Michael Cruz dropped out of Miami Senior High School in 2019. Today, he is a political science major at North Campus and president of the Student Government Association. By Adriana Dos Santos adriana.dossantos002@mymdc.net Michael Cruz isn’t your typical student government president candidate. A year and a half ago, the 18-year-old dropped out of Miami Senior High School and faced an uncertain future. But there he was, in the early morning hours of May 27, alone in his bedroom in

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Hialeah scouring the internet to see if he had won the student government presidency at North Campus. “I figured college was my second chance,” Cruz said. In the end, Cruz’s determination to be a changemaker shined through. He beat Brian Yousif by five votes and will serve as president for the 2020-21 academic year. “Michael is an individual who dedicates his passion for the love of politics and civic leadership,” said Stephanie Davis, who serves as co-advisor to the North Campus student government. “He honestly stands out due to his constant perseverance although he faced adversity [and] I feel that

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attribute shows that Michael is a fighter to achieve success no matter what it takes.”

A Bumpy Road Cruz was born in Hialeah on March 1, 2002. He took advanced classes at North Hialeah Elementary School and played little league soccer with the Florida Stingrays at Wilde Park. “Those were the golden years really,” Cruz recalled. “I had a lot of friends all through my fifth-grade year.” He attended Coral Way K-8 Center in middle school and discovered a passion—music.

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Cruz gravitated toward percussion instruments in band but eventually developed an interest in the piano and the xylophone. Rock and Roll music, played by bands like The Beatles, is his favorite genre. He also enjoys reggae artists like Bob Marley and his son, Ziggy Marley. “I was the quiet kid for many years, so I would find myself falling back to music. I loved listening to music. I loved playing music,” Cruz said. “The way I bonded with many of my friends in middle school was through music.” When he entered Miami High as a TURN TO SECOND CHANCE PAGE 4

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2 BRIEFING | NOVEMBER 20, 2020

THE REPORTER Exectuvie Vice President And Provost Lenore Rodicio Appointed To Board Of Trustees At St. Brendan High School

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B adriana.dossantos002@mymdc.net Wolfson Campus To Host Veteran And Family Resources Workshop

Miambiance Wins Pinnacle Award In The Two-Year Literary Magazine Of The Year Category Miambiance, the literary magazine at Kendall Campus, won a Pinnacle Award from the College Media Association in the Two-Year Literary Magazine of the Year category. Winners were announced virtually on Oct. 23 during the Associated Collegiate Press/CMA Fall National College Media Convention. Miambiance has been a Pinnacle finalist for the past three years and also won first place last year. North Campus’ literary magazine, AXIS, won second place in the category. The magazine has been a Pinnacle finalist the past three years and won honorable mentions last year. —Adriana Dos Santos

Miami Book Fair To Discuss National Book Award Honorees The Miami Book Fair will host a discussion focused on National Book Award 2020 semifinalist How We Got To The Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity’s Greatest Adventure on Nov. 7 via CrowdCast. The series—started in September—will host additional book discussions on Nov. 14, Dec. 14 and Dec. 15 at 1 p.m. featuring the 10 National Book Award semifinalists. They will talk about the books’ overarching themes. The authors of the books will also join the discussions to explain specific parts of the books. “We wanted to give a spotlight to all the 10 longlisted titles to start a conversation about these books and to give people an insight and close discussion to each title,” said Ismery Pavon, the Miami Book Fair’s program coordinator. The event is free and open to the public, even if attendees have not read the books. —Oriana Rodriguez For more information, contact: Ismery Pavon T(305) 237-7875 ipavon@mdc.edu

Scholarship For Nursing Students Open Until Nov. 12 The CHI Foundation is accepting applications for the Helen B. Bentley Annual Nursing Scholarship until Nov. 12. Three nursing students will be awarded $1,000 each. They must be enrolled at an accredited institution or have been accepted into a nursing program. Students must complete an application and provide official transcripts, a 1-3 page essay following one of five available prompts, and two letters of recommendation—one being from the applicant’s nursing school and the other from a practicing nurse. Applicants should submit their materials to the CHI Foundation Executive Secretary Laquica A Tuff at ibtuff@chisouthfl.org. Winners will be announced in December during a board meeting with the foundation.

Wolfson Campus will host the Veterans and Family Resources Workshop on Nov. 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. via Microsoft Teams The event will focus on providing information on health, education and family benefits for veterans and their families. Guest speakers will include Maximo Alcocer, program coordinator of the Miami Veterans Administration Health Care Systems and Veterans Outreach; Kent Cheeseboro, co-chair of the Miami-Dade County Veterans Services Coalition; Annielys Sosa-Diaz, director of student life at Wolfson Campus; Elidreanna Williams, community outreach coordinator of MDC Single Stop; and Michelle Zielenski, women veterans program manager at the Bruce W. Carter Miami Veteran Affairs Medical Center. For more information, contact Rita Fidalgo at rfidalgo@mdc.edu or (305) 237-3617 or Randy Lichtman at rlichtma@mdc.edu or (305) 237-3692. —Alice Moreno

Miami Dade College’s Executive Vice President and Provost Lenore Rodicio has been appointed to the Board of Trustees at St. Brendan High School, her alma mater. Located in Westchester, the school is a co-educational private institution that centers its curriculum around the Roman Catholic faith. “I am so honored to return to St. Brendan and have the opportunity to give back to my alma mater,” Rodicio said in a press release. “I look forward to helping guide students as they complete high school and set their sights on college.” PHOTO COURTESY OF GIORGIO Rodicio is also a board member for the VIERA / MDC MEDIA RELATIONS Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade, which mobilizes financial support and commitment to Miami-Dade County’s parks system, and for the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, which seeks to advance the betterment of the county. She started working at MDC as an adjunct chemistry professor in 2001. Since then, she has focused on increasing student access to education, growing student success, and improving the teaching process. In 1994, Rodicio earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Barry University. Five years later, she graduated from Louisiana State University with a doctorate in chemistry. —Bridget Perdomo

Kendall Campus To Host Social Networking Workshop Kendall Campus’ Student Government Association and Learning Resources will host Networking Through Media on Nov. 23 from noon to 1 p.m. via Google Meets. The event will showcase how students can network through LinkedIn or similar sites and polish their profiles to attract potential employers. “SGA’s idea this year is putting events that are valuable to students,” said Carolina Lopez-Varela, Kendall Campus SGA’s multimedia overseer. “Helping students create a way to network beyond MDC, beyond graduation so they have a platform to fall back on”. Attendees must RSVP on Sharknet to receive a link for the event. The event is free and open to the public. —Oriana Rodriguez

Hialeah Campus To Host Thanksgiving Care-Package Distribution Event A care-package distribution event will be held at Hialeah Campus, 1780 W 49th St., on Nov. 21 from 10 a.m to 1 p.m. for Thanksgiving. Students and their families will receive food and P&G toiletries while supplies last on a first-come, first-serve basis. Attendees should go through the entrance on 49th street, where they will be directed to the giveaway site. “We wanted to do something for the Hialeah community. Especially around Thanksgiving,” said Ryan Small, the student life director at Hialeah Campus. “We do know that the Hialeah community has been heavily impacted by COVID-19 [so] we want to give families something to look for in the holiday season”. The event is hosted in partnership with Farm Share, a non-profit organization working against food-insecurity in Florida, and IMC Health, a health care clinic.

PHOTO COURTESY OF ARIEL RUBALCAVA

Award-Winning Program MDC-TV Nominated For Four 2020 Suncoast Regional Emmy Awards

Miami Dade College’s Mike Fernandez Global Business Leadership Series will present guest speaker Adriana Cisneros on Nov. 19 at 10 a.m via Webex. In her presentation titled— From Pepsi to Space: Innovation in the 21st Century—Cisneros will discuss her professional career and offer tips on how to invest in property and be a successful businessperson. Cisneros is the president of Fundación Cisneros, a non-profit organization that aims to improve access to education in Latin America, and the chief executive officer of Cisneros, a privately-owned media, entertainment, real estate and consumer products CISNEROS company. The presentation will be free and open to the public. Students will receive a link to the event after registering. For more information, contact Isabel Artime at (305) 237-3960 or iartime@mdc.edu.

MDC-TV, the award-winning news program that broadcasts Miami Dade College news and happenings, has been nominated for four 2020 Suncoast Regional Emmy Awards. Nominated were the shows Jazz at Wolfson Presents and Musically United in the Arts/Entertainment category, the project 5000 Role Models@MDC in the schools/education category, and music professor Alberto Bade in the musical composition/arrangement category for the last song played in Musically United. The Emmy Awards are esteemed competitions that honor the best in the television broadcasting industry. Winners will be announced on Dec. 12 at 10 p.m. “It just feels great that some of our hard work is getting very prestigious awards from around the country,” said Ariel Rubalcava, MDC-TV’s executive director and senior producer. The program also won two 2020 International Davey Awards on Oct. 21. They earned a Gold Davey Award for Voices of the Holocaust in the category of Online Film and Video/Documentary and a Silver Davey Award for Jazz at Wolfson Presents for Online Film and Video/Events and Live Streaming. The winning teams include Rubalcava, orchestral director Alberto Bade, sound engineer Amed Torrecilla, post-production supervisor Maikel Garcia, producer and assistant James Pierre, producer Jose Leal, sound engineer Humberto Casanova, pianist and composer Kemuel Roig, host and announcer Viviam Maria Lopez, South Florida Youth Symphony’s executive director Marjorie Hahn, Jazz at Wolfson Presents’ executive director Michael Di Liddo and music professor Brian Neal.

—Luisana Ortiz

—Bridget Perdomo

—Adriana Dos Santos

—Samuel Larreal For more information, contact: Ryan Small T(305) 237-8742 rsmall@mdc.edu

Adriana Cisneros To Speak AT Mike Fernandez Global Business Leadership Series

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ANNABELLA GOMEZ / THE REPORTER

Peace and Quiet: A Mother and her two daughters spend quality time together doing yoga during Warrior Flow Yoga on Nov. 15. Hosted by Dannis Hunter every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the event is free and open to the public.

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Wizards Only: Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando Resort is a Harry Potter fan go-to spot. Perched above the Gringotts bank is the dragon who guards secret vaults at the bank.

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ANNABELLA GOMEZ / THE REPORTER

Well, Hello There: A man and woman smile as a young boy rides his bicycle up to them at Haulover Skate Park on Nov. 8.

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Extreme Sports: Carlos Flores performers an ollie at Haulover Skate Park on Nov. 8. The park reopened on Oct. 27 after closing down due to COVID-19.

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4 NEWS | NOVEMBER 20, 2020

THE REPORTER

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Started From The Bottom, Now He Is SGA President

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Mr. President: Michael Cruz was selected North Campus Student Government Association president in May, a year and a half after dropping out of Miami Senior High School. FROM SECOND CHANCE, FRONT

freshman, he once again sought the comfort of music, joining the marching band. But something was different this time. According to Cruz, band members spread gossip about him in a group chat. Soon, musicians stopped giving him pieces to play. He felt ostracized. “It started a chain of depression in me,” Cruz said. “I didn't really speak about it to my parents to avoid the feeling of shame. I didn't mention it to the band director. I did not mention it to my friends. I did not mention it to anybody. And I carried a lot of sadness and anger with me.” At the start of his sophomore year, Cruz transferred to Miami Central High School, but he felt homesick. “No matter how I felt [at] Miami Senior High,” Cruz said, “I always had this love for the school regardless.” A couple of months later, he transferred back to Miami High. But he continued to face obstacles. The advanced band program Cruz was a part of during his freshman year no longer had a spot for him, forcing him to join the intermediate group. As a

result, he became less engaged in school, skipping classes and often leaving school early. In November of his junior year, he enrolled in on-the-job training—a program that allows students to earn credit for working during the school year—as an oasis from the turmoil he was facing. But that didn’t work either and he dropped out of school shortly after. “That day—dropping out—was very tough for me. I remember walking into some of my teachers and explaining to them for the first time that I couldn't take it anymore,” Cruz said. “I left and I didn't have any friends anymore. I isolated myself because I was in a dark place.”

A Passionate Leader Cruz took a four-month break to improve his mental health. He used the time to dissociate from the stress, often going on walks or spending time with his pets—two cats, two dogs, and two parrots. A two-week summer trip to his aunt’s house in Tennessee also helped clear his head. A nature lover, Cruz said being away from the city and surrounded by the serenity of mountains was the

perfect way to relax. However, it wasn’t until he enrolled at North Campus that he truly felt at peace. He earned his GED in March of 2019 and three months later enrolled in college classes—taking student life skills, intro to psychology, and an English course. Cruz joined student government that fall. As a senator, he attended civic engagement events and did community service at North Campus’ food pantry and at a runaway shelter for LGBTQ+ teens. He also helped coordinate an annual festival, Sustainapalooza!, with the Earth Ethics Institute and the Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy. The event—canceled due to the coronavirus— sought to celebrate the sustainability and change-making projects that students were involved in at North Campus. Despite all of that, Cruz wanted to do more. As student government elections drew closer, he thought about running. “I wanted to empower students because I didn't feel empowered in school and I made many mistakes in high school and middle school with people and academics,” said Cruz, who is majoring in

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political science. Because of the pandemic, campaigning took place mostly on social media. Cruz created an Instagram account for the first time and designed posters he could share on the app. His campaign was based on progress and change-making: A Greener Campus, a Louder Voice, the Right Choice was his slogan. Eliminating single-use plastics on campus and combating student apathy were among his plans. “I didn't even expect to win but I tried my heart out,” Cruz said. “I really poured my heart and my soul into it. I wanted to make up for the lack of things I didn't do in high school.” Since the victory, he has continued his quest to grow as a student leader. Cruz has hosted webinars sessions on social justice and racial equality, voter engagement events promoting Motivote, and a virtual election-watch party that featured Miami Gardens councilman Robert Stephens. “If you’re with him, you will always [have] an interesting conversation,” said Lucwilerna Raymond, a student government senator. “He is really involved, and that's the type of person you want leading new people. I think he's

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the right fit [to be SGA president].” Cruz, who is scheduled to graduate at the end of the spring semester, has also been active outside of SGA by working as an iCED ambassador—advocating for student engagement opportunities— and promoting sustainability as a member of the YES! Club. “He is aware of current issues and tries to make a change regarding those issues and is really proactive as a leader,” said Ronsard J. Mondesir, a North Campus student government senator. “He likes to introduce new ideas to the senators under him and make sure that he gives us all those ideas. He has a lot to offer to Miami Dade College.” Cruz is currently organizing a town hall with newly elected Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava so students can connect with her. He’s also working on an event to help identify fake news and prevent the spread of misinformation. “Michael's leadership and dedication to the student population [is] passionate and admirable,” said Lorraine Wright, the student life director at North Campus. “He is focused on ensuring his peers receive [a ] fair and adequate education and [are] politically aware.”

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NOVEMBER 20, 2020 | NEWS

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'That Girl From Hialeah' Is The new President Of Miami Dade College FROM NEW PRESIDENT, FRONT

experience to understand the Florida college system and all the politics that go into it,” Felipe said. “[She] is always putting students first. She knows that the whole mission behind the institution is to help students get ahead in education. She focuses on lowering tuition to make sure it is accessible. Her focus on students is excellent.” Pumariega, 53, who was inducted into the MDC Hall of Fame in 2018, will return to her alma mater seven years after she left the College to serve as president and chief executive officer of Take Stock in Children, an organization that provides mentors and scholarships to low-income kids. “Madeline is a graduate of the College, as well as a former campus president, and has proven again and again her commitment to the College and to the students,” said Mark Richard, former president and current counsel to the United Faculty of Miami Dade College. “The process was transparent and the trustees kept their word that it would be fair. We're looking forward to working with Madeline so she can continue to do her good work at MDC.”

Hialeah Girl Pumariega, a graduate of Hialeah Senior High School, started at the College as a student-athlete at Kendall Campus. She played on the women’s basketball team from 1986-87. “I was rooting for her, mostly because she's a Miami girl, and that famous line they were referring to—that she’ll always be a Hialeah girl—really stuck with me,” said Anthony Valenzuela, president of the Kendall Campus Student Government Association. “I think that is who Miami Dade College needs, someone who is bonded with the community the way she is. She's gonna be an excellent asset and leader for Miami Dade College.” In 1988, she started her professional career at MDC, taking a part-time job as an assistant women’s basketball coach. During her 25 years at the College, Pumariega completed stints as an academic advisor and adjunct faculty at Kendall Campus, dean of students at Wolfson Campus, and dean of students and administration at Medical Campus. She was promoted to Wolfson Campus president in 2011, playing an integral role in expanding the Culinary Institute and launching The Idea Center. A year later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and was at a personal crossroads. After some soul-searching, she left MDC in 2013 to lead Take Stock in Children. “Take Stock was so good for my soul,” Pumariega said. “To be there with students and [make] a difference statewide.” Two years later, she was selected as the first female and Hispanic

“ 

I was rooting for her, mostly because she’s a Miami girl, and that famous line they were referring to—that she’ll always be a Hialeah girl—really stuck with me. I think that is who Miami Dade College needs...

Anthony Valenzuela, president of the Kendall Campus Student Government Association

Chancellor of the Florida College System, which serves around 800,000 students throughout 28 colleges in the state. She is currently the executive vice president and provost at Tallahassee Community College, where she has worked for a year and a half. Pumariega is expected to start at MDC the first week of January and get a $500,000 compensation packet. “She is part of the history at MDC,” said Rolando Montoya, who has served as the College’s interim president for the past 14 months. “She knows the institution very well [and] has a lot of experiences that she can now bring back to our college.”

Search’s History The College started searching for a new president in February 2019 after Eduardo J. Padrón, who worked at MDC for almost five decades and served as college president for 24 years, decided to step down. Tuesday’s quick decision stood in stark contrast to the College’s initial query, which ended with the BOT rebooting the process on July 24, 2019 instead of selecting a new president. They argued that the pool of candidates wasn’t diverse enough but kept MDC’s Executive Vice President and Provost Lenore Rodicio, who was a finalist, as the lone holdover in the process. Faculty protested the decision, saying the community had been hoodwinked and the decision was fraught with backdoor polyticking. A week later, eight MDC professors filed a lawsuit against the BOT to demand transparency. On September 17, 2019, the College tabbed Montoya, who was retired at the time, to serve as interim president; three weeks later, they hired AGB Search to continue looking for Padrón’s replacement. Despite that, controversy continued to swirl around the search. On March 5 of this year, a conga line of professors carried a wooden coffin in front of Kendall Campus as a protest, calling the search a sham and saying it was akin to

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DANELIS OLIVERA-HERRERA / THE REPORTER

Breaking News: Madeline Pumariega speaks to the media at the Chapman Conference Center shortly after being selected as Miami Dade College's new president on Nov. 17. the “death of education.” Then the coronavirus pandemic hit and the College decided to cancel in-person classes on March 12 before going online 17 days later. That impacted the new presidential search because candidates had until March 21 to apply so the College extended the deadline to Oct. 23. Combined, both searches cost MDC more than $350,000.

Tuesday’s Interviews Pumariega, Rodicio, Morgan Phillips (the vice chancellor for academic excellence at Pima Community College) and Gregory Fowler (the president of Southern New Hampshire University’s Global Campus) all made their pleas to the MDC community last week and were allotted 45-minute interviews with the BOT today. The candidates were to the point, allowing the process to end two hours early. Phillips, who stood out to the presidential search committee because of his focus on relationship-building and collaborative leadership, mentioned three times

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during his interview that he would need time to acclimate himself to MDC and the local community. Fowler used a barrage of inspirational quotes, including selections from Harry Truman, Steve Jobs and the late Clayton Christensen, who was an academic consultant. He also used a bevy of sports analogies and re-emphasized the need to remain innovative to stay relevant. Rodicio wore a navy blue blazer as she walked briskly into the Chapman Center. She was methodical, answering eight questions in less than 30 minutes, and unlike previous interviews, her voice did not tremble at the start of her presentation. She seemed at ease, even drawing a laugh from the crowd when she answered a question about the best leader she has worked for. “This is in no way a reflection of any of the other leaders I've worked with, as I know one of them is sitting behind me,” Rodicio said shortly before naming her former boss at the then InterAmerican Campus (now the Eduardo J. Padrón Campus), Gina Cortés-Suárez. The crowd erupted

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in laughter because Montoya was seated behind Rodicio. In a letter of recommendation during the first search, Padrón called Rodicio the most competent and complete person he has ever met. During her 18 years at the school, her roles have included stints as a professor, department chairperson, dean, project director, vice provost and—most recently—executive vice president and provost. Trustee Bernie Navarro, who advocated for Rodicio during the last search, called her a great candidate but said the board was seeking a different skill set. “Now it’s time for the process to end,” Navarro said. “Time to heal. Time for our institution, Miami Dade College, to move forward with Madeline.” Pumariega, who was the last candidate to apply for the position, said she is ready for that challenge. “I'm very grateful and ready to usher in the next era of excellence at Miami Dade College,” she said. Staff writer Kevin Boulandier contributed to this story.


6 NEWS | NOVEMBER 20, 2020

THE REPORTER

ELECTED OFFICIAL

MDC Alumna Wins Seat On Miami-Dade County School Board In District 9 ‰‰ Eight years ago, Luisa Santos graduated from the Honors College at Kendall Campus. On Nov. 3, she won a seat on the Miami-Dade County School Board in District 9. By Adriana Dos Santos adriana.dossantos002@mymdc.net Kendall Campus alumna Luisa Santos won a spot on the Miami-Dade County School Board in District 9 on Nov. 3. The 30-year-old defeated Dennis Moss, who spent 27 years as a county commissioner but is terming out. Santos collected 52 percent of the vote compared to Moss’ 48 percent during the general election after defeating three other candidates in the primary election in August. Her campaign platform was based around mental health services for students, better wages for educators and creating better support systems in the classrooms. “I feel very happy and excited to get to work,” Santos said. “[I plan] to make sure that there is equity and access in this digital learning age, ensuring that we begin to work on mental health support for students. [We’re having] a listening session throughout the entire district to make sure that we capture all those voices that we didn’t get to hear from in the campaign.” Santos entered the race last November as a political novice but had shown glimmers of interest in the political arena. In 2016, she appeared in a campaign ad for Hillary Clinton’s presidential run, and in 2018, she worked the phone banks during Andrew Gillum’s gubernatorial run.

AMANDA ESPOSITO / REPORTER FILE PHOTO

All Smiles: Luisa Santos poses next to one of her campaign posters prior to the primary election in August.

Winning the District 9 seat was a personal mission for Santos, who grew up in the area attending Perrine Elementary School, Southwood Middle School and Coral Reef High School. “There are challenges that faced District 9 specifically that I know from lived experience,” Santos said. “[It] feels so gratifying to be able to not only realize the potential of a great District 9 public education and what it can do for our students as it has done for me, but to also do a bit of work on the gaps that I see and saw as a student.” Santos emigrated to Miami from Colombia as an undocumented immigrant when she was 8. She attended the Honors College at Kendall Campus where she earned an associate’s degree in international relations in 2012. As a student at the College, she kept highly-engaged by attending the Washington and Salzburg seminars. Santos was elected as a student government president and interned in the office of former College President Eduardo J. Padrón the summer before transferring to Georgetown University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political economics with a minor in education from Georgetown in 2014. That same year she founded Lulu’s Nitrogen Ice Cream in Edgewater. “Miami Dade College poured into me and gave me opportunities, even while I was still an undocumented student, that really set me up for success,” Santos said. “I’m really grateful to my public school education and to Miami Dade College for opening doors of opportunity, giving me knowledge, tools and training to be able to take on serving on the fourth largest school district.”

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CYBERSECURITY

New Bachelor’s Degree Program In Cybersecurity To Be Offered In January ‰‰ A new bachelor’s degree program in cybersecurity will be offered at the North and Wolfson campuses starting in January.

By Alina Halley alina.halley001@mymdc.net When the coronavirus pandemic forced the world’s economy to move online, it gave hackers an influx of activity to work with. Since March, the FBI’s Cyber Division says it has gone from receiving 1,000 cyberattack complaints a day to 4,000. Miami Dade College is doing something to combat the issue. It’s offering a new bachelor’s degree program in cybersecurity in January at the Wolfson and North campuses. The pathway will provide students with critical thinking, analytical and technical skills to protect institutions—especially financial and medical ones—from the growing threat of cyberattacks. Curriculum will include coursework in ethical hacking, information security management, network defense, penetration testing, computer forensics, risk management and ethics in cybersecurity. “Because of the huge demand there is for a workforce, it was a natural transition to develop a four-year degree in order to prepare students for higher job opportunities,” said Antonio Delgado, MDC’s Dean of Engineering, Technology and Design.

Prior to admission into the program, students must obtain an associate’s degree or have completed at least 60 college credit hours from an accredited institution. Applicants must also have taken cybersecurity fundamentals (CTS 1120), networking technologies (CTS 1134) and Linux+ (CTS 111) as prerequisites, as well as one of the following: introduction to secure scripting (CIS 1531), introduction to C++ programming (COP 1334) or introduction to python programming (COP 1047C). The College worked closely with industry leaders such as Florida Power & Light, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Assurance Wireless and BankUnited for about three years to put the curriculum together. Students are expected to finish the 120-credit program in four years. The estimated tuition cost is $15,586.80. It’s the first bachelor’s degree program added by MDC since 2016. The College currently offers 22 bachelor’s programs. “It was a really long process because [you] need to have a really strong community engagement and support from local industry, local companies and leaders,” Delgado said. But the new bachelor’s degree program isn’t the only way that MDC has expanded its cybersecurity offerings. The School of Engineering and Technology received three grants this summer from the National

ALICE MORENO / THE REPORTER

Virtual Vigilant: The Cybersecurity Center of the Americas at Wolfson Campus is part of the College's curriculum centered around educating students to recognize cyberattacks. Security Agency and the National Science Foundation—totaling more than $500,000—to strengthen the College’s cybersecurity curriculum and its cybersecurity pathway from high school to college. As part of those grants, the school will offer summer training programs for Miami-Dade County public high school teachers and students interested in exploring the field. The College also opened the Cybersecurity Center of the Americas, a facility designed to mimic a security operations center, in the

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fall of 2018. It’s located at Wolfson Campus, 300 N.E. 2nd Ave., in Room 2103-06 and allows students to practice their cybersecurity skills. It opened in the fall of 2018 and houses the Cyber Range, a stateof-the-art training platform that allows students and industry professionals to engage in simulations of real-world cyberattacks. At the center, students can also obtain hands-on experience in writing code and creating security programs. They can also attend forums and events about cybersecurity.

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The Cyber Range is similar to a flight simulator, a professional virtual environment created to train cybersecurity professionals in the most real-world scenario possible. “The computers and programs are similar to the ones that are used in the professional world,” said Jorge Ortega, the CyberSecurity Center director. “The key training platform is called the Cyber Range, which is able to simulate real-world cyberattacks and provide students with the critical hands-on skills needed to be a cybersecurity professional.”

MDC The Reporter


8 NEWS | NOVEMBER 20, 2020

THE REPORTER

STUDENT FILM

Inside Out Nominated For Award At Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival ‰‰ Inside Out, a 15-minute documentary about Miami Dade College’s prison exchange program, was nominated for the Best Student Film Award at the 2020 Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival.

By Carolina Soto carolina.soto005@mymdc.net In the spring of 2019, Rocio Sullivan documented two Miami Dade College classes as part of her thesis project for the School of Entertainment & Design Technology. The courses—constitutional law and introduction to psychology—were different from the College’s usual offerings, they were taught inside a prison. S u l l i v a n’s 15-minute doc u ment a r y, Inside Out, features the College’s Inside Out Prison Exchange Program. It’s one of five films nominated for the Best Student SULLIVAN Film Award at the 2020 Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. Winners will be announced on Nov. 27. You can watch the film at https://watch. eventive.org/fliff2020/play/5f8a9e17a09bc6 00f98536ee/5f8a8f2c7a2ebf0102e60749. “My whole life I’ve lived telling myself that when a person is bad, they are bad,” Sullivan said. “[But] going through this experience has made me realize that’s not always the case and that second chances should be given.” The Inside Out Prison Exchange Program

featured 15 MDC students and 15 incarcerated students taking classes together at the Everglades Correctional Institution, a facility for adult males in Miami-Dade County. The program, founded by criminal justice professor Samantha Carlo and psychology professor Minca Davis-Brantley in 2018, prepare inmates for life after prison. “This documentary shines a light on the intelligence and talent that exists in prisons,” Carlo said. “People need to understand that the individuals in prisons are human beings and that if we do not invest in them and help them gain access to education, we are not helping our communities.” Born in Peru, Sullivan moved to New York City in 1980 and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Union County College in 1993. She enrolled at MDC in 2016 to pursue a bachelor’s degree in film, television and digital media production in the SEDT. “I always knew I loved the arts, from photography to writing, but I never knew how to put the love I had for it together,” said Sullivan, who owns the realtor company Crealoa International Realty. “And it wasn’t until a friend of mine passed away that I felt this urge to tell her story but I didn’t know how so that is when I knew I had to go back to school to learn.” That is where she met Adrian Gracia, an assistant professor at SEDT. He told her about the Inside Out Prison Exchange Program and helped her build a five-person crew to start the project. They faced some obstacles. Due to the prison’s tight security measures, they were only allowed to visit the Everglades Correctional Institution twice to conduct interviews. As a result, the film, which was shot using a Blackmagic URSA and a Sony a7 II, was shortened to 15 minutes—she originally

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE INSIDE OUT PRISON EXCHANGE PROGRAM

In The Running: Inside Out, a film about Miami Dade College’s prison exchange program, was nominated for the Best Student Film Award at the 2020 Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. planned it to about 45 minutes. “I remember how excited they were to tell their stories and how respectful they all were, standing silently and looking on intently while their fellow ‘inside’ classmates spoke candidly about their lives and about how much this opportunity meant to them,” Garcia said. Sullivan hopes to release a second part to the documentary if she gets approval. It will focus on the Second Chance Pell Program, a federal project aimed at helping incarcerated people attain degrees. The pell program expands on the Inside Out Prison Exchange Program and features 20 three-credit classes. It’s scheduled to start in January and will only have incarcerated students.

Classes will be taught at the Everglades Correctional Institution, where students can receive an associate’s degree in entrepreneurship, and the Everglades Re-Entry Center, where they can earn a pre-bachelor of arts degree. Sullivan, who is expected to graduate from MDC at the end of the Spring 2021 semester, plans to continue working on the project after she graduates. “We need to give everyone in this country a fair shake and a fighting chance. We leave too many behind, too many forgotten, too many are victims of a system that’s stacked against them,” Garcia said. “We need more love in our hearts, and we need to give each other a chance to be better than we were before.”

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NOVEMBER 20, 2020 | NEWS

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9

ALUMNUS

Former Wolfson Honors Student Creating Robotic Arm To Help Paralysis Patients ‰‰ Nelson Hidalgo, who graduated from the Wolfson Campus Honors College this summer, is creating an orthopedic device to help patients who are paralyzed. By Kevin Boulandier kevin.boulandier001@mymdc.net Like most 10-year-olds, Nelson Hidalgo enjoyed his PlayStation. But it wasn’t gaming that interested him the most— it was opening the console and fixing issues it encountered that captivated him. Today, the 20-year-old biomedical engineering student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is using his interest in technology, engineering, and science to create an orthopedic robotic device—an exoskeleton arm—to help paralysis patients. “I noticed that there aren’t many products in the market that can help patients who suffer from paralysis,” Hidalgo said. “So we started researching and designing the product to find the technology that could be used for the purpose of helping the patient.” Hidalgo was born on Sept. 11, 2000 in Ciego de Ávila, Cuba. In September of 2015, he moved to Miami looking for opportunities to better his life. As a sophomore, he enrolled at Miami Springs Senior High School. “I became very focused when I came to America. When I got here, my math skills were very poor. So I went to Khan Academy and watched every math video that I found to learn the concepts that I wasn’t taught in Cuba,” Hidalgo said. “I have the mindset that perfectly fits in the culture of pursuing the American Dream.” After graduating high school in 2018, he attended Wolfson Campus and studied electrical engineering. He joined the Maker Labs—a workspace that provides student researchers with workshops, materials, mentorship so their ideas come to fruition—and became president of the Makers Club. Hidalgo led workshops about rapid prototyping and designing 3D models using CAD software. Hidalgo augmented that learning by working as a

PHOTO COURTESY OF CRISTIAN LAZZARI

Innovative: Nelson Hidalgo, who graduated from the Honors College at Wolfson Campus this summer, is working on a robotic arm that will help patients with paralysis. research assistant at the University of Miami’s Neural Interface Lab this past summer. He assisted with research about signal processing and paralyzed patients through the Bridge to the Baccalaureate program, a project that funds research opportunities for MDC students. That is when he noticed that devices to help stroke patients weren’t widely available and thought about creating a more accessible option. “The idea came from talking to the patients and noticing that the patients who suffered from paralysis did not have the products in the market to help them be mobile on an everyday basis,” Hidalgo said.

But he didn’t have the resources or funding at the time to go through with his vision. That would soon change. After being awarded the Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship—a $40,000 scholarship—and graduating from MDC this summer, Hidalgo transferred to MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and joined MIT Sandbox—a program that provides up to $25,000 in funding and mentoring for student-initiated entrepreneurship ideas. The program gave Hidalgo $1,000 dollars for early-stage funding, which he will use to do market research about patient needs, commercialize his idea and fundraise more money to build the product. It will help him build a business model and search for investors in the biomedical field. Hidalgo soon created a team to help him with the project. The goal is to build a mechanically operated arm brace that helps patients move their arms when they suffer from paralysis or have an injury that restricts movement. “As of now, the device focuses on helping patients who have upper paralysis,” Hidalgo said. “The hand is one of the parts of our body that we use the most in our everyday lives so that is kind of the reasoning that is our focus right now.” The team, which met at MDC before Hidalgo moved to MIT, consists of: Karl Julius Mueller, who leads the business model development; Manuel Faria, who assists in primary market research and explore tech; Linus Gartig, who assists in the digital publications and does the graphic design, Christian Claro, who focuses on material engineering; and Hidalgo, who develops the prototype, recruits the MIT engineers and computer scientists. They hope to have the product finalized within the next three years. “We are still in the early stages but it is a fruitful beginning,” said Mueller, a 20-year-old biology student in the Honors College at Kendall Campus. “I want to get our first clinical trials done soon, but before that, we want to know where exactly we need the attachment of the arm, the angles, and how it can be attached. There are many things that this arm still needs that we are working on. But we plan to get together with a clinic that can help us make our dreams become a [reality].”

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10 SPORTS | NOVEMBER 20, 2020

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SOFTBALL

Outfielder Looks To Build Off Strong Freshman Campaign For Lady Sharks ‰‰ Alexandra Jugenheimer is expected to be one of the Lady Sharks’ offensive catalysts this season after posting a .425 batting average and scoring 21 runs in 29 games last year.

By Daniel Tamariz daniel.tamariz001@mymdc.net Alexandra Jugenheimer has always had a fascination with sports. Growing up in Fort Mill, South Carolina, her parents made sure she stayed active. Jugenheimer participated in soccer, gymnastics, and dance. But, it was softball that captured her attention. Kicking a ball around or doing somersaults was nothing compared to the feeling of standing in the batter’s box. “It’s the one thing I love doing the most and I’m so grateful I’ve been able to play up to this point,” said Jugenheimer, who is currently a sophomore outfielder at Miami Dade College. “Softball pushes me to my limits and allows me to know what it’s like to fail and also succeed in the best ways possible.” When she was 11, Jugenheimer and her family moved to Vero Beach. She played softball at Storm Grove Middle School and eventually enrolled at Vero Beach High School where she won district championships in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Jungenheimer posted impressive statistics at Vero Beach

ALICE MORENO / THE REPORTER

Big Production: Sophomore Alexandra Jugenheimer batted .425, scored 21 runs and had 16 RBI for the Lady Sharks in 29 games last season. including hitting two home runs in the first inning of a game against Lincoln Park Academy in 2018 and boasting a .453 batting average her senior year. While she was winning district titles in Indian River County she also played travel ball for the 16U and 18U Gold Coast Hurricane

softball teams. It was at a tournament in Clearwater where she caught the attention of Lady Shark’s Head Coach Gina de Agüero. Before bringing Jugenheimer to Miami Dade College, De Agüero invited her to play for her travel team, the Lady Canes, during the

summer of 2019. During her freshman season at MDC, Jugenheimer became an integral part of the squad boasting a .425 batting average with 21 runs and 16 RBI through 29 games before the season was cut short due to coronavirus concerns. “She has an incredible amount

of pop when she swings. She’s really quick in the field, has good grades and a very positive attitude,” De Agüero said. “Recruiting her was a no brainer.” Jugenheimer took advantage of the elongated off-season to work on her defense and conditioning. She did body weight workouts— such as pushups and planks— led by De Agüero on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and ran a mile at least twice a week. On the recommendation of her coach, Jugenheimer threw tennis balls against a wall to work on hand quickness and reaction time. She continued honing her batting skills by working out at The Field House batting cages in Vero Beach. “She has gone from [being] a great player to an exceptional one,” said Lady Sharks’ sophomore pitcher Haley Duncan, who is Jugenheimer’s roommate. “She has always been hard-working and is always striving to play as hard as she can.” Jugenheimer is looking forward to completing her first full season at MDC. The team is scheduled to start its season at the Junior College Kick-Off Tournament in Clearwater on Jan. 29. “Being a part of the softball team has allowed me to improve on things on the field as well as in the classroom,” Jugenheimer said. “I’ve truly enjoyed my time spent here and can’t wait for the upcoming season and what it holds.”

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

Lady Sharks Counting On Veteran-Laden Team To Replace Nation’s Top Scorer ‰‰ The Miami Dade College women’s basketball team is counting on a bevy of sophomores this season after losing their best player, Daliyah Brown, who transferred to Liberty University. By Jose Tovar jose.tovar007@mymdc.net The Lady Sharks are coming off one of their best performances in recent years at the Florida College System Activities Association State Tournament. They reached the Final Four but lost 71-64 to Gulf Coast State College in the semi-final game on March 6 in Niceville, Florida. That night, they lost more than just a game. Combo-guard Daliyah Brown—who averaged 26.6 points, 9.1 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game for the Lady Sharks last year while leading the nation in scoring—suited up for the last time for MDC before transferring to Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. “She was our leader,” said sophomore guard Ahmari Young. “Everything we did was through her.” This season the team is relying on nine returning players and five new additions to fill Brown’s void. The new additions include: guards Mikera Patton from Southeast High School in Bradenton and Jamaica Williams from

Meade Senior High School in Maryland. It also includes three international players: guards Camila Barreno from Ecuador and Amanda de la sene Cruz from Brazil, and center Zaccheaus Oluwatunmise from Nigeria. “I like that we all come from different places because we bring to the team different personalities and styles,” Barreno said. Returning players include forwards Nazlah Morrow (14.5 points and 9.6 rebounds per game) and Alise Markova (six points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.75 blocks per game) and guards Ahmari Young (10.9 points per game) and Anija Payne (5.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per game). Point guard Rio Yamazaki, who averaged 10.3 points and five assists in nine games last year before missing 23 games due to a broken left wrist, is also back. Head Coach Susan Summons believes the squad will build off last year’s 20-12 record if they work on their communication skills and build the cohesiveness they lacked last year. “Developing more team chemistry and learning how to play with each [of] the new players is the key,” Summons said. “They are hungry, more confident, and know they must work harder [to] close out games strong.” Last season, the Lady Sharks averaged 79.7 points and 49.1 rebounds per game but had problems staying consistent. The www.mdcthereporter.com

best example is a 61-51 loss versus Broward College—a team that won only six games last year. The team is now focused on this season. They started practice in September but center Larissa Abreu and de la sene Cruz have been unable to join the team due to travel restrictions in Brazil. They missed the team’s first scrimmage, a 64-52 loss against DME Academy in Daytona Beach on Oct. 17. The Lady Sharks will travel to Fort Myers on Nov. 21 to play against St. Petersburg

College at the Florida Southwestern State College Scrimmage Classic, and will host Florida National University on Dec. 14 before starting the regular season at the Theodore R. Gibson Health Center, 11011 S.W. 104th St, versus DME Academy on Jan. 20 at 5:30 p.m. “I think that everybody will just have to step up and take on their own role on the team,” Morrow said. “I expect us to be conference champions, win regionals, move on to nationals, and take nationals.”

ALICE MORENO / THE REPORTER

Squad: The Lady Sharks are counting on nine returning players to replace the nation's leading scorer Daliyah Brown, who transferred to Liberty University.

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MEN'S BASKETBALL

From London To Miami

Transfer Finds New Home At The Shark Tank ‰‰ Ciaran Sandy, a 21-year-old transfer from the College of The Holy Cross in Massachusetts, is one of the Miami Dade College men’s basketball team’s top additions this season. By Jose Tovar jose.tovar007@mymdc.net Ciaran Sandy traveled more than 4,000 miles this summer to join the Miami Dade College men’s basketball team. In recent years, the London-born wing player has gotten accustomed to using his frequent flyer miles. Since 2016, he has played basketball at a high school in Maryland, a boarding school in Connecticut and a Division I college in Massachusetts. Now, the 21-year-old brings his talent to the Shark Tank. His experience will be essential this season because he joins a team that features eight true freshmen. “His leadership has been very key [to us],” said Shark’s point guard Jordan Brown. “He’s a redshirt freshman coming from a Division I school so he has the experience and he helps us a lot with different points on and off the court.” Sandy was born in England on Nov. 9, 1999. He played soccer, cricket, rugby and tennis, but basketball stole his heart when he was 14. His height and athleticism made him a good fit for the sport and he learned the basics by watching videos and doing ball-handling drills. Eventually, he joined the Kent Crusaders Basketball Club in Gillingham, England. “It’s funny because I was just thrown into the fire,” Sandy said. “The first day we pretty much played and I was decent. I could run, dribble the ball, shoot it, and somehow block it. I just naturally picked it up.” In 2015, he earned a spot on the Southeast England U-17 Regional Team. He was one of

ANNABELLA GOMEZ / THE REPORTER

Setting A Good Example: Ciaran Sandy, a six-foot-seven inch wing player who transferred to Miami Dade College from The College of The Holy Cross in Massachusetts, is expected to bring leadership to the Sharks this season. 12 players selected to compete against other teams in the country at the England Basketball Regional Tournament. One year later, while on a vacation, he caught the eye of a scout who saw him playing at the Brooklyn Bridge Park basketball courts and offered him a scholarship to play

at the Gilman School, an all-boys preparatory school in Baltimore, Maryland. Although it was a completely different lifestyle and culture—one that was thousands of miles away from his family and friends—Sandy adapted well to life in the United States.

“It was overwhelming at first because I had already set my mind that I was going back home,” Sandy said. “I was worried about my friends and family but overall, I was pretty happy because that’s always been one of my goals. I wanted to come over here because this is where the best basketball is.” Sandy played his junior and senior seasons at Gilman before attending Avon Old Farms School, a post-graduate boarding school in Connecticut, in 2018. There, he averaged 15.6 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. His performance earned him a scholarship to The College of The Holy Cross, a Division I school in Worcester, Massachusetts. But things didn’t go as planned. The school got a new head coach at the start of the 2019-20 season, and he found himself at the end of the bench. Sandy redshirted last season but continued to practice with the team. It was time to move on. He searched for scholarship opportunities at other schools but his options decreased when the pandemic hit and went back to London in March. “I wanted to transfer,” he said. “But COVID-19 meant that I couldn’t go on my visits to the Division I schools that were trying to recruit me.” While Sandy took online classes at The Holy Cross, former Sharks assistant coach Chris Vincent—now a video coordinator at The University of Southern Mississippi—sent him emails trying to recruit him to MDC. He eventually committed to the Sharks in July and is majoring in exercise science. Head Coach Kevin Ledoux expects the six-foot-seven-inch Sandy to provide depth and leadership to his revamped roster. “What I really expect from him is to consistently be a leader on and off the court,” Ledoux said. “He brings a lot of maturity to our team.”

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12 A&E | NOVEMBER 20, 2020

THE REPORTER

CONCERTS

I MissAndConcerts There’s Nothing I Can Do About It

Flashback: The Chainsmokers perform during their World War Joy tour with Australian pop rock band 5 Seconds of Summer at The American Airlines Arena on Oct. 24, 2019. Pictured left to right are: Andrew Taggart from The Chainsmokers and Calum Hood from 5 Seconds of Summer. CAROLINA SOTO / THE REPORTER

CAROLINA SOTO SAYS SHE MISSES ATTENDING CONCERTS BECAUSE THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC HAS FORCED ARTISTS TO EITHER CANCEL OR RESCHEDULE EVENTS. By Carolina Soto carolina.soto005@mymdc.net 2020 was supposed to be an amazing year. Even the sound of it sounded brilliant. Unfortunately, things started to look upside down when the coronavirus pandemic took over the globe. Most planned events were either cancelled or forced to reschedule, from graduations to weddings, sporting events, and for music lovers, the one thing we look forward to the most—concerts. I had a list of concerts I planned to attend in 2020. Those plans included seeing British pop singer Harry Styles in his Love On Tour to seeing psychedelic Australian one-manband Tame Impala. It was hard for me to accept that I would

not be seeing some of my favorite artists inperson. Attending concerts has always been a big hobby for me. I try to go to at least once every month. Although I understand concerts are not happening for the safety of fans and artists, it still feels like a huge emotional loss. From screaming at the top of your lungs, jumping around and dancing without a care in the world, to the blinding lights and sometimes even special effects and beams of confetti falling everywhere—no other feeling compares. I miss walking into a venue, not knowing who’s playing for the opening act and walking out with a new favorite band. I miss waking up the next morning with a sore throat and my voice gone from singing too loud. I miss attempting to catch a guitar

pick thrown into the crowd. I miss geeking out to music with people I just met. I miss rushing to buy a ticket for a show I know will sell out. I long for it all. When I saw rock band Mayday Parade in Nov. 2018, I witnessed a stranger next to me throw a bra at the band’s frontman, others holding their loved ones tightly, and I had goosebumps and shed tears. In Oct. 2019, I decided to skip school to spend 10 hours in line with friends, surviving off of Dorito chips and sharing one umbrella under the rain, to see electronic duo The Chainsmokers and Australian pop rock band 5 Seconds of Summer. It ended up being totally worth it because we got front row seats. In January, I purchased tickets to see British pop band The 1975, a band I’ve been supporting since 2013. I was excited for June to arrive to finally see them. Unfortunately, those feelings were erased when they cancelled their North American tour due to the pandemic.

We still have no idea when in-person concerts will happen again. Zeke Emaneul, a senior healthcare expert at the University of Pennsylvania told New York Times Magazine that concerts and other large gatherings will likely return in fall of 2021. Will we be forced to wear masks? Will we be forced to be encased in plastic bubbles? On Oct. 12, rock band The Flaming Lips, performed a socially-distanced concert where they encased themselves and fans inside individual plastic bubbles in their hometown of Oklahoma City. The venue usually has a capacity of 3,500 but for this occasion, it was filled with 100 bubbles for 100 people. This is the longest I’ve gone without attending a concert. Whenever we are able to go back to concerts, one thing’s for sure—I’ll be one of the first to go. But for the time being, I’ll be blasting music through my headphones and pretending I’m at one.

MOVIE REVIEW

Christopher Nolan’s Tenet Is Impressive But Lacks Character Development ‰‰ Tenet is a movie about a secret agent embarking on a dangerous mission to prevent the start of World War III. By Daniel Tamariz daniel.tamariz0001@mymdc.net Tenet was written and directed by Christopher Nolan, the visionary behind films such as Inception, Interstellar and The Dark Knight Trilogy. The film was released on Sept. 3 and boasts several big names such as John David Washington (The Protagonist), Robert Pattinson (Neil), Elizabeth Debicki (Kat), and Kenneth Branagh (Andrei Sator). In classic Nolan fashion, the film wastes no time and immediately thrusts the audience into a whole new mysterious world. It begins with a terrorist attack on a symphony where it appears some of the bullets fired are moving backwards. Our protagonist, who is referred to as The Protagonist for the entirety of the film, is taken to a secret facility where they introduce him to inverted objects. These objects are explained to be sent from the future and move backwards in time instead of forward, so he must manipulate the flow of time to prevent World War III. Like Inception, the film is perplexing to

the general movie-going audience. For the first hour, it is difficult to comprehend what exactly is unraveling on the screen in front of you and you find themselves struggling to catch up with the plot. It becomes evident as the film trudges on that Nolan is making an effort to keep details mysterious and he relies on the audience having to think for themselves with only a few scenes consisting of expository dialogue. The few scenes that do consist of dialogue only serve to move the plot forward instead of developing and fleshing out the characters. Most of the characters in the film seem one dimensional and the audience never really gets to find out who the characters are or what their motivations are. Similar to most Nolan films, it is very impressive on the technical side. The action keeps you on the edge of your seat with the help of an incredible score by composer Ludwig Göransson. While the film is technically impressive, it feels very emotionally shallow. The characters don’t resonate resulting in the stakes feeling very low even though the fate of the world is at hand. Fans of Nolan’s previous films will undoubtedly enjoy Tenet, but it feels complex just for the sake of being complex. www.mdcthereporter.com

PHOTO COURTESY OF WARNER BROS. PICTURES

Top Secret: Christopher Nolan's, Tenet, was released on Sept. 3 in select theaters. The film features a secret agent on a dangerous mission to prevent the start of World War III by manipulating the flow of time.

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THE MANDALORIAN

Star Wars Live-Action Series Releases Long-Awaited Second Season

THE MANDALORIAN—THE STORY OF A GUNFIGHTER WHO TRAVELS THROUGH THE GALAXY TO HUNT HIS BOUNTY—DEBUTED ITS SECOND SEASON OCT. 30 ON DISNEY+. THE SHOW IS THE FIRST LIVE-ACTION SERIES FROM THE STAR WARS FRANCHISE. By Gabrille Torna gabrille.torna001@mymdc.net Walt Disney’s latest hit series, The Mandalorian, was renewed for a second season. The Mandalorian is the first live-action series from the Star Wars franchise. It tells the story of Din Djarin (also known as Mando), a lone bounty hunter who travels through the outer reaches of the galaxy to hunt his new bounty, The Child. The second season—scheduled to be released October 30—will stream on Disney+ every Friday at midnight. Written and directed by Jon Favreau, The Mandalorian is based five years after Return of the Jedi (1983), the third movie of the original Star Wars trilogy. Although the show briefly mentions events from the trilogy, you don’t need to watch the movies to understand the show, so both long-time Star Wars fans and newbies can tune in. Like the first one, season two features action-filled adventures on the fringes of the galaxy. The first season included flying round space, blowing stuff up, and chilling fighting scenes. Action scenes were accompanied by an electrifying soundtrack. When the main theme, which was created by Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson, kicks in, it makes the fights feel as iconic as those seen in the Star Wars movies. Most of the music in the

series doesn’t include long lyrics, which mirrors the way that characters say few lines. Season one was also full of loveable characters, the most famous one being Baby Yoda. But as the second season starts unfoiling, it seems like new characters were added to the plot. The season’s trailer mentions the Jedi for the first time and implies that we might finally get a glimpse of The Child and his species. If the trailer didn’t get fans fully excited to see the return of Mando and The Child, then a fan-favorite return might. Actress Rosario Dawson implied in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that she will play Ahsoka Tano, a female character seen in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, in The Mandalorian. If Ahsoka does make a cameo in the series, it will most likely be in the one episode written and directed by Dave Filoni, who directed Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The anticipation to see Ahsoka Tano—which some speculate will happen on episode five— might outweigh the excitement of seeing Baby Yoda on the screen once again. Whatever this season will bring us, be sure to grab your favorite Baby Yoda toy and snuggle up to watch The Mandalorian in action. Just like the Mandalorians said, “this is the way.”

Space Hunt: The second season of The Mandalorian, Star Wars' first live-action series, made its debut Oct. 30 on Disney+. It tells the story of a gunfighter who hunts his bounty through space. PHOTO COURTESY OF FAIRVIEW ENTERTAINMENT AND WALT DISNEY STUDIOS

ALBUM REVIEW

Ariana Grande Finds Self Love In Her Latest Album, Positions ‰‰ Michael Cuervo writes about Ariana Grande releasing her sixth studio album, Positions, on October 30.

By Michael Cuervo michael.cuervo001@mymdc.net Ariana Grande broke the charts once again with the release of her sixth studio album, Positions, on Oct. 30. It’s a fourteen track LP that, according to Grande’s interview with radio personality Zach Sang, was created from a much more healthy place than her previous albums. Sweetener (2018) shared her love for thenfiancé Pete Davidson and explored her trauma after the Manchester concert bombing. Thank U, Next (2019) was released shortly after in response to the tragic death of her ex, rapper Mac Miller. Now, in Positions, we get to follow her through her journey of healing and self-love. Beginning with track one, Shut Up, we have a beautifully sung intro backed by violins that sets the tone for what is to come in the album and puts trolls on mute. Shut Up is a perfect way to start the album. It says we’re here, this is how this album is going to be, let’s rise above everything else and if you don’t like that then, well, queue track one. 34+35 is a sex-themed bop that plays www.mdcthereporter.com

Self Healing: On Oct. 30, Ariana Grande released her sixth studio album, Positions. The album features Grande singing about self-love and healing.

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lightly into the album adding some muchneeded humor while maintaining the general tone of the album. Motive, which features Doja Cat, who rose to fame primarily through the use of her song Say So on TikTok. It dives into the first glance of attraction, questioning the motives of a partner. Just Like Magic, a testament to Grande’s manifestation of all things good in her life, is a heart-strumming anthem about the idea of love being out of the question forever and celebrating herself. Safety Net featuring Ty Dolla $ign is about learning to open oneself up to love again even after the pain of lost relationships and allowing yourself to be vulnerable—even without a safety net. Positions, which was released as a single on Oct. 23 along with a politically charged music video, gives a look into Grande’s personal and professional life as she takes charge of every role. POV is a powerful self-love song about being loved so much you wish you could love yourself in that same way. Positions is the delicate album we all deserve to close out this ferocious year. It gives everyone an escape into her musical journey and reminds the world to love yourself, love all, and in the words of Grande herself, Shut Up.


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BIPARTISANSHIP

The Bipartisan Divide In Hispanic Miami ‰‰ Andrea Gonzalez explains that the bipartisan divide in Miami’s Hispanic community stems from political parties’ need to exploit their fears of communism and deportation.

By Andrea Gonzalez andrea.gonzalez045@mymdc.net If you strolled by any Hispanic-dominated neighborhood this election year, you would be bombarded with political yard signs for either Donald Trump or Joe Biden. It’s easy to assume neighbors weren’t friendly with each other, as the yard signs often seemed like an indirect political competition with the house next door. But what has caused such a divide between voters has been the fear-mongering injected into the media consumed by Hispanics. There’s the constant warning of communism to Venezuelans, Nicaraguans and Cubans, the threats of deportation to Central American, and many others.

Republicans and Democrats are fighting for a grip on vulnerable voters and fostering bipartisanship in their neighborhoods. But to understand why Hispanics are so vulnerable to these stunts, we must learn the history. Cubans are first-class victims. They are constantly told that Democrats—or the “radical” left—is trying to create a communist regime similar to the one Fidel Castro brought upon the island. Political ads capitalize on the trauma Cubans suffered at the hands of dictators just to get its party a vote. Venezuelans have the same issue. Republican ads say that a candidate who wants to combat economic inequality, close the healthcare gap or reduce the cost of education is just another socialist dictator like Hugo Chavez Frias. Mexicans and Central Americans face similar tactics. Democrat propaganda capitalizes on their fear of being deported—as has happened to many of their country people—to earn their vote. This is not to say that Hispanics don’t have valid concerns about these issues and other issues. Some want the government aid their native countries never gave them, a fair immigration policy and to live the American Dream. Others prefer a government that gives people opportunities rather than aid or simply want to prevent history from repeating itself. But Democrat and Republican ads take it too far. Many Hispanics weren’t raised in the United States

and still struggle to differentiate between capitalism, communism and socialism, yet they are thrown unfounded labels—such as communist Democrats or dream-destroyer Republicans—that have led to an extremely divided political climate. All cesspools of

repeated ideas with no backings to them, but enough to fool people with sensational headlines. Hispanics need to learn to not jump to conclusions when they see a partisan political ad or yard sign. Not every Democrat is a communist baddie or every Republican a

fascist who hates poor people. Political parties are trying to capitalize on your fears so don’t let them—be smarter than the bipartisan divide and do your own research about the candidates. You might be surprised by what you learn.

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STATUES

Let’s Remove Dehumanizing Statues

‰‰ Angelo Lopez debates whether controversial statues should be removed from public spaces because their historical meaning is directly tied to the political climate of their time.

By Angelo Lopez angelo.lopez003@mymdc.net The removal of Confederate statues is a stimulating and controversial topic of contemporary debates. Currently, the United States’ political climate is being shaken over the possibility of removing statues of Civil War Confederate generals. I support this movement to a certain extent because I feel that liberals and conservatives are mistaken in the most extreme cases. Every individual should understand that a statue serves the purpose of representation: it carries symbolic and historical meaning. Like artists have an impulse to create a painting, every civilization wishes to leave a mark in history. Statues are a product of history whose meaning is directly tied to the political climate of its time. So when we talk about statues of Confederate generals who supported slavery being displayed in public spaces,

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there is no denying those statues stand for the cause these men fought for. Glorifying people like General Robert E. Lee with a monument seems, to me, infamous. And with considerable attention to today’s social climate (such as the protests against racism), it seems rather offensive because it ignores past (and current) suffering and oppression. I find

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laughable trying to preserve a Confederate statue born after America’s ‘reconstruction’ era. Asking why should we detest the cause of the confederate is the same as asking why should we not have slavery. At the end of the day, the current cause for minorities to be better represented is a democratic cause. A passion for equality is a passion for democracy and any sort of threat to inequality is a threat to democracy. Preserving a statue with an undemocratic symbolic meaning in a country that takes great pride in its democratic and liberal institutions portrays that country’s inability to introspect its values and ideals. Some say that removing a statue would be considered an act of intolerance. However, one must be conscious that a society cannot be completely tolerant or else it will find itself perished by the intolerant. The cause that Lee and the rest of the Confederates were part of was, more than anything, aimed to dehumanize Blacks. Therefore, American society should not hold on to their statues. A more difficult discussion would be whether one should remove statues of, for example, Christopher Columbus or the founding fathers. It would be erroneous and cartoonish to think of these men as men without flaws; however, there are big differences between Benjamin Franklin and Robert E. Lee. One stands for a cause to dehumanize and the other is contrary. One must take into account context before seeing these men in contemporary eyes, but always without justifying the limits they crossed. As with ‘cancel culture’ (which I oppose), the main goal is to learn and progress rather than to just merely punish. I hope they remove statues of Confederate generals as this will mean that we are progressing toward a more accepting and inclusive society. Those who say that the removal of statues means the removal of identity are half-wrong. What they will remove is the nation’s embarrassment and a reminder that human beings are capable of destroying other people.

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STRESS

The Stress Of Being A College Student ‰‰ Khaylia Sajous argues that college is stressful but there are ways to reduce pressure and make your experience at Miami Dade College work.

By Khaylia Sajous khaylia.sajous001@mymdc.net When I first arrived at Miami Dade College as a freshman, I expected my days to be movie-like. My young, naive high school self had heard stories about college being a great experience where you have the chance to meet new people. I imagined myself walking around campus with a group of people, all of us laughing and making plans to go to the beach right after class. Oh, how wrong I was. What I thought would be filled

with daily adventures, coffee runs and happy strolls around campus turned out to be very stressful days. You can usually find me walking around campus with my computer in my hands because it doesn’t fit in my overfilled backpack, as I review for a test and look as though I’m talking to myself. This is what the college experience really looks like. We often hear a romanticized version of college and come unprepared to deal with the stress that comes with it. Being at MDC is about studying and preparing for the future, whether that means getting a job or transferring to another institution. Many students also have to deal with outside pressures that affect their stress levels. There is a new sense of independence that also means you must fend for yourself. Some students work one or two jobs to make ends meet, while others have to travel long distances to get to class. Maybe you’re caring for a family member or are coping with the loneliness of moving far away from home. Whatever the obstacle, it adds pressure to an already stressful workload. Hopefully, students can use that same sense of independence to their advantage.

Once you stop trying to make your college experience like the ones you see in movies, you’ll see that colleges give you lots of options to make your life easier. At MDC, you can make your own schedule. Nobody knows your limits better than you. You can mix hard and easy classes to make sure there isn’t too much pressure. Making your own schedule also means you can set your classes at any time of the day. Stop putting all your classes in the morning

just because Elle Woods from Legally Blonde did it. Add breaks in between classes or study in the afternoon if you like to sleep in. If you think that meeting during regular class time is too much, try online classes. You can work on the assignments at your own pace and just meet with professors at specific times. College will always be stressful but there are ways to make it work. The ups and downs will be worth it—they will help you be successful later in life.

The Reporter is the free, biweekly student newspaper at Miami Dade College. All content is produced by MDC students. The opinions in this newspaper do not necessarily represent those of the administration, faculty or student body.

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REPUBLICANS

The Election Was A Good Night For Republicans—Even Without Trump ‰‰ Kevin Boulandier argues that even though the Republican Party lost the presidential election on Nov. 3, it saw some gains in Congress.

likely they will stay in the Republican column and give the party a 52-seat majority. The GOP is holding down seats in Kentucky, Maine and South Carolina—they were easy to get for the Republican candidates, even though polls called them competitive. This shows that the

Democrats’ messages to defund the police and get Medicare For All were not a successful strategy to take control of the Senate. But Republicans must keep up the fight for those two seats in Georgia so Biden doesn’t have a blank check to pass his policies. The good news is that it’s looking

By Kevin Boulandier kevin.boulandier001@mymdc.net Election Day saw incumbent Donald Trump lose the presidential election. And while he believes he deserved to win, it’s very unlikely—if not impossible—for him to flip nearly 300,000 votes across three states to overturn the election results. However, Nov. 3 was still a great night for the Republican Party. Here is a preview of what’s to come next in the United States Congress: Republicans have a 50-seat hold in the Senate while Democrats only have 46. Two seats are still up for grabs in Georgia and it seems

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good for the party. Republicans also had a good night at the House of Representatives. Even though Democrats maintained control of the House, their previous majority got smaller as they lost six seats—and it could get smaller as more races are called. Races are still being called but as of right now, Democrats have 219 seats and Republicans 203. This election cycle also saw no Republican incumbent lose their seat in the House. That is a good sign for the 2022 midterm elections. Historically, midterms go well for the party that is not in the White House so that gives the Republicans a good chance to win back the House. They also reached a record within their party by electing 26 Republican women to the House as of today, where 15 of them were non-incumbent. As President Trump put it, this was the “year of the Republican woman.” Despite losing the presidency, this was an election that went well for the Republican party. Not only did the election bring benefits for this term but it positioned itself so there could be more Republican gains in the next election.

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