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Counter Productive

Dante Nahai writes about how Detective Comics #1000 highlights the 80year legacy of legendary DC Comics superhero Batman.

FORUM

The Miami Dade College men’s baseball team and women’s softball team are fighting to qualify for their respective State Tournaments.

A&E

Precious Oden, a former foster care kid, is cooking up a successful career for herself at the Miami Culinary Institute at Wolfson Campus.

State Tournament SPORTS

NEWS

What’s Cookin’

Christopher Tellez writes about how the Trump administration’s policies and sanctions are only making Venezuela’s situation worse.

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4VOL. 8, ISSUE 2 — SEPTEMBER 4VOL. 9, ISSUE 14 — APRIL 26, 16, 2017 2019

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RETIREMENT

Wolfson Campus Science Professor To Retire After 32 Years At MDC ‰‰ Christopher Migliaccio is set to retire at the end of the spring semester, ending his 32-year tenure at the College. Migliaccio, who has worked with the Honors College and the Earth Ethics Institute, is planning on spending the next chapter of his life with his family and nature. By Corbin Bolies corbin.bolies001@mymdc.net The fish. The birds. The tacos. It’s a central element of Wolfson Campus science professor Christopher Migliaccio’s mantra: everything is connected. For 32 years, Migliaccio has prided himself on that interconnected message. As he retires at the end of the semester, it’s just another element of the universe at work. “Everything comes and goes—it’s all a flow,” Migliaccio said. “This is just another piece of that flow.”

The Times They Are A-Changin': Professor Christopher Migliaccio is putting a cap on his 32-year legacy at Miami Dade College. He is retiring at the end of the spring semester.

It’s a flow that’s carried him throughout his life. Migliaccio, 67, was born and raised in Westchester, New York, a suburban county about an hour away from New York City. Growing up with limited time in front of a television screen, he spent most of his time outdoors with friends. As he spent time in the woods with his beagle, his love for nature sprouted. During the summers, his family would drive down to Sanibel Island in Florida, taking a ferry boat over from the west coast. “There was nothing out there except beautiful beaches and shells and fish and birds—and mosquitos,” Migliaccio said. “I just grew up in the water and it was what we did as a family together.” Those summers led Migliaccio to enroll at the University of Miami in 1970, the school he TURN TO RETIREMENT PAGE 8

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OBITUARY

Accounting And Economics Professor, Maria C. Mari, Passes Away At 60 ‰‰ Long-time Kendall Campus professor Maria C. Mari passed away on March 26 due to liver complications.. During her 30 years at the College, Mari was known for her exuberant personality and helped the Phi Beta Lambda chapter at Kendall Campus win hundreds of awards. By Heidi Perez-Moreno heidi.perez003@mymdc.net Maria C. Mari died doing what she loved. On March 26, she collapsed while filing tax forms for a client. Twenty-two hours later, she passed away at Jackson Medical Center from cirrhosis of the liver. Mari, 60, was an accounting and economics professor at Miami

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Dade College for 30 years. “I was there through everything,” said Alexis Rivas who was her business partner at Mari & Rivas CPA. “Her attitude never changed and her personality never changed. She didn’t show any sign that there was something wrong.” Mari was born in Havana, Cuba on Feb. 14, 1959. At the age of three, she emiMARI grated with her family to Miami as a political refugee. “You learn that when you come here, you have to start over and have nothing,” said her brother,

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Manuel Jesus Mari. “She kept that empathy that she saw in other people and wanted to help them to get to where she was.” She got her passion for accounting from her father, Manuel Gus Mari. When Mari was nine years old, she started assisting him at his accounting firm, Manuel G. Mari CPA, during tax season. Mari would go on to earn an associate in arts degree from MDC, a bachelor’s degree in business administration in accounting and a master's in taxation—both from Florida International University. She also earned a doctorate in economics from New York University. During her career, she worked in the financial sector for several large corporations like IBM and Exxon Mobil. She also worked at

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the Internal Revenue Service. In 1989, she first received her certified public accountant license, which allows practicing accountants to provide financial services to the public. It allowed her to work at her father’s firm, which became Maria C. Mari CPA in 1993. Mari’s experience working for large corporations and private firms solidified her background as an accountant. It was an asset that became essential during her time as a MDC professor. She began working at North Campus in 1989 as an accounting and economics professor until she eventually transferred to Kendall Campus in 2003. During classes, she was known for telling her travel stories to

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students, referencing her love for Marvel Comics and sharing her deep passion for anything finance-related. “I [had] the crazy idea of taking a financial accounting class with her, and I don’t even like accounting,” said Maria Samboni, president of Phi Beta Lambda at Kendall Campus. “I told myself ‘I’m going to do it. It’s going to be with her. It’s going to be fun.’ If I hadn’t met her, I probably would’ve never taken financial accounting with her. She’s a very loud person. She was always clowning around, telling jokes. There was not a moment that I remember that she was sad. [In her classes], she mainly talked about her family. The class was TURN TO ORBITUARY PAGE 6

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Reporter Alumna Lands Job At WRCB In Tennessee Jaynell Perera, who served as photo editor and multimedia editor of The Reporter during the 20162017 school year, has accepted a job as a multimedia producer at WRCB, an NBC-affiliated television station in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Perera, 22, will start the position on May 13. She will produce the station’s weekend morning news show and promote content through WRCB’s social media, website and mobile app. “I am extremely blessed to be able to work in the mountains,” Perera said. “Everyone’s been so welcoming at the station and I’m PERERA very excited.” Perera earned her associate in arts degree from Miami Dade College in April of 2017. She is a senior studying journalism at Eastern Illinois University and is expected to earn her bachelor's degree in May. Perera currently serves as a producer and production assistant at WEIU-TV, the PBS-affiliated station at EIU. —Alexa Hernandez

Kendall Campus To Host Vocal Concert Kendall Campus will be hosting the MDC Vocal Ensemble Showcase on April 23 at 7:30 p.m. at the McCarthy Hall Auditorium, 11011 S.W. 104th St., Room 6120. The event will feature Kendall Campus’ Men’s Choir, Women’s Choir and Vocal Fusion performing various jazz, contemporary and classical songs. It is part of the On Stage concert series at Kendall Campus, which showcases artistic talent from students and faculty at Miami Dade College. The event is free and open to the public. —Patrick C. Gross For more information, contact: Linda Alvarado T(305) 237-2282 lalvara1@mdc.edu

PeaceJam Miami To Host Sin Embargo: Cuba through Cuban Eyes PeaceJam Miami will present a photography exhibit entitled Sin Embargo: Cuba through Cuban Eyes on April 16 at the Eduardo J. Padrón Campus, 627 S.W. 27th Ave., Room 3113. The exhibition will document Cuba’s culture, environment and tradition from an unbiased perspective. It also ties into the diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States. “I want to show a side of Cuba that nobody has seen before—different from the cigars and the old cars,” said Conor O’Brien, PeaceJam coordinator. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Conor O’Brien at (305) 237-6617 or cobrien1@mdc.edu. —Vanessa Gimenez

PHOTO COURTESY OF MARIA MONTOYA

Koubek Center To Host La Maquina Insular The Little Havana Social Club will present Viento de Agua’s La Maquina Insular at the Koubek Center, 2705 S.W. 3rd St., on April 19 at 8 p.m. La Maquina Insular is the percussive version of the contemporary bomba and plena band, Viento de Agua. They will perform traditional Puerto Rican music. The Little Havana Social Club is a monthly outdoor concert and dance party with live music, specialty food and pre-concert dance lessons. Tickets will be available at the venue for $25, online at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3611227 or at 1 (800) 838-3006. Students can get tickets for $10 and faculty for $15. For more information, contact the Koubek Center at (305) 237-7750.

SAS Student Wins Girl Scout Gold Service Award Regina Gallardo, a senior at the School for Advanced Studies at West Campus, was recently awarded the National Girl Scout Gold Service Award for curating a children’s comic book about traffic safety. Gallardo, 17, created the comic book during her junior year alongside four SAS seniors. The book aims to inform children about traffic lights, crossroads and jaywalking. “It’s surreal,” Gallardo said. “It’s impacted me because I know the book is promoting a sense of tolerance in the community and is teaching children values that will potentially save their lives." The National Girl Scout Gold Service Award, sponsored by the Girl Scout Tropical Florida Council, recognizes exceptional girl scouts that have demonstrated leadership through community service projects. Gallardo, who has been a scout for six years, will receive her award in May. The book is sponsored by the City of Doral and more than 200 copies have been distributed. Online copies are available at www. cit yofdora l.com/gover n ment/ parks-and-police-4-kids/. —Natalie Gutierrez

The Idea Center To Host Workshop Series For Students In STEM

MDC Live Arts Lab To Present Back-To-Back Dance Films MDC Live Arts will host a back-to-back marathon of dance shows entitled Laborers/The Stage Show/ Tropical Depression in the Live Arts Lab at Wolfson Campus, 300 N.E. 2nd Ave., in building 1 on May 9-10 at 8 COURTESY OF ADELE MYERS p.m. The marathon will feature the work of Adele Myers, Rosie Herrera and Ana Mendez—resident artists of the Live Arts Lab Alliance program at MDC Live Arts. Each show will incorporate dance elements such as cabaret, burlesque and modern interpretation. Laborers, a dance play produced by Ana Mendez, explores the tumultuous states of childbirth and motherhood. The Stage Show, a dance production choreographed by Adele Myers, uses theatrics and humor to connect performers to their respective audience. Tropical Depression, a cabaret show directed by Rosie Herrera, incorporates film and burlesque to explore the allure of the Caribbean. Tickets are available to the public for $10 at www.brownpapertickets. com/event/3591546. Free tickets are available to a limited number of students that use the discount code: MDCSTU. For more information, contact MDC Live Arts at (305) 237-3010 or mdclivearts@mdc.edu. —Camille Fontix

Miami Book Fair To Present 2019 Little Haiti Book Festival The Miami Book Fair will present the 2019 Little Haiti Book Festival on May 5 at 11 a.m. at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex, 212 N.E. 59th Terrace., and the Libreri Mapou, 5919 N.E. 2nd Ave. Since 1995, the Little Haiti Book Festival has invited several Haitian authors, dancers and singers of diverse backgrounds to celebrate Haitian culture in the United States. This year’s lineup will feature Haitian authors, literary workshops, film screenings, interactive activities for children, performances and more. The event will be presented in collaboration with Sosyete Koukouy, an organization dedicated to preserving Haitian culture in Miami, FL. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Miami Book Fair at (305) 237-3258 or wbookfair@mdc.edu. —Armani Rodriguez

The Idea Center will host the STEM Career Series in Biology, Engineering, and IT/Computer Science on April 16 and 18 from noon to 3 p.m. at 315 N.E. 2nd Ave. on the fifth floor of building 8. The first session will teach students about the variety of career opportunities available to STEM students and the expansive skill set needed to pursue a career in the field. The second day will help STEM students navigate the college transfer process, and provide information on bachelor of science degrees currently available at Miami Dade College. Speakers will include Bernadette Hernandez, recruitment and retention specialist of EnTec at MDC, Clark Bonilla, project director of STEM SPACE, a professor at MDC and Gustavo Grande, program manager at The Idea Center. The event is free and open to the public, however, attendees must register at: eventbrite.com/e/ stem-career-series-an-entrepreneurial-mindset-for-career-success-tickets-59684225124. —Heidi Perez-Moreno

For more information, contact: Clark Bonilla T(305) 237-1276 cbonill3@mdc.edu

In the April 2, 2019 issue of The Reporter, due to an editing error in the print edition of our newspaper, we incorrectly reported the amount of money adjunct professors make per course in the “MDC Adjunct Professors Approve Unionization” story. According to Juan Mendieta, director of communications at Miami Dade College, adjunct professors make more than $2,400 per course, not per credit. We regret the error.

SPJ Scholarships For Student Journalists The Society of Professional Journalists of Florida chapter is offering scholarship opportunities to Florida college students pursuing a career in journalism. The first-place winner will receive a $2,500 scholarship; the secondplace winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Applicants must be a Florida resident attending, or planning to attend, a Florida college or university, be currently pursuing a career in journalism and have a minimum GPA of 3.0. To apply, students must submit a scholarship application, copy of Free Application for Federal Student Aid, college transcripts, one letter of recommendation, a 500-word essay detailing why they want to be a journalist and any other supporting documents such as resume, samples, etc. The online application is available at spjflorida.com/scholarships/. Deadline to apply is June 3. —Heidi Perez-Moreno

Experimental Writing Workshop At Wolfson Campus Iranian-American author Porochista Khakpour will present a four-day writing workshop entitled Experimental Writing for Non-Experimental Writers at Wolfson Campus, 300 N.E. 2nd Ave., on May 8-11 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Khakpour, alongside the Miami Book Fair, will teach individuals about success within the literature industry, developing your literary citizenship and publishing a novel for the first time. The workshop will include a fiction, poetry and KHAKPOUR screenwriting session. There will be a Spanish seminar hosted by Andres Neuman. Khakpour is a critically-acclaimed writer that has released three novels—some of which have been featured on the Boston Globe, Buzzfeed and Huffington Post. Tickets are available for $500 at www.miamibookfair.com/event/ memoir-workshop-with-porochista-khakpour/. For more information, contact Marci Cancio-Bello at (305) 237-7889 or mcanciob@mdc.edu. —Natasha Fernandez

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Slam Cam: Emanuel Coleman (ball-handler) dunks on Frank Howard (defender) on March 29 at the Aquatic Center during the pool social event, which was hosted by the Minorities of the Future club.

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Hail Mary: North Campus student Tevin Polycarpe throws a football at the Campus' pool social event hosted by Minorities of the Future on March 29 at the Aquatic Center.

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Powerful Gaze: An unnamed sketch by Wolfson Campus student Christian Sala was showcased by Generation Action, a Wolfson club on April 8 in Room 6100. The show featured drawings of women displaying powerful gazes, showing off their confidence while surrounded by empowering quotes.

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Showing Pride: DJ Milk performs on the Celebrity Cruises Stage on April 7 during the Miami Beach Pride festival. The celebration has been a Miami Beach tradition since 2009.

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AWARD

Aspen Institute Awards MDC $350,000 Prize For College Excellence ‰‰ The College was one of two state colleges from around the country who received the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. The honor comes with a $350,000 prize. The funds will assist with Miami Dade College’s Student Achievement Initiatives, a roadmap for the College’s student success and completion rates. By Alexa Hernandez alexa.hernandez004@mymdc.net Miami Dade College was awarded the prestigious 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence on April 2 in Washington D.C. The biennial award, a $350,000 prize, recognizes colleges with high graduation and transfer rates and whose students find employment after completing their degrees. This year, the College shared the prize with Indian River State College. “This award is an affirmation of what we’ve been aspiring to for so many years at MDC, to ensure open access and academic excellence can go hand-in-hand,” said Miami Dade College President, Eduardo J. Padrón through a College spokesperson. Every two years since 2011, the

Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program has been honoring two-year institutions around the nation with the prize. The finalists and winners are selected from a competitive pool of more than 1,000 community colleges from across the country, specifically recognizing them for their dedication to student access. “Many people liken it to the Academy Award for colleges,” said Lenore Rodicio, executive vice president and provost at MDC. “It is motivation to keep doing what we are doing in student achievement and to expand our best practices.” According to Rodicio, the College received the award thanks to its Student Achievement Initiatives and Guided Pathways work. The SAI is a roadmap that helps with the College’s student success and completion rates. She also attributes the honor to MDC’s efforts in ensuring that in addition to academic needs, students’ non-academic needs are also accounted for and met. Through services such as free tax preparation, financial guidance, and food pantries for students, MDC has assisted students with financial hardships. “[Miami Dade College] is geographically dispersed, across eight campuses, and demographically

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ASPEN INSTITUTE

Big Prize: Miami Dade College was awarded the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence on April 2 in Washington D.C. The award recognizes colleges with high graduation and transfer rates and whose students find employment after completing their degrees. diverse,” said Janae Hinson, the communications manager for the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program. “Against this backdrop, Miami Dade College plays a critical and inspirational role in

providing an on-ramp to higher education for students who may otherwise have never found one.” Rodicio said the money from the prize, which is funded by several national foundations affiliated

with the Aspen Institute, such as the ECMC Foundation the Joyce Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and the Siemens Foundation, will be reinvested to support the SAI.

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The Reporter is accepting applications for EDITOR-IN-CHIEF for its Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 publication cycle. For details and to apply, contact MANOLO BARCO, media adviser: (305) 237-1255 | MBARCO@MDC.EDU Deadline for all applications is JUNE 3, 2019. No late applications will be considered.

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STUDENT PROFILE

Former Foster Care Kid Living Out Her Dream At The Miami Culinary Institute ‰‰ Precious Oden is in her first semester at the Miami Culinary Institute. The 24-year-old, who was adopted when she was three years old, aspires to one day start her own business. By Alina Halley alina.halley001@mymdc.net Overcoming foster care can be a daunting challenge for many. Precious Oden entered the system as a baby. At three, she was adopted when she was three years old by Jackie and Henry Oden. They encouraged her to dream big. When Oden was a child, she aspired to be a basketball star. But after watching the Disney Channel original movie Eddie’s Million Dollar Cook-Off, she set her sights on becoming a chef. With her mom’s help, she learned how to cook. Today, Oden, 24, is a student at the Miami Culinary Institute at

Wolfson Campus. She received a scholarship from the MagicWaste Youth Foundation that helps foster kids pursue a college education. The scholarship pays for her tuition. “This was a second chance that most people don’t get and I will always be grateful for that,” Oden said. “It encouraged me to work hard and persevere.” Being the oldest of eight kids and the first to pursue a college degree, she wants to be a role model for her siblings. “Getting a degree is more than just about learning but about my hope for the future,” said Oden who is expected to graduate in the fall of 2021 with an associates in science in culinary arts management. “My time at the Culinary Institute has taught me a lot about leadership skills and how to be a better leader.” Oden has struggled with conforming to the school’s kitchen procedures at MCI. For example,

LOONI INGRAN / THE REPORTER

Let's Get Crackin': Precious Oden breaks an egg in the kitchen at the Miami Culinary Institute.

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Chef Oden: Precious Oden, who was in foster care as a baby, is in her first semester at the Miami Culinary Institute. She aspires to one day start her own business. during a recent lab session, she threw an egg in the trash underhanded instead of overhanded. She quickly corrected the mistake. In her first semester Oden has learned a variety of skills including cooking techniques, recipe production, knife skills, kitchen terminology and calculating food cost. She also learned how to explain and implement industry sanitation methods as it pertains to food preparation. Oden’s most memorable moment at the Culinary Institute thus far came when she was tasked with making pasta out of ordinary food items, hers was a potato.

Making gnocchi is no easy task as bouncing the ratios can make or break the dish's defining texture. If the texture isn’t right then it just isn’t gnocchi. It took Oden two attempts before she was able to create perfect, silky-smooth texture and complete the task. “I had no idea how I was going to do it but I did it,” Oden said. Oden is excited to start basic baking class soon to learn how to make a lemon meringue pie—her favorite dessert. In the course, Oden will also learn the functions of various baking ingredients and how to execute recipes and competencies including dough, bread, cookies, pies, puff pastries, quick

bread, cakes and basic decorating techniques. She enjoys creating her own dishes in American cuisine but dabbles in international food as well. Oden hopes to one day start a food cart business. She will focus on adding her own twist to American cuisine. Chef Patrick McCurry, a senior instructor at the Culinary Institute and one of Oden’s mentors, believes she is well on her way. “The thing I like the most about [Precious],” McCurry said, “is that she’s got a pure love and joy for food that you don’t really see that much anymore in our industry.”

Beloved Professor And Phi Beta Lambda Advisor Passes Away At 60 FROM OBITUARY, FRONT

mostly about her life than it was the actual material.” Mari’s exuberant presence was often felt throughout the Miguel B. Fernandez Family School of Global Business, Trade and Transportation at Kendall Campus. “See how quiet it is right now? It would not be this quiet if she were here,” said Francisco J. Larios, an economics professor at Kendall Campus. “She had her office just two doors down, and she was always very noisy. She would pass by here and just yell something or say something. In many ways, she was the life of this department.” Mari’s work did not go unrecognized. She was the recipient of four Endowed Teaching Chair awards: the 1998 Carlos Arobleyta/Barnett Bank award, the 2004 John A. and Elizabeth Rode award, the 2008 Louis Wolfson III award and the 2012 Juan A. Galan, Jr. Endowed Teaching Chair in Entrepreneurship. Apart from teaching, Mari also served as advisor to the Phi Beta Lambda organization at Kendall Campus for 13 years. Her dedication to the 80-member organization resulted in hundreds of state and local awards from PBL State Leadership Conferences. In 2018, PBL won more than 32 awards at the state competition—15 were first-place. The Kendall Campus chapter was consistently recognized as Chapter of the Year in the state’s competition, which recognizes the

PHOTO COURTESY OF MANUEL J. MARI

Finance Fanatic: Maria C. Mari got her passion for accounting from her father, Manuel Gus Mari. She started assisting him at his accounting firm, Manuel G. Mari CPA, during tax season when she was nineyears-old. The picture above is of her as a young girl. achievement of local chapters that have gotten involved in the community. “She had a huge impact. She left a legacy on PBL,” Samboni said. “She was like everyone’s mom. She knew exactly how things were done, and she did everything for her students. Even when we had over 70 www.mdcthereporter.com

members and were at capacity for states, she found a way to get everyone. And when we couldn’t sell stuff at a fundraiser, she would find a way to sell it. When there wasn’t enough money for states, she found a way to get all that money so every student could go. She would definitely move mountains for anyone, even if she didn’t know them.” Mari passed away the day before PBL competed at the Phi Beta Lambda State Leadership Conferences in Orlando. While mourning her loss, the group competed to honor her legacy. Under their name tags, her students wrote the inscription: In memory of Maria C. Mari. Twenty-nine of the 60 members that competed at the conference are headed to the Phi Beta Lambda National Leadership Conference in San Antonio, Texas on June 24-27. Through PBL, Mari also spearheaded various service projects to bring awareness to socially-relevant topics. In 2018, she organized the United for Nicaragua concert featuring Luis Enrique Mejia Godoy, Katia Cardenal, Nina and Sebastian Cardenal. The humanitarian relief concert raised more than $68,000 to aid political asylum victims in Nicaragua. “She was very involved in everything that went on here,” Larios said. “Some people simply have that in them. They have that inclination to be active members of society. They have this good in them.” Aside from teaching, Mari ran her private accounting firm Mari & Rivas CPA. with

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Rivas in her Kendall home. They handled finances for around 70 clients year-round. “I started working with Mari back in 2013 after I graduated from Miami Dade,” Rivas said. “I ended up having her as a professor and I ended up joining PBL, and she kind of kept me around. Then when I graduated, she called me saying ‘Hey, I need some help. Come to my house’ and that’s how it all started. She started showing me what she did in her firm and started teaching me what she does. It honestly was the first step in becoming who I am as a person and as a professional. I used to have talks in her office about what I wanted to do in the future, and she guide[d] me towards different avenues I could take in the accounting business.” Rivas began working at the company as a bookkeeper and auditor. In 2016, he became a partner at the firm once he received his CPA license. Since her passing, Rivas has managed operations at Mari & Rivas CPA. He plans to keep the firm’s shared name to honor Mari’s legacy. “She had this vision for many years, and she would always say ‘When I retire, you’re going to inherit the company,’ ” Rivas said. “She saw me grow up as an individual and as a professional. She realized that I would be able to handle it. That was the mindset that she had, that eventually once she retired, I would take over and the company would be in good hands.”

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Science Professor Set To Retire At The End Of The Spring Semester FROM RETIREMENT, FRONT

believed could help translate his love for nature into a profession. At UM, his class schedule revolved around labs or the outdoors. In his downtime, he took trips to the Everglades with his friends. However, despite his goal to be a marine biologist, he didn’t care much for the work necessary to become one. “It was the fun of spending time in nature that helped me get through really tough times academically because I was a terrible college student,” Migliaccio said. “What would you rather do, study organic chemistry or go to the Everglades?” After taking five years to finish his degree, Migliaccio faced a predicament: he needed a job, one that kept him in Miami. He found one in 1975 at St. Mary’s Cathedral School in Little River, teaching middle schoolers science. At the school, he also coached the girls’ softball team. “I liked the concept of coaching and I began to see myself as a science coach—not a teacher, but a coach,” Migliaccio said. “I realized pretty quickly that I’d found what I really wanted to do.” It was also through St. Mary’s that Migliaccio met his wife, Marty. During his first year at St. Mary’s, Migliaccio enrolled into a teaching certification and masters program at Florida International University. He continued to teach

at various locations for the next twelve years, taking his students on field trips to the Everglades to expose them to the outside world—a place he held close to his heart. He started working at Miami Dade College in 1987 at Kendall Campus’ Environmental Center, which at the time was a Wolfson program. He ended up transitioning to Wolfson Campus, taking the MetroRail from his home in Cutler Bay. “It was very, very, very familyoriented. Whenever somebody had a program, everybody came out to support them,” Migliaccio said. “Everybody, just out of necessity, helped everybody else with whatever.” His relationship with the College flourished. Migliaccio became heavily involved with the Earth Ethics Institute and was one of the founding faculty members of the Virtual College. As an environmental science and ecology professor, he has been active with The Honors College since 2003. Every year he leads a delegation of students to the Global Citizenship Alliance seminar in Salzburg, Austria to develop solutions to global challenges. “What’s special about Chris is that he does everything 100 percent,” said Pascale Charlot, the dean of The Honors College. “If you ask him to be part of something, you get all of it—mind, body and spirit.”

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Collector Of Everything: Professor Christopher Migliaccio has amassed a small library of momentos over the years in his office. They include framed photos with students from various trips and a commemorative plaque given to him by alumni. That commitment doesn’t just extend to work. Tony Barros, an oceanography professor at Wolfson Campus who Migliaccio mentored and has traveled with to take pictures, credits him with helping him establish himself at the College. “We’re photo brothers,” Barros said. “[With him gone] it’s going to be a little bit of a bore. He’s one of the few professors to take his students out to the field—to take

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them to see nature.” Migliaccio’s plans after retirement aren’t set in stone, but he wants to spend more time with his two grandchildren and tending to his personal garden. He’s also spoken to Everglades National Park about becoming a volunteer there and plans on remaining politically active with his wife. “We have a lifetime membership at the voting booth,” he said,

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while also not ruling out any form of elected office in Cutler Bay. However, he realizes that it’s time to slow down. “I’ve spent a lot of my professional life doing, doing, doing, and there is tremendous value in not doing and being a bit more introspective and spend more time doing fewer things, so I’m not looking to just fill the day,” Migliaccio said. “Transcendental vegetation. To be a vegetable is perfectly fine.”

MDC The Reporter


APRIL 16, 2019 | NEWS

THE REPORTER FLORIDA LEGISLATURE

Amendment 4 Passed By Voters Last November Faces Possible Roadblocks

“ 

We call on all of our state lawmakers to oppose these restrictive bills...

‰‰ After the passage of Amendment 4 last November, millions of Floridians could regain their right to vote. Now with House Bill 7089 and its Senate companion, SB 7086, former felons are facing roadblocks in the path to restoring their voting rights.

Micah Kubic, executive director of ACLU Florida

By Corbin Bolies corbin.bolies001@mymdc.net After Amendment 4’s passage last November paved the way for 1.4 million with prior convictions to have their voting rights restored, the Florida House has moved along two bills that would make it harder for voters to reclaim those rights. House Bill 7089 and its Senate companion, SB 7086, passed their respective judiciary committees on April 8 and 9, moving forward the process of limiting the effects of Amendment 4. The bills do not claim that felons who have served their time and completed all terms of their sentence can’t vote. Instead, it requires them to pay fees related to their convictions in order to re-obtain their voting rights, amounts that can be prohibitive due to the difficulty felons face in finding high-paying jobs. Proponents of the bills include Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the bills' Republican sponsor, James Grant. They argue that

the bill adds a sense of justice to Amendment 4 and that it doesn’t serve as a poll tax. Instead, it uses arguments presented to courts before the amendment was allowed on the ballot that claimed that court fees were part of a sentence. “All we’re doing is following the testimony that was presented before the Florida Supreme Court explicitly acknowledging that fines and court costs are part of a sentence,” Grant said during a committee hearing last month. Others aren’t so convinced. Florida’s division of the American Civil Liberties Union has issued multiple responses to the bills’ continued existence, stating that it is solely a means of legislating away Amendment 4. “These attempts by the Florida Legislature amount to one thing —trying to undo what Floridians did when they passed Amendment 4 and fixed what state lawmakers refused to do for decades,” said Micah Kubic, executive

director of the ACLU of Florida, in a statement. “We call on all of our state lawmakers to oppose these restrictive bills, protect Amendment 4, and stop suppressing voting rights in our state.” Desmond Meade, an MDC alum who championed Amendment 4 last election cycle, is also not pleased. In an op-ed for the Tampa Bay Times, Meade and Neil Volz, two leaders of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, argued against a political motive behind the bills. “Inserting partisanship into the implementation process of Amendment 4 is dangerous for many reasons,” they wrote. “The reason Floridians from all walks of life worked together to collect more than 1 million signatures to get Amendment 4 on the ballot was because partisanship blocked our state lawmakers from doing what was right.” Meade did not respond to repeated requests for comment by the time The Reporter went to print. The fate of the bills are in limbo. They await more readings on the House and Senate floors, which predate a full vote. Once that occurs, the bills would receive a vote on their respective floors and, should they pass, would go through a process of reconciliation before moving to the Governor, who would make the final decision.

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10 SPORTS | APRIL 16, 2019

THE REPORTER

BASEBALL

Sharks Close In On Southern Conference Title ‰‰ The Miami Dade College baseball team is currently in first place in the Southern Conference, with a 9-6 record. With six games left in the season, the Sharks are hoping to secure a berth to the State Tournament soon.

By Jose Tovar jose.tovar007@mymdc.net The final stretch of the regular season is approaching, and the Miami Dade College baseball team has its eyes on the Florida Collegiate System Activities Association Athletics State Tournament. With six games remaining this year, the Sharks have a 23-15 overall record and are in first place in the Southern Conference with a 9-6 mark in. The team has won six of its last seven games. The recent string of wins has allowed the team to find their rhythm as they face the end of the regular season and make a run for the State Tournament. “We’ve gotten better as a team,” head coach Danny Price said. “We are playing better as a unit and things should begin to get better for us. We are beginning to understand the ‘team’ concept more.” The team’s recent winning streak has been aided by the Sharks solid defense and pitching this season. Miami Dade College pitchers have averaged a 3.86 earned run average and they average 9.06 strikeouts per nine innings. In the state, the Sharks have allowed the least amount of home runs with seven. Freshman pitcher Gabriel Figueroa-Hidalgo has been the team’s best pitcher with a 7-1

SEAN MOW / THE REPORTER

Stretch Run: With six games remaining in the regular season, the Sharks baseball team is in first place in the Southern Conference as they attempt to clinch a spot in the State Tournament. record, and a 2.08 ERA. Offensively, the team had a below-average start, but after recovering from a spate of injuries suffered in February, the team is showing signs of improvement. As a unit, the Sharks have a .261 batting average with 56 doubles, 12 home runs and a .351 slugging percentage. After missing 26 games this season due to an injured right hand, sophomore outfielder Luis

Guerrero returned to the lineup on April 5 against ASA College. He finished the two-game series with three hits in 10 plate appearances, one run batted in and two runs scored. “I try to help my teammates as much as I can. I missed a lot of time, but I can make it up in this few weeks,” Guerrero said. “I just need to take it step by step and do whatever I can to help the team win.”

Despite all the injuries, the team reacted positively. Several players have stepped up and given significant contributions while filling in. One of those players is freshman outfielder Jose CrisostomoBock. He leads the team in base hits with 42 and has 17 RBI and a .328 batting average. Infielder Raphy Almanzar-Rosario is also having a good year with 21 runs scored, 20 RBI and 30 base hits.

“It’s all about stamina because we have played more than half the season now and we must finish stronger than when we started,” said utility player Michael Alicea. “We have to keep running. We have to keep on the hard work, and continue to improve our offense so we go to the State Tournament” The Sharks' next game will be on the road versus Indian River State College on April 17 at 3 p.m.

SOFTBALL

Lady Sharks Softball Team Erasing Doubts With Late-Season Push ‰‰ The Lady Sharks are hoping to make their first appearance in the FCSAA Athletics State Tournament since 2016. They’ve improved their record to over .500 and are hoping to stay on track as the season winds down. By Claude Cadet claude.cadet002@mymdc.net With four games remaining this season, the Lady Sharks softball team is attempting to qualify for the Florida Collegiate System Activities Association Athletics State Tournament for the first time since 2016. The Lady Sharks have a 23-21 record including an 10-6 mark in Southern Conference play, placing them one game behind second-place Eastern Florida State College. After a 13-7 record in March, Head Coach Gina De Agüero hopes her team uses the momentum to roll into the State Tournament. “We just have to keep working,” De Agüero said. “Where we stand in our conference right now is important because the rest of our games are all conference games and we have to win all of them in order to qualify.” Though the team isn’t outstanding statistically, their defense has led them to sustained success.

“ 

Where we stand in our conference right now is important because the rest of our games are all conference games and we have to win all of them in order to qualify.

Gina De Agüero, head coach

The team has a .928 fielding percentage and its pitchers have a solid 3.86 earned run average. On the defense aside, De Agüero wants the team to continue to play with technique as well as attitude. “You need both, your attitude has to be from where you’re learning your mistakes, you’re staying upbeat and being a good team player,” De Agüero said. “As for technique, you just have to get the fundamentals down packed, and that’s how you execute the plays.” Two sophomores, shortstop Melissa Mayeux and starting pitcher Tiffany Dodson, have been the team’s foundation throughout their recent success. Mayeux has accounted for six of the team’s 12 home runs and leads the team in slugging percentage

with a .793 average. She has also felt revitalized as the team sees increased success. “Last year we were all freshman so it was hard for us to get the team spirit,” Mayeux said. “Right now we all know each other and definently are stronger than last year. We’re adjusting all the time. When I struggled on defense I personally would work with Gina to try and figure out things to get better in the game.” Dodson is experiencing a rebound season. She has a .943 fielding percentage, averages 4.11 strikeouts per game and is 10-12 as a starter. After a tough stretch at the start of the season, De Agüero helped her get back on track. “She has just been there for me and helped me a lot,” Dodson said. “She has been there for everyone really and for the team, she has worked individually with us and picked out what we’ve done wrong and fixed it.” Now, the Lady Sharks are hoping to make a push for the playoffs as the season winds down. “We just need to get more wins and keep going up from here,” Dodson said. The Lady Sharks' next game is a doubleheader at Broward College on April 18 at 5 p.m.

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CHRISTIAN ORTEGA / THE REPORTER

Winding Down: Sophomore pitcher Tiffany Dodson, who is 10-12, is enjoying a solid season for the Lady Sharks who are pushing to qualify for the State Tournament for the first time in three years.

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APRIL 16, 2019 | SPORTS

THE REPORTER

11

// SPORTS Christian Ortega, Sports Editor  // 

T (305) 237-2715 

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B christian.ortega005@mymdc.net

OPINION

It Was Once Home To Champions, Now Demie Mainieri Field Is Long Forgotten ‰‰ Christian Ortega writes about Demie Mainieri Field at North Campus— the former home to the campus’ baseball team from 1961 to 1997. Now long forgotten, the field’s deteriorating conditions have left the field desolate.

By Christian Ortega christian.ortega005@mymdc.net For more than thirty years, the North Campus baseball field was home to the greatest coach in the history of Miami Dade College. Demie Mainieri, who served as head baseball coach from 1960 to 1990, compiled a resume that stands the test of time. He passed away this past March. Mainieri was the first coach in colleMAINIERI giate baseball history to amass more than 1,000 career wins. He appeared in four national championships— winning one in 1964. His accomplishments earned him a ticket into seven Hall of Fames. As a result, Demie Mainieri Field was dedicated in his honor in 1989. It was his sanctuary, the clay diamond that cemented his legacy as one of the region’s greatest

coaches. He nurtured the careers of hundreds of young athletes. According to a 1990 Miami Herald, 222 North Campus players were selected in the Major League Baseball draft between 1965 and 1989. That is more than any college in the country during that period. At least 30 of Mainieri’s players made the Major Leagues. They include Bucky Dent, Randy Bush, Mickey Rivers, Warren Cromartie and Mike Piazza—the greatest hitting catcher in MLB history. Mainieri’s standards were so demanding that Hall of Fame pitcher Steve Carlton was unable to make the team’s roster in 1964. However, Demie Mainieri Field is now a forgotten oasis. North Campus’ baseball team was shut down in 1997 when the College cut funding for several athletic programs, consolidating the remaining few to Kendall Campus. “I’m very upset,” Mainieri said in a 2014 Herald article when he made his return to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his national championship. “I got into coaching to help young people. But [the vacant field] is not serving the needs of the community.” The field was last used as a baseball camp in 2014, according to Fermin Vazquez, senior director of campus administration at North Campus. According to Vasquez, the field’s grass is routinely cut, however, the infield’s ground feels like a concrete floor slowly being overrun by weeds. One dugout has a tree sprouting from its roof. The turf that once covered the outfield is now littered with holes and crabgrass. Vines and other vegetation have inhabited the outfield fence and scoreboard. In its current condition, any player bold enough to play on the terrain could face ankle injuries or a torn anterior cruciate ligament. “It’s hard to put into words the feelings of sitting and imagining your life’s work was put into something and then somebody decided to wish it away,” said Paul Mainieri, Demie’s son and a national championship-winning coach at Louisiana State

REPORTER FILE PHOTO/ VLADIMIR MOMPREMIER

Field Of Dreams: Demie Mainieri Field, the home to the former North Campus baseball team and one of South Florida's first baseball communities was where the legacy of countless players was built. Since the team's disbanding, the field has progressively seen less use and has now deteriorated. University. “I was hoping that the field was going to continue to be used by Miami and you can see baseball prosper at the grassroots level.” Vazquez said the Campus has considered renting the field to local teams, but he has not received interest. North Campus currently rents out its pool to several local teams that practice and compete there, but the conditions of both facilities are incomparable. There is no impetus for members of the baseball community to use the facility in its present condition. It’s like owning a home that has been ravaged by a hurricane, but the homeowner ignores the damages and then wonders why there is a lack of interest from renters. To immortalize the field, the College could consider an alumni game featuring Mainieri’s former players so they can relive

THE STUDENT NEWSPAPER AT MIAMI DADE COLLEGE

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their glory days. Additionally, the athletic department, whose responsibilities include coordinating athletic events sponsored by the college, could conduct training sessions for the community surrounding North Campus to revive America’s pastime. Though Kendall Campus has its own wellgroomed field, it’s more than 20 miles away from North Campus. Demie Mainieri Field could help fill the void in the community. It also creates more flexibility by avoiding conflicts involving the MDC baseball team practices and games. There are a wealth of possibilities to explore, but a feasible solution requires a commitment from the College–a school that prides itself on enriching its community. However, the bare minimum won’t cut it. No one is knocking on their door. What do you expect when you don’t try?


12 A&E | APRIL 16, 2019

THE REPORTER

VIDEO GAME REVIEW

Old Becomes New In Pokémon: Sword And Shield ‰‰ Ethan Toth profiles the dual Pokémon games recently announced by Nintendo, which aims to return some of the standout features of past games into the public sphere along with some of the top elements of current games. By Ethan Toth ethan.toth001@mymdc.net The worldwide phenomenon, Pokémon, is receiving the next entry in its popular video game franchise, with Pokémon: Sword and Shield. These two versions will be released simultaneously sometime this fall for the Nintendo Switch. The eighth-generation in the mainline series was announced during a Nintendo Direct on Feb. 27 and was revealed to the world as a first look into the long-awaited series entry. But what separates this game from the ones that have come before it and how will it shake up the series as a whole? Resembling more of a “core” entry rather than the recently released Pokémon: Let’s Go series, which are remakes of Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow and integrated features from the widely popular mobile game, Pokémon Go, Pokémon: Sword and Shield will continue to the trend of “random encounters” with wild Pokémon rather than having them present in the overworld as well as being able to battle them, rather than

using the Pokémon Go-based mechanics. Speaking about the world, the new region players will be able to explore is the Galar region. Modeled after the United Kingdom, it contains a multitude of environments, such as urban inner cities, great plains and hills as well as snow-peaked mountains. Along with being designed in a more vertical fashion, the Galar region is bringing back the Gyms, an element the franchise is well known for. This was not the case for the previous game Pokémon: Sun and Moon, where the region of Alola had Trials. The internet was struck ablaze when the game was announced, but the aspect that most fans focused on was the Pokémon. With three new starters to choose from, it could either be a simple choice or an impossible one, depending on your preference. Players can pick from the standard, grass, fire or water trio. Respectively, they are: Grookey, “a mischievous Chimp Pokémon that is full of boundless curiosity”; Scorbunny, “a Rabbit Pokémon that is always running about, bursting with energy”; and Sobble, “a somewhat timid Water Lizard Pokémon that shoots out attacks as it hides itself in the water.” Along with these starters, a variety of already introduced Pokémon can be seen like Pikachu, Wishiwashi, Hoothoot, Munchlax,

PHOTO COURTESY OF NINTENDO

Catch 'Em All: These two new Pokémon games return with some of the best features of prior games. Tyranitar and Lucario. This confirms that Pokémon from previous generations will be available in the game. The game seems to be built from the same engine that the Pokémon: Let’s Go series was based on. In this case, it’s evident how the graphics aren’t just a scaledup version of the 3DS Pokémon games—it was built with the Nintendo Switch in mind. While the game footage presented in the trailer was not final, it still gave audiences a look at some impressive detailing on

things like structures, environments and outfits for the protagonist. This certainly seems like it could be the most graphically competent game in the franchise, despite not changing much with its aesthetic. Something else that could change is the way in which the camera works in-game. This may be the first game in the series to have a fully-rotating camera. While it may have just been to emphasize the variety of environments in the game, a rotating shot of the protagonist can be viewed.

This would certainly shake up the way the game is played, but it does seem unlikely as the “core” Pokémon series has been criticized for not changing much in terms of gameplay from generation to generation. Pokémon: Sword and Shield is an exciting new step for Nintendo, as it’s bringing one of its flagship series to consoles in Fall 2019. Fans, new and old, across the globe are eagerly awaiting to dive right into the Galar region and start their quest to catch em’ all and become a Pokémon Master.

UNIVERSES

Shared Universes Need A Revamp ‰‰ Corbin Bolies writes about the constant pushing of shared universes amid Avengers: Endgame, speculating on the need for the universes and how studios should carefully choose their films before launching a universe. By Corbin Bolies corbin.bolies001@mymdc.net The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) lays claim to one of the most common threads seen in film over the last ten years: interconnected, shared universes. From series like Harry Potter to DC’s Expanded Universe, we’ve been exposed to a multitude of “universes” (or attempts at such, like Universal’s since-abandoned plans for a monster series) since Iron Man’s debut. But with the MCU ending its current state with Avengers: Endgame, it begs the question: should films pull back on the idea of shared universes? The success of Iron Man, a film centered on a B-list character due to other studios’ ownership of Spider-Man and the X-Men, sent shockwaves across the film industry. Here we saw that a film centered on a superhero could not only be successful, but could open the door to other films in that shared space, specifically set-up by the post-credits stinger featuring Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury. That was further amplified by The Incredible Hulk, a film that

PHOTO COURTESY OF WALT DISNEY STUDIOS

It's All Connected: While the Marvel Cinematic Universe paved the way for interconnected universes, studios need to be more careful before choosing which ones to adapt. featured almost no ramifications on the universe but stayed connected through its own post-credits scene with Robert Downey Jr, letting viewers know that these films were there to stay. Once the vision was first realized in 2012’s The Avengers, featuring the original six Avengers teaming up after all appearing in previous films, other studios leaped at the chance to continue the trend. DC announced plans for their own universe spearheaded by Superman, leading to 2013’s less-thansuper Man Of Steel. Harry Potter prequels were announced in September that same year, tackling an

earlier plot thread from the novels. Even Disney, the owner of Marvel Studios, cashed in, purchasing LucasFilm in 2012 for $4 billion and relaunching the Star Wars franchise. It has since led to four films and a number of television shows, all connected. That wasn’t limited to the big screen. The CW launched their version of a shared universe through Arrow, led by DC’s Green Arrow. That has since led to four shows across two networks at any given time, requiring fans to watch all four at least once a year to keep track of their characters. Even

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Marvel bled into the silver screen, with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiering in 2013 and a looselyconnected supergroup series of shows debuting on Netflix in 2015 (the latter since-canceled due to yet another set of Marvel shows debuting on Disney’s upcoming streaming service). While the idea of interconnected universes has proven popular, it’s also shown signs of fatigue. DC’s slate of films has been in a state of limbo, with a number of films in various stages of development and no lead character shepherding the franchise. Universal’s plans for a Monsterverse got so far

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that they released a promotional photo featuring the leads of all their announced projects—only to shelve plans following the lackluster debuts of 2014’s Dracula Untold and 2018’s The Mummy (both of which were expected to launch the franchise). As the MCU wraps up its current slate of films this month in Endgame, studios will need to take a step back to focus on what works and doesn’t in shared universes. While Marvel certainly paved the way, they’ll need to determine what truly necessitates a new world of characters.

MDC The Reporter


APRIL 16, 2019 | A&E

THE REPORTER

13

// A&E T (305) 237-7657 

Corbin Bolies, A&E Editor  // 

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B corbin.bolies001@mymdc.net

BATMAN

Batman Turns 80 In Detective Comics #1000 ‰‰ Dante Nahai writes about the latest comic series featuring Batman, one that celebrates the character’s 80year legacy and the qualities that make him one of DC’s staple heroes.

By Dante Nahai dante.nahai001@mymdc.net DC Comics celebrated 80 years of the Dark Knight with Detective Comics #1000 on March 27. 1000 is an anthology of short stories—an ode to Batman, if you will. Writers for it include Geoff Johns, one of the heads of DC Comics; Kevin Smith, who has made films like Mallrats and Clerks; and Brian Michael Bendis, whose name isn't as known but is responsible for the now-famous comic book character Miles Morales, who was in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. For the past 80 years, Batman has been a major influence on comic book media, with the most shows and films about Batman. Good or bad (I’m looking at you, Joel Schumacher) there have been many versions of the character. Yet throughout the many iterations Batman has always had the same effect. You can love or hate him, but if it wasn’t for the character Batman, comics wouldn’t be at the level they are now. Even though this character has been around for 80 years, it’s obvious there’s no limit on how he's portrayed. You would think

PHOTO COURTESY OF DC COMICS

Batman Forever: Detective Comics #1000 highlights the legacy the Caped Crusader leaves behind after 80 years fighting crime. writers would’ve run out of ideas, but that’s not the case. Instead, each brings their own distinctive flair to the Caped Crusader. My personal favorites were ones by Smith, Scott Snyder and Tom King, with art from Jim Lee, Greg Capullo, Tony S. Daniel and Joelle Jones. Each story had their own unique sense of style and a great

message, its own standalone Batman story that covered aspects from being the world’s greatest detective to showing his ever-growing Bat Family. Batman is my all-time favorite character. Through his good and bad stories, I’ve stuck by him. Unlike Superman, Wonder Woman and most comic-book characters,

Batman is just a man. We see his trial and errors, we see the flaws that are within him. He isn’t just a human that can beat anything and anyone just because he’s Batman, because he can’t. But when you see him rise against the unknown, against these God-like creatures—he can fail, just like you and I could

fail. Yet he doesn’t give up, and through all his struggles and personal issues, maybe even mental issues—he presses on. He has for 80 years and will continue until there is nothing else. The one thing those Joel Schumacher films got right was Batman is forever. So here’s to you, Batman, a one in a million superhero.

ULTRA

Ultra Traffic Jam Leaves A Dropped Beat ‰‰ Alexzandria Windley covers the traffic issues that plagued this year’s Ultra Music Festival, specifically how they prevented the festival from living up to its full potential. By Alexzandria Windley alexzandr.windley001@mymdc.net With tropical weather that makes people go crazy, it makes sense that one of the world’s largest EDM festivals would be hosted in Miami. Founded by music promoters Russell Faibisch and Alex Omes in 1999, the festival has been in South Florida since the late ‘90s, starting out small and slowly growing into the massive event we know it as today and eventually made stops in countries like South Korea, South Africa, and Mexico. At its inception, the event was held on Miami Beach before it switched between multiple South Florida locations until finding a home at Virginia Key this year. The change was imminent. With City of Miami officials refusing to renew the festival’s longtime contract with Bayfront Park,

the event was forced to move a couple miles east. The switch wasn’t welcome, and it became apparent that the weekend would be a smooth experience, as planned. One of the biggest issues on opening weekend were the logistics of moving thousands of people from mainland Miami to the small island of Virginia Key, located just off the Rickenbacker Causeway. From day one, Ultra’s logistical issues were very clear: traffic jams, lack of transportation, and thousands of people stranded without a way to get home at 2 a.m. pretty much summed up the weekend event. Concert organizers failed to properly alert people of the upcoming changes, thus causing massive delays and human pile-ups on the first day of the festival. Parking was not allowed on the island for fear that it would crowd the Rickenbacker Causeway, leaving people with the only option of taking a ferry, that cost $150 per ticket, or one of the free shuttles that would transport them to mainland transport hubs at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. The latter was nearly impossible to use, seeing as the

PHOTO COURTESY OF ULTRA MUSIC FESTIVAL

festival also ran concurrent with the popular bike ride Critical Mass which also took up lanes on the Causeway during the festival’s peak hours. The side effects of all of this were people forced to either walk home or wait it out a few hours until some form of transportation came and escorted them back to the safety of their cars or shuttles.

The issues got so bad that Ultra organizers had to issue a statement saying that the traffic problems were unacceptable and not up to their standards. These outside distractions led to an entirely different event in comparison to previous years. Certain stages lost its wiggle room, leading to cramped spaces and what was described as a “carnival feel” rather than fullblown EDM experience they were looking for. Bayfront Park has about 32 acres compared to Virginia Key’s 15. Because of the downsizing, that made the main stage (filled with headlining acts like, Zedd, Marshmello and Martin Garrix) feel small, and cramped, making the concert scaled back compared to other years. In the end, most festival attendees were left disappointed and left wanting more. The traffic issues outside didn’t make anything better, spoiling the event behind repair. What should’ve been a joyous occasion for south Florida residents and EDM lovers turned out to be a bit of a dud. Let’s hope the next year’s festival won’t suffer the same fate.

Do you want to write for the A&E section? Contact: Corbin Bolies, A&E editor, corbin.bolies001@mymdc.net | {305} 237-7657

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MDC The Reporter


14 FORUM | APRIL 16, 2019 COLLEGE

THE REPORTER

College Is Not For Everyone

‰‰ Angel Diaz writes about how going to college isn’t the best path for everyone, contrary to society’s expectations.

By Angel Diaz angel.diaz023@mymdc.net If you’re reading this, then the odds are that you are currently attending Miami Dade College, which means that you decided to gain higher education and later, a higher-paying occupation. Please keep in mind that my opinions are not the same as yours and your experiences may differ from mine. College is a secular nation-state identity that contains its own set of rules and laws that students subject themselves to. The college experience is a time of self-growth and realization of what you expect from others

and yourself, and is unique to everyone, which is great because it means it can suit the needs of every individual. Essentially, it is what you make it. However, this does not mean that college is easy. For those who are academically inclined it may be a breeze, but for those who take more time to comprehend theories and mathematical equations, it may be more than that. Regardless, college will without a doubt change anyone who enters its walls. Personally, I am not the same person I was before I entered college this spring semester. Slowly, you start to evolve and mature, which is why I like college. But not everyone does. To many, attending an institution of higher education is an option they avoid. College is not for everyone. Recently, I met up with an old friend of mine who dropped out of college after completing her fall semester. I did not know it at the time, but she told me that she was just unhappy, that her classes were not hard, just annoying. She told me that she felt a huge stress off her shoulders, and it was entirely reasonable to hear that dropping out felt right for her. At times I too have wondered whether college

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is worth the struggle and mental battles. College does not equate success. The number of millionaires and people who have a decent standard of living without a college degree are a testament to that.

It feels that at times, we all play a role in a giant gear profiting off broke college kids. That is an exaggeration, but the point still stands. I firmly believe that many people who are not meant for college go because society dictates it to be

the normative course of a young person’s life, which is a shame because college can brutally knock someone down if they are not prepared. It could be that high schools do not adequately educate young students on the expectations demanded by colleges. College is a place where many people can flourish socially. It is a great way to redefine yourself and discover who you are. However, do not disregard the fact that this place may drag you deep into a downward spiral, which is why I do not recommend everyone to go in expecting the same results of someone else who had a fantastic experience. Higher education is required to become a doctor but not a business owner. It is okay if you feel like dropping out at times or if you have to drop out, because the chances are—your life will continue. Most likely, you will find a path that provides you with a life that is not luxurious but decent. Moreover, that is what we are all striving for—a life where we are well off. Take college with a grain of salt. It is not that serious, but if you continue with it, then try your best. It will matter in the long run.

MARIJUANA

Marijuana Should Be Legalized All Across The United States ‰‰ Teresa Schuster writes about the history of marijuana legislation and the case for legalizing cannabis.

By Teresa Schuster teresa.schuster001@mymdc.net Two-thirds of Americans say that marijuana should be legal. Yet this remains a controversial issue, and although it has been legalized in many states it remains banned in others. But while some states may have approved it, it is still considered illegal at the federal level. Marijuana’s longtime status as an illegal drug was partially driven by widespread fear of immigrants from Mexico, who brought marijuana plants with them, in the early 19th century. Although cannabis had been used in western medicine for many years, and was cultivated in the United States (even appearing on the $10 bill at one time), people who sought to cultivate xenophobia for political benefit portrayed it as a poison. This tactic was effective; a steady stream of legislation in states prohibited selling or using marijuana. In 1937, the federal government effectively banned it.

Another thing that the federal government has banned in the past is alcohol. In 1919, the 18th amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibiting alcohol was added and remained in effect until 1933, when it was repealed. However, 18 states continued the ban on it. By 1966, all of them had legalized it, and it remains legal today, in contrast to marijuana. Research has shown that alcohol is far more dangerous than marijuana. There is a greater risk of brain damage from consuming alcohol—and people can’t lethally overdose on cannabis like they can with alcohol. A common argument against legalizing cannabis is that it is an addictive drug, but a study suggested that cannabis is actually less addictive than alcohol. Cannabis has been shown to have medical benefits, including being used as a chronic pain reliever. A judge recommended that it be moved down from its current classification as a highly dangerous drug, saying that it is “one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.” Currently, 33 states have legalized it for medical purposes, but only 10 have legalized it for recreational use. There would be additional benefits to the economy resulting from the further legislation of marijuana. States can collect billions of dollars worth of tax revenue from the sale of marijuana and the industry can create jobs and boost the economy. There is also the potential that government spending on enforcing drug regulations would be reduced by cannabis legalization. Many states have not legalized marijuana yet, but with legislation in favor of this continuing to be introduced, this could very likely change in the future.

ALEXANDER ONTIVEROS / THE REPORTER

To write for the forum section, contact: Teresa Schuster at (305) 237-2715 or teresa.schuster001@mymdc.net

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POSITIVITY

Creating A Positive Pattern Of Thinking Leads To Success ‰‰ Maria Rodriguez writes about how negative patterns of thinking can hinder students’ success in college and life.

cognitive distortions, and you can learn to identify them. For example, you might have a tendency to exaggerate how crucial your mistakes are or look at your academic achievements as inferior. This is called catastrophize or minimize. If you are always quick to interpret

any idea or event in a negative way when there is no evidence to support this, you might be "jumping to conclusions." Do you ever feel like you have a crystal ball? You might anticipate things before they happen and convince yourself that everything

By Maria Rodriguez maria.rodriguez338@mymdc.net Have you ever thought about how the way you think influences your potential for academic success? Did you ever wonder how certain habits of thinking might distort the way you see things? These are called thinking patterns, and when these patterns start to interfere with your daily attempts to succeed they are called cognitive distortions. Unfortunately, living with these cognitive patterns can limit your success in college and even negatively impact your self-esteem. You might feel lost with no purpose, which can make you perform badly on tests, assignments and presentations. There are several types of

will turn out badly, and count this as a fact. It is also difficult to make friends at school if you start "labeling" them, as it involves emotionally-loaded language such as characterizing yourself and others as a bad student. This can also appear as a "mental filter" if you select a negative detail and feel yourself discouraged as you let it interfere with many aspects of your reality. Do you ever start asking yourself “why try?” This is called "overgeneralization," as you see a single negative event as pattern for the future. "Personalization" is to see yourself, with extreme guilt, as the cause of the negative outcomes in your life. Lastly, be careful with the “should statements!" This is basically telling yourself that you “should,” “have to” or “need to” do something in order to try to motivate yourself. You are left with feelings of guilt and ineffectiveness. Also, if you apply these statements to your friends and classmates, all you will find is disappointment. Do you fall into any of these patterns of thinking? Try to evaluate the way you think. Every campus offers meetings with counselors, who can teach you how to change any cognitive distortions you might have. Creating a more positive pattern of thinking is crucial in order to reach your true potential and become a more productive and successful student.

KALEY PENICHE / THE REPORTER

VENEZUELA

Trump’s Sanctions Aren’t Helping Venezuela ‰‰ Christopher Tellez writes about Venezuela’s economic crisis and the U.S. government’s destructive policy toward it.

By Christopher Tellez christophe.tellez002@mymdc.net The Donald J. Trump administration has been imposing sanctions on Venezuela since 2017. The main argument in favor of this is that the first few sanctions were primarily imposed on Venezuelan government officials such as Nicolás Maduro. But one thing you aren’t told is that the Maduro regime had billion dollar accounts overseas that might have been used to alleviate the economic crisis persisting in the country.

Many people claim that the current Venezuelan government has destroyed a country that was resourceful and had a history of economic success. This popular view does not give the full picture—for many years Venezuela has been plagued with this sort of financial instability. One could blame it on government incompetence throughout the country’s history, and a correct assessment—in a way. The reason I say “in a way” is because many people have the wrong idea of what government incompetence means. Famines and wealth disparity have been common in the country since the 20th century. As a matter of fact, you are probably unaware that the nationalization of oil had started during a conservative administration. This was because the country suffered from such immense economic problems that industry leaders ended up advocating for more government assistance for the oil industry, so that the country’s primary source of revenue could be managed to keep the Venezuelan economy stable. When Hugo Chavez took charge, he inherited a system that had already been designed to help with the country’s economic problems.

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The main problem with this system was that, despite more stable economic growth, it maintained wealth disparities. The great mistake of the Chavista movement wasn’t so much any radical change. Rather, it was radically frivolous in trying to maintain the previous economic system that had not benefited the country. One thing that did change was the distribution of this revenue; many new programs introduced during the Chavez regime played a substantial role in helping to tackle the wealth disparity within the country. Literacy rates went up and health services were expanded to the poor. Despite these well-meaning but minimal reforms, abject poverty still affected many Venezuelans throughout the country. The Maduro regime has not improved this obvious crisis, but the United State’s destructive policies haven’t helped either. The Trump administration decided to impose sanctions on the country’s stateowned oil company PDVSA, the company responsible for bringing in most of Venezuela’s revenue and enabling it to survive. This has caused oil assets for the country to freeze, bringing the Venezuelan economy to a standstill. Many

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orders for medicine, food, and other basic needs have been halted by these sanctions. The constant threats from Trump administration officials such as National Security Adviser John Bolton and Vice President Mike Pence also haven’t stopped the starvation and unrest stemming from these sanctions. To top it off, President Trump has now decided to consider military intervention as an option, despite the fact that Mexico has offered to mediate a resolution. The U.S. is already concerned about caravans of migrants moving toward their border; the introduction of even more Venezuelan refugees will only further the migrant crisis in Latin America and increase the potential conflict at the U.S. border. The Trump administration may not be so concerned with the aftermath of such an intervention; Bolton himself confirmed in an interview that the U.S. is considering the business interest that may benefit from the privatization of Venezuelan oil. The Trump administration has not considered any diplomatic option as of now, but perhaps opposition leader (and officially-recognized president) Juan Guaidó could change this situation.

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Editorial Board ——————————— Christian Ortega Editor-in-Chief/Sports Editor/Photo Editor Heidi Perez-Moreno Briefing Editor Corbin Bolies A&E Editor Teresa Schuster Forum Editor Looni Ingran Social Media Director

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