Miami Magazine | Fall 2011

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Fall 2011


For Alumni and Friends of the University of Miami F E AT U R ES


Unlocking the Cells Scientists at the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute are discovering new ways to use stem cells to heal the body.


Homecoming for Heroes A decade and two wars after 9/11, veterans at UM open up about going from the front line to the front of the class.

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No Holes Barred In the blue holes of the Bahamas, Abess Center director Kenny Broad leads fearless explorers deep inside liquid time capsules brimming with priceless scientific treasure.




Comments and opinions from alumni and friends

Meet the new UM Alumni Association president >> See the new U on tour >> Learn about Churchill’s historic visit >> Attend a Distinguished Alumni lecture



Artful Examiners

University Journal

Future health care practitioners can study everything from paintings to poetry at UM in an effort to improve their diagnostic skills and bedside manner.


Peace Corps turns 50 >> UM hits record rank >> LawWithoutWalls gets global launch >> Giving goes up >> Architects craft a movable feast >> Students embrace ’Canes Care for ’Canes and campus smoking ban >> Promising park opens >> Hip-hoppers gain traction >> And more!

On the cover: Mesenchymal stem cells, courtesy of Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute

Alumni Digest


Class Notes

News and profiles of alumni worldwide



Alumni events and activities


Big Picture

Marrying culture, percussion, and mathematical precision

P o s t



he time I spent at the great University of Miami is a distant yet cherished memory. While I experienced the scholastic challenges and satisfaction of earning my degree, I hold the non-academic experiences and friendships developed in much higher regard. These bonds were made even stronger through my membership in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). You remember us; we were the students who occasionally attended class in

Comments and Opinions from University of Miami Alumni and Friends

military uniform, conducted formation runs while singing cadence at 0600 every other morning, rappelled from the bright orange 30-foot tower behind the Hecht-Stanford Dining Hall, and enjoyed regularly traversing portions of Lake Osceola by rope bridge or Zodiac. Since earning my degree and my commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Aviation branch, I’ve had the honor and privilege for the past 16 years to serve our great nation proudly in numerous countries alongside the greatest soldiers on

From left, Lt. Cols. Erik Gilbert, B.F.A. ’91, Daniel O’Grady, B.S.C. ’90, Otto Liller, A.B. ’93, and Robert Donnelly, B.S. ’94

earth. As a student in 2010 at the Command and General Staff College (CGSC) in Fort

Leavenworth, Kansas, I had the pleasure of running into three other Hurricane alumni


Braving the Unknown


hen Valerie Molaison dropped her son off his first year at the University of Miami, she and a few other parents leaving orientation caught sight of a turtle in the canal. “He must have perched on this pointy rock at high tide while it was submerged,” she recounts in an email to Miami magazine. “But now it was cantilevered on top of the rock. It was the hot noon hour in August, and this creature was stuck. We wondered how and if we should attempt to rescue this turtle that was clearly in distress and out of our reach.” After some discussion, Molaison, a psychologist, remembers declaring, “This is a lesson about leaving our kids today. They will naively find themselves in bad situations and get stuck and afraid. We will want to rescue them, but we should not.” The parents ultimately agreed they could walk away, “not knowing how the story would end.” As for that turtle, its native skills and survival instincts carried the day. “Just as we began to turn toward our cars, we received one more gift,” Molaison recalls. “The turtle shifted, gained traction on the rock with two feet, and slipped into the water.” “As my postscript one year later,” she adds, “I am sure my son got stuck and surprised like the turtle on a few occasions his freshman year, but like a true ’Cane, he is bright, experienced, and resourceful. And in the spirit of ’Canes Care for ’Canes (page 8), he has created

2 Miami magazine Fall 2011

a wonderful network of trusted others at the ready to help if he needs it!” I share this anecdote because many of the stories in this issue are also about the daily trials we undertake and hard choices we make to achieve growth, gain wisdom, or even just live to see another day. These range from clinical trials such as those conducted by the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute to physical trials divers risk to explore underwater caverns, to the professional trials military veterans tackle in the transition from active duty to academe. They detail the kind of rich insights and experiences that come to those willing to brave the unknown and venture beyond the confines of their own protective, turtle-like shell. At a recent Peace Corps event (page 4), UM President Donna E. Shalala revealed that when she was 20, her father offered a car to persuade her not to join that new U.S. volunteer agency. But, said Shalala, despite his offer and the many other options open to her at that time, her decision came down to one key question: “What’s going to be the greatest adventure?” Today it’s clear the university she leads overflows with that same spirit and teems with individuals driven to answer that same bold question. — ­ Robin Shear, Editor

who were preparing to take command of battalions. Lt. Col. Erik Gilbert, B.F.A. ’91, was scheduled to take charge of 2-2 Aviation (Air Assault) consisting of 30 UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters and approximately 500 soldiers in Seoul, South Korea; Lt. Col. Dan O’Grady, B.S.C. ’90, was slated to lead the Jacksonville Recruiting Battalion; and Lt. Col. Otto Liller, A.B. ’93, was tapped to head up 1-1 Special Forces Battalion in Okinawa, Japan. As for me, after graduating from the CGSC, I moved to the United Kingdom to serve as a member of NATO’s Allied Rapid Reaction Corps Headquarters. I was recently promoted from major to lieutenant colonel and deployed to Afghanistan to serve with the International Security Assistance Force. Despite the relatively small Army ROTC program we had at UM, I’m proud to report that the Hurricane spirit remains alive and well within the military ranks. Although we span four graduating classes and have vastly different experiences, our common thread is that we remain Hurricanes at heart and continue to voluntarily serve with pride. Lt. Col. Robert C. Donnelly, B.S. ’94 Afghanistan

Athletic Role Model


ddie Dunn, A.B. ’40, (“Postmarks,” Spring 2011) was the first person I met when I arrived in Miami. I was a football recruit from Pennsylvania.

Eddie Dunn, A.B. ’40, played and coached football and baseball at UM.

He met me at the Miami railroad station in August 1941 and ferried me to the French Village, then a sort of dormitory! Quick, your calculator—August 1941 equals 70 years ago (my age, 88). I was a member of the freshman football team in ’41. I returned to UM in 1946 after three and a half years’ Army service, which included battle action in France and the German border as an infantry rifleman. I earned varsity letters for football for the ’46 and ’47 seasons (game

captain for the ’47 South Carolina and Alabama games); majored in English and journalism and served on the staffs of The Hurricane and Flotsam. Eddie Dunn was one of the great Hurricane athletes, a football and baseball standout who also coached both sports at the U. My time at UM is a treasured experience. The names of fellow athletes and students remain with me. From the football team: Edward “Red” Cameron, B.Ed. ’46, Joe Krutulis, B.Ed. ’47, Bob “Whitey” Campbell, J.D. ’52, Mario DeMarco, B.Ed. ’49, Bill “Bulldog” Frantz, B.Ed. ’48, Ernie Settembre, B.Ed. ’49, Eddie Injaychock, B.Ed. ’48, Bob McDougal, B.B.A. ’47, Harry Ghaul, B.Ed. ’49, and on and on. The cardboard college, then a duckling, though not ugly, is now the beautiful swan, the stunning, magnificent University of Miami circa 2011—a leader academically inside a wonderful physical plant. Onward and upward. Ed Hauck, A.B. ’48 Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Address letters to: Robin Shear Miami magazine P.O. Box 248105 Coral Gables, FL 33124 Email:

The University of Miami Magazine

­ Assistant Vice President for Communications and Marketing

Todd Ellenberg Editor

Robin Shear Art and Design Director

Scott Fricker Graphic Designer

Sau Ping Choi

Production Supervisor

Angie Villanueva Editorial Contributors

Robert S. Benchley Jana Bielecki Meredith Danton Camel Nancy Dahlberg Robert C. Jones Jr. Alysha Khan, ’14 Ana Maria Lima Sherri Miles Harout Samra, A.B. ’04, ­ M.B.A. ’08, J.D. ’09 Dina Weinstein Ivette Yee, B.S.C. ’97, M.A. ’98 ­ President

Donna E. Shalala Vice President for University Communications

Jacqueline R. Menendez, A.B. ’83 Senior Vice President for University Advancement and External Affairs

Sergio M. Gonzalez Associate Vice President of Alumni Relations

Donna A. Arbide, M.B.A. ’95 ­ Miami magazine is published by the University of Miami Division of University Communications. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Distributed free of charge to alumni and friends of the University. Postmaster and others, please send change of address notification to ­ Miami magazine, Office of Alumni Relations, ­ P.O. Box 248053, Coral Gables, Florida ­ 33124-3410; telephone 305-284-2872. Contributions of articles, photographs, and artwork are welcome; however, Miami magazine accepts no responsibility for unsolicited items. The comments and opinions expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect those of the University of Miami or the staff of Miami magazine. Copyright ©2011, University of Miami. An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

Fall 2011 Miami magazine 3

U n i v e r s i t y


Noteworthy News and Research at the University of Miami

A Peace of the Action Kennedy-created corps still going strong at 50


ennifer Grimm’s Peace Corps assignment included getting fishermen to stop blowing up fish. “They didn’t understand the importance of coral reefs and other vital ecosystems, and how dynamite would harm them,” said Grimm, M.A. ’08, who worked with government officials and local residents in the Philippines from 2003 to 2005 to devise alternatives to dynamite fishing. “I loved it!” she said of the experience. “I didn’t want to come home.” Now an environmental coordinator at Florida International University, Grimm was one of around 100

celebrate, from Greg Zell, B.S. ’62, J.D. ’68, who taught science at a girls’ school in Lagos, Nigeria, before returning to Miami for law school,

Moderator Helen Aguirre Ferré, at left, interviews, above, President Shalala, Peace Corps director Aaron Williams, Knight Foundation CEO Alberto Ibargüen (Venezuela, 1966-68), and Educate Tomorrow founder and UM student Virginia Emmons McNaught (Niger, 2000-02).

to Felicia Casanova, M.A. ’09, who had just returned from a two-year stint working on economic development, family planning, and civic engagement initiatives in rural Guatemala. “In my community the women were very timid when I got there,” recalled Casanova. “But now they speak in public

F. Kennedy’s behest in 1961, the Peace Corps has sent more than 200,000 cultural ambassadors like Casanova into 139 countries, seeing a spike in applications the last few years. Regularly a top producer of Peace Corps talent, UM currently has 23 alumni serving and nearly 400 returned volunteers. The School of Education now offers a Peace Corps Master’s International Program, which

“ Those of us who served really have a feel for the way the people of the world live and what their challenges are.” Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who commemorated the agency’s 50th anniversary at a University of Miamihosted event in September on the Coral Gables campus. Spanning five decades of service, many other Peace Corps ’Canes came to 4 Miami magazine Fall 2011

and express their views about issues affecting them and their families. They have gratitude for what I taught them, and I have learned from them. This is the cultural exchange that is the purpose of the Peace Corps.” Since its founding at John

blends a year of coursework on campus with a 27-month placement abroad. September’s event featured the “Making a Difference” career fair and a returned volunteer panel discussion with Peace Corps director Aaron S. Williams

and UM President Donna E. Shalala, among others. Confirmed as the agency’s director in 2009, Williams volunteered in the Dominican Republic from 1967 to 1970. It was the “best decision I’ve ever made in my life,” he said. “There’s no way I’d have the skills to run an international organization without Peace Corps experience. That’s where you learn how to be a diplomat.” Shalala said that “Kennedy inspiring a generation to serve and a chance for an extraordinary adventure” led her to volunteer in Iran from 1962 to 1964. “It was a lesson in listening to other people’s priorities. Those of us who served really have a feel for the way the people of the world live and what their challenges are, and that never leaves you.”


UM Rises to No. 38


U.S. News ranks best colleges for 2012

That Drinking Feeling


When state-level unemployment

ccording to U.S.News & World Report’s 2012 “Best Colleges” issue, released in September, the University of Miami ranks among the nation’s top 40 institutions of higher learning. Up nine spots from last year and 29 in the past decade, UM’s accelerated ascent to No. 38 is a unique achievement within the current top 50. “The dramatic rise this year,” explains Executive Vice President and Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc, “was due to continued improvements in student quality, retention, and graduation rates coupled with an unusually large improvement in our undergraduate academic reputation, as measured by a survey of college presidents, provosts, admissions deans, and high school guidance counselors.” Bolstering the University’s reputation are its admissions figures. Between 2000 and 2010, average SAT scores for the entering freshman class went from 1175 to 1295; the percentage of freshmen who were in the top 10 percent of their high school graduation class rose from 45 to 68; and freshman

application submissions nearly doubled from 13,080 to 25,899, resulting in a more selective acceptance rate of just 39 percent. Another key metric in the U.S. News rankings, the six-year graduation rate, also hit an all-time high of 80 percent at UM, compared with 62 percent in 2000. “All the credit goes to our incredible trustees, faculty, student body, staff, alumni, parents, and all our supporters over the years,” says UM President Donna E. Shalala. “This has truly been a climb to excellence. The road to excellence means investments in our students, in our faculty, in our facilities. But more than anything else, it’s a tribute to all of those who believe in the University of Miami, who believe in quality education. This is a success story not just for the University but our entire South Florida community.” This marks UM’s second year as Florida’s top-ranked school. For more on the magazine’s methodology for ranking top academic institutions, visit

goes up, so does binge drinking, reveals a new study by principal investigator Michael T. French, professor of health economics and director of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Health Economics Research Group. Published in the journal Health Economics, the study finds that worsening macroeconomic conditions also increase drunk driving and alcohol abuse/dependence across all ethnic groups and in both genders. And even those with jobs are more likely to drive under the influence and binge drink in a tanking economy.

Big Clue in Lou Gehrig’s Disease

Miller School of Medicine researchers are among an international group of scientists who made a major discovery in what causes the neurodegenerative disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The finding was published in the journal Neuron. Investigators identified on chromosome 9 a genetic abnormality that is probably the most common cause of familial ALS discovered to date. More important, it may also be the cause in a significant minority of individuals with apparently sporadic (non-familial) ALS. Neurologists Michael G. Benatar, associate professor, Neuromuscular Division chief, and Walter Bradley Chair in ALS Research, and Joanne Wuu, research assistant professor in the Clinical Translational Research Division, were co-authors of the Miller School arm of the study.

The Umpire State

During Major League Baseball’s six-month season, 30 teams play 2,430 games across 27 cities. Tallys Yunes, assistant professor of management science at the School of Business Administration, and his collaborators have created a computational solution for the dizzying task of scheduling umpires that’s been used for five of the past six seasons. Previously a former umpire would spend weeks devising the umpire crew schedule manually in Excel. Now it takes just days, with optimized results. The journal Interfaces published the study.

Fall 2011 Miami magazine 5


Today’s High-Tech Teaches Tomorrow’s Lawyers



aw students Liz RieserMurphy, University of Miami, and Wu Dan, Peking University School of Transnational Law, didn’t let the reality of living a continent apart keep them from together tackling a growing concern in legal practice. Thanks to a new initiative sponsored by the University of Miami School of Law, they were able to use virtual technology to erase the distance. After a semester of connecting virtually, students, above, reconnect at UM to present their capstone projects before an expert panel of judges in law, business, and entrepreneurship. At left, law professor Michele DeStefano Beardslee demonstrates.

York Law School, Peking University School of Transnational Law, and University College London Faculty of Laws met weekly with mentors via Adobe Connect, a web-conferencing tool, and solutions to them,” explains kept in contact with each The result of their colits founder and co-creator other through Skype and laboration, a website that Michele DeStefano Beardslee, Zoho, a cloud-based docuprovides credentialing an associate law professor at ment management system. information for lawyers Miami Law. “Business school They reunited in April at around the world, was one students are challenged to be Miami Law to present their of 11 projects created during entrepreneurs; law students final Projects of Worth durLawWithoutWalls, which should be, too.” ing a capstone event, dubbed kicked off in London this As such, LawWithoutthe “ConPosium,” where past January. Walls eschews the classroom they were judged by a panel “LawWithoutWalls is paradigm. After an in-person of experts in law, business, all about identifying probtraining, its inaugural 23 stu- and entrepreneurship. The lems in legal education or dents from Miami Law, Ford- rest of the LawWithoutpractice and finding real ham Law, Harvard Law, New Walls community chatted on Skype and voted for the best projects using clickers. BUZZ WORDS The global venture “ Our mission is not to win national championhas already won national ships (although we certainly want to) but to media attention and a 2011 educate these young adults.” InnovAction Award from Leonard Abess, University of Miami Board of Trustees chair the College of Law Practice —The Miami Herald Management. Next year’s student base will double 6 Miami magazine Fall 2011

in size and diversity with the addition of IE Business School in Spain, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Stanford Law School, Universidad de Los Andes Facultad de Derecho in Colombia, University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, and Sydney Law School. DeStefano Beardslee and her LawWithoutWalls co-creator, Michael Bossone, special advisor to Miami Law Dean Patricia D. White, credit this overwhelming success to “the support and energy of our students, their mentors, the deans at the participating schools, and the 80-plus others who were involved.” They cite as critical contributors to the program’s introduction and advancement Dean White, a recognized change agent, and Peter Lederer, former managing partner of the global law firm Baker & McKenzie. “We’ve created a new model for what virtual education can be in law and in other disciplines,” notes Bossone. “We are excited about the future.” And that future, UM student and LawWithoutWalls participant Kara Romagnino told Time magazine, is crystal clear: “Technology and globalization have touched everything,” she said. “If I’m going to be a lawyer, I can’t keep thinking it doesn’t touch me.”


School of Law launches award-winning global initiative


UM Donors Hit High Note Fundraising surpasses $170 million


espite a still-sluggish economy and a decrease in philanthropy in some parts of the nation, the University of Miami closed its fiscal year with a nearly 8 percent increase in fundraising. Bolstered by significant increases in donations from alumni and parents, the University raised $171,985,577

in total private cash, gifts, and grants for fiscal year 2011, a 7.9 percent increase over last year. Alumni donations equaled $15.5 million, up 51.7 percent from the previous year. Contributions through parents of current students were $8.1 million, an increase of more than 86 percent. Sergio M. Gonzalez, senior vice president for University Advancement and External Affairs, credits support from existing donors

and a new philanthropic segment—newly connected alumni and successful young entrepreneurs eager to invest and partner in UM initiatives—with helping to propel the institution to a lucrative fundraising year. Also critical, he says, were the more than $218 million in new commitments of $100,000 or more. Among those were a $5 million donation from the Ted and Todd Schwartz Family Foundation to create a new Center for Athletic Excellence and a $20 million lead commitment from Fairholme Foundation to help build a new Student Activities Center. These multi-year commitments represent “focused investments in areas that have been identified as priorities for a future campaign,” says Gonzalez. The University of Miami now belongs to the less than 1 percent of nonprofit organizations that Charity Navigator, the largest independent evaluator of U.S. charities, has awarded its highest 4-star rating for fundraising and fiscal management 11 years in a row. In addition, between fiscal year 2002 and 2010, UM rose from 54th to 34th place in the Council for Aid to Education’s ranking of fundraising among private and public institutions.

Earth Learning staff with Rocco Ceo and Jim Adamson, right

Building Organic Movement


he Design/Build Studio has given dozens of architecture students the chance to graduate with a built project under their tool belts. The assignment—design and build a full-scale project that meets the needs of a local nonprofit organization—teaches collaboration and community service, not to mention construction. “These students have an advantage in the job market because they have some construction experience,” says Rocco Ceo, undergraduate program director, ON COURSE who with master builder and Title: Design/Build Studio visiting critic Jim Adamson has Department: School of Architecture been leading the studio since Semester: Fall 2010 fall 2009. Their latest endeavor involved creating a mobile organic kitchen from scratch, mostly out of recycled materials. They started with a barebones trailer chassis salvaged by the client, an environmental group called Earth Learning. “The important thing is students need to know the implications of their design,” says Adamson, a longtime member of the famous Jersey Devil architecture collaborative. Whipping the ailing structure into a fully operational demo kitchen meant it first had to be gutted. Adamson and Ceo’s ten students also had to spend considerable time researching construction methods and sustainable practices before they could even begin the rebuilding process in the school’s construction yard. Vital instruction in craftsmanship and power tools came from Adrián Villaraos, director of the school’s model shop. This particularly challenging project taught another key lesson. As the one-semester timeline quickly stretched into a year, Ceo, Adamson, and a handful of student volunteers had to work overtime through winter break and many weekends to finish what they’d started. “Once we get to building, it takes on a life of its own,” explains Ceo. “It’s not an abstract line on your computer. It really connects design concepts with construction.” Recently delivered to its owner, the rolling kitchen, complete with green features such as a solar-paneled roof, is now hitting the road, ready to serve up organic fare with a side of community education. Fall 2011 Miami magazine 7


Support Initiative Raises Awareness on Campus ’Canes Care for ’Canes bolsters culture of caring


ean of Students Ricardo Hall summoned two students from a crowd gathered at The Rock to make a point. Starting with sophomore Danielle Landau, he said, “Danielle is jogging on the periphery of campus. She falls, twists her ankle, and is writhing in pain. What do you do, Emad?” Standing before his peers, freshman biology major Emad Mohammed wasted little time in answering, “I’d help her up.” The impromptu demonstration was part of a February event to raise awareness about ’Canes Care for ’Canes, a Universitywide initiative launched last spring.

Patricia A. Whitely, vice president for student affairs, came up with the idea after the murder of University of Virginia lacrosse player Yeardley Love, whose exboyfriend, George Huguely, is charged in her death. “If you know someone’s in trouble and they need some assistance, call us,” Whitely urged. “There are plenty of places at the University that can help, whether it’s the Counseling Center, the Department of Wellness and Recreation, or our Dean of Students Office. We just don’t want anyone to be hurting in this community or to need any assistance without someone knowing about it.”

Dean of Students Ricardo Hall, center, calls up students Danielle Landau, left, and Emad Mohammed, right, to show what being a caring ’Cane is all about.

UM’s program, modeled after a similar approach at University of Southern California, also uses an interactive website,, where students can anony-

Puff Peace

8 Miami magazine Fall 2011


ast year butts were banned on the Miller School of Medicine campus. This year the Coral Gables campus is on the road to going smoke-free. The student-led Smoke-Free Campus Committee’s plan calls for extinguishing all designated smoking areas by August 2013 while increasing access to smoking-cessation programs for students who wish to quit. “It’s all about promoting a healthy lifestyle and reducing the amount of secondhand smoke students who choose not to smoke are exposed to,” explains committee member Gilbert Arias, assistant vice president for student affairs.



An online poll of the student body conducted last November revealed that a majority of the 2,186 respondents favored either designated smoking areas around campus (59 percent) or a completely smoke-free campus (63 percent). Faculty also approved the initiative, which launched September 1. Previously, smoking was prohibited inside buildings and within 25 feet of the Herbert Wellness Center and residential colleges. To learn more, visit www.

mously report concerns, access academic and interpersonal resources, and nominate “Caring ’Canes” for recognition. Sophomore Kristen Spillane and senior Samantha Flanagan head up the ’Canes Care Ambassadors. They use social media and live events, such as the recent Orientation and Canefest 2011, to let their peers know they are not going to college alone. “It doesn’t even have to be a big thing,” says Spillane. “It can be something simple like learning the ropes.” Underlying all of these efforts is one simple theme. “If someone needs help, get them help,” says Flanagan. “We are all friends with each other. It’s really just taking it a step further.”


Quidditch Takes Off at UM coming to life at a field near you. Quidditch, a popular sport in Potter’s J. K. Rowling-created universe, is traditionally played on flying broomsticks, with players covering the positions of chaser, seeker, beater, and keeper. First adapted for Muggles, or non-wizards, at Middlebury College in 2005, Muggle Quidditch can be described as a mix of soccer, flag football, dodgeball, and basketball. Though earthbound, it still requires the use of broomsticks. “It’s not as easy as it looks,” says sophomore Ally Levy, a seeker on University of Miami’s team. “Try tackling someone with a broom between your legs.” In this version of Quidditch, a deflated volleyball serves as the quaffle, deflated dodgeballs are bludgers, and a neutral player is the snitch. Founded in the spring of 2010, the UM team has quickly found success on the field. “The first couple practices were just learning people’s names,” recounts team captain Hernan Martinez, one of the earliest members. “I played everything and so did everybody else. Then we saw what everybody’s strengths were.” Their first matchups were against Florida International University. “They had fewer members, so we won all four games,” Martinez says. UM’s next stop was the Swamp Cup, a six-team interstate tournament held in Gainesville this past March. Despite falling to the Gator team in the first game, UM went on to beat Ringling College of Art and Design in a deciding contest and brought home the cup. “It was intense,” says Levy. “We came in not having any ideas, and we hadn’t



The magical world of Harry Potter is

UM’s Muggle Quidditch team is a fast-rising force.

practiced that much. I realized how out of shape I was.” This year Muggle Quidditch teams from UM and three other schools launched the nonprofit Florida Quidditch Conference to help plan matches and an annual FQC Championship. “We take all the knowledge we have and help other clubs get started faster,” explains Martinez, who also serves as director of gameplay for the Florida

Quidditch Association, the sport’s statewide governing body. With the team’s Swamp Cup victory in tow, UM competed for the 2011 Quidditch World Cup, sponsored by the International Quidditch Association. Going in, UM Muggle Quidditch was ranked 18th by the IQA, with a 21-9 record of wins and losses. The team hopes to climb into the top ten following its performance at the World Cup, which took place November 12 and 13 in New York City. Meanwhile, at UM, the Committee on Student Organizations awarded the team’s outstanding athletic achievements. “It’s been an amazing journey,” says Martinez. “We created so much out of nothing. All of us are so devoted to the sport.” —Alysha Khan, ’14

Fall 2011 Miami magazine 9


A Big Boost for Biotech Life Science & Technology Park hosts grand opening

medical startups, pharmaceutical companies, and other ventures. It was precertified with a Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating and won the 2011 Urban Land Institute Project of the Year Vision Award. “It’s top drawer,” said H. Thomas Temple, UM Tissue Bank director and professor The building houses R+D labs and medical startups.

and vice chair of orthopaedics surgery. “It makes people realize that we have a lot of pride in what we’re doing.” UM President’s Council member and alumni parent Jonathan “Jack” Lord, B.S. ’73, M.D. ’78, newly appointed chief innovation officer and professor of pathology at


“ A pragmatic visionary. He could see things that no one else thought could be useful … and then make those things a reality.” College of Engineering Dean James M. Tien on Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who died October 6 at age 56 —The Miami Herald

10 Miami magazine Fall 2011

the Miller School of Medicine, called the venture “a focal point for the development of new businesses.” The former Humana CIO has responsibilities for the park and two of Building One’s tenants—the tissue bank and UM Innovation, a hub for technology advancement. Other tenants of the 60 percent leased facility include Spanish information technology company Andago, medical device firms Emunamedica and DayaMed, Community Blood Centers of South Florida, intellectual property law firm Novak Druce + Quigg, clinical research firm AdvancedPharma, and the Enterprise Development Corporation of South Florida. JENNY ABREU


outh Florida’s future as a biotech hub brightened considerably on September 20, when the University of Miami officially dedicated its ambitious Life Science & Technology Park in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood. “This is more than a building,” UM President Donna E. Shalala told the almost 300 government officials, business executives, and community members gathered in the lobby of R+D Building One, the first of five buildings for the planned eight-acre complex. “This is a place where education, research, and technology intersect with discovery and innovation. This is the home of future cures and treatments for some of the most vexing and chronic problems we face today.” Situated on land once dominated by automobile yards, the 252,000-squarefoot facility developed by Wexford Science + Technology LLC now houses lab-ready suites for scientists,

The Washington Economics Group estimated phase one of the park could create thousands of direct and indirect jobs. Neighbors were invited to hear about these and other opportunities at the park’s Overtown Community Resource Fair in September. UM, Miami Dade College, and South Florida Workforce are rolling out a $400,000 career training program to help local candidates gain health care and biotech placements in the burgeoning Health District. Miller School Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, senior vice president for medical affairs and CEO of UHealth – University of Miami Health System, said the LSTP is “a conduit for international partnerships” that “will enable us to move research forward into advanced treatments that will be brought to patients in South Florida, across the United States, and around the world more quickly than ever before.”

Online High School Clicks with Students


wo years after it began offering a full slate of courses online, the University of Miami Global Academy reached a milestone in June, graduating its first class of students. Dressed in cap and gown and smiling from ear to ear, Jade McNitt walked down the aisle inside the University of Miami’s Robert and Judi Prokop Newman Alumni Center. Under the proud gaze of her parents and friends, she accepted a high school diploma cemented in honors courses and community service. Her journey through high school was not a typical one. Instead of brick-and-

mortar classrooms, Jade took science, history, and English classes in cyberspace. The 18-year-old is one of the three inaugural graduates of the Global Academy, an online high school that has eliminated the confinement of classroom walls, allowing students from anywhere in the world to earn a diploma by choosing from 131 courses taught via the Internet and through technologies such as Skype and Blackboard. “We tend to attract students who are pursuing a passion and want a quality education,” explains Craig Wilson, school headmaster and executive director of


Academy’s enrollment spans the globe

The University of Miami Global Academy’s graduating class posed with the two Sebastians after their ceremony at the Newman Alumni Center in June.

online college programs. Wilson, a former U.S. Marine who joined the

Consortium Named National Resource



consortium coFocused on promoting founded last year research and stimulating by the Center for Latin public awareness of all American Studies at the aspects of Latin America University of Miami Coland the Caribbean while lege of Arts and Sciences fostering relations with has been designated a U.S. the United States and Department of Education nations outside the National Resource Center. Western Hemisphere, the The Miami Consorconsortium has already tium for Latin American UM President Donna E. Shalala, CLAS Director Ariel Armony, LACC hosted conferences on and Caribbean Studies, a Director Cristina Eguizábal, and FIU President Mark Rosenberg Haiti, Bolivia, Brazil, and partnership of CLAS and other nations. FIU’s Latin American and Caribbean Center, received a Named director of CLAS in August 2010, Ariel C. $1 million Title VI National Resource Center grant sup- Armony, international studies professor and Weeks porting faculty travel, course development, language Professor of Latin American Studies, says the training, and cultural and academic exchanges, as well consortium will allow UM and FIU to “become the as increased outreach and training at all education top leaders in the area of Latin American and levels, from kindergarten up. Caribbean studies.”

U.S. Department of Education’s Troops-to-Teachers Program before earning doctoral and law degrees, says UMGA is adapting to its students’ needs, instituting programs and classes to keep pace with their busy lifestyles. The Extreme Scholars Program, for example, allows them to take courses and graduate at an accelerated rate. UMGA’s enrollment of 350 full- and part-time students spanning 24 countries includes a drag racer, tennis pro, concert pianist, and ballerina—students, says Wilson, “who would be confined by a traditional school.” For more information visit Fall 2011 Miami magazine 11


Olympic Summer for Student Journalists Knight program students cover Special Olympics in Greece



raveling to the ancient birthplace of the Olympics, UM School of Communication students and alumni served as the official documentary team for the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games. Commissioned by the Special Olympics, ten multimedia graduate students and alumni covered the international event in Athens, Greece, which featured 7,500 athletes from nearly 180 countries competing in 22 Olympic-style sports. “When you meet the athletes and experience the games through their eyes and their families’ eyes, it is so rewarding,” says multimedia graduate student Chris Letendre. The UM team’s coverage included everything from the Opening Ceremonies, with performances by Stevie Wonder and Vanessa Williams, to the Torch Run, as well as short documentaries about the athletes and Special Olympics programs. Beginning in the spring, students began to produce

Multimedia students Megan Garner, right, and Kathryn Rende, above, cover the Special Olympics and the riots over Greece’s troubled economy, respectively.

multimedia stories from around the globe about the athletes preparing for the games: from soccer players in Ecuador and earthquakeravaged Haiti to an openwater swimmer from Korea, among others. In Greece from June 25 to July 4, the students worked in a 24-hour newsroom under the guidance of Rich Beckman, School of Com-


“ This was a life-threatening situation we were in.” Clifton Page, Miller School of Medicine clinical assistant professor, on treating Diana Nyad, 62, for severe jellyfish stings as she swam 82 of the 103 nautical miles from Cuba to Florida in September —CNN

12 Miami magazine Fall 2011

munication professor and Knight Chair in Visual Journalism. Journalists from The New York Times and CNN were also on hand to coach the students. Their reporting became a main component of the Special Olympics website, www., and was made available to all media covering the games, explains Kirsten Suto Seckler, vice president, branding and communications, Special Olympics International. “We were able to provide more comprehensive documentation of our athletes, families,

fans, and volunteers than ever before,” she says. “Rich Beckman and his student videographers worked really hard to get at the heart of the stories of our athletes.” For these budding visual journalists, Greece turned out to be the landscape for another international news story. The country, reeling from tumultuous political and economic conditions, erupted in riots during their visit. Video coach Trevor Green, B.S.C. ’11, ventured out to cover the protest for CNN. “I wanted to talk to the people and get their feeling about what was happening with the economy,” he says. “There was a moment when the police were on one side and the protesters were on the other and the tear gas was flying. A flash bomb landed six feet away from me. My journalistic instincts were to stay and capture this footage, but my common sense kicked in and I realized I had to get out of there.” This is the second time the University of Miami has worked with the Special Olympics. In 2009 Beckman’s students covered the Winter Games in Boise, Idaho.



Lexi Heller and Julianne Byun, of Kaos

Organized Kaos Creates Campus Dance Craze


he University of Miami’s only co-ed hip-hop dance team has been bringing well-choreographed chaos to campus for more than 15 years. Created in 1994, Kaos has become a popular entertainment group. Most recently they performed at the ’Cane Kickoff in August. “We provide a little bit of fun for everyone,” explains team president Julianne Byun, a sophomore psychology and public relations major who’s been dancing since age 5. Through the years the group has remained true to its roots. “We still do strictly hip-hop, which is one of the things that first attracted me to it,” says Alexandra “Lexi” Heller, a senior political science major who has been dancing with Kaos since freshman year. Heller, who hails from Highland Park, Illinois, began competing on an all-girl hip-hop team at age 15. “I had to work hard to keep up with the team,” she recalls. “I credit a lot of my academic and extracurricular success to the lessons I learned as a competitive dancer.” She says hip-hop as a dance form has evolved to “a global level.” Despite its hip-hop-centric thrust, Kaos welcomes dancers from all backgrounds, holding auditions and clinics twice a year. Members practice together four hours each week, says Heller, in addition to taking dance classes to hone their art.

“Most of us are trained in all different kinds of styles,” explains Byun, a former UM Sunsations dancer. “We each have a different style of dancing.” Byun, who co-choreographed a flash-mob dance event for her high school graduation in her hometown of Edison, New Jersey, prefers contemporary movement but is also well versed in jazz, ballet, and other genres. She says the team puts its flexibility and diversity to the test during its annual fall and spring dance shows at The Rock. “This year we are adding jazzy burlesque numbers. We are pushing our boundaries of where we can go,” she vows. Byun adds that her 12-member squad also hopes to collaborate on a football halftime extravaganza with the Band of the Hour and UM dance clubs Miami Ballroom and Salsa Craze. “We do lots of performances,” notes Heller, a member of Zeta Tau Alpha and the President’s 100. “We work at a lot of charity events, and at the end of the year, we do our big showcase” at which Kaos members debut original choreography. “It’s always at the end of the semester, so the people in the library are complaining that we’re making the campus jump all night,” she admits. “We all just love what we do.” —Alysha Khan, ’14 Fall 2011 Miami magazine 13

14 Miami magazine Fall 2011

At the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute, the ability to fix diseased organs and cure debilitating illness stems from tiny tools in the body’s own repair system.

BODY SHOP The giant picture window reveals what you’d expect of

Technicians in ISCI’s FDA-certified Good Manufacturing Practice lab follow stringent protocols to grow and prepare the stem cells researchers are using to heal damaged hearts and other maladies.

a “clean room” at a modern manufacturing facility: stainless steel tables, spotless floors, air handlers that wipe out nearly every airborne particle, workers dressed like astronauts in protective suits. But instead of microchips or other high-tech widgets, this facility churns out lifesaving stem cells. The Cellular Manufacturing Laboratory is one of many interlocking parts at the Miller School of Medicine’s Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute (ISCI). Launched in 2008 under the direction of Joshua Hare, Louis Lemberg Professor of Medicine, ISCI is an efficient machine designed to realize the vast potential of regenerative medicine. By Meredith Danton Cam el Ph otos by Donna Vic tor

Fall 2011 Miami magazine 15

Tour this FDA-certified Good Manufacturing Practice facility and you’ll see flasks of cells in growth-factor cocktails being expanded or differentiated for upcoming transplants, cryogenic tanks that store isolated cells, and stacks of binders documenting every detail of every study recorded on paper. “Stem cells will change everything about the practice of medicine, just like antibiotics did in the last century,” says Hare, who came to the Miller School from The Johns Hopkins University, where he ran a cellular therapeutics program and the cardiobiology section of the Institute for Cell Engineering. “Until now, we’ve had two methods of treating disease—surgical procedures and chemicals,” he explains. “Now we’re using a living cell as a therapeutic. Soon every specialty and every physician will need to have some knowledge of stem cells. That’s why we formed ISCI.”


tem cell therapy has been around for more than 50 years in the form of bone marrow transplants for patients with leukemia and other blood diseases. Today bone marrow is just one of several sources of stem cells used at ISCI. ISCI made international headlines this year when Hare, along with Alan Heldman, professor of medicine, and Juan Zambrano, assistant professor of medicine, published a study of eight men who received an injection with a corkscrew-shaped catheter of stem cells cultured from their own bone marrow. The pilot’s main purpose was to demonstrate the safety of injecting either bone marrow or a type of stem cell found in bone marrow called mesenchymal cells into the heart, but it also revealed a surprising outcome—up to a 20 percent decrease in the swelling and scar tissue that typically occurs

recalls of the day she suffered her heart attack in 2003. Following double-bypass surgery in 2005, her quality of life quickly declined. “The saddest part is that we take a lot for granted,” she says. “I couldn’t lie flat on my back because I felt like I was suffocating. I couldn’t go shopping with my friends. I was dead weight, dragging everybody back. I once tried to take a bubble bath, then realized I couldn’t pull myself out of the tub. I was stuck there until my daughter got home.” Wilson’s cardiologist first suggested a heart transplant. Reluctant to endure surgery again, Wilson replied, “Doc, when I die, I want to have my own heart. You do what you do, I’ll do what I do, and God will do the rest.” Then he told her about the TAC-HFT trial at ISCI. “I gave my family the pros and cons,” Wilson says. “We decided that even if it doesn’t work for me, it may work for

“ We decided that even if it doesn’t work for me, it may work for someone else down the line.” —Deborah Wilson, TAC-HFT study patient

Pascal J. Goldschmidt, senior vice president for medical affairs and dean of the Miller School, knew Hare was the best person to lead the Stem Cell Institute when he first envisioned it. “The field of stem cell research is one of the most exciting in medicine right now, and Josh is taking it into an entirely new realm,” says Goldschmidt. “Not only are his trials breaking new ground, but his teams are laying the scientific groundwork behind these therapies.” 16 Miami magazine Fall 2011

after a heart attack (three times better than what current treatments offer). Results of the study, called TACHFT, were published in the March 17, 2011 issue of Circulation Research. But Miami native Deborah Wilson didn’t have to read the article to believe the injections could work. She was the first woman treated in a follow-up TACHFT study of 60 patients. “I was at home moving furniture when I felt the pain,” Wilson, 59,

someone else down the line.” Wilson’s first inkling that the stem cells worked was during a quiet moment alone in bed, reading the newspaper on her back, a simple pleasure formerly too painful to enjoy. “I pulled myself up and said, talking to myself, ‘Wow, did you see that?’” Before the injection, she couldn’t walk her dogs more than two blocks. “Now we walk for blocks and blocks, and I say to them, ‘Who’s in charge?’”

ISCI director Joshua Hare, right, consults with associate scientist Jose Da Silva in Hare’s lab, located amid an open plan of 15 such labs designed to kindle cross-disciplinary collaboration.


n addition to TAC-HFT, Hare’s cardiovascular team is running two other clinical trials. The Poseidon study compares outcomes of patients with heart damage who receive their own (autologous) mesenchymal cells versus those who receive donor (allogeneic) mesenchymal cells. Mesenchymal cells, which are multipotent and can generate a variety of cell types, are used because they don’t trigger an immune response. Other types of stem cells require a match between donor and recipient through a process called HLA typing. “A key advantage of autologous is that it’s your own,” Hare explains. “The disadvantage is that you have to take a biopsy of your bone marrow, then there’s a delay to expand [the cells], and there’s a chance they won’t grow. Allogeneic cells are from young, healthy donors, off the shelf and ready to go.”

The other cardiovascular trial under way is Prometheus, a collaboration with investigators at Johns Hopkins following patients who receive either a high or low dose of mesenchymal stem cells injected into the heart during bypass surgery. “Having research laboratories, a cell manufacturing lab, an animal lab, a unit that can work on FDA approvals, and a unit that can administer clinical trials—and having it all run like clockwork—that’s what really makes ISCI translational,” Hare says. “That’s what really lets us go from the bench to the bedside.” Led by Hare, ISCI’s cardiac clinical trials account for the largest cohort of patients injected with stem cells in the United States. But cardiovascular research is just one of eight platforms at ISCI. Housed in the Biomedical Research Building at the Miller School,

ISCI maintains lab space for about 15 investigators in disciplines such as basic cell biology, blood, bone and skin, cancer, diabetes, ethics and science policy, and the nervous system. There are an additional 45 ISCI members located in schools throughout the University. ISCI’s primary investigators have received $10.3 million in extramural funding. But it will take more than government grants to broaden preclinical and clinical trial research, establish an endowment, and expand research facilities. At least $50 million is being sought in gifts and pledges over the next five to seven years, says Hare. Such funding would speed the translational pipeline for a host of incurable diseases and dire medical conditions such as pulmonary fibrosis, burns, stroke, macular degeneration, glaucoma, hearing loss, chronic kidney and gastrointestinal diseases, and heart disease. Fall 2011 Miami magazine 17

In its bone and skin division, associate professor of dermatology Evangelos Badiavas is using cells that have been expanded and optimized at ISCI’s Cell Manufacturing Laboratory to continue the groundbreaking work he began ten years ago at Brown University. “We were the first with the idea of taking a stem cell population and putting it into a chronic wound,” says Badiavas, director of ISCI’s Laboratory on Cutaneous Wound Healing and Regeneration. He and his team at Brown applied bone marrow cells topically to a surgical wound that had been open for several years. The cells rebuilt skin tissue, healing thoroughly rather than simply scarring. “It was one of those worth-it moments—all those nights in the lab, my wife being angry with me for being home late,” Badiavas recalls. “It’s a situation where you made a difference with your own hands, your own ideas.” Since arriving at ISCI in 2008, Badiavas, who did his residency and fellowship at the Miller School, has had several “worth-it” moments. He describes one patient with bilateral leg ulcers from severe veinous disease who was dependent on narcotics for pain management. Injection of the patient’s own bone marrow cells closed his wounds, restored his ability to walk, and got him off of narcotics.


esenchymal cells show widespread therapeutic promise because of their ability to fly under the immune system’s radar. But they alone cannot regenerate blood destroyed by chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer or other diseases. Hematapoietic (bloodforming) cells from healthy donors are necessary, but they introduce a serious rejection risk called graft-versus-host 18 Miami magazine Fall 2011

Through their work with stem cells, Evangelos Badiavas, associate professor of dermatology and cutaneous surgery, and research associate Marcela Salgado have been able to close chronic wounds and restore patients’ independence and quality of life.

disease, even when the donor is a close HLA match. “We can always shut down graftversus-host disease with steroids or other lines of immunosuppressants,” explains Krishna Komanduri, the Kalish Family Endowed Chair in Stem Cell Transplantation and director of the UM/Sylvester Stem Cell Transplant Program. “But the problem is that patients end up so profoundly immunodeficient they often die of infection.” Komanduri’s lab at ISCI is working on ways to prevent graft-versus-host disease while reducing risk of infection and relapse. A lot of his work is with T cells, components of the human immune system also vulnerable to HIV. “In many cases, the same pathogens that cause problems in HIV-infected patients also cause problems in bone marrow transplant patients,” says Komanduri, who first worked with T cells in the early 1990s at an HIV immunology lab in San Francisco, the epicenter of the AIDS epidemic at that time. When chemotherapy destroys leukemia cells, it takes T cells with it. Hematopoietic stem cell transplants also deliver

new T cells from the donor, but they take time to multiply, leaving the patient vulnerable to infection. When infectionfighting T cells finally repopulate, they introduce the potential for graft-versushost disease. It turns out that not all T cells are created equal: Some can cause graftversus-host disease, and some can reverse it. Komanduri developed a novel technique, called flow cytometry, that helps isolate different types of T cells. His team is working on a transplant protocol that combines these different T cells in a ratio that can quash infections and graft-versus-host disease at the same time. Komanduri is also exploring how to improve outcomes in blood cancer patients who can’t find a donor match. Cord blood transplants use stem cells from the small amount of blood that’s in a baby’s umbilical cord and placenta, usually discarded after birth. This blood contains hematapoietic stem cells, along with immature T cells that are less likely to cause graft-versushost disease. Therefore, they can be used even when they’re not a perfect

HLA match. Komanduri is testing a new way of growing cord blood cells on a “feeder” layer of mesenchymal cells to boost immune recovery after transplant. Over the last 20 years, both private and public cord banks have sprouted up worldwide. Public banks accept donations for anyone in need. Private banks charge a fee to store cord blood solely for use by the family that deposited it. While a federal funding ban on research involving embryonic stem cells (those derived from an unused embryo created through in vitro fertilization) was lifted in 2009, ISCI trials don’t currently involve this category of stem cell. Hare notes that only mesenchymal cells are used in clinical trials presently under way at ISCI, but several research teams are shifting focus to a new area—tissuespecific stem cells. “What’s driving progress in the field

is the discovery that every organ has its own specific stem cell,” Hare explains. “We’re working very intently now on cardiac stem cells, and we know from animal studies that these cells are more potent than mesenchymal cells.” He says this discovery, which happened within the past ten years, is one example of how quickly the science of translational medicine is moving. He also gives props to patients like Deborah Wilson, who are eager to participate in the trials. “If I look back on the last ten years, I never thought we’d be this far along,” Hare admits. “I think this is ready for approval, at least in its first iteration, by 2015. It doesn’t mean we won’t improve on it. We didn’t avoid using penicillin because we were waiting for the third-generation antibiotics. We used what we had at the time that we knew worked. And we’ll do the same with stem cell therapies.”

In April ISCI hosted an appreciation luncheon that drew more than 50 clinical trial participants, one of whom showed his appreciation and energy level by giving a spontaneous breakdancing performance during the event. “They are seeking us out from all over the country,” Hare says of his patients. “They understand that we don’t know whether it’s going to work, but they stand shoulder to shoulder with us in the importance of doing this research.”

meredith danton camel is an editorial director at the University of Miami. For more on clinical trials and stem cell research at ISCI, visit To watch UHealth’s Suncoast Emmy Awardwinning episode of Breakthrough Medicine, “Stem Cell Therapy: Healing Force of the Future,” go to episode4.asp.

More Cutting-Edge Activity at ISCI t

Nanette H. Bishopric, recipient of the American College of Cardiology’s 2010 Distinguished Scientist Award, professor of medicine, and director of the Cardiovascular Genetics Laboratory, led a team of researchers in discovering a factor that can serve as a predictor of stem cell development into blood vessels, a key finding for future applications.


David Seo, director of the Genomic Medicine Registry and associate professor of medicine, Division of Cardiology, is exploring the use of bone marrow-derived stem cells to repair artherosclerosis. t Omaida Velazquez, vice chair of research surgery and David Kimmelman Endowed Chair of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, is principal investigator of an National Institutes of Health-funded grant to study growth factors critical to the wound-healing process, among several other stem cell-related studies she is leading. t Karen Young, assistant professor of clinical pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, is studying how stem cells become lung cells. She received the 2010 Micah Batchelor Award for Excellence in Children’s Health Research and a $300,000 grant for research that aims to identify factors leading to impaired lung cell development in premature infants.

Fall 2011 Miami magazine 19

Whether it’s basic training for a new career or an advanced degree for upward mobility, these military veterans find UM to be a welcoming partner in the next chapter of their lives.

20 Miami magazine Fall 2011

Donald Wagner is probably the only student at the University of Miami School of Law who can say he took a helicopter to his LSAT. That’s because he was in Afghanistan. The location was a distance-learning classroom, and there was just one other student. In addition to a No. 2 pencil, he brought a rifle. Fortunately, he didn’t need to use the rifle that day, but just taking the exam was a triumph of determination. “I spent three years as an infantryman, including a year in Afghanistan,” says Wagner, a U.S. Army captain and thirdyear law student. “I would work a 12- to 15-hour day and then go back to my room and study before going to sleep.”

From Service to Scholarship By contrast, U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant Commander Chad Brick, who began graduate study this fall at the School of Business Administration, occasionally had to catch his sack time during the day. Coast Guard work includes law enforcement actions, and criminals often operate under the cover of darkness. “There was a 90-minute chase in the Florida Straits in the middle of the night, illuminated by search lights from helicopters, with drug smugglers throwing bales of marijuana overboard and finally ramming our boat with theirs in an attempt to sink us and get away,” Brick recalls. “Another night, a boat smuggling would-be immigrants overturned, putting 16 people into the water who had to be rescued.” Pretty Miami Vice stuff for a guy who is at the University to get an M.B.A. in finance. By Robert S. Benc h ley Photos by Ri chard Pat terso n Fall 2011 Miami magazine 21

Here on campus they don’t wear uniforms, march, or salute. But whether they’re students (generally a bit older than their counterparts), staff, or newly minted alumni, what they share—aside from being part of the family of achievers the U brings together so well—is current or recent military service. Historically the University has been a welcoming place for veterans, from training and housing cadets for the U.S. Army Air Corps’s World War II efforts to President Donna E. Shalala’s recent service as co-chair of the Commission on Care for Returning Wounded Warriors. South Florida’s geographic location gives it strategic importance and a large regional military population. Veterans seeking college degrees and officers seeking advanced training have long turned to UM as a school of choice. Today, ten years after 9/11 and with continuing U.S. involvement in conflicts

from the top. Writing recently in The Washington Post, President Shalala said, “Most professors will tell you that returning veterans are a motivated group; they study hard, are highly focused, and they bring a unique perspective to the classroom. Many have served in leadership positions. Many have traveled and fought abroad and seen other cultures up close. Nearly all have experienced the implications of U.S. political policies firsthand. Those perspectives are too valuable not to be shared throughout the academic community.” For this reason, UM is one of the schools participating in the Yellow Ribbon Scholarship Program, a federal matching funds supplement to the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which is the 2009 update of the U.S. benefit package for veterans. Spearheading UM’s Yellow Ribbon effort is Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc. “We owe veterans a debt of

and the trees. Second, I had been out of school for 15 years. I’m older than most of the other students, and I have a family, so I can’t just blend in.” He and U.S. Marines First Lieutenant Ted Massey, also a third-year law student at UM, recently launched the Military Law Society and the National Security and Armed Conflict Law Review journal at the School of Law. Sergeant Paul Agbeyegbe, A.B. ’11, a first-year law student, served a year in Iraq with the Florida Army National Guard. Reentry into student life in Miami “was tough for me,” he recalls. “You have to relearn how to be a civilian. Back then, I didn’t understand how students thought any more, why they acted the way they did. And whether I walked into a classroom or went to a concert, I had difficulty relaxing—I noticed everything, especially where the exits were.”

“ We owe veterans a debt of gratitude, and we are committed to making sure the University of Miami is completely available to veterans.” around the world, there is a growing population of young adults with military—and often combat—experience. Army Sergeant Amber Cotton, B.S.N. ’07, managed a trauma ICU unit during her 2003 deployment to Iraq. She came back to UM for her master’s degree in nursing and wound up helping last year’s earthquake relief efforts in Haiti. “The School of Nursing and Health Studies has an exceptional facility and faculty that make you really want to go the extra mile to make a difference in the world,” she says. The University’s student veteran population falls fairly consistently between 100 and 150 students each year— this in addition to a healthy enrollment in the ROTC program on campus. UM’s open-door policy comes right 22 Miami magazine Fall 2011

gratitude,” he says, “and we are committed to making sure the University of Miami is completely available to veterans.” This year UM significantly increased the opportunity for Yellow Ribbon matches and will gauge the response to its enhanced commitment. TRANSITIONING For those who have served overseas, the transition from a war zone to a comparatively idyllic campus life can be difficult. Returning from his first tour in Afghanistan was a real “double whammy,” says Wagner. “First, going to Afghanistan is like being dropped on the face of the moon—everything is brown. When you come home to a place like Miami, one of the first things you notice is the greenness, the grass

Alice Kerr, M.A.L.S. ’97, and her staff monitor more than 100 projects in UM’s Information Technology Department. But three years ago, Kerr, a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserves, was “mayor” of Camp Striker, a military town in Iraq with a population around the size of UM’s student body. Kerr, recently promoted to colonel, says the two jobs are not so different. “If you were to open up any book on organizational leadership or project management, it was just what I was doing in Iraq, with the exception of bullets flying and bombs dropping in our front yard. The difference here,” she adds with a laugh, “is I have to decide what I want to wear in the morning.” Returning to UM may have been easier for Kerr because Iraq wasn’t her

Previous spread: “My twin boys were born two weeks before I deployed,” says Capt. Donald Wagner, left, with fellow veterans Sgt. Paul Agbeyegbe, A.B. ’11, and Col. Alice Kerr, M.A.L.S. ’97. Above, from left, finance major and former Marine Juan Carlos Castillo and M.B.A. student Lt. Cmdr. Chad Brick are among some 160 student veterans at UM.

first tour. “I had the benefit of previous combat experience to help me with the transition,” she says. “Unfortunately, being a reservist, you are returned to your civilian life just as unceremoniously as you were plucked from it. Unless you live by a military installation, there aren’t too many people around who can understand your experience or your point of view. People were kind and considerate, but sometimes I felt like they didn’t know how to approach me.” Patrick Manrique, D.P.T. ’11, a retired Army captain, also appreciates the support given to returning veterans by the folks back home but is similarly frustrated by some of the stereotypical assumptions he has found, which he says are often fueled by overly dramatic news reports. “The majority of soldiers who come back are not damaged goods,” says the physical therapist, who now lives in Chicago. “For those who

do have problems, there are services to help them, and they handle it with grace and a lot of courage. Those of us who served overseas talk about our experiences with other veterans, but with civilians we don’t open up much. We think of it as a job we were asked to do. We did it well, and now we’re moving on with our lives.” Like other UM students, veterans who are seeking help for emotional issues have access to the UM Counseling Center, as well as a broad range of other student services. But Gail Cole-Avent, assistant to the vice president for student affairs and university ombudsperson, says a committee is also studying whether customized services need to be created for the veteran student population. “We’re very proud that they’ve chosen UM,” she says. “We want to be part of their journey and support them in any way we can.”

Creating a veterans group for UM undergraduates was the aim of Juan Carlos Castillo, a senior at the School of Business Administration and former Marine helicopter mechanic who saw action in Iraq. “When I first came here, I was a little bit lost,” he says. “A lot of veterans tend to isolate themselves.” Castillo envisioned the group providing support and performing community service. The UM Committee on Student Organizations approved his bid for the group in November. “I wanted to get the group started before I graduate next spring,” he says, “not just for me, but for those who will come after me.” LOOKING AHEAD As Manrique notes, most vets are moving on with their lives. Though currently in private practice, he plans to rejoin the service through the National Guard in his home state of Minnesota. Kerr is back at UM and eligible to retire from the Army in three years. Agbeyegbe wants to practice law in Miami. Wagner owes the Army six years and will join the JAG Corps after he graduates and passes the bar exam. Massey, who must still do five years of active courtroom duty for the Marine Corps after graduation, is confident that his law school contacts will lead to “excellent networking for a civilian legal career.” And Brick, who plans to return to the Coast Guard, says an M.B.A. will keep his financial career on the rise. “In the military, to be competitive,” he notes, “you need higher education— the same as in the private sector.”

robert s. benchley is a Miamibased freelance writer. Go to for expanded profiles of these and other veterans. Fall 2011 Miami magazine 23

Underworld In the pursuit of scientific riches, Abess Center director Kenny Broad

leads an extreme expedition of fearless explorers into the

legendary blue holes of the Bahamas.

Descending hundreds of feet down a blue hole By

An a

Ma ria

Li ma

can be a risky P hpursuit, o t o s Bfrom y W mazes e s C . ofS murky k i l e s underwater passageways and violently shifting currents to layers of toxic water that burn the sinuses and churn the stomach. For Kenny Broad, though, the lure of these submerged limestone caves, punctuated by miles-long corridors—some barely wide enough to accommodate a human body—is the chance to discover ancient fossils, rare creatures, and scientific treasures that reveal our climatic history. “You really don’t know what you’re going to find when you go in there,” says Broad, professor of marine affairs and policy at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and director of the Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy. “And that’s the draw.”

No Holes Descending hundreds of feet down a blue hole can be a risky pursuit,

from mazes of murky underwater passageways and violently shifting currents to layers of toxic water that burn the sinuses and churn the stomach. For Kenny Broad, though, the lure of these submerged limestone caves, punctuated by miles-long corridors—some barely wide enough to accommodate a human body—is the chance to discover ancient fossils, rare creatures, and scientific treasures that reveal our climatic history.

24 Miami magazine Fall 2011


Rizzle at dolizzle pizzle doggy tempus tempor nibh izzle i saw beyonces tizzles and my pizzle went crizzle izzle tortizzle pellentesque that’s the shizzle rhoncizzle da bomb.


By Ana Maria Lima

Photos By Wes C. Skiles Fall 2011 Miami magazine 25


lue holes offer scientists a living laboratory with windows into the past and the future. Their complex chemistry includes a thin layer of freshwater atop a dense layer of salt water. As bacteria break down the organic material in these holes, they produce hydrogen sulfide, a toxic gas that gets trapped in layers around 30 feet down. Below this zone, in the salt water, is an oxygen void, resulting in the exquisite preservation of a trove of animal and human bones, some of which date back more than 13,000 years, and otherworldly mineral formations more than 500,000 years old. It’s also where clues are emerging about climate patterns and possible future changes associated with global warming. “A blue hole is like a time capsule,” says Broad, whose fascination with anthropology came from working as a commercial diver for scientists back in the 1980s. “They tell us what life forms may be like in other inhospitable places. These weird bacteria can live in extreme environments without oxygen, in complete darkness, and in poisonous gases. We can think of them as modern-day analogies to likely conditions on other planets, or to the primordial, ancient oceans that life evolved from here on Earth billions of years ago.” Researching blue holes provides unparalleled adventure for expert divers like Broad, named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2006 and the 2011 National Geographic Explorer of the Year along with his late colleague, renowned underwater photographer Wes Skiles. But it also requires plenty of specialized equipment and a cool head. “It’s more of an activity for control freaks, computer nerds, and yoga aficionados,” he explains. “Adrenaline is your enemy.” Divers lay a thin guideline as they thread themselves through tight quarters 26 Miami magazine Fall 2011

These aren’t scenes from a James Bond thriller. They’re spectacular environments encountered by expert diver Kenny Broad (bottom), a marine affairs and policy professor at UM, and his crew. National Geographic Society, the National Museum of the Bahamas, and the National Science Foundation funded their expedition of around 150 dives in the blue holes of the Bahamas. Top: Navigating stalagmite cities along a guideline 150 feet or so underwater, the crew gathered dozens of samples of these calcium carbonate formations, which date back to the ice ages when the caves were dry. Broad says a major new NSF grant will support further study of these samples, which hold clues to climate change over many thousands of years, and further exploration efforts in the Caribbean.

and fragile stalagmite forests, often coming out in zero visibility. To be ready for any type of technical malfunction, they carry multiple tanks, lights, safety lines, masks, fins, and computers. They often use specialized equipment, called rebreathers, that recycle and filter exhalations, allowing them to go down more

than 300 feet deep and stay submerged for up to several hours at a time. They use a mix of breathing gases to avoid oxygen toxicity and nitrogen narcosis, or “rapture of the deep,” a state of impaired judgment caused by pressure acting on inert gases at extreme depths. In this environment, there are no second chances.

Fall 2011 Miami magazine 27

28 Miami magazine Fall 2011

These daring divers have helped uncover significant findings related to the origin of life, the evolution of human occupation in the Caribbean, and the stability of our climate system. They’ve documented previously undiscovered microbial life, human remains from a thousand years ago, and much more—all while carrying as much as 1,000 pounds of gear, fighting furious current reversals and silt storms, and preparing for any drastic situation that might arise. “Do sweat the small stuff,” Broad, at left, explains. “It’s the only time you can have 100 percent concentration because it’s a life or death endeavor.”


eginning in 2008, Broad launched a scientific expedition to the Bahamas for the National Geographic Society to explore blue holes formed as a result of the fluctuation of the ice ages over millions of years. A Novaproduced film of the expedition aired on PBS in February 2010, followed by a stunning National Geographic cover story that August. The mission was a perfect fit for the Abess Center, of which Broad became

director in 2009. Established in 2002 and named in 2006 with a $5 million gift from the Abesses, the interdisciplinary center draws on UM’s internationally recognized programs in marine science, ecology, architecture, engineering, and environmental law to equip students for careers as environmental scientists, policymakers, and planners. A doctorate in environmental science was recently added to its offerings. “Blue holes offer so much to so many different scientific disciplines: climate

science, biology, archaeology, paleontology, and astrobiology,” explains Broad, whose team conducted 150 dives on Abaco, Andros, and five other Bahamian islands over two months. In addition to several UM researchers, the crew included noted explorer Brian Kakuk; Nancy Albury, a paleontologist from the National Museum of the Bahamas; David Steadman, a world expert on island extinctions from Florida Museum of Natural History; Jenn Macalady, an astrobiologist from Penn State University; Tom Iliffe, a cave biologist and explorer from Texas A&M University; several students from UM and the Bahamas; and a film team led by Skiles. Carrying up to 1,000 pounds of gear among them, the divers succeeded in unearthing the remains of native Lucayan tribe members who inhabited the Bahamas over 1,000 years ago, as well as crocodiles and extinct tortoises more than 4,000 years old. They collected bones from a burrowing owl, a Bahamian boa constrictor, and dozens of other species—some new to science—plus bacteria specimens and remipedes, which are tiny crustaceans nearly unchanged for 200 million years. From deep within the caves, the researchers also gathered dozens of stalagmites. These calcium carbonate formations built up during the ice ages, when sea levels dropped and the sinkholes were dry. For Rosenstiel School professor of marine geology and geophysics Peter Swart, they contain clues to climate changes over tens of thousands of years. “The stalagmites are solid, with layers that are basically like tree rings related to age, so you can date them,” Swart explains. His theory is that red iron deposits in the stalagmites are remnants of dust that blew across Fall 2011 Miami magazine 29

the Atlantic from the African Sahara thousands of years ago. Those massive storms, he says, appear to be connected to “Heinrich events,” super cold snaps of the last glacial period. Amy Clement, a Rosenstiel School associate professor of meteorology and physical oceanography, and Monica Arienzo, a marine geology graduate student, are also using the stalagmites to further their climate research. With a microsampling device, Arienzo has evaluated close to 2,000 stalagmite samples, each comprising less than the amount of salt one would sprinkle on a meal, for their carbon and oxygen isotope values. Clement is using the research to design experiments with a computer model that will simulate the climate from the ancient African dust storm period. Among the questions she’s trying to answer is whether those dust storms may have been linked to ice events and how the dust then affects climate. “The data indicate that dust from Africa is potentially a powerful climate feedback,” says Clement, who is married to Broad. “This suggests that if the Sahara undergoes changes in the future, the impact could be global.”


ave diver and underwater photographer Nikita ShielRolle, A.B. ’10, took part in Broad’s expedition as an undergraduate. She is now educating fellow Bahamians about environmental issues and supports her country’s efforts to create a South Abaco Blue Holes Conservation Area. “A lot of these blue holes are in the freshwater lens, and there are a lot of health issues associated with them,” she says. “The blue hole expedition is paramount for our country. For Bahamians to make educated decisions to ensure a sustainable future, we need to understand the 30 Miami magazine Fall 2011

In these liquid time capsules, time is of the essence. “Blue holes are unique repositories of scientific knowledge,” Broad explains. “Sea-level rise associated with global warming will change that water chemistry, and we’re going to lose a lot of valuable information very quickly.” He says they are also “critical reservoirs of fresh water on a global scale” that face despoilment.

connection between the blue holes and the ecosystem.” Broad, who also serves as co-director of his alma mater Columbia University’s Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, says Bahamian blue holes— often used as dumping grounds and threatened by pollution and sea-level rise—serve as a microcosm for the world’s supply of fresh groundwater. Researching them, he explains, has implications for policy decisions such as water resource management, land use, and zoning. A devoted educator, Broad continues to keep attention focused on these amazing labyrinths, enthralling standing-room-only lecture halls with lessons and anecdotes about his extreme expeditions and sharing many of the incredible scenes captured by his longtime colleague Skiles, whose photos grace last year’s 22-page National Geographic spread. Unfortunately, Skiles died during a research dive off of Boynton Beach just days before the issue came out. “He was larger than life,” Broad says of his close

friend and mentor. “If you were interested in learning, he would spend all the time in the world with you.” This summer the two men were honored (Skiles posthumously) as corecipients of National Geographic’s inaugural Explorer of the Year Award, in recognition of their shared passion for and Broad’s enduring commitment to uncovering hidden worlds for the sake of enlightenment, as well as sharing their indescribable beauty. “When you dive in a blue hole, you get this feeling that you don’t know what’s around the corner,” says Broad. “You may go through a passage with horrible visibility, and then you turn a corner and you’re in a flow of crystalclear water that opens up into a spectacular gallery of natural art.”

ana maria lima is a freelance writer based in Miami, Florida. Watch the documentary Extreme Cave Diving at extreme-cave-diving.html.

Fall 2011 Miami magazine 31

Art and the humanities are helping future health care professionals see the big picture for their patients.


HealingARTS M

edicine may be a fact-based science, but its practice relies on the ability to see ambiguity and entertain multiple possibilities—skills that are also key to artistic pursuits. The son of an art historian, Miller School of Medicine M.D./M.P.H. student Ian Bishop “grew up in museums.” So when he was invited to an art-observation workshop for health sciences students at the University of Miami’s Lowe Art Museum, the idea clicked. “There are similarities between standing before a piece of art to find meaning and looking at a patient to generate possible diagnoses from signs and symptoms,” explains Bishop. He was so enthused about the event that he recruited other medical students to join an interdisciplinary pilot program being spearheaded by Sherrill 32 Miami magazine Fall 2011

B y

D i n a

We i n s t e i n

H. Hayes, a professor and chair of the Miller School’s Department of Physical Therapy. “Recognizing both subtle and obvious visual details is a critical aspect of visual diagnosis or ‘seeing,’” says Hayes, whose department consistently ranks among the very best in the nation. “But the formal teaching of observational skills was rarely included in medical or physical therapy education—until now.” For more than a decade, the Lowe has offered Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS), a research-based, studentcentered methodology intended to boost communication, empathy, active listening, and detailed observation—all vital abilities for health care providers. Until a few years ago, its participants were mainly Miami-Dade County Public Schools teachers and museum visitors.

In 2008 Hope Torrents, the Lowe’s school programs outreach coordinator, began working with psychology students from the College of Arts and Sciences. The next year Hayes contacted Torrents about initiating VTS sessions for her department. “Art appears to be translatable into a clinical setting,” says Hayes. After her art-historian daughter alerted her to a similar program at Yale’s medical school, Hayes reached out to the School of Nursing and Health Studies and, with Bishop’s help, to other medical departments. “The Fine Art of Healthcare,” a three-workshop series held during the fall 2010 semester, drew 80 health sciences students to the Lowe. As docents guided small, integrated groups to various art pieces, they asked three openended questions: What is going on

here? What do you see that makes you say that? What more can you find? Students took turns facilitating conversations. “The premise is that looking at and talking about artwork help to hone their listening and observation skills,” notes Torrents. Nursing anesthesia student Melissa Campbell, who spends most of her time in a hospital setting, says the Opposite page and above, from left: Educator Hope Torrents, M.D./M.P.H. student Ian Bishop, and Department of Physical Therapy Chair Sherrill workshop complemented Hayes conduct a “Fine Art of Healthcare” workshop at the Lowe Art Museum designed to improve students’ diagnostic skills. her clinical training. “We had to stop and listen to what people medical schools incorporating the arts During the monthly ethics/humansaid,” she recalls. “It gave us a chance to because it’s interdisciplinary. It emuities meetings, Goodman notes, stuparaphrase. One time I reiterated what I lates a medical team approach.” dents discuss everything from literathought I heard, and the other student Mechaber hopes to see more learningture and opera to the relationship said, ‘No, that’s not right.’” outcomes data on humanities-inclusive between music and mental illness. Vanessa Miller, a physical therapy medical curricula but still considers Their final projects have ranged from a doctoral candidate, saw the workshop himself an enthusiastic supporter. He Hindi-language medical handbook as “a time to slow down and really points to the Miller School’s ethics/ and analysis of public health messages listen. We stayed at a piece of art and humanities medical student pathway. to artwork depicting the limits of pulled and pulled and pulled what we Launched in 2009, it is one of the five physiological descriptions of emotion. could out of each piece. Each person concentration areas, including social For her final study, Ashley Lawler brought new ideas.” medicine, genetics/genomics, immuinvestigated cardiac pathophysiology

“ ART APPEARS TO BE TRANSLATABLE INTO A CLINICAL SETTING.” Often required to make life-ordeath decisions in a fast-paced environment, high-achieving health professionals, explains Hayes, can become hyperfocused on the “right” answer in a field where there are frequently multiple possibilities and complexities. VTS, says Bishop, enables students to learn from and build off of one another “in a non-threatening, noncompetitive environment.” Alex J. Mechaber, B.S. ’90, M.D. ’94, senior associate dean for undergraduate medical education, says the program, which may become a semester-long elective, is “unique in the spectrum of

nologic medicine, and molecular medicine, to which first-year students can apply. Jeffrey P. Brosco, a professor of clinical pediatrics and director of the Doctoring Program, and Kenneth W. Goodman, Ph.D. ’91, a philosopher and professor of medicine, lead the student-requested initiative. “Good doctoring is about more than mastering science,” says Goodman, who directs the school’s Bioethics Program; has joint appointments in philosophy, epidemiology, and health informatics; and co-directs UM’s Ethics Programs and Arsht Ethics Initiatives.

as exhibited through poetic rhythmical shifts. She says such research “can bridge and enhance our understanding of the interrelation of art and medicine.” Brosco, who has a medical degree and a Ph.D. in history, thinks focusing on the humanities may also help students handle the emotional toll of doctoring. “Going through the wards, students see people in pain; they see people die,” he says. Programs like this “could be a model to help students through medical school.”

dina weinstein is a Coral Gablesbased freelance journalist. Fall 2011 Miami magazine 33

Three Reasons to Support the


Brian Moschetti, Katie Kuretski, and Armstrong Ibe are three of the University of Miami’s nearly 4,300 undergraduate scholarship recipients, a talented group of young people who are academically high achievers, socially engaged, and globally aware. Scholarship support from alumni and friends allows these ambitious young minds to realize their dreams, which oftentimes exceed their means. Each year your annual gift to the University is critical. If you have already made a contribution this year, thank you for making a difference.



You can support the University by making a gift online at or by mailing your gift to: Annual Fund University of Miami P.O. Box 248053 Coral Gables, FL 33124-9972

To learn about additional annual giving opportunities, visit

Any gift to the University of Miami is fully tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. For more information about giving to the University of Miami, call 305-284-4443, email, or visit 34 Miami magazine Fall 2011

A l u m n i


News and Events of Interest to University of Miami Alumni

Ready to Rock Hollywood producer takes helm of UM Alumni Association


arly on Dany Garcia, B.B.A. ’92, showed a knack for artful negotiation. To persuade her varsity crew coach to let her go to a Merrill Lynch job interview in lieu of practice, the budding businesswoman promised to buy the team a boat. Not only did the unusual offer work, Garcia landed the job and embarked on a longterm relationship with her alma mater. She and former husband Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, B.G.S. ’95, went on

chair of UM’s next major fundraising campaign. Garcia, who has worked in sports entertainment, television, and motion pictures (14 to date), keeps a schedule in Hollywood that would make anyone’s head spin. A typical day involves reviewing scripts, tracking and managing media projects, and overseeing “Team Rock.” On this day she’s making sure the movie star has everything he needs, down to the

A savvy entrepreneur, Garcia finds time to invest in start-ups, and her philanthropic streak includes running The Beacon Experience, which gives mentoring and other support to at-risk students,

to make major gifts to the Newman Alumni Center as well as the Athletic Department. An ex-officio member of the University’s Board of Trustees, Garcia says her tenure, including the audit, finance, investment, and medical affairs committees, gives her “the education and deep understanding of the University, how it works, the challenges and the goals.” Now she’s parlaying that knowledge into her next leading roles: president of the University of Miami Alumni Association and vice

appropriate chef and gym, during the Dwayne Johnson, B.G.S. ’95, and Dany Garcia, B.B.A. ’92, during New Orleans commencement in 2009 filming of GI Joe: Retaliation, as well as kindergarten through high looking into publishers for school, and then pays their his second autobiography. college tuition. She credits a great team As UM Alumni Assoand a can-do spirit for her ciation president for 2011-13, multitude of successes. “You she hopes to keep building cannot divorce your husband on the “amazing work” and and manage him and even “incredible momentum” of live next door to him [people executive director Donna warned]—but that’s what we A. Arbide, M.B.A. ’95, and do,” she insists. “And I am to- prior association leaders, tally happy.” A big part of her along with colleagues Patrick joy comes from their 10-year- Barron, B.B.A. ’75, immediold daughter, Simone. ate past president, and John


“ In a short amount of time, I was feeling the U again.”

E. Calles, A.B. ’89, J.D. ’92, president-elect. Garcia is particularly eager to announce the association’s first online interactive annual report because she knows from personal experience how important it is to make sure that “everyone is feeling connected to the University and knows what we are doing.” She admits that after her career took off—first with her wealth management company, JDM Partners, and then The Garcia Companies, her media management firm— despite her “tremendous love for the University,” she didn’t visit campus for years. “Donna Arbide reached out, re-engaged me, and brought me back,” she recalls. “In a short amount of time, I was feeling the U again.” —Nancy Dahlberg Fall 2011 Miami magazine 35


Catch Up with Your University on the Move


electivity, world-class facilities, and distinguished faculty appointments—all are on the rise at the University of Miami. “Whether you look at the local news headlines or the national rankings, you will see that the University of Miami is gaining recognition as one of the leading national research universities, with a distinguished and productive faculty and a diverse and highly selective student body,” says Thomas J. LeBlanc, executive vice president and provost of the University. What does this mean for you, and how will your alma

mater continue to build on this tremendous progress? Find out during the UM Alumni Association’s Accelerating Ambition Tour, featuring Provost LeBlanc. Supported by trustees, faculty, students, and staff, Accelerating Ambition is UM’s visionary plan to become the next great American research university by 2020. Key goals include increasing the number and quality of student applicants, enhancing the undergraduate experience, building on UM’s research strength and nationally prominent graduate programs, enhancing service to

Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc

the community, and providing infrastructure to support programmatic ambitions. It also highlights the importance of monitoring detailed metric goals in areas such as freshman SAT scores, endowment rank, research, and graduation rates.

“If you’re living in New York or Atlanta or Chicago, you might not have been back to campus,” says LeBlanc. “You might not be aware of all the change here at the University. I want to make sure alumni understand the progress we’ve made and then share with them our intentions to continue and accelerate that progress for the next decade.” The tour kicked off in New York in September. Stops for 2012 are Tampa (January 25), Palm Beach and Naples (February 8 and 22), Broward County and Chicago (March 6 and 28), and Boston (May 16).



et instant access to University of Miami news and events, course information, Hurricane sports schedules and scores, videos, and much more. Scan this QR code with your iPhone, Android, or BlackBerry to download now and take the U with you wherever you go.

UMiamiMobile is one of many benefits associated with being a member of the University of Miami Alumni Association. To get your free alumni membership card, call the Office of Alumni Relations at 305-284-2872 or 866-UMALUMS, or email To learn about all of the benefits and privileges available to card-carrying ’Canes, visit

’CANE FOR LIFE. IT HAS ITS PRIVILEGES. 36 Miami magazine Fall 2011


Winston Churchill, UM Class of 1946

confirms Frank Stokes, B.S. ’49, who had helped plan the auspicious affair as fresh-


man class president. “We all respected Churchill for what he did in the war,” explains Stokes, a retired physician who still has his ticket from the event. Perhaps the world’s most admired man at the time, Churchill had been in South Florida on an extended, long-overdue vacation. In press photos he posed with Pinky the Cockatoo at Parrot Jungle and pursued his longtime passion, painting. But it was, in fact, an awkward time for the former prime minister. Just months after helping lead the Allies to victory, he lost a landslide election in July 1945. President Ashe introduced Churchill by affirming his wartime contributions. “Except for the staunchness of these people, the rest of the world would have faced degradation too awful to contemplate,” Ashe announced. Churchill reportedly had tears in his eyes as he gazed over the crowd of 17,500 attendees. Accepting the degree “in the presence of this vast and gracious concourse,” he remarked, “makes the occasion memorable in my life.”


niversity of Miami President Bowman Foster Ashe and Sir Winston Churchill, in scarlet Oxford regalia, led the long academic procession through the Orange Bowl (then called the Roddey Burdine Memorial Stadium) to a stage festooned with the flags of the Allied Nations and tropical palms for a Special Convocation to honor Churchill on February 26, 1946. The UM student body was “terribly excited” to see him, remembers Ruth duPerrieu Ashe, B.B.A. ’49, who attended with fellow freshman Gloria O. Dash, A.B. ’49. “Everybody at the law school went,” adds Charles Wakeman, J.D. ’48. Fern Wayne, ’49, recalls that it was a “beautiful Miami day,” despite reports of blustery weather earlier that morning. Indeed, the sun shone brightly as Churchill received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from UM,



President Bowman Foster Ashe and Sir Winston Churchill


By Harout Samra, A.B. ’04, M.B.A. ’08, J.D. ’09

He thanked the University community for giving more than 1,200 Royal Air Force cadets “a very high quality of technical, navigational, and meteorological training” even before the United States formally entered the war. On the subject of education, Churchill observed wryly: “I am surprised that later in my life I should have become so experienced in taking degrees when, as a schoolboy, I was so bad at passing examinations. In fact one might almost say that no one ever passed so few examinations and received so many degrees.” Turning serious, he added, “It is the glory of the United States that her

graduates of universities are numbered not by the million, but by the ten million.” He went on to observe that “millions of young men have had their education interrupted by the war. Their lives have been slashed across by its flaming sword. We must make sure that, in both our countries, they do not suffer needlessly for this particular form of sacrifice they have made.” Indeed, UM accommodated thousands of returning soldiers. That February speech, Churchill’s first in the U.S. after the war, drew international coverage. As Wayne reflects 65 years later: “It was a big day for the University.” Fall 2011 Miami magazine 37


Basque in Success: Winemaker Is Distinguished Lecturer


fifth-generation vintner from Spain is the University of Miami Alumni Association’s 2012 Distinguished Alumni Lecturer. Guillermo de Aranzabal Agudo, M.B.A. ’84, president and CEO of Spain’s Grupo La Rioja Alta, S.A., will discuss his family’s timehonored profession at 6 p.m. on January 19, 2012, at the Newman Alumni Center. Aranzabal is a member of La Gran Orden de Caballeros del Vino, which recognizes those in the U.K. Trade who have shown exceptional enterprise in promoting quality wines of Spain. In 2006 he founded the Association of Centenary and Traditional Wineries and was appointed a member of the Basque Academy of Gastronomy. In 2007 he founded and chaired an association devoted to

to target, even which customers you want to sell your wines to. It’s a unique industry, and those possibilities make you totally responsible for your success or failure.” The Haro, Spain-based business has four wineries, many brands, a distribution company Guillermo de Aranzabal Agudo, M.B.A. ’84, leads Grupo La Rioja Alta.

for Madrid, and offices in Germany and Miami. Its best-known wine, Viña

control of the grapes, the bottling line are state-ofthe-art.” Aranzabal was born in Pamplona (“known for the bulls running in the streets,” he says) but raised

“ He has embodied true entrepreneurial passion, vision, and innovation.” developing tourism in La Rioja, one of Europe’s top wine destinations. Though his family runs other businesses, Aranzabal says none excites him as much as La Rioja Alta, founded in 1890. “You control everything,” he enthuses. “What grapes you plant, where you plant them, the yield per acre, the aging of the wine, the label on the bottle, the market you want 38 Miami magazine Fall 2011

Ardanza, was introduced in 1934 and blends Tempranillo and Garnacha grapes. The key to winemaking, notes Aranzabal, is balancing Old World technique and modern technology such as microchips that can be implanted in vines to forecast the plants’ needs. “The raking and the aging in cask is more or less as it was 100 years ago,” he notes, “but the fermentation facilities, the

in Vitoria-Gasteiz, the capital of Basque Country, where he still lives with his wife and sons, ages 13 and 16. After earning law and economics degrees from the University of Deusto in Bilbao and completing Spain’s mandatory military service, he came to the States to study management at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte and then business at UM. In

2005 he succeeded his father as head of La Rioja Alta. “The Distinguished Alumni Lecture Series recognizes University of Miami alumni who have distinguished themselves through lifetime achievement and professional accomplishments,” says Donna A. Arbide, M.B.A. ’95, UM Alumni Association executive director. “It is a pleasure to present Guillermo de Aranzabal with this distinction and thank him for his support and leadership of the University. In growing and maintaining his familyowned business as a premier winery in Spain and the global wine community, he has embodied true entrepreneurial passion, vision, and innovation throughout his career, which is a testament to the caliber of our alumni.”

C l a s s



A Chief in Women’s Clothing

1940s 1960s John A. Samuelson, B.B.A. ’48,

Leon Hoffman, A.B. ’61, a clinical

M.A. ’49, was captain of lifeguards at Matheson Hammock as a UM student and then stayed on to coach tennis for a couple of years. Now 90, he’d love to hear from fellow alumni of that era.

psychologist and cellist in Chicago, was profiled by the Chicago Tribune in May. Since 1998 he has had some 40 letters published by the paper. He hopes to hear from classmates. Bennett H. Brummer, A.B. ’62, J.D. ’65, the former Miami-Dade County public defender, received the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Champion of Indigent Defense Award this year. Jose E. Martinez, B.B.A. ’62, J.D. ’65, a U.S. District Court judge, received the UM Law Alumni Association’s 2010 Alumni Achievement Award. The former chief of UM’s Iron Arrow Honor Society served in the U.S. Navy before practicing law. Cary M. Rodin, B.B.A. ’64, a shareholder at Atlanta-based accounting and audit firm Bennett Thrasher PC, was elected the tax committee chair for DFK International, an association of independent accounting firms and business advisors. Jamie S. Barkin, B.B.A. ’65, M.D. ’70, presented at the first International Conference on Capsule and Double-Balloon Endoscopy in Paris, France. Thomas F. Segalla, B.B.A. ’65, was appointed the inaugural chair of the Defense Research Institute’s new Publications Board. He is a founding partner of the law firm Goldberg Segalla LLP and cowrote the insurance law treatise Couch on Insurance 3D. Roger Huff, B.Ed. ’66, M.A. ’68, wrote the novel Journey of the Lost Princess: Adventure and Romance in the Mysterious Land of the Incas. Katharine H. Dickenson, B.Ed. ’67, M.Ed. ’68, a historic preservationist, and Katherine Fernandez Rundle, B.Ed. ’73, state attorney for Miami-Dade County, were ap-


Richard H. Plager, A.B. ’51, B.B.A.

’52, has retired. He is a former Miami Dade Police captain and former chief of the Sanibel Police Department. Larry Wilde, A.B. ’52, is a motivational humorist and the author of 53 books, including a series of joke books and the 2000 tome Great Comedians Talk about Comedy. He lives in Monterey County, California, where he was recently profiled by the Monterey Herald. A. Jay Cristol, J.D. ’58, Edward A. Moss, J.D. ’61, Francisco “Frank” Angones, J.D. ’76, and Ellen Catsman Freidin, J.D. ’78, are four of the eight honorees named “Legal Legends” by the 11th Judicial Circuit Historical Society. The award ceremony was held this November in Miami. Paul Siegel, B.S. ’58, J.D. ’62, retired in December from the Circuit Court in Miami after 19 years of service. This year he opened Voluntary Trial Resolution LLC in Miami Beach to provide mediation and private trial services. Norman Lasko, B.B.A. ’59, a prosecutor for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations, received the Distinguished Service Award in 2011 from The John Marshall Law School Alumni Association. The 1967 graduate was recognized for his service to the community and school.


he Miami-bred daughter of an entrepreneurial family, Erica (Wertheim) Zohar, A.B. ’92, always planned to run her own business. A young woman in a hurry, she earned her degree in three years and promptly enrolled in the University of Miami School of Law. “I loved the Miami lifestyle and the ’Canes,” she says. “I just couldn’t imagine going anywhere else.” But Hurricane Andrew shut down classes, and then while attending a New Year’s Eve party, she met a vacationing UCLA law student— the man she’d later marry. By May 1993 she was living in Los Angeles. There Zohar spied a business opportunity: Casual sportswear had become the fashion for women like herself, but it wasn’t very … fashionable. “There was no luxury line,” she recalls. “I knew I could do better than that.” In 1995 she took six samples, whipped up by her local tailor, to a New York trade show and came home with a large order from Bloomingdale’s, among others. Suddenly she and her company, American Groove, were in business. Stores coast to coast were selling Zohar’s stylish sweats, which also had a distinctive “Made in the USA” cachet. But business, like fashion, is always changing. “Many stores began manufacturing their own lines,” says Zohar. “I also had two children [today 9 and 11] and wanted some life balance.” By 2010 American Groove was a fashion consulting company. Zohar’s first project was a co-branding partnership between the CW network’s hit 90210 series and clothing manufacturer Bebe that cross-markets the clothes worn on the show with retail stores. The two companies split the profits. “This deal combines fashion and entertainment in a new way,” says Zohar, who is seeking her next retail partner, this time for The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. Although relationship success on those reality shows has proved less than stellar, Zohar’s own matchmaking prowess may lead to a business pairing that will make her the real star. A case in point: Her husband, an entertainment lawyer, left his practice to join American Groove in 1996, and the two remain partners today. “I saved him from being a lawyer,” laughs Zohar, tongue firmly in cheek. —Bob Benchley

Fall 2011 Miami magazine 39


pointed to the St. Augustine 450th Commemoration Commission by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. John M. “Jack” Watson Jr., B.B.A. ’67, is founder, president, CEO, and senior consultant of The Watson Company, a Rosemary Beach, Florida-based human resources consulting firm. Ronald Rothstein, J.D. ’68, owns Kleinfeld Bridal in Manhattan with his partner of 25 years, Mara Urshel. Their store is home to the TLC reality TV show Say Yes to the Dress. Edward “Skip” Berounsky, B.Arch. ’69, is a design architect and metal sculptor in South Florida. Irving “Jake” Jacoby, B.S. ’69, is in Ghana, Africa, teaching at the Mampong District Government Hospital with the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health’s Standardization in District Hospitals and Regional Training for Emergency Medicine program. The

emeritus professor of medicine and surgery, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, and attending physician, Department of Emergency Medicine, UCSD Medical Center, plans to visit his daughter Kathryn, a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana. Norma Watkins, M.A. ’69, is the author of The Last Resort: Taking the Mississippi Cure (University Press of Mississippi). A review in The Washington Post called her new memoir “splendid in every way.”


Adrienne B. Fried, B.S.N. ’70, a

Red Cross disaster volunteer and shelter manager, earned a certificate in geriatric care management and psychiatric nursing. George Harper, J.D. ’70, managing partner at Harper Meyer, was named one of the top 30 lawyers

in Latin America by Latin Business Chronicle. Nancy Olson, M.Ed. ’70, an adjunct faculty member in the business school at Nova Southeastern University, retired as the Marlins Foundation executive director after serving for more than 13 years and raising $7 million for charity. Jude Bagatti, A.B. ’71, J.D. ’75, has published a collection of nature photography, prose, and poetry titled Fauna, Flora & Fantasy in Film & Phrase. Michael Kesselman, B.S.Ed. ’72, M.Ed. ’75, Ph.D. ’79, a retired Miami-Dade County Public Schools educator, was one of four winners last year of the Innovative Curriculum and Instruction Awards for Outstanding Educators from the Florida Association for Community Colleges for curriculum practices, programs, and plans he wrote and implemented as an adjunct professor at Palm Beach

u Elegant spaces available to alumni and the community for meetings, intimate gatherings and celebrations. • More than 9,500 sq. ft. of indoor event space • More than 4,000 sq. ft. of outdoor event space • Room and furniture configurations can change for maximum flexibility

• High-end finishes throughout • State-of-the-art acoustic and audiovisual equipment • Conveniently located on the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus • Available to the public

6200 San Amaro Drive Coral Gables, FL 33145

40 Miami magazine Fall 2011


State College. A “card-carrying, orange-and-green-bleeding Hurricane,” he lives in Boca Raton and previously served as an adjunct professor for master’s and doctoral programs in education at UM. Betty (Benitez) Gonzalez, A.B. ’73, assistant sales manager of the Keyes Commercial Sales Division, was elected 2011 president of the Realtors Commercial Alliance of Miami. Thomas R. Tatum, J.D. ’73, a partner in the law firm of Brinkley Morgan, coordinated and moderated last year’s St. Thomas More Society Ethics and Professionalism Seminar. Willie A. Waters, B.M. ’73, co-director of the University of Connecticut Opera Theater, conducted the Cleveland Orchestra’s 31st Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Concert. Miguel Farra, A.B. ’75, J.D. ’79, the tax and accounting department’s

partner-in-charge at Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra LLP, is co-chair of the United Way of Miami-Dade’s Tocqueville Society Cabinet. Richard A. Pollack, B.B.A. ’75, was certified by the Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors. Marcia Cypen, J.D. ’76, executive director of Legal Services of Greater Miami Inc., received the UM School of Law’s Center for Ethics and Public Service’s 2010 Lawyers in Leadership Award. Bill Chester, B.S. ’78, M.D. ’82, founded Paul Chester Children’s Hope Foundation in memory of his son, who died at 16. The foundation provides reconstructive surgeries, preventive care, and medical assistance to families in less-developed countries. Holly Iglesias, M.A. ’78, won a National Endowment for the Arts literature fellowship. The author of two published poetry collections, Angles of Approach (2010) and Souvenirs of a Shrunken World (2008), she teaches in the University of North Carolina-Asheville’s liberal arts master’s program. Douglas C. Miller, M.D. ’78, Ph.D. ’80, clinical professor of pathology and anatomical sciences and director of the University of Missouri School of Medicine’s Pathology Residency Program, won first prize in the Neurology Category at the British Medical Association’s book awards for his textbook Modern Surgical Neuropathology (Cambridge University Press). He co-wrote the recent Atlas of Clinical Neurology, third edition (Saunders). Martha Abreu Cortina, B.M. ’79, M.M. ’80, had her first book published, a recipe collection titled Authentic Cuban Cuisine (Pelican). Cindy S. Lederman, J.D. ’79, a judge in Florida’s 11th Judicial Circuit and Miami’s Juvenile Division, has co-authored with UM faculty Lynn F. Katz a new book titled Child-Centered Practices for the Courtroom and Community. Ted R. Wozniak, B.B.A. ’79, a

freelance financial translator, was elected to the American Translators Association board of directors.


Terrance Bostic, J.D. ’80, vice presi-

dent and associate corporate counsel for Raymond James Financial in St. Petersburg, Florida, was named a top Tampa Bay area securities lawyer by Tampa Bay Magazine. Kathleen L. Deutsch, B.M. ’81, J.D. ’86, a partner at Broad and Cassel, was elected to a two-year term as Americas regional representative for Lawyers Associated Worldwide. Gregg L. Friedman, B.S. ’81, M.D. ’85, moved his psychiatry practice to Hallandale Beach, Florida. He is married to Julie L. Friedman, M.D. ’92. They have three children and live in Golden Beach, Florida. Dan Braden, B.Arch. ’82, is an architect in Stuart, Florida. He was elected president of the Hibiscus Children’s Center Governing Board, of which he has been a member for 25 years. Dorian Denburg, J.D. ’82, general attorney for AT&T in Atlanta and National Association of Women Lawyers immediate past-president, received the UM Law Alumni Association’s Alumni Achievement Award this year. Steven Befera, J.D. ’83, owner of Befera Law Firm and adjunct professor at the UM School of Law, was awarded the UM Law Alumni Association’s 2010 Alumni Leadership Award. Jon Secada, B.M. ’83, M.M. ’86, opened Secada’s bar and restaurant in the Magic City Casino. Scott B. Saul, A.B. ’84, J.D. ’87, is now of counsel with Smith, Humphrey & Verbit in Miami. Ervin A. Gonzalez, J.D. ’85, adjunct faculty at the School of Law, was recognized by Super Lawyers magazine as one of the Top Ten Attorneys in the State of Florida for 2010. Eric I. Bustillo, B.B.A. ’86, J.D. ’89,


Exec Thrives on Building and Biking


eneath its gritty surface, the construction industry is quite glamorous and very complex, says Michael J. “Pete” Piechoski, B.B.A. ’76. Each project brings “new problems and new opportunities,” explains the senior VP and CFO for the $10 billion Peter Kiewit Sons’ Inc. Piechoski loves problem-solving with Kiewit’s 30 district managers and often visits job sites, from dyke rebuilding in New Orleans to oil and gas projects in northern Canada. He also relishes team-building and training, “putting the right people in the right chairs and then making sure the people underneath get moved to as many chairs as they can to round out their experiences.” Piechoski has sat in his share. He even recalls a summer inventory job counting coconut heads at a Miami airport novelty shop. His UM accounting degree in hand, the southern New Jersey native first joined Arthur Andersen in Philadelphia and then earned an M.B.A. at Arizona State and moved to Illinois to become international cost manager at Abbott Labs, a job that enabled him to see the world. Arizona beckoned again when Piechoski and wife Jeri decided to start a family. In 1983 he began at Tanner Companies, later acquired by Kiewit. In 1999 he was called to Kiewit headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. These days, Piechoski is focused on giving back. He’s a motivational speaker and serves on the boards of United Way of the Midlands, the Omaha Community Foundation, and the USA Bobsled & Skeleton Federation. “I assure you that last has nothing to do with athletic prowess,” laughs Piechoski, though he enjoys kayaking and bicycled from Vienna to Budapest last summer. When time allows, he also hits the road on one of his five Harley-Davidson motorcycles, including one detailed in ’Canes colors. That school spirit comes easily to Piechoski, whose son Bradley is a UM engineering student and daughter Alexandra is a Kiewit engineer. He credits the enthusiasm of his UM business professors with helping to steer him from pre-med into a field he truly embraced. “I was off and running,” he says. “Never looked back.” —Nancy Dahlberg

Fall 2011 Miami magazine 41


was appointed director of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Miami regional office. Nilso “Nil” Lara, B.S.E.E. ’86, is a Miami-based singer-songwriter and guitar player who performs and runs Beluga Blue Records. Diane Haager, M.S.Ed. ’87, Ph.D. ’92, professor of special education and counseling at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) Charter College of Education, received the Outstanding Professor Award from CSULA, where she has been on faculty since 1992. Maria D. Papazian, B.S.Ed. ’87, M.S.Ed. ’89, taught in Miami-Dade County Public Schools for 14 years before returning to UM in 2006 as coordinator for two graduate programs in the School of Education Department of Teaching and Learning. She is an administrative and volunteer director for the nonprofit group 600 Million Stray Dogs Need You and a Sierra Club Miami Group board member.
 Jonathan Bruce Pototsky, B.B.A. ’87, a former felony prosecutor in Colorado’s 9th Judicial District, was appointed Garfield County Court judge in January. Michael Chesal, J.D. ’88, is a partner at Peretz Chesal & Herrmann, which was ranked by U.S. News and Best Lawyers in the first tier for intellectual property law in Miami. Frank R. Jimenez, B.S. ’88, vice president and general counsel of ITT Corporation, was profiled in a 2010 “Diversity and the Bar” publication from Fortune 500. He is a director on the UM Alumni Association Board of Directors. Charles P. Samaris, B.Arch. ’88, a member of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, was promoted to the rank of colonel and selected to serve as the Army Senior Service College Fellow in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Security Studies Program. He was also tapped to lead the New England District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Carlos M. Lastra, A.B. ’89, J.D. ’92, received the Bar Association of

42 Miami magazine Fall 2011

Montgomery County, Maryland’s 2010 Family Law Practitioner of the Year Award and Community Service Award.


Julie Braman Kane, A.B. ’90, J.D.

’93, partner at the Law Firm of Colson Hicks Eidson, was awarded the UM Law Alumni Association’s Alumni Leadership Award in 2010. T. J. Mannix, B.S.C. ’90, launched the annual New York Musical Improv Festival, and recently took a job with Second City in Chicago. Julie San Angelo, A.B. ’90, manager of Select Physical Therapy, received her Ph.D. in physical therapy from Nova Southeastern University. Scott Bryan, M.B.A. ’91, the COO of Pinnacle Aircraft Parts, released the CaptureNotes iPad app for recording, storing, and cataloging notes. Darren Dupriest, B.B.A. ’91, is president and CEO of Validity Screening Solutions. The company, which provides background and drug screenings for employers, made the 2010 Inc. 5000 annual list. Eileen Faxas, B.S.C. ’91, joined the North American tour of Mamma Mia! Her previous work as a television reporter in Houston and Phoenix has earned her three Emmy Awards. Shari L. Gerson, A.B. ’91, J.D. ’94, joined the Fort Lauderdale office of GrayRobinson as a shareholder. Leslye Jacobs, B.S.C. ’91, published My Little French Friend, the first book in her Pals Around the World series, which aims to educate children about diverse cultures. Paul P. Donahue, B.B.A. ’92, was named president of Wackenhut Services Inc. and appointed to the board of directors. He previously served as treasurer and COO, and owns a helicopter leasing company. Ellyn S. Kravitz, LL.M.E. ’92, partner in Littman Krooks LLP, was named to the 2010 Super Lawyers list for New York. Richard Wood, A.B. ’92, is director


King of Heart Heads Cardiac Foundation


arry King, Jr., A.B. ’83, M.B.A. ’93, remembers well his first week in 1995 working at Intuit, the maker of financial software—he had to “fire up” an audience of 800 fellow employees about the company’s prospects. Given his prior business experience and the fact that he’s the son of that Larry King, you’d expect him to be able to stand and deliver. Nonetheless, he gives the credit to the U, where he covered sports for WVUM. “Having both a communication degree and a Larry King Jr. with Jeffrey Jacobs, M.D. ’88, in Jamaica business degree is very useful,” says King. “You learn to articulate your message quickly, concisely, and with confidence. That’s one of the reasons I feel I owe UM.” The payback is that the Miami native and ’Canes fan since going to his first game at age 8 is an energetic alumnus. He served as co-chair of the UM Hurricane Club Council and is president of the UM Alumni Club chapter in Tampa, his current home. King left Intuit in 2004 and became president of the Larry King Cardiac Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps people pay for heart surgery they need but can’t afford. Started by his television-host father in 1988, the foundation works toward a goal of saving one heart every day. “Part of my job is stretching our dollars,” says King. “For example, about 10 percent of our work is international, and we have found that it is less expensive to take a team to another country—and train local surgeons while we are there—than to fly patients to the U.S.” In April the father of three joined a fellow alumnus, pediatric surgeon Jeffrey P. Jacobs, M.D. ’88, on a mission to Jamaica to repair the hearts of 20 children. “I am blessed to be able to do this work,” which requires a mix of caring and financial skills, explains King. Fortunately, he’s adept at both. “In today’s economic climate, you cannot just put your hand out and expect people to give,” he adds. “You must have a strong message about what you do and how donations are going to be used. If you can do both, then people will help the cause.” —Robert S. Benchley

of transatlantic trade for global transportation and logistics company APL.
 Debra L. Zelman, J.D. ’92, founded Debbie’s Dream Foundation Inc., a patient advocacy group that raises money for stomach cancer research, after she was diagnosed with advanced stomach cancer in 2008. Leyza Blanco, A.B. ’93, J.D. ’96, an attorney in the Miami office of GrayRobinson, was elected to the International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation’s national board. Thomas W. Balcom, B.B.A. ’94, M.B.A. ’00, was elected the 2011 president of the Financial Planning Association of Broward County. Michael M. Woodward, A.B. ’95, an organizational psychologist, discussed tips from his book, The You Plan: A Five-Step Guide to Taking Charge of Your Career in the New Economy, on Live with Regis and Kelly. He is also a contributor to Fox News Live. Jason Molinet, A.B. ’96, won Best News Blog at the Long Island Press Club 2010 Media Awards for the L.I. Sports Buzz blog he writes for Long Island Pulse Magazine. Stephen L. Cohen, J.D. ’97, has been appointed as an associate director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s enforcement division. Matthew A. Leturmy, A.B. ’97, was promoted to director of corporate recruitment at PHH Corporation in Jacksonville, Florida. Mireya Mayor, A.B. ’97, had her third book published by the National Geographic Society. Pink Boots and a Machete: My Journey from NFL Cheerleader to National Geographic Explorer features a foreword by primatologist Jane Goodall. Gabrielle Motola, B.S.C. ’97, a London-based photographer, launched her professional website, Eric G. Walsh, M.D. ’97, was appointed director of public health and public health officer for Pasadena, California, in September 2010. Durée Ross, B.S.C. ’98, founder of PR and marketing company Durée

& Company Inc., was honored as a 2010 Outstanding Mother by Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies. Gavin Williams, M.A. ’98, J.D. ’01, was named a partner in Holland & Knight LLP’s Miami office. Jason James, M.D. ’99, an ob-gyn in Miami, spearheaded an effort to develop and implement a universal screening protocol for postpartum depression at Baptist Hospital. Alex Merchan, B.B.A. ’99, M.B.A. ’03, was promoted to senior director of brand marketing, North America, for Hard Rock International. Danielle C. Price, B.B.A. ’99, J.D. ’02, was named a partner in Holland & Knight LLP’s Miami office. Timothy M. Ravich, J.D. ’99, a board-certified aviation lawyer, has published the text Aviation Law after September 11: Cases and Material.


Adrienne Denaro, B.S.C. ’00, is a

copywriter for Perry Ellis International in Miami. She was previously a copywriter for Royal Caribbean International and a program director and morning show host for a top 40 English-language radio station in Amman, Jordan. Andrea Dopico, B.S. ’00, and Charles Castillo, B.B.A. ’00, were married in August 2010 in Cancun, Mexico. They live in St. Petersburg, Florida, with two adopted greyhounds. Andrea is the Pinellas County Health Department’s surveillance program manager. Charles is a senior research associate at Raymond James. Katrina S. Campins, B.B.A. ’01,

was on Bravo’s reality show Miami Social in 2009, was featured on Bloomberg Television’s Inside Track for her insight on the luxury real estate market, and was the keynote speaker at the Toppel Career Center’s inaugural Student and Alumni Career Symposium in April 2011. David Rosenhouse, B.B.A. ’01, M.S.Tx. ’02, is a director at Rosenhouse Group PC, owned by L. Minton Rosenhouse, B.B.A. ’72. Estrellita S. Sibila, B.S. ’01, J.D. ’05, LL.M.P. ’05, an associate with the law firm of Weiss Serota Helfman Pastoriza Cole & Boniske P.L., was honored at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s annual event to recognize the top 40 lawyers in Miami-Dade County under age 40. Kimberly (Mayer) Steres, B.B.A. ’01, her husband, Jeffrey, and


South Beach Fairy Tale


elcome to South Florida as conjured by Miami author Alexandra Kissanis Flinn, B.M. ’88, where giants rampage through Key West, witches lurk on South Beach, and talking rats hang out at the Port of Miami. In her eighth young adult novel, Cloaked (HarperTeen, 2011), a stunning blond princess convinces teenage shoe cobbler Johnny Marco to rescue her brother, who’s been turned into a frog. With the aid of a magical clock, special earbuds, and his best friend, Meg, Johnny must outwit hungry hulks, magical spells, and a power-hungry mother-son pair to find the frog prince and save the day. Earlier this year, Flinn’s New York Times best seller Beastly, a modern Beauty and the Beast, was released as a motion picture.

Hepburn for Kids


ith her first book, Just Being Audrey (Balzer & Bray, 2011), Margaret Cardillo, M.F.A. ’09, introduces children to an inspirational figure who defies every celebrity stereotype: Audrey Hepburn. The stylish picture book highlights the late actress and humanitarian’s public and personal life, her personality traits, and her acts of kindness, recounting her journey from humble beginnings in war-torn Belgium to her heyday as a film star in classics such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s and My Fair Lady and, finally, to her work as Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF. Illustrator Julia Denos’s quirky drawings also capture Hepburn’s singular sense of fun and fashion and bring to life a beloved icon who enchanted millions. –Alysha Khan, ’14

Fall 2011 Miami magazine 43


44 Miami magazine Fall 2011

as vice president and general counsel for Miami-based developer The Related Group. Adriana Troyo, Ph.D. ’07, associate professor of microbiology at the University of Costa Rica, was named that country’s 2010 Most Distinguished Scientist of the Year (Premio a la investigadora destacada del año) by the Ministry of Science and Technology for her research into parasite- and insect-borne diseases. She is the first woman to receive the award. David Hoffmann, B.B.A.’08, CEO and founder of davidsbeenhere. com, launched a line of city travel guides with blogs, international news, and videos. Eduardo Gonzalez Loumiet, M.B.A. ’08, managing director of Über Operations, has led several health IT projects of national significance, including the CDC’s Pandemic Influenza Project between the states of Florida and Texas. Roger Nicholas Nanovic, J.D. ’08, LL.M.T. ’08, an associate with Tallman Hudders & Sorrentino in Pennsylvania, was elected to a three-year term as a Council of Alcohol and Drug Abuse board member in Allentown. Craig Roberts, Ph.D. ’08, is a postdoctoral fellow in fundamental and translational neuroscience at Duke University Medical Center, a lecturer at Duke, and co-coordinator and cofounder of the Future Educators Working Group, Duke Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy. Kevin R. Rose, B.M. ’09, won the emerging talent award at the 2011 Lotte Lenya Competition, an international theater singing contest. Gaby Loria, B.S.C. ’10, won third place and $3,000 in the Hearst Journalism Award’s 2010 Broadcast News Championship for a piece about Arab-American communities’ thoughts on post9/11 security issues. She is now a reporter at KVIA ABC-7 in El Paso, Texas. Michelle-Marie Pena, B.S. ’10, was an Omicron Delta Kappa 2010 scholarship recipient.


Winning Attitude On and Off the Court


lifetime of healthful living and athleticism couldn’t help World Transplant Games medalist Jill Morton, B.B.A. ’82, outrun the chronic kidney disease that had plagued her family for generations. The mother of two was dying when, after two years on a waiting list, she heard about a possible donor—in Australia. “She just decided to reach out to someone she doesn’t know,” Morton recalls. “She did it basically for God, for goodness, to show that she’s really giving back in life.” The women were a match. “When I woke up from my transplant, my fingers were pink,” Morton says of her 2003 surgery at the Mayo Clinic. “I hadn’t seen that in years. My energy came back because my red blood cells started to come back.” A year later, she began competing in the U.S. Transplant Games. A top tennis player since childhood, she won three gold medals in the sport. Her donor, with whom she says she’s now “the best of friends,” flew in from the outback to cheer her on. Morton also lived to see both of her sons grow up. The younger one, Michael, even followed her footsteps to the University of Miami, where he’s a senior exercise physiology major who plans to attend the Miller School of Medicine. Not one to sit idle, Morton used her hours in doctors’ waiting rooms to study for her CPA license. In January she launched her own consultancy in Coral Springs, Florida. She says the book Start From Where You Are, by her life and business partner, Ken Esrig, fortified her to pursue that dream and another: competing in the World Transplant Games. This past June in Sweden, she won gold in tennis and 20k cycling, silver in the 800-meter run and Team USA relay, and bronze in the 3k race for the women’s 50-59 age group. Mist Productions, her company with Esrig, produced the documentary Going for Gold: A Celebration of Life. “I don’t stay focused on being a kidney transplant recipient,’” explains Morton, who also co-hosts an entrepreneurial talk show for Telos Digital Network. “I take what I have of my new life and make the most of it. People are inspired by my story, and that just leads me to the next step. I want to continue to inspire others and promote organ donation.” —Robin Shear


daughter Gabrielle welcomed Alexis Jayden to the family in February 2010. Danielle Karliner, B.A.M. ’02, lives in New York City, where she produced the world premiere of the play The Dudleys! as part of Dream Up Festival 2010. Elgin Polo, M.B.A. ’02, partner in the litigation support department at Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra LLP, was elected president of the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants Miami-Downtown Chapter. Sara Hecker, B.B.A. ’03, a player development specialist at Royal Caribbean International, was named the cruise line’s 2010 employee of the year. Esther M. Santos, B.B.A. ’03, founded Restless Production, an L.A.-based marketing consultation firm specializing in social media. She is also a director of sales at Qnuru lighting. Erica Cohen, B.S.C. ’04, married Chris McDermott, B.B.A. ’04, in New York City on November 8, 2009. They live in New Jersey. Eric W. Schreiber, M.B.A. ’04, was hired as senior manager of marine solutions at ABB Inc. He develops new technologies for the marine industry. 
 Nelson Dellis, B.S. ’06, M.S. ’10, won the 14th Annual U.S.A. Memory Championship and set two U.S. records: most digits memorized in five minutes (248) and fastest to memorize the order of a full shuffled deck of playing cards (63 seconds). Cara Ann Sequino Hlad, B.Arch. ’06, received her AIA license and was named 2010 Architectural Intern of the Year by the American Institute of Architects Colorado. AJ Sarcione, A.B. ’06, is a singer and songwriter in Los Angeles. Lilia M. Rodriguez Luciano, B.S.C. ’07, joined NBC News as a Miamibased network correspondent reporting for NBC Nightly News, Today, MSNBC, Telemundo, and other platforms. Betsy L. McCoy, LL.M.P. ’07, serves

In Memoriam


Jerome H. Weinkle, B.B.A. ’38, J.D. ’41 Frank H. Bueker, B.B.A. ’40 Roberta M. Cox, B.Ed. ’40 Laura G. Boggs, A.B. ’41 William H. Prusoff, B.S. ’41 Perry U. Fox, B.B.A. ’42 Ethel E. Glenn, B.Ed. ’43 Herman F. Tanaw, B.B.A. ’46 Leonard Caplin, B.B.A. ’47 Shelton D. Whittle, B.Ed. ’47 Elliott B. Wollman, B.Ed. ’47, M.A. ’48 Martin S. Forman, B.S. ’48, J.D. ’52 Jean B. Hughes, A.B. ’48 Edwyn E. Lewis, B.B.A. ’48 David P. Mann, B.B.A. ’48 Robert G. Belle, B.Ed. ’49 Louis B. Glass, A.B. ’49, M.S. ’51 Jack Neimark, B.B.A. ’49 Thomas J. Offerle, B.B.A. ’49 Jack G. Tuckfield, A.B. ’49 David Balog, B.B.A. ’50

James H. Brown, B.B.A. ’50 Richard E. Carlson, B.Ed. ’50 Joseph E. Carvin, A.B. ’50 William F. Fann Jr., J.D. ’50 John G. Ferguson, B.Ed. ’50 Jack M. Gale, A.B. ’50 Raymond A. Hackney, B.B.A. ’50 Bernard Hausman, B.B.A. ’50 James L. Mack, J.D. ’50 Edward S. Petraitis, B.S.M.E. ’50 Louis P. Privitere, B.B.A. ’50 John B. Probst, B.B.A. ’50 Sidney M. Robbins, J.D. ’50 Norman A. Sand, J.D. ’50 Samuel Smemo, B.Ed. ’50 William M. Williams, A.B. ’50 Robert J. Bergenholtz, B.B.A. ’51 Robert A. Couric, B.S.C.E. ’51 Betty N. McDonell, A.B. ’51 Benjamin T. Shuman, J.D. ’51 Anna F. Arnold, M.Ed. ’52 Joseph D. Clair, B.B.A. ’52 Rodger C. Derby, B.B.A. ’52

An All-Around Commitment to His Community F.W. “Mort” Guilford Jr., B.B.A. ’51, J.D. ’56, Korean War veteran, prominent Coral Gables real estate attorney, and UM Alumni Association past president, died on September 14. He was 83. A member of the Florida Bar since 1957, Guilford was often recognized for his historic restoration and development efforts, philanthropy, and leadership. In 2010 Ronald McDonald House Charities named him one of its “12 Good Men of Miami” and in 2009 the UM Alumni Association named him the Henry King Stanford Alumnus of the Year. In addition to being senior partner at Guilford & Associates P.A., he ran a successful property development company and supported charitable and educational institutions such as UM, Jackson Memorial Foundation, the Humane Society, Episcopal Charities of Southeast Florida, the American Cancer Society, and the Vizcayans. As chair of the Alma Jennings Foundation, he helped award more than $1.6 million in grants to the University. Guilford represented UM on several real estate matters before the Coral Gables City Commission, was a member of Iron Arrow, and served UM through the years on the Board of Trustees, Citizens Board, President’s Council, and School of Business Administration’s Board of Overseers.

A ’Cane from the Start Edith Bleich, A.B. ’39, died at University of Miami Hospital on June 19, six weeks before her 103rd birthday. A member of UM’s first class in 1926, Bleich taught elementary school by day and then took classes to complete her degree. She taught for 52 years and stayed in touch with many of her former students. An avid supporter of Hurricane sports, she attended games through the years. Later Bleich began to focus on UM women’s basketball, earning a spot on Katie’s Krew, a group of dedicated fans named for coach Katie Meier. In 2008 Meier named Bleich a guest coach for an ACC/Big Ten Challenge game against Indiana.

Henry D. Fragnoli, B.B.A. ’52 Walter E. Gwinn, J.D. ’52 Lawrence C. Keenan, B.Ed. ’52 James A. McCarty, A.B. ’52 Glenn W. Nordman, B.S.M.E. ’52 Charles D. Ray, M.S. ’52 Alfred D. Valzone, B.B.A. ’52, B.Ed. ’72 Lois P. Atkins, B.S.N. ’53 Patricia Fryer, B.Ed. ’53 Richard H. Judy, B.B.A. ’53 John L. McWhorter, J.D. ’53 Kenneth W. Pezoldt, J.D. ’53 Frederick E. Teichert, B.B.A. ’53 James E. Branch, A.B. ’54 John R. Camp, J.D. ’54 Guillermo O. Campo, B.S.A.E. ’54 Richard J. Greenburg, B.Ed. ’54, M.Ed. ’64 Wayne H. Keck, B.B.A. ’54 Lawrence A. McKenney, B.B.A. ’54 David M. Redstone, J.D. ’54 Matthew J. Soltysiak, J.D. ’54 Norman B. Koski, A.B. ’55 Lloyd Norris, B.S.M.E. ’55 John C. Peck, B.B.A. ’55 Richard F. Smith, B.B.A. ’55 Henry S. Tellam, B.B.A. ’55 Howard C. Wrubel, B.B.A. ’55, M.Ed. ’68 Martin J. Epstein, B.B.A. ’56 Neal L. Harrington, B.B.A. ’56 Phillip W. Knight, J.D. ’56 Harold P. Lucas, B.B.A. ’56 Alfredo P. Piccini, J.D. ’56

William E. Pressley, B.B.A. ’56 Claire J. Laughlin Simonet, M.A. ’56 William Wolar, B.B.A. ’56 John B. Brinson, M.D. ’57 Robert C. Dreyer, B.B.A. ’57 Jack T. Efseroff, B.B.A. ’57 Paul J. Hefti, B.Ed. ’57 Charley F. Hutchings, B.Ed. ’57 William E. Jollay, B.S.A.E. ’57 Katherine D. Prassas, B.Ed. ’57 William H. Stack, B.B.A. ’57 George C. Drivas, B.S.E.E. ’58 John B. Duerr, B.B.A. ’58 Elliott L. Freeman, B.S. ’58 Frank C. Granstra, B.S. ’58 Raymond A. McKeighan, B.Ed. ’58 Joseph G. Milstein, M.D. ’58 Nelson L. Newhouser, B.B.A. ’58 Paul R. Toomey, A.B. ’58 Barbara J. Bein, B.Ed. ’59 Betty B. England, M.Ed. ’59 William B. Garrard, B.B.A. ’59 Sheldon Gesensway, B.S. ’59 Joan M. Houser, B.Ed. ’59 William S. Klein, B.B.A. ’59 Fred J. Ullman, B.B.A. ’59 Donald J. Wallace, B.B.A. ’59 Robert K. Estes, J.D. ’60 Daniel H. James, J.D. ’60 Albert S. Koeze, B.B.A. ’60 Charles J. Pasek, J.D. ’60 Bettyjane K. Reiss, M.A. ’60 John A. Robinson, A.B. ’60 Richard W. Sieder, A.B. ’60

Fall 2011 Miami magazine 45


Robert L. Dykes, B.S.A.E. ’61 Louis J. Davidson, B.S.E.E. ’62 Larry L. Wellham, B.S. ’62, M.A. ’75 Barbara E. Ellis, B.Ed. ’63 Matthew J. Fitzsimmons, B.B.A. ’63 Robert E. Gaffney, B.B.A. ’63 Gretchen C. Rice, M.Ed. ’63 Duane L. Stauffer, B.S. ’63 Alan F. Bartol, B.B.A. ’64 Dorothy A. Fleeger, B.Ed. ’64 Donald G. Jayne, B.Ed. ’64 P. N. Petronella, J.D. ’64 Myron M. Stevens, J.D. ’64 Steve N. Xynidis, A.B. ’64 Samuel Blatt, B.B.A. ’65 Charles F. Cohagen, A.B. ’65 Jay L. Dodge, B.B.A. ’65 Daniel L. Garnsey, A.B. ’65 Joann F. Rosen, B.Ed. ’65, M.Ed. ’69 Karl T. Seeley, B.Ed. ’65 William J. Skor, B.S. ’65, M.S. ’69 Harry J. Holden, B.B.A. ’66 Herbert H. Latal, B.Ed. ’66 John A. Sabol, B.S. ’66 Stanley R. Steele, B.B.A. ’66 Edward Clausner, M.S. ’67 Francis J. Lechiara, M.Ed. ’67, Ed.D. ’69 Kenneth A. Rothenberg, M.D. ’67 Michael R. McGuinn, B.B.A. ’68, M.B.A. ’69

Diane H. Penney, M.M. ’68 Neil J. Wilding, M.S. ’68 Guillermo J. Diaz, B.B.A. ’69 Barbara J. Graham, Ph.D. ’69 William R. Grier, A.B. ’69 Gail A. Howell, M.D. ’69 Marta R. Klovekorn, M.Ed. ’69, Ed.D. ’82 Ivan Matusek, A.B. ’69 Frances R. Ruff, B.S. ’69 Lawrence D. Sampson, A.B. ’69, M.S. ’72, Ph.D. ’76 Betty W. Schmidt, B.Ed. ’69, M.Ed. ’72 Iantha S. Whittaker, B.M. ’69 Heather G. Freeland, A.B. ’70 Craig F. Gorson, B.B.A. ’70 Gideon J. Kellermann, B.Arch. ’70, M.B.A. ’71 Michael Kouche, B.B.A. ’70, M.B.A. ’71 Fred G. Prichason, B.B.A. ’70, J.D. ’73 Samuel F. Schoninger, J.D. ’70 Minerva I. Applegate, B.S.N. ’71 Richard M. Avirett, A.B. ’71 Ruth W. Thomas, B.Ed. ’71 Philip C. Tracy, B.Ed. ’71 Julia L. Weinstein, M.Ed. ’71 Janie M. Adams, B.Ed. ’72 Helen T. Erstling, A.B. ’72, J.D. ’76 Leonard O. Eskey, B.S.C.E. ’72

Seeing Double Help us make the Orange and Green even “greener” by eliminating duplicate copies of Miami magazine. Simply send an email to with “Seeing Double” in the subject line and include the full name and address of the person in your household to whom Miami magazine should be delivered. You can also submit this information online at or by calling 1-866-UMALUMS.

Save some trees—on the double! 46 Miami magazine Fall 2011

Respected Leader of Broadcasting Richard D. “Rick” Buckley Jr., A.B. ’62, longtime president and chairman of Buckley Broadcasting Corporation, passed away on July 31, just a month after being inducted into the New York State Broadcasters Hall of Fame. He was 74. A proud supporter of radio and broadcasting education, Buckley made numerous contributions to the University of Miami School of Communication, including the Richard D. Buckley, Jr. Audio Lab. He also helped WVUM-FM 90.5, UM’s student-run radio station, increase its power and coverage area; served on the school’s visiting committee; and was a UM President’s Council member and onetime alumni trustee. Launching his career as an NBC page in 1960, Buckley became president of Buckley Broadcasting following his father’s death in 1972. He went on to lead one of the nation’s last privately held radio companies for nearly 40 years. Buckley Radio owns New York City-based WOR Radio Network, which syndicates programs to more than 400 radio stations, and holds almost 20 other stations across the United States. To learn more about the Richard D. Buckley Memorial Fund for WVUM, call 305-284-2873 or go to

Antoinette F. Gorrin, B.Ed. ’72 Byron R. Keller, A.B. ’72 David H. Lerner, B.M. ’72 Edward H. Webster, B.B.A. ’72 Paula H. Church, A.B. ’73 John P. Farrer, A.B. ’73 Kenneth H. Forrest, A.B. ’73 Michael J. Riley, B.Ed. ’73 Dennis P. Koehler, LL.M.O. ’74 Jorge A. Segarra, A.B. ’74, B.B.A. ’74 Furney E. Brown, Ed.D. ’75 Thomas E. Hesiak, Ed.D. ’76 Katharine W. Hoffman, B.Ed. ’76 Nikki J. Katzman, B.S. ’76 Debra L. Morse-Lundbeck, A.B. ’77 Joan C. Billingsley, B.S.N. ’78, M.B.A. ’88 Robert A. Romagna, J.D. ’78 Dennis R. Mann, B.B.A. ’80 Sylvia H. Rothfarb, Ph.D. ’80 Karen E. Shea-Chapman, B.S.N. ’80 David F. Slack, A.B. ’80 James J. Pokorney, B.S.Ed. ’82 Frances N. Koenig, M.B.A. ’83 Jay D. Smith, B.B.A. ’84 Laverne A. Farmer, M.B.A. ’85 Gail A. Heintz, B.S.N. ’85 Gloria M. Cabassa, M.A. ’87

George T. Green, J.D. ’87 David A. Parker, M.P.H. ’87 Eileen D. Gately, A.B. ’89 Brian E. Port, J.D. ’89 John S. Slack, M.A. ’89, Ph.D. ’95 Daniel B. Dalke, B.S. ’90, M.S.Ed. ’95 Edward King, B.B.A. ’90 Matthew W. Boggan, A.B. ’91 Stephan R. Sarenac, A.B. ’91, B.B.A. ’00 Christopher L. Fontes, B.S.C. ’92 Raymond M. Ranellucci, J.D. ’93 Thomas I. Scheetz, B.H.S. ’94, M.S.P.T. ’96 Lee J. Giddens, M.D. ’98 Donna G. Bird, LL.M.E. ’02 Michelle V. Eustache, B.S. ’02 Jackson J. Vandeberg, A.B. ’04 Johnny L. Holland, M.B.A. ’05 Kate A. Taylor, B.S.C. ’05 Emerson M. Kastenholz, A.B. ’10 *As of August 5, 2011 We diligently research every name in our “In Memoriam” section but errors can occur. Please notify us of errors so we may correct our records.

D a t e

Alumni Event Information 305-284-2872 or 1-866-UMALUMS Sports Tickets 305-284-CANES or 1-800-GO-CANES


*For complete Hurricane sports schedules, visit 26 Football Boston College vs. UM, Miami Gardens, Florida

DECEMBER 6 National Football Foundation Annual Awards Dinner Russell Maryland, A.B. Aphrodite Désirée Navab’s “I Am Not a Persian Painting” ’90, College (Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Harold Steinbaum) Football Hall of Fame induction, New York NOVEMBER City, New York Through January 15, 2012 Lowe Art Museum China: JANUARY 2012 Insights 19 Distinguished Alumni Lecture Through April 22, 2012 Series with Guillermo de Lowe Art Museum ArtLab@ the Aranzabal Agudo, M.B.A. ’84, Lowe: Women, Windows, and the Newman Alumni Center, Coral Word: Diverging Perspectives on Gables, Florida Islamic Art

ALUMNI LEADERSHIP Board of Directors Executive Committee

Dany Garcia, B.B.A. ’92, President Patrick Barron, B.B.A. ’75, Immediate Past President John Calles, A.B. ’89, J.D. ’92, President-elect Carrie Anderson, A.B. ‘93, Vice President Joris Jabouin, B.B.A. ’90, M.B.A. ’92, Vice President Carlos Lowell, B.S.M.E. ’94, Vice President Karl Schulze, B.B.A. ’74, Vice President Brenda K. Yester, B.B.A. ’90, Vice President Donna A. Arbide, M.B.A.’95, Executive Director

Alumni Trustees William Koenigsberg, B.B.A. ’77 Hal F. Rosenbluth, B.G.S. ’74 Matt Rubel, M.B.A. ’80

Regional Directors Truly Burton, A.B. ’73 Jorge Duyos, B.S.I.E. ’85, M.S.I.E. ’88 David Panitch, B.B.A. ’80 Andrew F. Potter, M.B.A. ’04 Alex C. Rodriguez, B.B.A. ’86 Glenna Shen, A.B. ’93 Winston Warrior, B.B.A. ’93, M.B.A. ’96

Directors Juan Albelo, B.S.E.E. ’93, M.S.I.E. ’96, M.B.A. ’96 James J. Blosser, B.B.A. ’60, J.D. ’65 James Burt, Sr., ’80 Robert S. Cohen, B.B.A. ’84

Victoria Corrigan Fine, B.S. ’80, M.B.A. ’81 Devang B. Desai, A.B. ’97, J.D. ’03 Martin J. Ganderson, B.B.A. ’73 Cynthia Hudson, M.A. ’97 Frank R. Jimenez, B.S. ’88 Camilo Lopez III, M.B.A. ’82 Noelia Moreno, B.B.A. ’86, J.D. ’89 John Pittaluga, B.S.M.E. ’83 Oti Roberts, B.B.A. ’03 Alan Serure, B.S. ’75, M.D. ’79 Linda G. Steckley, M.B.A. ’87

Faculty Representatives Richard K. Lee, M.D. ’98, Ph.D. ’98, Second Vice Chair, Faculty Senate Robert F. Moore, Associate Chair, Department of Teaching and Learning

Student Representatives Alex Locust Brandon Mitchell

Alumni Network Clubs

Atlanta Terry Olive, M.B.A. ’77, Austin Mark Gordon, B.B.A.’81, Boston Enrique “Rick” Negron, B.S.C. ’02, Broward Marcie Voce, A.B. ’98, Charlotte TBD Chicago Jose Armario, M.S. ’03, Cincinnati Mark McPheron, B.B.A. ’78, Cleveland Diana Le, B.M. ’09, Dallas Doris “Janet” Ruiz, A.B. ’95,

20 UM Alumni Association Board of Directors Meeting Newman Alumni Center, Coral Gables, Florida 25 National Tour with Provost LeBlanc Tampa, Florida 28-March 25 Lowe Art Museum From the Vault, Building a Legacy: Sixty Years of Collecting at the Lowe Art Museum FEBRUARY 2012 8 National Tour with Provost LeBlanc Palm Beach, Florida 15-25 Jerry Herman Ring Theatre Stage Door 16-17 President’s Council Reception and Meeting Newman Alumni Center, Coral Gables, Florida 17 Frost Opera Theater Frost Opera Theater Goes Gala! 22 National Tour with Provost LeBlanc Naples, Florida

Denver James Hoffman, A.B. ’80,; Alan Shrater, B.B.A. ’69, Detroit Paul Koch, B.S. ’73, Germany Sharon Petrik, B.B.A. ’04, M.B.A. ’07, Greensboro Allyson Lugo, B.S.C. ’07, Houston Christy Marshall, B.S. ’02, Indianapolis Meena Garg, B.S. ’98, M.P.H. ’99, M.D. ’03, indycanes@ Jacksonville Jose Pena, M.B.A. ’09, Las Vegas John E. Knuth, M.B.A. ’98, M.S.C.I.S. ’02, john.e.knuth@ London Caroline Larson, A.B. ’08, Los Angeles Joseph “Trey” Borzilleri, B.B.A. ’98, Louisville Carlos Mendia, B.S.I.E. ’86, M.B.A. ’88, carlos.mendia@gmail. com Nashville Joyce Friedman, B.F.A. ’79, New Jersey Robert Morris, A.B. ’76, New York David Goldberg, B.B.A. ’03, Orlando Roger Jeffrey, B.S.C.E. ’76, Palm Beach Stefany Allongo, B.A.M. ’06, Philadelphia Mark Bolen, A.B. ’07, Phoenix Stephen Good, B.S. ’00, Portland Erin Wright, B.S.C. ’06, Raleigh Amy Gretenstein, B.S.C. ’06,

MARCH 2012 6 National Tour with Provost LeBlanc Broward County, Florida 28 National Tour with Provost LeBlanc Chicago, Illinois APRIL 2012 5 Class Ring Ceremony BankUnited Center, Coral Gables, Florida 11-21 Jerry Herman Ring Theatre A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum 14-May 6 Lowe Art Museum Annual Juried Student Competition Exhibition 14-June 3 Lowe Art Museum UM Faculty Exhibition: Darby Bannard 20 UM Alumni Association Board of Directors Meeting Newman Alumni Center, Coral Gables, Florida Richmond Roger Reynolds, B.M. ’91, M.M. ’96, rreynolds@rompnroll. com San Diego Elena Mulvaney, B.B.A. ’04, San Francisco Melissa Glass, B.S.C. ’09, Sarasota Chris Clayton, B.S.C. ’94, Savannah Tom Farnkoff, B.B.A. ’69, Seattle Christian Hasenoehrl, M.S. ’95, M.B.A. ‘95, Southwest Florida John Clough, J.D. ’99, St. Louis John “Kevin” Horth, B.M. ’74, Tallahassee Kelly Sciba, B.S.C. ’92, Tampa Larry King, Jr., A.B. ’83, M.B.A. ’93, Washington, D.C. Michael Waldron, B.S.I.T. ’05, mwaldron@

Special Interest Groups Black Alumni Society Phyllis Tyler, B.B.A. ’80, Band of the Hour Randy Cash, B.S. ’81, UM Sports Hall of Fame Walter “Wally” DiMarko, B.Ed. ’65, M.A. ’70,, and K.C. Jones, ’97,

J.D. ’98,, and Devang Desai, A.B. ’97, J.D. ’03, Miller School of Medicine Steven F. Falcone, B.S. ’83, M.D. ’87, M.B.A. ’04,, and Jeffrey Block, M.D. ’82, docblock@ School of Nursing & Health Studies Leila Adderton, A.B. ’79, B.S.N. ’05, M.S.N. ’10,, and Joyce G. Rios, B.S.N. ’04, D.N.P. ’10, Alumni records of the University of Miami are kept strictly confidential. Directory information is released only to other members of the alumni community unless an alumnus or alumna has requested complete privacy. On a very limited occasion and only at the approval of the UM Alumni Association Board of Directors, directory information is shared with outside vendors who are in a joint relationship with the University. Should you not wish to release your name to any outside vendor and/or other members of the UM alumni community, please notify the Office of Alumni Relations in writing at P.O. Box 248053, Coral Gables, Florida 33124-3410.

Schools and College Groups College of Engineering Rick De La Guardia, B.S.A.E. ’96, rick.dlge@, and Alfonso D. Dager, B.S.C.P.E. ’07, School of Law Elizabeth B. Honkonen,

Fall 2011 Miami magazine 47

B i g


Faculty Shine in a Whole New Light

Making Mathematical Music itting cross-legged and barefoot on a lushly patterned rug at the Shiva Vishnu Temple of South Florida, Subramanian Ramakrishnan is the picture of a South Indian classical musician in his collared orange jubbah and saronglike white veshti. A double-barreled drum rests on his legs. His fingers fly furiously across each end as he plays the ancient rhythms and beats of the mridangam, the traditional “instrument of the gods,” in a 500-year-old piece about Lord Krishna. An associate professor of mathematics at the University of Miami, Ramakrishnan was invited to join the mathematics department 30 years ago after completing his Ph.D. at the Indian Statistical Institute in India. Teaching courses that include calculus, abstract mathematics, and probability and statistics, he focuses on motivating his students. “Once you yourself are excited about what you are doing,” he says, “that excitement is addictive.” He also opens their eyes to a new perspective on math. “They come from high school thinking math involves lots of formulas you have to memorize and learn to apply, and that you have to be very careful not to make even the slightest mistake. Math is far deeper than that. It’s about reasoning, and how you get to the formulas. If students can develop their analytic abilities, they will see how these formulas tie together as just one big idea. It’s a language, and once you’re comfortable enough with the language, you can think through it.” Ramakrishnan shows students how mathematics is part of everyday life, using examples from sports, weather forecasting, campaign polls, lotto, and, of course, music. “One of the important dimensions in music, especially South Indian classical music, is rhythm. When I’m performing with vocalists, they sing patterns that have mathematics,” he explains. “They go several cycles then come to the beat; they may not be on the beat constantly.” Good collaborators understand the underlying mathematics and symmetry. “Mathematics helps me quickly recognize musical patterns and remember them through formulas I associate with them,” notes Ramakrishnan. “It makes it very easy for me to compose new passages and try to make works that will be aesthetic.” As a ninth grader in India, Ramakrishnan pestered his uncle to teach him to play the mridangam. In turn he has been passing the tradition to others for years, from his home and at the Shiva Vishnu temple. His students come from as far as Melbourne, Tampa, and Jacksonville, and range in age from 6 to 60. Many study with him for ten or more years to develop competency in the instrument. He donates lesson fees to the temple. In Ramakrishnan’s world, mathematicians don’t always have to sit amid reams of paper to puzzle through calculations. They can work on mathematics while driving a car, taking a walk, or even playing a drum. —Sherri Miles



stories of

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Sebastian takes your trip to new heights

In the sea of standard Florida license plates, yours can be one that turns heads. The UM plate is available at any Florida tag agency for just $25 above the cost of a regular plate. Best of all, the extra $25 funds University of Miami Alumni Scholarships for UM students. The only requirement is that you must be a Florida resident with a vehicle registered in the state. So go ahead and let your tag tell the world you’re a ’Cane.

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