UM Experience


The Audrey R. Finkelstein Experience

Thank you to all of you who celebrated your place in history with us as we honored all alumni during Alumni Weekend & Homecoming 2013. We hope you enjoyed your return to campus and that you will make plans to visit us again next year for Alumni Weekend & Homecoming 2014.

Please take a moment to complete the Alumni Weekend & Homecoming 2013 Survey:

Here is a recap of the sessions from the 2013 Audrey Finklestein UM Experience:

9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
A) The Growth of Miami: Paradise and Paradox in Midcentury Planning & Architecture
Allan Todd Shulman - Associate Professor, School of Architecture
The two decades that followed World War II were a period of extraordinary growth in Miami. During that time, architectural modernism provided a framework for the city’s new urban patterns, novel building types, evolving aesthetics and emerging environmental consciousness. Modernism is appropriately a lens through which to examine Miami’s postwar development, and conversely, postwar Miami is a discriminating mirror of themes within the modern movement. The city was a virtual laboratory of modern architecture, a semitropical hothouse where modernism was probed, challenged, adapted and ultimately expanded. Join School of Architecture associate professor Allan Shulman as he explores the distinctive and illuminating premises embodied in Miami’s growth from 1945 to 1965. Richly illustrated, the talk will investigate the built and unbuilt work of the city, spanning visionary urban plans, iconic infrastructure, commercial and industrial projects, resort architecture and the elaboration of regional identity in new residential paradigms like the tropical home.

B) Building Intelligent Robot Teams
Dr. Amir Rahmani, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Dr. Amir Rahmani, Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the College of Engineering will explore the concept and implementation of robot intelligence through networked dynamic systems, including teams of autonomous land, air and space vehicles. He will present methods aimed at instilling intelligence into a team of robots, covering sensing and perception, autonomy, and robot-robot interaction.
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
A) The Philosopher and the Wolf
Mark J. Rowlands - Professor of Philosophy
Brenin was a wolf. At least he was sold to me as a wolf. It is very likely he was a wolf-dog mix. Whatever he was, I was fortunate enough to spend a little over a decade of my life with him, years that encompassed a life spent in the USA, Ireland, Wales, England and, finally, France. Brenin came to decisively shape not only the way I lived during those years but also, perhaps unexpectedly, the way I thought. I wrote a book about these years. It is called The Philosopher and the Wolf. The book is a memoir: a book of memory. The book was my attempt to work out what I had learned from those years with Brenin before it was lost. In this talk, I will use the book to explore the idea of remembering. What is it – what does it mean – to remember someone? And what role does memory play in making us who we are?

B) The Promises and Pitfalls of Immigration Reform
Rebecca Sharpless - Associate Professor of Clinical Legal Education; Director, Immigration Clinic
Rebecca Sharpless, Associate Professor of Clinical Legal Education at the School of Law, will discuss America’s conflicting attitudes about immigration and immigrants as well as the opportunities and challenges presented by the prospect of immigration reform.
12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
The Economic Impact of The University of Miami
Joe Natoli - Senior Vice President for Business and Finance and Chief Financial Officer, University of Miami
Joe Natoli, senior vice president for business and finance and chief financial officer will discuss how the University of Miami is a major economic engine; providing more than 6 Billion dollars annually in positive economic contributions to the local communities, the region and the State of Florida.
2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
A) Screen Classics: Screwball Heroines of the Thirties Hollywood
Christina Lane, Ph.D. - Associate Professor, Motion Picture Program
It is generally assumed that classical era movies represent more narrow views of women than we see today. After all, we have made great strides in gender equality and have watched women gain much economic power within the American film industry. Yet, a closer look at classic Hollywood shows that women were quite complex, often lively, and even at times exhilarating, much more so than now. Dr. Christina Lane of the Department of Cinema and Interactive Media considers such stars as Irene Dunne, Carole Lombard, Rosalind Russell, and Myrna Loy, all of whom typically played powerful, independent, fully developed characters. What can they teach us about contemporary Hollywood?

B) Cox Science Center Lab Tours
The University of Miami’s James Cox Science Center is home to some of the University’s most prized researchers, and laboratories for the natural sciences and other important areas of science. Alumni and guests are invited to join faculty for a mini tour of their research labs and learn more about the hands-on experience of laboratory investigation.

LAB OPTIONS: (Registrants choosing this session select one lab at 2:30pm and another at 3:00pm to participate in a total of 2 labs)

William A. Searcy, Ph.D. - Professor, Maytag Chair in Ornithology, Department of Biology
The Searcy lab studies birds and projects in the lab look at bird communication in birds of North and Central America and also the evolutionary maintenance of cooperative nest building in sociable weavers of Southern Africa. Learn what lab members take to the field to record birdsong and audio recordings and corresponding spectrograms (graphs) of different animal sounds. In addition, guests will participate in a computer simulation of how public goods are maintained by cooperation; learn how your choice to cooperate or not with others affects the public good.

Alexandra C. C. Wilson, Ph.D. - Associate Professor, Department of Biology
The Wilson lab studies the symbiosis between insects like aphids and their relative with beneficial bacteria that enable these insects to feed on a nutrient-poor food source. The Wilson lab will introduce alumni to the concept of symbiosis with a video showing an example of a symbiotic relationship between aphids and ants in which ants protect aphids from predators in exchange for food (sugary aphid waste). After the video, there will be examples of symbiotic organisms to look at under a microscope.

Athula Wikramanayake, Ph.D. - Professor, Department of Biology
The Wikramanayake lab studies the embryonic development of two primitive marine invertebrates, sea urchins and a jellyfish relative, to get a glimpse into how a fertilized egg develops into a complex organism, and also how developmental mechanisms are modified during evolution to give rise to the diversity of animal body forms that exist today. The Wikramanayake lab will demonstrate types of organisms they work on and live embryos and fertilization of these organisms.

Roger I. Williams, M.S. Ed - Assistant Director, Undergraduate Program, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
The Microbiology & Immunology laboratory is equipped with new clinical microscopes as well as other instruments which will provide you with an opportunity to view and study microscopic forms of life. Roger will show off the new microbiology teaching lab for the undergraduate microbiology course. This lab has many excellent new features, including octagonal tables for group learning, and a large monitor where demonstrations can be projected so that all the students can easily see.

Steve D. Pearson - Director, John C. Gifford Arboretum
Weather permitting; Steve D. Pearson, Director of the John C. Gifford Arboretum will give a brief tour of the arboretum behind the Cox Science Center. Guests will learn about the various sections of the arboretum and the more than 400 species of plants, which many of the native species attract local birds and insects. Come walk through the Maya Cocoa Garden and visit the "What is a Tree?" exhibit.