At Miami - A Monthly News Service for University of Miami Alumni and Friends
March 22, 2007
Alumni News

Neal Sonnett Named School of Law Alumnus of Distinction

Neil Sonnett

The University of Miami School of Law has announced the 2007 recepient of the Law Alumni Association's "Alumnus of Distinction", presented to Neal R. Sonnett, A.B. '64, J.D. '67. Sonnett has held leadership positions at the local, state and national level of bar associations and is currently the president of the American Judicature Society. He recently received the Outstanding Service Award from the Fellows of the American Bar Association, recognizing his extensive contributions to the legal profession and the community. In addition to his significant professional achievements, he continues to pass on his knowledge, experience and passion for the law as an adjunct professor at the School of Law. Sonnett will be honored at a Law Alumni Association reception on Thursday, May 10, at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.

Roger Jeffery Earns Engineering Award

Award Presented for Lifetime Achievements

Roger Jeffery

Roger Jeffery, B.S.C.E. ’76,  of Orlando was honored with the Lifetime Achievement in Engineering Award at the 2007 Central Florida Engineers Week Banquet. The award is presented annually to the engineer who has shown outstanding leadership and commitment to excellence.  A professional engineer, Roger is a principal and director of the Structural Division of Orlando-based TLC Engineering for Architecture. He is on the boards of the Florida Institute of Consulting Engineers and the Florida Engineers Management Corporation and a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers State Government Relations Committee.  He served for three years on the Governor’s Building Codes Study Commission. TLC is one of the largest multidiscipline engineers in the Southeast, with nine offices in Florida and Tennessee and more than 400 employees.  The firm provides structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, communications, technology, and security system design services, as well as sustainable design, consulting, and commissioning.

McGoldrick Named CenterPoint President

Longtime Executive to Head Natural Gas Operations

Joe McGoldrick

CenterPoint Energy recently named University of Miami alumnus Joe McGoldrick, B.B.A. ’75,  president of the company’s natural gas operations.  He was formerly division senior vice president of Finance and Regulatory for CenterPoint Energy’s regulated businesses.  In his new role, McGoldrick is responsible for the company’s natural gas operations business which serves three million customers in six states.  McGoldrick has more than 27 years of planning, finance and regulatory experience with CenterPoint Energy, beginning his career in 1979 and serving as vice president in various capacities throughout his time with the company. During his time at the University of Miami, he played on the Hurricanes baseball team for several seasons.

Briefly Noted

Victoria Foyt, A.B. '80, has released her first novel, The Virtual Life of Lexie Diamond.
Sally Still, M.F.A. ’84, has joined the law firm of Buckingham, Doolittle, & Burroughs, LLP, in Boca Raton, FL.
Henry Suarez, J.D. '86, announces the opening of the Law Office of Henry Suarez in Miami, FL, concentrating in the area of workers' compensation law.
Roxanne Zusmer, B.Ed. '64, M.S.Ed. '83, Ed.S. '95, was twice presented with the Florida School Counselor Association Writer's Award for her two books: Mr. Germain Goes To Antarctica and Top 10 Topics for School Counselors: Favorite Group Activites for Grades 3-8. 
Lui King, B.S. '94, has been appointed the Chief Technology Officer for the financial services company in Alpharetta, GA.

UM Headlines

Law School Moot Court Dominates ABA Regionals

Moot Court

The University of Miami School of Law won both first and second place at this year’s American Bar Association Regional Client Counseling Competition. Kristy Militello and Ilana Tabacinic comprised the first place team, and as a result of their win, were invited to the National Client Counseling Competition.  The Client Counseling Competition tests students’ ability to engage with clients, elicit relevant information, clearly convey and apply legal principles to difficult fact scenarios, address ethical issues, and formulate plans for future action.  Prior to each round, the teams only know their client’s name and the broad subject matter the client wants to discuss.

2006 Ibis Yearbook Wins Top National Award

Student Publication Continues Excellence

Moot Court

Recent graduates looking to recall their memories from the University of Miami won’t find a better source than the Ibis yearbook, named among the top publications by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association for 2006.  The awards were given during the 29th Annual College Media Convention in New York City, with Ibis receiving the Gold Crown, the most prestigious of several awards given. Ibis is also a finalist to receive a Pacemaker Award from the Associated College Press, which will be announced in late October. Ibis won a Pacemaker in 1993 due to its coverage of Hurricane Andrew.

UM Student Receives Gilliam Fellowship

Fellowship Product of Focus and Dedication

University of Miami student Nisha Broodie is this year’s recipient of a Gilliam Fellowship from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The award provides underrepresented minority students with support for up to five years toward a doctorate in the life sciences.  Broodie, a senior in biology, is one of five national recipients of the fellowship, and credits her love of science to the tragic loss of her mother to breast cancer during her sophomore year.  She has participated in the Exceptional Research Opportunities Program through the institute, where her research discovered evidence implicating DNA damage in the progression of disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. After completing a semester as an exchange student at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, Broodie plans to continue her education through graduate studies.

Sports News

Hurricanes Football Spring Practice Begins

Shannon Emphasizes Hard Work During Spring Tour


With spring break over, the Miami Hurricanes went back to practice on the Greentree Athletic Fields. "It was the first day back and guys flew around a little bit, but we have to get better as a team," said head coach Randy Shannon, B.S. '89 . Last week Shannon traveled the state during the annual Hurricane Club Spring Tour, speaking to Hurricanes fans in seven cities. He commented often on how some of the bigger players on the team started off in January getting up at 6 a.m. every day to work out and lose weight, and he was asked about that today by reporters. "That lasted for three weeks, and they worked out in the weightroom and ran, extra conditioning, on top of their regular workouts," Shannon said. "They dropped 10, 15, 20 pounds and they look good and feel better. Some of them tell me they feel better even though they are working more than they normally do."


A Journey to Greatness

Editor's Note: This month's column is a new feature in @Miami, featuring Dr. Doug Hirschhorn, an expert maximizing potential and enhancing talent. We encourage questions and comments: e-mail us at with your feedback.

Dr. Doug
Dr. Doug Hirschhorn

How many of you who are reading this article want to become better in some area of your life?

Maybe you want to be a better parent. Maybe a better teacher or lawyer or sales person. Maybe you want to start a business you have always talked about but never had the courage to do. Maybe you want to get into shape or improve your health. Maybe you are just tired of mediocrity and want to get to the next level.

Have you ever thought about how you are going to get there? I am not talking about taking the passive road of sitting back, thinking positive and hoping things will just work out. I am talking about putting on your hiking boots and proactively engaging in a journey towards greatness. If so, then I am here to tell you that to get there you will need a plan or map and over the next six months, I am going to be your guide and help you get to wherever it is you want to be.

For those of you who do not know me, my name is Dr. Doug Hirschhorn. I have a Ph.D. in Psychology with a specialization in Sport Psychology. I am not a licensed psychologist or therapist and I am definitely not a life coach. I am a peak performance expert. What that means is I am not here to talk about your problems or mine for that matter. I am not here for pep talks or warm and fuzzy moments. Those things have their place in life…just not in my column right now. Instead we are going to identify barriers and discuss solutions. I believe in being proactive, not reactive. I help great people become even greater. Put another way, I do not create talent; instead I am here to help you fully realize your own in whatever field, occupation or endeavor you choose to pursue.

My clients include many of the top performers in the financial, athletic and corporate worlds and now it is time for me to share with all of you some of their secrets for achieving greatness. In the end, these elite performers really are just like you and me. They have fears, insecurities and barriers but unlike us, they choose to not let those things get in their way.

In our journey to greatness, we will be covering things like understanding core motivations, gaining self-awareness, setting goals, taking smart risk, being held accountable and reflecting on the entire process.

This experience is designed to be interactive. In subsequent editions, I will present a new topic and respond to questions or comments that have been submitted by you. If you have something to say, let me know. If you have an opinion, let it be heard. Are you ready? Good. Buckle your seat belt and hold on tight as we begin this journey to greatness.

Dr. Doug Hirschhorn is a partner with the University of Miami Alumni Association, providing insight on excelling in your life and maximizing your potential.

Get Involved - Links to School and College Alumni Web Sites


UM Center Receives Ford Foundation Grant

The University of Miami's Center for Latin American Studies has received a $300,000 grant from the Ford Foundation to fund a project titled "Observatory on Structures and Institutions of Inequality in Latin America." The project will study the great inequalities in the region and its effects on the population, and is headed by Merike Blofield, Ph.D., assistant professor in the department of Political Science, whose research interests focus on Latin America, especially on social and economic inequality, public opinion, and labor relations. "The project will create an interdisciplinary and global community for practitioners, scholars, activists and policy-makers who want to create more equitable societies in Latin America," said Professor Blofield. The region is home to more than 500 million people, and the social and economic inequalities have profound effects on citizen participation, civil society and the quality of democratic governance.