March 20, 2014
Alumni News

Alumna First Female to Assume Command of ANG Fighter Wing

Colonel Sherrie McCandlessColonel Sherrie McCandless, B.S. ’91, the first woman selected to command the 124th Fighter Wing and first female wing commander in Idaho Air National Guard history, assumed command in a ceremony on March 2, at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho.

"We have a no-fail mission. It is absolutely imperative that we respond diligently — as you have throughout the years," McCandless said.

"We are going to remain trained, focused and responsive on our current mission here and now. It is difficult to see clearly into the future, but what I see extremely clearly is our airmen. The equipment can be replaced, but our airmen remain. It's the lifetime patriots that we are; we get up in the morning and head into work."

McCandless became the 15th wing commander of the 124th Fighter Wing.

Colonel McCandless began her military career in May 1991 when she was commissioned as a second lieutenant from the University of Miami ROTC program. She then served 13 years on active duty, flying the F-16 and the T-38, as well as being assigned as an Air Liaison Officer. After transitioning to the South Carolina Air National Guard in 2005, she served in several Pentagon staff positions, including plans and programming, executive officer and aide-de-camp, as well as a Congressional liaison.

Shark Tagging with the President's Council

Shark Tagging with President's Council A total of 35 President's Council members and guests joined researchers at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) February 20 and 22 for two shark tagging excursions off the coast of Key Biscayne, Florida. This excursion provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of research, education, conservation, and innovation.

Participating members worked side by side with world-renowned shark biologist Neil Hammerschlag and his stellar team to gather vital data for his ongoing shark research at RSMAS.

Between both trips, the President's Council members tagged and released a total of 16 sharks, including five nurse and one great hammerhead.

The trip was part of the President's Council weekend of events, including its annual spring meeting on the Coral Gables campus.

Photos of February 20 excursion    •    Photos of February 22 excursion

Briefly Noted

Jason L. Baptiste, B.B.A. ’10, founder and CMO of Onswipe, a mobile publishing company, appeared in an article on CNN Money.
Chucha S. Barber, A.B. ’75, won the Gracie Award for Outstanding Local/Regional Producer documenting Florida's 500 year history.
Steven A. Boyer, A.B. ’84, earned his certification with the United States Professional Tennis Association as a tennis instructor.
Leonard S. Carrier, A.B. ’56, M.A. ’58, recently published his book, Bet on the River, on Outskirts Press.
J. Denise Clement, B.S. ’76, was presented with the Medical Leadership award at the 2014 BEYA STEM Conference in Washington, DC.
Benjamin Everard, A.B. ’06, has produced a television docudrama named HANG MEN.
Elizabeth A. Garcia, A.B. ’04, M.B.A. ’11, founded the Discovery Day Academy, an early learning school. There are currently three in Florida.
Raniero J. Gimeno, B.A.I.S. ’02, M.B.A. ’04, has been named Senior Vice President, National Director of Defined Contribution Sales and Executive Team member for Eagle Asset Management.
Eric Iversen, B.Arch. ’94 , was recently promoted to Director of Real Estate with Lithia Motors, Inc.
Kanika Jelks-Tomalin, M.B.A. ’01, has been appointed Deputy Mayor for the City of St. Petersburg in Florida.
Sean M. Klitzner, B.S.C. ’04, is one of the co-hosts of Dr. Drew On Call on HLN, a sister station of CNN.
Jeremy M. Lang, A.B. ’82, was on the editing team for an investigative series that won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for Public Service. The three-part series, "Speeding Cops: Above the Law," was published in the Sun-Sentinel.
Roland Sanchez-Medina, B.B.A. ’88, has been elected to the Florida Bar's Board of Governors, 11th Circuit, Seat 1.
Michael W. Throne, B.S.C.E. ’84, B.S.A.E. ’84, has been appointed Director of Public Works for the city of Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.
Valerie L. Waters, M.F.A. ’03, published her first children's book, Cookie and the Frowny Face Day.

UM Headlines

Miller School of Medicine Vaults into Top 50

Miller School of MedicineDemonstrating its push for excellence, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has climbed to No. 46 in the 2015 edition of "Best Graduate Schools" published by U.S. News & World Report.

Under the leadership of Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School, and CEO of the University of Miami Health System, the Miller School has moved up from No. 56 in 2006—rising 10 spots in the past eight years in U.S. News' annual ranking of the nation's top medical schools for research.

"Our climb in the national rankings reflects the improving caliber of our medical students, master's students and Ph.D. (research) students, the advances in our education curriculum and the world-class quality of our researchers and educators," Goldschmidt said. "We are deeply committed to excellence in all aspects of the Miller School's mission, including education, research and clinical care."

U.S. News also ranked the Miller School's physical therapy graduate program No. 9 in the nation. The master's degree/doctoral program consistently has ranked in the top 10 since U.S. News began ranking physical therapy programs in 1995.

"Our faculty and students are leaders in clinical practice, scholarly activity and community service," said Sherrill H. Hayes, Ph.D., PT, professor and chair emeritus of Physical Therapy. "It is gratifying to have our program continue to receive this national recognition."

Sports News

ACC Legend

Lin Dunn - ACC LegendOn Saturday, March 8, the day of the semifinal games at the ACC Women's Basketball Tournament, former greats from each conference institution waited to be inducted into the 10th class of ACC Legends.

For Miami, it wasn't a former player. It was the fourth coach in program history and one of the most iconic women in women's basketball history—Lin Dunn.

Dunn coached the Hurricanes long before Miami joined the ACC, or any conference for that matter. Her nine years in Coral Gables laid the foundation for a program and the groundwork for its success.

Inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame in 2003, Dunn remains one of the most transcendent figures in the Miami Hurricanes family. In her time at the helm of the program in Coral Gables, Dunn accumulated a 149-119 record. Dunn's influence on the game of basketball stretches far beyond Coral Gables. She has won at every level, and her southern personality has touched people from coast to coast.

"Say the name Lin Dunn to anyone in women's basketball and they'll immediately give you a smile and a story," current head coach Katie Meier said.

It's all about the U

Stories of U

Jonathan Kreisberg, B.M. '94

Jonathan's musical journey has taken him all around the world. He credits the UM Frost School of Music for affording him that amazing opportunity. His incredible experiences include playing with such jazz notables as Michael Brecker and touring Brazil with the UM Jazz Band under the leadership of the legendary Whit Sidener.

Stories of U - Jonathan Kreisberg

Stories of U is a University of Miami Alumni Association campaign celebrating the individual and collective experiences of our alumni, their family, and their friends.

Get Involved - Links to School and College Alumni Web Sites

Nursing Dean Nilda Peragallo Montano and Communications VP Jacqueline R. Menendez Walk 'In the Company of Women'

Coinciding with Women's History Month, two of the University of Miami's most accomplished women—Nilda (Nena) Peragallo Montano, dean of the School of Nursing and Health Studies, and Jacqueline R. Menendez, A.B. ’83, vice president of University Communications—were honored last week with Miami-Dade County's prestigious "In the Company of Women" awards. This honor is bestowed on women who exemplify professional development, community responsibility, leadership and vision in their respective fields.

An internationally recognized nurse scientist, Peragallo Montano received the award for Health and Human Services for her expertise in and devotion to improving the health status of minorities and other medically underserved populations.

Recently tapped for induction into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame of the Sigma Theta Tau International nursing honor society, Peragallo Montano also is on HispanicBusiness magazine's list of the nation's 100 Most Influential Leaders.

"I am honored to join such an accomplished group of our community's leaders in so many fields," Peragallo Montano said. "And to have my colleague Jackie Menendez here makes it all the more special, and will hopefully serve as an inspiration to the next generation of female leaders!"

Indeed, Menendez, who received the award for Communications and Literature, has stepped into and excelled in areas traditionally dominated by men—from television news reporter to senior administrator in municipal and county government to the head of communications and marketing for a leading research university.

Never one to "shy away from challenges" and always ready to "roll up her sleeves to get the job done," as her award nomination letter reads, Menendez joined UM in 2007, charged with promoting the institution to internal and external audiences, including students and their families, faculty and staff, alumni, patients, Hurricane athletic fans, and the community—all while working closely with University President Donna E. Shalala, the former U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services.

Even while taking on such daunting tasks, Menendez has maintained her hallmark style of being "inclusive and transparent."

Among the other 10 Miami-Dade women honored with "In the Company of Women" awards this year was UM alumna Angela Smith, B.B.A. '98, director of community outreach for the Miami Marlins, who received the award for Sports and Athletics.

Jacqueline R. Menendez and Nilda (Nena) Peragallo Montano