Women in the White House

Presidential program honors UM faculty member and student

Rebecca Espinosa, B.S. ’12, wearing red scrubs, helps patients during a medical brigade in Honduras.
The White House recently recognized two members of the UM community as “Champions of Change,” part of its Winning the Future initiative to highlight individuals who serve and strengthen their communities.

During Hispanic Heritage Month, recent pre-med graduate Rebecca Espinosa, B.S. ’12, was invited to the White House and recognized with 12 other Hispanic young adults for her extraordinary community service. Her efforts include starting a tutoring program at a school for pregnant teens in Miami; helping to bring medical supplies to Cuba, Mexico, Ecuador, and other countries; taking part in rebuilding efforts in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina; and organizing a dance-a-thon that raised $4,000 to help build a school, medical center, and church in Bodawada, India. She also runs a holiday toy drive, collecting and delivering hundreds of gifts each year to children in a Miami homeless shelter with the help of family and friends.

Susan Amat, B.L.A. ’01, M.B.A. ’04, Ph.D. ’08, left, speaks at the White House.
In March, Susan Amat, B.L.A. ’01, M.B.A. ’04, Ph.D. ’08, co-founder and executive director of the University’s The Launch Pad, was one of 11 Champions of Change honored for outstanding leadership in entrepreneurial mentoring, counseling, and training. At The Launch Pad, based in the Toppel Career Center, Amat recruits entrepreneurs across campus, offering resources and a network to support applied experiential educational opportunities. Within three years, more than 2,000 students and young alumni have become Launch Pad members and over 900 concepts have received mentoring, totaling 30,000-plus hours of mentoring and guidance. The model is being replicated nationally through the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. Amat is also a management and marketing lecturer at the School of Business Administration.