Miami magazine Online

Noteworthy News and Research at the University of Miami

Students Gain Groovy Insight
That ’60s Course

Biologist is New Dean of Arts and Sciences
Welcoming Wyche
School of Medicine: 50 Years
Strong and Growing
  Professor Leads Hydrogen Power Push
Fuel for Thought
Technology Helps Treat Spinal Cord Injury
A Step Closer
  University Mourns the Loss of Miller and Batchelor
Fish Census is First of its Kind
Down for the Count
  College of Engineering Joins Forces with
Cardiff University
Campus Growth is Steamrolling Ahead
Concrete Evidence
New Athletic Designs are Hitting the Mark
License to Thrill
Program Targets Violence at its Infancy
Safe from the Start
Go Figure


That ’60s Course

Janis Joplin wails—in hi-fidelity splendor—throughout residence halls of universities nationwide; posters of Hendrix and the Stones adorn the walls. Today’s students dig the 1960s. But what do they really know about the era?

“When you try to talk to these kids about the ’60s, it’s like you’re talking about the Gettysburg Address,” says Zack Bowen, professor of English and innovator of a new course that teaches the ’60s in a personal way. With a call from Bowen and history professor Donald Spivey, more than 40 University faculty and staff members have volunteered to describe their “coming of age” amidst antiwar protests, the Free Speech Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, the birth of feminism, the reign of the hippies.

“We have librarians, doctors, psychologists, and they’ve all got this buried ’60s spirit,” Bowen says. “We have people who were student activists at Berkeley and Columbia, who went on Freedom Rides and put themselves in jeopardy, and who lost people in the war and are talking about it for the first time.”

The Sixties, a multidisciplinary course that earns junior-year students credit in English, history, or American studies, includes lectures by Bowen and Spivey, vivid recollections from a faculty panel, and a student-driven floor discussion. Each session is videotaped. Among the Who’s Who list of participants are the provost Luis Glaser, Arts and Sciences dean James Wyche, senior vice president for business and finance David Lieberman, and President Donna E. Shalala.

“I wanted the kids to see people they’d normally see in the classroom in a whole different light, as participants in these activities,” Bowen says. Like biology professor David Wilson, a member of the Student Democratic Society who attended the turbulent 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, and sociology professor Jomills H. Braddock, whose sister-in-law was one of the girls killed in the 1963 Birmingham church bombings. Spivey talks about being a member of the Black Students Union at the University of Illinois and shaking the hand of the first African-American faculty member hired in the history department.

A military intelligence officer during the Vietnam War, geology professor Fred Nagle recalls when then-president Henry King Stanford resolved a takeover of the Ashe Building by 5,000 students just days after the Kent State incident.

With 250 slots filled, it seems student interest in the ’60s runs deep. A faculty and student performance on December 3 brings the musicians who once sang songs of freedom back to their instruments, giving the next generation a sense of the rhythm of life in the 1960s.



Welcoming Wyche

There’s the creative, Renaissance type. There’s the objective, analytic type. And then there’s James H. Wyche, someone with the right balance of passion and practicality to raise the bar in both arts and sciences.

Wyche, a cell biologist who has worked closely with such organizations as the American Society for Cell Biology, National Science Foundation, and National Institutes of Health, is President Donna E. Shalala’s first senior academic appointment. The two first met in 1981 at Hunter College, where she was president and he was a biology professor. Wyche accepted the role of vice provost and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Miami after spending 14 years at Brown University, where he was associate provost and professor of medical science. During a recent one-year leave of absence from Brown, he served as interim president of Tougaloo College, a well-respected and predominantly African-American liberal arts school in Jackson, Mississippi.

Wyche’s commitment to science is obvious. His lab and personnel from Brown are now on the Coral Gables campus, studying how cancer cells die and what role plants and other natural substances can play in this process. Wyche’s other priority is diversity in academia. The founding executive director from 1992 to 2002 of the Leadership Alliance—a consortium of leading academic institutions dedicated to increasing minority participation in graduate and Ph.D. programs—Wyche helped raise nearly $18 million for scholarships and special programs. As head of the largest of the University’s 12 schools and colleges, a position held by interim dean Daniel Pals since May 2000, Wyche’s first order of business was to ensure the smooth transition of the School of International Studies into the college. Wyche’s wife, Karen, a renowned clinical psychologist, social worker, and former New York University faculty member, will join UM as associate professor of psychology following a one-year sabbatical in London.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a good school and transform it into an institution of higher learning with global reach,” Wyche says. “How could I resist that opportunity?”

School of Medicine: 50 Years Strong and Growing

On September 22, 1952, the first freshman class walked into the University of Miami School of Medicine.

“The people who brought about the medical school had to be extremely gutsy,” says dean emeritus Bernard J. Fogel (M.D. ’61). “It was truly a makeshift undertaking,” housed in the former servants’ quarters of the Biltmore Hotel, then-home to the Veterans Administration Hospital.

An upcoming celebration pays tribute to what Fogel calls the “phenomenal personalities” who turned a dream into a renowned private medical school with an unparalleled record of public service.

Faculty and staff are invited to a 50th birthday party on November 20 at the Schoninger Research Quadrangle, the center of today’s medical campus and a world away from the early days. University President Donna E. Shalala and John G. Clarkson, M.D. ’68, senior vice president for medical affairs and dean, will speak at a January 31 symposium. Distinguished faculty and alumni from the early years also will share memories and highlights; a reception on the quadrangle will follow that evening.

More information about all events, including reunion dinners, is available at a link on



Fuel for Thought

The world relies on fossil fuels for 80 percent of its energy needs. If hydrogen were used instead, there would be no acid rain, no greenhouse effect, and perhaps less international strife.

“If we were to spend half of the money used to fight terrorism on developing hydrogen energy, we could convert the whole country in 20 years,” says T. Nejat Veziroglu, founding director of the College of Engineering’s Clean Energy Research Institute, a U.S. Department of Energy Center of Excellence. Veziroglu is talking about a Hydrogen Economy—a plan he first proposed with other “hydrogen romantics” in 1974 when they formed the International Association for Hydrogen Energy (IAHE). Without fossil fuels, U.S. interest in the Middle East would be minimal. And in the case of the September 11 twin tower explosions, Veziroglu adds, hydrogen might not have had the calamitous effect because it burns cooler and quicker than jet fuel, and without toxic fumes.

Energy pundits estimate that fossil fuel reserves will last another 40 years at most. “We’re lucky to be running out of it, or life on Earth would be extinct,” says the 2000 Nobel Prize nominee who is president of the IAHE and editor of its monthly journal. Hydrogen is the logical alternative. It is the most abundant element in the universe, and when used in fuel cells to generate electricity, water is the only byproduct. But we cannot mine or drill for hydrogen. We must apply energy from fossil fuels, nuclear power, or solar power to harvest H2 from the O2 in water.

Across the globe, there’s evidence of imminent change. Iceland promises to be oil-independent by the year 2030 using the clean, renewable power of its mighty rivers and volcanic heat vents to mass-produce the fuel. Japan, which already operates some hydrogen power plants, has earmarked $4 billion for infrastructure over the next 20 years. Canada plans to become a major exporter of hydrogen, produced using hydroelectricity. And the European Union now is rolling out several hydrogen-powered bus projects in major cities.

In the United States, NASA has used hydrogen for years to power the space shuttle. The Bush Administration recently replaced a Clinton-era hybrid car incentive with the $1.5 billion FreedomCAR project, which supports research on fuel cell technology. Most automakers have prototypes, using either fuel cells or hydrogen internal combustion engines. “Since 9/11, this government has supported hydrogen more than any other administration,” says Veziroglu, who has testified before Congress on multiple occasions.

“We are the Sunshine State, and we could use sunshine to make hydrogen,” Veziroglu says. He proposes a new center at the University to quicken the process and fortify the University of Miami as a world leader in hydrogen research.



A Step Closer

Climbing out of bed, getting the morning paper, standing in the shower—these are things most of us take for granted. For people with spinal cord injury (SCI), these are lifelong goals. Researchers at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis are investigating various devices that enable people with SCI to perform patterns of movement with the legs, which improves strength, endurance, and coordination for greater ease in everyday tasks.

Funded by a new five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health, Miami Project researcher Edelle Field-Fote (B.S.Ed. ’84, M.S. ’91) combines body weight support with an electrical pulse that stimulates a reflex to produce a walking motion. The reflex, “the same as if you or I were walking down the street and we stepped on a tack,” she explains, remains intact after incomplete SCI. She compares outcomes using reflex stimulation on a treadmill, reflex stimulation on an overground track, and traditional treadmill training in which a therapist moves the legs. In the same patients, Patrick Jacobs (Ph.D. ’97), research assistant professor of neurological surgery at The Miami Project, assesses improvements in strength, endurance, and cardiovascular health with each intervention.

The Miami Project is currently one of three locations in the nation with Lokomat, a new robotic orthosis that moves the legs on a treadmill without a therapist and without electrical stimulation. Lokomat eliminates risk of injury to a therapist and inconsistency of leg motion. While on sabbatical from University Hospital Balgrist, Swiss Paraplegic Centre, Lokomat developer Volker Dietz is at The Miami Project to collaborate with Field-Fote and Jacobs on research with the device, acquired through a grant from the Schumann Foundation.

Another device, invented by Benito Ferrati of Milan, Italy, uses a series of pneumatic valves and links in a custom-fitting suit to move the hip, knee, and ankle joints in a step.

Though not a cure for SCI, these interventions can improve daily functioning, says Field-Fote. “We also need to know, for the day we have the cure, which interventions will best help people get back on their feet.”

University Mourns the Loss of Miller and Batchelor

The University of Miami closed the month of July with its flags at half-mast, honoring the memory of two dear friends and South Florida philanthropists.

Leonard Miller, a 20-year member of the University’s Board of Trustees and chairman from 1995 to 1999, lost his battle with liver cancer at the age of 69. A life trustee, Miller’s gifts to the University included a $5 million donation in 1998 that established the Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies. Founder of Lennar Corporation, Florida’s largest homebuilder, Miller and partner Arnold Rosen turned a $10,000 investment into a $6 billion company.

Aviation magnate George Batchelor, founder of Arrow Air, Batch Air, and International Air Leases, died from lung cancer at the age of 81. In the late 1960s he placed his son, Falcon, under the care of the School of Medicine and Robert McKey, Jr., founder and then-director of the University’s Cystic Fibrosis Center. The Batchelor Children’s Research Institute at the School of Medicine, part of a $15 million gift from the Batchelor Foundation, stands as a symbol of Batchelor’s gratitude for the care that extended Falcon’s life by 20 years.



Down for the Count

Thirty days, 52 scientists, 1,806 dives to depths near 100 feet, and a span of more than 230 miles. Sound like a concept for another reality TV show?

Actually it was the largest concerted effort to assess the vitality of the entire Florida Keys marine ecosystem, which features the largest living coral reef system in North America. Over the past several decades, rapidly growing human populations, overfishing, habitat destruction, and changes in water quality from the Everglades Restoration Project have placed the ecosystem at risk.

Aboard the 100-foot research vessel Spree were scientists from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, Biscayne National Park, and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. From Miami to the Dry Tortugas (80 miles west of Key West), 22 divers each logged between three and four dives a day, counting and surveying all the fish, corals, conch, spiny lobster, and other marine creatures in sight.

“It took 28 dives in Biscayne National Park before I saw my first legal-sized snapper or grouper,” says expedition coleader Jerry Ault
(Ph.D. ’88), professor of marine biology and fisheries at the Rosenstiel School. “We’re extremely concerned about the future of these fishery resources.”

The study took place throughout the month of June, a year after a federal law banned fishing in 151 square miles of water in and around Dry Totugas National Park, the largest “no-take reserve” in the United States. Led by Ault and Jim Bohnsack of NOAA’s Southeast Fisheries Science Center in Miami, the expedition is part of NOAA’s five-year review of resource management in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Results also will impact development of the Fisheries Management Plan for Biscayne National Park.

College of Engineering Joins Forces with Cardiff University

A new alliance between the University of Miami’s College of Engineering and Cardiff University, one of Britain’s top research and teaching universities, is a strategic move to benefit students, faculty, and business on both sides of the Atlantic. The partnership calls for staff and student exchanges as well as collaboration in engineering and information technology research, which Florida Governor Jeb Bush says “will produce new companies and spin-offs, resulting in additional high-value jobs in both Florida and the UK.”

Cardiff University is located in Cardiff, the capital city of Wales. The universities signed the agreement in London as part of a Florida trade mission to the UK led by Governor Bush, who chairs Enterprise Florida, Inc., the state’s economic development group. Enterprise Florida and Invest-UK, the British government’s worldwide economic development agency, organized the alliance, which also provides for e-government initiatives, such as helping agencies develop Web-based procurement.

“This transatlantic collaboration provides an important bridge between two institutions known for their groundbreaking research and opens up new horizons for their students,” says Rhodri Morgan, first minister of the Welsh Assembly Government.


Concrete Evidence

During a recent campus visit, alumnus Ken Leichman (B.B.A. ’59) and his Sigma Alpha Mu brothers quipped that if they were dropped by helicopter into the center of the Coral Gables campus, they’d have trouble finding their way around. Said in jest, it is a poignant statement about the recent fervor of construction at the University. There is $111 million worth of construction under way on the Coral Gables, medical, and South campuses, plus an additional $183 million in projects at the planning and design development stage, according to Sergio Rodriguez, vice president of Real Estate.

Dean John G. Clarkson’s (M.D. ’68) goal for the medical school to reach the top ranks in NIH funding is driving growth on that campus. “If we are to push the University from No. 41 to No. 20, we have to provide the space for the research to be done,” says Rodriguez, former city manager for the City of Miami Beach. “We need up to another 1.4 million square feet.” A 250,000-square-foot office building, additions to the Batchelor Children’s Research Institute, and renovations to the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and Anne Bates Leach Eye Hospital are next, followed by a multispeciality clinic, wet lab research building, and perhaps a deluxe wellness center.

On the Coral Gables campus is the Convocation Center, a 7,000-seat arena set to host the first tip-off of basketball season. The $49 million center plus a $20 million parking plan and a $55 million student housing endeavor add up to what Rodriguez calls “the biggest transformation in University life that we’ve had on this campus in years.” The idea from President Shalala, he says, is to create more of a university experience, a place where faculty and students will convene outside of the classroom. On-campus living is key. University Village will generate 1,100 new beds on Corniche Avenue near the School of Nursing and Division of University Relations, both of which will relocate.

More residents and visitors call for more parking, and 1,700 additional spaces are now available. New structures include the Pavia Garage opposite the Daystar Health Center, the Mahoney-Pearson Garage adjacent to the residential college, and two new floors atop the Ponce Garage. The number of discounted spots has grown from 200 to 1,800, a savings for each of these permit holders of about $90 per year. Also on the Coral Gables plan: the $10 million Marta and L. Austin Weeks Music Library and Technology Center; buildings for the Department of Psychology and the School of Architecture; the Kosar/Epstein Faculty Office wing adjacent to the James W. McLamore Executive Education Center; an Islamic student center; and additions to the Lowe Art Museum.

The big undertaking at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science is the $50 million Center for Sustainable Fisheries, a resource for combating the global overfishing problem. On the South campus is CSTARS (Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing). This $7 million satellite that monitors environmental conditions is a collaboration between the Rosenstiel School and NASA.


License to Thrill

The swoosh, the golden arches, the rainbow apple with a bite taken out. The world is splattered with corporate icons, instantly evoking thoughts and emotions about the businesses that clothe us, feed us, develop our software.

Universities are no different, particularly those with a top-notch athletics program. To attract the best scholar-athletes and maintain a loyal fan base—locally and nationally—they need a strong and united brand image. With this in mind, the University of Miami recently overhauled its athletic marks.

“Two years ago we redefined our brand,” says Chris Prindiville, assistant athletic director of marketing who came to the University in 1999 from Nike’s college marketing department. “Prior to that time, if you had placed all of the University’s jerseys on a table, you might not know they were all part of the same athletic program.”

To help update its brand and improve its outreach, the University acquired some strategic partners in the licensing business. Joining forces with Collegiate Licensing Company in 1999 has increased availability of University of Miami products nationwide, cracked down on counterfeit items, and secured new licensees. Follett, a national leader in collegiate bookstores, has helped broaden on-campus shopping. And uniting with marketing gurus at Nike has produced a new look that’s consistent throughout all of the men’s and women’s athletic teams, plus a new ibis icon designed to convey speed and strength.

All the athletic jerseys, for example, now feature the word miami in a font created for the University’s exclusive use. The design is one of many new looks born out of the Nike-Hurricane partnership, which has become the mainstay of Follett’s business, says general merchandise manager Lois Weissman. While new marks and new designs generate excitement, success in athletic licensing also requires knowing which marks remain time-tested favorites among fans.

“Without question, the strongest athletic mark in the University’s history is the ‘split U,’ ” says John Greeley, director of university services at Collegiate Licensing Company. The goal, Greeley says, is to unite the old and the new into a powerful “family of marks.” A new ibis, designed by Nike with the younger generation in mind, first caused quite a stir among traditionalists who feared it signaled the fall of the familiar Sebastian. But Sebastian is too adored to ever retire, though he has surrendered his smoking pipe and Band-Aid in favor of a cleaner look that’s more consistent with the core values of today’s ’Canes. Strong brand recognition and a streamlined family of athletic marks have earned the University of Miami a Synergy Award this year from the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and the National Collegiate Licensing Administration.

Another reason the University’s licensing business is booming, even in a bust economy? A national football championship.

“The key is we’re winning,” says Harry Rothwell, general manager of All Sports, which sells only UM merchandise and plays only winning Hurricanes games on the in-store TV. Rothwell says his best-selling item this year was a T-shirt featuring Sebastian with a rose in his mouth. “People love Sebastian,” he says, “and the power of the Rose Bowl was a huge boost.”


Safe from the Start

Children enter this world as vessels of purity, programmed to absorb their surroundings. But what happens when their earliest experiences are marred by abuse, drugs, and neglect?

Experts say these are the children who will be most vulnerable to crime, pregnancy, and drug abuse in adolescence. As toddlers, they may develop mood disorders, have trouble sleeping, and be less likely to play freely, says Lynne Katz, director of the Linda Ray Intervention Center at the University of Miami Department of Psychology.

A new collaborative effort between the Linda Ray Intervention Center, the Miami-Dade Juvenile Court, and Early Head Start aims to interrupt the cycle of violence in its infancy. Through the Miami Safe Start Initiative, court-referred toddlers participate in activities that stimulate development, and they interact with caregivers trained to deal with maltreated children. School of Medicine personnel offer health care services for the toddlers and their siblings, and the Linda Ray Intervention Center provides counseling to them and their parents.

“I’m a real advocate of the children in our system who get the worst services when they deserve the best,” says Cindy S. Lederman (J.D. ’79), the Miami-Dade Juvenile Court judge who presided over the Rilya Wilson “missing child” case. Lederman, who gained national attention for her reprimand of the Florida Department of Children and Family Services, helped forge the partnership between the court and the University. There currently are 24 toddlers enrolled in the program, funded for two years by an initial $670,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice, and Delinquency Prevention.

Go Figure

A strictly by-the-numbers perspective of UM

Passengers on the Hurry ’Canes shuttle
last academic year


Membership of
H.O.G., a global
group of Harley-Davidson
motorcycle owners


Number of words and phrases listed
in the Oxford English Dictionary



People employed by UM

Estimated total height of all
UM employees stacked vertically

50,000 Feet

Maximum height that a
B-52 Bomber can fly

50,000 Feet

Height of Robert Pershing
Wadlow (1918-1940), tallest
person in history

8 Feet, 11 inches

Amount of clay used by UM ceramics
students per semester

11,000 Pounds

Amount of fuel consumed per second
by the Space Shuttle’s solid rocket
boosters at liftoff

11,000 Pounds

Amount of potatoes the average
American consumes in a lifetime

11,000 Pounds


Sources: University of Miami Parking and Transportation Services,
Harley-Davidson Motor Company,, University of Miami Office of Planning and Institutional Research, United States Air Force, Guinness Book of World Records, University of Miami Department of Art
and Art History, National Aeronautics and Space Administration,
United States Department of Agriculture.

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