Miami magazine Online
Profiles
Betty Castor   Bernard Siegel   Catherine Waters
Michael Irvin   Adriana Tarud   Printing Press
Class Notes
1950s 1960s 1970s
1980s 1990s 2000s
       

1950s
Jerome Brill, B.B.A. ’50, served from 1960 to 1989 as a policy coordinator for the State of Florida Office of Planning and Budgeting in the Office of the Governor. He also assisted in the creation, launch, and management of the Florida Lottery and the Georgia Lottery Corporation. During World War II, he was a radio operator and machine gunner in a B-24, which was shot down in June 1944. He was interned at a prisoner-of-war camp in Poland until February 1945.

Mel Cohen, B.Ed. ’50, recently retired as the owner and director of a children’s camp near his home on the Hudson River in Nyack, New York.

Dorothea Leona Dubler, B.Ed. ’57, retired in 1977 after 15 years as a teacher with Dade County Public Schools and five years as an art specialist for Volusia County Schools. Honored by the Miami Museum of Modern Art and the DeLand Museum, her art and crafts are in private and institutional collections. President of the DeLand Pioneer Poets and author of “The Beacon Bard” column in the DeLand Beacon, as well as 22 booklets and chapbooks, she is the recipient of more than 80 national and state poetry awards.

J. Ernesto Prieto, B.B.A. ’57, retired after 35 years of practicing Louisiana probate and real estate law. He is still active in a notary service, a family-owned marina business, and in development of commercial and industrial real estate in the Mandeville, Louisiana area.

John G. Gale, J.D. ’58, a retired administrative judge of the 11th Judicial Circuit Court in Miami, was awarded the 2005 Ellis Island Medal of Honor by the Board of Directors of the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations. The medal is presented to American citizens of diverse origins for their outstanding contribution to their own ethnic group, their ancestral countries, and American society. Gale is founder and former vice president of the National Italian-American Foundation and was knighted by the Republic of Italy as Cavaliere Commandate for his contributions to the Italian judicial system.

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1960s
Gretchen Fletcher, A.B. ’62, writes for newspapers, magazines, and literary journals throughout the United States. Two of her poems were selected for inclusion in this year’s issue of Tigertail, a South Florida poetry annual.

Stephen E. Stern, B.B.A. ’63, is CEO of Lord Daniel Sportswear, a South Florida-based family business that manufactures shirts under the Palmland brand and other labels. The company also produces higher-end golf shirts and resortwear for men and women.

Susan Neuman, A.B. ’64, a Miami public relations executive, was elected president of the Greater Miami Festivals and Events Association. She represents her client, the Homestead Rodeo Association, on the association’s board.

Charles F. Reade Jr., B.B.A. ’65, is president of Reade Advanced Materials, a 200-year-old family industrial business that recently opened a Latin America export-import facility next to the Panama Canal in the Republic of Panama. Reade received the 2005 Exporter of the Year Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration this May.

Deanna Bayer, A.B. ’66, is a Realtor with Long & Foster Realty in Severna Park, Maryland.

John T. Halliday, B.B.A. ’66, a retired Boeing 767 captain for American Airlines and a decorated war hero who logged more than 800 hours of combat time in Southeast Asia and the Gulf War, has written Flying Through Midnight. This book is his first-person account of pilot and crew flying night missions in a C-123 over Laos during the Vietnam War.

Stephen Meyer, A.B. ’69, is a 35-year music industry veteran who held executive positions at Capitol Records, where he worked with The Beatles, and Universal Studios MCA Records. In 2003 he launched DISC&DAT, an e-mail newsletter reaching nearly 1,000 entertainment industry readers. He is now a digital editor on www.allaccess.com, an industry Web site where his syndicated column appears weekly. He also operates his own media and entertainment consulting company, Smart Marketing.

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Betty Castor Takes Action in Florida

n the mid-1960s Betty Castor, M.Ed. ’68, led a group of African, Asian, and European students to the 17,000-foot summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, the first all-woman team to do so. That was merely the start of many remarkable “firsts” for Castor. She has since served as commissioner of Hillsborough County, president pro tempore of the Florida Senate, Florida secretary of education, and president of the University of South Florida—the first woman in each capacity.

After losing a close U.S. Senate race in 2004, Castor flirted with a 2006 run for governor but has instead committed herself to her political action committee, Campaign for Florida’s Future, which seeks reforms in health care, education, and political redistricting. “Legislators draw their own districts,” laments Castor, noting that in 2004 no Florida congressperson lost a reelection bid. Castor proposes a 2006 voter-approved amendment requiring that districts be drawn by a neutral, bipartisan committee.

A native of Glassboro, New Jersey, where her father long served as mayor, Castor began teaching secondary school after graduating from Glassboro State College. Several years later, she taught at the newly integrated Holmes Elementary School in northwest Miami, where she says her students and their parents were extremely grateful for teachers who took an interest in them.

Castor, who now has six children (including Kathy Castor, a Hillsborough County commissioner) and ten grandchildren, recalls her 1972 commission campaign. “I was asked, ‘What will you do with your children when you’re elected?’ Today no one would dare ask that question of women or men in a public forum.”

Castor’s frustration over gender inequality peaked two years later when she was forced to leave a 1974 civic luncheon at Tampa’s male-only University Club. “I was filled with sadness and indignation. I didn’t know whether to cry or get angry.” Two years later, Castor’s first piece of legislation in the Florida Senate was a bill forever prohibiting public bodies from meeting in private clubs that discriminate on any basis. “No one had the guts to vote against that,” Castor says victoriously, “although I’m sure some wanted to.”

– Leonard Nash

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1970s
Wendy S. Unger, A.B. ’70, sells advertising and memberships for the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce and advertising for the Beach Channel/Onboard Media. She also is newly licensed as a Realtor associate for Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, Inc.

Glenda H. Kaplan, B.Ed. ’71, is a breeder for Sherloch Scottish Terriers in Rockville Centre, New York. She reports that Sherloch’s Goddess of Majesty was Best in Veterans Sweepstakes at the Scottish Terrier Club of Greater Atlanta Specialty in April 2005.

Franc J. Talarico, B.G.S. ’72, is an internationally recognized sculptor. His most recent bronze life-sized statue of baseball’s Ted Williams is located in Boston’s Fenway Park. Franc and his wife, Dottie, reside in Venice, Florida.

Stephanie (Delman) Baden, A.B. ’73, started a luxury estates real estate company called Baden Realty in Cathedral City, California. She is a member of the Historical Palm Springs Tennis Club.

Robin London Dean, B.G.S. ’73, was appointed marketing director at Maryland Permanent Bank, where she has worked for five years.

Virginia Munday, A.B. ’73, is owner/director of Center for Awareness, Inc., a private practice in Coconut Grove, Florida, for transpersonal psychotherapy combined with instruction in Vipassana meditation for business and home groups.

Merel Grey Nissenberg, J.D. ’73, is in private practice for medical negligence. She is president of the California Prostate Cancer Coalition and of the National Alliance of State Prostate Cancer Coalitions, as well as legal advisor to Women’s Cancer Task Force, San Diego.

Stephen J. Parsons, B.M. ’73, was promoted recently to vice president of Baptist Health South Florida.

Carole Anderson, A.B. ’74, M.S.Ed. ’77, director of fine arts at Archbishop Coleman F. Carroll High School in Miami, Florida, was selected by Florida State Thespians as Thespian Sponsor of the Year for the state of Florida.

Joseph A. Finley Jr., B.S. ’74, retired from the FBI and was hired as dean of the Keller Graduate School of Management at DeVry University in Miami, Florida. He earned a Ph.D. from Lynn University in 2002.

Gina Walsh-Minor, M.Ed. ’76, Ed.D. ’97, is an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of New Jersey. She was appointed vicar of St. Clement’s Episcopal Church in Belford, New Jersey, and St. Mary the Virgin Episcopal Church in Keyport, New Jersey.

Charles Norman Mason, B.M. ’77, composer and Birmingham-Southern College professor of music, was awarded the prestigious Samuel Barber Rome Prize in Musical Competition by the American Academy in Rome. Mason, who is among 15 emerging artists and 15 scholars awarded the prize each year, will spend 11 months in Rome composing and gaining inspiration from his peers and from the art and architecture of his surroundings.

Mark C. Ellison, J.D. ’78, has been named senior vice president, legal and business affairs, at the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative, based in Virginia. In this role, he works closely with NRTC’s general counsel to provide strategic advice, counsel, and support on business ventures, opportunities, and related matters.

Caridad Vera-Garcia, A.B. ’78, J.D. ’82, LL.M.I. ’83, a three-year survivor of advanced ovarian cancer, has written “A Patient’s Perspective on Ovarian Cancer as a Chronic Disease—Devaluing a Survivor’s Challenge,” published in the Gynecologic Oncology Journal, and “At the Cliff’s Edge” in Coping Magazine.

Lynda Davis, B.S. ’79, has earned a Master of Arts degree in pure mathematics from Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Science degree in applied statistics from Purdue University.

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Bernard Siegel Takes on a Tough Cell

efore becoming a passionate advocate for therapeutic stem cell research, Bernard Siegel, A.B. ’72, J.D. ’75, founded the Miami Tropics, a minor league basketball team, and served as commissioner and co-owner of Florida Championship Wrestling, two profitable ventures that he calls “the candy store of life.” His skills as an attorney and sports promoter have since helped him build the Genetics Policy Institute, or GPI, a nonprofit think tank that responds to what he calls “the foes of stem cell research who utilize the cultural fear of human reproductive cloning to steer key policy.

“It is a scientific breakthrough of the first magnitude,” Siegel says of the type of stem cell research known as nuclear transfer (therapeutic cloning), which holds promise for treating myriad ailments, including paralysis, diabetes, cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, and Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Siegel’s crusade began in 2002 when he filed a motion to appoint a temporary guardian for the supposed cloned child created by a group touting itself as the “first human cloning company.” Ultimately Siegel helped discredit those claims. “To my surprise, this turned into a worldwide cause célèbre,” recalls Siegel, who has two grown children with his wife of 30 years, Sheryl Siegel, B.Ed. ’72. Siegel left his busy Coral Gables law practice in 2003 to focus full-time on GPI. The institute now has an advisory board composed of several of the world’s leading research scientists and physicians, including the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Juan Dominguez Bendala, Ph.D., Luca Inverardi, M.D., Camillo Ricordi, M.D., and W. Dalton Dietrich, Ph.D.

“It was one of the most compelling moments of this journey,” Siegel says of meeting the late Christopher Reeve in Bedford, New York, where he and a film crew taped a message from Reeve that was played twice at the United Nations in 2004. “It had an impact on the delegates in their decision making on these issues.” Adds Siegel, “We derailed a Bush administration strategy backing a Costa Rican proposal for a worldwide treaty that would have banned potentially lifesaving therapeutic cloning.”

Sabrina Cohen, B.S. ’99, a quadriplegic since a 1992 automobile accident and associate director of GPI, observes, “Many people might be afraid to make such a bold move, but Mr. Siegel believes in what he’s doing.”

– Leonard Nash

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1980s
Patrick Winburn, J.D. ’80, was listed in the 2005 edition of Best Lawyers in America in the category of Personal Injury Litigation.

Alan O’Neal, B.F.A. ’82, M.A. ’84, is senior proposal manager for SAS Institute, Inc., in Cary, North Carolina, where he also serves as a deacon and scoutmaster. Since graduation he has earned creative and professional awards for multimedia production and other activities. He is married with two daughters and two grandsons.

Jeffrey Steinsnyder, A.B. ’83, J.D. ’86, left the Manatee County Attorney’s Office to become a shareholder with Kirk Pinkerton, P.A. in Sarasota, Florida.

John J. Fumero, A.B. ’84, J.D. ’87, a shareholder with the West Palm Beach, Florida law firm of Lewis, Longman & Walker, has been reappointed to the Knight Foundation’s Palm Beach Community Advisory Committee. This group of community leaders oversees investments by the John S. and James L. Knight $2 billion charitable enterprise.

Cynthia Way Rapalje Van Buren, M.B.A. ’84, J.D. ’89, LL.M. ’97, is in private practice in finance and taxation in Palm Beach, Florida. She also is general counsel, trustee, and Florida representative of the Van Buren Family Foundation.

Pat Collins, M.S.N. ’85, the oncology clinical nurse specialist at South Miami Hospital, received the Excellence in Pain Management Award from the Oncology Nursing Society, the largest professional association of oncology nurses in the world. This honor recognizes her contributions to improving pain management through public education, including publishing, research, mentoring, and patient advocacy.

Ervin A. Gonzalez, J.D. ’85, board certified by The Florida Bar and the National Board of Trial Advocacy as a specialist in civil trial law and business litigation, is a partner at the firm of Colson Hicks Eidson. He is coauthor with the late Henry Latimer and others of the Practice Guide on Florida Civil Procedure, a five-volume series released by LexisNexis that gives guidance on procedural issues and points to LexisNexis resources that help build a case. Gonzalez also is governor of the Florida Bar and presently serves on its executive committee and long-range planning committee.

Verónica Riedel, B.F.A. ’85, recently exhibited The Making of a Mestiza at the highly acclaimed Bernice Steinbaum Gallery in Miami. In this collection of embroidered monoprints, Riedel tells the story of women throughout Guatemalan history who, against all odds, have given meaning to their lives.

Richard Winer, B.M. ’85, is the president and CEO of Winer Capital Management, Inc. He is nationally recognized for his expertise in the areas of investment management, retirement, and IRA distribution planning. He has been quoted in national publications such as The Wall Street Journal and Ticker Magazine, and he publishes a monthly newsletter for CPAs and estate planning attorneys.

Robert S. Earnest, M.F.A. ’86, was appointed associate professor/ chair of theatre arts at Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He is a member of Actors Equity Association and the Screen Actors Guild. Formerly an associate professor of theatre at California State University, he holds a Ph.D. in theatre from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He and his wife, Barbie, have four children.

Craig V. Rasile, J.D. ’86, and Maria T. Currier, J.D. ’88, were among five Hunton & Williams LLP partners in Miami ranked as best legal practitioners in antitrust, litigation, bankruptcy, banking and finance, and health care in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.

Tara Saltzman, A.B. ’86, received a Ph.D. in global leadership from Lynn University in 2004. She is the director and program professor of strategic initiatives and global enterprise for academic development at Nova Southeastern University’s Fischler School of Education and Human Services.

Mari Molina, B.B.A. ’87, was named executive director of the Business Improvement District of Coral Gables. In this role, she directs the district’s activities to promote the interests of property owners and merchants in Coral Gables through marketing, advocacy, and partnerships with local government and civic groups.

Oswin A. Sewer, M.S.Ed. ’89, a retired educator, was sworn in as a member of the United States Virgin Islands Board of Education.

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For Catherine Waters,
Community Health Is a Way of Life

ecalling her childhood aspirations, Catherine Waters, B.S.N. ’85, Ph.D. ’93, says, “My goal was to be an architect who designs beautiful homes that are affordable to everybody.” Then her grandmother fell ill and received care from a particularly inspiring nurse.

“I thought she was the most incredible person,” Waters says. “Later in nursing school, I realized she was just doing her job, and doing it well.”

Today Waters, a Miami native, is associate professor of nursing in the Department of Community Health Systems at the University of California, San Francisco. Not only is she a highly acclaimed instructor, she is known for her research on primary prevention of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer—three of the top ten leading causes of death in Americans. She focuses on the effects of exercise and healthy eating, primarily in African-Americans because they are impacted disproportionately by these maladies.

“Some researchers say it’s a difficult-to-reach population, but we need to ask what interventions we can design that are culturally specific to that group,” says Waters, who is the keynote speaker for the School of Nursing and Health Studies’ homecoming breakfast this October.

The greatest challenge, Waters admits, is that study participants are often skeptical of the scientific community. “They feel they’ve been ‘pimped’—and they use that word—by universities and scientists who come in and do research, but then they never hear from them again.” For interventions to work, she says, researchers have to get the community involved from the beginning. “I hold focus groups and say, ‘Am I on the right track? What do you think of my hypothesis?’ It’s shared decision making.”

More than interventions for her study groups, exercise and healthy eating are a way of life for Waters. She revels in nature, always taking time to appreciate the beauty of her surroundings. “I think it stems from early on in my career when I worked in oncology at the Miami VA Medical Center. To be 21 years old and see so much death was a life-altering experience. Patients would tell me to appreciate life and not sweat the small stuff. It has always stuck with me.”

– Meredith Danton

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1990s
Steve Sorkin, Ph.D. ’90, has been appointed as campus president for Argosy University/ Washington, D.C. He first joined the faculty in 1999 as department head and associate professor of the university’s American School of Professional Psychology, becoming vice president of academic affairs for the campus in 2003.

James G. Vickaryous, A.B. ’90, announces the birth of his son, Evan James Vickaryous.

Alan Knitowski, B.S.I.E. ’91, is chairman of two public companies, one of which is called Caneum, as in ’Cane and UM. Traded publicly under the CANM ticker symbol, it is a business process and information technology outsourcing products and services company. He also is chairman of Trycera Financial, a financial services company specializing in customized and turnkey prepaid MasterCard and Visa programs. He is founder and manager of many other companies and has served as a captain in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He resides in Newport Coast, California, with his wife, Kelly, and three daughters.

William R. Lowman Jr., B.B.A. ’91, J.D. ’94, shareholder in the law firm of ShuffieldLowman, was named one of nine members of the board of directors for the International Accounts Payable Professionals organization, headquartered in Orlando. Lowman also serves on the board of trustees of the Junior Achievement of Central Florida Foundation. His areas of concentration include corporate, business taxation, securities, estate and charitable planning, business succession planning, and tax law.

Alexander Reus, LL.M.C.L. ’91, J.D. ’93, has formed the law offices of Global Expansion Group with Elke Rolff, J.D. ’03, and Maximilian Schenk, L.L.M.P. ’01. This boutique firm caters to international clients who conduct business in the United States. Reus, one of 25 lawyers in Florida who are board certified in international law, was selected to the Executive Counsel of the International Law Section of the Florida Bar.

Terrel Shaw, B.S.C.E. ’91, was appointed to a four-year term as a representative of the engineering profession on the City of Jacksonville’s Environmental Protection Board.

Joseph H. Bogosian, J.D. ’92, has been appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as deputy assistant secretary for manufacturing at the U.S. Department of Commerce. In this role, he oversees 125 industry specialists to address the U.S. manufacturing industry’s domestic and international policy challenges. He also serves as cochair of the U.S.-China Aviation Subgroup and the U.S.-Russia Aerospace Working Group, and he is executive chair of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Auto Dialogue.

Stacey A. Giulianti, J.D. ’93, started a solo practice, The Giulianti Group, P.A., in Davie, Florida, to concentrate on handling civil trials for referring attorneys.

Lynda Tyer-Viola, M.S.N. ’93, is a clinical nurse specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital and a term lecturer at the Massachusetts General Institute for Health Professionals. She received her doctorate in nursing this spring from Boston College. Her dissertation title is “Obstetrical Nurses’ Attitudes and Nursing Care Intentions Regarding Care of HIV-Positive Pregnant Women.”

Michael A. Weiss, J.D. ’93, has joined the Fort Lauderdale, Florida offices of Greenspoon Marder Hirschfeld Rafkin Ross Berger & Abrams Anton, P.A. Robert D. Barboni, B.B.A. ’94, and Sylvia M. Zuniga-Barboni, B.S. ’97, M.D. ’01, announce the birth of their daughter, Brooke Hana. The family has moved to Palm Beach, Florida, where Bob manages the John Hancock office in Boca Raton and Sylvia is starting her private practice in neurology.

Campbell Brown, M.S. ’94, M.B.A. ’94, was appointed regional territory director for Charmer-Sunbelt Markets, part of the Atlantic Division team of Brown-Forman Beverages. The company’s consumer products include Jack Daniel’s, Southern Comfort, Lenox, Dansk, and Hartmann Luggage. Most recently Brown was the national brand manager for Jack Daniel’s in the United States.

Eric P. Feichthaler, A.B. ’94, a partner in the law firm of Adams, Feichthaler and Brinson LLP, beat the incumbent and a two-term councilperson to become the second-youngest person elected mayor of Cape Coral, Florida. He and his wife, Mary, also announce the birth of their son, Eric Paul Feichthaler Jr.

Robert M. Jamieson, B.S.I.E. ’94, was accepted to Seton Hall University to pursue a Juris Doctor and Master of Arts in International Diplomacy dual program.

Sean Murphy, A.B. ’94, has been appointed by Florida Governor Jeb Bush to the Florida Sports Foundation Board of Directors, a private-public partnership that helps state, regional, and local sports organizations attract and retain sports-related businesses. Murphy is a principal with Hoover-Hines, LLC, a financial management consulting firm in Winter Garden, Florida.

Wendi Rickman, B.S. ’94, is a rock disc jockey on two channels for Sirius Satellite Radio.

Martin Steinik, B.S.C. ’94, received his M.B.A. from the London School of Business and is a chartered financial analyst for J.P. Morgan Securities in New York.

Adam James Ball, B.S. ’95, M.D. ’99, is opening a medical practice in Fort Pierce, Florida, named Gulfstream Urology Associates, P.A.

Robert E. Brown III, A.B. ’95, was named head teacher at Shepherdstown Middle School in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. He married Amy Moats, an attorney with the firm Steptoe and Johnson.

William Hennessey, M.A. ’95, has written Plucked from the Fire, a nonfiction book that tells the story of Stanley Praimnath, who escaped from the 81st floor of the World Trade Center’s south tower on September 11, 2001. Kara O’Donnell, J.D. ’95, has joined the Manchester, New Hampshire law firm of Devine Millimet & Branch, where she will practice in the firm’s Litigation Practice Group.

Norine Seraphin Acevedo, A.B. ’96, and her husband announce the opening of Ace Computer Clinic, a computer sales and repair shop in Port St. Lucie, Florida, with such clients as Washington Mutual and Carleton Cards.

Erica K. McKinney, J.D. ’96, is the assistant to the president for public policy at Miami-Dade College in Miami, Florida.

Andrew W. Guyette, M.S. ’97, a technical director for Honeywell on a Mission Computer missile program, was elected to a three-year term to the Largo Florida City Commission.

Evan B. Klinek, J.D. ’97 has joined the Fort Lauderdale, Florida offices of Greenspoon Marder Hirschfeld Rafkin Ross Berger & Abrams Anton, P.A.

Gisela M. Munoz, A.B. ’97, was selected by The Florida Bar as the 2005 recipient of the Lynn Flutch Most Productive Young Lawyer Award. She has been practicing commercial real estate and corporate transactional law at the Miami office of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP since graduating from Yale Law School in 2000. She married Daniel B. Baker, B.S. ’95, who received a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree from Barry University in 1999. They reside in Coral Gables, Florida, with their Chihuahua, Cocoa.

Sandy Rubinstein, M.B.E.I. ’97, oversees marketing, promotions, and licensing for Fuse, a music television network in New York. She also has served as a senior marketing professional with Nick@Nite, TV Land, the Sci-Fi Channel, and General Motors.

David Thorne Scott, M.M. ’97, released a CD that was chosen by the Jazz Education Journal as one of the top five vocal releases of 2004. His CD, Shade, was the only independent release in the top five. He and wife Renée also announce the birth of their son, Callen Tener.

Adam Kalish, B.S.C. ’98, has joined Lux Capital, a leading venture capital firm focusing on nanotechnology. He is director in the New York offices, responsible for business development, client servicing, and Lux Ventures II fund operations.

Jose L. Acosta, B.S.A.E. ’99, B.S.C.E. ’99, has been promoted to associate at Miller Legg & Associates, Inc., a multidiscipline consulting firm with offices throughout Florida. He is part of the firm’s management team and participates in corporate strategic planning activities.

Eduardo R. Arista, J.D. ’99, has formed the law firm of Arista & Feldman, P.L. in Coral Gables with Andrew M. Feldman, J.D. ’97.

Jeffery Basiaga Jr., B.S.E.E. ’99, an engineer for Consulting Engineering group in Tampa, Florida, recently married Emily Gail Joy of Charleston, South Carolina.

Alberto J. F. Cardelle, Ph.D. ’99, is associate professor and chairman of the Health Department at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania.

Michael C. Gerson, LL.M. ’99, is an associate attorney at Allen & Kimbell, LLP, in Santa Barbara, California.

Stacie D. Gorman, B.A.I.S. ’99, was appointed director of the Division of Corporate Finance for the Pennsylvania Securities Commission. This division reviews all statements of securities offerings filed with the commission. She holds a Juris Doctor from the Dickinson School of Law at the Pennsylvania State University.

Maria I. Landa-Posada, J.D. ’99, and Marilen Marnett, J.D. ’99, announce the formation of Landa-Posada & Marnett, P.A., a Coral Gables, Florida law firm dedicated to commercial and residential real estate transactions.

Jean Milán, M.A.L.S. ’99, has accepted the position of associate editor for HCP/Aboard Publishing, a division of Knight Ridder located in Miami, Florida.

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Michael Irvin Has Found Success Beyond the Gridiron

recision route running, sure hands, and physical play are the attributes that earned Michael Irvin, B.B.A. ’88, glory during his 12 years as an NFL wide receiver. But while the deafening cheers that greeted his acrobatic catches are memories now, Irvin hasn’t faded from the spotlight like so many other former professional athletes.

As an analyst for ESPN’s NFL Countdown, Irvin gives viewers an inside look at the game, explaining how receivers avoid a defensive back’s jam at the line of scrimmage, a trait at which he excelled as a player. “Football fans want to know what it takes to build and mold a championship team,” says the former Dallas Cowboys player, “and that’s a unique perspective I definitely provide.”

One of the Dallas “triplets,” along with quarterback Troy Aikman and running back Emmitt Smith, Irvin was a five-time Pro Bowler and a leader on a team that won three Super Bowls in four seasons. But UM was where it all started. During the Hurricanes’ 1987 national championship season, Irvin caught the game-winning touchdown in the Orange Bowl win over Oklahoma. Besides talent, Irvin attributes the Hurricanes’ winning tradition to the close-knit team culture. “At Miami, we never take the attitude that the younger players will learn the system on their own,” says the former Hurricane all-star. “We're a family, a band of brothers, and we shoulder the responsibility of teaching those who come after us.”

Still a loyal Hurricanes fan, Irvin recently returned to UM to help launch a football marketing campaign, “It’s All About the U,” which features him on schedule cards, posters, print advertising, and television spots. He’ll also be here during Alumni Weekend as homecoming grand marshal. And he has made his Hollywood debut, playing a role in the remake of the movie The Longest Yard, in which prison guards take on prisoners in a game of football.

Mentoring remains an important part of Irvin’s life. As a Dallas Cowboy, he teamed up with Southwest Airlines to fly hundreds of underprivileged children to training camps for a day, and today he still works with youth who are less fortunate.“The Bible talks about keeping hope,” Irvin says, “and hope is something I try to instill in the youngsters I mentor.”

– Robert C. Jones Jr.

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2000s
Alejandro “Alex” Fernandez, M.B.A. ’00, joined his wife, Lizette, as partner and CEO of Creative Mindworks, a full-service marketing firm in Miami Lakes, Florida.

Scott “Allan” Forbes, B.L.A. ’00, is the animator and voice- over for Crush the Turtle, a character in Turtle Talk, an interactive show at the Living Seas in Walt Disney World’s Epcot theme park in Orlando, Florida.

Lisa Y. Pitell, LL.M.T. ’00, has joined Havens & Miller, P.L.L.C. in Bluewater Bay, Florida.

Oscar Rondon, A.B. ’01, was promoted to client partner at Invision, Inc., where he is responsible for servicing accounts for Fox Cable Networks and Sony Pictures.

Kelly Benson, M.B.A. ’03, was appointed vice president of operations for Orlando Sentinel Communications. She oversees operations for assembly, printing, collating, and inserting of the daily Orlando Sentinel, the weekly El Sentinel, and several other company publications. Her newspaper career includes key positions at the Washington Post, Oakland Tribune, and Philadelphia Inquirer.

Todd M. Feldman, J.D. ’03, has joined the Fort Lauderdale, Florida offices of Greenspoon Marder Hirschfeld Rafkin Ross Berger & Abrams Anton, P.A. Kimberly Fernandez, B.S.N. ’04, has received a master’s degree from Barry University in human resource development and administration.

Jared Morganstern, B.B.A. ’04, is a financial representative with MetLife in Plantation, Florida. He recently became part of the firm’s Diamond Financial Group and does full financial planning.

Jonathan Maisel, B.S.C. ’05, is the lead guitarist for a New York-based rock band called Gone To Earth. The band, which in April won the 92.5 KGB-FM Clear Channel Battle of the Bands, was selected as the opening act for the group Incubus.

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Adriana Tarud Is Just One of the Guys

ven in a city like Miami—with its year-round bathing suit season and some of the world’s most beautiful residents—Adriana Tarud, B.S.I.E. ’04, stands out. She is, after all, the reigning Miss Colombia. But the statuesque 23-year-old didn’t come to Miami to work on her tan or shop for pageant gowns. She came to crack the books.

“I knew by the time I was 14 that I wanted to study abroad. I wanted to go north, but my father convinced me I wouldn’t be able to stand the cold, and he was right,” Tarud chuckles.

Originally from Baranquilla, Colombia, Tarud says her choice to study engineering at the University of Miami was a natural fit. “I’ve always liked numbers. Physics and calculus were the subjects I always did well in.”

It would seem that such a predominantly male field would make it difficult for a female—a future beauty queen at that—to blend in with her classmates, but Tarud says she never felt awkward or received special treatment. “They treated me very respectfully,” she says, “plus, I have two brothers, male cousins, and a lot of male friends. I’ve always just been one of the guys, I guess.” And it wasn’t until after she earned her degree that Tarud decided to let her beauty take center stage.

“I had never been in a beauty pageant before,” Tarud says of competing in the Concurso Nacional De Belleza. So she enlisted in special pageant training, where she learned how to walk, pose, and answer interview questions. Her victory sent her to Thailand in May, where she competed in the Miss Universe pageant.

It’s important to Tarud that her title isn’t simply a testimonial to her beauty. In addition to fundraising for her country and for research in pediatric cancer, Tarud also promotes the exportation of Colombia’s clothing and crafts. It’s a cause that fits well with her own aspirations. “I’m thinking about a business related to the clothing industry. Not a designer, but an industrial engineer with a clothing company. After being Miss Colombia you have great opportunities down there, so I’m going to use that to do something good.”

– Jessica Sick, B.S.C. ’00

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