The ‘marshal plan’: Faculty lead graduates in march to bright futures
Five outstanding faculty members are recognized for scholarly pursuits
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The ‘marshal plan’: Faculty lead graduates in march to bright futures


nglish professor Evelyn Mayerson will always be able to say that her college graduation made front-page news. Mayerson had just graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Miami in 1963, when two little boys, who were attending the ceremony with their father, ran up to her and planted kisses on either side of her cheeks.

“At that moment, a photographer from The Miami Herald snapped a picture, and it ran on the front page of the morning paper,” Mayerson recalls.

While this month marks 39 years since her “headliner” graduation day, it also marks another milestone for Mayerson, as she, along with three other UM faculty members, will serve as grand marshals in the University’s 2002 commencement ceremonies. She will carry the traditional mace and lead the academic procession at the first of three commencement ceremonies on May 10. A fourth ceremony for graduate students takes place on May 11. Mayerson, a faculty member for 21 years, considers it “an honor and a privilege.”

So does A. Parasuraman, a professor of marketing in the School of Business Administration, who will serve as grand marshal for the second ceremony on May 10. Parasuraman says he is proud to see some of the students he has taught take the next step in their lives, and says graduating seniors should be appreciative of the tools and the skills that they have acquired during their college careers. “True learning really doesn’t start until after graduation,” he says. “The advantage they have over others who did not attend college is that they have the fundamentals in place to continue to learn and become better.”

Mayerson’s advice to UM graduates: “Be ready for change,” she says, “because the one constant in life is change. You can never rely on anything else being a constant. Everything else in life is a variable. The only constant, the only thing you can be certain about is change, and any intelligent person preparing to live in the world has to be ready to meet change.”

Jan Hochstim, a professor in the School of Architecture, who will serve as grand marshal at the third commencement ceremony on May 10, believes students entering a new phase in their lives should strive to be the best. “Always reach for the top,” says Hochstim, a two-time UM alumnus and faculty member since 1966. “I’ve always followed a philosophy of opening students’ eyes to the world, rather than constricting them. I want them to be exposed to a variety of things, and then develop some kind of a sense of judgment to know which way to go in life.”

Jack Fell, a professor in the Division of Marine Biology and Fisheries at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, will serve as the grand marshal at the May 11 graduate ceremony.

Fell himself was a UM graduate student in 1957. He received his master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Miami. Fell, whose field and laboratory research focus on the role of fungi in marine food webs, says graduate student mentoring is a two-way street. “As a result of their education and research, graduate students should attain a level of knowledge in their particular field of interest, which will, in turn, provide the opportunity for the professor to learn from the graduate student,” he says.

For more on the commencement ceremonies, visit

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Five outstanding faculty members are recognized for scholarly pursuits


ive faculty members are recipients of the sixth annual Provost’s Award for Scholarly Activity, created by Executive Vice President and Provost Luis Glaser in recognition of extraordinary research and scholarly pursuits. The recipients are selected by a faculty committee that includes former award winners.

This year’s scholars include three faculty members from the School of Medicine and two from the College of Arts and Sciences. They are Camillo Ricordi, scientific director of the Diabetes Research Institute and professor of surgery, medicine, pathology, and microbiology and immunology; Stephen Roper, professor of physiology and biophysics; William J. Harrington, Jr., director of the UM/Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Viral Oncology Program; Alan H. Goldman, professor in the Department of Philosophy; and Roger M. Leblanc, professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry. Each receives a $4,000 cash award and $2,000 toward continued research support.

Since joining the School of Medicine in 1993, Ricordi has built a world-renowned research team dedicated to finding a cure for diabetes mellitus. He is one of the world’s leading scientists in the field of islet transplantation, and the inventor of the “Ricordi Chamber,” the device that allows for separation of insulin producing islet cells from the pancreas. The cells are then transplanted into Type 1 diabetics in an effort to achieve insulin independence.

“It’s always a special honor to receive recognition within your own academic community,” says Ricordi of winning the award. “I am thankful to the provost, the selection committee, and to the outstanding team of investigators at the DRI and other UM centers who made my scholarly contribution possible.”

Roper’s work focuses on understanding how the body’s taste buds work. He collaborated with Nirupa Chaudhari, associate professor of physiology and biophysics, in cloning and identifying the molecular receptors for “umami” (pronounced oo-mommy) taste. The identification, says Roper, firmly established the validity of umami as a fifth taste, after sweet, sour, salty, and bitter.

“Most of the work we basic science faculty do is known to a tiny audience of other scientists who read the literature in our respective fields,” says Roper. “On occasion, the popular press gets hold of and writes something up about our findings, and we get our 15 minutes of very fleeting fame. That is what happened in the case of umami taste. But the achievements I am most proud of are being responsible for bringing a handful of very good people into the field of the chemical senses, having some of my findings about taste appear in textbooks, and teaching at the college, medical, and graduate levels.”

Harrington is director of the UM/Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Viral Oncology Program. He is currently directing four NIH-funded grants, two aimed at improving the treatment of viral-mediated cancers and two focusing on promoting the physician/scientist concept, mentoring young physicians onto a career path of research together with patient care. His work focuses on both basic science and clinical research related to viruses and AIDS-related malignancies. He is himself a model of a physician scientist.

Over the course of his career, Goldman has assembled a record of impressive achievements in ethics, epistemology, and aesthetics, writing six books—Justice and Reverse Discrimination and Practical Rules among them—and publishing more than 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals. “He stands out as an outstanding scholar and teacher in a department of fine scholars and teachers,” says Department of Philosophy chair Harvey Siegel.

A faculty member at the University since 1994 and chair of the Department of Chemistry, Leblanc is known for his research in the science of biomolecules at air and water interfaces. He frequently speaks at international conferences and has been successful in securing funding from both federal agencies and private industry, most notably the acquisition of NSF funding to support a nuclear magnetic resonance facility on the Coral Gables campus.

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