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Interactive center chronicles a century of Cuba Receptions introduce Shalala to alumni
and friends
Third-year law student named first recipient of Nesbitt Scholarship   Online directory lets your fingers do
the ‘clicking’
Tops for techies: UM No. 1 place to work in IT Susan Haack receives Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award
One Cool ’Cane  

Interactive center chronicles a century of Cuba

 
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he blood-pumping voice of Celia Cruz, the “Queen of Salsa,” has come to the University of Miami. So has the piano of Ernesto Lecuona, the comedy of Luis Carbonell, and the rhythms of Los Van Van.

A century after Cuba won its independence from Spain, the University’s Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies (ICCAS) has opened its Casa Bacardi, an interactive cultural center where visitors can experience Cuba’s past through music, art, movies, and a vast database of documents and records.

“Sometimes in life, dreams do come true,” said Jaime Suchlicki, director of ICCAS, who has worked on the Casa Bacardi concept for about three years. “Casa Bacardi is my dream come true. For years I have wanted to create a place where young Cuban-Americans could come and learn about Cuba’s history and culture.”

The new interactive center, which was funded by a $1 million grant from the Bacardi Family Foundation, will offer plenty of opportunities to do just that. Located on the Coral Gables campus in a building designed to mirror architectural elements found in Santiago, Cuba, Casa Bacardi features a music pavilion with listening stations that allow visitors to tap into their favorite era of Cuban music, as well as Cuba’s most famous comedians.

A small cinema presents regular screenings of films and documentaries about the island, and an exhibition hall provides space for art and other displays. There also is a conference center.

Meanwhile, its Cuba Information Center not only includes historical books and maps but computer terminals for accessing ICCAS’s Cuba Online project, a comprehensive database and archive of Cuban history and information available at http://cuba.ICCAS.miami.edu. The search engine works with key words in English and Spanish, and visitors can take one of four different quizzes on Cuban history.

“This is a place that the community will enjoy for many years to come,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Luis Glaser at the reception and ribbon-cutting ceremony for Casa Bacardi. “It is a place that exposes all of us to the cultural heritage that the Cuban community has brought to Miami. I think it will forever be an enduring legacy.”

The ribbon-cutting ceremony also included the Miami presentation of the exhibit, Cuba—1902: Charles Edward Doty in Havana, from the Smithsonian’s National Anthropological Archives. Curated by Miguel Bretos, senior scholar at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery, the exhibit featured 50 photographs taken between 1899 and 1902 by Doty, who documented life in Havana following Cuba’s war of independence from Spain.

Suchlicki hopes the center will expand with new pavilions showcasing Cuba’s greatest athletes, re-creating the words of famous Cuban poets and writers, documenting Cuban American successes in the United States, and highlighting the island’s independence heroes.

If You Go
Casa Bacardi, located at 1531 Brescia Avenue, is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays; 2-5 p.m. weekends. Admission is $5. UM faculty, staff, and students, and children 12 or younger are free. For information, call 284-2822 (CUBA).

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Receptions introduce Shalala to alumni and friends
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n eight-city tour stretching from the Big Apple of New York to San Francisco’s Golden Gate might sound like a dream vacation. But when Alumni Relations embarked on that cross-country trip last year, it was all done with one goal in mind: to introduce the University’s new president to alumni and friends across the nation.

The tour, the 75th Anniversary Receptions Welcoming President Donna E. Shalala, visited key U.S. markets where heavy concentrations of alumni and parents live, says Amy Powers, director of alumni programs, who traveled to all the receptions.

Fall season stops included Tampa, Boston, and New York, with spring visits to northern New Jersey, Boca Raton, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Chicago was the last stop.

Powers says the visits were more than simple meet-and-greet receptions, but were tailored to the unique characteristics of a particular destination or in response to national events. In Los Angeles, for example, a bastion of Hollywood filmmaking and stars, alumni visited 20th Century Fox studios, where they saw a short screening of School of Communication student films.

And in New York, School of Music alumni now living in that city performed a musical score in honor of the victims of September 11. There, Shalala also announced the creation of the Stephen Fogel scholarship, named for the University of Miami law school graduate who died in the terrorist attacks.

Donna Arbide, assistant vice president of Alumni Relations and the Annual Fund, and executive director of the University of Miami Alumni Association, says the receptions, which averaged an attendance of more than 250 people, also were part of an aggressive strategic outreach plan of reintroducing alumni to their alma mater. “President Shalala was the perfect partner because she brings so much energy, enthusiasm, and vision to our alumni audience,” says Arbide. “She understands that alumni are extremely important to the success of a university.”

A new tour based on a new theme is being planned for the next academic year, according to Powers. This time Alumni Relations will take some of the University’s top scholars on the road. The idea: “We want alumni and parents to understand and appreciate the quality of our faculty and educational programs,” says Powers.

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Third-year law student named first recipient of Nesbitt Scholarship

Ellen A. Ross, a third-year student at the University of Miami School of Law, is the recipient of the first Lenore C. Nesbitt Scholarship, named for the late federal judge who graduated first in her class at UM in 1957 and was the first woman judge appointed to the U.S. Southern District of Florida.

Ross was named recipient of the scholarship at a special reception at Nesbitt’s Coral Gables home. “The first Nesbitt scholar was selected because she is an excellent student who embodies the qualities that Judge Nesbitt stood for, including a commitment to public service,” says School of Law Dean Dennis O. Lynch. “The generosity of family, friends, colleagues, alumni, and our community has ensured that Judge Nesbitt’s spirit lives on.”

Ross completed her undergraduate work at the University of Texas at Austin. She has interned for the District Judge’s Office in the Travis County Courthouse in Austin, Texas, where she researched and developed a profile of divorces filed in Travis County for aid in implementing a program to help create a less adversarial environment for the children of divorcing parents.

Ross also interned for Justice Harry Lee Anstead of the Florida Supreme Court. Following law school, she will serve as a law clerk for Judge Peter T. Fay of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, which she believes will enable her to serve the public.

Also recognized at the reception were Thomas D. Wood, chairman of the Nesbitt Scholarship Committee and University of Miami trustee, and the Coral Gables-based law firm Hanzman and Criden, P.A., which donated $100,000 for the scholarship.

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Online directory lets your fingers do the ‘clicking’

Need the telephone number for Benefits Administration or the Office of Admission? Soon, there will be a new way to let your fingers do the walking—with the click of a mouse.

An online version of the University’s telephone directory is scheduled to go live this summer, allowing users to access hundreds of department listings by just clicking a mouse.

Once it is up and running, the online phone directory will offer a Web-based resource that can be continuously updated, at any time and any day of the year. It also will offer a number of new functions that will allow users to search for listings based on a variety of different fields, such as name, phone number, locator code, and fax number.

Users will even be able “to search for things like Business Expense Reimbursement Forms and find out which department or who is responsible for processing such forms,” says University webmaster Wendy Dibean, part of an Information Technology team that is working on the project.

“We hope departments will keep the online directory up-to-date as staff changes occur during the year,” says Mary Sapp, executive director of Planning and Institutional Research, who is directing the project. “That way, even when certain listings in the printed phonebook become outdated, users can still find current and correct information online.”

The printed UM phone directory will still be published, but even it is undergoing changes with procedures in place for updating the departmental listings. These listings are now being updated online instead of the more time-consuming method involving paper or e-mailed Word documents. All information updated on the Web will be saved into the online directory and the Human Resources’ database as well.

Designated personnel from each University department will be responsible for updating their department information online. According to Dibean, e-mail messages have already been sent to department heads, asking them to identify a contact who will edit and approve their department listing for the printed phone directory.

Updates to the “green” faculty/ staff and “orange” student sections of the printed directory can be made by using the EASY system at http://easy.miami.edu at any time.

After the open update period is complete at the end of the summer, notice will be given that the listings will be considered final for the print-ed directory to go to press. At that point, all the information updated on the system will be downloaded to a file that will become the annual printed directory.

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Tops for techies: UM No. 1 place to work in IT

IDG’s Computerworld, one of the leading publications for IT leaders, has ranked the University of Miami as the No. 1 place to work in information technology (IT) in the United States. The distinction comes as part of the weekly newspaper’s annual Best Places to Work in IT survey, which was published in a recent issue and online.

“To be recognized as the nation’s leading information technology work site by Computerworld is a tremendous honor. It belongs to each one of the people who make this an exciting, innovative, and supportive place to work,” says M. Lewis Temares, vice president for Information Technology and dean of the College of Engineering.

The Best Places to Work list is an annual ranking of the best work environments in the United States for IT workers. In 2002, the feature was expanded for the first time to include a unique view of companies from across the world. To compile the lists, Computerworld measured companies in several categories, including diversity, training, career development, benefits, hot projects, retention, and other criteria prospective IT employees find most compelling.

“In our field—education—helping people achieve their best effort is crucial,” says Temares. “Everyone keeps the success of our customers, be they students, faculty, or staff, as our top priority. All of our managers know it is the most important part of what they do, every day. As the leader of this group, they make my job a pleasure and a joy.”

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Susan Haack receives Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award

Susan Haack, Cooper Senior Scholar in Arts and Sciences, professor of philosophy, and professor of law, is the recipient of the University’s 2002 Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award. Established by the Faculty Senate in 1987, the award acknowledges either a single outstanding achievement or sustained contributions throughout an individual’s career to an area of research or creative activity.

Haack is internationally known for her contributions to philosophy, especially in logic and language, epistemology, metaphysics, pragmatism, the philosophy of science, and interdisciplinary scholarship. She is the author of several well-known books, including Deviant Logic (Cambridge, 1974), Philosophy of Logics (Cambridge, 1978), Deviant Logic, Fuzzy Logic: Beyond the Formalism (Chicago, 1996), and Manifesto of a Passionate Moderate: Unfashionable Essays (Chicago, 1997).

Her work has been translated into Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Russian, Korean, and Danish. Currently she is working with Professor Chen Bo of the University of Peking on the Chinese translation of her book on epistemology, Evidence and Inquiry: Towards Reconstruction in Epistemology (Oxford: Blackwell, 1997).

Stephen Weinberg, Nobel Laureate in Physics, has described Haack as one of a handful of “rare contemporary philosophers” who write with such “good humor and easy style” that her work can be “read with pleasure.”

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One Cool ’Cane
Thirty-five, seven-foot, 30-pound flamingos decorated by local artists are currently nesting throughout the Coral Gables downtown business district as part of the citywide “Flamingos in the Gables” campaign. Cool ’Cane, UM’s entry, can be spotted in front of City Hall, 405 Biltmore Way. At the end of the exhibit, the giant birds will be auctioned. All proceeds will benefit CHARLEE Homes, which provides support services to abused and neglected children.

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