Monday, August 17, 2015

Miniaci LEAD Now Summer Institute Creates Leaders and Bobcats

St. Thomas University’s Miniaci LEAD Now Summer Institute and the Fernandez Fellowship Program are dedicated to ensuring that talented high school students have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills with the goal of succeeding in college and becoming effective professional and community leaders. The Miniaci LEAD Now Summer Institute is a two-year, six-week summer program for qualified high school students. The Institute provides six college credits in communication arts, offers weekly training in 21st Century leadership, enrolls students in college preparatory courses in mathematics and English, and includes experience in community service.

This year’s Miniaci LEAD Now Summer Institute took place June 19, 2015, through August 7, 2015, and included a diverse group of 16 students representing a variety of local public and private high schools. Students were introduced to successful and effective communication processes by faculty from the School of Arts and Education, and received life skills training in etiquette and communications, such as public speaking and creative writing. This summer, students were also provided Latin dance classes and art lessons.

Thirteen high school seniors who graduated from the Miniaci LEAD Now Summer Institute are enrolled at St. Thomas University and will become Bobcats this fall. The Fernandez Fellowship Program provides graduates of the Miniaci LEAD Now program an annually renewable scholarship towards tuition for any of the undergraduate academic programs offered at St. Thomas University and provides a continued professional and peer mentorship program for these scholars.

New Vice President of Enrollment at STU

A veteran of higher education administration for over 40 years, Carmen A. Brown, joins St. Thomas University as the new vice president of enrollment. She brings her significant experience and accomplishments to the areas of enrollment, student services, and university marketing.

Ms. Brown has worked in various higher education institutions throughout her professional career. In addition to her experience in higher education, Ms. Brown brings with her gubernatorial appointments, national board appointments and other recognitions, including the Judicial Nominating Commission, Blue Ribbon Commission on Access, positions in the College Board and the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, and President of the Florida Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

STU Students Conduct Research with Haiti Farmers

What do STU Bobcats have in common with the beetles? Our Center for Community Engagement (CCE) students are back from Haiti, capping their latest research in NW Haiti for effective organic treatment methods on the Coffee Bean Borer Beetle (Hypothenemus hampei) – a global problem in coffee production. The beetle responds to treatments differently in various climates, and while extensive research has been completed in other major coffee markets, little to none has been done in Haiti. St. Thomas University’s work is part of a 30-year partnership between the Archdiocese of Miami and its sister-diocese of Port-de-Paix. Integrating teaching and research resources into three, long-term, economic development projects in Northwest Haiti, the Center has engaged students in collaborative projects that assist farmers, artists, and groups from various walks of life.

One of these is the Café COCANO Fair-Trade Coffee Project. In collaboration with the Cafeiere et Cacouyere du Nord’Ouest Coffee Cooperative (COCANO) and Panther Coffee (a leading specialty coffee roaster), CCE’s Director Anthony Vinciguerra and the STU student team spent time in Haiti’s Northwest province helping coffee farmers in their research involving coffee bean beetles.

The results of the study by the STU/Haiti Coffee Bean Borer Beetle Research team will be presented at the 2015 Engaged Scholarship Consortium Conference to be held September 27-30th at Penn State University. Known as the nation’s premier venue for academic community-based research collaborations, the Engaged Scholarship Consortium conference includes hundreds of participants from the nation’s leading land-grant and research institutions.

This groundbreaking student research collaboration is part of the end result, making a difference in the plantations by importing, marketing, and selling high-grade specialty coffee from Port-de-Paix to the United States. Coffee is sold directly by the farmer-cooperative itself and marketed by STU students, thus eliminating the numerous middle-men in the coffee import business and ensuring that profit remains in the hands of those who need it most.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

STU Hosts “MetroTown” Diversity Leadership Camp

St. Thomas University’s Center for Community Engagement – in collaboration with the MCCJ – once again hosted  the 2015 MetroTown Summer Camp, an intensive, six-day residential camp focused on developing young leaders from across Miami-Dade County. A group of 45 high school students from across Miami-Dade County came to St. Thomas University's campus in July to build community ties and gain skills for cross cultural teamwork with the aim of resolving conflict and living peacefully in an increasingly diverse society. MCCJ, formerly known as the Miami Coalition of Christians and Jews, is one of the oldest and most respected diversity training organizations in Florida. Other MetroTown partners included the Miami Foundation, the Knight Foundation, and the Miami-Dade Children’s Trust.

During the camp, students engaged in honest dialogue on topics that are often considered taboo by many cultures, such as race, ethnicity, religion, gender, orientation, and socio-economic status. St. Thomas University’s Center for Community Engagement (CCE) staff served alongside MCCJ staff as hosts and counselors of the camp, while introducing the students to the opportunities for community-engaged learning at the university. Among the many community engagement programs coordinated by CCE are a partnership between the University and coffee farmers in Port-au-Paix, Haiti; working with farmworkers; and assisting students in schools in the Miami-Gardens community.

New Dining Options @ STU

New sights and smells are in abundance at the Bobcat Café as revamped menus and services are rolled out by new dining management provider, Metz Culinary Management. Innovations have already begun in Bobcat Café and further changes are underway at the Rathskeller. Still to come: an Einstein Bros Bagels on the ground floor of the Library.

“They are providing an incredible variety, including great healthy options,” said University President Rev. Msgr. Franklyn Casale. “They are very focused on creating a restaurant atmosphere, and so far the reaction has been fantastic.”

Menus are posted weekly, and the dining options include an “action bar” for made to order omelets for breakfast and a variety of made to order sides for lunch. Food variety includes homemade, low-fat, and vegetarian items. Metz will also  accommodate special dietary needs and is providing extended service hours – including adding a “to go” pizza option at the Rath. A new convenience store is also nearing completion at the Student Center. Improvements at the Bobcat Café go beyond the culinary, with a revamped look and feel coming soon. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

STU School of Law Student Interns at the United Nations

The opportunities afforded to students at St. Thomas Law include unique internships and externships. The Pax Romana internship at the United Nations is one such opportunity. This full-time, single semester assignment provides law students with placements at national missions to the United Nations in New York.

Third-year law student Anastasia Latman spent the summer in New York for what she described as the experience of a lifetime.

Anastasia was assigned to the Permanent Mission of Honduras in the role of advisor. She attended meetings and compiled analytical reports on what she observed.  The first official meeting that she attended centered around small arms trafficking and its affect on South American countries.  She also covered issues such as disabilities and women's rights.

She emphasized how her perspective of global concerns changed during her time at the UN. "I had the opportunity to listen to and understand the concerns and views of other nations and it became clear to me that I was living in a bubble," stated Anastasia. "It was really an eye-opening experience with international relations, legal issues and human rights issues."

Upon graduation from St. Thomas Law, Anastasia plans to become a prosecutor and said that the internship paved the way in helping her understand the major human rights violations that are happening globally, and how the international community is trying to solve these issues through the law.  She came out with an enhanced understanding of international laws and legal systems and was able to formulate ideas as to how she can work on these legal issues locally and hopefully someday make a difference on an international level.

This fall, Anastasia will return to the UN during the General Assembly at the invitation of the Permanent Mission of Honduras.  Additionally,  two St. Thomas Law students will be assigned to the Holy See in New York with the likelihood of meeting the Pope himself.

St. Thomas Law Professor Patricia Moore’s Article Ranked Top Ten on Ten Lists

It’s not every day that an author comprehensively covers a variety if legal theories so well in one article that the article ranks in the Top 10 for downloads in ten separate categories...