Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Helping Asylum Seekers and Refugees Prepare for Court

A 29-year-old Cuban immigrant suffering from early-onset Parkinson’s was on the brink of ending his life when he walked into STU’s Human Rights Institute. He had lost his job because of symptoms related to his disease, and was living in his car. He hit rock bottom when the car’s tires blew out and the car was towed.

“He walked into our office with two pieces of paper – one with his parent's mailing address, and a letter, essentially his suicide letter. He came to us in this moment of desperation because the institute was all he had,” said Christine Reis, a lawyer and director of STU’s Human Rights Institute.

Within hours, the paralegal working his case had her husband buy him new tires, get his car out of the towing yard, and colleagues helped her raise money for him. Within days the institute found him a place to live – special housing for people with his condition – and worked with Jackson Memorial Hospital to get him the attention and medications he needed to lead a better life. And within six months, he was on his way to becoming a citizen, and most importantly, he was a completely different, happier person.

“The office [Human Rights Institute] is a great example of what STU is – a family always willing to help one another and others,” Reis said.

Since its inception in 1992, STU’s Human Rights Institute has been helping people who have refugee or asylum status become permanent residents, as well as guiding them through complicated legal processes. Over the years, the institute has seen several cases like the one mentioned above ranging from people in the final stages of cancer, to those with Alzheimer’s disease.

“We deal with so many individuals all with a unique, sometimes heart-wrenching story to tell, and we do our best to help them in any way we can,” said Reis. “Our ultimate goal is for these individuals (and sometimes families) to acclimate and become United States citizens with all of its rights and privileges.”

There are similar organizations in South Florida, but STU’s Human Rights Institute is the only one that offers its services completely free of charge – there are no hidden fees or additional charges. And if other services are needed – psychological, special needs, housing – the institute has strong professional relationships with other service providers in the community, and helps guide individuals in the right direction.

“The institute takes care of the legal aspects of their situation, but it has tentacles that reach out to different services,” said Reis.

With offices located in Miami, Broward and West Palm Beach, the institute helps about 200 people a month. Reis says, she hopes to continue to carry out the institute’s mission for many years to come.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

STU Awarded $1.17 Million Federal TRIO Grant

The U.S. Department of Education announced a five-year, $1,179,815 grant to St. Thomas University (STU) to start a TRIO Educational Opportunity Center (EOC). The EOC grant will help young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds – low-income individuals, first-generation college students, individuals with disabilities, and veterans – pursue a higher education.

“This grant will open many doors for hundreds of students who otherwise may not have achieved academic success,” said Provost and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Irma Becerra. “Now they’ll be able to receive the support and guidance necessary to explore the options available to them to further their education beyond high school, and become leaders for life.”

The grant will provide tutoring in ACT and SAT test preparation, financial aid workshops, campus visits to post-secondary institutions in the area, financial literacy workshops, and assistance with completing applications to post-secondary institutions. STU seniors and graduate students will be trained to provide these program services to the community. The program will also have a full-time program director and full-time program advisor.

Program services will be available to students at North Miami High School, Carol City High School, as well as residents of North Miami, Opa-locka, and Miami Gardens – areas underrepresented in postsecondary education.

“We are proud of being a resource for the community,” added STU President Msgr. Franklyn M. Casale. “Whether these students become proud St. Thomas Bobcats, or pursue their higher education at another institution, providing this important support is consistent with our university’s focus on service and community engagement.”

In all, the Department of Education awarded $48 million in grants to 143 colleges and organizations in 42 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

For more information about this program or to participate, contact Gretell Garcia (305) 628-6629; or email

Monday, August 29, 2016

SunTrust Helps Fund STU Scholarships with $100K Gift

President and CEO of SunTrust Bank Manny Perdomo with STU President Msgr. Casale

As part of their ongoing support of St. Thomas University (STU), the SunTrust Foundation donated $100,000 to fund scholarships for first-generation students with financial need. This endowed scholarship will be matched through a challenge grant from the Batchelor Foundation – providing an impact of $200,000 toward first-generation student support.

“Gifts like these that support the next generation of leaders have the potential to change the lives of our students and the communities in which they live,” said STU President Monsignor Franklyn Casale. “We are very fortunate to have such wonderful community partners that help make a quality, personalized education possible for so many worthy students.”

Over the years, SunTrust, which has several of its executives serving on advisory boards at STU, has gifted the university with generous scholarship support for low-income students and other programs. They are serving as a community advisory partner on a new university program focused on financial literacy and student success. Suntrust has also served as the university’s bank for more than two decades.

“Our philosophy has always been that when we build our communities, we build our bank,” said Manny Perdomo, president and CEO of SunTrust Bank, South Florida. “As a purpose-driven company, we are constantly seeking ways to make a difference, two of the most meaningful ways we can do this is through corporate philanthropy and helping guide, advise and lead people along their road to financial security and wellness, or as well call it, ‘Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being.’”

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

STU Kicks Off Fall Semester with Salsa Concert

Los 3 de la Habana

Students at STU kicked off the start of the 2016 fall semester with a salsa concert by the Grammy nominated band "Los 3 de la Habana" at Plaza Kelly during common hour Wednesday, Aug. 24.

Faculty, staff and students showed off their dance moves to the vibrant music, while others enjoyed a lunch of burgers, hot dogs, salad, chips and cookies courtesy of Metz.

For more concert photos, and photos of STU letting loose on the dance floor, click here.

“Bobcats Serve Day” Beautifies Carol City Middle School

During St. Thomas University’s second annual “Bobcats Serve Community Engagement Day” more than 130 first-year students came together to lend a helping hand to the students of Carol City Middle School (CCMS), a local, at-risk public school.

The event, coordinated by the university’s Center the Community Engagement and Student Affairs, was part of the university’s orientation program titled “The St. Thomas Experience.” With the goal of enhancing the learning environment of the CCMS students, upper-class students led first-year students, alongside CCMS staff, on a school-wide beautification effort.

Fueled by research proving that pleasant, well-kept environments enhance student achievement, self-esteem and school and community pride, STU students created outdoor study spaces by building picnic tables, repainting outdoor areas, and distributing mulch around the school’s campus.

This event is part of the broader STU/CCMS Community Educational Partnership, a partnership which leverages multiple levels of university research, teaching, and volunteer resources into CCMS student success.
The students involved received a warm welcome from STU President Rev. Monsignor Franklyn M. Casale; Provost Dr. Irma Becerra, and the Mayor of Miami Gardens, the Hon. Oliver G. Gilbert III.

“At St. Thomas University you not only receive a great, well-rounded education, but you learn how to do great things in the world,” said Dr. Becerra. “That’s what ‘Bobcats Serve Day’ is about - taking the first step toward becoming a leader that changes the world, a true leader for life.”

For more information on STU’s collaborative projects in Miami Gardens, visit, or contact the Center for Community Engagement:; 305-628-6717.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

STU Zika Preparedness and Guidelines

St. Thomas University is actively monitoring the Zika virus in our county, and working closely with local and state Department of Health officials. It is important to note that NO mosquito transmission of the Zika virus has been detected at STU or in the area of Miami Gardens as of this week.
We wanted to share some information about the Zika virus, specifically:
  • What is the Zika virus
  • How to protect yourself from Zika
  • What STU is doing to mitigate mosquitoes on campus
  • Where to seek additional information
  • Frequently asked questions
The Zika Virus
According to the CDC, the Zika virus disease is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus), but it can also be passed from one person to another through sexual contact.
The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting up to a week, and many infected people do not have symptoms. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly and other severe brain defects. No vaccines or treatments are currently available to treat or prevent Zika.
Protect yourself from Zika
Many people infected with Zika virus won’t have symptoms or will only have mild symptoms such as fever, rash, headache, and joint pain. These usually appear within a week or 10 days of having been bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus. Only about 20 percent of people infected with the Zika virus become ill, according to the CDC.
The best way to prevent Zika is to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to follow the CDC guidelines which include:

Mitigating mosquitoes on campus
STU is continuing with its proactive steps in mitigating mosquitoes. On a daily basis, our facilities staff conduct an inventory of standing water bodies, including ditches, drains, and ponds. Every 30 days the storm drains on campus are treated with a product to control mosquito larvae; this product is not harmful to fish or other aquatic organisms. Our Office of Physical Plant has completed multiple site-specific sprayings before outdoor events to reduce mosquito activity. In addition, at the request of STU, Miami-Dade County has conducted two mosquito surveys, as recent as two weeks ago, and they did not find active mosquito breeding locations on campus. Furthermore, our Associate Director of Risk Management, Environmental Compliance and Emergency Management actively participates in daily calls with municipal partners, Department of Health, Miami-Dade County, CDC, and other local universities to discuss Zika and measures to mitigate its spread. The STU Athletics Department provides athletes, coaches, and trainers with insect repellent for all outdoor sports for use during practice and games. 
Additional Information
Additional information and updates about the Zika virus will be provided to the campus community as it is available. Please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website,, for more information.
Other Resources:
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What should you do if you have been bitten by a mosquito?
A: Don’t panic. It is highly unlikely, at this time, that you’re going to get Zika. Not all mosquitoes carry Zika, even in the places where the virus is actively spreading. It's the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes that carry the virus, and one of them has to have bitten someone who's infected – and even then, it takes a couple of days for the virus to build up enough in the mosquito's body for the insect to transmit the virus to someone else.
Q: How would you know if you’ve contracted Zika?
A: You may have a rash, mild flulike symptoms, a fever, a headache, red eyes or severe joint pain. These usually appear within a week or 10 days of having been bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus. Only about 20 percent of people infected with the Zika virus become ill, according to the CDC. If you have these symptoms, you can visit the Student Health Center at STU located in the Student Center, or schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Q: How is Zika diagnosed?
A: To diagnose Zika, your doctor will ask you about recent travel and symptoms you may have, and collect blood or urine to test for Zika or similar viruses.
Q: How long does Zika remain in your body?
A: Typically one to two weeks. Once someone has been infected with Zika, it’s very likely they’ll be protected from future infections. There is no evidence that past Zika infection poses an increased risk of birth defects in future pregnancies.

Q: If a woman contracts the virus or shows symptoms, how long should she wait before trying to get pregnant?
A: Eight weeks.
Q: If a male contracts the virus, how long should he and his partner wait to have a baby?
A: Six months.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Move-in Day Brings Bobcats Back to Campus

With boxes, bins and dollies in tow, STU Bobcats returned to campus on a hot and humid Friday morning. Hundreds of new and returning students converged at Cascia Hall to check in and settle in before fall semester classes begin Monday, Aug. 22. Take a look at some of the Move-in Day photos here.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

LEAD Now Summer Institute Wraps Up its Eighth Year

2016 LEAD Now Institute graduates in the Rio Olympic spirit
This summer 21 young leaders made their mark on St. Thomas University (STU) during the Miniaci Family LEAD Now Summer Institute, an on-going program that has been changing young lives since 2008. It engages, enhances, and trains 11th and 12th grade high school students on leadership skills, and exposes them to college life and college-level courses.

All students are given the opportunity to earn six college credits toward a Bachelor of Arts degree, and approximately seven of these students are seniors who will be attending STU and receiving a scholarship through this program. The remainder of these students are juniors and will be returning to the program the following summer.

During the course of the summer students creatively expressed themselves by engaging in art, music, dance, and also took a few etiquette workshops. They participated in glass-blowing projects, expressed themselves verbally and artistically through abstract art, collages, painting, and many other activities.

Apart from the expression of art, the LEAD Now students learned a special variety of celebration dances which are made up of a mix of Portuguese, African, and European dance forms such as, capoeira, samba and other afro-Brazilian and Caribbean themed styles that originated hundreds of years ago.     

Each of these intelligent young men and women are from South Florida and originate from a diverse population of local public and private schools such as: Archbishop Edward E. McCarthy High School, Christopher Columbus High School, Hialeah Gardens High School, International Studies Charter High School, Latin Builders Association Construction & Business Management Academy Charter High School, Miami Carol City Senior High School, Monsignor Edward Pace High School, North Miami Beach Senior High School, Saint Brendan Senior High School, and William H. Turner Technical Arts High School.

Monday, August 15, 2016

What Professors really do over the Summer "Break"

Over the summer months, STU professors keep themselves busy inside and outside of the classroom. Check out their summer extracurricular activities below!
Dr. Darrell Arnold
  • Completing an edited volume for Palgrave/MacMillan on Critical Theory and the Philosophy of Andrew Feinberg (Winter 2016). 
  • International teaching in Hefei, China.
  • Developed two public lectures for Fathom Cruise Line's Impact cruise to the Dominican Republic. This was part of the “Mindful Living Lecture Series” of their onboard spa by Steiner.
          o   Pathways to Wellness: Ancient Chinese Philosophy and Its Connection to Healthy   
              Living; and Nurturing the Eco: Well-being of Self, Society and Environment. 
Susan Buzzi
  • Arts Educator for 21st Century Programming with North Miami High School.
  • Contributor to the Miniaci Family Lead Now Summer Institute program, and STU’s Human Trafficking Academy with "Healing Through Art" art work.
  • Created a series of posters for the STU’s Human Trafficking Academy and film entitled "Responsibility and Vigilance."
Dr. Walter J. Cegelka
  • Text has been accepted for publication: Cegelka, W., Payne, J. and Harges, A. (2016) Fearless Public Speaking: 8 Secrets to Masterful Presentations. Sentia Publishing.
Fr. Alfred Cioffi, STh.D., Ph.D.
  • Published a peer-reviewed article on The Bioethical Distinction between Assisting or Substituting Vital Organs at the End of Human Life, in the journal Ethics and Medics.
  • Launched a new Master's in Bioethics at St. Thomas University, starting this Fall 2016. For more information, click here.
Dr. Eugenia Ferrero
  • Ph.D. conferred August 9, 2016 – titled “Case Study of the “No On 37” Coalition Against the Deceptive Food Labeling Scheme: Public Relations Strategies & Tactics, Ethically Problematic Communication, and the First Amendment.
Dr. Bryan Froehle and Sr. Ondina Cortes, Ph.D.
  • Presented papers at the Latin American Studies Association Congress in Puerto Rico.

Dr. Hagai Gringarten
  • Served as a judge during an annual marketing competition at the American Marketing Association International Collegiate Conference, New Orleans, 2016.
  • Conference presentation: “Marketing Student Research: From Thought to Print.” In Mint Your Future: AMA International Collegiate Conference Faculty Proceedings 2016, ed. by Donna Coelho. Chicago, IL.: American Marketing Association, 2016.
  • Forthcoming publication: Hagai Gringarten, Raúl Fernández-Calienes, and Nina Q. Rose. “Publication Talks and Book Review Workshops: Spotlighting Faculty Publication, Emerging Authors, and Book Reviews as an Effective Personal Branding Strategy.” In Library Outreach to Writers and Poets: Interviews and Case Studies of Cooperation, ed. by Carol Smallwood and Vera Gubnitskaia. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2016.
  • Developed, planned, promoted, organized and led a highly successful study abroad trip to Israel.
Dr. Gurvirender Tejay
  • (Co-author) “Examining Information Privacy Paradox Through Cognitive Perspective.” Poster presented at 24th European Conference on Information Systems, Istanbul, Turkey, June 12-15, 2016.
  • (Chair for Mini-track titled “Cybercrime and Information Security Strategy,” 23rd Americas Conference on Information Systems, San Diego, USA, August 11-14, 2016.
  • (Co-author) Completed research manuscript titled “Improving Information Security Through Reduced Incongruity of Risk Perceptions: A Dialogical Action Research study.”

Msgr. Terry Hogan, S.L.D.
  • Asked by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to speak on the History and Practice of Liturgical Ministries in San Antonio, Texas.
Dr. Giselle Jamison
  • Contributed to: Jamison, G. D. Cambio en Cuba: ¿Económico, democrático o cultural? In Convivencia #51 p. 42, May-June 2016. Also in
  • Submitted for publication to the Florida Political Chronicle - Jamison: G.D. The U.S. Immigration System: Broken, but Can't Fix It! Why any Comprehensive Immigration Reform Law is D.O.A. under the Obama Administration.
Dr. Jennifer Kryszak
  • Published in Ecclesial Practices - "A Theology of Transformation: Catholic Sisters and the Visual Practice of Church.”
  • Attended the Science for Seminaries Retreat in August 2016, which is sponsored by the Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) program at the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Dr. David Quesada
  • Coordinator of the SRI 2016. A total of 64 students, 44 from STU and 20 from MDC, participated in the 2016 edition of the Summer Research Institute. As a result of the partnership with MDC, a sufficient amount of instrumentation was purchased and will benefit different programs we offer at the School of STEM. For more information on the SRI program, click here.
  • Coordinator of the Science Lecture Series "Moving Into the Future." A lecture series organized for the first time at the School of STEM on a weekly basis. A total of 10 external speakers were invited in kind to present at the School of STEM.
  • Presented three oral presentations for the Ibero-American Conference on Nanotechnology to take place in Peru Aug. 1 - 5, 2016. The titles of the presentations are: "Nanotechnologies plus Informatics: Nanoinformatics;" "Learning about Nanosciences through Modeling and Simulations;" "Impact of nanoparticle size distribution on the performance of quantum dots-based solar cells."
  • Nominated an award in education and technology, presented by the Wolfram Research, one of the leading companies in the use of computer technologies in science, education and industry.
  • Two oral presentations were accepted to be presented during the Annual Conference on Science, Education and Technologies, organized by the Wolfram Research, taking place Oct. 18 - 21, in Urbana-Champaign. The titles of the presentations are: "Understanding the associations leading to the asthma prevalence in South Florida;" "Analysis of brain networks and its association with epilepsy."
  • Liaison person and USA representative for the network NANODYF, a scientific organization aimed at promoting Nanosciences among Hispanic serving institutions, and operating over the entire Ibero-America.
  • Per appointment of Dr. Vynne, coordinating the efforts with the College of Engineering of FIU to update the requirements of the 2+2 program in engineering. Additionally, he presented a feasibility study on the implementation of an engineering track at STU.
Dr. Pilar Maul
  • With the assistance of Mr. Carlos Vazquez, received a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The iCATCH grant (Innovative Curriculum for Agriculture Training and Career for Hispanics) was written and developed in collaboration with Florida International University. This grant is a follow-up of the agricultural grant that was awarded to STU from 2011 to 2015 called the Florida Caribbean Consortium For Agriculture Education and Hispanic Workforce Development (FCCAgE). With total funds of $250,000 for 4 years, iCATCH will strengthen institutional education capacities to respond to the needs of underrepresented students and prepare them for careers in food and agricultural sciences. In addition, it will strengthen cooperative initiatives between two or more Hispanic-serving Institutions. The iCATCH grant will begin Sept. 1, 2016.
  • As part of the SRI 2016, Dr. Maul’s students have worked throughout the summer to finish experiments on the identification of genes associated with drought tolerance in native potatoes from Peru, a project lead by the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia. A draft of the results for publication in a peer-review journal is underway. Dr. Maul just came back from visiting her Peruvian collaborators and has secured two additional research collaborative projects with them. This will allow STU students to travel to Peru for internships at the Genomics Laboratory in that University.
  • Dr. Maul has established a collaborative project with Dr. Jose Lopez from Nova Southeastern University (NSU) Oceanographic Center to study the microbial community associated with the use of organic fertilizers in the STU Organic garden. Mr. Carlos Vazquez and SRI 2016 students have carried on a study on a novel vegetable used in Asian and Hawaiian cuisine called the Okinawa Spinach, which has high nutritional and medicinal values. The collaboration with NSU will allow the study of microbial communities that enhance the cultivation of this crop optimal and will open possibilities of summer internships for STU students.
Dr. Stephanie Maynard-Patrick
  • Co-Authored, "Contextualizing Work Relationships through Barriers and Pathways to Reciprocation: When Context Determines Direct Payback Isn’t Enough" and was submitted to the Academy Of Management Review Special issue for Work Relationships.
  • "Student Led Learning in Human Resource Development" - sole authored and was submitted to the Management Education Review.
Dr. Michael Mulvey
  • Mulvey, M. (2016, March). The Problem that had a name: French high-rise developments and the fantasy of a suburban homemaker pathology. Gender & History, 1954–73. Dr. Mulvey’s article studies the intersection of Catholicism with real estate development in postwar France.
  • Mulvey, M. (Summer 2016). Jules Vallès and Séverine: French political culture and a late-nineteenth century subversive cross-sex friendship. Historical Reflections/Réflexions Historiques. The article explores gender, revolutionary politics, and Catholic mysticism.
  • Book review of Nicole C. Rudolph's At Home in Postwar France: Modern Housing and the Right to Comfort to appear in the peer-reviewed Franco-American H-France Review (June 2016).
  • Dr. Mulvey spent the month of July at the Institute for Advanced Studies on the campus of Indiana University: Bloomington and in New Orleans at Loyola University thanks to the generous support of a competitive fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. He worked with a group of 25 scholars from across the United States of America and the African continent on the theme of "Arts of Survival: Recasting Lives in African Cities". Dr. Mulvey presented on a research project entitled "Spaces of Tropical Freedom: Architecture, Citizenship, and Property in the Francophone Caribbean after Slavery.”
  • Selected by the American Committee on Minority Historians to represent the nation's Hispanic Serving Institutions in Denver, Colorado at the 2017 American Historical Association Annual Conference. Dr. Mulvey will represent the only HSI on a panel with faculty from HBCUs exploring the theme "History at Minority-Serving Institutions: Strategies and Opportunities.” 
  • Continued working on an introduction for his major project, The Moral Moment: Catholics and the Housing Question in Postwar France, in preparation for the submission of a book proposal.
Dr. Josie Oramas
  • Became certified as a clinical trauma professional.
  • Completed a literature review on Haitian Immigrant children and youth (as a Research Assistant)
  • Review of the book Driven by difference: How great companies fuel innovation through diversity, by David Livermore (to be published by the end of August in the Journal of Multidisciplinary Research).
  • Currently working on article regarding ethical issues in school counseling.
Dr. Jose Rocha
Projects in progress to be completed in the Fall 2016 semester:
  • Networks to Connect People and Communities Of Practice: The Competitive Advantage Of Organizational Culture And Knowledge Management. Authors: Jose Rocha, Lisa J. Knowles, and Paul D. Maxwell.
  • A Literature Review in Knowledge Sharing in Highly Dynamic Changing Environments: Social Media, StartUps, and Innovation. Authors: Jose Rocha, Justin Peart, and Lisa J. Knowles
Dr. Frank Sicius
  • Reviewed, edited and made suggestions on a manuscript (a biography of Catholic Social Activist Peter Maurin) for University of Notre Dame Press.
  • Wrote a review of a new biography of Dorothy Day by Peter Jordan for the Journal of The American Catholic Historical Society.
  • Completed a chapter on his current work on the building of the Key West extension Railway.
Dr. Alberto Varela
  • Accomplished the MOU with UCM, Spain. This collaboration will bring new opportunities to STU such as research, student and professor exchange programs, and international recognition.
  • Participated as a guest host on a radio talk show highlighting the community’s voice (Voces de las Comunidades, La Poderosa 670 AM) in which he discussed solar energy options for the community and promoted the Solar Energy Project at STU.
  • Provided a guided tour of the Solar Station for local students and other members of the community.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Launch of New Master’s Degree in Bioethics

This fall, St. Thomas University (STU) is launching a master’s degree program in bioethics, an innovative, interdisciplinary program combining science, ethics and human behavior.

Today’s advances in technology has helped make substantial, beneficial gains in the areas of healthcare and research. But these advancements in science and technology often outpace our ability to understand, and come with critical ethical questions and challenges.

“Bioethics can be described as what may be done versus what can be done with regards to science and technology today,” said Father Alfred Cioffi, the Florida Blue endowed chair in bioethics and director of STU’s Institute for Bioethics. “The distinction between can and may is not just a grammatical distinction but an ethical distinction because we can do many things technologically, but should we do them – that’s when our master’s program kicks in and helps individuals evaluate critical situations.”

This program is a fully accredited masters of science consisting of eight course totaling 30 graduate credits. Graduates will not only be improving the progress of healthcare, but will be equipped to engage in deep analysis of the bioethical issues of our contemporary society.

Having an advance degree in the field of bioethics opens various professional opportunities especially the clinical setting, government regulatory agencies, institutional review boards, and others.

For further information, please click here.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Law School Welcomes New Advisory Board Members

St. Thomas University (STU) Law School has announced the appointment of four prominent South Florida legal professionals to its esteemed board of advisors. Armando J. Bucelo Jr., Martha D. Fornaris, Bonnie Levin, and Yara Lorenzo were recently appointed to the university’s 34-member board, which plays a crucial role in the college’s mission of providing excellence in education, scholarship, and community service.

“We are pleased with the addition of these distinguished members of the profession from both the private and public sectors,” said School of Law Dean Alfredo Garcia. “They will undoubtedly enhance the stature of our law school.”

Armando J. Bucelo Jr., chairman of Bucelo Law Group, is an AV Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell, which represents the highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards, and has been recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the country on numerous occasions. Since 1979, he’s been practicing law primarily in corporate, banking, real estate and transactional work. Armando earned his associate degree in science from Miami Dade College and his bachelor’s degree and juris doctor from the University of Miami.

Martha D. Fornaris is an attorney serving Coral Gables in workers' compensation law at her firm Fornaris Law Firm. Martha arrived in Miami from Cuba in 1967, and went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in English and her juris doctor degree from the University of Miami. She began her career as a lawyer in 1984 in an insurance defense firm. In 1987 she joined the City of Miami Attorney's Office as the lawyer representing the city in workers' compensation matters. Later she and two partners opened their own practice, where she continued to primarily represent employers. After ten years, in 2000, she made the decision to open her own firm, solely concentrating on workers' compensation law.

Bonnie Levin ’89 works at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) as a group supervisor to Miami Group 1. During her 15-plus year career with the ATF she has been assigned to different directorates throughout the agency as field agent, project officer and program manager. Prior to joining the ATF, she was a state prosecutor in Monroe County. Bonnie is a Miami Beach native, and earned her bachelor’s degree from Nova Southeastern University, and her juris doctor degree at St. Thomas University. She is a recognized beach volleyball and triathlete having competed internationally and won a gold and silver medal respectively in these sports.

Yara Lorenzo ’09, an attorney with the Miami office for Hogan Lovells, practices in the litigation, arbitration, and employment practice group. Before joining private practice, Yara served as a Law Clerk for three years to Hon. James Lawrence King, district court judge for the Southern District of Florida and Hon. Peter T. Fay, circuit court judge on the Eleventh Circuit. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Brown University in 2005, and her juris doctor from St. Thomas University Law in 2009. Yara is a member of the Cuban American Bar Association's Board of Directors.

Monday, August 1, 2016

How Tony Mamodaly, MBA Candidate, Kicked Off his Graduate Career at Columbia University in New York City

*This news item was written and edited by personnel at the Gus Machado School of Business

Exactly one year has passed since Tony Mamodaly ’15 kicked off his graduate career at Columbia University and joined the New York City-based advertising agency LaPlaca Cohen as part of an internship program. The 25-year old, German-native with roots in Madagascar, has had quite an unusual career path in his young age.
After graduating at the top of his class with his B.A. in Business in only 2 ½ years, the former captain of the men’s soccer team, president of the Entrepreneur Club, and resident assistant recalls, “it was quite challenging to handle the regular coursework and duties as an RA in addition to daily practices and travelling with the soccer team but my professors, coaches and mentors always helped me to coordinate through my demanding schedule and ensured I stayed on track without sacrificing results on the field or in the classroom.”
Knowing he wanted to gain further knowledge of marketing techniques and strategies, Tony decided to continue his education and pursue a master’s degree. “It was always my dream to attend an Ivy-League university but considering the exorbitant costs it was simply not realistic for me to do so, as I come from a very modest background.”

Determined not to give up on his dream, he applied to both Harvard University and Columbia University’s graduate programs. Tony spent months preparing his application and after three interview rounds, his hard work and perseverance paid off, as he was admitted to both Ivy-League universities.

“If three years ago somebody would have told me that one day I would have the chance to choose between Harvard and Columbia, I would have probably called him crazy.” In consideration of New York City being the global financial capital of the world, Tony decided in favor of Columbia University’s so-called Business Practice program, which was limited to 25 students from all over the world only.
The program was comprised of an internship at the advertising agency LaPlaca Cohen in the mornings and marketing strategy classes at the university at nights.

 “My time in The City was amazing. I have met incredible people from all over the world. My best friends in class were a banker from Italy who just landed a job on Wall Street, a Japanese financial consultant who is moving to Amsterdam for his new job, and a marketing consultant from Denmark. During our coursework we learned how to apply strategic marketing concepts to 'real-world' relevant situations, such as for instance Blackberry’s positioning dilemma. Furthermore, we had the chance to listen to and meet C-level guest speakers from the NBA or Grey Advertising among others.”

During his internship Tony recounts that in addition to assisting on campaigns for the Metropolitan Museum of Arts and The High Line, his absolute highlight was the experience of joining a sales meeting on the 37th floor of the New York Times Building. “I felt like being in a TV show like Suits or Mad Men,” Tony laughs.
After the intensive program Tony returned to Miami in late 2015, where he is enrolled in the MBA program with a specialization in Global Marketing while working as a graduate assistant at the School of Business simultaneously.  

“I am grateful for all the opportunities STU has opened up to me. Although I truly fell in love with New York, I did not have to think twice when I received the chance to pursue my MBA at St. Thomas University. The program is great as it allows me to blend my personal background of growing up between Germany, Madagascar and the US as well as my experience as former professional athlete with the leadership savvy, decision-making and strategic skills required to run a business. My passion for story-telling got me enamored with advertising, branding and marketing as it is a blend of being creative and strategic at the same time. In the long run I would love to work for a multinational firm or brand, where my cross-cultural experience could be of value. Miami is full of opportunities and I am excited to see what’s next.”