Of the million Hispanics that live in Miami-Dade County, a UM professor was chosen as one of the most influential.
Jaime Suchlicki, an Emilio Bacardi Moreau Distinguished Professor of History and director of the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies (ICCAS) at UM, made the list of “Top 100 Latinos in Miami.” The selections were made by the Fundacion Fusionarte of Spain, a prominent group specializing in European, Latin American and American minorities. After years of honoring Hispanics in Spain, Fusionarte decided to continue the tradition in Miami and solicited the help of community leaders and businessmen within the Miami area.
The listed honored Hispanics are recognized for their hard work, creativity and intelligence, as well as how they have economically, socially and culturally helped the development of Miami and its Latino community.
Others chosen for the list include singer Gloria Estefan, painter Romero Britto, baseball player Mike Lowell and television personality Don Francisco.
“I was very surprised,” said Suchlicki, who was chosen for his accomplishments as a professor, editor and author, along with his work within the Cuban community. “My wife and my kids are very proud.”
Suchlicki, 71, has published articles, books and textbooks on Latin-American affairs.
After 40 years of teaching, he has turned his focus to other interests. He is the director of Casa Bacardi, an interactive cultural center that showcases Cuban history on the UM campus, and the editor in chief of the Cuban Affairs Journal, a quarterly electronic journal.
“At this stage of my life I am happier directing the institute than teaching,” Suchlicki said.
Susel Perez, assistant to the editor of the Cuban Affairs Journal and one of Suchlicki’s colleagues, values his reliability.
“The most important thing is having someone that can support you in everything you do and he is definitely a person that can do that,” Perez said. “He is someone that you know you can always count on.”
Vanessa Lopez, research assistant at the ICCAS, admires Suchlicki for his knowledge.
“It’s really inspiring working with him,” Lopez said. “He is like a history book sometimes… his knowledge of everything is really quite amazing.”
Alexis Kanarek may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.