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Today is National Unplugging Day—Here’s why you should join in

Photo credit: flickr.com

National Day of Unplugging, a holiday created to bring awareness to the hold that technology has on the everyday person, is next Friday, March 5. A holiday you may not have heard of, participants in this annual tradition bathe in a digital detox for 24 hours– no cell phones, no laptops…just mindfulness.

The holiday originates from a Jewish nonprofit called ‘Reboot,’ an organization that started in New York City but is rapidly growing in cities across the country. If you’re thinking, “I’m not Jewish,” don’t worry. The holiday is for everyone, regardless of religious affiliation.

In recent years, the event has had hundreds of thousands of participants nationwide, and it is looking to be a major hit again this year. According to the celebration’s website, it aims to help participants “start living a different life: connect with the people in your street, neighborhood and city, have an uninterrupted meal or read a book to your child.”

Audrey Cleary, a University of Miami licensed clinical psychologist, spoke with The Miami Hurricane about why putting your phone down for a bit to focus on the world around you might not sound as bad as you think.

“Mindfulness can be as simple as becoming aware of what is around you– experiencing the sounds, sensations and your senses as a whole,” she explained. “You can deliberately become mindful in the moment with effort, but in general, focusing on one thing helps. Also, focus on gratitude and appreciation. Take time to focus on what you’re appreciative for. It can improve your happiness and overall well being.”

Cleary also spoke about the negative side effects of cell phone overuse, often seen in college students across the nation.

“Cell phone usage can be too much when it starts causing problems in your life. The distraction from academics it brings, and conflict in relationships. Not being present with the people around you can be a sign,” she said. “Social media can also bring on negative comparisons to other people. You don’t want to compare yourself to the negative, edited versions of someone else.”

According to Cleary, the benefits of unplugging can be monumental. Breaking the habit of always having to check your cell phone over and over again for notifications can be a positive experience. Yes, technology has provided many benefits into everyday life, but no one should want to feel locked down by their cell phone.

“It can be healthful to not have to focus on your cell phone and other technology. Kicking away that demand on your attention can help a person get reconnected with their natural environment. Getting aware of your emotional experiences can make the urge of your cell phone less powerful. Even just being present and aware of the negative emotions in your mind like sadness or anxiety can help you feel better about them since you know they are there.”

She continued to list the specific benefits of unplugging, saying that the awareness and physical contact with other people around you to be especially powerful. She says that when you are face to face with a person, your communication can often feel way more authentic. According to Cleary, an improved sleep schedule is another benefit worth mentioning.

Psychologists and researchers have begun identifying disorders that exist when individuals are unable to go lengths of time without their cell phone. One such disorder, known as ‘phone separation anxiety,’ is a struggle that many students deal with every day.

This disorder may sound funny or peculiar, but according to Cleary, it is not a joke. It is defined as “a sense of fear and panic when separated from a mobile phone and the overwhelming fear of anxiety coming from the inability to immediately respond to a notification or have your device in your hand.”

“If having immediate contact with your cell phone is something you’ve learned to depend on, it’s definitely real,” she explained. “If students are feeling anxious about not having their cell phone, it’s important to really think about why. Identify what the fear is, and challenge your fears associated with the phone.”

She listed several questions that students who think they may have this disorder might want to consider in order to try and cure their separation anxiety.

“What do you think you’re missing out on? Do you feel like you’ll really miss out on those things? Are the consequences really as bad as you think they are?”

Whatever the case is, she assured that phone separation anxiety does not have to be permanent. It can be overcome with a little cognitive work.

So, whether you unplug or plug in, make sure to think again about your technology habits. While 24 hours away from a cell phone may not immediately cure problems, everyone has to start somewhere.

Featured image from flickr.com.

A freshman’s guide to student employment

One of the more popular student employment opportunities for UM students is working at the Herbert Wellness Center on campus.Positions available to students include fitness assistant, front desk assistant, operations assistant, intramural referee and lifeguard. Photo credit: Instagram, @umiamiwellness.
One of the more popular student employment opportunities for UM students is working at the Herbert Wellness Center on campus.Positions available to students include fitness assistant, front desk assistant, operations assistant, intramural referee and lifeguard.
One of the more popular student employment opportunities for UM students is working at the Herbert Wellness Center on campus.Positions available to students include fitness assistant, front desk assistant, operations assistant, intramural referee and lifeguard. Photo credit: Instagram, @umiamiwellness.

Going to college is expensive, especially in Miami. Whether you want to offset living expenses, pay for books or need some extra pocket money, student employment gives you the opportunity to gain work experience and earn a wage. Here’s what you will need to know if you’re looking to take advantage of those opportunities.

The University of Miami has approximately 5,500 student employees working on campus, and with a variety of on- and off-campus jobs, the school makes it easy for students seeking employment.

Type of Employment

There are two options for employment: on-campus and off-campus jobs.

On-campus jobs allow students the benefit of arranging work around their class schedule and activities as well as easy accessibility. Off-campus jobs allow students a wider range to pick from, but transportation can often become an issue without a car or close proximity to the Metrorail.

Students who seek employment through the school can pick from both types of jobs, but their employment is broken down even further into federal work study (FWS) and non-federal work study jobs. FWS is a need-based program granted to students through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the average annual award amount at the University of Miami is $3,000.

FWS jobs offered off-campus fit into the category of Community Service Work Study and involve programs such as America Reads, which allows students to get paid for community service. While some jobs on campus are FWS only, students who do not qualify can seek the many student-assistant jobs, from the library to the pool to the athletic department.

What to Expect

The average number of hours a student employee at UM works per week is 12 to 15 hours, but some students might choose to work up to 20 hours a week.

The current minimum wage in the state of Florida is $8.65, but the average hourly rate on campus is $9.05 according to the Office of Undergraduate Financial Assistance and Employment. Ideally, students should try to find a job that works around their class schedule, pays well and allows for flexibility in cases of emergency.

Where to Find Jobs

The easiest way for students to find a job both on and off campus is through the university’s student employment job posting site, JobX, which allows students to search through a variety of jobs, while personally tailoring to their class schedule and interest.

For off-campus opportunities, students can also check out other job listing sites such as Indeed and ZipRecruiter or individual sites for other companies.

Come Prepared

It’s important to come prepared with the proper documentation. You will need to prove that you are eligible to work in the United States. Two common ways to do this are through a valid US passport or a driver’s license and Social Security Card or birth certificate, while international students will need to provide the I-20 and I-94 forms.

Not just football: Fall athletics include soccer, volleyball, cross country

Junior Maria Jakobsdottir scores the second goal of the game for Miami in a win over Florida International University on Sunday, March 14 at Cobb Stadium in Coral Gables. Jakonsdottir is a key returning member of the UM women's soccer team. Photo credit: Josh Halper
Junior Maria Jakobsdottir scores the second goal of the game for Miami in a win over Florida International University on Sunday, March 14 at Cobb Stadium in Coral Gables. Jakonsdottir is a key returning member of the UM women's soccer team.
Junior Maria Jakobsdottir scores the second goal of the game for Miami in a win over Florida International University on Sunday, March 14 at Cobb Stadium in Coral Gables. Jakonsdottir is a key returning member of the UM women’s soccer team. Photo credit: Josh Halper

With COVID-19 protocols and regulations winding down, fans can expect fall sports teams to resume their normal activities. Here’s what to expect from women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s cross country.

Women’s soccer

For the women’s soccer team, that means looking to improve on its 1-11-1 record from last season. With the departure of senior forward Tia Dupont, the Canes are looking for a new leader on the offensive side of the field. Rising sophomore Mia Atrio is one of many young players expected to play a more active role. Last season the forward appeared in 12 games but only started five. However, Atrio had one of the highest shot attempts on the roster, taking seven total with three of those shots being on goal.

On the back-end of the field, Canes fans can expect to see veteran goalkeepers Tyler Speaks and Melissa Dagenais leading the defense. Last season the two had a healthy dose of competition, sharing the role as a starter. Speaks appeared in 10 games for the Canes, starting nine of them and accounting for 40 saves. Dagenais appeared in four games, starting three and accounting for 20 saves.

With three months off from the end of the spring season to the start of the fall season, head coach Sarah Barnes said she hopes her players will take advantage of the time off to prepare for the new season.

“For them, it’s what they do when they’re away from us,” Barnes said. “They’ve gotta make sure that they’re committed to the fitness side of things; they have to make sure that they’re technically improving, they’re watching the game and improving tactically.”

Volleyball

Coming off an inaugural spring season, the women’s volleyball team and head coach Jose “Keno” Gandara will welcome eight freshmen this fall. The team played in the fall and the spring last season, finishing with an 11-7 record with wins over the University of North Carolina, Duke and rival Florida State.

Gandara lauded his players for their effort all season long.

“It was a group effort this whole season with the next-man up mentality,” Gandara said. “It was a matter of our players understanding new concepts.

Freshmen Yaidaliz Rosado and Nyah Anderson joined the team for the spring season but didn’t appear in any matches. Six other freshmen will join them this fall, including high school standout Hanna Bissler. Also joining the team is Ashley Carr, Kendall Lukachek, Alanys Viera, McKayla Vincent and Peyman Yardimci.

While the departures of seniors Elizaveta Lukianova and Janet Kalaniuvalu, who both received All-East Coast Region honors, will leave a gap in the team’s rosters, fans can expect rising juniors Savannah Vach and Janice Leao to play a more active leadership role.

Vach currently ranks sixth in career assists at Miami and in eight matches last season had 378 assists, five aces, 19 blocks and eight kills. Leao was at the front of last season’s sweep of FSU, leading the way with 11 kills, two aces and six blocks.

Cross country

The men and women’s cross country teams are looking to improve this season after both teams placed 15th in the ACC championships. After breaking into Miami’s top-10 all-time list last season in the 6K, senior Emma Langlois will be returning for a final year while obtaining her masters in health administration.

Additionally, retuners Daphnee Lavassas and Sierra Oliveira will look to build off last season’s late success. After the COVID-19 pandemic delayed her initial freshman season, Lavassas broke into Miami’s all-time top-10 6K list in her first meet. Oliveira is coming off a strong outdoor track season where she ran a 400 meter time of 54.75 and debuted in Miami’s 4×400 meter relay.

On the men’s side, rising junior Andrew Madden will be making his return after leading the Canes for much of last season. Madden currently ranks ninth in program history in the 8K and was the first Cane to break into the top-10 list since 2017.

Aspiring marine scientist Jetty Porter to enter UM this fall

Jetty Porter, an incoming freshman from Hollywood, Florida, is entering UM as a marine biology and ecology. She spent most of her time in high school conducting research on coral, different kids of fish and sharks. Photo credit: Jetty Porter
Jetty Porter, an incoming freshman from Hollywood, Florida, is entering UM as a marine biology and ecology. She spent most of her time in high school conducting research on coral, different kids of fish and sharks.
Jetty Porter, an incoming freshman from Hollywood, Florida, is entering UM as a marine biology and ecology. She spent most of her time in high school conducting research on coral, different kids of fish and sharks. Photo credit: Jetty Porter

Two weeks before a planned hip replacement during her junior year of high school, incoming freshman Jetty Porter journeyed to the Virgin Islands to conduct coral disease surveys. Porter, who is from Hollywood, Florida, embarked on the two-week research project to collect coral data for the College of Charleston, an experience Porter said sparked her interest in marine science.

“There’s a part of me that loves just getting to be out there in the field and interacting with animals one-on-one and really being able to connect with what I’m studying on a personal level,” she said.

At age eight, Porter was diagnosed with congenital hip dysplasia, a condition stemming from a malformation of the hip socket that can impede movement and cause serious pain if left untreated. So far, she has undergone eight major surgeries.

“My whole educational experience has been balancing a medical struggle with learning,” Porter said.

“I would have a new cast almost every six months, but I’ve always tried to do what I love to do, even if it hurt or was a struggle,” she continued.

Porter’s condition hasn’t stopped the South Broward Marine Science Magnet Program student from commuting to the Florida Keys two hours per week to conduct field research on Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease, a bacterial pathogen affecting more than 30 species of corals that spreads through water and leads to high coral mortality.

Porter said she is eager to start attending classes at the University of Miami, where she plans to declare majors in marine biology and ecology.

“I really just love everything about marine science, and I’m really excited just to have a big pool of opportunities just to get involved with at UM,” she said.

Porter said she chose to enroll at UM for its Shark Tagging Program. In high school, she accompanied UM students as a part of the Shark Research and Conservation university team on several trips to areas including the Florida Keys. Their job is to place body tags on sharks to record data about their body temperature, energy levels and locations. Porter said after working with the group for several years in high school, she hopes to continue her passion for the program at UM.

“At the college level I really want to lead some of the expeditions and take a more hands-on role with collecting and sorting through the data,” she said.

Back at her Hollywood home, Porter has been collecting tilapia and koi fish for her high school research lab. In her free time, Porter said she loves to scuba dive. She recently received a grant to support her research work with the UM Shark Tagging Program from the Women Divers Hall of Fame, an organization that provides a platform for female exploratory divers to share their scientific research and insights with the public. The soon-to-be freshman is also currently pursuing her rescue diving certification.

Porter added that while demanding, marine science research does have its benefits.

“Sometimes we would go out really early in the mornings to study aquatic life, and after the trip we would head to the lab to analyze the data and only be done at sundown,” she said.

“There’s something about being in the ocean before sunrise and really just immersing yourself in a field that could have deep impacts like marine science,” she continued, “It’s a lot of fun.”

The University of Miami Shark Research and Conservation Program offers a variety of undergraduate internships in addition to expeditions open to the general public. Visit the website here for more information.

Graduate deans share journeys to academia, advice for first-year students

Henri Ford, dean of the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, was a disc jockey and barber in high school. Ford is now married with two children. Photo credit: Henri Ford

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Dean Henri Ford – Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine

Henri R. Ford became dean of the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine on June 1, 2018, after serving as the senior vice president and chief of surgery at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. He received his bachelor’s degree in public and international affairs from Princeton University and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School. Ford also holds a master’s of health administration from the School of Policy, Planning and Development at the University of Southern California.

Ford, who was a DJ and a barber in high school, is married with two children. He says he is motivated by his family’s support and the chance to make a difference in the lives of students and the Miami community.

“I am a servant leader who believes that ‘there is no satisfactory substitute for excellence,” Ford said.

Ford says he is excited for what the future holds and propelled by the opportunity to guide a new generation of physicians.

“I look forward to many more years of inspiring our medical students to serve and transforming them into outstanding physicians and physician scientists.”

His advice to freshmen is short, sweet and to the point: “Never quit, never give up, and no simply means not now.”

Dean Guillermo Prado – Graduate School

Guillermo “Willy” Prado came to the University of Miami as a faculty member in 2007 after being recruited from Florida International University. He was officially promoted to dean of UM’s Graduate School in February 2016. Prado’s research focuses on reducing health disparities, with a special interest in reducing substance use and HIV disparities among Hispanic adolescents. Since graduating from UM with a doctorate in public health and epidemiology, Prado has worked to promote mental health awareness, end the obesity epidemic and eliminate disparities in health care. In addition to his role as dean, Prado serves as UM’s vice provost for student affairs. He is committed to faculty advancement, professional development for graduate students, and student diversity, equity and inclusion.

Prado, whose father is from Mexico and mother is from Cuba, was born in Mexico. He considers himself both Mexican-American and Cuban-American, and says his family is his source of inspiration.

Prado is motivated by his desire to help people, which he says learning and working at UM has enabled him to do on a wide scale.

“I have been incredibly fortunate to have loved every role I have had at UM over the years,” Prado said. “I am always motivated by the populations I serve – whether that be faculty, students or the broader South Florida community.”

Prado advises new students to use their UM education as an opportunity to achieve their dreams.

“Study and work hard, have fun (at UM and always in life) and stay humble. Always remember, you can achieve all that you want to.”

Acting Dean Stephen J. Schnably – School of Law

Acting School of Law Dean Stephen J. Schnably came to the University of Miami as a law professor in 1988. Schnably, who was appointed acting dean on July 1, earned his bachelor’s and Juris Doctor from Harvard, and later clerked for Judge Leonard Garth of the U.S. Court of Appeals. He then studied at University College, Oxford, on a Knox Fellowship, before going back to his hometown of Washington, D.C., to practice law at the WilmerHale law firm. Although Schnably was born in Oak Park, Ill, he grew up in northern Virginia. His practice at Wilmer focused on commercial litigation and international arbitration.

Schnably has worked on several high profile cases throughout his career. He spent several years working on a lawsuit against the United States brought by the people of Enewetak, a Pacific atoll. The lawsuit arose out of the U.S. military’s use of Enewetak for more than 40 nuclear tests between 1948 and 1958. Schnably also represented the family of Hugo Spadafora on a pro-bono basis before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. He went on to win a ruling that Panama – under the control of its army commander General Manuel Noriega – was responsible for the horrific torture and murder of Spadafora, a Panamanian opposition figure.

At Miami Law, Schnably has taught constitutional law, property, international human rights law and a seminar on “The Criminalization of Homelessness.” The seminar grew out of his long-time role as ACLU co-counsel with Benjamin Waxman from 1994-2019 in Pottinger v. City of Miami, a case that led the federal district to approve a consent decree that protected the rights of persons experiencing homelessness against repeated arrests for minor infractions such as obstructing the sidewalk.

Schnably advises new students to explore the various opportunities offered by UM and the Miami community.

“Use your time in college to open up new horizons – take some courses outside your comfort zone, get involved in student organizations, explore the Everglades with new friends,” he said. “Make sure you get plenty of writing experience – you’ll be glad you did no matter what career path you follow. And if you’re thinking about law school, come visit us at Miami Law – we’re right across from the Shalala Student Center.”

UM administrators confident Greek Life can return to normal this year

Photo credit: Instagram/@UMPanhellenic
Photo credit: Instagram/@UMPanhellenic

After a long year of remote events and disciplinary action, the Dean of Students Office is optimistic that Greek life on campus will begin the transition back to normality this fall.

“I’d like to have a normal year again, I think the whole world would like to have a normal year again,” said Steven Priepke, senior associate dean of students. “We’re thankful that there is some kind of light at the end of this COVID tunnel.”

Many of the fraternities complied with UM covid guidelines, but there were rampant violations. The dean of students office took disciplinary action against fraternities that hosted events without following university protocol. Alpha Epsilon Pi, Sigma Chi and Beta Theta Pi were suspended as result of disregarding COVID-19 protocols in the spring. Sigma Alpha Mu was kicked off campus last fall for unrelated reasons.

On May 27, President Julio Frenk announced changes to COVID-19 protocols for this fall in a video message addressing the University of Miami community. These changes include discontinuing the use of the daily symptom checker, lifting the mask mandate from indoor administrative areas and outdoors, and updated vaccine and COVID screening policies.

While these changes will have cascading effects on social and academic life across campus, it is still unclear exactly how much freedom UM’s Greek life will have for social events at the start of the semester.

“We just don’t have the framework yet to tell what will be approved come August,” Priepke said. “I don’t know when to expect that; I hope sooner than later and know students feel the same way. But you know, the more and more students that come back vaccinated, the better off we’ll all be to have those events.”

Priepke and Cristina Luna, assistant dean of students and director of Greek life, say they are hopeful that the normal operations of Greek life will gradually return to campus in the fall. However, as UM adapts its COVID-19 and on-campus public health policies, there is little certainty surrounding what Greek life will look like come fall.

“We had to hold student organizations accountable. You know, that’s difficult sometimes and can strain the relationship,” Priepke said. “We’re hopeful we don’t have to be in that situation again this year, but if we are, our office won’t hesitate to hold them accountable again.”

UM recognizes 26 social fraternities and sororities on campus from the Interfraternity Council, the Multicultural Greek COuncil, the National Pan-Hellenic Council and the Panhellenic Association. The three fraternities suspended for violating Covid guidelines are members of the Interfraternity Council.

Fraternities that were suspended have to meet education sanctions set by their respective national offices before returning in the fall. Some fraternities will return on some form of probation, depending on each case. Luna and Priepke did not verify which fraternities would be returning on probation.

Despite the discord between Greek life and administration last year, Luna says that there is “always a good working relationship” between the two bodies and says she hopes that this past year will be a point of growth for both fraternities and sororities.

“I think if anything, there were a lot of innovative and creative ways that they learned to engage members that may or may not have been socially invested,” Luna said. “I think it opens new doors to how they operate in the future.”

Here’s where to visit to take advantage of living in Miami

Ocean Drive, the street that borders South Beach from South Pointe Drive to 15th Street, is known for its restaurants, nightlife and Art Deco architecture. Photo credit: Cayla Ninmo
Ocean Drive, the street that borders South Beach from South Pointe Drive to 15th Street, is known for its restaurants, nightlife and Art Deco architecture.
Ocean Drive, the street that borders South Beach from South Pointe Drive to 15th Street, is known for its restaurants, nightlife and Art Deco architecture. Photo credit: Cayla Ninmo

Miami is more than just palm trees, beaches, over-crowded nightclubs and all the other things Will Smith sings about in his hit 1998 single, “Miami.”

The entire South Florida community buzzes with life. It celebrates cultural diversity, uniting people of different backgrounds from around the globe and has created hotspots, like Little Havana and Little Haiti, that Hispanic and Caribbean communities call home. It features unique art rich with history, from the iconic Wynwood Walls to the exotic exhibits in the Perez Art Museum. And, of course, you can’t forget about the year-round summer weather fit for any tropical vacation.

In its short history, Miami has evolved from a retirement town to one of the most electric, vibrant and popular cities in the United States, and it continues to grow as an international hotspot for entertainment, business and commerce.

The University of Miami has the luxury of being perfectly situated at the heart of the greater Miami area. UM’s main campus in Coral Gables is just a short drive away from the downtown area and many of Miami’s suburbs, including Key Biscayne, Coconut Grove, South Miami and Kendall.

To help incoming Hurricanes get to know their new home and take advantage of the “I live where you vacation” Instagram caption, The Miami Hurricane has created a totally-not-comprehensive guide to the best South Florida has to offer.

Below is the first of a four-part series covering the best things to do in Miami once you start college at The U.

1.Wynwood Walls

The Wynwood Walls is an outdoor art museum located about 10 miles northeast of campus, just north of downtown Miami. Throughout the streets of Wynwood, graffiti adorns the walls of buildings in every direction, creating a colorful, exotic atmosphere in an area full of shops and restaurants.

Since 2009, the year of the project’s inception, the Wynwood Walls has featured the work of more than 50 artists representing 16 countries. Collectively, they have covered more than 80,000 square feet of walls with their art.

While visitors can stroll by the outdoor murals at their own pleasure, the Wynwood Walls does offer a 50-minute guided group tour, which begins at the Second Avenue entrance.

2. Miami Design District

Just north of Wynwood and about 11 miles northeast from campus is the Miami Design District, another hub for art, design, fashion and architecture in the Miami area. The Design District, similar to the Wynwood Walls, showcases artistic expression in unconventional, yet creative ways.

The area features two parking garages, City View Garage and Museum Garage, that are must-visit sites for photography. Both feature abstract exteriors, floors and staircases that burst with color, and the garages’ rooftops offer sights of the downtown Miami skyline.

The area’s focal point is a shopping center with high-end jewelry stores, boutiques, restaurants and temporary outdoor art exhibits.

Our favorite spots are the outdoor food trucks by the shopping center. Among them is Caja Caliente, famous for its Cuban tacos, and Meli Gourmet Greek Donuts.

3. Bayside Marketplace

Bayside Marketplace is a festive shopping center about eight miles northeast of campus in downtown Miami, and it is one of the most-visited attractions in the area. From live music on a seaside patio to restaurants and stores, Bayside has something for everyone.

Despite having opened in 1987, Bayside continues to expand and modernize while maintaining its classic, beachy feel. One of the site’s latest additions includes the Skyviews Observation Wheel, a ferris wheel that is the first of its kind in Miami and offers views of both the ocean and the downtown area.

4. FTX Arena

Right across the street from Bayside and up Biscayne Boulevard is FTX Arena, formerly known as the AmericanAirlines Arena and home to the Miami Heat basketball team. When the three-time NBA champions are not on the court, FTX Arena is repurposed for concerts, musical theatre performances and other shows.

If you’re lucky, you may even find Heat All-Star Jimmy Butler selling cups of his famous $20 Big Face Coffee drinks.

5. Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science

Three blocks north of FTX Arena is the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, an interactive and innovative attraction that opened in 2017. The six-level museum has an aquarium, a planetarium, an observation deck that looks over Biscayne Bay and an array of temporary exhibits.

6. Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM)

Adjacent to the science museum on the northeast side is Perez Art Museum Miami, a contemporary and modern art museum that collects and exhibits art from international artists in the 20th and 21st centuries.

The museum also has a must-see outdoor area with gardens and sculptures and is part of the 20-acre Museum Park, formerly known as Bicentennial Park.

PAMM was originally founded in 1984 as the Center for Fine Arts. It was then known as the Miami Art Museum from 1996 until 2013, when the museum relocated to downtown Miami.

7. Adrienne Arsht Center

A few blocks past the MacArthur Causeway and on the western end of Biscayne Boulevard is the Adrienne Arsht Center – Miami’s premier destination for the performing arts.

As one of the largest arts centers in the country, the Adrienne Arsht Center hosts an array of events throughout the year, including stand-up comedy shows, musicals, ballets and plays.

On July 8, the Adrienne Arsht Center announced they will begin opening some of their auditoriums at full capacity for the first time since the start of the pandemic, marking a significant step forward in bringing the performing arts back to South Florida.

In the coming months, the Adrienne Arsht Center has a full slate of events scheduled, including the first show of comedian and “Patriot Act” star Hasan Minhaj’s “The King’s Jester” tour on Friday, Sept. 17.

8. Brickell City Centre

Brickell City Centre is an upscale shopping and dining destination on the southern end of downtown Miami complete with four levels of entertainment that interconnect over three city blocks.

The shopping center’s most notable destinations include a 107,000-square-foot Saks Fifth Avenue and a Cinemax movie theater.

9. South Beach and South Pointe Park

South Beach and Miami are synonymous, and for good reason. Despite the many beaches in the Miami area, there are none quite like South Beach. About 13 miles northeast of campus and across the MacArthur Causeway, the crystal-clear waters and soft white sand of South Beach are not the only things that make this destination a must-do.

On the southern tip of South Beach is South Pointe Park, which provides panoramic views of the South Beach shoreline, has trails for walking and biking, restaurants, a water playground and a dog park. The easternmost end of the park is South Pointe Pier, a popular fishing spot that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, the Port of Miami and the beach.

The South Beach area also has several clubs for students 21 and older, but that’s not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Miami, right?

10. Ocean Drive

It may take longer to drive through it than it would to walk, but a trip to Ocean Drive is necessary for any South Beach adventure. Located just off the beach, Ocean Drive is known for its restaurants, nightlife and Art Deco architecture, which has been shown in a variety of films and television series taking place in the area, including “Scarface,” “Miami Vice” and “Bad Boys.”

It is also not uncommon to find luxury vehicles on the street, and many of them are likely worth more than all four years of your UM tuition.

11. Lincoln Road

Sixteen miles northeast of campus and running from east to west between 16th and 17th streets in Miami Beach is Lincoln Road, Miami’s world-famous shopping destination for unemployed, indebted freshmen.

Lincoln Road features more than 200 retailers, galleries and restaurants. As an outdoor attraction, there is also an outdoor farmer’s market every Sunday between Washington and Meridian avenues.

If you’re looking to escape the oftentimes overwhelming hustle-bustle of South Beach and Ocean Drive, Lincoln Road is a great tourist attraction to visit, and its proximity to the beach is a plus.

12. Miracle Mile

Miracle Mile is Coral Gables’ downtown area, spanning east to west from Le Jeune to Douglas roads. On each end of the street, shops and restaurants line every block, making it a popular hangout and dining destination.

13. Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden

The Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden, about four miles south from campus, is an 83-acre garden consisting of a variety of tropical plants, trees and nature trails. While it is known as a major tourist attraction, it doubles as a laboratory and biodiversity conservation research facility.

If you find yourself near Miami during the holiday season, Fairchild’s NightGarden exhibit offers a breathtaking experience, complete with illusions, animations, holograms and a light show.

14. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Coconut Grove is one of the most photographed and visited locations in all of Miami.

In the 20th century, the present-day museum was built as the winter home of businessman James Deering, who hired 1,000 workers to build his dream mansion with more than 70 rooms and Italian Renaissance gardens.

Ownership of the estate has since been transferred to Miami-Dade County, which opened Vizcaya to the public as a museum. Today, visitors can tour the vast majority of the property both in and out, and it is frequently used for filming, photography, weddings and quinceañera photos.

15. Cocowalk

The heartbeat of Coconut Grove can be found in Cocowalk, a newly renovated shopping mall with restaurants, a movie theater and retail shops. With its close proximity to the water, public parks and strips of restaurants and stores, Cocowalk is centrally located in one of Miami’s most popular districts for hungry or thirsty students.

16. Crandon Park

Beyond the Rickenbacker Causeway about 11 miles from campus and in the northern part of Key Biscayne is Crandon Park, an 808-acre hotspot for beach activities. The area offers opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding, sailing, snorkeling and windsurfing. For the days when an Uber to South Beach might empty your bank account, Crandon offers a calmer alternative to de-stress.

However, if you’re looking to spend most of your time relaxing in the water, you might want to find another beach in the area; Crandon Park tends to have a lot of seaweed and seagrass close to shore.

17. Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

Two miles south of Crandon Park is Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. It is located on the southern tip of Key Biscayne and houses the town’s most famous beach. Bill Baggs is also home to the Cape Florida Lighthouse – known as “El Farito” to Miami’s Spanish-speaking community – which can be accessed by visitors and offers beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Aside from the beach and the lighthouse, Bill Baggs also has several fishing docks lining the coast of Key Biscayne.

18. loanDepot park

Formerly known as Marlins Park, loanDepot park – yes, you read that right – is the home of the two-time World Series Champion Miami Marlins.

The stadium is located in Little Havana about six miles northeast of campus and on the same grounds of the famed Orange Bowl, where the Miami Hurricanes used to dominate the college football world. They may not play at the Orange Bowl stadium any longer, but the Hurricanes – ranked No. 10 in the pre-season – will look to play in the Orange Bowl playoff game at Hard Rock Stadium this New Year’s Eve.

Fitted with a retractable roof to combat Miami’s heat and rain, loanDepot park is also a venue for a variety of other events. In its near-decade-long history, the ballpark has hosted football games, soccer games, rounds of the World Baseball Classic, monster truck events and concerts.

During the Major League Baseball season, college students can sign up for the Miami Marlins Student Pass to get special pricing discounts on weekday home games.

19. Hard Rock Stadium

As an incoming Hurricane, odds are you’ve heard of Hard Rock Stadium, the home of Canes Football. However, it is also home to the Miami Dolphins NFL team.

Since opening in 1987, the Miami Gardens stadium has hosted six Super Bowls, the 2010 Pro Bowl, the Marlins’ two World Series Championships, Wrestlemania, boxing matches, concerts and more.

While it is a 20-mile drive north of campus with little to do in the surrounding residential area, Hard Rock Stadium’s expansive outdoor parking lots are perfect for tailgates, pick-up football games and other pre-game festivities.

For students without a car, UM’s UBus shuttles give students with a Cane Card and game ticket free rides to Hard Rock Stadium from Stanford Circle. The buses pick up students as early as three hours prior to kickoff and continue until a half hour before kickoff, and they begin returning students to campus from halftime until 30 minutes post-game.

20. Seminole Hard Rock Hotel

Once you check out Hard Rock Stadium, you might as well check out the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel, which is just a short drive north of the stadium.

Also known as The Guitar Hotel, it is one of the most distinguished architectural marvels in South Florida. If you ever find yourself in the Miami Gardens area at night, the guitar-themed resort will be impossible to miss. Once the sun sets, the exterior of the hotel shines with colored lights and the neck of the guitar sends a beacon of light into the sky.

While incoming freshmen would not be able to take advantage of the casino built into the hotel, a tour of the resort is worth the time in and of itself. From its high-end restaurants to the art galleries and shops in the hotel lobby, there’s plenty to do.

21. BB&T Center

The BB&T Center is the home of the Florida Panthers NHL hockey team and is located in Sunrise, 38 miles north from campus. While the arena is just outside of Miami-Dade County, the Panthers used to play in the now-demolished Miami Arena before moving north.

Since being founded in 1993, the Panthers have struggled to find success in the ice rink. Despite having made the playoffs six times in their history, they were eliminated without a series win on five occasions. Here’s hoping our incoming freshmen will bring some luck with them, if not the ghost of Wayne Gretzky.

Similar to loanDepot park, the BB&T Center has several student benefits as part of its Student Rush program. All student tickets are $20 including parking, and the arena’s rooftop lounge, known as “The Library,” is the official student section for Panthers’ home games.

22. DRV PNK Stadium

DRV PNK Stadium – home to the Inter Miami soccer club – is the newest addition to Miami’s sports scene. While the destination opened in July 2020 to accommodate Inter Miami’s inaugural season, the team will eventually relocate south from Fort Lauderdale – about a 40-minute drive north – to Miami and play in Miami Freedom Park.

Many questions remain on the status of Miami Freedom Park, but until their move is completed, DRV PNK Stadium will continue to host Miami’s fifth major professional sports team and its youth academy. Eager fans may also catch a glimpse of Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham, if his plane breaks down in the parking lot before he leaves for Cancun.

23. Versailles Restaurant

Versailles is Miami’s signature Cuban restaurant and is located on Eighth Street – or Calle Ocho. While customers can sit down and dine at a table, Versailles also has a bakery, takeout area and sections designated for banquets and large gatherings.

Among the restaurant’s most popular features is a walk-up window, where customers can order Cuban coffee, pastries and croquettes.

24. Flanigan’s Restaurant

Flanigan’s is a South Florida-based seafood bar and grill chain best known for its barbecue ribs. Whereas Versailles has only one location, Flanigan’s has multiple franchises spread throughout the Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Martin counties.

Fortunately for UM students, there is one just minutes away from campus in Coconut Grove.

25. Knaus Berry Farm

Every November through mid-April, the best cinnamon rolls on the planet can be found at Knaus Berry Farm in Homestead.

It may be a long commute from campus, even without any traffic, but Knaus Berry Farm is definitely worth a visit. While cinnamon rolls are its signature food item, the farm has a small market at its entrance that sells fruits, vegetables, milkshakes and other baked goods.

Beyond the market, visitors can also handpick their own strawberries and tomatoes and take them home.

Because Knaus Berry Farm is only open October through April, demand is always high. So, if you want to make the most of your experience in a short amount of time, arrive early in the morning and you’ll beat the lines and parking frenzies that occur in the afternoon.

Safety Avantae Williams dismissed from team after domestic violence charges

Freshman safety Avantae Williams has been dismissed from the team after he was arrested for multiple domestic violence charges. Williams, the No. 1 safety in the class of 2020, missed his first season with an undisclosed injury. Photo credit: Tim Brogdon/Miami Athletics
Freshman safety Avantae Williams has been dismissed from the team
Freshman safety Avantae Williams has been dismissed from the team after he was arrested for multiple domestic violence charges. Williams, the No. 1 safety in the class of 2020, missed his first season with an undisclosed injury. Photo credit: Tim Brogdon/Miami Athletics

Freshman safety Avantae Williams was dismissed from the Miami Hurricanes football program Thursday afternoon after he was arrested Wednesday night for multiple domestic violence charges. His dismissal comes shortly after being suspended from all team activities Thursday morning.

According to his arrest report issued by the Miami-Dade Police Department, Williams faces three counts of aggravated battery of a pregnant person. The victim, several months into her pregnancy, is Williams’s ex-girlfriend and Williams is the father of the unborn child.

Miami-Dade police say that the altercation between Williams and his former partner took place after an argument in their Kendall apartment, in which Williams left the apartment and told the victim she needed to leave the home by the time he returned.

Upon Williams’ return, he found her packing in their bedroom and proceeded to attack her.

The victim was taken to Kendall Regional Medical Center to be treated for broken fingernails and multiple bruises to her arms and neck.

Upon his arrest, Williams was taken to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center where he is being held on a $10,000 bond.

Williams, who sat out his freshman season due to medical concerns over a preseason exam, was the Hurricanes’ top recruit in the 2020 signing class, the top safety in the country, and the No. 45 overall recruit according to ESPN.

The university and football program have yet to release a public statement on the matter.

Eat! A selective campus dining guide

The recently opened Smoothie King in the Lakeside Village has become one of the more popular food options for UM students. Photo credit: Alex Carnochan
The recently opened Smoothie King in the Lakeside Village has become one of the more popular food options for UM students.
The recently opened Smoothie King in the Lakeside Village has become one of the more popular food options for UM students. Photo credit: Alex Carnochan

Considering all the hours freshmen spend on campus, knowing where to get the best meal for different appetites, palates and diets is important. It’s easy to fall into the convenience of just getting food from the dining hall, but the University of Miami provides plenty of options. Here is an evaluation of some campus dining options worthy of mention.

Hecht-Stanford Dining Hall

Monday – Friday: breakfast 7 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.; lunch 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.; dinner 4:30 – 7 p.m.; Saturday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., 5 – 8 p.m., late-night 11 p.m. – 2 a.m.; Sunday: 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., 5 – 9 p.m.

If you are a freshman living in the dorms, this is the dining hall you will eat at most of the time. Conveniently located between the Herbert Wellness Center and Stanford, the Hecht-Stanford Dining Hall operates on a meal swipe system, so one swipe at the door gets you unlimited food. In comparison to other college dining halls, UM’s dining halls are not too shabby. The breakfast and lunch options are actually appetizing. A customizable omelette station and a waffle maker – which only sometimes tastes like cardboard – are favorites among students. A sandwich/wrap station always has a line at least 10 minutes long and the french fries are respectable. There are always three different dinner options available. If they are cooking Latin food, make sure you get some because it is delicious. Overall, the freshman dining hall is a lively place to hang with friends and eat your heart out with good college food.

Mahoney Pearson Dining Hall

Monday – Friday: breakfast 7 – 10:30 a.m.; lunch 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.; dinner 4:30 – 9:30 p.m.; Saturday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., 5 – 8 p.m.; Sunday: 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., 5 – 9 p.m.

The Mahoney-Pearson Dining Hall was traditionally for upperclassmen, but freshmen travel across campus because it has gained a reputation for having higher quality food. The food options are relatively similar to Hecht-Stanford’s, although the two dining halls never offer the same food on the same days. If you are on the far side of campus for classes, it’s a convenient place to stop for breakfast or lunch. And, unlike the freshman dining hall, Mahoney-Pearson has outdoor seating.

Vicky Cafe

Food Court

Monday – Friday: 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Vicky Cafe is one of the main attractions of the food court. With Cuban food that ranges from pasteles (a traditional dish in several Latin American and Caribbean countries) to massive Cuban sandwiches, Vicky Cafe has everything you need to satisfy a Latin-food craving. For non-hispanics, beware of Cuban coffee though, because for one thing they put a boatload of sugar in if you don’t tell them not to, and Cuban coffee is hands down the strongest coffee you could possibly drink. Two sips in and it will undoubtedly give you the shakes, so make sure you pair it with a croqueta or empanada.

Sushi Maki

Food Court

Monday – Friday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Sushi Maki is the only place on campus to get sushi. Pretty standard, although some sushi connoisseurs will tell you it’s a waste of money because you can get much better sushi elsewhere off campus, which is probably true, but as a freshman without a car, if you want sushi, Sushi Maki has it.

Pollo Tropical

Food Court

Monday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Friday: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

If you go to Pollo Tropical, it’s because you love it, and if you don’t go to Pollo Tropical, it’s because you hate it. That’s all.

Tossed

Food Court

Monday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Friday: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

If you’re craving a salad, Tossed is pretty much the only option. Sometimes the lettuce is wilted, and definitely don’t order wraps because they are not great, but the salads are overall sufficient and you are able to customize your own. But make sure a salad is really what you want because they are expensive.

Lime

University Center

Monday – Friday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Saturday – Sunday: 4 – 10 p.m.

Lime is easily a favorite among UM students. It’s relatively inexpensive, good Mexican food. Unfortunately, Lime was closed the majority of this past spring semester, which upset a lot of students. But after students took it up with Student Government leaders, they were able to facilitate the return of the place. Tacos, burritos, quesadillas and loud music make it a great place to unwind after a late class or long-night working on campus. Be prepared to wait for a weirdly long time though because it’s always crowded and the service is slow.

“I am honestly very happy that Lime is back,” said sophomore Mario Gordon. “Lime is a late-night hangout that you go to when the dining hall is not open. Especially on Friday nights when the dining hall closes at 7 p.m., Lime is the go-to ”

Daybreak

Lakeside

Monday – Thursday: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturday – Sunday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Inspired by Buzzfeed’s Tasty-style videos, Daybreak centers around waffles. The restaurant, which opened during spring semester, is nestled on the first floor of one of the buildings in Lakeside Village and was designed to offer new dining options in fun and creative ways. Everything on the menu is under $8 and can be paid for with dining dollars, but not meal swipes.

“I appreciated how low the prices were,” said sophomore Amani Mmari. “But I think the addition of meal swipe options would really take this place to the next level.”

So far, the most popular menu item has been the chicken and waffles on a stick, says Elizabeth Berado, Daybreak manager. Unlike classic chicken and waffles, Daybreak’s is fried chicken cooked into the waffle rather than on the side. You can also purchase coffee, but if you appreciate good coffee, I would not go there specifically for coffee. Overall, Daybreak is definitely the unique food option on campus.

Smoothie King

Lakeside

Monday – Thursday: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturday – Sunday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Smoothie King also opened spring semester. As a popular smoothie chain, it has become one of the most visited places on campus. It’s a great location – in Lakeside Village facing out to Lake Osceola – which makes it easy to grab a smoothie on the go before class or after the gym.

Ana Alvarez, executive director of auxiliary services at UM, said UM wanted to bring in a smoothie place that resonated with what students want. Smoothie King prides itself on being all-natural with no artificial flavors or syrups, and it uses organic fruits and vegetables.

“Plenty of students want a full meal replacement…Smoothie king offers that,” Alvarez said. “We go to conferences, we hear about this stuff, and it is very relevant. You don’t have to have your traditional meat and potatoes meal to feel satisfied.

Einstein Bros Bagels

Law school

Students who go to Einstein Bagels will not be shy in telling you how much they love the place. Although the bagels are not New York bagel quality, for the cheap price, they are really good. And the coffee, which is equally as inexpensive, especially compared to Starbucks, is fantastic. The workers are always incredibly friendly, and if you go there, then you know Jonie Mae, a campus celebrity who will always genuinely and boisterously ask you how you are doing before taking your order. In between classes, there is always a line. Much to the dismay of students last year, Einstein was closed, and it is not known if it is returning.

Pura Vida

The Pura Vida on campus, located by Ponce de Leon, is a healthy, trendy place for students. With six other locations around Miami, Pura Vida has delicious food, but if you’re not using dining dollars, it is really expensive. The atmosphere inside is great though, and it’s a nice change to the heavy food that is offered at most other UM dining places. Pura Vida is another place that was closed during Covid, but students are hoping for its return.

Rathskeller

Shalala

Monday – Friday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

If you go to UM, you have to love the Rat. There is no alternative. In the ground level of Shalala facing out at Lake Osceola, the Rat is a sports-bar type place that offers foods ranging from the classic burgers and fries to tacos and salad bowls. The food is not mind-blowing, but it’s the Rat, you don’t always go there for the quality of the food. Prior to Covid, the Rat served alcohol and ordering pitchers of beer on a Thursday or Friday afternoon was a right of passage for students 21 and older, but this past year because of restrictions from Covid-19, the Rat stopped selling alcohol, which made students mad. There has been no decision on whether the restaurant will bring back alcohol in the fall semester. There was no indoor seating this past year either, but the gliders outside are a fun place to sit and dine.

Miami vs. Florida State: An exhilarating blockbuster rivalry

Canes defensive tackle Damione Lewis (92) breaks through the line and runs toward Florida State quarterback Chris Weinke in the legendary Wide Right III, where No. 7 Miami won 27-24 over No. 1 Florida State in 2000. Photo credit: UM Athletics
Damione Lewis (92) breaks through the line and runs towards FSU quarterback Chris Weinke in the legendary Wide Right II, where No. 7 Miami won 27-24 over No. 1 Florida State.
Canes defensive tackle Damione Lewis (92) breaks through the line and runs toward Florida State quarterback Chris Weinke in the legendary Wide Right III, where No. 7 Miami won 27-24 over No. 1 Florida State in 2000. Photo credit: UM Athletics

For decades, the Miami Hurricanes and the Florida State Seminoles have had one of the most distinguished rivalries in all of college football. From blown leads and miraculous comebacks to tightly-contested duels on the gridiron, history has proven time and again that any match between these two powerhouses is bound to be an exhilarating blockbuster.

The Hurricanes and Seminoles first began their battle for state supremacy in 1951, when Miami blew out Florida State 35-13. Since then, the two programs have competed in 64 additional games, with 31 of them being decided by one possession or less.

UM narrowly leads the all-time series with a record of 35-30, which was brought within one game in 2016. In 2010, the Seminoles embarked on a seven-game, seven-season win streak over the Canes. Throughout that span, Florida State stifled Miami’s offense, keeping the Hurricanes under 20 points on four occasions. UM has since gotten the best of their cross-state foe, winning the past four contests.

The heated rivalry that burns to this day between UM and FSU began in the 1980s, when both programs began to assert themselves as two of the best in the nation.

The early ‘80s pitted legendary coaches Howard Schnellenberger and Bobby Bowden against each other. Schnellenberger and the Hurricanes stacked the win column early and often, claiming a 3-1 record over the Seminoles from 1980 through 1983, when the Hurricanes earned their first national championship.

The following year, Florida State retaliated and humbled the defending national champions with a crushing 38-3 victory as Miami adapted to the new leadership of head coach Jimmy Johnson. The Hurricanes then went on to win the next four contests through 1988.

In 1987, the UM-FSU rivalry reached a climax. In front of a sold-out crowd in Tallahassee, No. 3 Miami and No. 4 Florida State competed on a field that featured more than 60 future NFL players, 10 of which were first-round draft selections.

The Seminoles led the game 19-3 with 16 minutes remaining, but in classic Hurricanes fashion, Miami owned the fourth quarter. Halfway through the fourth quarter, UM narrowed the deficit on a touchdown pass from quarterback Steve Walsh to Michael Irvin. The Canes then tied the game on a two-point conversion, and four plays later, Walsh and Irvin combined for a 73-yard touchdown to take a 26-19 lead.

With 42 seconds on the clock, Florida State quarterback Danny McManus found Ronald Lewis in the end zone, cutting the deficit to one. However, instead of going for the tie, Bowden made a last-minute executive decision to attempt a two-point conversion and go for the win.

“We had the extra-point team in, but I changed my mind. We had missed so many [kicks] today and the wind was really affecting our kicker,” Bowden said. “I was just afraid of missing it.”

An incomplete pass on the subsequent play shut the door on the Seminoles, rewarding the Canes a much-needed win in what would become their second championship season. Florida State went on to win the rest of their games, finishing the season with an 11-1 record and second place in national polls.

After being blown out 31-0 in 1988, Florida State got their revenge in 1989 with a 24-10 victory over Miami, snapping a four-game losing streak. However, the Hurricanes ultimately got the last laugh and went on to win their third national championship of the decade later that season.

In 1991, the UM-FSU rivalry reached another peak on a day that lives in eternal infamy for Florida State fans. The No.1 Seminoles (10-0) hosted the No. 2 Hurricanes (8-0) in a game that was held close all throughout. With under a minute remaining on the clock and Miami leading 17-16, Florida State kicker Gerry Thomas missed a 34-yard field goal, sending the Seminoles home with their first loss of the season.

The Hurricanes remained undefeated for the rest of the season and secured a fourth national title by shutting out the Nebraska Cornhuskers 22-0 in the Orange Bowl.

“To win one national championship is amazing. For guys to win their second in three years, that hasn’t been accomplished by many,” Dennis Erickson, UM Football’s head coach said in 1991. “That’s what makes this championship special, and it came in a situation where we had not been picked to be that good. Some people said we’d be No. 3 in the state of Florida.”

As if one game-deciding missed field goal wasn’t enough, the UM-FSU rivalry features five crucial games decided by whiffed field goals, which Canes fans have coined the “Wide Right” and “Wide Left” games.

The second of the series took place the next year. This time, however, the wide-right field goal attempt would have tied the game, as opposed to scoring the go-ahead points.

“There was no need to look,” Florida State kicker Dan Mowrey said. “I knew the moment I hit it that it was no good.”

The Seminoles ultimately fell to the Hurricanes 19-16. All was not lost, however, as FSU finished the year ranked second in the country after losing the national championship to the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Florida State dominated Miami and all of college football throughout the rest of the decade. From 1993 through 1999, FSU went 6-1 against UM and claimed its first two national titles.

In 2000, however, Wide Right III turned the tide in Miami’s favor and sparked a six-game win streak over Florida State that lasted until 2006. Within that span, UM earned its fifth national championship in 2001, dominating Nebraska once again with a 37-14 victory. Florida State’s trend of missed field goal attempts also continued into the next century with Wide Left I in 2002 and Wide Right IV in the 2004 Orange Bowl.

Since then, the Hurricanes have struggled to replicate their success versus Florida State, and every other team. Canes Football will enter the 2021 season having gone 6-10 versus FSU since 2004. The team has been mired in a 19-year championship drought since winning five titles in under 20 years. In Miami’s absence from championship contention, FSU added its third title in 2013 to tie the University of Florida for second most in the state.

While recent history has heavily favored the Seminoles, in 2018 the Hurricanes gave them an all-too-familiar taste of nostalgia that was bitter for FSU fans and sweet for UM fans.

Florida State led 27-7 in the second half, before Miami’s defense and quarterback N’Kosi Perry converted two FSU turnovers into touchdowns to bring the score to 27-21. At the start of the fourth quarter, the Canes erased their 20-point deficit for good with another touchdown pass to current Houston Texan Brevin Jordan, taking a one-point lead at 28-27. Then, of course, FSU crumbled under the pressure, missing yet another game-deciding field goal and surrendering the win to UM.

While the one-point thriller, now dubbed as Wide Left II, may have been a painful reminder of the past for Florida State fans, it was a comforting one for Miami fans. It proved that the rivalry between UM and FSU is still alive and well, and if history truly does repeat itself – as it has for 20 years – then there will certainly be another wide field goal attempt from the Seminoles in the future.

The win for Miami also granted the Canes their first win streak over Florida State since 2005, and it remains intact going into the 2021 season. In last season’s duel, the heated rivalry gave way to domination, as the Hurricanes bulldozed the Seminoles with a 52-10 victory at Hard Rock Stadium.

UM’s Roadmap to Our New Century plan offers Class of 2025 a glimpse of the future

The completion of Lakeside Village marks first of three major construction projects as outlined in the 'Roadmap to Our New Century,'  a multi-year plan that will advance UM's influence on society. Photo credit: UM Housing
The completion of Lakeside Village marks first of three major construction projects as outlined in the 'Roadmap to Our New Century,'  a multi-year plan that will advance UM's influence on society.
The completion of Lakeside Village marks first of three major construction projects as outlined in the 'Roadmap to Our New Century,'  a multi-year plan that will advance UM's influence on society. Photo credit: UM Housing

Upon graduation in 2025, members of today’s freshman class will celebrate their personal achievements as well at the University of Miami’s as it marks its centennial.

During the next four years, the university will have implemented many of President Julio Frenk’s goals to increase UM’s local and global stature and influence as a major private institution of higher learning.

In his 2016 inaugural presidential address, “Roadmap to Our New Century,” President Julio Frenk outlined a strategic, multi-faceted plan to advance UM’s influence and impact on a local, national and global scale by its 2025 centennial.

“The University of Miami can be a beacon of resilience, demonstrating that knowledge is the best instrument for facing adversity, and that school spirit is a form of strength,” Frenk said. “The University of Miami can be a model of renewal, redefining the global agenda and leading the way in the hemisphere, in the laboratory, in the classroom, on the playing fields and in service to society.”

After two years of planning, the roadmap was implemented in June 2018. The initiatives are categorized into four “aspirations” the university seeks to fulfill within the next four years: the hemispheric university, the excellent university, the relevant university and the exemplary university.

There are a number of priorities within the four categories that specifically detail the goals outlined in the roadmap, including establishing administrative excellence, a preeminent academic health system, mission-driven research, education for life and hemispheric leadership.

The roadmap was designed to revolutionize the academic life and culture at the University of Miami from faculty members to students.

It strives to create a culture of belonging for students, where respect, diversity and tolerance are core values. It aims to take advantage of Miami’s place as the gateway to the Americas by connecting the UM community with various cultures and ideas from around the globe. It aims to foster excellence in every academic field and endeavor, while expanding educational opportunities to deserving students.

Some of the roadmap’s most immediate effects have come from the Housing Facilities Strategic Plan, which completed its first of three phases of work with the opening of the Lakeside Village in August 2020.

Lakeside Village is located on the southern end of Lake Osceola and was built to maintain the current number of bed spaces for students while other construction and renovation projects occur on campus.

The futuristic student-housing complex features a variety of amenities that dramatically enhance the on-campus experience at UM, including study lounges, an auditorium and exhibition center, an outdoor fitness circuit, a sand volleyball court, a rock-climbing wall and an outdoor recreation center. The building also houses a Smoothie King location and Daybreak – an all-day waffle-themed breakfast restaurant.

“This project puts a stake in the ground for the University’s future,” Jessica Brumley, vice president for facilities operations and planning, said.

The university will now advance to its second phase of housing renovation: the construction of the Centennial Village, which includes the replacement of the Stanford and Hecht residential colleges and a massive makeover of Eaton Residential College.

Once open to the university community, Centennial Village will place a significant emphasis on the educational needs of UM students by providing an array of academic resources, including classrooms, conference and seminar rooms, a learning hub and a meditation room.

The third and final phase of the Housing Facilities Strategic Plan includes the modernization of the Mahoney and Pearson residential colleges, located on the eastern side of campus by the university entrance.

In addition to updating dorm utilities, first-floor living spaces will be converted into a common area to support recreational activities, the current semi-suites of the two buildings will be updated to full suites and more suites will be added to include single and double rooms.

Up until 2020, UM was following the roadmap with clear, calculated and focused efforts, but when the pandemic struck in March, its timeline was put into question as the world adapted to a new normal.

President Frenk maintains that the pandemic has only advanced the university’s interests and brought them closer to the goals they aspire to accomplish.

“The pandemic has been not so much an agent of change as an accelerator of change. In some areas of endeavor, including remote learning, telehealth, and telework, we have seen more progress in the past year than we had in the prior decade,” Frenk said. “We have witnessed – and will continue to embrace – not only our resiliency in the face of challenges, but our ability to truly transform the way we think and interact.”

With momentum gained over the last year, the university said it will not only be able to meet the goals established under the roadmap, but do so amid the most difficult of challenges and lay the foundation for a better U into the next century.

“In many ways, we have used the pandemic to really accelerate some of the things we were contemplating. We are seeing the evolution of a new north star—a new direction on the horizon,” Jeffrey Duerk, executive vice president for academic affairs and university provost, said. “The roadmap is sufficiently prescient to anticipate the world would change and has allowed us to be responsive and align us with the new course we need to be on.”

Undergraduate deans share journey to academia, advice for first-year students

Laura Kohn-Wood, dean of the School of Education and Human Development, in her office at UM. Kohn-Wood considered pursuing a career in boxing before pursuing academia. Photo credit: Laura Kohn-Wood

Dean Laura Kohn-Wood – School of Education and Human Development

Laura Kohn-Wood, dean of the School of Education and Human Development, in her office at UM. Kohn-Wood considered pursuing a career in boxing before pursuing academia.
Laura Kohn-Wood, dean of the School of Education and Human Development, in her office at UM. Kohn-Wood considered pursuing a career in boxing before pursuing academia. Photo credit: Laura Kohn-Wood

Laura Kohn-Wood became dean of the School of Education and Human Development in July 2018. She first came to the University of Miami in January 2009, going on to serve as chair of the Department of Educational and Psychological Studies and the founding program director of the Master’s in Community & Social Change program before becoming dean. She also helped develop UM’s Ph.D. Program in Community Well-Being, after spending 10 years as a professor at the University of Michigan.

Kohn-Wood was born and raised in Seattle before making the long journey across the country to Miami.

“The Pacific Northwest is a special place, but I had to leave to realize how special it is. Go Seahawks,” Kohn-Wood said.

Before settling into academia, Kohn-Wood considered pursuing a boxing career.

“I was probably too old (at least for the Olympics) and too deeply invested in academia (note the above multiple years of academic ‘training’), and decided I needed to maintain as many brain cells as possible. So, I let go of the dream,” she said.

Kohn-Wood earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Howard University and a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Virginia. She completed a two-year clinical psychology internship at the University of California, San Francisco, and completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at Georgetown University in the Department of Psychiatry and the Clinical Economics Research Unit.

Dean Kohn-Wood advises new students to immerse themselves in both UM and greater Miami.

“If you are lucky, you will only do college (undergrad) once – and so try as much as you can to be as present for it as possible. It goes by twice as fast as high school,”

She also emphasizes the importance of being patient while acclimating to college life.

“It may take some time to ‘find your people’ and it is very common to feel unmoored and unsure and uncool and possibly unhappy, until you get back for your second semester or for your second year. Explore campus (find the butterfly garden, walk the meditation labyrinth, wander through the arboretum, go to the Lowe). Do NOT feed the ducks. If you are new to South Florida, explore (safely) all that Miami has to offer. The number of upper-class students I have talked to who have never tried Cuban coffee is seriously problematic. A cortadito is like a little cup of heaven.”

Dean Karin Wilkins – School of Communication

Karin Wilkins became dean of UM’s School of Communication in September 2019. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with both doctorate and master’s degrees in communication after earning her Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary studies from Bucknell University. Wilkins was born in Kansas and grew up in Pennsylvania, going on to spend most of her professional career in Austin, Texas. She has worked at organizations from the Chinese University of Hong Kong to Pew Charitable Trusts, a non-profit dedicated to improving public policy.

Dean Wilkins has won numerous awards for her research, service and teaching, including the Cale McDowell Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Studies, for creating a certificate in global studies, programs in Middle East studies and a degree in Communication and Leadership. She chaired the Intercultural/Development Division of the International Communication Association. Wilkins’ work addresses scholarship in the fields of development communication, global communication and political engagement.

She is the loving mother to twins Alex and Kari, both in college, and lives with her partner Paul and calico-cat Cleo.

Wilkins says she is driven by her desire to make a difference. She advises new students to work hard and take advantage of what UM has to offer.

“Take your studies seriously, and be open to meeting people and listening to new ideas. Try classes and clubs that offer different ways of thinking and doing things. This is a great university with many opportunities – enjoy yourself.”

Dean John Quelch – Miami Herbert Business School

Photo credit: John Quelch

John Quelch became dean of the Miami Herbert Business School in July of 2017. He serves on the board of trustees of the University of the Virgin Islands, the civilian advisory board of US Southern Command and the dean’s advisory board of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He is motivated by the pursuit of excellence in teaching and scholarship and the desire to help others exceed their potential. In his free time, Quelch enjoys playing tennis and squash, and hanging out with his Australian shepherd Charley. He married his loving wife, Joyce Huntley, in 1978, and his extended family spreads across the world, from Wales to Australia.

Prior to joining the Miami Herbert Business School, Quelch was the Charles Edward Wilson Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. He also held a joint appointment as professor of health policy and management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health – the first to hold dual primary appointments in those two schools, and one of only a few faculty members across Harvard University with this distinction. Quelch was hired at Harvard after serving as dean, vice president and Distinguished Professor of International Management of the China Europe International Business School from 2011 to 2013. Under his leadership, annual revenues increased by more than 25 percent and the school’s MBA global ranking in the Financial Times improved from 24 to 15.

Quelch earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Oxford, a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of Pennsylvania and both a master’s degree in public health and a doctorate in business administration from Harvard.

He advises students to use their time at UM to find their calling.

“Immerse yourself in all aspects of the U, discover who you are and who you want to be.”

UM admissions allowing test-optional applications

UM is one of the many universities to make standardized ACT and SAT tests optional for Fall 2021 applicants. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

The one test of the year that high school juniors and seniors spend weeks to months studying for was not mandatory this year at some colleges, including the University of Miami.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, standardized tests were canceled or rescheduled, making it difficult for tests to be accessible to students. This prompted many universities to switch to a test-optional feature for students who applied for fall 2021 admission.

“Covid certainly played a hand in how schools looked at their testing requirements,” said Nate Crozier, assistant vice president of admissions at UM. “You’ll see that quite a few hundred in fact switched their testing requirements in response to cancellations of SAT and ACT that began last spring, and frankly continued through the summer and fall.”

UM was among more than 600 schools that switched to test-optional for the incoming fall 2021 class, according to the Common Application. And UM has decided to continue the test-optional admissions policy for next year, Crozier said.

Angelica Tacoronte, a Miami Coral Reef High School senior, submitted her test scores and was admitted to UM.

“I feel like having that pressure, like scoring well, it just stresses students out,” said Tacoronte, who initially was not going to submit her scores. She changed her mind after getting a score she was proud of. “I feel like having that test-optional feature just helps students focus on their achievements and just themselves as a student.”

Achievements and extracurricular activities are exactly what UM admissions is looking for, Crozier said.

UM uses a “holistic approach” in reviewing applications, he said. For example, admissions staff will look at the applicant’s GPA, high school rigor of curriculum, letters of recommendation and other aspects. However, with some students submitting their scores and some who did not, admissions had to change their approach to reading applications, Crozier said.

“We’re really going to dive into how the student has performed in his or her classes,” Crozier said. “Again, we look at curriculum rigor within the context of that student’s high school environment. Beyond that, you know, the response to the essay prompts and whether it’s the common app essay prompt or the supplemental essay prompt, it’s very important.”

The removal of required test scores did not only relieve stress of student applicants but encouraged many to apply to colleges. As a result, many colleges and universities saw an increase in applications. According to the Common Application, universities received 11 percent more applications nationwide.

Crozier said UM’s approximate 42,000 applications were up 5 percent. Of those applicants, more than half of the students did not submit test scores. He said admitted students represent about half who submitted test scores and half who did not.

The surge of applications also led to an increase of rejections and students on the waitlist.

Emily Araujo, also a Coral Reef High School senior, was waitlisted at UM after applying without submitting test scores. She said the test-optional feature opens the door for so many students who may not be able to score well on standardized tests.

“It’s giving an opportunity to several other people because there are some people that aren’t good test takers,” Araujo said. “I’m not a good test taker but I felt like I had a good opportunity to make it into UM because I didn’t get such a good ACT score, but I am a very good student.”

Crozier said selectivity has increased at UM.

“So, if you go back several years, we were admitting 36 to 38 percent of those who applied,” Crozier said. “Right now, we are at just under 30 percent acceptance rate. It’s actually 28 percent.”

This has made this year’s applicants the most competitive in the university’s history, Crozier said. Meanwhile, UM admissions office is anticipating the arrival of the incoming class of fall 2021.

“We have a great group of current and incoming students,” Crozier said. “We’re super excited about the fall 2021 incoming class.”