Fall 2011 Issue



Barry students Brian Garner and Gabriela Toro received awards for their poster presentations at the national Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students, held last November in Charlotte, N.C.

Garner, a biology major and Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) Scholar, conducted the research at Princeton University during the summer of 2010. He studied the relationships between ubiquitin conjugating enzymes and the ubiquitin ligase enzymes as they interact with Msh2 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Toro, a biology major and Minority Biomedical Research Support Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (MBRS RISE) student, presented her research poster which focused on morpholino-based screen to identify genes involved in vertebrate nervous system development. Toro and fellow RISE student Elizabeth Nguyen spent last summer at the University of Missouri and are continuing their research at Barry.

BICED (Barry University Institute for Community and Economic Development) was selected by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce as a finalist in the Business Corporate Champion category for South Florida's 2011 Top 100 Minority Business Awards.

BICED, part of the Andreas School of Business, serves Miami-Dade County's small businesses and organizations, both profit and nonprofit, with skill development, job creation and retention, as well as community service and volunteerism. BICED's main objective is to strengthen community development and reduce economic disparity among these targeted groups.

The Institute was up against four other non-minority business finalists: Southern Florida Minority Supplier Development Council, Miami-Dade Expressway Authority, Baptist Health South Florida and the University of Miami.

The awards were presented by Bank of America and co-sponsored by The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald, certified public accountants Kaufman Rossin & Co., and Baptist Health South Florida. The awards were given in partnership with the South Florida Progress Foundation.

Members of Barry's Alpha Alpha Xi chapter, led by Dr Lillian Schanfield, professor of English, were selected as second-place winners of the 2010-2011 Outstanding Literary Arts Journal award. The winning journal, "What Oft Was Thought," earned Alpha Alpha Xi a $300 cash prize.

The selection committee received a number of journal entries from several chapters across the country, making Barry's second-place finish quite an accomplishment.

The University is the recipient of The Beacon Council's Ninth Annual Beacon Awards for Education. The council chose Barry for its exceptional contributions to the educational system in Miami-Dade County through innovation, leadership and community involvement.

"The Beacon Awards recognize and celebrate a wide range of dynamic organizations and individuals which are firming up our economy," said Jack Lowell, chair of The Beacon Council. "They are the best, and we thank them all for their commitment and many contributions to our community."

The Migrant Clinicians Network honored Gene Majka, professor of nursing in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, as its 2010 Unsung Hero for his support of the migrant community in South Florida. Majka is distinguished as a "champion for quality health care for the migrant population" and was selected for his dedication, innovation to health care service, and prevention strategies.

He supervises the community health clinical experience of registered nurses (RNs) who are returning for their baccalaureate degree. Under his direction and supervision, these RNs have completed health care assessments on more than 600 children, ensuring their immunizations, weights and medications are recorded.

"Gene Majka could have chosen any community in South Florida and he chose the most disenfranchised – the migrant community in Homestead. He is tireless in his efforts to improve their lives and make sure they have what they need now as well as in the future," said Dr. Pegge Bell, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

During the flu outbreak in the fall of 2009, Majka worked with the Florida Department of Health to provide hundreds of H1N1 immunizations to migrant farm workers and their families. His students have provided more than 100 health education tutorials in English, Spanish and Creole to staff members of community agencies, as well as to parents.

Barry University and the Community Learning Partnership (CLP) of Greater Miami Shores won the 2010 Graham-Frey Civic Award and was a finalist with Florida State University for the Most Engaged Campus Award. The prize comes from Florida Campus Compact (FLCC), an organization of more than 50 college and university presidents committed to helping students on their respective campuses develop the skills of active citizenship through participation in public and community service.

"The Graham-Frey Civic award recognizes our strong institutional commitment to civic engagement and community service inspired by our Catholic identity and our resolve to provide our students with a variety of service learning opportunities," said Barry University President Sister Linda Bevilacqua, OP, PhD.

By combining service with academic study, Barry and the CLP have been able to engage its students, faculty, staff and residents in becoming active citizens. The civic award was named in honor of former Sen. Bob Graham and former Rep. Lou Frey.

The CLP, established in 2008, is a group of educational institutions and community organizations, both public and private, in the Miami Shores area that strive to serve as a catalyst for community engagement. Together, the organizations have demonstrated innovative techniques and collaborative projects that help minimize barriers - culturally, socioeconomically, geographically and ethnically – while helping to reduce costs and duplication efforts by sharing resources and creating a sense of community.

Leticia M. Diaz, dean of the Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law was named to the advisory committee for the American Bar Association's newly formed Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities. The new commission and its members were announced by ABA President Stephen Zack at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., last fall.

"I feel passionate about the legal issues facing Hispanic-Americans today, and I am honored to be part of a commission that will work to address these challenging matters," said Diaz, the first female Cuban-American dean of an ABA-accredited law school in the United States.

The Commission will play a vital role in investigating legal access for the fastest growing minority population in the United States; convening principal legal and Hispanic advocacy organizations to review the state of legal disparities in the U.S. justice system; exploring impediments to access to justice through the lens of the Latino experience ultimately for the benefit of all U.S. residents; and making policy recommendations based upon findings of regional hearings.

The U.S. Commerce Association selected Barry for the 2010 Best of North Miami Award in the category of Universities and Colleges. Barry beat out two other area universities – Florida International University and Johnson & Wales University – for the honor.

Each year, the USCA identifies companies that have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. The USCA Best of Local Business Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Winners were determined based on information gathered both internally by the USCA and data provided by third parties.

The School of Podiatric Medicine awarded students William Burmeister, Katherine Machado, Luis Rodriquez and Annabelle Santos, with the 2010 Dr. James V. Stelnicki Scholarship for Excellence in Lower Extremity Vascular Medicine.

The scholarship, which comes from Stelnicki's $100,000 donation to the School of Podiatric Medicine, awards $2,500 to each of the Barry students. Burmeister, Machado, Rodriquez and Santos were selected by the podiatric medicine clinical faculty committee based upon their strong interest in lower extremity vascular medicine and submission of their research paper, "Variations of the Origin of the Arcuate Artery."

Jessie M. Colin, PhD, RN, a professor in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, was one of two Florida nurses inducted into the American Academy of Nursing as a Fellow during the academy's 37th annual meeting and conference. Selection for membership in the academy is one of the most prestigious honors in the field of nursing.

"This was an amazing experience," said Colin, who follows Dr. Sandra Walsh as the second nurse at Barry to receive the honor. "There were 114 nurses inducted this year, seven of which were international nurses, and there were more than 1,400 in attendance. I was proud to be a nurse and to know that my work makes a difference in people's lives."

Colin teaches in the graduate and doctoral programs, where she has designed and implemented various educational strategies to promote cultural competence in nursing students. She is a cultural consultant for academic and practice settings and has developed a conceptual model, "Haitian Cultural Care Model" to assist health care practitioners in understanding Haitian clients.

A Haitian native, Colin is fluent in English, French, and Creole and has devoted her life's work to underserved populations in the United States and in her home country. She co-founded the Haitian Health Foundation, an organization that provides health education and health services to Haitians and others in need. She was one of three volunteers to consult in Léogane, Haiti, on a new baccalaureate nursing program for which she helped obtain financing through United States Agency for International Development.

Colin is a national and international speaker and has received numerous accolades, including her recognition for nursing leadership by the Florida Hospital Association and being named one of the 25 "Most Influential & Prominent Black Women in South Florida" by Success Magazine.

Mark Summers, professor of law at the Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law, was awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant. As part of the grant, Summers spent five months teaching international criminal law at the University of Zagreb in Croatia.

Summers has previous experience with criminal law in the region, serving as an adjunct prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the late '90s. The ICTY was established by the United Nations to prosecute crimes committed during the wars in the former Yugoslavia that broke out following Croatia's declaration of independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.

"I envision an international criminal law classroom in Croatia as a laboratory where I will have the opportunity to glean insights and perspectives unavailable anywhere else," said Summers. "This experience will inform my teaching and scholarship for the rest of my career."

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the United States government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

Barry seniors Roodelyne Davilmar and Cherie Cancio won first place for their video celebrating the Florida Resident Access Grant. The students were honored at a recent Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida (ICUF) delegate meeting in the presence of State Rep. Will Weatherford, Dr. Ed Moore, president of ICUF and various ICUF representatives.

As Barry's ICUF Presidential Fellows, Davilmar and Cancio were chosen by Barry President Sister Linda Bevilacqua, OP, PhD, for their leadership, maturity and dedication to organizing grassroots campaigns that encourage students to actively engage with their state government for the good of their state, their communities and independent higher education.

The seniors set out to create a short film to show Barry students' appreciation for the FRAG, which provides tuition assistance to Florida undergraduate students attending an eligible private, nonprofit Florida college or university. Filmed on a busy Saturday morning in Landon Student Union, the students showcased how the grant supports the typical, everyday college student through personal testimonials.

"Students need to be knowledgeable about the Florida constitution and how FRAG not only affects Florida's student residents, but all Florida taxpayers," Cancio said. "Many students, such as myself, depend on the FRAG to continue their education in private institutions. By allowing these students to stay in private schools with the help of the FRAG, the burden on Florida's over-crowded public colleges and taxpayer dollars is alleviated" Cancio said.

Davilmar added that students must educate themselves on the benefits of the grant and actively show support.

"Students need to understand the importance of the FRAG and how easily it can be taken away from them," she said. "We all need to show support so that we can keep our private education and not risk attending a public school that may not be able to support our needs."

To view Cancio and Davilmar's award-winning video, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMDFNcNNA4Y.

Barry was presented with the Greater Miami Shores Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year award for its many years of continued support to the community. The chamber noted Barry's dedication to its mission, values and service as important factors when choosing this year's winner.

"This award is an expression of your respect and an acknowledgment of our renewed intent and success to forge an energizing and satisfying partnership with the Village of Miami Shores; a relationship that truly makes a difference for our university community, our neighbors and business associates, and for that we are grateful," said Barry University President Sister Linda Bevilacqua, OP, PhD. " We count our partnership with the Miami Shores community as one of our assets, and we look forward to strengthening the bonds we have formed during the past 70 years."

The Miami Shores Chamber selected Barry University in recognition of the significant initiatives made by those associated with the University to become more integrated into the community of the village. Barry's projects demonstrate strong support from the student body and several departments throughout the campus, including the Celebrate Village Place event held last year, the Community Learning Partnership (CLP) and Relay for Life.

The chamber also credited the University for involving local youth in Barry athletic events, supporting the redevelopment of Village Place, offering the school's expertise to help envision the future for the downtown and for seeking the community's involvement in the process to develop a new Master Plan for the University.

Dr. John Nelson, professor and dean of clinics in the School of Podiatric Medicine, was elected in May to the National Academies of Practice (NAP) as a Distinguished Practitioner in Podiatric Medicine. NAP is an organization of distinguished practitioners representing 10 different health care professions, working together to advance delivery of health care. The NAP recognition is awarded to inductees who have been judged by their peers and have made enduring contributions in their profession.

Nelson achieved this recognition in part for his 22 years of professional service in the practice and direct delivery of podiatric care. His patients include those at Barry University's four Foot and Ankle Institute clinics, in which he serves as clinical dean, and in the five affiliated teaching hospitals in Miami-Dade County where he directs the clinical training of podiatric medical students.

Under Nelson's supervision, more than 350,000 indigent and medically underserved individuals in Miami-Dade County have received podiatric care from Barry's clinical faculty and students. These services represent more than $1 million in charitable care delivered by the Barry University Foot and Ankle Institute to the county's disadvantaged citizens each year. He has trained more than 1,100 junior and senior podiatric medical students who are now practicing podiatric physicians.

"There is no podiatric physician in the country providing clinical training of students and caring for podiatric patients more deserving of this award than Dr. Nelson," said Dr. Jeffrey Jensen, dean of the School of Podiatric Medicine. "We are proud that he serves the podiatric profession at Barry University."

Kastriot Rexhepi, an international student from Ferizai, Kosovo, is the recipient of the 2011 Clarence Jupiter Fellowship award in Institutional Advancement.

The Clarence J. Jupiter Fellowship program provides opportunities for individuals of diverse backgrounds to work in the advancement field at higher education institutions across the United States. Each year, selected fellows receive a paid internship of $2,000 for 200 hours of work and a sponsorship of up to $1,000 to attend a CASE District Conference.

Rexhepi, a senior majoring in criminology, serves the University's Office of Alumni Relations. The fellowship began in January and is fully funded by CASE. Rexhepi was one of nine students nationwide chosen for the fellowship. He assists the Office of Alumni Relations with student alumni programming and student philanthropy research.

Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) granted the Master of Science Program in Anesthesiology continued accreditation until the year 2020 − the maximum allowed under the guidelines.

In November, the COA stated in its report that it is "especially pleased with the program's endeavors to strive for excellence ... that receiving no citations during the program's on-site review process is a tremendous accomplishment derived from focused attention to program details, continuous quality, and quality enhancement." The Anesthesiology program was first established in 1993 and has received continued accreditation since.

"Achieving the maximum 10-year accreditation status is an honor for Barry University and reflects the collective hard work and commitment of students, faculty and staff to the tremendous success of the program," said assistant professor and director of the Master of Science Program in Anesthesiology, Tony Umadhay, Ph.D., CRNA.

Dr. Michael Griffin, former Vice President for Mission and Student Engagement, has assumed the responsibilities of a newly created position of vice president for Business Development and Operations. Griffin is in his 24th year of service at Barry.

In his new role, Griffin will oversee several university operations, including food service, public safety, bookstores and the student union. This new division will also monitor campus construction projects and oversee various auxiliary contracts.

Griffin will focus on entrepreneurial and business opportunities within the various national and international communities in which the University operates. He will also oversee on and off campus facilities utilization and the buying, selling and/or leasing of institutional/residential properties.