On The Cover

Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe '96
concludes his official visit to Vietnam
on Dec. 18, 2012.

2012 Distinguished Alumni Awards

The Success of the Barry Athletics Model

Campus Democracy Project

Spring 2013, Volume 18, Number 1

Campus Currents I Spotlight On Sports I Barry Beat I Features


Award Season

Three Barry graduates honored with 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award

More than 250 alumni, community leaders and supporters gathered at the Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six in Fort Lauderdale on November 10 to honor three of Barry University’s most illustrious graduates at the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Awards. The award was established in 2007 to recognize “the most prestigious graduates of Barry University for their professional achievements, contributions to society and support of the University.” The event kicked off a weeklong celebration in commemoration of the University’s founders: Bishop Patrick Barry; his sister, the Reverend Mother Gerald Barry; brother, the Right Reverend Monsignor William Barry; and past Mayor of Miami Shores, Mr. John Thompson. Laurent Lamothe ’96, Luis Marin, MS ’90, DPM ’94 and Mimi Watson Sutherland, RN, BSN ’94, MS ’96, CNRN joined 24 prior winners, ranging from business executives to politicians to educators and health care professionals. Proceeds raised supported the Barry University Scholarship Fund. The next Distinguished Alumni Awards will be held in November 2013. To nominate one of our outstanding alumni, please contact the Department of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving at alumi@barry.edu or (305) 899-3175.

Prime Minister Lamothe ’96 is honored at the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Awards.

Laurent Lamothe ’96

Haiti’s Prime Minister appreciates skills he learned at Barry. As an All-American tennis player at Barry, Laurent Lamothe learned “discipline and perseverance” - qualities that he needs daily in his role as Haiti’s Prime Minister. Lamothe, born in Port-au-Prince, completed his undergraduate work at Barry, with a major in political science and a minor in French. He welcomed the award, saying that it was such an honor to receive such recognition from his alma mater. To read more about Lamothe, read the cover story, “Great Expectations.”


Prime Minister Lamothe ’96 is honored at the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Awards.

Luis Marin, MS ’90, DPM ’94

Leading podiatric surgeon and philanthropist credits Barry with almost everything positive in his life

By Travis Reed

operating room looking like cyborgs. Instead of receiving a traditional cast after reconstructive surgery, they’re wheeled out with metal halos, rods and pins protecting surgically repaired feet or legs. Marin, a podiatric surgeon, patented the devices by adapting existing “external fixator” technology to help patients recover more quickly after surgery. “You can have patients walking a lot faster,” Marin said. “The average is seven to 12 days, with no cast, versus six to 12 weeks.” That kind of innovation and a demonstrated commitment to service are among the reasons Marin was chosen as a 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. Marin credits the University with almost everything positive in his life. He met his wife, Dr. Colleen Dzikowski, here. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees here. And he met his mentor, Dr. Charles Southerland, through Barry’s residency program, which would ultimately guide his career in profound ways. “Through this education, I have traveled the world, and I’m still invited to many other countries, which (unfortunately) I could not visit, because I would not be able to lecture that much and keep seeing patients,” Marin said. “My passion is seeing patients.”

It was through Southerland, and on a sabbatical in Israel, that Marin became exposed to the technology he later adapted and patented. “He was always innovative and came up with good ideas,” Southerland said. “When I did my sabbatical, I roomed with him and worked with him on a daily basis. I knew he’d do well in practice.” Marin holds three patents, and his company MDPO LLC, in Sunrise, Florida, employs 14 people. However, he’s involved in much more. Marin is also director of residency at Palmetto General Hospital — Southerland’s old post — and director of podiatric services at Leon Medical Center. He has his own practice, and serves as an attending podiatric surgeon at six South Florida hospitals. But it’s another venture, which will never provide a paycheck that Marin may be most proud. Eight years ago, he co-founded the Steps of Life Foundation, which has performed more than 900 surgical procedures for the underprivileged in the Dominican Republic. The foundation has organized nearly 20 trips for a small crew of volunteer orthopedic surgeons, anesthesiologists, internists and cardiologists, in cooperation with a handful of local doctors. Travel and lodging for six American doctors are covered by the Dominican vice president whom Marin met after a handful of early administrative visits.

Marin modeled the program after Barry’s Yucatan Crippled Children’s Project, which Southerland founded in 1988 to provide care to medically underserved children in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Marin participated actively for several years, helping to cement the two doctors’ bond. “We emphasize on day one to our students the responsibility they have,” Southerland said. “I think Luis embraces that wholeheartedly. He has done that as a physician, as a father, as a husband and as a member of the community.” Marin gets emotional thinking about what Barry has done for “a hillbilly from Vieques”—as he describes himself. The surgeon knew only limited English when he arrived in Miami Shores from Puerto Rico as a young graduate student. However, he became fluent quickly, while taking a full load of classes. What else could be expected from the guy who ended up with five jobs? “I have done many things with the profession,” Marin said. “I only wish that I can do a little bit more.”

Mimi Watson Sutherland (left), director of the GATE Program at Jackson Medical Center with Sister Linda Bevilacqua, OP, PhD.

Mimi Watson Sutherland, RN, BSN ’94, MS ’96, CNRN

Retired ER nurse helps South Florida teens see a life beyond gun violence

By Travis Reed

The longer Mimi Watson Sutherland worked as a neurosurgical nurse, the more frustrated she got. Gun violence spilled into her South Florida operating rooms every night, and the victims were getting younger. By the end of her 30-year career, Sutherland had seen so many fatalities involving 12- and 13-year-olds that she was determined to do something. “I spent three decades of my life looking at this, picking up the pieces after the doctor said, ‘Your son’s not going to make it,’ or he’s not going to be able to play football or get that scholarship,” Sutherland said. With plenty of passion, but no training beyond the grant-writing class she took as part of her degree program at Barry, Sutherland retired from nursing and began a journey that has changed the lives of hundreds of South Florida juveniles. In 2000, Sutherland founded the GATE Program for Juvenile Weapons Offenders with a grant from the Miami-Dade County Youth Crime Task Force. The nonprofit takes court-ordered teens through a six-month program intended to steer them away from peer pressure, provide positive reinforcement and encourage better decision-making. Sutherland’s innovation and tireless work in retirement made her one of Barry’s three Distinguished Alumni Award recipients for 2012. At the November 10 ceremony, she credited the grant-writing class with helping make it all possible.

“Without this skill, there would never have been a GATE program,” she said. Sutherland brings a unique perspective to juvenile rehabilitation. Since she had no background in counseling or criminal justice, she did a lot of research. She says she learned the most from talking with teenagers — some of whom went through other programs. She says she came to the conclusion that the so-called “scared straight” approach doesn’t work because it doesn’t focus on issues teen boys care about. “I think the biggest thing is they are not afraid to die,” Sutherland said. “With those programs, it’s always, ‘If you do this, you’re going to die.’ They’re all like, ‘Yeah, I know, we’re all going to die.’ It’s just not relevant for teenage boys.” GATE exposes teens to a more holistic message, communicated on a different level. They go to the morgue, for example, and Ryder Trauma Center. But other stops, like the nursing home, pediatric intensive care unit, and even the bowling alley, illustrate how comprehensive the program is. “Many of these young men have never had the opportunity to have people care for them, to be exposed to rewards that you can get through discipline,” said Frost Walker, a South Florida attorney who has known Sutherland for about 10 years. Sutherland’s services are in constant demand by judges. But the program is also chronically underfunded. The county has supported GATE since the beginning, but the grant is down 30 percent, to $140,000 annually. They have funding for 35 kids a year. The fiscal year just began on October 1, and they’ve already taken in 15. “The point about Mimi is she didn’t do this with the support of any moneyed interests. This is a retired nurse with no community influence — just her own force of character and her own perseverance and desire to help this happen,” Walker said. “She has funded this program from her own pocket many, many times, when it was late getting money from the county.”

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