2021 Points of Pride

Looking back at 2021 and ahead to an “Ever Brighter” future, the University celebrates its capacity to propel research, shape scholars and athletes, and strengthen its commitment to diversity.

2021 Points of Pride: National Recognition

National Recognition

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The Miller School of Medicine, which received more than $153 million in grant funding from the National Institutes of Health, ranked No. 1 in Florida and No. 40 in the nation for NIH funding.

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The World Health Organization designated Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center as the first WHO Collaborating Centre for Cervical Cancer Elimination.

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U.S. News & World Report named Bascom Palmer Eye Institute the No. 1 ophthalmology hospital in the nation for the 20th time. The media company also ranked the Miller School of Medicine No. 45 for research and No. 7 for diversity on its 2022 Best Medical Schools list.

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The University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is No. 31 on the U.S. News Best Colleges list, and several University programs are in the top tier of its Best Graduate Schools, including clinical psychology (No. 18), physical therapy (No. 20), health care management (No. 20), Master of Science in Nursing (No. 34), and Doctor of Nursing Practice (No. 38). Among its Best Online Programs, U.S. News ranked the Miami Herbert Business School’s online MBA program No. 43 and its non-MBA online master’s degree programs No. 17.

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In its 2021 “Which MBA?” rankings, The Economist ranked Miami Herbert’s full-time MBA program 34th in the nation and ranked its faculty No. 8 in the world.

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Lakeside Village student housing complex received a coveted International Architecture Award from the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Center for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.

2021 Points of Pride: Sensational Students

Sensational Students

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Led by ecosystems science and policy student Laura Stieghorst (bottom row, second from left), a team of University of Miami students won a $100,000 grant from Elon Musk’s XPRIZE Carbon Removal Project to advance their idea for reducing carbon dioxide levels in the ocean.

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“NewsVision,” UMTV’s live half-hour campus news show, won Best All-Around Television News Magazine from the Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence Awards.

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Five students—Lynée Turek-Hankins, Maisy Lam, Joshua Dominguez, Leyna Stemle, and Corinne Allen—earned National Science Foundation scholarships for research on topics ranging from climate change to endangered species to wireless power transfer devices.

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Two Frost School of Music students—Jason Donnelly and Kendra Luedke—won distinguished honors at the New Zealand International Brass Festival Solo Competition.

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Granta literary magazine named College of Arts and Sciences graduate student Dainerys Machado Vento one of the best up-and-coming Spanish-language writers.

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Ajiri Uzere, a senior political science and psychology major, was named a Rangel Scholar, one of only 20 students nationally selected to participate in a prestigious summer enrichment program in international affairs at Howard University.

2021 Points of Pride: Mission-Driven Research

Mission-Driven Research

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As part of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Firefighter Cancer Initiative, researchers monitored first responders at the Surfside condo collapse to mitigate their exposure to toxic pollutants and develop protocols to protect them in future disasters.

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Led by College of Engineering Professor Helena Solo-Gabriele, a team of researchers received a two-year, $5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study how wastewater can help predict coronavirus outbreaks.

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Researchers at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science perfected a recipe for keeping sea anemone and coral cells alive in a petri dish for up to 12 days, which will advance research on topics ranging from evolutionary biology to human health.

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Miller School sleep specialist Alberto Ramos was awarded a five-year, $13 million grant from the National Institute on Aging to study “Sleep in Neurocognitive Aging and Alzheimer’s Research.”

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Mary Beth Calhoon, associate professor in the School of Education and Human Development, received a five-year, $3.8 million grant from the Institute of Education Sciences to study implementation of a program for middle school students with reading disabilities.

2021 Points of Pride: Leadership and Scholarship

Leadership and Scholarship

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Guillermo Prado, dean of the Graduate School and professor of public health sciences, was elected to the National Academy of Medicine for his scholarship in prevention science.

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Apple Studios acquired the rights to history professor Donald Spivey’s nonfiction book “If You Were Only White: The Life of Leroy ‘Satchel’ Paige” with an eye toward a series about Negro Leagues Baseball.

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Laurie Silvers—attorney, media entrepreneur, and University alumna who founded the SyFy Channel—became chair of the University’s Board of Trustees. Silvers and her husband, Mitchell Rubenstein, announced a $2.5 million gift to the School of Law.

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Maria Schneider, artistic director of the Frost School of Music’s Henry Mancini Institute, received two Grammy awards for her album, “Data Lords.”

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Under the leadership of Dean Pratim Biswas, the College of Engineering launched the Department of Chemical, Environmental, and Materials Engineering, which houses aerosol science and technology, water quality, synthetic biology, and materials synthesis programs.

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Cindy Munro, dean of the School of Nursing and Health Studies, was appointed as an advisory board member for the National Institute of Nursing Research.

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Rocco Ceo, professor in the School of Architecture, was named a 2021 fellow of the American Institute of Architects, one of the highest honors in the profession.

2021 Points of Pride: Philanthropy

Philanthropy

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The University of Miami publicly announced Ever Brighter: The Campaign for Our Next Century, chaired by University trustee and UHealth board chair Stuart Miller, during its first in-person Homecoming celebration since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The $2.5 billion campaign, the largest of any private institution in Florida, will conclude as the University celebrates its centennial in 2025.

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The Institute for Data Science and Computing attracted a combined $12 million endowment from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Dr. Phillip and Patricia Frost to recruit the thought leaders who will elevate the University to the top of the data revolution.

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The Desai Sethi Family Foundation made a $20 million commitment to the Miller School’s Department of Urology to establish a premier urology institute that will accelerate breakthroughs in research, clinical care, and education.

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More than 3,000 participants turned out to ride, walk, run, or volunteer in the 2021 Dolphins Challenge Cancer event, raising millions to support lifesaving cancer research at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. With $45.5 million raised over the past 11 years, the DCC is the top fundraising event in the NFL.

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The Carmen and Joe Unanue Family Foundation, led by alumnus Andy Unanue, donated $3.3 million to the Miami Herbert Business School. Matched by the Herbert Challenge Endowment Gift Match for a total of $5 million, the gift created the Joseph and Carmen Unanue Graduate Career Advancement Center.

2021 Points of Pride: Athletic Achievements

Athletic Achievements

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Mario Cristobal, a double alumnus who helped lead the Hurricanes football team to two national championships as an offensive lineman and who has more than 20 years of FBS coaching experience, was named the University’s 26th football head coach.

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Dan Radakovich, an alumnus widely regarded as one of the nation’s leading athletics administrators, was named vice president and director of athletics at the University of Miami.

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Hurricanes quarterback Tyler Van Dyke was voted the 2021 Atlantic Coast Conference Football Rookie of the Year and the ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year.

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Nine University of Miami athletic programs earned perfect single-year scores of 1,000 in the 2020-21 Academic Progress Rate report. The University also posted a Graduation Success Rate of 91 percent—the ninth time in the past 10 years achieving a rate of 90 percent or higher.

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Hurricanes women’s tennis player Estela Perez-Somarriba was named the ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year in her sport, becoming the fourth women’s tennis player in league history to claim the honor twice.

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After notching her 304th win as the head coach of the Hurricanes women’s basketball team, Katie Meier became the winningest coach in Miami basketball history.

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The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association named pitcher Carson Palmquist a first-team All-American.

2021 Points of Pride: Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion

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The University strengthened its commitment to fully supporting the Students of Color Symposium, an annual event that aims to enhance students’ understanding of diversity, multiculturalism, ethical leadership, and social responsibility.

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The Office of Civic and Community Engagement, Multicultural Student Affairs, and the Butler Center for Service and Leadership launched the Racial Justice Pilot Grant Program, in which student grant recipients collaborate with faculty, staff, and community partners to tackle concerns in the Black community.

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The employment and career resource website Indeed included the University of Miami among its inaugural list of employers that demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion.

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Thirteen University doctoral candidates in programs historically underrepresented by Black and Hispanic students received McKnight Doctoral or Dissertation Fellowships. Awardees are conducting research in a vast array of disciplines, including biology, biotechnology, environmental science and sustainability, education, and psychology.

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Funded by a grant from the national nonprofit Interfaith Youth Core, 17 University student volunteers engaged with marginalized groups in Miami-Dade County communities to debunk the myths about the COVID-19 vaccine and to educate them about the efficacy of the injections.

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The University received a second significant Mellon Foundation grant to support scholarship on African diasporic arts, building the foundation for the new Center for Global Black Studies.

2021 Points of Pride: Resilience

Resilience

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The University joined SolarTogether, a Florida Power & Light program that is transitioning our campuses toward carbon neutrality through increased use of solar energy.

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The University was the only recipient of the City of Coral Gables Platinum Green Business Certification, the city’s highest level of recognition for sustainable practices. The U also twice earned a Gold STARS rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

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Two Coral Gables Campus facilities received LEED Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council—the Lakeside Village student housing complex and the Harold Long Jr. and H.T. Smith Student Services Building.

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The University hosted “Sub-Tropical and Tropical Coastal Resilience: Social, Economic, and Physical Adaptations in South Florida and the Caribbean,” a virtual symposium that convened more than 60 environmental researchers, practitioners, and leaders to focus on interdisciplinary strategies for mitigating the effects of climate change.