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September 2015

Town Hall with President Frenk

Town Hall with President Frenk
Students, scholars, and staff, scientists and supervisors, trustees and alumni—all were invited to take part in a conversation with the new University of Miami President, Julio Frenk.

President Frenk’s Town Hall Meeting at the BankUnited Center allowed thousands in attendance to get a clearer sense of the vision of UM’s sixth president and pose some of the questions that have weighed on their minds ever since the former Harvard dean and minister of health of Mexico officially took office on August 16.

The Town Hall, moderated by School of Communication alumnus Bryan Llenas, B.S.C. ’10, and national correspondent for Fox News Channel and reporter for Fox News Latino, raised questions in a range of topics from football to climate change.
Town Hall with President Frenk

In answering a question on how he would make a UM education more accessible to students of lower economic status, Frenk acknowledged that part of his vision for the school is to ensure that financial barriers will not prohibit bright and intelligent students from obtaining an education at the private research institution.

On other issues, he noted that UM will offer gender-neutral housing starting in the fall of 2016, and he committed the University to becoming an example of diversity for others to follow. He addressed how the University’s UHealth brand could be expanded, noting that UM’s medical and nursing schools and its affiliated hospitals constitute a “fantastic” academic health enterprise that could lead the way in the “amazing transformation of health care” in the country.

Taste the Globe
President Frenk opened his Town Hall Meeting with a presentation that outlined his vision for the future. One of his primary messages: that with UM’s 100th birthday only a decade away, now is the time to prepare for its centennial and start building on what the institution should look like in the 21st century.

He also detailed his four major aspirations for the University: the pursuit of excellence in multiple areas including academics, service, the arts, athletics, and administration; achieving relevance in helping to solve the world’s most pressing problems; becoming a model for values such as diversity and tolerance; and becoming what he called “a force of integration across the Americas,” or specifically taking advantage of UM’s geographic location in greater Miami as a gateway to the world.

Following the Town Hall Meeting, students were also invited to ‘Taste the Globe’ at a reception with global gourmet cuisine, further celebrating diversity.

A Message from Dr. René Monteagudo,
Counseling Center

Dr. René Monteagudo, Counseling Center

Dear Parent, Family Member, or Friend:

We are delighted that you and your student are now part of the Cane Family, and want you to know that we have the upmost interest in the intellectual, personal and emotional development of your student. The University of Miami Counseling Center (UMCC) and its professional staff is available to assist your student with a wide array of developmental and mental health concerns, including transitioning to life on campus, navigating roommate relationships, establishing and maintaining life balance, dealing with performance anxiety, or mood-related concerns. The UMCC prides itself on being a center that is open to all differences and to treat each individual with compassion, respect and empathy.

We are aware that many students come to UM having experienced mental health concerns. Our commitment to you is to provide an environment that feels safe, confidential and comfortable so that students can explore and discuss their concerns with a professional counselor. My staff and I are more than happy to discuss the services of the Counseling Center with you and ensure your student’s needs for treatment and support are being met. If your student is being seen at UMCC, we will do our best to have a conversation with you about their treatment within the limits of confidentiality law and standards.
Counseling Center

The UMCC staff is composed of psychologists, professional counselors, clinical social workers, psychiatrists and doctoral level trainees. Our counseling services are fully covered through the Student Health Center and Counseling Center fee. Psychiatric services are covered through the Student Health Insurance and available to those who may have opted out from this plan at a reduced rate.

We are honored to have an opportunity to play such a vital role in your student’s life at this important time in her or his life.


René Monteagudo, PhD

UMCC Director

University of Miami - Plus One Scholars

The Plus One Scholarship is a program of educational enrichment that offers University of Miami undergraduates a tuition-free year or semester beyond the normal number of years required to complete an undergraduate degree. The program’s single purpose is to give students the opportunity to broaden and expand their learning and study subjects their degree requirements and other academic commitments may preclude.

The Plus One Scholarship is solely for enrichment and may include study abroad. Plus One courses may not be used to satisfy degree, major, minor, cognate, certificate, pre-professional, and/or other credentialing requirements of any sort.

The Plus One Scholarship gives students time to deepen and expand their education, to study something new, to pursue learning for its own sake.  If, for instance, their degree program, major, or pre-professional track constrains their ability to explore a subject in a different realm, they should consider Plus One. Another reason to apply is if students discover a new academic interest too late in their college careers to engage it.

The Plus One Proposal

Successful applications will propose a set of Plus One courses that represent a clear educational vision, a case for enrichment, and specific goals for learning. Students should confer with appropriate faculty when developing their proposal.

Students typically will apply for Plus One in their fifth or sixth semester (seventh or eighth for the School of Architecture) and present a plan for the next four (or three) semesters that integrates their Plus One courses with their degree requirements. Other options are, of course, possible and will be fully considered by the selection committee.  A proposal may include a study abroad component, but Study Abroad must be completed before the Plus One year or semester. Plus One courses must be taken during the Fall or Spring semesters, not in the summer or during intersession. 

The Plus One Scholarship only covers tuition. Plus One Scholars are responsible for all other costs including housing. However, Plus One Scholars are guaranteed on-campus housing during their Plus One semester or year and will have priority enrollment in their Plus One courses.
GPA and Commencement
All Plus One courses will be factored into the student’s GPA and will count in all GPA-based honors awards. Plus One Scholars will receive their diplomas in the Plus One year, and they will be counted in the class in which they complete their education rather than the year in which they entered the University. They may participate in the commencements that reflect both their year of admission and their year of completion.

For questions about the Plus One Scholarship, please contact Vice Provost William Green ( or Assistant Provost, Michelle Gonzalez Maldonado, (

Meet Faculty Master, Dr. Michelle Gonzalez Maldonado

Dr. Michelle Gonzalez Maldonado

Dr. Michelle Gonzalez Maldonado is a Professor of Religious Studies and Assistant Provost of Undergraduate Education. A Cuban-American Miami native who grew up on Key Biscayne, her research and teaching interests focus on Afro-Cuban religions, Latin American religions, feminism, and religion and popular culture. Her husband Byron is a native of San Lucas Tolimán, Guatemala, where he worked as a photographer and did social justice work with the Mayan community. Byron also works at the University in the Division of Continuing Studies and International Education. Byron loves to play soccer, basketball, and volleyball. They have two sons, Byron Manuel (10 years old) and Michael (8 years old). They are very friendly and love living in the Residential College. They LOVE soccer.

Michelle Gonzalez Maldonado - Family

As Assistant Provost of Undergraduate Education, Dr. Maldonado is charged with overseeing the faculty-in-residence program in all of the University’s residential colleges.  The program is designed to cultivate natural out-of-classroom interactions between University faculty members and students living in the various communities. Students have the opportunity to attend faculty office hours, seek advice on University academic matters, the cognates program, and also get to know their resident faculty members through dinner and discussion nights.  All events are held within the residential college so that everyone is intentionally a member of the same community with many events being hosted in the apartments of resident faculty members.  Through this program, a true community of scholarship is fostered, enhancing the overall academic experience that a UM student will receive in their time at the institution.  Dr. Maldonado takes extreme pride in her work and dedicates much of her free time away from teaching, research, and other duties to focus on the success of the residential college faculty-in-residence program.  We are lucky to have her and her family with us as residents of Hecht Residential College!

Office of Multicultural Student Affairs

Office of Multicultural Student Affairs

The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) provides support, resources and programming for all University of Miami students.  We offer academic enhancement services, co-curricular programs, leadership and personal development workshops.  Throughout the year students have an opportunity to participate in a variety of programs that will enhance their academic experience at the University of Miami.

We started the academic year by welcoming new students at our annual Horizons-pre-orientation program, MSA open house and student organization fair, followed by a faculty and staff meet & greet for students, and our annual Hispanic Heritage Month celebration.  October and November continue with academic support programs, special events, and student organization participation which provide a great opportunity for students to get involved and enhance their leadership skills. One of Fall semester’s most anticipated programs is Diversity Week.  This week-long event which takes place in November is centered on diversity, inclusion, and building community at the University of Miami. Programs and events are developed in an effort to promote cultural and diversity awareness, foster leadership and skill development, educate students on issues of multiculturalism and inclusion which enrich the campus environment and enhance the sense of community.

MSA Real Talk
Several new programming initiatives were created to provide opportunities for students to engage in dialogue on issues that are relevant to college students.   MSA Real Talk, MSA No Boundaries, and the MSA Life Skills Success Academy, educate students on issues of identity, multiculturalism, inclusion, social justice, and privilege.  Each program offers resources and seeks to provide support and guidance regarding academic success, leadership, and navigating our global society.

The spring semester also promises to provide something for everyone!  In January we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) through educational forums on social justice, a campus-wide community service day, and programs to inform students on current campus, state, and national issues.  In February, students can participate in Black Awareness Month which takes place February 1st – February 28th.  Black Awareness Month, commonly referred to as BAM by students, is the University’s celebration of Black History Month, which was originally created as “Negro History Week” in 1926. A variety of events will be held during the month celebrating the African Diaspora.  We close out the spring semester with Women’s History Month and Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month.  In addition to the cultural celebrations, our office will sponsor a number of programs centered around academic success, faculty and staff interaction, and leadership development.

cultural celebrations
Students have several opportunities throughout the year to expand their horizons by attending cultural celebrations and educational workshops.  In addition, they can join one of several student organizations and assist in the planning and implementation of special events.  All of these opportunities provide students with personal and professional growth that enhance their college experience.

Please visit for additional details on MSA and our calendar of events.  Also encourage your student to take advantage of the opportunity to get involved and diversify their college education.
Rhodes House 37 - A
PHONE: (305) 284 - 2855
For more information on MSA visit

Family Weekend 2015

Family Weekend 2015
On September 17-20, the Department of Orientation & Commuter Student Involvement welcomed over 1500 family members to campus for Family Weekend 2015. Between attending model classes, fellowshipping during the President’s Pep Rally and BBQ and cheering on the ‘Canes as they took down Nebraska at the football game, we enjoyed meeting everyone and witnessed many joyful reunions between families and their students.

If you were unable to join us this year for Family Weekend, it is our hope that you will be able to partake in the festivities next fall. Registration for the weekend typically opens in the summer.

President’s Pep Rally and BBQ

News at UM

Bending Over Backwards to Stay Healthy: Yoga Class Provides Body and Soul Experience

Let the Listening Process Continue

Three Canes Elected to Florida Sports Hall of Fame

UM Welcomes Class of 2019 Stamps Scholars


The University of Miami | Department of Orientation & Commuter Student Involvement
Shalala Student Center, Suite 203 | 1330 Miller Drive, Coral Gables, FL 33146
(305) 284-5646 |