Alumni Hear Dean Outline Her Vision at Homecoming Reception

Merle Kravetz, B.A. '57, M.Ed. '72, enjoyed a long career in teaching and counseling at Gulliver Schools in Miami. "I've always valued my connection with the University of Miami and have been active in the alumni association," she said at the School of Education and Human Development's Homecoming Reception on November 2. "I bleed green and orange!"

Friends Bianca Anuforo, B.S. '16, and Christa Nairn, B.S. '16, are building on their training in exercise physiology to advance their careers. "The hands-on program in the Department of Kinesiology and Sport Sciences (KIN) is the best," said Anuforo, who is now working at Rutgers Cancer Institute in New Jersey.  Meanwhile, Nairn is a student in University of South Florida's Morani College of Medicine, where she is focusing on family medicine and sports medicine.

Dozens of the school's alumni and their family members enjoyed talking with their classmates, friends and professors at the Faculty Club.  For Ramon and Yamile Valdes, BA '91, MS '98, the reception provided an opportunity to spend time with their son Tomas, a UM student who is one of their four children.

"We are truly a 'Cane family," said Yamile Valdes,  BA, '91 MS '98, who taught math for many years at Ammons Middle School, Ponce de Leon Middle and Tropical Park Elementary.  "I was pregnant when I took the masters program, taking five courses while I was expecting."

Dean Laura Kohn-Wood welcomed the alumni to the reception, and outlined her vision for the school.  "We have a great foundation in place to build for the future," she said. "My priorities include strengthening the interdisciplinary collaboration among our three departments,  engaging the community (in) a variety of ways, and improving social mobility through education – helping people transform their lives and reduce inequities in our society."

After the dean's comments, Harriet Berenfeld Rubinstein, BA '68, thanked the teachers at the reception for their lasting impact on the country, and received a long round of applause.  "Without teachers, there would be no lawyers, doctors or architects or other professionals," added Kohn-Wood who noted that her parents were also teachers.

The dean then introduced Lisette Perez-Lima, clinical assistant professor and director of the Institute for Individual & Family Counseling in the Department of Educational and Psychological Studies (EPS). "Our clinic provides training to our counseling students and services to children, adults, couples and families in our community," Perez-Lima said.

Mary Avalos, research associate professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning, told alumni about a U.S. Department of Education training grant for Miami-Dade County Public School secondary teachers seeking a master's degree, and Erin McNary, clinical assistant professor, KIN, outlined plans for the school's fourth Sport Administration Conference on April 11-12, 2019. "We bring in C-level executives from professional sports and media organizations," she said. "Our goal is to create learning and networking opportunities for our students."

By: Richard Westlund
11-04-2018