About the College
Humanities forum features UM president, Center for the Humanities director, A&S alumna Estefan
In a move to create a national dialogue for the humanities and social sciences, Miami Dade College (MDC), in collaboration with the University of Miami, hosted the Humanities and Civil Society forum on September 14 at MDC’s Wolfson campus.
Mihoko Suzuki, director of UM's Center for the Humanities, UM President Donna Shalala, and Arts & Sciences alumna Gloria Estefan participated in the Humanities and Civil Society forum, organized by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences’ Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences. (Photos by Zureyka Carsi, Center for the Humanities.)
At the event, which was organized by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences’ Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences, UM President Donna E. Shalala and MDC President Eduardo J. Padrón heard testimony from 12 distinguished panelists, including UM alumna and international superstar Gloria Estefan; Mihoko Suzuki, director of UM’s Center for the Humanities; and several UM alumnae and community leaders.
The American Academy of Arts & Sciences organized the forum to find innovative ways for the U.S. to maintain national excellence in the humanities and social sciences.
Estefan was the first to share her story, describing how she began attending public school in the U.S. as a recent Cuban immigrant. She fondly remembered her music and social science teachers and the band practice and humanities and social science classes that guided and shaped her talent at a young age.
Suzuki focused on innovative University-wide initiatives that engage the faculty, students, and the community in support of the humanities and social sciences. She mentioned UM’s active collaboration with Books & Books, the Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs Council, the Florida Humanities Council, and the yearlong event celebrating the humanities on the UM campus, Taking Flight. Suzuki also discussed "Teachers as Scholars," a program in which university faculty would lead seminars for K-12 teachers, who are responsible for transmitting the importance of humanities texts and approaches to the next generation of citizens.
As the last speaker, Suzuki echoed the testimony of the previous panelists when she encouraged Congress to reverse the 60 percent decline in funding of the humanities and social sciences nationwide. "It was striking how all the speakers stressed in their remarks the importance of the schools and public education, the need to forge partnerships, and the importance of access -- and as the last speaker, I was able to sum up their comments with my recommendation to support 'Teachers as Scholars'," Suzuki said.
September 19, 2012