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President Shalala Joins Dean Barbara Kahn in Honoring UM’s Best and Brightest

February 21, 2008
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Undergraduate business students who have attained the highest possible academic achievement of the semester, which includes a 4.0 GPA, were recognized at a breakfast in the School’s Executive Dining Room on February 21st.

President shalala
 Miami’s “Best and Brightest” business students, with UM President Donna Shalala (center) outside the
School of Business 

University of Miami President Donna Shalala gave a short address to students including a mention of the prior evening’s upset of Duke University by the men’s Hurricanes basketball team. She praised the team and used the game as an example of determination and desire never to give up even when facing tremendous odds. Senior Ryan Kairalla who will graduate in May with a double major in economics and political science said of the president’s visit, “the very notion that she was there means a lot. She’s always been very accessible.”

 Dean Kahn
 Pictured left to right: Vice Dean Linda Neider, Dean Barbara Kahn, and Fall 2007 Honor Roll student Stephanie Schiemann with UM President Donna Shalala

Dean Kahn gave what was described as a “charismatic” presentation of her vision for the School and allowed students the opportunity to participate in a question and answer session. A good portion of the discussion related to the new policy of grade banding, which the faculty put into practice this term. Grade banding is a method of grouping scores within a band, a grading system that students seemed to have mixed feelings about.  “I was concerned with losing the collegiate atmosphere,” said Morales who worried that it would be replaced with an attitude of “cutthroat competition.” The dean seemed to assuage students concerns by explaining that the new policy would benefit students, especially in a program that involves so much group work, and that the School is striving to prepare students for the challenges of the real world.

Students were presented with a President’s Honor Roll Certificate and were photographed with President Shalala, Dean Kahn; and Linda Neider, vice dean of undergraduate programs.  Senior business law student Joshua Morales said, “The two greatest benefits of breakfasts like these are the chance to have your time for Q & A with people like Dean Kahn and Vice Dean Neider and the chance to bring them up to date on your activities and get their feedback.”

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