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School of Business Undergraduate Student Named Truman Scholarship Finalist

March 12, 2010
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Romy Portuondo-RemoirA School of Business junior majoring in political science, economics and legal studies is a finalist for the prestigious Truman Scholarship. Romy Portuondo-Remior is one of 200 finalists selected from more 570 student applicants for the 2010 award. If she is a scholarship winner, Portuondo-Remior will be the first UM student to receive the prestigious Truman Scholarship in the past 14 years.

As a Cuban-American, Portuondo-Remior has dedicated herself to the empowerment of Hispanic youth at home and abroad.  Her interest in international Cuban issues led to her involvement with Raices de Esperanza (Roots of Hope), a non-partisan, non-profit group dedicated to empowering Cuban youth.   Since becoming a member in 2008, she rose to the ranks of the management team in one year, later assuming her current role as the organization's new media manager.  At the helm of the Raices media team, Portuondo-Remior manages online platforms like Twitter and Facebook and has helped the organization develop the largest international network of young Cuban-American leaders.

Portuondo-Remior also played an instrumental role at the Raices National Youth Leadership Conference held at the University of Miami in 2009.  She organized a humanitarian and solidarity event drawing hundreds of volunteers to man  work stations dedicated to the packaging of six tons of aid, creating a canvas version of the Raices “Berlin Wall,” writing letters to 200 pen-pals in Cuba and taping video messages to youth on the island. The event was described in follow-up surveys as the “most meaningful experience” of the conference and “real advocacy in action” according to Roots of Hope Chairman Felice Gorordo.

As the youngest member of the board of directors for the Cuban American National Council Inc. (CNC), the nation's second largest Hispanic non-profit organization, Portuondo-Remior is working to expand the organization’s leadership development programs to include a component in which young professionals will serve as mentors for at-risk students.

Portuondo-Remior has held summer internships with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, the latter through the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute.  On campus, she served for three years as the School of Business senator in the UM Student Government Legislative Branch.  She also was chosen to represent UM as a presidential fellow for the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida.  In addition, Portuondo-Remior is a residential assistant in Hecht Residential College, first soprano in the Frost School of Music Women's Chamber Ensemble and this year’s homecoming queen.

 Upon graduation, Portuondo-Remior hopes to obtain her Juris Doctorate degree with concentrations in international and constitutional law.  Portuondo-Remior is particularly appreciative of the valuable education and experiences she received during her time at the School of Business and said that UM played a key role in her success.

“It is incredibly rewarding to be able to represent the University of Miami, particularly the School of Business, in all of my endeavors,” she said.  “I could not have made it this far in the Truman selection process without the solid foundation and support the business school, its faculty, and staff have provided for me over the past three years. Particularly in the last month when priming for the final Truman interview, the administration of the School of Business, such asVice Dean Neider, Mrs. McPhillip, and Mrs. Rivera and the faculty, including Drs. Gomez, West, Hagan and Koger, played a vital role in preparing me for the road ahead.”

To become a Truman Scholar finalist, Portuondo-Remior survived a rigorous screening of her written application and policy proposal, a series of probing interviews on her accomplishments and leadership abilities and a lengthy period of refinement of her application assisted by several UM  administrators and professors.

The prestigious scholarship provides each recipient $30,000 for graduate studies as well as priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling and special fellowship opportunities within the federal government.

The Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by Congress in 1975 as the federal memorial to president Harry S. Truman. The foundation awards scholarships for college students to attend graduate school in preparation for careers in government or other public service fields.

For more information on the Truman Scholarship visit www.truman.gov.
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