Aida Levitan Elected Chair of the Amigos of the Cuban Heritage Collection

aida

Aida T. Levitan, Ph.D.

Aida T. Levitan, Ph.D., a nationally recognized marketing communications leader and philanthropist, has been elected Chair of the Amigos of the Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) at the University of Miami Libraries, becoming the first woman to take on the role since founding Co-Chair Elena Díaz-Versón Amos served from 1995 to 2000. As Chair, a two-year position, Dr. Levitan will work to generate awareness of the CHC and its archival resources while collaborating with UM Libraries leadership and UM Advancement in fundraising efforts to develop programs related to the CHC’s mission.

The Amigos is a volunteer group founded in support of the CHC’s efforts to document and preserve the history of Cuba and the Cuban diaspora. Former Amigos Chairs include Aldo Leiva, Horacio Stuart Aguirre, Carlos P. Quintela, Ignacio Carrera-Jústiz, José F. Valdivia, Jr., Díaz-Versón Amos, and Henry King Stanford.

Dr. Levitan led the number one U.S. Hispanic advertising and public relations agency and is now the President of ArtesMiami, Inc., dedicated to supporting and promoting Hispanic artists and cultural organizations. She is also President of The Levitan Group, Inc., a consulting firm that provides strategic branding services to international and local companies.

A recipient of numerous national and local awards, Dr. Levitan is Vice Chair of the Smithsonian Latino Center and serves on the boards of U.S. Century Bank and the Spanish Cultural Center. She is Trustee Emerita of the Pérez Art Museum Miami and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.



2016 New Directions in Cuban Studies Conference

ND2016-header_1200x312_v3

Registration is now open for the 2016 New Directions in Cuban Studies conference presented by the Cuban Heritage Collection at the University of Miami Donna E. Shalala Student Center, October 20-21, 2016. This multidisciplinary conference is held biennially to disseminate the work of graduate students and emerging scholars and survey the current status of Cuban and Cuban American Studies.

Questions?
Please contact Mei Méndez, Interim Esperanza Bravo de Varona Chair of the Cuban Heritage Collection, at meimendez@miami.edu or 305-284-4900.

Conference History
The inaugural conference was held in 2014 and included the participation of 13 former CHC fellows. The event’s keynote speaker was Louis A. Pérez, Jr. Panel discussants included Ada Ferrer, New York University, José Quiroga, Emory University, Lisandro Pérez, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and María de los Angeles Torres, University of Illinois, Chicago.

The 2014 New Directions in Cuban Studies conference was made possible in part through funding from The Goizueta Foundation and the Amigos of the Cuban Heritage Collection.



2016 New Directions in Cuban Studies Conference

ND2016-header_1200x312_v3

The University of Miami Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) will host a multidisciplinary conference October 20-21, 2016, to disseminate the work of graduate students and emerging scholars and survey the current status of Cuban and Cuban American Studies.

The application period for papers and panel proposals has now closed. Please stay tuned for event registration information.

About New Directions in Cuban Studies 2016

Planning for the 2016 conference is underway with the strong support of our organizing committee. The committee is made up of the following individuals:

  • Dr. Victor Deupi, Lecturer, University of Miami School of Architecture
  • Dr. Lillian Manzor, Associate Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences
  • Mei Méndez, Interim Esperanza Bravo de Varona Chair, University of Miami Cuban Heritage Collection
  • Dr. Martin Tsang, CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow in History and Area Studies, University of Miami Libraries

The New Directions in Cuban Studies conference is free and open to the public.  Registration is required.

Conference History

The inaugural conference was held in 2014 and included the participation of 13 former CHC fellows. The event’s keynote speaker was Louis A. Pérez, Jr. Panel discussants included Ada Ferrer, New York University, José Quiroga, Emory University, Lisandro Pérez, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and María de los Angeles Torres, University of Illinois, Chicago.

The 2014 New Directions in Cuban Studies conference was made possible in part through funding from The Goizueta Foundation and the Amigos of the Cuban Heritage Collection.



Goizueta Fellows: In Their Own Words

Starting this summer the Cuban Heritage Collection welcomes ten emerging scholars into the Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellowships Program. We are proud to introduce each of our 2016-2017 Goizueta Fellows throughout the course of the program.

Thanks to Melissa Bumbach for taking part in the first interview of the series. Melissa will discuss her work in a CHC Research Colloquium on Wednesday, June 29, 3 p.m., at CHC’s Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion. All are welcome to attend this presentation.

About Melissa Bumbach

CHC-fellow_01

Goizueta Fellow Melissa Bumbach is pursuing her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting at the University of Miami Frost School of Music.

Melissa Bumbach is a teaching assistant at the University of Miami Frost School of Music where she is pursuing her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting with a cognate in music education. She has been awarded two research grants to fund dissertation research in Cuba and the U.S. Previously, she was the choral director at Howard Middle School in Marion County, Florida, where she was named the 2012 Howard Middle School Teacher of the Year and awarded a $10,000 grant for her choral program from the TV show Glee and the National Association for Music Education. She went on to be named the 2012 Marion County Teacher of the Year. Melissa is also a professional vocal soloist and choral singer and has recorded with Gloria Estefan and sung the National Anthem at the 2016 CNN Republican Presidential Debate in Miami, FL. Melissa received her master’s degree in choral conducting at the University of South Florida, where was the Graduate Conducting Apprentice for the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay. She received her bachelor’s degree in music education from Palm Beach Atlantic University.

What university/program are you from?

University of Miami Frost School of Music, pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting

What are you working on?

I am conducting an oral history of Dr. Digna Guerra, the director of the National Choir of Cuba since 1975, for my dissertation. Chamber choirs from the National Choir of Cuba have recently performed at the baseball game attended by U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro as well as with the Rolling Stones.

What do you expect to find at the CHC?

The Cuban Heritage Collection contains the Manuel Ochoa papers. Manuel Ochoa, a well-known choral and orchestral conductor, was Dr. Guerra’s conducting teacher in Cuba in the 1960s. I hope to find materials from Dr. Guerra’s time under Manuel Ochoa’s direction. I also hope to find materials related to Dr. Guerra’s many choral performances and professional recognitions in Cuba and internationally.

How can we learn more about your research?

I will be talking about my project in a CHC Research Colloquium* on Wednesday, June 29, 3 p.m. at the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion.

*Colloquia are free and open to the public. Contact us at chc@miami.edu for more information.

About the Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellowships Program

The Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellowships Program provides assistance to doctoral students who wish to use the research resources available in the University of Miami Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) in support of dissertation research. The goal of these fellowships is to engage emerging scholars with the materials available in the Cuban Heritage Collection and thus contribute to the larger body of scholarship in Cuban, hemispheric, and international studies.

For more information about fellowship opportunities to study at the Cuban Heritage Collection or to learn about past fellows, click here.