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College Forum Volume 18, Issue 2 : Page 2

ALUMNI news MDC Gave Executive Tools to Excel in Several Fields Alexandra Villoch, who was recently named the first fe-male publisher in the 110-year history of The Miami Herald Media Company, credits her education at Miami Dade College with setting her on the road to her notewor-thy achievements. “I had no clue about a career path,” Villoch said of starting her education at MDC. “I have always envied those folks who from an early age have such a clearly defined vision of their future. That was not me! That’s where Miami Dade College played such an important role in my development. I had the opportunity to sample so many classes.” A Well-Balanced Education By the time she graduated from MDC, Villoch realized that she loved business. She took that talent and worked for United Airlines as its general manager for Miami Interna-tional Airport and the Caribbean. In 2000, she joined The Miami Herald as national adver-tising director and later became the company’s director of retail advertising and event marketing. In 2005, she was named senior vice president for advertising and marketing. With all her success, Villoch hasn’t forgotten her time at Miami Dade College. Im p ressive V ariety Villoch said MDC’s vast selection of courses allowed her to get a balanced education. “I was not pigeonholed into a set track at MDC,” she said. “To have success, you need to have balance. You need to know how to have an understanding of history and litera-ture and throw in some appreciation for art and music as well as knowing how to write HTML code or how to bal-ance your books.” Seeing the N um bers “I found in the accounting classes I took at MDC that all of a sudden math had a purpose,” she said. “I had always struggled with algebra and geometry – I couldn’t visualize their applications. “But then I took accounting and thought ‘Wow. This I can visualize,’ ” she said. “I had an instinctive feel for income and statements and balance sheets, and the professors at Miami Dade College gave that to me.” – WV Success Beyond HIS DREAMS City Manager Thankful for Opportunities Offered at MDC Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado has appointed Miami Dade College alum-nus Daniel J. Alfonso to the post of city manager. Alfonso previously served as the city’s chief financial officer, where he made huge strides in putting the city on the road to financial recov-ery, boosting its reserves to $75 million at the close of fiscal year 2013. Alfonso had served as the acting city manager and took the title officially when his predeces-sor resigned after a period of ill health. “I am humbled,” said Alfonso. “It’s an honor to serve the residents of our city. We are on the path to recov-ery, but we have more to do, and I want to continue expanding growth.” Alfonso’s ascendency to the prestigious position – which reports directly to the mayor – is even more re-markable considering the huge transition he made in his youth. He arrived in the U.S. from Cuba at age 11 with few possessions and fewer prospects. “We got here with what we had on our backs and a small briefcase,” Alfonso recalls. “I had no dreams of rising to a post like this.” Alfonso credits MDC with laying the foundation for his accomplished career in public service. “I’m proud of the fact that I went to Miami Dade College,” he said. “I find it amazing how many peo-ple in the community go to MDC and move into key positions and serve the community. The College does a wonderful job in preparing students for bigger and bet-ter things and creating jobs in the community.” 2 COLLEGE forum Greenfield Award Supports Work Prize Bestowed on Alum MDC Hall of Fame alumnus and award-winning playwright Nilo Cruz recently received the 2014 Greenfield Prize, which honors artists in various disciplines whose past achievements and future prospects position them to create new works that are destined to have a significant impact on culture. “I am very grateful for the Greenfield award,” Cruz said. “It is not only a recognition of what I have written in the past, but more an award that comes full of inspiration for the sto-ries I want to unravel in the future and the characters who are waiting to be represented.” Heading to the Herm itage As part of the prize, Cruz, who won a Pulitzer for his 2003 work Anna in the Tropics , has been commissioned to complete a new project in the next two years. He will be awarded time and space to do so at the noted Hermitage Artist Retreat in Florida. “Our very distinguished jury had a very hard decision to make,” said Hermitage Executive Director Bruce E. Rodgers. “In the end, they selected Nilo Cruz for the poetic nature of his work and where he stands in his career at this time.” M om entous First As the first Latino and only the third playwright to receive the Greenfield Prize, the award is especially meaningful to Cruz. “With the Greenfield Prize comes the continual recognition and trust of Latino playwrights who in the past decades have been acquiring a place in North American theaters,” he said. “Sometimes Latinos might only be perceived as exiles and immigrants in Published by Miami Dade College, Office of Communications search of freedom and financial stabil-300 N.E. Second Ave., Miami, FL 33132-2296 ity, but we also come to this land with Send emails to suitcases full of paintings, novels and Communications Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Juan C . Mendieta plays, the substance and observation Marketing Communications Director . . . . . . . . .Irene Giménez Muñoz of the imagination.” Editorial Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brenda Krebs, Ph .D . Cruz received the Prize at a special Copy Editors/Contributors . . . . . Monica Roos, Anne-Margaret Swary dinner, where Oscar-winning actress Graphic Designers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pasita Andino, Reynaldo Arroyo, Olympia Dukakis served as keynote Carmen Bosch, Grizelle Paz Photographers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cristian Lazzari, Carlos Llano speaker. He was recently in Miami to Production Coordinator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Susan Smitherman direct a three-day run of his new play, Sotto Voce , which premiered in New For more information about MDC programs, call 305-237-8888 or visit York earlier in the spring. – AMS MIAMI DADE COLLEGE COLLEGE f orum June 2014 • Volume 18 • Number 2 /MDCollege @MDCollege @MDCollege

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