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College Forum Volume 20, Number 1 : Page 2

ALUMNI news A CONDUCTOR OF INNOVATION MIT Entrepreneurship Leader Got His Start at MDC MDC alumnus José Estabil is sought the world over for his vision-ary acumen for converting technol-ogies into innovative, marketable applications. An engineer by trade, the director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Skoltech Initiative holds 10 patents in semi-conductor technology, as well as numerous titles including thought leader, Brown University trustee and MDC Idea Center founding advisor – none of which, he said, would have been possible without his experience as a dual enrollment student at Miami Dade College. “I had always been a good stu-dent, but I never thought I would be competitive because I was Lati-no: I didn’t look like the smart kids on TV or in honors programs at school,” Estabil said. “MDC was the first place I felt highly competitive. I became the kid to beat.” Estabil’s impressive trajectory wasn’t mapped from a place of privilege. Though educated, his parents were middle-class workers who moved the family from Cuba to the U.S. when José was 4. Estabil’s intellect was apparent from an early age, and he earned straight A’s in academics all through school. But, “I was a huge dis-ciplinary problem,” he said – a textbook case of a highly gifted, under-stimulated youngster. Lacking adequate academic ad-vising, Estabil had taken regular classes in junior and senior high, only to find out that he wouldn’t be able to go to college without a sequence of higher-level math and science courses. That’s when MDC entered the picture. “MDC’s was the first real lab I worked in,” he said. It also ignited a lifelong passion for physics thanks to Professor Jo-seph Boyle, who “created an en-vironment where physics was fun and cool.” From MDC, Estabil went on to major in physics at Brown Univer-sity. After graduating, he began working at IBM, where he devel-oped industry-changing technol-ogies. After years in research and development, he would move on to hold high-level administrative po-sitions at KLA-Tencor, Schlumberger and tau-Metrix, where he served as president before taking on his cur-rent position at MIT. Estabil credits his success to his José Estabil first college classes. “I would not be where I am now if it were not for my experience at MDC.” – MR AN UNFORGETTABLE HOMECOMING Arsht Commissions Alumnus for 10th Anniversary Celebration Robert Battle, artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, returns to Miami this spring to present a commissioned work at the Arsht. Robert Battle is returning to Miami in full glo-ry this spring when the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts presents his first commis-sioned work since he became artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 2011. An alumnus of the New World School of the Arts at MDC who grew up in Liberty City, Battle is the elite member of an exclusive club, serving as only the third person to head the famed dance company since its founding in 1958. Premiering on Feb. 18, Battle’s exciting new piece is called Awakening . Set to music by Amer-ican composer John Mackey for a cast of 12 Ailey dancers, Awakening is one of 10 works com-missioned for the 10@10 series celebrating the Arsht’s 10th anniversary. Among the dancers fea-tured is Jamar Roberts, another esteemed New World alumnus. Battle’s gift as a performer developed relatively late in life for a dancer, since he wore corrective leg braces before entering elementary school. In-spired by seeing Ailey’s Revelations and hoping 2 COLLEGE forum to strengthen his legs, he took his first dance class at age 13. His love of performing prompted him to enroll at New World School of the Arts. “New World’s dance program is terrific,” Battle said. “Some of my fondest memories of learning happened there, and I established relationships that continue to this day.” After graduating, Battle danced with Parsons Dance Company then founded Battleworks Dance Company in 2002. Battle was a frequent choreographer and artist-in-residence at Ailey be-fore being named director. “Seeing the Ailey company perform had such a huge impact on my heart and my conscious-ness,” he said. “It served as a guide for me, and I want to do the same for kids in Miami. I know firsthand that when a youngster sees the Ailey company, it can lead them to greatness. “I grew up in Liberty City and made it to Alvin Ailey, so to now come back for this premiere in my hometown is an awesome, full-circle moment.” – NN MIAMI DADE COLLEGE COLLEGE f orum February 2016 • Volume 20 • Number 1 Published by Miami Dade College, Office of Communications 300 N.E. Second Ave., Miami, FL 33132-2296 Send emails to editor@mdc.edu. Communications Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Juan C . Mendieta Marketing Communications Director . . . . . . . . .Irene Giménez Muñoz Editorial Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brenda Krebs, Ph .D . Copy Editors/Contributors . . . . . . . . . . .Nnéka Nnolim, Monica Roos, Anne-Margaret Swary, Walter Villa Graphic Designers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pasita Andino, Reynaldo Arroyo, Carmen Bosch, Catalina Figueras, Grizelle Paz Photographers . . . .Cristian Lazzari, Carlos Llano, Deborah Rodríguez Production Coordinator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Susan Smitherman For more information about MDC programs, call 305-237-8888 or visit www.mdc.edu. www .mdc .edu/main/collegeforum /MDCollege @MDCollege @MDCollege www .youtube .com/MiamiDadeColleges

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