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College Forum Volume 20, Number 2 : Page 2

ALUMNI news Alumnus Lands Major Acting, Singing Roles on Network Shows atin acting and singing sensation and MDC alumnus Jencarlos Canela has seen his star glow even brighter in recent months with leading roles on two major TV networks. Canela, a graduate of New World School of the Arts at MDC, recently wowed audiences in his performance as Jesus in Tyler Perry’s live broad-cast of The Passion on Fox. The first-of-its-kind live musical production was shot throughout Spotlight Shines on CANELA MDC alumnus Jencarlos Canela L New Orleans and allowed Canela to showcase his singing and acting skills through this leading role portraying one of history and religion’s most iconic figures. Canela also wrapped up his first season co-starring alongside Eva Longoria on NBC’s new half-hour comedy Telenovela . In this role, Canela plays Longoria’s ex-husband who is cast as her co-star in a Spanish language soap op-era – a hilarious nod to Canela’s previous acting credits on popular Latin soap dramas. Canela also maintains an internationally suc-cessful music career and has collaborated with Grammy Award-winning songwriter and MDC alumnus Emilio Estefan in addition to perform-ing artist Pitbull, among many others. – AMS Ensuring A SECURE COMMUNITY After the recent retirement of J.D. Patterson, Juan Pérez has become the latest in a long line of distinguished MDC graduates to rise to the role of director of the Miami-Dade Police Depart-ment. Other Miami Dade College alumni who’ve led the MDPD include James Loftus, Robert Parker and Carlos Alvarez. Patterson, a police officer for more than three decades, set a high bar for leadership, Pérez said. “He’s a man of great character and also a man of faith,” Pérez said of Patterson, who was the director of the MDPD for the past three years. “He was a good mentor and a testament to all the great people who have come out of MDC.” Pérez said attending MDC’s Kendall Campus was life-altering because it was there that he met his wife, Christina, and completed an associate degree in criminal justice, laying the foundation for his outstanding career as a police officer. “The transition from high school to college isn’t easy,” he said. “My professors at Miami Dade College taught me the ropes of what being a col-lege student is all about.” As proud as he is of his new appointment, Pérez said reaching the top wasn’t his mission. “I never expected to be the director. My goal was to make a difference in someone’s life, be it a citizen in the community or a fellow employee. That’s why I became a police officer.” – WV Juan Pérez Becomes Most Recent MDC Alumnus to Lead Police Department MDC alumnus Juan Pérez Leading the Charge Against Human Trafficking MDC alumna Katherine Fernández Rundle is helping fight against human trafficking – a grow-ing international issue that impacts South Florida. As the state attorney for the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida, Fernández Rundle has made strength-ening laws against human trafficking a top legislative priority, including creating a special task force of federal and state law enforcement agents to investigate human trafficking crimes. Fernández Rundle earlier this spring served as the keynote speaker at the fifth annual Human Trafficking Forum, hosted at MDC’s Wolfson Campus. The event convened stakeholders, ser-vice providers, victims’ advocates, lawmakers, educators, medical professionals, community leaders, law enforcement and the judi-ciary to discuss innovative strategies to tackle the issue. “The reasons we are all here today is because of the collabo-ration we have in this community,” she told audience members, many of whom were fellow MDC alumni. She highlighted sobering statistics about human trafficking worldwide and discussed what the South Florida community has done to help abate the problem locally, including greater community awareness, passing tougher laws on perpetrators, and providing safe harbor for victims. – AMS Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine 2 COLLEGE Fernández Rundle MIAMI DADE COLLEGE COLLEGE f orum April 2016 • Volume 20 • Number 2 Published by Miami Dade College, Office of Communications 300 N.E. Second Ave., Miami, FL 33132-2296 Send emails to 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 forum www .mdc .edu/main/collegeforum /MDCollege @MDCollege @MDCollege www .youtube .com/MiamiDadeColleges

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