2021 GRC Graduates Honored

GRC recipients and other GRC students

Current GRC Scholars, Top row, L to R: Olivia Casey, Madeline Whistler, Emily Templeton, Julia Albesa, Nav Chima, Lauren Doll, Paige Fisher, Arianna Mack

Graduating GRC Seniors, Front row, L to R: Morgan Blaylock, Cara Amatangelo, Zac States, Carrie Pickering, Megan Fitzgerald

With faculty, staff, and students gathered together, Wednesday, May 5 marked a special milestone for Global Initiatives. Five graduating seniors, part of the first group of students to earn the Global Readiness Certificate (GRC), were being honored for their achievement during a small in-person celebration in the MacMillan Hall Great Room. It was a time to celebrate, but also a time to reflect on the extraordinary team effort that made it possible.

The courses and experiences in the GRC provide students with the knowledge, awareness, and skills necessary for global and intercultural communication and teamwork. According to program coordinator Alicia Castillo Shrestha, GRC scholars take a minimum of 14 credits of international and global courses. They study abroad, attend at least six diversity or globally-focused programs, and serve their community with at least 30 hours of engagement.

In her remarks to the graduates, Cheryl Young, Assistant Provost, Global Initiatives, recalled the ten-year journey to this moment. "When we first brought Global Initiatives together to lead the internationalization effort at Miami, the Global Miami Plan was a wonderful foundation. But we noticed there wasn't a way to recognize students who go above and beyond," she said.

With input from Professors Marty Petrone and James Shiveley, Young and her staff examined programmatic models from all over the US to develop a customizable global certificate for Miami. The GRC was officially approved in February 2019, with the pilot cohort from the College of Education, Health & Society (EHS) launching that fall.

Since then, cohorts from Farmer School of Business (Spring 2020) and the College of Arts and Science (Spring 2021) have joined the program. A cohort from the College of Liberal Arts and Applied Science is planned for Spring 2022. All in all, approximately 50 students are currently taking part in the GRC. 

Shiveley, the EHS faculty liaison, complimented the pilot cohort for their patience and flexibility as the "guinea pigs" who helped smooth the way for the others. He elicited wry chuckles from the audience as he underscored the irony of pursuing a global readiness certificate during a global pandemic. "But you persisted," he said. "And you will always be the first."

GRC Staff and Faculty

Left to right: James Shiveley, Cheryl Young, Katherine Day Good, Marty Petrone, Tarah Trueblood, Karla Guinigundo, Alicia Castillo Shrestha, Jacqueline Rioja Velarde

GRC faculty liaisons

GRC Faculty Liaisons: James Shiveley (EHS), Katherine Day Good (CAS), David Shrider (FSB)

Meet the Honorees

Studying at Miami's Luxembourg campus. Performing volunteer work. Holding leadership roles in student organizations. Carrying dual majors. Graduating early. A pattern of outstanding accomplishments became clear as the audience learned about the five 2021 GRC recipients, who were now, as Young said, "true global ambassadors for Miami."

Majors and future plans of GRC graduates are noted in parentheses.

EHS Cohort

Faculty Liaison: Dr. James Shiveley

  • Cara Amatangelo (Kinesiology | entering Physician's Assistant master's program)
  • Megan Fitzgerald (Social Work & Psychology | entering a master's program in social work)
  • Carrie Pickering (Kinesiology & Psychology | entering a doctoral program in physical therapy)
  • Zac States (Integrated Mathematics Education & Mathematics | teaching high school algebra)

(A fifth EHS student, Grace Sonderman, graduated in 2020.)

FSB Cohort

Faculty Liaison: Dr. David Shrider

  • Morgan Blaylock (Marketing | entering a master's program in marketing)