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Audrey R. Finkelstein UM Experience: Class is Back in Session

March 30, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 2:30 pm


March 30, 2021

With topics ranging from predicting environmental events and persuasive communication skills to the creative process of composing music for film and varied influences on our decision-making, to a keynote address on mental illness, society, stigma, and services, there is something for everyone. The day will conclude with a networking opportunity for alumni to meet and greet featured faculty and hear more about their areas of expertise and research.


Morning Sessions

Session A | 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. EDT
Hurricanes, Floods, and Fires, Oh My: Predicting Extreme Weather and Hazards from Days to Decades
Professor Benjamin Kirtman will describe how — and how accurately — we can predict environmental hazards across timescales of days, weeks, seasons, and even decades into the future. Learn more.

Session B | 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. EDT
Debate and Argumentation: How to Win an Argument
Professor David L. Steinberg will introduce tools for constructing reasoned argumentation and techniques for favorably comparing your arguments to those of your adversaries so as to generate reasoned decision-making, shared understanding, winning arguments, and love. Learn more.

Keynote Session

Noon to 1:15 p.m. EDT
Insanity and Humanity: Stigma, Society, and Services
Laura P. Kohn-Wood, dean, School of Education and Human Development, presents information arguing that despite progress, stigma and social policy have led to limited resources for addressing mental health. Learn more.

Moderated Q&A immediately following the lecture.

Afternoon Sessions

Session A | 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. EDT
From Concept to Completion: Scoring “The Queen’s Gambit” and Other Stories
Professor Carlos R. Rivera, Emmy award-winning composer of the soundtrack for Netflix hit The Queen’s Gambit, will discuss writing music for film, the creative process, and insights from mistakes made along the way. Learn more.

Session B | 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. EDT
The Psychology of Choice
Professor Claudia Townsend, will discuss the mental shortcuts we routinely use, how they influence our choices in the context of purchases and more, and the many ways in which visual elements influence our decisions beyond our awareness. Learn more.


Xavier I. Cortada, A.B. ’86, J.D. ’91, M.P.A. ’91, Professor of Practice, Art and Art History, College of Arts and Sciences, Professor of Professional Practice, Pediatrics, Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, and Faculty Representative, University of Miami Alumni Association.


Sessions are complimentary to attend, however, advance registration is required.
Please register no later than March 26, 2021.

Register now

The Audrey R. Finkelstein UM Experience hosted by the University of Miami Alumni Association takes place each semester and promotes alumni lifelong learning through lectures on timely topics by prominent faculty members. For more information, click here.


University of Miami Development and Alumni Relations
View Organizer Website


Virtual event