St. Thomas University Unveils Biscayne College's Blueprint for Leadership, Names Former Mayor as Chair

Aug 07, 2013, 13:03 ET from St. Thomas University

MIAMI, Fla., Aug. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Biscayne College (, St. Thomas University's original school established in 1961, is unveiling its "Blueprint for Leadership" and great initiatives are already in the make.  


Biscayne College's Fellows Program offers an academically challenging college experience for high-achieving students. Enrolled in selective disciplines like the Psychology Fellows, students form mutually supportive "learning communities" in technology enriched classrooms. In teams, they learn to think, analyze, create, cope and interact. They explore the different aspects of psychology as it relates to research, the diversity of mankind, and the practical application of psychology theories. Counseling disciplines, at a graduate degree level, train them to cure mental illnesses, help others manage stress, and produce a better environment guided by best practices in guidance.

The College recently launched "Word Up!", an ambitious and comprehensive quality enhancement plan to improve students' writing skills. Student learning outcomes have been carefully identified, fostering a campus-wide culture of writing that will make students prolific and successful writers in any field. Writing boot camps…expert-led panels on dissertations and serious topics such as human trafficking and diplomacy …student writing tutors who help first-year students…are all modeled in learning communities that develop academic and industry written communications to build a foundation for the multicultural marketplace.

Biscayne College graduates are required to have fluency in at least two languages and an international experience before graduating. The Institute for World Languages and Cultures also links St. Thomas with other world universities. Study-abroad programs in Europe, Asia, and Latin America revolve around combined immersions that include the Mandarin language and culture, or learning Spanish in disciplines that enhance professional studies relating to Latin America. As a result, Biscayne College graduates are enriched through overseas studies and international experiences like studying in San Lorenzo de El Escorial in the outskirts of Madrid.  The approach opens future jobs with multinationals, government or diplomatic circles. It is all part of the Catholic intellectual vision and manifesting the dream of multinational and inter-religious dialogues across the world. It is all part of the world's – and South Florida's – need for well-rounded leaders with broad minds.

A crucial component of leadership development at Biscayne College is to guide students to help and empower the marginalized of our region. Students work with professors on research projects that directly assist local and regional vulnerable groups. "Engaged Scholarship" courses include working with the surrounding community of Miami Gardens, with migrant workers in central Florida, and with coffee farmers in one of the most impoverished regions in Haiti. What is truly unique in Haiti's project is student direct engagement in all aspects of the coffee trade, from production to marketing and to distribution.

The University has named former Executive Mayor of Miami-Dade County as Biscayne College Chair. Penelas guided a community of 2.3 million people and oversaw a $6 billion budget. His governmental responsibilities extended across a broad range of issues such as education, infrastructure, corruption, jobs and economic development, sports, arts, human rights and homelessness. After leaving public service, Alex Penelas became a Senior Fellow and Professor of Government at St. Thomas University. Today he enjoys a successful private law and consulting practice (AP Consulting, LLC) that focuses on corporate business development and public affairs. A 1981 graduate of Biscayne College, he is currently a member of the Board of Trustees at St. Thomas University.

Biscayne College's dean - Scott Zeman - joined the St. Thomas University community in 2011. Prior to his appointment as Dean of Biscayne College and Professor of History, Zeman served as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of History at New Mexico Tech University and received his PhD in History from Arizona State University in 1998. Zeman's scholarly interests are in the area of American popular culture and the history of nuclear technology. He has extensively published after his outstanding research on how American culture represented nuclear technologies and he has published much on said topics.

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SOURCE St. Thomas University