Friends and Neighbors

Columnist: Being a great grandparent really is great

I’d like to take this opportunity to say "Happy Grandparents Day" to all the grandparents out there.

Like many of you, I am on my second generation of grandparenting, which means I am now a great-grandmom. I thought it was wonderful when my first grandchild was born. But now I know why people in my category are called "great" grandparents. It really is great, you know.

So, if you recently became a grandparent or if you are looking forward to becoming one in the near future — let me be the first to welcome you to the club!

Welcome to the U

A warm welcome to Charles D. Eckman, who recently was named dean of libraries at the University of Miami, which according to a press release, has one of the top 50 research libraries in North America. Eckman, will assume his new post on Dec. 1, replacing William D. Walker, who has been in the position since 2003. He stepped down in May to rejoin the faculty.

Eckman currently serves as dean of library services and university librarian at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. Before joining Simon Fraser, Eckman was associate university librarian and director of collections at the University of California-Berkeley.

"In a press release statement, UM President Donna E. Shalala said of Eckman: "He has an impressive track record as an innovative research librarian and will be instrumental in our continued rise as one of the best library resources in the Southeastern United States."

Shalala said Eckman was selected after a national search that "considered distinguished candidates from major research libraries in the country." She said it became clear after the search that Eckman was an unusually experienced and scholarly librarian, whose collaborative leadership style perfectly suits the needs of the University of Miami.

"In the rapidly changing world of research libraries, the university will need leadership that is equally comfortable with the scholarly traditions of the past and the digital technologies that will define the future. I am pleased that we have found such a leader in Dr. Eckman."

Fundraiser for scholarships

The community is invited to Breakthrough Miami’s first "Support-A-Scholar Celebration," at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 21 at the De La Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space, 23 NE 41st St. in Miami.

The event will feature contemporary artist Jim Drain. Participating schools are, Ransom Everglades School, Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart, Miami Country Day School and Palmer Trinity School.

Tickets are $125 per person, or you may Fund-A-Scholar at $1,600, which includes two complimentary tickets to the event and covers the annual cost of one Breakthrough student.

To RSVP go to, or call 305-646-7210

Looking for extraordinary women

March, which is also Women’s History Month, will be here before you know it. And it is time now, for you to think about your nominees for The 26th Annual "In the Company of Women" awards ceremony which is scheduled for March 13, 2014.

The event is hosted by the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade, in partnership with the Miami-Dade County Commission for Women and Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces. The award recognizes women who have shown professional development, community responsibility, contribution to women’s progress, leadership and vision , and promotion of pluralism.

Nominations of women are being sought for the following categories:

• Outstanding Woman in Arts and Entertainment

• Outstanding Woman in Business and Economics

• Outstanding Woman in Communications and Literature

• Outstanding Woman in Education and Research

• Outstanding Woman in Government and Law - Elected and Non Elected

• Outstanding Woman in Health and Human Services

• Outstanding Woman in Science and Technology

• Outstanding Woman in Sports and Athletics

• Community Spirit Award

• The Mayor’s Pioneer Award

• The Posthumous Award

• The Young Professional Award (a new category this year for an outstanding woman age 30 or under, who exemplifies all of the characteristics required above, but who, because of her age may not have as many years experience within her profession).

To download the nomination form, visit:

Completed forms must be mailed to Laura Morilla, Executive Director, Miami-Dade County Commission for Women, 111 NW First St. Suite 1034, Miami, FL 33128. Nominations must be postmarked by Oct. 11.

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Friends and Neighbors, c/o Neighbors, 2000 NW 150th Ave., Suite 1105, Pembroke Pines, FL 33028, fax it to 954-538-7018 or email Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.

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