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Fathers For Fire Safety
ICIE Conference, Miami, USA - August, 2011

HUD Inspector General and U.S. Congressman among Alumni
Key Presenters, STU President to speak on human trafficking struggle

MIAMI, July 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The International Council for Innovation in Higher Education is ready to kick-off its 2011 academic conference on information and communication networks, under the direction of a St. Thomas University alumna Maureen Sheehan Paparella. The Council is an association of individuals and organizations concerned with new developments in education. It is a growing network of academicians, educational administrators, scholars (including elementary and secondary educators), university student scholars, and civic, government, and industry practitioners. All are interested in sharing innovation in education with the international community, promoting excellence in pedagogy, advisory and leadership initiatives, the procurement and development of resources, scholarly research, and ethical standards.  ICIE was founded in 1980 and has met in such locations as Rome, Belfast, Prague, Beijing, Panama, St. John's Newfoundland, Abu Dhabi, and in 2012, Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Following an "outstanding" conference directed by Paparella in 2010 in the United Arab Emirates, the Board of Directors chose to meet in the United States for the first time in more than a decade.  Paparella recently opened mail from St. Thomas University announcing its 50th anniversary and called St. Thomas President, Monsignor Franklyn M. Casale. The alumna was one of the first women to reside on the campus, among the first fifteen, over thirty years ago.

St. Thomas University traces its roots to the Universidad Catolica de Santo Tomas de Villanueva from Havana, Cuba, founded by Augustinians. When the Castro government expelled the Augustinians from Cuba, they came to Miami and founded Biscayne College in 1961, a Roman Catholic college for men.  The college was later renamed St. Thomas University.  The institution gained national recognition in the 1970s as an innovator in higher education.  It became the first undergraduate institution in the United States to recognize sports administration as an academic discipline.  The Miami Dolphin football team trained at the university for over twenty years and became the first NFL team to succeed to the Super Bowl for three consecutive years during that era.  No NFL team has ever achieved a "perfect" season since the 1972 Dolphins!  

Did the presence of the Dolphins inspire students?  For Paparella, it appears so. Professor Sheehan-Paparella completed her degree as a magna cum laude graduate in just three years, with a double major, a "term abroad" to a "sister" Augustinian institution, Villanova University, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a semester of full-time student teaching at Archbishop Curley High School in Miami, and a part-time job. How did she do it?  "I arranged to live on campus and take many courses during the academic summer sessions so that I could watch the Dolphins train in the summer."  Paparella is also a huge "Dol-fan."  

Monday, August 1, 2012, initiates an amazing academic conference for Miami and for ICIE. Dr. Eugene Simko, President of ICIE and Associate Professor of Management and Marketing at Monmouth University's Leon Hess Business School, reports:

"Scholars in attendance will represent the globe; delegates will attend from the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, The Philippines, China, Thailand, The United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka, to name a few.  In the United States, delegates will represent Columbia University, Georgetown University, Monmouth University, College of Charleston, Lock Haven University, West Chester University, Tennessee State University, Concordia. The council chose the United States as its host country for the first time in over a decade; Miami, the county seat of Dade County, was chosen for the "harmony it represents among many international cultures," as over half the population is foreign born and about 70% speak another language at home, other than English (2009, U.S. Census).

For additional information on St. Thomas University's programs visit or contact Chief Marketing Officer Marivi Prado for further information at Conference information and registration can be found at; registration is free of charge forSouth Florida educators and St. Thomas University alumni, who attend presentations while seating is available. Information on the various participants follows.


A literal demonstration of that "harmony" is Mr. Alvin Davis, Macy's/Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year for 2012 and a keynote speaker for ICIE.  His presentation will be followed by a patriotic rendition for international delegates by his award-winning student band from Miramar High School in Broward County, Florida.  Other notable speakers at the 2011 ICIE conference will be the President of St. Thomas University, Monsignor Franklyn Casale, speaking on innovative efforts to address human trafficking education.

The HUD Inspector General, having served under Presidents Bush and Obama, and now a Principal at the Reznick Group in Bethesda, Maryland, The Honorable Kenneth Donohue, an alumnus of St. Thomas University, will speak on the "Operation Stolen Dreams" nationwide effort to address mortgage fraud; his exceptional presentation skills and personal experiences at the epicenter of this crisis will assist educators in articulating this historical era to students.

Also addressing the conference is The Honorable Michael Fitzpatrick, a United StatesCongressman from Pennsylvania, also alumnus of St. Thomas University.  Representative Fitzpatrick will speak on relevant topics related to information and communication networks in education.

From Cincinnati, Ohio, Mr. Dean Dennis, of Fathers for Fire Safety of the World Fire Safety Foundation, will provide life-saving information regarding new technology for smoke detection; Dennis is confident that this knowledge would have saved the life of his own college-student daughter, Andrea Dennis, and the multitude of college students who die each year as the result of smoke inhalation.  Mr. Dennis, an educator, is now a fire safety researcher and presenter, and assists legislators and fire chiefs in an effort to change fire safety protocol globally.

Associate Vice-President of Academic Initiatives and Professor of Political Science atMonmouth University in New Jersey and recipient of the Humanitarian Award from the National Conference for Community and Justice, Dr. Saliba Sarsar, will address the conference on the current rewards and risks of information and communication networks in education and beyond.

Dr. Paul George, the presiding historian at the Historical Museum of Southern Florida and Professor of History at Miami Dade College, will be the historian-in-residence for the delegation, as he guides his "student-delegates" on a "field-trip" of Miami by bus. Ms.Hortense Blackwell Burt, Chief of Education Programs at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, will provide new insight on the direction of space education programs, following the end of the manned space shuttle in the United States. 

Awards of recognition will also be presented to Mr. John Zarrella, a CNN anchor, who has covered more than 80 U.S. Space Shuttle missions, for his contribution to science education, also a St. Thomas University alumnus, and Dr. Nabil Ibrahim, Chancellor ofAbu Dhabi University in United Arab Emirates, for his contribution to the 2010 ICIE Conference in the United Arab Emirates.   Other notable St. Thomas University alumni in attendance will include Mr. Donald Dresback, President of the Beacon Group, Boca Raton, Florida, and Colonel William Comber, United States Air Force (Retired).

Professor Sheehan Paparella will present the innovative use of digital signage touch-screen technology for use in an academic department.  Also, Dr. Simko and Professor Sheehan-Paparella and their students will present the use of Facebook as a social web site used as a medium for teaching and learning among their students at Monmouth Universityand worldwide. Students from Monmouth University and the College of Charleston will be on hand to demonstrate to faculty how to use Twitter, the benefits of the iPad 2, and the use of electronic readers and the special challenges they represent for higher education due toADA federal compliance regulations

Story extracted from, 15 August, 2011

International Elite in Higher Education to Gather at St. Thomas University, Monday August 1

The International Council for Innovation in Higher Education
is an association of individuals and organizations concerned
with new developments in education. The Council is a growing 
network of academicians, educational administrators, scholars
(including elementary and secondary educators), university
student scholars, and civic, government and industry