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Parents Buzz: News for University of Rochester Parents
May 2014
Class of 2014 Celebrates Commencement
students in graduation regalia surrounded by confetti
With three days of ceremonies, activities, and special events marking commencement season, the University recognized graduating students and their families, honored faculty for their teaching, and celebrated the achievements of alumni and other honorees.

ONLINE: Multimedia coverage from commencement; “Dear Mom and Dad” letters from this year’s graduates.
Jamal Rossi Named Eastman School Dean
Jamal Rossi has been named the Joan and Martin Messinger Dean of the Eastman School of Music. Rossi came to Eastman in 2005 as senior associate dean. He served as executive associate dean from 2007 until September 2013, when he was appointed dean of the school following the illness and resignation at that time of former Messinger Dean Douglas Lowry. Read more...
Yellowjackets Head to Softball National Championships
The Yellowjacket softball team plays Wisconsin-Whitewater Thursday, May 22, in an opening game of the NCAA Division III national championships in Tyler, Texas. The Yellowjackets advanced to their first championship tournament appearance with a two-game sweep of 15th-ranked Rowan University. The national championship tournament concludes its double-elimination format on either May 26 or 27. 
Career Center Director to Retire
Burt Nadler, director of the Gwen M. Greene Career and Internship Center, has announced his intent to retire during the 2014–15 academic year. “During his 16-year career at Rochester, Burt’s dedication to the success of our students has served them well and his leadership has brought a great expansion of services in the Career Center,” says Rich Feldman, dean of the College. Nadler has agreed to remain in his position through to the transition to a new director.
‘Hack to the Future’
two students with laptops
Computer programming is often a solitary endeavor. But humans are inherently social creatures. So how do you engage a group of programmers in a way that’s fun and productive? Answer: RocHack. Read more...
Financial Aid Summer Update
The latest issue of the Financial Aid Parent Newsletter focuses on information that will be relevant over the summer. If you have any questions on summer aid, contact your student’s financial aid counselor. The office is open this summer.
Health Insurance for Graduating Students
Graduating students are encouraged to check their health insurance status to assure continuing coverage and access to health care following graduation. Students enrolled in the University-sponsored Aetna Student Health insurance are covered through July 31. If your student is on your insurance plan, University Health Service recommends checking with your insurance company to determine if coverage continues after graduation. Students may be eligible for insurance through the Affordable Care Act Insurance Exchange in their state. Read more...
Health Insurance Site Opens Next Month 
Every year, all full-time students must complete the online health insurance enrollment/waiver process during open enrollment (June 18 to Sept. 15). Enrolling or waiving health insurance by July 7 ensures accurate billing on the July billing statement. Selections made after that date will be reflected on the next billing cycle. Insurance plans must meet all University criteria to be approved for a waiver. Requests to waive may be audited. Read more...
Meliora Weekend Set for Oct. 16–19
Mark your calendars for Meliora Weekend, four days of panels, performances, athletic events, and more. Check out in June for a full listing of events, as well as hotel and parking information. Meliora Weekend organizers recommend that guests reserve hotel rooms early this summer.
Parents Buzz Takes a Break
This is the last issue of Parents Buzz for the academic year. The newsletter will return in August. Parents whose children have graduated can sign off the mailing list by following the unsubscribe link at the bottom of this message. We also recommend Rochester Buzz for parents of alumni. The monthly newsletter includes items of interest to Rochester alumni and friends. Sign up for Rochester Buzz here.
Five Students Earn NSF Research Fellowships
Five Rochester students and 12 alumni have been named recipients of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships. Additionally, eight current students and six recent alumni were given honorable mentions by the NSF. Read more...
Eastman Musicians win DownBeat Student Awards
DownBeat, often described as “the bible of jazz,” has recognized the Eastman Chamber Jazz Ensemble under director Jeff Campbell for outstanding undergraduate college performance in the magazine’s 37th annual Student Awards competition. The publication also chose a work by Michael Conrad ’13E (MM) as the best original composition for a large ensemble. Read more...
Students to Build Community Center in Africa
This summer, John Dawson ’14 (T5) and Katherine Wegman ’15, will spend two months in Cape Town, South Africa, building a new community center for residents of Egoli, a squatter community on the outskirts of Cape Town. Read more...
'The Rockys' Celebrate Campus Leadership
Twenty undergraduates and two student organizations were recognized during the Student Life Awards, sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Students and the Rochester Center for Community Leadership. The awards, also referred to as “The Rockys,” honor students who have made significant contributions to campus life.
Study Abroad Photo Contest Winners Announced
leap frog
“Leap Frog” by Emily Hein ’14, a Chinese studies major from Clive, Iowa, is the grand prize winner in Rochester Review’s annual Study Abroad Photo Contest. More than 200 photos from more than 50 students who took part in academic programs sponsored by the College Center for Study Abroad during 2013 were entered in the contest. The magazine also invited international students to submit their photos of the United States. See the winning photos.
Arts Leadership Program Awards
Funding was awarded to Arts Leadership Program certificate students for paid internships and special opportunities. The awards provide Eastman students with monetary support to further explore professional areas of interest that expose them to extra-musical tools and experience that can only be learned in practical, “real-world” settings. Read more...
Student Filmmakers Recognized
A diverse group of 19 student films was presented at the ninth annual Gollin Film Festival, with the top films winning $1,200 in cash prizes. Read more...
Student Teams Honored in Business Competitions
Ovitz and SmartDialysis were named winners at the New York Business Plan Competition finals last week. Ovitz—including Joung Yoon (Felix) Kim ’14; Samuel Steven ’13, ’14 (MS); Pedro Vallejo-Ramirez ’16; Ana Garcia ’14; and doctoral candidate Len Zheleznyak ’05, ’06 (MS)—was awarded second place and $5,000 in the biotechnology/health care category. SmartDialysis—including Christopher Wong ’16, doctoral candidate Aizhong Zhang ’14 (MS), Li (Adam) Deng ’14 (MS), Bowei Zhang ’14 (MS), doctoral candidate Steven Gilmer ’11, ’13 (MS), and doctoral candidate Kenneth Goodfellow—received the Rookie of the Year award in the biotechnology/health care category. Ovitz also won a $25,000 cash prize in the Rochester Regional Business Plan Contest.
SmartDialysis Wins Mark Ain Business Model Competition
Student business SmartDialysis was awarded first place and a $10,000 cash prize in the eighth annual Mark Ain Business Model competition. The team includes Li (Adam) Deng ’14 (MS), Bowei Zhang ’14 (MS), and PhD candidates Steven Gilmer, Kenneth Goodfellow ’14 (MS), and Aizhong Zhang ’14 (MS). Second place, and a $2,500 cash prize, was awarded to Ovlay, the business of Joung Yoon (Felix) Kim ’14. ClarElast won the third-place prize of $1,000. The team includes Yonghao (Max) Deng ’14 (MS), Jennifer Fadimba ’14 (MS), Ken Oyeka ’14 (MS), and PhD candidate Alexander Partin ’14 (MS).
Students Describe Senior ‘Design Day’ Project
five students posing for a photo
Biomedical engineering students talk about their senior project
for Hajim School Design Day—redesigning a blood transport container for the Medical Center's blood bank.
‘UR Not Invisible’
Makia Green ’14 and her friends sponsored a dance flashmob to promote the new group UR Not Invisible, which aims to educate the University community on inclusivity and awareness of people of color on campus.

Meet the Students Behind the Mascot
So, who’s been inside the yellowjacket suit all this time? Meet three graduating Rockys and find out what it takes.

About Parents Buzz

Parents Buzz is produced by University Communications, Parent and Family Relations, and the Parents Program. It is emailed monthly to parents of undergraduates in the College and at the Eastman School of Music. View issues online at Direct feedback and questions to

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