Hero Image Audrey R. Finkelstein UM Experience
The Audrey R. Finkelstein UM Experience
Friday, October 27, 2023  |  2 to 4 p.m.

The Audrey R. Finkelstein UM Experience, an annual event hosted by the University of Miami Alumni Association, is an interactive educational series featuring thought-provoking presentations and lectures from University faculty on topical events. The UM Experience (UMX), as it is known, has attracted more than 200 alumni to campus each year to relive the classroom experience via lectures by prominent faculty on timely topics. Part of a generous endowment created by the late Audrey R. Finkelstein, A.B. ’38—a devoted alumna and passionate proponent of lifelong learning—and her husband, Charles, UMX fosters the University’s commitment to provide ongoing learning for alumni by offering intellectually stimulating subjects across a variety of disciplines, and showcasing UM faculty and their vital research.

Keynote Speaker

Provost Guillermo “Willy” Prado

“The University of Miami: From Infancy to an Elite Comprehensive Research University” 

Join Provost Prado in tracing the University of Miami’s path to greatness. Uncover the challenges, triumphs, and pivotal decisions that have propelled our institution forward. Through a tireless pursuit of knowledge, and unwavering dedication, the University has earned its place as one of the 71 leading research universities across the United States and Canada in the Association of American Universities (AAU). Learn how a commitment to excellence, groundbreaking research discoveries, and leading-edge educational initiatives are transforming the lives of our students, community, and the world.

View Bio

Faculty Speakers

Vice Provost Erin Kobetz

“The Story of a Tar Heel Who Bleeds Orange and Green: How UM Became My Alma Mater By Choice” 

Dr. Kobetz’s story isn’t just about a personal journey; it’s about the transformative power of research and community engagement. Dive into the fascinating details of her research endeavors and how the University and its surrounding communities provided the fertile ground for her work to thrive. Hear about the mentors, collaborators, and resources that have propelled Dr. Kobetz’s academic pursuits. Don't miss this exclusive opportunity to witness the intersection of passion, dedication, and academic distinction.

View Bio

Dean Rodolphe el-Khoury

 “Smart Cities; Responsive Homes” 

This is your chance to be part of the journey towards a smarter, more connected, and healthier world. Join us as we explore the boundless possibilities that await in the realm of responsive homes and interconnected smart cities. Dean el-Khoury, the visionary leader of the Research and Development (RAD) lab at the School of Architecture, will showcase groundbreaking research and prototypes that have the potential to transform the way we live and interact with our surroundings, including new ways to deliver health care at home.

View Bio

Past Events

Open All Tabs
  • Class Is Back In Session (September 23, 2021)

    Learn about advances in artificial intelligence and robotics and the pioneering contributions of women filmmakers from University of Miami faculty experts. Features a keynote address focused on the urgency of continuing to modernize higher education.

    • Ubbo Visser
    • Christina Lane

    Host: Maribel Perez Wadsworth, B.S.C. '93

    Keynote session moderated by: Jeffrey L. Duerk, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost University of Miami

  • Class Is Back In Session (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 concluded with a networking opportunity for alumni to meet and greet featured faculty and hear more about their areas of expertise and research.

    • Benjamin Kirtman
    • David L. Steinberg
    • Laura P. Kohn-Wood
      dean, School of Education and Human Development
    • Carlos R. Rivera
    • Professor Claudia Townsend

    Host: Xavier I. Cortada, A.B. ’86, J.D. ’91, M.P.A. ’91,

    Keynote session moderated by: Samantha F. Lang, B.S.Ed. '12, M.S.Ed. '14, Ph.D. '20

  • Combatting “Pandemic Brain Fog”: Strengthening Attention and Resilience with Mindfulness Training (November 19, 2020)

    This virtual lecture explores the cutting-edge science of mindfulness taking place at the University and highlights the benefits of mindfulness training. Faculty experts show us how practicing mindfulness can improve brain function, protect against stress, and enhance well-being and social connection, and lead us in mindfulness meditation exercises. The discussion also includes recent studies conducted with medical and business professionals, teachers, first responders, and military service members and their spouses.



    Dr. Amishi Jha
    Director of Contemplative Neuroscience, University of Miami Mindfulness Research and
    Practice Initiative, Associate Professor of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences

    Scott Rogers
    Co-founder, Mindfulness Research and Practice Initiative, Founder and director, Mindfulness in Law Program, Lecturer in law, School of Law

    Moderated by: George “Trae” Williamson, Ph.D. ’20
    Adjunct faculty, Miami Herbert Business School

History of UMX

In 1978, alumna Audrey R. Finkelstein created AlumNites, an annual lecture series that showcased University of Miami faculty and alumni. A few years later, in 1984, the Alumni College Experience (ACE) was created to bring alumni back to campus to experience being in a University classroom again. As proponents of lifelong learning, Audrey and her husband, Charles, established an endowment to fund the program in perpetuity.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Audrey’s graduation year in 1988, the program was renamed the “Audrey R. Finkelstein Alumni College Experience,” which is now known as Audrey R. Finkelstein UM Experience.

About Audrey R. Finkelstein

Audrey’s involvement at the University of Miami spans more than seven decades touching almost every area of the institution, from school-based volunteer projects and athletic support to University-wide homecoming and reunion activities. In addition to her support for UMX, she also established the Audrey Finkelstein Library Endowment Fund for the acquisition of books by and about women, at the Otto G. Richter Library.

Audrey personified exceptional volunteerism and devoted alumni involvement. Known as a woman who always remained young at heart, she is widely regarded as one of the U’s top volunteer leaders, a legend for her dedication to nurturing the institution that she believes invested so much in her.

Join Audrey in supporting the University’s commitment to lifelong learning.