Year Proves Golden for MDC Alumni
In celebrating its 50th anniversary, Miami Dade College enjoyed another year in the national and international headlines thanks to the numerous triumphs of its alumni. Living up to the College’s philosophy of building upon the power of opportunity, the following are but a small sample of the many success stories that began at MDC.
This year, award-winning playwright and MDC Hall of Fame alumnus Nilo Cruz returned to his hometown for the world premiere of The Color of Desire, starring another MDC Prometeo Theatre protégé, Hannia Guillén. Also coming home was opera star Elizabeth Caballero, performing to great acclaim in the Florida Grand Opera’s lavish production of Puccini’s Turandot.
Another star shining bright in the Miami Dade College alumni firmament is film, TV and stage luminary Katie Finneran, who took home the 2011 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her role in the revival of Promises, Promises. This was the second win for this graduate of the New World School of the Arts (NWSA) at MDC; she received her first Tony in 2002 for her performance in Noises Off.
Adding another accolade to the MDC award mantelpiece was music production graduate Oscar Moncada’s Grammy for Best Producer – his fruitful first foray into reggae music. Also gaining international recognition, artist César Santos won first place in The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s It’s Time We Met contest for his photograph Dancers. In addition, he held exhibitions of his work in Santa Barbara, Calif., and Spain.
For NWSA alumna Laura Alvarado, 2011 served to establish her John Paul II International Film Festival, now in its second year, as South Florida’s premier vehicle for cinema that is both uplifting and life-affirming.
Also motivating others through his powerful life story is World Series hero and former MDC baseball star Andrés Torres. Gigante, the film about him overcoming setbacks to become a star athlete, is set for release this summer.
Another perennial inspiration for MDC students who dream of a future in politics is the stellar career of U.S. Congresswoman and second-generation alumna Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who currently chairs the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee. In addition, two other former MDC students are also leading the way in national politics. U.S. Congressman John Mica of Orlando is heading the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the largest panel in Congress, and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio was recently selected to second the nomination of Sen. Mitch McConnell for minority leader.
MDC graduate Carmen Reinhart saw writing success with This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, which she wrote with co-author Kenneth Rogoff. New York Times columnist David Brooks praised the book as “the best explanation of the [recent financial] crisis.” Already a renowned professor of economics and director of the Center of International Economics at the University of Maryland, Reinhart further established herself as an authority in the field with this book. The New York Times now calls her “the most influential female economist in the world.”
These are but a few of the many paths to success forged by MDC alumni. Though their roads have led to many different destinations, all these successful alumni share the common bond of a strong education developed at MDC.