Citizen 'Canes

Citizen 'Canes

TikTok Star Pays It Forward

Even before she graduated from the Patti and Allan Herbert Business School this past May, Alix Earle, B.B.A. ’23, was a social media sensation, with more than 5 million followers on TikTok and more than 2 million on Instagram.

Now Earle has given back to the institution that supported her entrepreneurship journey. She has made a generous gift to establish a scholarship that supports Miami Herbert Business School students and further strengthens the school’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

“I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to go to the U, and I’m very proud of being part of the UM family,” Earle says. “If I can help someone in need complete their degree at the University of Miami, I’m honored to help.”

Earle took TikTok by storm, becoming one of the fastest-growing creators on the platform. Despite her growing fame and attendance at high-profile events alongside A-list celebrities, her education remained a priority. In her view, academics played a pivotal role in shaping her entrepreneurial success.

“During my junior year, there was a marketing class that significantly helped me in my career path. We learned about the analytics and data behind posts. It allowed me to look at my work and see what was working or not working and why,” Earle says.

She credits William Bolton, a lecturer at Miami Herbert, for having a significant impact on her throughout her time at the U. She said that his congratulatory email during her last semester meant more to her than he could ever imagine.

“I always loved his class and learned so much from it,” she says. “I was juggling a lot during my last semester, and I often felt like I wasn’t doing enough or was always behind. Professor Bolton reaching out to me was so impactful, especially because he is someone I look up to.”

The scholarship fund established by Earle will provide financial assistance to outstanding students who demonstrate significant potential in the field of business. Earle says she hopes it will help break down monetary barriers and elevate business-minded students, especially women.

“It is super important for women to know that they can be just as powerful as men,” says Earle. “There is no limit on what you can accomplish as long as you believe in yourself. I had professors, friends, and family believe in me, and now it’s my turn to help another student live out their dreams.”

“Alix’s gift underlines the value of Miami Herbert’s curriculum in propelling business students forward in real time. It’s gratifying to see her translating classroom learning into entrepreneurial success, and we’re deeply proud of her role in motivating the next generation of business leaders,” says Ann Olazábal, M.B.A. ’97, interim dean of the Miami Herbert Business School.

Earle’s advice to young people contemplating a career in business or entrepreneurship is simple but powerful: “Dream big. Don’t let anyone tell you ‘no.’ And don’t be afraid to fail.”

UMTV Alumnus Catalyzes Change Through Storytelling

Julian Glover, B.S.C. ’13, has an innate gift for communication that was evident from his early days as a chatty student in the classroom. Little did he know that his natural gift of gab would later transform into a powerful tool.

“In seventh grade, we toured a local television station in Washington, D.C., and that’s when it clicked,” Glover says. “It was so incredible to meet Leon Harris, a news anchor I grew up watching. That was kind of the full circle moment where it was like, ‘Oh, this is a really incredible profession and an important one too.’”

While at the University of Miami, Glover worked as executive producer and later as station manager for UMTV—the award-winning, student-run television station. He started two news programs, “NewsBreak” and “Pulse,” that continue to inform viewers more than a decade later as staples in the UMTV lineup.

“I had the opportunity to be in a leadership position at such a young age and be able to ideate, identify a need, and figure out a way to meet that need,” Glover recalls. “By launching UMTV ‘Pulse’ and ‘NewsBreak,’ we were able to get fast, easily digestible information to the smartphones of folks all across campus. It certainly set me up to where I am today.”

After graduating, Glover left his mark in different regions across the country. From his work as the morning anchor at WOIO-CBS 19 in Cleveland, Ohio, to being an anchor and reporter for WAVE 3 News in Louisville, Kentucky, he delved into important stories and received an Associated Press award for his coverage of the opioid epidemic’s toll on children born dependent on the drug.

Glover embraced a new role in 2021, leading the ABC 7 Bay Area TV station’s coverage of race, culture, and social justice. His reporting on discrimination against people of color within the home appraisal process earned national accolades, such as the 2022 Emmy and regional Edward R. Murrow awards. His work also culminated in a documentary film, “Our America: Lowballed,” which explored families’ experiences with systemic housing inequality.

His reporting ignited substantial change, prompting the Biden-Harris administration to create an interagency task force. Subsequently, legislation aimed at addressing long-standing housing inequities was introduced in Congress.

“It reminds me of why I got into journalism in the first place—the idea of informing people about an issue that’s impacting them, and in this case, an issue that some knew of and just brushed aside,” Glover says. “To educate the public in that way, I know middle-school Julian is very proud.”

Glover emphasizes the importance of storytelling regardless of one’s career or interests.

“Storytelling is at the heart of how we connect interpersonally. We need skilled communicators and storytellers across a number of mediums and professions,” he says. “Once you realize that at the heart of it all, we all want the same thing—to be happy, healthy, and to see our families grow and flourish—you’re able to connect with people authentically and make an impact.”

Julian Glover
Julian Glover

Storytelling is at the heart of how we connect interpersonally.


A Mother’s Inspiring Journey

In a world where compassion and understanding can make all the difference, Vickie Rubin, B.S.Ed. ’79, stands as a beacon of hope for families navigating the challenges of raising children with special needs. Rubin’s unwavering dedication to her daughter, Jessica, who was born with a rare chromosome deletion, has transformed her into an advocate, an educator, and a source of inspiration. Her journey comes to life in her award-winning memoir, “Raising Jess: A Story of Hope.”

Before becoming a parent, Rubin built a strong foundation in child development and education theory as an undergraduate student at the University of Miami.

“Learning how to teach at the University of Miami, then later for my master’s degree, really helped me engage with a wide range of ages and people with different needs,” Rubin says. “I understood what families were going through, and I also had the professional hat. So I could connect to other professionals, teachers, and therapists.”

Rubin recalls a conversation she had upon graduating from the University with a professor who encouraged her to explore a master’s degree in special education.

“At the time, I thought I wouldn’t have the patience for that,” Rubin shares. “But that’s how the universe works. Later on, I realized that my patience was more than I would ever have anticipated as I became a mom of a daughter with special needs and a teacher.”

After graduation, Rubin worked as a parent educator for families of children with disabilities. Later, she became the director of the Western New York Early Childhood Direction Center, where she provided education for families and professionals working with children with disabilities.

Navigating the complicated systems of doctors, educators, and other professionals involved in Jess’s care was a significant challenge but one that Rubin and her husband, Mitch, B.B.A. ’79, were able to face through patience, research, and the support of friends.

“It was very important for us to find friends who were supportive of us, not felt sorry for us, but who genuinely felt a connection to Jessica on their own,” she says.

As Rubin’s journey unfolded, so did the landscape of education, particularly in relation to students with special needs.

“The education of teachers has also evolved, whereas it used to be you were strictly special education or you were general education,” Rubin says. “There’s been more of a mix so that teachers who are going into general education know more about the special education population and have a lot more awareness.”

Rubin hopes that her family’s story can serve as a powerful reminder that love, perseverance, and hope can conquer even the most formidable of obstacles.

“My dream for families who have the experience of having a child with special needs is that they gain hope from reading the book and that it shows them they’re not alone,” she says.

Vickie Rubin and her daughter, Jessica
Vickie Rubin and her daughter, Jessica

Early Fascination Lays a Solid Foundation for Architecture

For Christian Giordano, B.Arch. ’97, president and co-owner of Mancini Duffy, a national design firm based in New York City, the spark of architecture was ignited at a young age.

“I think that with most architects, it’s just something that you’re interested in from very early on, whether that comes from Lego playing or model making or involvement around construction,” he says. “My mother was obsessed with design and was always doing renovations in her house. I liked the construction part of it, and that sparked the idea.”

Throughout high school, Giordano explored his passion for architecture through self-study and hands-on projects. “I would get architecture books, that’s kind of what I wanted for Christmas. And I did a lot of modelmaking,” he explains.

He created intricate models, including remote-controlled cars, buildings, and even dollhouses for relatives. Despite not having formal architectural training or experience, Giordano’s early dedication to learning and honing his skills laid a solid foundation for his future career. Then came his formal education at the University of Miami, which he considers a pivotal experience.

“I cherished that time for many reasons,” he says. “There was a series of professors who were genuinely excited about architecture. They loved it.”

One key aspect of his Miami education was a focus on traditional architectural principles.

“At the University of Miami, there was an emphasis on historical architecture, proportion, drawing, and the hand-eye connection,” Giordano explains. “That was a very informative way of learning for me.”

This approach, emphasizing drawing and physical models, would later be a valuable asset in his career. Even as technology advances in the field, Giordano continues to rely on these traditional skills. “Still, to this day, when I sit down to design, I start out with pencil and paper,” he says.

Giordano encourages young and aspiring architects to gain hands-on experience through freelance work or personal projects. He believes these experiences help architects better understand client interactions and business management.

He also notes that architects often don’t pursue the profession for monetary gain but instead for the love of design. He advises, “I think that for those who are looking to go into the field of architecture, it’s definitely something that you have to have a passion for.”

Giordano’s journey underscores the power of early influences, a balanced education, and the pursuit of innovation. He hopes that through the transformative potential of technology and collaboration in architecture, he and his firm can contribute to the profession for years to come.

Christian Giordano
Christian Giordano

I think that with most architects, it’s something that you’re interested in from very early on.