Friday, September 4, 2015


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Honduran university owners launch US online program for Spanish speakers

Posted by Elena del Valle on September 2, 2015

Ronald A. Lacayo, executive director, UTH Florida University

Ronald A. Lacayo, executive director, UTH Florida University

Photo: UTH Florida University

Targeting Spanish dominant immigrants from Central and South America looking to improve their economic prospects by completing their education with a college degree or obtain a second degree online in Spanish the Universidad Tecnologica de Honduras (UTH) is branching out. In August 2015, the owners of the Central American university and the Honduran-USA Chamber of Commerce announced the launch of UTH Florida University online.

Headquartered in Miami, Florida, UTH Florida University, a for profit entity, announced student registration in August 2015 and the beginning of classes September 1, 2015 at According to a press release distributed by UTH Florida University, the educational company is licensed by the Florida Commission for Independent Education. The Commission website indicates its functions include the licensure of independent schools, colleges and universities. All classes will be in Spanish and based on the Harvard Business School case method.

"We believe that on-line education is the disruptive innovation of the 21st century that will break the higher education paradigm and finally bring affordable and high quality education to everyone and everywhere thus allowing our communities and countries to grow and prosper," said Ronald A. Lacayo, executive director, UTH Florida University.

Administrators plan to offer 16 classes in the Fall 2015 semester and 32 for Spring 2016 with the support of 10 staff. They expect the offerings to increase each semester.

"We expect 250 students enrolled by the end of 2016 and 500 by 2018," said Lacayo by email. "Currently all of 80 faculty members are adjunct. Our staffing strategy is to seek maximum operating efficiency in order to pass along the savings to our students is the form of low and affordable tuition."

The new company hopes to set itself apart from other distance educational institutions by offering students affordable undergraduate degrees for $9,600 in Business, Marketing and Human Resource Management. Graduate degrees in Management and International Business Administration, Business and Finance, and Business and Marketing will cost $5,880. According to the press release, the Universidad Tecnologica de Honduras which was founded in 1986 and has over 15,000 students.

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Author spotlights Mexican American voices

Posted by Elena del Valle on August 28, 2015

Dreaming Forward

Dreaming Forward

Photos: Martha Casazza

Martha Casazza, author and education scholar, wanted to know about the dreams of America's Hispanics. In Dreaming Forward Latino Voices Enhance the Mosaic (iUniverse, $19.95), a softcover 242-page book published this year, she showcases the stories of 19 Hispanics in an effort to provide a platform “for people who have faced disappointment and fear in their earnest desire to dream forward in the U.S. and are committed to effecting change in their community.”

The project, originally supported by the university where she worked, required several years to be completed. The author funded it herself.

"When I was a university dean, I was fortunate enough to get involved with the Pilsen community on the south side of Chicago," she said when asked why it was that she chose the group that she did for the stories. "Pilsen is primarily a Mexican-American community. I was never a sit-behind-the- desk administrator, and I worked closely with a few community organizers to organize the first Tardes en el Zocalo weekend event in Pilsen to bring neighbors together. I was really impressed at how important the idea of community was in Pilsen. From this experience, I came to know students and organizers from this area and worked closely to create more opportunities for them to attend college and succeed."

In the book, she shares the stories of Mexican American individuals captured via in person interviews in their place of choice by the author and her colleagues. They originally collected 48 stories. Save for one all the ones in the book were told in English over a four year period. Each story ends with a Reflections section designed to elicit big picture thinking about the overall community.

Martha Casazza
Martha Casazza, author and education, scholar

“We desperately need to engage in a national dialogue about how to best foster and sustain healthy urban communities, especially as our cities become home to a more diverse array of people than ever before,” Casazza said in a press release. “By working inside the community and listening to their voices, I can see the roots of a healthy, sustainable Latino community here in the U.S. and in my own city of Chicago.”

When asked about the results, the author said, "The greatest reward was being trusted by individuals to tell their stories. The book reflects authentic voices and hopefully helps to personalize the struggles of a vibrant and passionate community in urban American where there is a strong commitment to dream forward through purposeful action."

Casazza has a Doctorate in Education and is a founding partner of TRPP Associates, LLC, an educational consulting business that focuses on maximizing learning environments. She is also a member of the Fulbright Association as well as the Board of Directors of Heartland Alliance.

Dreaming Forward

Click to buy Dreaming Forward

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With video – New cooking show to air in central Florida beginning September 2015

Posted by Elena del Valle on August 19, 2015

Chef Giovanna Huyke

Chef Giovanna Huyke, host, La Cocina Viva

Photo, video: La Cocina Viva

Spanish speaking cooking show fans in central Florida will have a new alternative beginning September 7, 2015. That is when La Cocina Viva will air weekly from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. featuring healthy Latino dishes from Latin America and the Caribbean. The brainchild of Ruben Gonzalez the 30-minute program was produced for under $100,000 by Sima Communications and co-directed by Gonzalez and Giovanna Huyke, a chef.

Huyke will also host the 12 episodes of the program which will be filmed in Tampa, Florida. The target audience for the show is Hispanic Millennials and second generation Hispanics, and eventually “audiences that have an appreciation for Latino food/dishes.” The show producers hope to add English content later. Scroll down to watch a two-minute promotional video in Spanish.

"La Cocina Viva is about cooking traditional Latino dishes from the Caribbean and Latin America but in a healthy manner," said Gonzalez by email about the program.

Huyke, chief executive office, Grupo Gio, LLC, a in Washington, DC. Based company, began her career in theater. She worked in Paul Prudehomme’s Louisiana Kitchen in New Orleans, and as an assistant to Lee Barnes, before moving to New York City to work with Chef Felipe Rojas Lombardi.

On her return to Puerto Rico she worked at the Caribe Hilton for one year. Later she founded Amadeus in San Juan, where she focused on working with native ingredients and recipes with classic techniques. She was chef at Ali-Oli, founded Don Juan in the El San Juan Hotel and Giovanna’s Café. Most recently, Huyke was the executive chef at Mio Restaurant in Washington, DC.

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Executives outline their platform marketing ideas

Posted by Elena del Valle on August 14, 2015

The Rise of the Platform MarketerThe Rise of the Platform Marketer

The Rise of the Platform Marketer

Photo: Wiley

Craig Dempster, and John Lee, both executive vice presidents at Merkle, a marketing agency, believe success in marketing today depends on technology and scale. In The Rise of the Platform Marketer: Performance Marketing with Google, Facebook, and Twitter, Plus the Latest High-Growth Digital Advertising Platforms (Wiley, $30), a 228-page hardcover book published this year, they discuss their strategies and the reasoning behind it.

“The opportunity of addressability at scale makes it an incredibly exciting time to be a marketer,” Dempster said in press materials. “These audience platforms enable us to connect with customers in more targeted, customizable, intelligent, and measurable ways, so that every customer receives an ideal experience, perfectly suited to their needs, devices, preferred channels, and more.”

In the book, meant as a foundation for their company's 12 annual Performance Marketing Executive Summit, they propose nine competencies meant to span across data, execution, and the enabling technology. They believe mastering them will allow marketers to create, deliver, measure, and optimize customer-centric experiences across digital platforms. The authors did not reply to questions submitted via their publisher.

“The Platform Marketer isn’t an individual per se, but more a collection of skills that encompass many different disciplines,” Lee said in press materials. “When an organization can learn how to apply these skillsets, their ability to connect with customers and drive revenue grows enormously."

The authors believe success driving digital performance requires expertise in data, analytics, and audience experience as well as an understanding of the new audience platforms. The nine competencies they point out as necessary are: audience management, identity management, consumer privacy and compliance, technology, platform utilization, measurement and attribution, media optimization, channel optimization, and experience design and creation.

The Rise of the Platform Marketer

Click to buy The Rise of the Platform Marketer

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Mexican culture and history enthusiasts seek funds for traveling exhibit

Posted by Elena del Valle on August 5, 2015

Mexico Culture & Pride

Mexico Culture & Pride

Photo: Mexico Culture & Pride

Adriana Pavon, a Mexican entrepreneur and fashion consultant, plans to catch the attention of people who support fair trade and are socially conscious and intelligent consumers with Mexico Culture & Pride, an initiative to help preserve Mexican culture by showcasing quality accessories designed in collaboration with indigenous groups. She hopes it will be funded by a Kickstarter campaign.

It is scheduled to kick off in 2016 with an Oaxacan region exhibit titled "Through Frida's Eyes" to showcase the importance of Mexican history and the work of traditional and contemporary artists through a variety of forms. Organizers plan to offer attendees the opportunity to experience Mexican culture through photography, video, dance, gastronomy and mixology.

“The idea of the project is to work in collaboration with various indigenous cultures,” Pavon said by email. “We started in Mexico because that's my place of origin and I selected Oaxaca Mexico because it's where Frida Kahlo was from. The next exhibit will visit other regions of Mexico eventually reaching out to other countries.”

The campaign should launch in Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Grand Rapids, New York City and Mexico City on dates to be determined based on the support received from public donations. In exchange for contributions, the campaign will offer a reward of its selection. The money raised is meant to cover the cost of the logistics and a small stipend for the volunteers. The exhibit will be a compilation of one hundred items, including traditional wardrobe, video clips, 10 of a contemporary collaboration, and fifty images of the traditions and customs of the region.

All reward items are made with Mexican labor and materials, Pavon explained. The exhibit pieces will be mostly made in Mexico with the exception of the contemporary collection that may contain some French laces and United States materials.

The team behind the project is composed of individuals "who are passionate about their work and have extensive experience in their field." They have clients such as Project Runway Latin America, Mexico’s Next Top Model, and Chrysler, and vast experience in manufacturing top brands, according to promotional materials. As part of the project, they will produce ten high end garments to be showcased in the traveling exhibit along with a collection of accessories in collaboration with regional artists.

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International lawyers group publishes advertising guidebook

Posted by Elena del Valle on July 31, 2015

GALA Advertising Law Book

GALA Advertising Law Book

Photo: Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance (GALA)

For marketers planning a multi-country ad campaign it may be useful to become familiar with the laws in the countries of their launch. For example, in the United States while there are no advertising practices prohibited outright there are restrictions, limitations, disclosure requirements and "medium- and industry-specific laws and regulations" on various advertising practices, according to the Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance (GALA).

This year, the Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance (GALA) published the first edition of the GALA Advertising Law: A Global Perspective, an 845-page book about international advertising, marketing and promotion laws in 56 countries from Argentina to Zimbabwe. The book is available via as a two volume publication (the review copy was one comprehensive digital document). Advertising Law I features information in alphabetical order by country from Argentina to Japan. Advertising Law II features the remaining countries from Kenya to Zimbabwe.

Organization lawyers wrote the book to educate in-house counsel, marketing professionals, agency executives, and firm lawyers about advertising law around the world. A list of the contributors and their firms appears in the back of the book.

Each entry outlines issues such as Advertising Framework, Self-Regulatory Framework, Advertising Law Basics, Price Advertising, Prohibited Practices, Sponsor/Advertiser Identification, Branded Content, Social Media, Rights of Privacy/Publicity, Special Clearance, Cultural Concerns, and Miscellaneous.

The United States section was co-written by attorneys from three New York law firms, Ronald R. Urbach, Joseph J. Lewczak and Allison Fitzpatrick from Davis & Gilbert, Rick Kurnit and Jeffrey A. Greenbaum from Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, and Douglas J. Wood, Joe Rosenbaum, John Feldman & Stacy Marcus from Reed Smith.

GALA Advertising Law Book

Click to buy Advertising Law I: A Global Legal Perspective: Volume I: Argentina - Japan (Advertising Law: A Global Legal Perspective) (Volume 1)


Advertising Law II: A Global Legal Perspective: Volume II: Kenya - Zimbabwe (Advertising Law: A Global Legal Perspective ) (Volume 2)

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Author discusses communication challenges, proposes solutions

Posted by Elena del Valle on July 24, 2015

Message Not Received

Message Not Received

Photos: book cover Wiley/Luke Fletcher, author Sean Sunkel

We often blame misunderstanding across cultures and languages on communication. Even among speakers of the same language sometimes there are formidable barriers. Cultural differences, abbreviated messages in limited length media such as emails and social media can lead to truncated or unclear messages. Such communications issues and at times failures represent business costs. The McKinsey Global Institute report estimate for the cost of bad communication is nearly $1 trillion (referenced in Chapter 4 of Message Not Received).

Phil Simon, who specializes in technology and has authored several books, is convinced communication within businesses is not working properly. In Message Not Received Why Business Communication Is Broken and How to Fix It (Wiley, $35), a 236-page hardcover book published this year, he explains his concerns and offers solutions.

In Chapter 4, he says that although he considers emails indispensable there are issues related to that type of message that users are often unaware of, such as its lack of nuances and emotional depth. Because of that they are sometimes not the most appropriate method for complex discussions. He points out that emails may also be the cause of legal concerns, foster internal competition, be too copious to process and manage, and have poor search functions.

“I knew that e-mail fails us on several levels, but I was unaware of the extent of the problem,” Simon said by email. “As I discuss in the book, e-mail gives the false appearance of one-to-one, in-person communication. For instance, consider a 2006 series of studies by two psychologists, Justin Kruger, PhD of New York University and Nicholas Epley of the University of Chicago. In short, Kruger and Epley wanted to determine if people were as good as they thought they were at discerning the subtext of a message. Participants were only able to accurately communicate sarcasm and humor in barely half—56 percent—of the e-mails they sent. And if that isn’t bad enough, most people had no idea that they weren’t making themselves understood.”

Phil Simon, author, Message Not Received

Phil Simon, author, Message Not Received

When asked why he wrote the book he replied, “I truly believe that we’ve reached a tipping point, and my research confirmed as much. Employees have never been more overwhelmed, the subject of Chapter 2. They’re being asked to integrate more content, more messages. They’re checking e-mail on weekends, holidays, and vacation (when they take it). They’re constantly on call, barely able to keep their heads above water.

Fortunately, there’s a two-fold solution, and I didn’t see any book out there that attacked this problem from this particular angle. First, we can embrace simpler language. There’s no reason to use terms “value-add use cases” and other linguistic atrocities. Beyond that, everything need not be communicated via e-mail. New, truly collaborative tools like HipChat, Smartsheet, and scores of others make it easier than ever to communicate effectively. And let’s not forget the ability go old school. Sometimes, an in-person meeting or phone conversation is the best way to proceed. Far too many of us seem to have forgotten that.”

The book is divided into eight chapters within four main parts: Worlds Are Colliding; Didn't You Get That Memo? Why We Don't Communicate Good at Work; Message Received; and What Now?

“Many business folks routinely forget their audiences. They forget —or have never heard of—the curse of knowledge. We’ve all seen IT people who seem to speak a different language when dealing with non-technical employees. What happens?” he asked. “Employees roll their eyes, tune out, or simply don’t understand what’s taking place. On the web, there’s no shortage of mind-numbing, vacuous marketing copy. Marketers and salespeople often speak in buzzwords and then wonder why their prospective clients don’t pull the trigger. Rare is the person who communicates perfectly, myself included. We all would benefit from using simpler language and minimizing our e-mails.”

Simon advises organizations about communication strategy, data and technology. He is also author of The Age of the Platform.

Message Not Received

Click to buy Message Not Received

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Book lists volunteer work vacation opportunities

Posted by Elena del Valle on July 17, 2015

Volunteer Vacations

Volunteer Vacations

Photo: Independent Publishers Group

Are you tired of going on vacation to the same place every year? Do you yearn to do more than just lounge on the beach every day during your getaway? If so a different kind of break might appeal to you. Every year people dedicate their free time to worthy causes and many of them pay for the privilege. Some are families traveling together, others are seniors with time to spare, and many are people with few or many skills seeking a way to make a difference on their time off from work.

In Volunteer Vacations: Short-Term Adventures That Benefit You and Others, 11th Edition (Chicago Review Press, $18.95) Doug Cutchins, Bill McMillon, and Anne Geissinger share an extensive list of 150 organizations offering such volunteerism opportunities. The 431-page softcover book published in 2012 includes a foreword by Ed Asner.

The book provides some basic information about voluntourism, the work and vacation combination. Each listing profiles the organization, its mission, projects, year founded, number of volunteers in the previous year, work they do, locations, costs, duration, and type of skills they seek. There are also short descriptions from past volunteers about their personal experiences on a project.

The charitable organizations in the United States and abroad are diverse and host travelers for a variety of projects and lengths. Vacationers can participate in projects such as searching for sea turtle nests in Greece or Taiwan, for example, or teaching English in a remote village.

When the book was published McMillon was a freelance writer for Odyssey magazine. Cutchins was director of service and social commitment at Grinnell College, and Geissinger was a part-time photographer.

Volunteer Vacations

Click to buy Volunteer Vacations

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