The most valuable player is you

The most valuable player is you

Photos by TJ Lievonen/University of Miami
By Janisse Patino-Martinez

Photos by TJ Lievonen/University of Miami

The most valuable player is you

By Janisse Patino-Martinez
Relive the highlights from the University of Miami's Faculty and Staff Appreciation Night at Marlins Park.

Nearly 25,000 University employees and their families attended the Faculty and Staff Appreciation Night with the Miami Marlins held on Aug. 10.

The evening, hosted by University leadership, was filled with festivities for the entire family as employees enjoyed a pregame party on the West Plaza at Marlins Park. Crowds gathered to send appreciation notes to fellow ’Canes, enjoy live music, and share photo opportunities with Billy the Marlin and Sebastian the Ibis. 

Throughout the game, several employees celebrating career milestones  participated in unique and exclusive on-field fan experiences. Employees who celebrated 10 to 25 years at the University joined members of the LGBTQ Faculty-Staff Network, Women's Commission, Women In Academic Medicine, Ubuntu, and the Veterans Employee Resource Groups to hold the American flag during the national anthem performance, while 25 employees celebrating 30 to 45 years of service were recognized during a pregame photo on the field alongside Edward Abraham, executive vice president for health affairs and CEO of UHealth, Jeffrey Duerk, executive vice president for academic affairs and Provost, and Jacqueline Travisano, executive vice president for business and finance and chief operating officer.

“This event was [held] in dedication of the outstanding work and contributions our faculty and staff make every day,” said Abraham. “This is a great opportunity for our team to celebrate our accomplishments together."

Nick Pikarsky, director for Information Technology, had the honor of commemorating 45 years at the U by kicking off the game with the "play ball!" announcement.

Additionally, The Miami Marlins Foundation presented the University with a check on the field to fund scholarships in the School of Education and Human Development and the School of Communication.

“As a newly hired employee I appreciate a night where I can bring my family and friends and network with colleagues,” said David Major, assistant professor of professional practice and academic director for the OneMBA global executive program. “Seeing employees reach these milestone years reinforces that this is a great place to work!”

Evening celebrations ended with a win from the Marlins over the Braves in the 10th inning and fireworks over Marlins Park.