Category: Cuba Week Speakers

Yasmin Neggers

Yasmin Neggers, professor of human nutrition and hospitality management, has worked at The University of Alabama since 1978. She has a master’s degree in chemistry from Meerut University in India and a master’s degree in nutrition from the University of Tennessee. She received a doctorate in epidemiology from the School of Public Health at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.  Neggers’ research interests are in the area of perinatal epidemiology and more recently, risk factors associated with autism. She has conducted extensive research on low birth weight, a major risk factor associated with infant mortality in Alabama and the United States. She has published her research in many peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of American Medical Association,  the Journal of American Clinical Nutrition, and The Journal of American Dietetic Association. Most of her research projects on low birth weight were funded by federal grants from the National Institutes of Health. Neggers has traveled extensively in Europe and Latin America to present her research findings. She has traveled twice to Havana, Cuba, to present her work and collaborate in the area of prenatal care in Cuba. Most recently she traveled to Dublin to present her research about the role of folic acid in autism spectrum disorders.

Marie-Eve Monette

Marie-Eve Monette is an assistant professor of Spanish at The University of Alabama, where she teaches Latin American literature and cinema. Her research focuses on various types of media representing Latin American identities, more specifically film, documentary, and screendance. She is currently working on a screendance digital project, for which she travelled to Cuba with the Alabama group during the 2016 spring semester to interview members of the Danza Contemporánea de Cuba company, as well as the DVDanza Habana screendance festival.

Ramon Vargas Artiz

Ramon Vargas Artiz was born August 22, 1971. He is from the village Santiago de las Vegas, located in Boyeros, Havana, and he comes from a workingclass family. He studied at the Elementary School of Art in Havana and then the provincial San Alejandro School of Arts where he graduated with aspecialty in engraving. He subsequently became an independent creator and has been a professor of drawing and printmaking for more than 15 years atvarious schools. He is a member of the Experimental Workshop of Graphics in Havana and has had 17 solo exhibitions and 36 group exhibitions. He wasawarded the Latino Cultural Arts Leader Award from the Hartford Capitol. His work can be found in private collections in several countries includingFrance, Spain, the United States, and Norway.

Vicente Monterrey

Vicente Monterrey is a clarinet soloist of the National Center of Concert Music (CNMC), Master of Music, Professor of clarinet at the Superior Institute of Art (ISA) and the Amadeo Roldán Conservatory. He’s first clarinet for the Orchestra of Opera and Ballet for the Gran Teatro de la Habana. His current work as a performer focuses on chamber work accompanied by the pianist Marita Rodriguez in the Dúo D’accord and guitarist Luis Manuel Molina of the Dúo Cáliz.

He studied at Havana’s National School of Art and the Superior Institute of Art and later specialized in advanced clarinet and chamber music at the National Conservatory of Music (NCM) in Paris, France, with professors: Richard Vieille, soloist of the Orchestra Ensemble of Paris and Professor of clarinet, and Serge Blanc, instrumentalist of the Paris Opera and Professor of the NCM in Paris; earning the silver medal in clarinet and chamber music in a competition at the end of the course.

He has played as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra and the Matanzas Symphony Orchestra under the baton of different directors. He has vast experience in Chamber Music that highlighted his work in different stages and groups, such as Dúo D’accord, Dúo Cáliz, Dúo Valmont, Trío Chalomon, as well as his participation in the Wind Quintet of La Habana and the CNMC Quartet of Clarinets.

As a professor he carries a long history of graduate students with high artistic achievement, obtaining several awards in various international and national competitions. He obtained first prize for Winds in Cuba’s Writers’ and Artists’ Union Competition in 1982, the Diploma of Merit for Teaching awarded by the ISA, the Medal for National Education and the Gold Diploma from the Gran Teatro de la Habana.

He completed a notably successful national tour with the Dúo D’accord in 2012 and has been touring other countries: Venezuela, in the 2010 for the Clarinet Festival and Competition; three tours in Italy, including one tour with the Bellini Theater Orchestra in Naples; Nicaragua, Korea, Mexico, and Grand Cayman Island.

Discography: (among others) Later in Havana, Abdala Studios, 2008, Cuban Chamber Music of the 20th and 21st Century
The Chamber Music of Maestro J. López Marin, Ojalá Studios, 2004 Cuba and Puerto Rico, Frank Fernández Studios, 2000. On the chamber music of these two countries. Expedition, Abdala Studios, 2001. On the music of Silvio Rodríguez.

Dr. Osiris J. Molina

Dr. Osiris J. Molina is Associate Professor of Clarinet at The University of Alabama. A native of Elizabeth, New Jersey, he has extensive experience as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician. His professional accomplishments have taken him overseas and across the country.

Dr. Molina is currently Principal Clarinet of the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra, Second Clarinet with the Huntsville Symphony and performs regularly with the Alabama, Mobile and Chattanooga symphony clarinet sections, in addition to work with the Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Greater Lansing, and Bridgeport (CT) symphony orchestras.

Dr. Molina holds degrees from Michigan State University (DMA), Yale School of Music (MM), and Rutgers University (BM), where he studied with Dr. Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr, David Shifrin, Charles Neidich, Ayako Oshima and Dr. William Berz. Osiris has been active in music education at all levels. He teaches applied clarinet, chamber music and clarinet methods in the Music Education curriculum.

Dr. Molina is a Gonzalez Reeds Artist and a Selmer-Paris Artist. He performs on the Recital A/Bb clarinet and the Privilege Bass Clarinet.

Marita de los Angeles Rodriguez Correa

Solo pianist of the National Center of Concert Music (CNMC), master’s degree in music, Director and member of the Dúo D’accord; Assistant Professor of Piano where she directs the specialty of accompaniment at the Superior Institute of Art (ISA). She is a member of the UNEAC. An honors graduate of the Superior Institute of Art, under the guidance of the Professor and Cuban pianist Nancy Casanova, Rodriguez performed her master’s degrees with Professor Sándor Falvai and Professor R. Roman of the Liszt Academy of Music in Hungary, and Professor Ivan Klansky of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, Czech Republic. Likewise, she obtained her diploma in the specialty of Chamber Music with the Mtto. Radosvet Boyadjiev, a piano course with the teacher Ninowska Fernández Brito and a postgraduate course on German Lieder (German songs) with Christopher Jung and Piotr Oczkowski.

Her current work is consolidated with the clarinetist Vicente Monterrey (Dúo D’accord) that recently conducted a national concert tour. She directs and organizes the project “Festival of the Clarinets” (national and international), which successfully has held a special place in the development of Chamber music in this specialty. A renowned soloist, she has been invited by the National Symphony Orchestra, several orchestras in the country and the Camerata Romeu. Besides touring the most important concert halls of the island as a soloist and chamber musician with performers such as Richard Vielle, Cyrielle Mercadier, Dirk Altmann, Carelys Carreras, Lester Chio and Dianelys Castillo (clarinetists), Erick Grosmann, Gregory Walker and Evelio Tieles (violinists), Niurka González, Daniel Peñalver (flautists), Ramón Calzadilla, Yolanda Hernández, Alina Sanchez, Conchita Franqui and Lucy Provedo (singers).

Other important activities & designations:

National Festivals of Chamber Music
International Festival of Contemporary Music of the UNEAC
Salzburg-Havana Festival, in the events “Prize of Composition of Casa de Las Americas”, Festival de Música Antigua
Diploma “Amadeo Roldán” delivered by UNEAC for outstanding merits and contributions to the development of music in Cuba
Certificate of Teaching Merit by the ISA, and the Medal for Cuban Education.

In addition to national tours, she has enjoyed successful tours in different countries such as Canada, United States, Mexico, Czech Republic, Spain, Hungary, among others.

Discography: Dúo D’accord, with Cuban Chamber, “Evening in Havana”, “Mozart in Havana,” Integral of the Mozart Sonatas for Piano, which won the Grand Prize and award for concerto soloist at Cubadisco 2008, CD “In the Garden of Singing”, Integral work for voice and piano by Maestro Harold Gramatges, “Symphonic Tale”, Orq. Symphonic national and the theatrical group La Colmenita, soloists Marita Rodriguez and Maria A. Horta, “Cuba and Puerto Rico”, “Tropical Baroque” with the Música Eterna Chamber Orchestra.

Rosa López-Oceguera

Rosa López-Oceguera (Ph.D, University of Havana) is a specialist in U.S. Foreign Policy, U.S.-Cuban Relations, and Global Issues. She is the author of several essays published in co-authorship in books like Globalización y Conflicto Cuba-EEUU [Globalization and Cuba-U.S. Conflict], La Habana: Ciencias Sociales, 1997 (English edition by the Jose Marti Editorial, 1999); Conflicto Estados Unidos-Cuba, La Habana: Editorial “Félix Varela, 1998”; Punta del Este: Proyecto Alternativo de Desarrollo para América Latina(Spanish Edition) Kennedy’s Alliance for Progress: The Punta del Este Conference, August 1961, (English Edition), Melbourne, New York, Havana: Ocean Press, 2002; El proceso de Conformación de la Política Exterior de Estados Unidos, Havana: MINFAR, 2002; Estados Unidos: Dinámica Interna y Política Exterior, La Habana: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, 2004. She is currently working in a monographic study on the Legacy of the Presidency of George W. Bush for U.S. Foreign Policy.

Dra. Nancy de la C. Milián Melero

Dra. Nancy de la C. Milián Melero is a physician and specialist in General Medicine. Since 2015, she has served as Municipal Director of Health for Old Havana. Prior to that, she was Director of the Polyclinic Dr. Diego Tamayo in Old Havana, where she also practiced as a family physician, and was Officer of Primary Health Care for the Municipal Health Bureau in Old Havana.

Dr. de la C. Milián Melero’s professional experience includes work in geriatrics. She was Director of the Geriatric Rehabilitation Center at Santiago Ramon y Cajal, and was a Specialist in General Medicine at the Geriatric Rehabilitation Center in Old Havana.

She is a member of the Provincial Group of Gerontology and Geriatrics of Havana and the Local Working Group for Cooperation, where she is Project Coordinator of Health and Vulnerable Groups for Old Havana. She is a member of the Cuban Society of Family Medicine and the Cuban Society of Geriatrics and Gerontology.

Dr. de la C. Milián Melero has degrees in Health Management from the National School of Public Health, Human Development, Gender, Health and Population from Havana University, and a Master’s in Public Health and Aging from the Research Center on Aging and Health.

Dr. José Portilla de Jesús García

Dr. José Portilla de Jesús García graduated as a doctor in medicine from the University of Havana. During post-graduate studies, he was a surgeon at Heroes del Baire Hospital and served as Deputy Director and Chief of General Surgery at Juan Paz Camejo General Hospital and Director and Chief of Surgery at Pedro Soto Alba Hospital.

He completed a general surgery residency at Salvador Allende Hospital in Havana, and earned a Master of International Health. Following post-graduate studies, Dr. Portilla de Jesús García worked as a surgeon at Salvador Allende Hospital in Havana, and as Director and Surgeon and Assistant Professor of Surgery at Manuel Fajardo Hospital in Havana. He also served as Chief of the Department of Health in the former Havana Province, responsible for monitoring health in the province. Later, Dr. Portilla de Jesús García served as the director of Health for the Plaza de la Revolution Municipality in Havana, and as Chief of the Bilateral Collaboration Department in the Foreign Affairs Division of the Ministry of Public Health. He also was an assistant professor of International Health at the National School of Public Health.

Andrew J. Huebner

Andrew J. Huebner is associate professor in the history department at the University ofAlabama. He is the author of The Warrior Image: Soldiers in American Culture from the Second World War to the Vietnam Era (University of North Carolina Press, 2008), as well as several other publications on war and culture in twentieth-century America. He received his PhD in history from Brown University in 2004, and has taught at Brown, Harvard, and Alabama.