UMiami Scientifica magazine, the first undergraduate scientific magazine in the history of the University of Miami, was founded in the Spring of 2014 by Victoria A. Pinilla Escobar-a sophomore in the undergraduate Microbiology and Immunology department.  She was finishing her year as Academics Editor for the 88th volume of the Ibis yearbook when she noticed the need for student led science journalism on campus. She wanted this publication to serve as a platform to inspire curiosity, passion, and innovation in members of the UM community.

Victoria became the first Editor-in-Chief (EIC) of the publication leading the magazine’s Editorial board from 2014 until her graduation in 2016. She now chairs the Board of Advisors for Scientifica. During her two years as EIC she recruited the Editorial Advisor, hired student staff members, created the Board of Advisors, obtained approval as a recognized student organization on campus, and successfully led a student referendum campaign that allocated $1 per semester per student to the magazine indefinitely.


The following issues were published:

  • Volume I, Issue 1: Inaugural Issue
  • Volume I, Issue 2: ASCE’s Newest Acquisition: UM Engineers Compete In National Qualifying Competition
  • Volume II, Issue 1: The Science of Being Sick
  • Volume II, Issue 2: 1943 – 2015 Dr. Eckhard Podack.


Under the leadership of Scientifica’s first executive board – Victoria A. Pinilla, Jennifer Vanessa Chavez, Henry James Mancao, and Michaela Larson – the magazine was able to:

  • Get approval for distribution by the University Board of Publications
  • Obtain recognition as a student organization by Council of Student Organizations (COSO)
  • Catalogued by the U.S. Library of Congress and University Archives
  • Win “New student organization of the year” SOAR award 2015
  • Nominated for “Organization of the Year”, “Best Co-Programming”, and “Student Leader – Scientifica” SOAR 2016 awards.
  • GOLD Medal Critique awarded for the “2015-2016” academic year by Columbia Scholastic Press in November 2016
  • GOLD CROWN awarded for the “2015-2016” academic year by Columbia Scholastic Press in March 2017. This was
    an honor received by five hybrid publications out of over 10,000 entries.


In 2016, Henry Mancao became the Editor-in-Chief of the publication. During his tenure he published Volume 3 Issues 1-3:

  • Volume III, Issue 1: Zika, October 2016
  • Volume III, Issue 2: Hooked, January 2017
  • Volume III, Issue 3: David, April 2017

Henry was instrumental in strengthening ties between the university administration and the magazine.










In 2017 Scientifica  was awarded the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Golden Crown Award