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Chair's Message Archive

Below you will find archived Chair's Messages from 2013 to the present.

Melissa Tapanes Llahues (2017 - 2019)

  • March 2018

    March 23, 2018 

    Message from the desk of Melissa Tapanes Llahues, Chair, President’s Council 


    Dear
     President’s Council Members, 

    Our FIU and our community continue to mourn for the victims of the tragic bridge collapse. I want to take this opportunity to thank the members who have participated in the university’s efforts to start the healing process for our community. Many of you joined us for a moment of silence on Monday, donated blood on Tuesday and attended the Student Government Association Vigil and Memorial Walk on Wednesday. Thank you for standing together during these dark times.  

    Now more than ever, our FIU needs us. Our Strategic Planning Session on April 10th with President Rosenberg in Washington, D.C. is a timely opportunity to learn how we can come together to support our community and our university. I urge you to consider joining us if you have not already finalized your travel arrangements. If we can count on you to be there, please click hereFor additional details on hotel reservations and best times to fly in and fly out, please contact Barbie Galvez at 305-348-4111 or bagalv@fiu.edu 

    Please remember that our Fostering Panther Pride Committee Meetings take place once a month. The committee does life-changing work on behalf of FIU students who were formerly part of the foster care system or are homeless. This program is a model for other universities. Below are the dates of the upcoming meetings, which take place from 9:30 a.m- 10:30 a.m.   

    • April 6th 
    • May 7th 

    If you are interested in joining this committee led by Jerry Fernandez, please let Barbie Galvez know at 305-348-4111 or bagalv@fiu.edu. 

    Please note that the 17th Annual Torch Awards Gala on April 14th has been POSTPONED until Fall 2018. Please make a note of it on your calendars if you were planning to attend. As soon as a new date is confirmed, we will share it with you.   

    Member Spotlight 

    It is with great pride that we share that Jennifer Olmedo-Rodriguez, a partner in Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney’s litigation practice group, is the new office managing partner in Miami.  Jennifer, who has been with Buchanan since 2003, was named to her new role as of January 1, 2018, by Buchanan’s CEO, Joseph Dougherty.  Joe tasked Jennifer with growing Buchanan’s Miami office by focusing on recruiting shareholders that service clients in the finance and healthcare industries, among other areas.   

    Currently, Buchanan’s Miami office is comprised predominantly of women and other diverse lawyers. As a member of the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Jennifer is committed to ensuring that diverse candidates see Buchanan – and especially its Miami office - as a place where diversity, inclusion and collaboration are paramount. 

    Join us in congratulating Jennifer on this incredible accomplishment! 

    New Members 

    I would like to take a moment to welcome our newest members: 

    • Ray de la Cabada – Attorney, Law Office of Ramon de la Cabada   
    • Bryan J. Olnick, VP of Distribution Operations at Florida Power & Light  
    • Mary Martin – CEO, The Dan Marino Foundation 
    • Diana Pubchara – Chief Marketing Officer, Blanca Commercial Real Estate 
    • Matthew I. Pinzur - VP & Chief Marketing Officer, Jackson Health System 

    Thank you to all of you for accepting this prestigious nomination to the President’s Council. We look forward to working with you to ensure our FIU continues to be Worlds Ahead!  

    Our President’s Council is 120 members strong. We are working hard to reach our goal of 125 members by June 30thIf you know of a community leader who would make an exceptional President’s Council member or you are wondering how you can engage a prospective member, please contact Barbie Galvez at 305-348-4111 or bagalv@fiu.eduWe are always looking to grow and diversify our membership. 

    In Panther Spirit,  

    Melissa Tapanes Llahues 
    Chair, President’s Council 

  • February 2018

    February 23, 2018 

    Message from the desk of  
    Melissa Tapanes Llahues, 
    Chair, President’s Council 

    Dear President’s Council Members, 

    We have an exciting array of events scheduled for this Spring semester and we cannot wait to see you all there! 

    On March 20th, we will be hosting a dinner with Coach Butch Davis. As you know, FIU had an exciting football season last year and we know that Coach Davis is gearing up for an even bigger and better season this year. We will have the opportunity to hear from him about the future of FIU football. Please mark your calendars and click here to RSVP. 

    On April 9th-11th, we will be doing our President’s Council Fly-In to Washington, D.C. The evening of April 9th we will have a welcome dinner for the members who have flown in on that day. April 10th will be a day jam-packed with activities. We will start our day with our Strategic Planning Session with President Rosenberg, followed by Capitol Hill visits with legislators and then a reception honoring Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. The Resilience Summit will take place on April 11th. If you are interesting in joining us on this trip, please click here. Please note that every member is responsible for his/her own travel and hotel costs. However, FIU has secured a block of rooms at the Kimpton Mason and Rook. If you wish to take advantage of this discounted rate, please click here. For additional assistance on these arrangements, please reach out to Barbie Galvez at 305-348-4111.   

    Also, mark your calendars for the 17th Annual Torch Awards Gala taking place on April 14th and for the first time at FIU’s Ocean Bank Convocation Center right here on the Modesto A. Maidique Campus! If you are interested in purchasing a table or tickets, please reach out to Barbie Galvez at 305-348-4111 or click here 

    On May 11th, Luly Balepogi, our fellow President’s Council member and Immediate Past Chair, will be hosting SPARK with Luly B. at the Graham Center Ballrooms at FIU. During this event, Fostering Panther Pride students have an opportunity to go on stage and share their dreams with everyone in attendance. Last year, the students received invaluable assistance from the audience members. One student got a check on the spot for her family to be able to pay their rent and stay in their home. Another was able to receive therapy, which she desperately needed. Another student got a sowing machine, which allowed her to pursue her dream of being a fashion designer, and the list goes on and on! We look forward to seeing more of these dreams come true this year. Mark your calendars and make sure you click here to purchase your ticket. 

    On May 24th, Jerry Fernandez, Chair of the Fostering Panther Pride Committee, will once again lead us to a wildly successful Vine & Dine event presented by the President’s Council, Kiwanis of Little Havana, the Latin Builders Association and the Cuban-American Bar Association. This event offers great networking opportunities and it brings the community together for one great cause. There will be some elected officials in attendance. All proceeds from this event benefit Fostering Panther Pride. If you are interested in sponsoring this event or know of a company who is, please share the sponsoring packet by clicking here. Mark your calendars and stay tuned for an email invitation and a link to purchase your tickets. Bring your family and friends! 

    In between these exciting events, we have our Fostering Panther Pride Committee Meetings taking place once a month. If you are interested in joining this committee, which Jerry Fernandez leads, please let the External Relations staff know. Below are the dates of the meetings, which all take place from 9:30am-10:30am. 

    • March 7th 
    • April 6th 
    • May 7th 

    On June 16th, we will celebrate this year’s accomplishments by hosting a Family Day at the Bay. Join us at FIU’s beautiful Biscayne Bay Campus for a fun day for the entire family. The event is scheduled on a Saturday because we want to ensure you bring your families, including children and grandchildren. Additional details will follow. For now, please mark your calendars. 

    On June 21st, we will be hosting an RH Salon in collaboration with Governmental RelationsLast November, we hosted the City of Hialeah Gardens. In June, we will host another municipality, which is yet to be determined. Nevertheless, please mark your calendars, as it will be an informative evening. 

    We will also be gearing up to start our Worlds Ahead Faculty Award process, chaired by Jennifer Olmedo-Rodriguez. Stay tuned for additional communications on that rewarding process. 

    Finally, I would like to take a moment to recognize our newest members: 

    • Monique Catoggio, President, Illuminated Life Leadership  
    • Andres Correa, President, Solution Construction, Inc.  
    • Anthony J. Gonzalez, Associate Attorney, Wicker, Smith, O’Hara, McCoy, and Ford, P.A. 
    • Jorge Llanso, Founder & CEO 
    • Brian Pearl, Principal, Global City Development 

    Thank you to all of you for accepting this prestigious nomination to the President’s Council. We look forward to working with you to ensure our FIU continues to be Worlds Ahead!  

    Our President’s Council is 116 members strong. We are looking to reach our goal of 125 members. If you know of a community leader who would make an exceptional President’s Council member, please contact Barbie Galvez at 305-348-4111 or bagalv@fiu.eduWe are always looking to grow and diversify our membership. 

    Looking forward to a Worlds Ahead semester! 

    In Panther Spirit,  

    Melissa Tapanes Llahues 
    Chair, President’s Council 

  • November 2017

    November 14, 2017 

    Message from the desk of  
    Melissa Tapanes Llahues, 
    Chair, President’s Council 

    Dear President’s Council Members,  

    It is my distinct honor to serve as your President’s Council Chair. I am a proud FIU alumna with blue and gold running through my veins. My passion for this university drives my focus as your chair. I want to work with all of you by my side to ensure we are doing all we can to help our beloved FIU. 

    By definition, all of the members of this board are FIU ambassadors. That means that it is our core function to not only celebrate this university, but also roll up our sleeves and make a difference.  

    One of the essential ways we can accomplish this is by broadening our advocacy efforts to a three-tiered focus that will include not only state advocacy, but also local and federal advocacy. I am fortunate enough to count on a dynamic team in Sergio Abreu, Howard Spiegel and Erick Valderrama. Together, they are working hand in hand with the External Relations team and the Governmental Relations team. The goal is to see what we can do to elevate the FIU name and how to maximize the synergies between government, business and alumni, which will result in the most impact for our FIU.  

    I would like to take this time to share some of what we have been up to and some of the events coming up that I hope you all will attend. 

    Over the summer and the beginning of the Fall semester, our Worlds Ahead Faculty Award Committee worked diligently under the leadership of Jennifer Olmedo-Rodriguez. They reviewed the 15 nominations submitted for this award, selected the nominees who would be interviewed and selected the winner of this prestigious recognitionThe award honors full-time faculty who make an impact in their field through research, partnership or creative initiatives; who promote student learning, innovation and collaboration; and who demonstrate distinguished leadership within the university. On October 12thThe President’s Council Worlds Ahead Faculty Award, Faculty Convocation’s top honor, was awarded to Allan Rosenbaum, director of the Institute for Public Management and Community Serviceand a professor in the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs. 

    Dr. Rosenbaum donated his award honorarium back to the university in full to set up a permanent fund to support public administration research efforts conducted by students. To see the full FIU News Story, please click here 

    On October 19th, we held our first showcase of the Fall 2017 semester when we highlighted the Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. We got to taste some of the beers brewed by our very own students under the direction of Dr. Barrry Gump and were treated to a delightful wine pairing led by Chip Cassidy, a past recipient of our Worlds Ahead Faculty Award.  

    On November 2ndwe hosted an Advocacy Briefing at the Modesto A. Maidique Campus to discuss the legislative priorities for FIU and how we can do our part. This was the best-attended Advocacy Briefing we’ve had! To see the full presentation, please click here 

    November 4th waFIU’s HomecomingIt was an exciting time to welcome all of our Panthers, and their families, home. Our Football Team was victorious and defeated the San Antonio Roadrunners making FIU bowl-eligible for the third time in the program’s history. It is a wonderful time to be a Panther!  

    Last Wednesday November 8th, Luly Balepogi, our Immediate Past Chair, hosted the Kendra Scott Miami One Year Anniversary Party and 20% of the evening’s proceeds benefited FIU’s First Generation students in the Fostering Panther Pride program. The evening raised $1,446 dollars! 

    This Thursday, November 16th, join us on Give Miami Day to support the Fostering Panther Pride initiative. Visit go.fiu.edu/givemiamiday to donate much-needed funds for our former foster care and homeless students!  

    On November 28th, we will be hosting an RH Salon at President Rosenberg’s home. This event will be in collaboration with Governmental Relations and they have invited the City of Hialeah Gardens to join us that evening. The mayor and city council members will be joining us. This is a great opportunity to learn about Hialeah Gardens’ priorities and to share ours as well. To confirm your attendance, please click here. 

    We invite you to join us at the Taste of FIU Cook Off and United Way Auction on December 1st! FIU staff, faculty and students will compete for the title of FIU’s best chef! This event is in collaboration with our Annual United Way Auction featuring great items you can bid on for a great cause. Mark your calendars and stay tuned for a separate email invitation with full details on how you can purchase tickets to attend.  

    On December 5thwe will be hosting a New Member Orientation at the MMC Campus. If you recently joined the President’s Council and have not attended a New Member Orientation, I encourage you to join us! You will have an opportunity to meet members of the eboard, fellow new members and the FIU team.  

    Also, be on the lookout for an invitation to join President Rosenberg at his annual Holiday Celebration on December 19th. This year’s festivities will take place at The Kampong. Mark your calendars and stay tuned for a separate email invitation with full details on how you can RSVP. 

    In the Spring of 2018, we will have a slew of exciting showcases for our members, including one of FIU @ Washington D.C. with a series of advocacy related programs and initiatives! Please save March 21st and 22nd on your calendars as details of our fly-in are forthcoming. 

    Also in the spring, our Fostering Panther Pride (FPP) initiative spearheaded Jerry Fernandez, our Fostering Panther Pride Chair, will kick into high gear with two major events in support of this program: SPARK with Luly B. and Vine & DineThe Fostering Panther Pride program assists our former foster care and homeless students with the needs they have, including but not limited to: housing, meals, tutoring, toiletries, books, mentoring and general support. To learn more about FPP, please click here. 

    Finally, I would like to take a moment to recognize our newest members: 

    • Matthew Anderson, Vice President, Private Client Associate, U.S. Trust 
    • Jorge Escobar, Associate A, Holland & Knight 
    • Conor Flynn, Leadership Leader, Aon Risk Services, Inc. of Florida 
    • Eric Montes De Oca, Vice President, Grycon, LLC 
    • Greg Morris, Principal, Toss Consulting Group 
    • Dr. Angela Martinez, CEO, Dr. Angela Martinez, P.A. 
    • Adriana Pereira-Reyes, Director, Public Affairs and Government Relations, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. 
    • Jorge Piedra, Managing Director, Piedra & Associates 
    • Dr. Leslie Rosenfeld, Chief Learning and Development Officer, City of Miami Beach 
    • Dan Salzverg, Former Assistant General Manager, Barnes & Noble at FIU / FIU Ignite Campaign 
    • Jared Stitz, Senior Director, Alvarez & Marsal Taxand, LLC 
    • Alex Tonarelli, Managing Director, Loews Miami Beach Hotel 
    • Rene Vargas, Jr., CEO, Super Restoration 
    • Ivan C. Vila, President, Visualscape, Inc. 

    Thank you to all of you for accepting your prestigious nomination to the President’s Council. We look forward to working with you to ensure our FIU continues to be Worlds Ahead!  

    If you know of a community leader who would make an exceptional President’s Council member, please contact Barbie Galvez at 305-348-4111 or prescoun@fiu.eduWe will be working with Pete Koltis, our Chair-Elect, and Carmen Perez-Carlton, our Membership Chair, to grow and diversify our membership. 

    In Panther Spirit,  

    Melissa Tapanes Llahues 
    Chair, President’s Council 

Luly Balepogi (2015 - 2017)

  • January & February 2017

    Message from the desk of Luly Balepogi, Chair, President’s Council

    Dear President’s Council Members,

    I would like to thank thePresident’s Councilmemberswhoattended ourBreakfast with President Rosenbergon February 7th.The breakfast gave members an opportunity to hear the most pressing priorities for the university, which allows us to go out into the community as ambassadors and share the FIU story.

    Below are some of the highlights:

    • President Rosenberg’s Top 3 Priorities for FIU:
      1. Tell the FIU story–share what our FIU is doing out in the community
      2. Aggressive Fundraising–widen the circle of FIU supporters in the community
      3. Move the needle on Fostering Panther Pride –help FIU be the trailblazer in advocating for homeless and former foster care students who desperately need support
    • If you have not already seen the Fostering Panther Pride video, please click hereand share this with your networks. Ask your networks to scroll down and enter their information to make a contribution. Every single dollar counts! Click hereto read the latest FIU newstory on our efforts. Many of you have asked, so we are delivering!
      1. Click hereto view our latest Member Directory
      2. Click hereto view our Calendar of Events
    • We are actively seeking to grow our membership base.
      We are asking every member to think of at least twopeoplewe can nominate for the President’s Council and we are asking you to help us get them on board. To nominate someone, please click here.

    On February 24th, we will be having our Advocacy Briefing. This will be a breakfast briefing with an overview of the current political and legislative situation; national, state and local issues; the hot topics and FIU priorities for this upcoming session. To RSVP, please click here.

    On March 9th,we will be hosting a private exhibit and reception supporting the Fostering Panther Pride Program students. The exhibit will feature the Carol Brown Goldberg: Tangled Nature. The event is a collaboration between President’s Council, FPL and Fibernet Direct. A special thank you to Carmen Perez and Irene White for their leadership in this initiative and for underwriting the event. To RSVP, please click here.

    And now for some FIU highlights!

    • FIU is one of 81 U.S. public universities to have achieved Carnegie’s highest research classification.
    • FIU researchers received$3.4 million for research to combat the Zika virus. The projects seek to undermine the transmission and impact of the disease using a variety of methods.The Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine received nearly $2 million from the Florida Department of Health. TheBiomolecular Sciences Institute in the College of Arts, Sciences & Education received nearly $200,000 from the Florida Department of Health to expand research on mosquito genetics and $1.2 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
    • FIU’s Model United Nations teamhas achieved its highest ranking ever, landing second place in North America and beating out every Ivy League team in the country.The team has advanced steadily in recent years, as noted in Best Delegate, the organization that ranks ModelUN teams based on performance. It is the highest ranked team in Florida and the highest from any public university.A few years ago, our special initiative was raising funds that would allow the Model UN team to attend more competitions. I am happy to see that our efforts have yielded the results we wanted: for this team of exceptional students to elevate the FIU name. Thank you to all of the President’s Council members who supported this team!

    In Panther Spirit,

    Luly Balepogi
    Chair, President’s Council

  • December 2016

    Message from the desk of Luly Balepogi, Chair, President’s Council 

    Dear President’s Council Members, 

    I would like to thank the members of the Fostering Panther Pride (FPP) Task Force and Lisa McGill, our committee chair, for their dedication to this important initiative. The primary goal of Fostering Panther Pride is to assist former foster care and homeless students in their transition to FIU, their retention and graduation, and their pursuit of securing employment or graduate school upon receiving their Bachelor’s degree. We are looking forward to the Spring semester when this task force will be hosting a series of exciting events to raise much needed funds for these former foster care and homeless students. During this holiday season, I ask you to consider making a donation that will make a positive impact in the lives of these students. To make a contribution, please click here. 

    And now for some FIU highlights! 

    • The U.S. Department of Transportation is advancing the FIU Bridge Engineering Program’s efforts to make the country’s aging bridges safer. FIU will receive $1.5 million per year, for five years, for its Accelerated Bridge Construction University Transportation Center (ABC-UTC). A combined match from the state and private sector will bring the award to more than $10 million. The money will help address one of the nation’s major transportation challenges – dilapidated bridges in dire need of repair.  
    • This past Tuesday, StartUP FIU’s Empower Accelerator had its first-ever Pitch Day. Over 300 attendees came to listen to 14 teams from the inaugural cohort pitch. Among the 30 venture capitalists and angel investors in the room, 9 were chosen to serve as panelists and given the opportunity to ask questions to gain a greater understanding of the companies. In the first quarter of 2017, StartUP FIU will open new entrepreneurship incubators at Biscayne Bay Campus for food and in the West Kendall community of Miami for technology. 
    • President Mark B. Rosenberg and Provost and Executive Vice President Kenneth G. Furton announced the inaugural group of FIU programs that have been designated as “preeminent” and “emerging preeminent.” Designation as a preeminent program is recognition for outstanding contributions to advancing our FIU’s BeyondPossible2020 Strategic Plan and enhancing the University’s reputation at the national and international level. To see a complete list of the preeminent programs, please click here.  
    • College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts has partnered with Mana Contemporary in Wynwood. The partnership was made possible through a charitable contribution of $2.5 million dollars from Mana Contemporary and the in-kind use of 15,000 square feet of studio and lab space for architecture, design, art, and communication students within Mana Wynwood, a 30-acre development located in the popular Wynwood neighborhood. The total impact value of the gift is more than $10 million.  
    • FIU has been awarded a $3.2 million National Science Foundation ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Grant aimed at developing strategies to increase the number of women and minority professors in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and the social and behavioral sciences at the university. Under the umbrella of FIU ADVANCE, the university will address this goal as part of a multipronged approach to increase the university’s rate of hiring women and minority professors in engineering and sciences. 
    • On November 16th, FIU hosted TEDxFIU: Unexpected Discoveries. The event celebrated its fifth anniversary this year, christening the new Student Academic Success Center’s lecture hall as its inaugural event. Attendees this year were introduced to speakers’ unexpected discoveries, ranging from explorations of personal identity to scientific innovations, and even a modern journey down the traditional path of arranged marriage. Thank you to all of the members who attended this event! The videos of the talks will soon be available online. 

    On behalf of the President’s Council and FIU, I wish you and your families a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year! 

    In Panther Spirit,   

    Luly Balepogi       
    Chair, President’s Council 

  • November 2016

    Message from the desk of Luly Balepogi, Chair, President’s Council  

    Dear President’s Council Members, 

    Thank you members who attended TEDxFIU on November 16thTEDxFIU celebrated its fifth anniversary this year, christening the new Student Academic Success Center’s lecture hall as its inaugural event. Attendees this year were introduced to speakers’ unexpected discoveries, ranging from explorations of personal identity to scientific innovations, and even a modern journey down the traditional path of arranged marriage. 

    I would like to thank the members of the Fostering Panther Pride Committee and our chair, Lisa McGill for their dedication to this important initiative. The primary goal of Fostering Panther Pride is to assist former foster care and homeless students in their transition to FIU, their retention and graduation, and their pursuit of securing employment or graduate school upon receiving their Bachelor’s degree. During this holiday season, I ask you to consider making a donation that will make a positive impact in the lives of these students. To make a contribution, please click here. 

    And now for some FIU highlights! 

    • President Mark B. Rosenberg and Provost and Executive Vice President Kenneth G. Furton announced the inaugural group of FIU programs that have been designated as “preeminent” and “emerging preeminent.” Designation as a preeminent program is recognition for outstanding contributions to advancing our FIU’s BeyondPossible2020 strategic plan and enhancing the University’s reputation at the national and international level. To see a complete list of the preeminent programs, please click here.  
    • College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts partners with Mana Contemporary in WynwoodThe partnership is made possible through a charitable contribution of $2.5 million dollars from Mana Contemporary and the in-kind use of 15,000 square feet of studio and lab space for architecture, design, art, and communication students within Mana Wynwood, a 30-acre development located in the popular Wynwood neighborhood. The total impact value of the gift is more than $10 million. 
    • FIU has been awarded a $3.2 million National Science Foundation ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Grant aimed at developing strategies to increase the number of women and minority professors in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and the social and behavioral sciences at the university. Under the umbrella of FIU ADVANCE, the university will address this goal as part of a multipronged approach to increase the university’s rate of hiring women and minority professors in engineering and sciences. 
    • College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts has partnered with The Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation Inc., to create an incubator aimed at giving FIU art and design students the tools and support needed to turn their ideas into profitable businesses. With funds from a recent $831,000 gift from the Ratcliffe Foundation, CARTA will open the Ratcliffe Arts + Design Incubator at FIU at the university’s Biscayne Bay Campus in North Miami. It will be among the most innovative arts entrepreneurship spaces to be housed at a public university in South Florida. 

    In Panther Spirit,  

     

    Luly Balepogi       
    Chair, President’s Council 

  • August 2016

    Message from the desk of Luly Balepogi, Chair, President’s Council

    Dear President’s Council Members,

    Welcome to Fall 2016! This new academic year we are expecting 56,000 students, including 9,359 new freshmen and transfer students and more than 150 new faculty members. We’re also welcoming a freshman class with the highest average high school GPA in FIU history -3.9!

    And now for some FIU highlights!

    • On Wednesday, August 17th,FIU was the host location when former New Mexico governor and Libertarian Party presidential candidate,Gary Johnson and his running mate, Bill Weld stopped on campus. The two addressed a crowd of approximately 500guestsat an event in the Wertheim Performing Arts Center.Johnson’s campus visit continues to showcase FIU as a key venue for candidates during the 2016 election season.
    • On Thursday, Aug. 18th, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) hosted FIU leaders for a day-long series of meetings to explore internship, employment and research training opportunities for FIU students. The NIH is a critical partner to FIU’s research mission, with awards totaling approximately $27 million in the last fiscal year. Designated as a Carnegie R1 research institution, FIU is focused on cutting-edge research that seeks to solve the problems thatimpact the world such as brain research, ADHD, minority health disparities, and HIV/AIDS.

    I want to thank those of you who are servedon the Worlds Ahead Faculty Award Committeeand Jennifer Olmedo-Rodriguezfor her leadership in her first year as Chair of the World’s Ahead Faculty Award Committee.The committeehad the difficult task of choosing just one winner and two finalists out of 22 exceptional professors. The finalists are Erik Camayd-Freixas, Chenzhong Li, and Allan Rosenbaum. The award will be conferred at the annual Faculty Convocation on September 29.

    On October 13th, we will be hosting a Cuban Research Institute Showcase.The Cuban Research Institute (CRI) is dedicated to creating and disseminating knowledge about Cuba and Cuban Americans. The institute encourages original research and interdisciplinary teaching, organizes extracurricular activities, collaborates with other academic units working in Cuban and Cuban-American studies, and promotes the development of library holdings and collections on Cuba and its diaspora.Please stay tunedfor a formal invitation in the upcoming weeks. On September 14th, the Cuban Research Institute will be hosting the 2016 FIU Cuba Poll. The Cuba Poll, first conducted in 1991, is the longest running research project tracking the opinions of the Cuban-American community in South Florida. For more information, click here.

    On November 16th, we will be celebrating our 5-year anniversary of TEDxFIU.We are pleased to announce that we have reserved 75 VIP Ticketson a first-come first-serve basis to thosewho directly RSVP to Barbie Galvez at bagalv@fiu.edu or 305-348-4111. For those who do not receive the first 75 tickets,please stay tunedfor the pre-sale announcement as a courtesy to President’s Council members.If you are interested in any sponsorship opportunities, please contact Karla Hernandez at karherna@fiu.edu. For more information on TEDxFIU, please click here. To see videos from TEDxFIU 2015, please click here.

    In Panther Spirit,

    Luly Balepogi
    Chair, President’s Council

  • July 2016

    Message from the desk of Luly Balepogi, Chair, President’s Council 

    Dear President’s Council Members, 

    Welcome to Fall 2016! This new academic year we are expecting over 56,000 students, including 9,359 new freshmen and transfer students and more than 150 new faculty members. We’re also welcoming a freshman class with the highest average high school GPA in FIU history - 3.9!  

    And now for some FIU highlights!  

    • FIU was the host location this month when former New Mexico governor and Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson and his running mate, Bill Weld stopped on campus. The two addressed a crowd of approximately 600 at an event in the Wertheim Performing Arts Center. Johnson’s campus visit continues to showcase FIU as a key venue for candidates during the 2016 election season 
    • On Thursday, Aug. 18, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) hosted FIU leaders for a day-long series of meetings to explore internship, employment and research training opportunities for FIU students. The NIH is a critical partner to FIU’s research mission, with awards totaling approximately $27 million in the last fiscal year. Designated a Carnegie R1 research institution, FIU is focused on cutting-edge research that seeks to solve the problems that impact the world like brain research, ADHD, minority health disparities, and HIV/AIDS. 
    • FIU students and faculty will gain direct access to a global network of leading educational scholars and potential collaborators through a new partnership with the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES). CIES is the largest and oldest of 47 comparative and international educational societies in the world with more than 3,000 academics, practitioners, university students, research institutes, multilateral agencies, government departments and non-governmental organizations from all over the globe. The organization has committed more than $400,000 to FIU over the next three years. This includes support for three graduate student interns, two graduate assistants and a post-doctoral fellow. 

     

    On November 16, we will be celebrating our 5-year anniversary of TEDxFIU. Please stay tuned for the pre-sale announcement as a courtesy to President’s Council members. For more information on TEDxFIU, please click here. To see videos from TEDxFIU 2015, please click here.  

    In Panther Spirit,  

     

    Luly Balepogi       
    Chair, President’s Council 

  • June 2016

    Message from the desk of Luly Balepogi, Chair, President’s Council 

    Dear President’s Council Members, 

    Thank you members who attended the End of the Year Reception on June 14. It was a wonderful event that highlighted the PG6 Tech Station. We had an opportunity to hear from President Rosenberg on new year initiatives, including the announcement to support Fostering Panther Pride. I look forward to your continued support of these remarkable students throughout the year. 

    And now for some FIU highlights! 

    • FIU in Washington, D.C. opened its doors this month. The FIU initiative is a research-driven solutions center aimed at expanding national partnerships and creating greater opportunities in the nation’s capital for students, faculty and the South Florida community.  Complete with state-of-the-art teaching and conferencing technologies, the 3,500-square-foot space includes a welcome center, multipurpose space, a board room, classroom, and four co-working spaces. The Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs, other colleges and schools will soon offer short-term courses to current students and alumni. The space will be available for FIU partners from Miami to engage in Washington, D.C. as well. For more information on space availability, please contact Carlos Becerra, Assistant Vice President of Federal Relations, at carlos.becerra@fiu.edu. 
    • The Education Effect, a groundbreaking partnership between FIU and Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) aimed at student achievement, is expanding into the historic Little Haiti community. This expansion is due to a generous donation from local philanthropist, Rose Ellen Green, a longtime volunteer at Jesse J. McCrary Elementary School. The expansion into McCrary Elementary marks the first time the program will be working with students, their parents and the community. It will incorporate researchers, faculty and staff from FIU’s Center for Children and Families, a nationally recognized interdisciplinary clinical center committed to improving the lives of children and families. 
    • FIU has launched the Center for Aquatic Chemistry and the Environment with a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology program. This program will help improve the understanding of environmental contamination in water resources and design remediation strategies.  
    • StartUP FIU, an initiative aimed at supporting innovation among students, faculty, alumni and community members, encompasses three new incubators and an accelerator program that is accepting applications for the first cohort starting in September. Additionally, the initiative will leverage FIU’s many existing entrepreneurship resources including the Small Business Development Center, Pino Entrepreneurship Center, AshokaU, Tech Station, and Miami Beach Urban Studios. The launch of StartUP FIU is made possible in large part by recent grants from the Community Progress Makers Fund by Citi Foundation and the State of Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, totaling nearly $2 million. 
    • This upcoming Fall, we will be celebrating our 5-year anniversary of TEDxFIU. Please stay tuned for the official date and pre-sale announcement as a courtesy to President’s Council members.  

    Some of you have asked, and yes, you can already get the new FIU license plate! Funds raised from all purchases directly fund scholarships for students, typically for those in crisis who need emergency funding. For more information or to get your new FIU license plate today, click here. 

    Have a great summer! 

    In Panther Spirit,  

    Luly Balepogi       
    Chair, President’s Council 

  • May 2016

    Message from the desk of Luly Balepogi, Chair, President’s Council 

    Dear President’s Council Members, 

    Welcome to the Summer! Please mark your calendars for June 14th when we will be having our End of the Year Reception. We will look ahead to initiatives of the President’s Council for the coming year with a tour of the PG6 Tech Station to follow. The PG6 Tech Station features classrooms and tech labs, with 8,000 sq. ft. for technology innovation, training and community engagement to attract the next generation of top computing students. We hope you will join us! To RSVP, please click here. 

    And now for some FIU highlights! 

    • From May 7 to May 11, FIU hosted 10 commencement ceremonies. During the ceremonies, celebrating the almost 5,000 students who graduated in the spring semester, President Mark B. Rosenberg recognized 30 Worlds Ahead Graduates. From identical twins with identical high GPA’s to decorated war veterans, these students excelled in and outside the classroom, as well as overcame challenges. U.S. National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice was the commencement speaker during a ceremony for graduates from the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs. She urged graduates to consider a “higher purpose” by pursuing a career in public service and spoke about the importance of diversity for national security agencies, noting that there are few minorities among the ranks of senior diplomats, senior military officers and senior intelligence officials. “Help make ‘the 202’ a little more like ‘the 305’,” she said.  
    • FIU’s Model United Nations Team won the Best Small Delegation Award at the prestigious University of Chicago Model United Nations competition on April 24th. This is FIU’s eighth intercollegiate competition on the North American Circuit for the 2015-2016 yearOur students won nine out of ten awards. 
    • FIU senior Manuela Carvajal was awarded one of the public relation industry’s highest student honors: PRWeek Magazine’s 2016 Student of the YearStudents competing were tasked with designing a public relations campaign for Toyota’s hybrid car, the Prius. Carvajal’s winning campaign focused on a total redesign of the car and a plan to educate people about its hybrid technology.  
    • FIU rose two spots to No. 6 nationally in the Peace Corps’ latest ranking of volunteer-producing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI). With 16 alumni actively serving in the Peace Corps, 2016 marked the fifth consecutive year FIU was ranked among the top 10 Hispanic-Serving Institutions. Since FIU opened its doors in 1972, 207 alumni have served in the Peace Corps. 
    • Two FIU alumni earned top honors from Miami-Dade County Public Schools recently. Manuel Sanchez ’94, MS ’95 of Miami Lakes Middle School was named Principal of the Year and Gabriel Quintero ‘90 of Kenwood K-8 Center was named Assistant Principal of the YearSanchez and Quintero have made efforts to better their schools by reducing the number of students who repeat grades and creating a more inclusive environment for students who have special needs. 
    • The Institute of International Education recognized FIU in March with its2016 Andrew Heiskell Awardfor Internationalizing the Campus as a result of FIU’s successes in global learning. The university’s Office of Global Learning Initiatives, led by Hilary Landorf, recently completed a program review of all academic departments and assigned a Go Global score to each one. The score was based on the percentage of professors in each department who attended global learning workshops, the number of global learning courses offered by the department and average student enrollment. 

    Some of you have asked, and yes, you can already get the new FIU license plate! Funds raised from all purchases directly fund scholarships for students, typically for those in crisis who need emergency funding. For more information or to get your new FIU license plate today, click here. 

    In Panther Spirit,  

     

    Luly Balepogi       
    Chair, President’s Council 

  • April 2016

    Message from the desk of Luly Balepogi, Chair, President’s Council 

    Dear President’s Council Members, 

    Please mark your calendars for June 14th when we will be having our End of the Year Reception. We will look ahead to initiatives of the President’s Council for the coming year with a tour of the PG6 Tech Station to follow. The PG6 Tech Station features classrooms and tech labs, with 8,000 sq. ft. for technology innovation, training and community engagement to attract the next generation of top computing students.  

    And now for some FIU highlights! 

    • FIU’s Model United Nations Team won the Best Small Delegation Award at the prestigious University of Chicago Model United Nations competition on April 24th. This is FIU’s eighth intercollegiate competition on the North American Circuit for the 2015-2016 yearOur students won nine out of ten awards. 
    • FIU senior Manuela Carvajal was awarded one of the public relation industry’s highest student honors: PRWeek Magazine’s 2016 Student of the Year. Students competing were tasked with designing a public relations campaign for Toyota’s hybrid car, the Prius. Carvajal’s winning campaign focused on a total redesign of the car and a plan to educate people about its hybrid technology.  
    • FIU rose two spots to No. 6 nationally in the Peace Corps’ latest ranking of volunteer-producing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI). With 16 alumni actively serving in the Peace Corps, 2016 marked the fifth consecutive year FIU was ranked among the top 10 Hispanic-Serving Institutions. Since FIU opened its doors in 1972, 207 alumni have served in the Peace Corps. 
    • Two FIU alumni earned top honors from Miami-Dade County Public Schools recently. Manuel Sanchez ’94, MS ’95 of Miami Lakes Middle School was named Principal of the Year and Gabriel Quintero ‘90 of Kenwood K-8 Center was named Assistant Principal of the Year. Sanchez and Quintero have made efforts to better their schools by reducing the number of students who repeat grades and creating a more inclusive environment for students who have special needs. 
    • The Institute of International Education recognized FIU in March with its2016 Andrew Heiskell Awardfor Internationalizing the Campus as a result of FIU’s successes in global learning. The university’s Office of Global Learning Initiatives, led by Hilary Landorf, recently completed a program review of all academic departments and assigned a Go Global score to each one. The score was based on the percentage of professors in each department who attended global learning workshops, the number of global learning courses offered by the department and average student enrollment. 

    Some of you have asked, and yes, you can already get the new FIU license plate! Funds raised from all purchases directly fund scholarships for students, typically for those in crisis who need emergency funding. For more information or to get your new FIU license plate today, click here. 

    In Panther Spirit,  

     

    Luly Balepogi       
    Chair, President’s Council 

  • March 2016

    Message from the desk of Luly Balepogi, Chair, President’s Council 

    Dear President’s Council Members, 

    Please mark your calendars for xxxx when we will be having our President’s Council breakfast. The breakfast will be an opportunity to hear a summary of university updates from the executive board’s meeting with President Rosenberg. The executive board will report on the most pressing priorities for the university. This event is open to all members. 

    And now for some FIU highlights! 

    • FIU Model United Nations team won the Best Small Delegation Award at the prestigious University of Chicago Model United Nations competition on April 24. This is FIU’s eighth intercollegiate competition on the North American Circuit for the 2015-2016. Our students won nine out of ten awards and this is their eighth intercollegiate competition on the North American Circuit for the 2015-2016 year. 
    • FIU senior Manuela Carvajal was awarded one of the public relation industry’s highest student honors: PRWeek magazine’s 2016 Student of the Year. Students competing were tasked with designing a public relations campaign for Toyota’s hybrid car, the Prius. Carvajal’s winning campaign focused on a total redesign of the car and a plan to educate people about its hybrid technology.   
    • FIU rose two spots to No. 6 nationally in the Peace Corps’ latest ranking of volunteer-producing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI). With 16 alumni actively serving in the Peace Corps, 2016 marked the fifth consecutive year FIU was ranked among the top 10 HSIs. Since FIU opened its doors in 1972, 207 alumni have served in the Peace Corps 

     

    In Panther Spirit,  

    Luly Balepogi       
    Chair, President’s Council 

  • January 2016

    Message from the desk of Luly Balepogi, Chair, President’s Council 

    Good afternoon President’s Council Members, 

    Last Thursday, we had our Advocacy Briefing at the Modesto A. Maidique Campus. This briefing was an overview of the current political and legislative situation, the hot topics and FIU priorities for this upcoming session. To view the presentation that was shared at the briefing, please click here. For a summary of FIU’s legislative priorities, please click here. You can also visit advocate.fiu.edu for additional details. 

    This Friday, February 12th we will be having our Stocker AstroScience Showcase and Family Night at the Modesto A. Maidique Campus.  Featuring classrooms and research labs, the observatory is capped off by a dome equipped with a main telescope and a platform for six additional telescopes. Families will have the opportunity to stargaze on the rooftop, tour the facilities (including the control center!) and take family photos at our photo booth. We will be hosting a catered reception after the program. It promises to be a lot of fun for the entire family! We hope to see you there! Make sure to confirm your attendance on the RSVP link. 

    To support the ambitious goals of FIU’s strategic plan, FIUBeyondPossible2020, Provost Furton announced the integration of several colleges and schools. The College of Education and the College of Arts & Sciences will be integrated. The faculty of the new college, will be led by Dean Mike Heithaus from the College of Arts & Sciences. The School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the College of Architecture + The Arts will be integrated. The faculty of the new college, will be led by Dean Brian Schriner from the College of Architecture + The Arts. The formation of these new colleges provides unique opportunities for trans-disciplinary research, creative activities and entrepreneurship. 

    And now for some FIU highlights! 

    • The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching announced the newest edition of the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. FIU moved into the top category—R1: Doctoral Universities – Highest Research Activity. Joining the top Carnegie category for research universities is one of the goals of the FIUBeyondPossible2020 Strategic Plan. In achieving the top Carnegie classification FIU joins the top tier of research universities in the U.S., including four others in the Florida State University System – the University of Florida, Florida State University, University of South Florida and the University of Central Florida. For the full FIU News Story, click here. 
    • The John H. Peavy Health Center clinic opened at Miami Northwestern High on January 9th. The school-based primary health care center is funded by a $1.45 million grant to FIU’s Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences and will be open to the public after school and on Saturdays. 
    • The Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) ranked the Reading Education master’s program at College of Arts, Sciences & Education (CASE) as the No. 1 teacher preparation program in the State of Florida. The rankings, which were issued for the first time by the FLDOE, are based on the success of students who graduated from each program. 
    • Tomás R. Guilarte has been appointed dean of FIU’s Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social WorkGuilarte comes to FIU after much success as the inaugural Leon Hess Professor and Chairman of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. 
    • Last month, FIU student, Mario Di Giovanni ‘13 spoke out about voting rights in Venezuela at the One Young World Summit held in Bangkok, Thailand. Di Giovanni, now a graduate student studying global affairs, sat alongside international political leaders, like former Bolivian President Jorge Quiroga and Mauritian President Ameenah Gurib Fakim, in a panel addressing corruption at the highest levels of government and business. 
    • College of Business’ Hollo School of Real Estate ranked No. 1 in the United States and No. 2 globally for its faculty’s real estate research in a study that will be published in the Journal of Real Estate Literature this month. The Real Estate Academic Leadership (REAL) rankings highlight the authors and institutions demonstrating achievement in intellectual contributions to the field of real estate over the last five years. 

    In Panther Spirit,  

     

    Luly Balepogi       
    Chair, President’s Council 

  • December 2015

    Dear President’s Council Members, 

    On Wednesday, Dec. 16, members of the Homestead City Council unanimously and enthusiastically passed a resolution supporting an FIU-led economic development initiative that includes a site for the Fair to relocate. This project would bring FIU’s expertise to South Dade’s agricultural industry while adding to the economic prosperity of South Dade with new educational and job opportunities. The proposal would allow FIU to expand the Modesto A. Maidique Campus onto county-owned land. 

    More than 4,600 students received their degrees at the FIU during the fall ceremonies held December 13th through the 16th. To see more on commencement 2015, please click here. 

    Please mark your calendars for February 9th when we will be having our Stocker AstroScience Showcase and Family Night at the Modesto A. Maidique Campus.  Featuring classrooms and research labs, the observatory is capped off by a dome equipped with a main telescope and a platform for eight additional telescopes.  

    And now for some FIU highlights! 

    • Serena Jimenezwon an Emmy at the 2015 Suncoast Emmy Awards Dec. 5th, only 16 months after graduating from FIU. Jimenez, an alumna of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, took home the prestigious statuette for her work as a series producer in an “Art Loft” segment aired on WPBT-TV (Ch. 2), featuring glass sculptor Dale Chihuly. 
    • FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Managementstudents Francia Umanzor and Gabreon Davis, received internships and full-time jobs with Starbucks. Starbucks offered it’s first-ever, 11-week retail internship program in the Florida market exclusively to FIU’s Hospitality and Tourism Management students starting in the summer of 2015. Umanzor and Davis were two of three FIU students to participate in this pilot program. 
    • TomásR. Guilarte has been appointed dean of FIU’s Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social WorkGuilarte comes to FIU after success as the inaugural Leon Hess Professor and Chairman of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. 
    •  Last month, FIU student,Mario Di Giovanni‘13 spoke out about voting rights in Venezuela at the One Young World Summit held in Bangkok, Thailand, last month. Di Giovanni, now a graduate student studying global affairs, sat alongside international political leaders, like former Bolivian President Jorge Quiroga and Mauritian President Ameenah Gurib Fakim, in a panel addressing corruption at the highest levels of government and business. 
    • College of Business’Hollo School of Real Estate ranked No. 1 in the United States and No. 2 globally for its faculty’s real estate research in a study that will be published in the Journal of Real Estate Literature this month. The Real Estate Academic Leadership (REAL) rankings highlight the authors and institutions demonstrating achievement in intellectual contributions to the field of real estate over the last five years.  

    I hope you had an amazing holiday season with your families. Here's to an incredible new year! 

  • November 2015

    Dear President’s Council Members, 

    Thank you to the President’s Council members who already sent in their contributions to the Model United Nations Program. We would like to thank Sergio Abreu, Victor Balestra, Ines Calderon, Jose Diaz, Maritza Estevez-Pazos, Pete Koltis, Manny Miranda, and Carmen Perez for their contributions to the programWe also want to thank President Rosenberg, Dean Stack, Sandy Gonzalez-Levy and Dania Rivero for their financial support. Our students still need your financial support to go out there and compete against other universities. Please help us meet our goal by clicking here. Our goal is to raise $25,000 and we are almost half way there! 

    On November 10th, we had our President’s Council breakfast with President Rosenberg. The breakfast gave members an opportunity to hear the hot topics and most pressing priorities for the university, which allows us to go out into the community as ambassadors and share the FIU story. The discussion included key drivers of FIU’s organization and culture. If you did not get the opportunity to attend, be on the lookout for a spring date coming soon.  

    Please mark your calendars for December 1st when we will be having our College of Business Showcase at the Modesto Madique Campus. We will be hearing from the Acting Dean of the College of Business, Jose Aldrich and taking a tour of the new Management and New Growth Opportunities (MANGO) Building. If you would like to RSVP for this event, please click here. We hope to see you there! 

    And now for some FIU highlights! 

    • On November 5th, the fourth annual TEDxFIU event, was held at the Wertheim Performing Arts Center and featured eight talks centered around a message of hope and optimism. The speakers exemplified this year’s theme, “Always Forward, facing problems head-on, no matter the challenges. If you would like to read more on TEDxFIU, please click here. 
    • FIU’s men’s soccer defeated Marshall on November 15th to win its first Conference USA Men’s Soccer Championship.  
    • Law student, Julia Williams was invited by the National Institute of Military Justice to represent FIU Law at Camp Justice in Guantanamo Bay and witness a hearing with defendants who are among the world’s most violent terrorists. Williams is president of FIU Law’s Veterans and Military Affairs Law Student Association. After graduation, she will be a Judge Advocate General in the United States Air Force. 
    • Monique Hamaty-Simmonds, entrepreneur and founder of Tortuga Imports, is one of 100 Influential Leaders recognized by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. AACSB is the global accrediting body and membership association for business schools. Hamaty-Simmonds, a College of Business alumna, and fellow honorees are from 20 countries and more than 20 industry sectors. 

    This month we have had an outstanding member accomplishment. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History added campaign materials and personal artifacts related to Hispanic advertising agencies and their founders through a collaboration with the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA). The Voice of Hispanic Marketing. One of the creative leaders who donated to the museum is our very own, Gaby Alcantara-Diaz, founder of Semilla AD. The partnership helps in the collection and documentation of the evolution in Latino communications and its influence on the general market. Congrats Gaby! 

    Thank you again for your continued support. We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday! 

    In Panther Spirit, 

    Luly 

  • October 2015

    Dear President’s Council Members, 

    Thank you to the President’s Council members who attended the Oktoberfest on October 28th. It was a wonderful event where our members enjoyed beers brewed by our own Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management Brewing Science Class 

    This month we have had an outstanding member accomplishment. Marile Lopez is being recognized at the 6th Anniversary Women of Distinction & Caring Luncheon on November 5th. Marile will also be receiving the Torch Award for Community Leadership on March 19, 2016. Congratulations Marile! 

    And now for some FIU highlights! 

    • Last week FIU students, alumni, staff, and community celebrated Homecoming with a week-long celebration of Panther Pride. The week kicked off with our Panthermonium Concert and ended with our Homecoming tailgate, parade and game. The FIU football team remained perfect at home this season with a dominating performance over Old Dominion in the FIU Homecoming Game on October 24th in a 41-12 victory. 
    • Alina Rafikova, a School of Journalism and Mass Communication graduate students was one of only 193 young leaders around the world chosen to represent member states at the United Nations Sustainable Development in New York.  
    • The Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine officially welcomed its first class of physician assistants. The 45 students who comprise the inaugural class of the HWCOM Master in Physician Assistant Studies Program were chosen out of nearly 700 applicants.  
    • Atorod Azizinamini (Ah-see-see-nah-me-nee), chair of the Deparment of Civil and Environmental Engineering at FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing, has been recognized by the White House and U.S. Department of Transportation, for his innovations in making the nation’s aging bridges safer. Azizinamini has been named a 2015 White House Transportation Champion of Change. 

     

    Thank you to the President’s Council members who already sent in their contributions to the Model United Nations Program. Our students still need your financial support to go out there and compete against other universities. These students travel all over the country to elevate the FIU name and we need to make sure they have the ability to compete. If you have any questions about the program, or would like to contribute, please send a note to presidentscouncil@fiu.edu, attention Victor Balestra.  

    If you know of anyone that would make a great President’s Council member, please make sure to send a note to presidentscouncil@fiu.edu, attention Pete Koltis, so we can make sure we nominate them. Pete is serving as our membership chair and we are actively working on expanding our membership network. To see a complete list of our current members, please click here 

    Thank you for all that you do for FIU! 

    In Panther Spirit, 

    Luly 

  • September 2015

    Dear President’s Council Members,   

    Thank you President’s Council members who attended the Model United Nations Simulation on September 17. It was a wonderful event and we are delighted that Ambassador Green, for whom the school is now named after, was able to join us. I look forward to your continued support of these remarkable students throughout the year. By now, you should have received a letter in the mail from Victor Balestra requesting your financial support for this program, so these students can continue to compete and elevate the FIU name. 

    Please mark your calendars for October 28th when we will be having our Oktoberfest event at the Biscayne Bay Campus. We will enjoy beers brewed by our own Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management students. We will be sending a formal invitation out in the upcoming weeks. We hope to see you there! 

    And now for some FIU highlights! 

    • FIU College of Lawgraduates have earned the top bar passage rate in Florida, with 89 percent passing the exam that allows them to practice law in the state. 

    First among Florida’s 11 law schools on the July 2015 bar examination, FIU College of Law graduates exceeded the statewide average bar passage rate of 68.9 percent by more than 20 percentage points. 

    • The College of Businessranks 6th among the best undergraduate international programs in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 edition of Best Colleges. This is the third time in four years that the college has ranked within the Top 10 in international business.
    • The Herbert Wertheim College of Medicinehas been ranked 20th nationwide among the Top Medical Schools for Education Quality, and number 4 for Top Medical Schools for Career Support in a survey of more than 100 medical schools nationwide.
    • College of Educationalumnae took home three major awards issued recently by the Florida Art Education Association. Patricia Cummins ’79 was named Elementary Art Educator of the Year; Lourdes Fuller ’98 was named Middle School Art Educator of the Year; and Beth Goldstein ’99 was named Florida Art Educator of the Year.
    • FIUranked 17th out of 279 higher education institutions in Washington Monthly for engagement and contributions to community, up from 24th last year.

    If you know of anyone that would make a great President’s Council member, please make sure to send a note to presidentscouncil@fiu.edu, attention Pete Koltis, so we can make sure we nominate them. Pete is serving as our membership chair and we are actively working on expanding our membership network.  

    Thank you for all that you do for FIU! 

    In Panther Spirit, 

    Luly 

  • August 2015
    Dear President’s Council Members, 
    • The Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine officially welcomed its newest class of 123 students on August 7th. This is the college’s largest class to date and includes 37 FIU grads.  
    • Alumnus Richard Blanco tooto the steps of the United States embassy in Havana, Cuba on August 14th to recite a new poem for the reopening of the U.S. embassy in Cuba. 
    • Alumna Helena Ramirez, former SGA President, MMC, is one of Forbes 2015 30 under 30 for law and policy. She earned the recognition for her work as the Eastern Coalitions coordinator for The Libre Initiative – a national non-profit, non-partisan organization whose mission is to empower the U.S. Hispanic community. 
    • College of Architecture + The Arts alumna Paola Katherine Rodriguez had her photographic work featured by the Musée du Louvre in Paris. Her photograph “Takia” was included as part of the Fifth Annual Exposure Award reception’s    collection at the museum. 
    • Oceanographer David Kadko, a professor and associate director of the Applied Research Center at FIU, is the chief scientist of a multimillion-dollar U.S. Arctic GEOTRACES initiative. He is leading a team of 51 scientists, students and technicians in one of the biggest undertakings and international collaborations in the history of Arctic research. 

    Just a reminder that we will be having our Model UN Showcase on September 17th at the Green School. You should have received an evite already, make sure to RSVP. We hope to see you here! 

    In Panther Spirit, 

    Luly 

  • July 2015

    Dear President’s Council Members, 

    I am very excited to be sharing with you some of the latest FIU accomplishments! We’re in July and the university has accomplished so much in the last few months. Let me share some of those highlights with you now: 

    • FIU was ranked 64th on Forbes’ list of America’s Best Employers 
    • The Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs’ Model United Nations Program has been ranked fourth in North America by BestDelegate.com.  
    • FIU’s work in providing an open campus climate that is safe and accepting for all members of the university community regardless of sexual orientation was recognized by SAVE Dade with the Champion of Equality recognition.   
    • Five women made history at spring commencement by being the first in FIU history to graduate with a Global Learning Medallion. 
    • On July 6th, 10 people, including two FIU students, became citizens at a naturalization ceremony held at FIU. At the end of the ceremony, the university unveiled a new replica of Lady Liberty. It is located between the Green School and the College of Business and will have a plaque commemorating the names of the 10 newly naturalized citizens. 
    • FIU’s International Hurricane Research Center in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Hurricane Center has launched a new Spanish language website huracanes.fiu.edu to help the Spanish-speaking community be better educated, informed and prepared for hurricanes. 

    I want to thank those of you who are serving on the Worlds Ahead Faculty Award Committee. I know you will be meeting on July 27th and then again on August 21st to participate in the nomination process and determine who our award recipients will be. Not an easy feat, so thank you for the time you will be dedicating to this! 

    Just a reminder that we will be having our Model UN Showcase on September 17th at the Green School. Mark your calendars for 6:30pm! I hope to see each and every one of you there! 

    In Panther Spirit, 

    Luly 

  • June 2015

    Dear President’s Council Members, 

    I want to thank all of the members who joined us at the Strategic Planning Session and End of Year Reception. For those who were not able to attend, we missed you and we hope to see you at the next President’s Council event! 

    Thursday night was truly special, as we thanked Mary I. Hoelle for her two years of service as Chair of the President’s Council.  Under her leadership, we have accomplished wonderful things for the university and we could not have done it without her direction, professionalism and passion. Once again, thank you Mary! 

    Part of my vision for the President’s Council this year is to have continuous dialogue between me and all of our members. To ensure this happens, you will be receiving regular emails from me with audio messages sharing the most recent news, recapping previous events and reminding you about the exciting President’s Council events to come. This will be called “Luly’s Corner” and I cannot wait! 

    We will also be hosting “Breakfast with the President” at the Reagan Presidential House on the FIU Campus. This will give us quality time with President Rosenberg as he shares the hot topics and most pressing priorities for the university. Think of it as an inside look to FIU, and we will have two of them per semester. Be on the lookout for your invitation! 

    Below is an overview of the agenda items discussed at the Strategic Planning Session. 

    Rankings: 

    • FIU ranked number 13 among institutions whose students graduate with the least debt load, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 edition of Best Colleges. 
    • The College of Business’ Online Corporate MBA was ranked No. 14 in the Financial Times 2015 edition of the Online MBA Rankings. 
    • U.S. News & World Report placed the College of Business at No.15 among the top business schools for the International MBA in its 2016 edition of the Best Graduate Schools. FIU tied with UCLA, George Washington University and the University of Texas at Austin, and topped Northwestern University, Michigan State and Yale, among other noted academic institutions. 
    • The Graduate Nursing program at the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences has been ranked No. 54 (up from No. 265 in 2011) by the U.S. News & World Report 2016 Best Graduate Schools Guidebook. This marks the highest-ever ranking for the 23-year-old master’s program.  
    • FIU’s international business program ranked 8th among the best undergraduate programs, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 edition of Best Colleges.  
    • The FIU Department of Interior Architecture was ranked among the top 10 in the nation for interior architecture degree programs, and 1st among universities in Florida by DesignIntelligence. 
    • Our College of Law was recognized by PreLaw magazine as an A+ program. 
    • FIU was named one of America’s Best Employers” by Forbes.  
    • FIU was ranked 3rd among the 19 Florida-based employers recognized, and 9th in the education category. On the overall list of 500 employers, FIU was ranked 64th. 

    Performance Funding and Our Strategic Plan 

    • The state university system has adopted a Performance Funding Model. Universities are ranked and they can potentially receive (or lose) funding based on their score using the BOG model metrics.  
    • FIU tied for third in the latest round.    
    • The FIUBeyondPossible2020 strategic plan creates a pathway for our university to succeed and excel during this new era. The plan can be viewed here. 

    Expansion 

    • Last fall, 65 percent of almost 500,000 Miami-Dade voters demonstrated their confidence in FIU and our future – voting on allowing FIU to expand operations to the fairgrounds.  
    • FIU’s proposed expansion onto the 64 acres adjacent to the Modesto A. Maidique Campus will enhance our ability to create new jobs for the South Florida economy. 
    • FIU’s proposed use for the land includes expansion of our academic space, including the College of Engineering and Computing. Other uses being considered include research space, our academic health center, an incubator to support entrepreneurship and student housing and support space, as well as parking. 
    • FIU will be able to produce greater student talent in engineering, the sciences and entrepreneurship - areas that are state priorities and keys to economic development.  
    • Here's what FIU’s expansion will mean: 
    • An initial economic impact of $1.8 billion and an additional annual recurring economic impact of $541 million to our community. 
    • That’s above the $8.9 billion FIU already provides. 
    • A $900 million investment in construction. 
    • Job creation to support FIU’s expanding student population. 
    • The expansion will be done at no cost to Miami-Dade County or FIU students. The university will raise funds for the expansion without affecting tuition. 

    Model United Nations (Model UN) 

    • FIU Model UN is a political science course that provides an interactive environment engrossing students in different aspects of political and international affairs.  
    • This year, the FIU Model United Nations team has been ranked the 4th “Best Delegation” in North America by BestDelegate.com in its fall 2015 college rankings, making it the top team from the state of Florida. 
    • The President’s Council will take on the Model UN Team as a Special Initiative and will raise funds needed to keep the team competitive and traveling to the competitions so they can continue to elevate the FIU name on a national level. They have competed against schools such as Harvard, Yale, Georgetown, Princeton and Columbia.  

    2015-2016 Executive Board 

    • Luly Balepogi – Chair, President’s Council 
    • Melissa Tapanes Llahues – Chair-Elect and Chair of the Worlds Ahead Faculty Award Committee 
    • Victor C. Balestra – Model UN Chair 
    • Manny Miranda – Internships Chair 
    • Peter Koltis – Membership Chair 
    • Sergio Abreu – Advocacy Chair 

    To help us do our best, if you have not done it, please complete the survey that was disseminated at the Strategic Planning Session by clicking here. Your feedback is extremely important to us! 

    Enclosed is the Calendar of Events for the fall of 2015 and the spring of 2016. I hope to see each and every one of you at these events! 

    The mantra of the evening as that we all need to be ready to BOAST and BRAG about our FIU. After all, we bleed blue and gold! 

    I am excited for all the amazing things we will continue to accomplish together! 

    In Panther Spirit, 

    Luly Balepogi 
    Chair, President’s Council 

     

Mary Hoelle (2013 - 2014 )

  • Spring 2014

    Message from the desk of President’s Council Chair Mary I. Hoelle 

    January 27, 2014 

    Dear President’s Council Members: 

    I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your past support and continued participation in the President’s Council.  Your work as ambassadors of FIU in the community is essential to the growth and advancement of the university.   

    We had a fruitful semester in the Fall of 2013. The nomination process for our Worlds Ahead Faculty Award was a huge success, drawing 30 nominations from almost every college and school in the university. Our 2013 award recipient was Judith Stiehm from the College of Arts and Sciences who received $12,500; the first-runner up was Lester Standiford from the College of Arts and Sciences who received $3,500; and the second-runner up was John Stuart from the College of Architecture + The Arts who received $2,000. Thank you to Melissa Tapanes Llahues for her leadership as Chair of the Worlds Ahead Faculty Awards and thank you to the committee members who dedicated numerous hours to making this decision.  

    On October 17th, we hosted our 3rd DreamMakers Event. At this luncheon, we raised more than $200,000 toward the First Generation Scholarship FundDesigned to bring a university education within reach, the fund provides support to qualified undergraduate students who are the first generation in their families to attain college degree. With the state match, this translates into a total impact of more than $400,000, resulting in critical scholarship dollars. This is the most we have raised to date, and as a result we doubled our goal and FIU surpassed their state university-wide goal. Thank you to Luly Balepogi for her leadership as Chair of the First Generation Task Force and thank you to all of the members who served on the task force, who participated as table captains and who attended the event. Together, we are making a difference in the lives of students whose dream is to earn a college education. 

    In the fall, we started our series of dinners hosted by President Rosenberg at his home. The dinners provide us with an opportunity to be more up close and personal, to speak with President Rosenberg regarding our direction as a board and provide him with feedback about FIU and the issues impacting our community. Each dinner is limited to a small group of members to allow for better networking and conversation. The dinners are set to continue throughout the year. 

    Looking ahead to the spring semester, we have an impressive slate of events scheduled for you. On Tuesday, January 28th we will be having our Advocacy Briefing with Steve Sauls, the Vice President for Governmental Relations and Adriana Pereira, the Director of State Relations. They will be briefing us on current university advocacy efforts at the local, state and federal levels, with a special emphasis on the FIU priorities for the upcoming State Legislative Session in Tallahassee. 

    On Monday, February 24th we will be hosting our 2nd Worlds Ahead Faculty Award Reception where we will have an opportunity to meet all of our past award recipients, and the three faculty chosen last year. You will receive an invitation in the coming weeks with full details and RSVP instructions. For now, please save the date. 

    On Wednesday, March 26th we will have our Wine and Food Pairing Event. A favorite amongst our members, this event showcases our Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. The students are behind every detail of the event, from the menu, to the centerpieces to the food preparation and presentation. It is quite remarkable! This year, we will host this event at the new Wine Spectator Restaurant Management Lab at FIU’s beautiful Biscayne Bay Campus. You will receive an invitation with full details and RSVP instructions as the date approaches. For now, please save the date. Be on the lookout. This event is sold out every year. 

    We have enclosed the Spring Calendar of Events for your reference, with event locations and times.  

    One of our goals this year is to welcome new members to the President’s Council. We want members who will contribute to the betterment of the board and of the university. If you know of a community leader who would make an exemplary member, please click here to complete a simple form with their information. It will only take a few moments, but it will go a long way as we strive to strengthen the President’s Council. Please take a moment to consider your networks. 

    I look forward to working with you in our collective task of supporting FIU and I hope to see you at the next President’s Council event. 

    Best Regards, 

    Mary I. Hoelle 
    Chair 
    President's Council 

    CC: Mark B. Rosenberg, President, FIU 
    Sandra Gonzalez-Levy, Senior Vice President, FIU 

  • August 2013

    Message from the desk of President’s Council Chair Mary I. Hoelle 

    Dear President’s Council Members: 

    It is my distinct privilege and honor to serve as the chair of the FIU President’s Council. I am very grateful to President Mark B. Rosenberg for selecting me to serve in this capacity for a two-year term. 

    As chair, my main focus will be to shine a light on the university’s initiatives, accomplishments, programs and contributions. Every day, FIU is making an impact on our community. As FIU ambassadors, it is our mission to share these stories. Our previous chairs have shaped the President’s Council into what it is today: a board of community leaders who are passionate about this university and want to be engaged with FIU’s students, faculty and staff. I will continue to build on their accomplishments and those of Victor C. Balestra, our immediate past chair. 

    In this upcoming year, I want to make a concerted effort to get all members to know each other better. To that end, we will be having a series of dinners hosted by President Rosenberg. They will be limited to a small group of members to allow for better networking and conversation. The dinners will provide us with an opportunity to speak with President Rosenberg regarding our direction as a board and provide him with feedback about FIU.  

    am looking forward to the upcoming initiatives, projects and events for the President’s Council. Our Worlds Ahead Faculty Award Recognition process has been concluded under the leadership of Melissa Tapanes LlahuesThe finalists selected were thoroughly vetted by the committee and exemplify FIU as a Worlds Ahead institution.  We will be recognizing the top three outstanding faculty members during Faculty Convocation on September 26, 2013. A formal invitation will be sent to all members. We hope you will join us for this occasion.  

    Additionally, we are hard at work for another successful DreamMakers Luncheon taking place on October 17, 2013. Lourdes “Luly” Balepogi is again leading us in this effort that supports the First Generation Scholarship Fund, an initiative that is very important to President RosenbergYour support will make an impact on many FIU students who represent the first generation in their families to attend college. We hope you can attend the event or consider a financial contribution to this effort. No amount is too small and the State of Florida will match your contribution dollar for dollar. Our goal is to raise $100,000. 

    We will also be working with Danny Katz to develop a mentoring program that will focus on securing internships for our students. Sergio Abreu once again will lead our efforts to engage our members in advocacy for FIU. Manny Rodriguez will be helping us with membership to ensure our board continues to grow and reflect the diverse, robust and energetic community leaders that comprise it today. 

    This year we will continue the tradition of showcasing an FIU college, school, program or initiative at each of our upcoming events. Get ready to be impressed with our Worlds Ahead university and be part of the board that helps tell its story.   

    Best Regards, 

    Mary I. Hoelle 
    Chair 
    President's Council