FIU wins 3 National CASE Awards

FIU came out Worlds Ahead of the competition when the nonprofit Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) recently announced the winners of its annual Circle of Excellence Awards.

Team members from FIU’s Academic Imaging Services, External Relations, and University Advancement divisions took home the prestigious awards for: “superior accomplishments that have lasting impact, demonstrate the highest level of professionalism, and deliver exceptional results.”

The Circle of Excellence Awards is a premier international awards program, and winners are recognized at the Grand Gold, Gold, Silver and Bronze levels. Winning programs epitomize the profession’s best practices, raise standards and contribute to a growing body of knowledge about advancement.

FIU won three of the 2013 national awards for demonstrating excellence in the following areas:

Gold – Annual Reports and Fund Reports (Print)

  • Entry Title: “The Power of You” 2011-2012 FIU Foundation Annual Report
  • Competition: Out of 45 entries
  • Team members included: Miguel Asencio, Alma de Rojas, Laura C. Dominguez, Carla M. Garcia, Milagros Garcia, Joan Casanova Gonzalez, Hope Herman, Michael Lasala, Marisel Lieberman, Oscar Negret, Gloria O’Connell, Frances Rodriguez, Ivan Santiago, Jessica S. Tolbert

Silver – News and Research Videos

  • Entry Title: “10 Years of FIU Football”
  • Competition: Out of 41 entries
  • Edited by Doug Garland, graphics by Chris Necuze, interviews by Pete Pelegrin and Deborah O’Neil

Bronze – Writing for the Web

  • Entry Title: “FIU Writers Conference”
  • Competition: Out of 38 entries
  • Article by Alexandra Pecharich

Laura C. Dominguez, who led FIU’s Advancement Annual Report team, said the CASE recognition is especially meaningful because the report also serves as a way to tell FIU donor stories and thank donors for their generosity and support.

“Our theme was ‘The Power of You’ and each page celebrates the power our family of donors has to make a difference and shape the future of FIU,” Dominguez said. “This award is also great recognition of the teamwork and creativity from across FIU that it took to create this publication.”

“When the personalities are so powerful and the transformation of FIU has been so great, these stories speak for themselves,” said Oscar Negret, who designed the annual report. “I think the key was to let that come through using clean, sophisticated design with impactful photographs.”

FIU football celebrated its 10th anniversary season last year. To commemorate the university milestone, External Relations produced a mini-documentary that would inspire Panthers. Doug Garland, who edited “10 Years of FIU Football” said the winning video needed to be more than a historical account, it needed to pump up fans for the upcoming season and offer them the opportunity to relish in how far the young program has come.

Alexandra Pecharich’s winning article, “FIU Writers Conference” was a first-person account of the writer’s day at the annual conference among some of the country’s best authors. She writes, “‘I have wasted my life.’ I stare at the words written in long hand on my yellow pad. Mind you, they are not my own. I am sitting in a creative writing workshop…. The line on my paper is a writing prompt. Or, in my case, a non-prompt.” What to know what she wrote? Read Pecharich’s story on FIU News.

Winners are showcased on the CASE website, in an upcoming issue of CASE’s CURRENTS magazine, in the CASE Award Winners booklet, at the annual Summit for Advancement Leaders and at the annual CASE NAIS conference. For more information, visit

– Andra Parrish Liwag