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FIU welcomes 131 new faculty members


On Aug. 21, FIU rolled out the welcome mat for 131 new faculty members at New Faculty Orientation Day. Provost and Executive Vice President Douglas Wartzok greeted the new faculty and kicked off a series of events designed to help them adjust to their new academic environment.

Many of the new faculty members have been recruited from top programs and institutions in the United States and abroad. They are prolific authors and funded researchers who will “allow our university to move the needle, and make our mark as the Worlds Ahead institution we are,” said President Mark B. Rosenberg in a letter to the FIU community celebrating the start of the Fall semester.

“I am delighted that we have successfully attracted an outstanding cohort of new faculty who will help us achieve our strategic goals and underscore the university’s role as an anchor institution in the community,” says Wartzok.

Fred Walumbwa, associate professor in the Department of Management and International Business, says FIU was a perfect fit. Walumbwa holds the Knight Ridder Professorship, specializes in leadership research and is a senior research scientist at the Gallup Organization.

“I was impressed by FIU’s focus on international education and the potential opportunity to help develop leaders for the next generation through the College of Business and the FIU Center for Leadership,” says Walumbwa, who has 5,480 citations – higher than most faculty in colleges of business around the world.

Deborah Witt Sherman, a professor and associate dean of Academic Affairs in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, brings to FIU an active program of research. She was funded by the National Institutes of Health to examine the quality of life of patients with advanced cancer and AIDS and their family caregivers. Recently, she completed a breast cancer intervention study of women with early stage breast cancer. A mixed methods study of the experience of family caregivers of patients with advanced pancreatic and periampullary cancer is currently under review at the National Cancer Institute.

“The health of our nation and future generations requires the interface of science and humanism,” says Sherman. “The health professionals who graduate from FIU’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences are the scientists, health practitioners, educators, administrators, policy makers and advocates who will couple science with the art of healing.”

As the associate dean of Academic Affairs, Sherman says she will focus on promoting synergy and inter-professional collaboration between the professions in the college.

Chemistry Professor Raphael Raptis joins the FIU community with three U.S. patents and 102 peer-reviewed publications, which he co-authored. His work is in redox and magnetic properties and their relevance to metalloprotein activity, Magnetic Resonance Imaging contrast agents, catalysis and solar energy conversion.

“I was attracted to FIU by the recent growth and optimistic outlook of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry,” says Raptis. I see an opportunity to become part of a success story.”

Learn more about these distinguished new faculty members below:

Walumbwa2Fred Walumbwa, associate professor in the Department of Management and International Business, earned his Ph.D. in organizational behavior and human resources from the University of Illinois, Urbana, in 2002. Walumbwa specializes in leadership research – an area of expertise in which he has a current and robust research agenda. He is a senior research advisor at the Gallup Organization, one of the foremost clearinghouses on leadership research. His publication record is impressive with more than 50 peer-reviewed articles in top journals of the field. He has published academic books, book chapters, designed assessment instruments, and consults with several diverse organizations in Africa, Asia, Australia and the United States. He is co-author of a respected book on leadership, published by Elsevier. The department chair estimates the count of Walumbwa’s citations (5,480) to be higher than those of most faculty in the college of businesses around the world. He also serves as series editor for monographs in leadership and management for Emerald, in addition to serving on the editorial boards of prestigious journals in business and psychology.

shermanDeborah Witt Sherman, associate dean of Academic Affairs in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, received her Ph.D. in theory and research development in nursing science from New York University. Educational highlights include an Aaron Diamond Post-Doctoral AIDS Fellowship at New York University, a Project on Death in America Faculty Scholar’s Fellowship from the Soros Foundation to develop expertise in palliative care, and a clinical fellowship at Mount Sinai, Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute in New York. Sherman is internationally recognized for her expertise in nursing and inter-professional education with administration, research, leadership, education and evidence-based practice emphasis. During her 14 years at New York University, Sherman held numerous administrative responsibilities and developed and implemented the first Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner Program in the United States which received funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. During this time, Sherman brought a palliative care curriculum to Tenshi College in Sapporo, Japan, where she continues to serve as a visiting professor. She is a prolific author and researcher who has written or co-edited eight books and has authored or co-authored more than 85 book chapters and journal articles. She has received numerous awards including three American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Awards for her books on palliative care; the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care Research Recognition Award; the “Leading the Way Award” from the Hospice and Palliative Care Nursing Association for developing the first Advance Practice Palliative Care Master’s Program; and, the Lifetime Achievement Award in Palliative Care from MD Anderson Cancer Center.

raptis_1Raphael G. Raptis, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, obtained his Ph.D. degree in inorganic chemistry from Texas A&M University in 1988. After compulsory military service in the Greek Navy, he was a postdoctoral fellow from 1990-1991 and research fellow from 1992-1993 in the Research School of Chemistry, Australian National University. He was an assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Crete from 1993-1997 and a visiting professor from 1997-1998 at University of Texas at El Paso. From 1998 to 2013, he rose through the ranks to full professor at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras. Raptis’ research focuses on the synthesis and study of new polynuclear complexes, with emphasis on redox and magnetic properties and their relevance to metalloprotein activity, Magnetic Resonance Imaging contrast agents, catalysis and solar energy conversion. His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Institutes of Health and the American Chemical Society without interruption since 2000. He has co-authored 102 peer-reviewed publications and holds three U.S. patents. He has served on the Editorial Board of Comments on Inorganic Chemistry, as a reviewer for more than 15 journals in his field and as grant proposal referee for the National Science Foundation, the American Chemical Society, the Consejo National de Investigaciones Cientificas y Técnicas – Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Argentina, the Ministry of Education – Greece and the National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

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