D.C. Update: Biomedical engineering, veterans success and Education Effect

With debate moving on a veterans in-state tuition bill, FIU promoted its transformative research to federal partners in Washington, D.C., and Miami.

Advancing Biomedical Engineering, Neuroscience Research

In pursuit of escalating our advancements in prosthetic research, Ranu Jung, professor and chair of FIU’s Biomedical Engineering Department, visited with officials at the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), a Department of Defense research facility in Fort Detrick. While there, the TATRC prosthetics team learned about cutting-edge research FIU is conducting to restore sensation through the nerves of amputees.


While Jung was promoting our work in Maryland, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart had some tough questions for staff from the National Science Foundation in a House Appropriations Oversight Subcommittee Hearing about federal funding for Neuroscience Research. Aware of FIU’s own strengths in this area, Diaz-Balart highlighted the need to include more minority serving institutions in related neuroscience and brain initiatives. For a glimpse of his remarks, click here (38:00).

Protecting Veterans’ Higher Education Benefits

This week, the Senate debated Bill S 1982, which fell four votes shy of passing and was sent back to committee for review. Earlier in the week, the D.C. team was present at a rare joint Senate and House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs that met Feb. 25 along with hundreds of American veterans to discuss issues pertinent to disabled American veterans. FIU recently opened its Office of Veteran’s Affairs to assist any student veteran in the transition from duty to university and is proud to offer in-state tuition for students with veterans benefits, regardless of home state.

Meanwhile, Back Home:  Transforming Our Neighborhoods

FIU hosted Congresswoman Frederica Wilson Feb. 24 at her alma mater, Miami Northwestern Senior High School, for an update on The Education Effect, a partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools. During the visit, students from Miami Northwestern demonstrated their innovative creations, including the “blender bike,” for Wilson. The congresswoman committed to continue supporting these efforts and the positive outcomes it has created for her district.

Frederica MBRsized

Just down the street, FIU was present at a visit by First Lady Michelle Obama at Gwen Cherry Park to promote her “Let’s Move” campaign encouraging healthy lifestyles and good nutritional choices for children all over the country. Since 2011, FIU, Miami-Dade County Public Schools and JPMorgan Chase have joined forces through the ‘Education Effect’ to foster healthy habits through community gardening and an Aquaponics lab at Miami Northwestern.

Conserving Our Oceans

Representatives from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) visited campus on Feb. 24 to experience FIU’s Wall of Wind and discuss future partnerships and opportunities with their agencies in the area of coastal ecosystems and disaster resilience.

Panther Sightings:

Also visiting D.C. this week — alumnus Marcus Bright, leader of the National Action Network’s Education for a Better America. Bright was here for the White House Champions of Change: STEM Diversity and Access meeting. Additionally, FIU’s Yolangel Hernandez-Suarez participated in the Medicaid Rebate Summit and law professor Elizabeth Foley testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee this week.

-Juliet Haydar

For pictures of this week’s happenings and more information:

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Facebook:  FIU Governmental Relations