FIU to honor M-DCPS Superintendent Alberto Carvalho with honorary degree at spring commencement


Photo courtesy Roldan Torres-Moure, Picture Works

Photo courtesy Roldan Torres-Moure, Picture Works

Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho will add an honorary FIU degree in public service to his growing collection of recognitions for boosting academic achievement in Miami-Dade schools.

“Superintendent Carvalho’s leadership, vision, determination and hard work are at the heart of the transformation we have seen in our public schools,” said FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg. “We’re proud of our relationship with Superintendent Carvalho and M-DCPS, with whom we’ve joined forces to provide a quality education to students in Miami-Dade County and to create a college-going culture at our public schools.”

Carvalho was recently named Superintendent of the Year by the School Superintendents Association. He will receive his degree on Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 2 p.m. during the first of FIU’s spring commencement ceremonies.

FIU will award degrees to approximately 4,000 students during eight commencement ceremonies on Sunday, April 27; Monday, April 28; and Tuesday, April 29 at the FIU Arena on FIU’s Modesto A. Maidique Campus, 11200 SW 8th St. in west Miami-Dade County. For a full commencement schedule, click here.

A select group of standout students will be recognized as Worlds Ahead graduates at the ceremonies. They include:

  • Born in Cuba, Maria Martinez, 21, emigrated to the U.S. in 2009 as a senior in high school. As a Ronald E. McNair fellow she conducted research in the Titan America Structures and Construction Testing Laboratory. Her long list of achievements includes holding an internship with the Florida Department of Transportation, and earning a coveted NACME Fellowship and a FGLSAMP scholarship. Upon graduation, she will pursue a master’s in structural engineering at Stanford University, where she earned a fellowship and scholarship that cover her tuition and living expenses. Martinez will graduate on Tuesday at 3 p.m.
  • Chola Regmi, 35, has come a long way in pursuit of his doctorate in physics. Growing up in a remote village on the foothills of Himalayan Mountains in Nepal, he decided to take the road less traveled and became the first member of his family to pursue higher education. His research at FIU holds promise for mapping molecular interactions in healthy cells and determining the molecular causes of disease and aging in cancer cells. His work earned him the cover of The Journal of Chemical Physics. Regmi will graduate on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
  • Jenifer Bound, 28, is a mom who has always had an affinity for the hospitality industry.
    She ended her studies in art history to pursue her passion for food. After six years of working as a pastry chef she decided it was time to take her work to the next level, so in 2012 she came to FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. Her big break came in late 2013, when she won the Badia Soul of Cooking Spice Contest with her “Holy Smokes” spice mix. She introduced the spice at this year’s festival and it will soon hit the shelves at Publix Supermarkets. A percentage of the spice sales worldwide will benefit FIU students in perpetuity. Bound will graduate on Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
  • Originally from Walla Walla, Washington, Mark Hodgson, 25, worked for years as a prison guard at Washington State Penitentiary to pay for college. Since transferring to FIU from Washington State University, he has taken on leadership roles. His biggest role was serving as director of FIU’s Model United Nations (MUN) team, which placed first or second at every ranked competition this year. At Harvard University, where the leading MUN competition is held, FIU won second place as a large delegation. After graduation, he plans on pursuing graduate work studying security and transitional justice in Latin America and hopes to eventually work both as a researcher and a foreign policymaker. Hodgson will graduate on Monday at 3 p.m.

For more on these and other FIU Worlds Ahead graduates please click here.

The commencement speakers will be:

  • Miami-Dade County District 2 Commissioner and FIU alumnus Jean Monestime at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday.
  • Miami-Dade County District 13 Commissioner and FIU alumnus Esteban Bovo at 3 p.m. on Monday.

During the commencement ceremonies, the university will honor these members of the FIU community with medallions:

  • Douglas Wartzok, FIU Provost and Executive Vice President, with the FIU Medallion – University Service at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.
  • Juan Martinez, professor emeritus in the Department of Art and Art History, with the FIU Medallion – University Service at 3 p.m. on Tuesday.

For more details about FIU’s spring commencement ceremonies, please visit


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