FIYou: Amy Reid

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Name: Amy Reid

Hometown: Miami, Florida

Job Title/Department: Program Coordinator for the Minority Access to Research Careers – Undergraduate Student Training for Academic Research Program (MARC U*STAR) and the FIU Summer Research Internship Program (SRI).

Campus: Modesto Maidique Campus

In a nutshell: The MARC U*STAR Program is funded by the National Institutes of Health and aims to increase participation of under-represented minorities in Biomedical and Behavioral Sciences research. Our program was just renewed for another five years, and we’re very excited to provide this fellowship opportunity to students at FIU.

Our students are engaging in cutting edge research with top faculty mentors at both the MMC and the Engineering Center. They present their research at local and national conferences and attend extramural summer research programs at institutions such as Stanford and Harvard.

The MARC fellows are leaders in our community and participate in outreach events to engage students in K-12 in the exciting fields of science. The SRI Program gives high school students the opportunity to volunteer in a research lab for an eight-week period during the summer, often being guided along by MARC U*STAR fellows, as well as graduate students.

We envision this as a pipeline model to encourage top students in our local community to consider FIU for their undergraduate degree and pursue careers in science.

Number of years at FIU: I completed my bachelors and masters degrees at FIU and worked as a Research Assistant while a graduate student. Including my Assistantship, I have worked at FIU for 10 years. I have been in my current position as MARC U*STAR Coordinator since 2012 and SRI coordinator since 2010.

What do you enjoy most about your job?:  Advising students and watching them reach their full potential are the two things I enjoy most about my job. The students in MARC and SRI are some of the top at FIU and in our community; however, they all need guidance and support navigating their academic, professional and personal lives. I tell them all that every problem has a solution, and we’ll find it together.

What do you think students and your fellow faculty/staff should know about your department?: Our staff is available to advise all FIU students on opportunities to engage in research at FIU and other institutions. We facilitate workshops, invite graduate school recruiters, and host events that are open to all members of FIU’s community.

Where is your favorite spot on campus? Why?:  My favorite spot on  campus is the lake behind OE and the Green Library. I am lucky to have a view of it from my office, and I enjoy taking a walk around it to see the turtles and fish.

What is one thing you wish everyone knew about FIU?: Although we are a large institution, we are a small community. FIU faculty and staff are dedicated to, and interested in, our students’ successes.

How is FIU “Worlds Ahead”?: FIU is Worlds Ahead because our campuses are situated in multicultural communities. The diverse perspectives of students, faculty and staff contribute to FIU’s rich culture. This cultural awareness enables the faculty and staff to serve a diverse, international population of students that come to us with individual needs and expectations.

Family snapshot: I have been happily married for 16 years to my husband Mike, who is also employed at FIU. We have two great sons who keep us on our toes: Jack (13) and Evan (9). Jack and Evan love coming to “Take Your Child to Work Day” at FIU and eating at the Fresh Food Company.

Word that best describes you: Dedicated and enthusiastic –that’s two!

First paying job: My first paying job was at an ice cream shop while in high school.

Favorite TV show: My family and I enjoy watching Amazing Race, American Idol, Modern Family, and Shark Tank together, and I love watching Mad Men.

What is playing on your iPod?: I love all kinds of music from Broadway show tunes to Adele, Joss Stone, Bruno Mars, Coldplay, The Beatles, Neon Trees, John Mayer, Black Eyed Peas, Justin Timberlake, and Keb Mo. I love dancing, too, so any kind of dance music works for me!

Your proudest accomplishment: Receiving the FIU Achievement Award for establishing the Summer Research Internship Program. The SRI is going into its fifth summer, serving  81 students thus far; some returning for multiple years! I am always amazed at the caliber of the high school students who participate in this program, and enjoy watching their transformations from orientation day to the end of program symposium.

Many of the students are now enrolled as freshmen at FIU and are continuing on with their summer research mentors. It’s great to see them here, and I am sure they will be excellent candidates for the MARC U*STAR Program.

What do you do when you are not working at FIU?: I love to cook and grow herbs and vegetables in my garden. Above all, I love spending time with my family; whether out on our boat in Biscayne Bay or walking our dog, Chelsea, around the neighborhood.