By Joel Delgado ’12 MS ’17
Name: Steven J. Fernandez
Hometown: Huntly, Virginia
Job Title/Department: Director of the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program
In a nutshell: I am the Director for the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program. Our mission is to help low income, first generation undergraduate students to meet their maximum potential.
The program works closely with students as they finish their undergraduate studies and helps them prepare for graduate studies through developing the highest-level academic and research skills needed for successful admission to and completion of a Ph.D. program. The McNair program offers academic counseling, financial aid assistance, mentoring, research opportunities, seminars, summer internships and tutoring.
Number of years at FIU: 12 years
What do you enjoy most about your job?: Working with the students. I love the opportunity to advise and guide students along their path to success.
What do you think students and your fellow faculty/staff should know about your department?: The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program provides an excellent opportunity for students to hone their research skills and represent the very best in academic preparation. These are some of the best and brightest of the student populations here at FIU. Many of our Fellows have gone on to become among the top professionals in their respective fields.
We also host an annual international conference in October where we invite students from across the globe to come to campus. The FIU McNair Scholars Research Conference is a great opportunity for students to present their research and develop their skills while also providing valuable information about graduate school with its integrated graduate fair. This conference is open to all undergraduate students in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and related fields. Keynote speakers also address the challenges and rewards of earning advanced degrees, and graduate program recruiters offer advice and information during the graduate school fair.
Where is your favorite spot on campus? Why?: GC. I like all the movement and exciting events that take place there. It is the heart of FIU.
What is one thing you wish everyone knew about FIU?: The strong and diverse academic programs we offer and the amazing quality of students attending FIU.
How is FIU “Worlds Ahead”?: The incredible diversity and strength of our programs and degrees. FIU is truly an outstanding place to study and work.
Family snapshot: I am half Italian and half Uruguayan.
Word that best describes you: Problem-solver.
First paying job: Lifeguard.
Favorite TV show: History Documentaries.
What is playing on your iPod?: Classic rock and the 80’s.
Your proudest accomplishment: Becoming a founding father of Lambda Chi Alpha at FIU.
What do you do when you are not working at FIU?: I love to travel and explore new places and cultures. I also spend my free time as the advisor for Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.