Editors’ Picks: Our favorite stories of 2016

As the year winds down, the FIU News team took a moment to reflect on the best stories of 2016. Here’s our list of the most exciting things to happen at FIU in the last 12 months. What’s on your list? Let us know in the comment section.

Happy New Year!

1. FIU announces new major in Miami studies


For April Fool’s Day, FIU announced a new major, “305 ’til I die, Miami Studies,” offered by FIU’s WorldWide School. Read more >>

2. Visit Shakespeare’s London at FIU’s new virtual reality facility


In February, FIU welcomed the Folger Shakespeare Library’s national traveling exhibition First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare at the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum. The university’s I-CAVE (Integrated Computer Augmented Virtual Environment) treated guests to Shakespeare’s London using the latest virtual technology. Read more >>

3. Forbes ranks FIU second best employer in Florida


For the second year in a row, FIU made “America’s Best Employers” list by Forbes magazine. FIU is the second best ranked Florida employer after Publix and is the highest ranking university in Florida on this year’s list. Read more >>

4. FIU achieves top rank in Carnegie research classification


In the latest edition of the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, FIU moved into the top category — R1: Doctoral Universities — Highest Research Activity. Read more >>

5. FIU catches Pokémon Go fever

FI pokemon

A zombie-like herd playing Pokémon Go, an augmented reality game based on the 1990s card game and video games that took the world by storm this summer, roamed Modesto A. Maidique Campus. The game integrates the real world with the virtual world, offering a unique gaming experience that attracted more than 25 million users in the United States at its peak on July 14. Read more >>

6. Love story comes full circle in Green Library

Proposal Stacks

Most graduates get flowers or a nice dinner to mark the occasion. But Craig Del Mundo had something even more romantic in mind. Del Mundo, an FIU grad who received his bachelor’s in information technology in 2013, wanted to surprise his girlfriend of five years, Danahlyn Tamola – who received her master’s of business administration from FIU (she had previously earned a bachelor’s in psychology in 2011) – with an engagement ring in the stacks. Read more >>

7. Students help build Miami’s first medical technology incubator


Miami MedTech, located at Modesto A. Maidique Campus, is the first comprehensive health care incubator in South Florida that is dedicated to medical device innovation and works to develop products that will make a real impact on people’s lives. Read more >>

8. Student lands national scholarship, job at NIH after graduation


Biology student Brian Ho was chosen as one of 16 undergraduates across the nation to receive a scholarship from the National Institutes of Health, which includes a one-year, paid research position at its lab in Bethesda, Md., after graduation. Read more >>

9. Rosenberg family donates $1 million for scholarships


At the launch of this year’s Ignite Campaign, President Mark B. Rosenberg and his wife Rosalie announced a $1 million donation to FIU for first-generation scholarships. Read more >>

10. 6 things to know about alligators

Mike Heithaus, a world-renowned expert in apex predators, examines a crocodile in the Florida Everglades.

Growing to nearly 15 feet in length, the American alligator can take up residence in Florida’s canals, lakes, rivers and swamps. It is one of the state’s most ecologically important and often misunderstood predators. And when they attack, they make news. FIU biologists Mike Heithaus and Maureen Donnelly offered insight on this native predator after a series of attacks. Read more >>

11. International business program ranked Top 5 by U.S. News


Building on its achievements as a top international business program, the College of Business was ranked fifth among the best undergraduate international programs in U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 edition of Best Colleges. Read more >>

12. Undergrad studies Arabic in Morocco on Boren Scholarship

Boren Scholar in Morocco picture 2

As part of FIU News’ internship and study abroad series, international relations major Dayra Carvajal shared her experience on a prestigious, $20,000 Boren scholarship in Morocco studying Arabic for a year. Read more >>

13. ‘Making a Murderer’ interrogation of intellectually disabled teen not unique, says FIU expert


Psychologist Lindsay C. Malloy has devoted her career to improving the treatment of children in the legal system, including the development of better interrogation methods and interviewing techniques. As people across the United States expressed outrage over the interrogation methods used to question Steven Avery’s intellectually disabled nephew Brendan Dassey in the Netflix documentary “Making a Murderer,” Malloy reminded readers not to forget the countless numbers of children who face interrogations every day. Dassey, who was 16 years old at the time, was convicted as an accomplice in the murder. Read more >>

14. Butch Davis becomes new FIU football head coach


Former Miami and North Carolina head coach Butch Davis was announced as FIU Football’s new head coach. Read more >>

15. FIU community reacts to Fidel Castro’s death


FIU students, faculty and alumni reflected on Fidel Castro’s death, sharing their first-person accounts. Read more >>