FIU advances federal priorities while new administration arrives

President Rosenberg with FIU Trustees Claudia Puig, Jorge Arrizurieta, and Alian Collazo join Doral Mayor Juan Carlos Bermudez, and other community leaders in front of the U.S. Capitol Building the day before the inauguration.


Every presidential inauguration provides the FIU community an opportunity to commemorate history and analyze the potential impact of the new presidency on our country. While the new administration takes shape, FIU held several events throughout week to honor FIU alumni and friends who served during the Obama Administration and to welcome the new Trump Administration into office.


The first week of the Trump Administration has been a busy one as key decisions take shape and Cabinet nomination hearings are taking place. FIU is engaged with administration officials and congressional leaders on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and other higher education policies.

As President Donald J. Trump was set to take the oath of office becoming the nation’s 45th president of the United States, FIU community members, government leaders and visitors from around the country traveled to the capital in conjunction with the inaugural events held throughout the city.

President Rosenberg and Vice President Michelle Palacio join Inauguration Watch Event sponsor Mike Diaz and his colleagues at Diaz-Reus U.S. and International Law.

FIU in Washington D.C. hosted #FIU45 Inauguration Week, allowing participants to engage in the historic week at a watch event and open house on the day of the inauguration. Other events included a community service event with U.S. veterans at the Friends of Soldiers Home; a panel discussion hosted at FIU in D.C.; and a breakfast to welcome participants of the Women’s March on Washington. Throughout the week, FIU hosted visitors at a hospitality suite with cafecito, pastelitos and the warmth of Miami in D.C.

“We’re blessed to have immense community support that allows FIU to have a presence in Washington and the opportunity to be in D.C. during this historic week,” said President Mark B. Rosenberg. “We’re able to be more intimate with participants in this transition and I assure you that we are going to be fully engaged as a public university because we know that’s in the best interest of our students and community.”

Discussion with Trump education adviser looks toward the future of education

Trump education advisor Gerard Robinson met with visiting FIU Board of Trustees members Claudia Puig, Marc Sarnoff and Jorge L. Arrizurieta and others serving on the FIU Foundation, and FIU Alumni Association boards during a joint workshop. Topics discussed included financial aid, STEM Education, student retention, among other FIU higher education priorities.

Trump Education Advisor Gerard Robinson discusses education with university leaders.

Trump Transition Panel Discussion

On the eve of the 58th inauguration, FIU in D.C. held a panel discussion titled “The Trump Transition: An Insider’s View,” hosted at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.  Guests were able to hear from key influencers on the opportunities and challenges before the historic administration of President Trump. The exclusive and timely dialogue was led by FIU alumna and FOX News columnist Mercedes Schlapp ’94, with panelists Matt Schlapp of Cove Strategies, Jennifer Korn of the Republican National Committee and Justin Sayfie of Sayfie Media. With Florida playing such a decisive role in the 2016 election, there was no shortage of key leaders from the Sunshine State at this standing-room only event with more than 5,000 viewers online.

In the midst of the current discussion, moderator Mercedes Schlapp did take a moment to reflect on how FIU prepared her for the dynamic world of politics.

“It was those political science and international relations classes at FIU where I strongly developed my political thought process and had to fight hard against many other individuals in the classroom,” Schlapp said.  

Mercedes Schlapp moderates the Trump Transition panel discussion with panelists Matt Schlapp, Jennifer Korn, and Justin Sayfie.

Essay contest grants FIU student opportunity to be a part of inaugural history

An FIU Honors College student and international relations major, Darlyn De La Rosa, won the first Presidential Inauguration Essay Contest hosted by FIU in D.C. out of more than 70 student submissions and was able to participate in inauguration week. De La Rosa also had a chance to visit with Capitol Hill Health Staffers to discuss her research essay, “Analyzing Public Policy during the Trump Administration: Health Care System,” on the changes in health care policies.

Read Darlyn’s and other finalists essays here.

“I want to thank FIU for bringing me to Washington to share my essay and opinion on the health care system. As an FIU student, many students receive support through financial aid and have benefited from the Affordable Care Act. I’m one of them. It’s important to analyze the health care system and changes under the new administration,” De La Rosa said.

Thank You, #FIU44  – and Women’s Marchers also in the mix

Rosenberg at #FIU44 Thank You event.

Before the new administration assumed power, FIU in D.C. recognized FIU alumni and friends that served the United States of America in the Obama administration and helped FIU advance its priorities.

The busy week concluded with a breakfast reception for FIU faculty, staff, student leaders and students in town for the Women’s March in Washington, inspired by peaceful activism, diversity and coming together as community.

As the transition from one president to the next settles within the nation, FIU continues to actively moderate new appointees and proposed policies in the new administration.

The #FIU45 Inauguration Week wouldn’t have been possible without the support of sponsors, which included Diaz-Reus U.S. and International Law, Airbnb, Vicky Bakery, Becker & Poliakoff, CDR Maguire, FIU Alumni Association, and the Green School of International and Public Affairs.

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