FIU summer commencement sizzles with graduates

FIU will award degrees this summer to approximately 3,500 graduates, many of whom have overcome significant odds on the road to graduation.

Commencement ceremonies will take place Monday, Aug. 5 and Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013 at the U.S. Century Bank Arena.

“This summer commencement is roaring with Panthers who have excelled, many have overcome obstacles to achieve their dreams,” said FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg, who will preside over a total of six ceremonies over two days. “I’m inspired by and proud of our students for their dedication and drive.”

Among those wearing a cap and gown next week will be a dozen students who were nominated by their professors and mentors to receive Worlds Ahead Recognitions. These are two standouts:

IdaykisIdaykis Rodriguez, 28, arrived in the U.S. from Cuba as a child. In high school, she took the road less traveled by girls, pursued her love of science, and is graduating with a Ph.D. in physics. Last summer she was invited to Switzerland to attend the 62nd Lindau Meeting of Nobel Prize Laureates, an event to which only 80 U.S. students were invited. Rodriguez is helping revolutionize the way science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects are taught. After graduation, she will join the FIU physics faculty as an instructor and continue to teach and help students like her succeed. Rodriguez will receive her degree at 10 a.m. on Monday.

AbelAbel J. Ramos Taype, 23, was undeterred by the challenges of coming to a new country and learning a new language when he arrived in the U.S. seven years ago. Within three years he learned English and enrolled at FIU. In the fall of 2012, he interned at the Consulate General of Spain in Miami and this spring he secured an internship at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute program in Washington D.C., working with Florida Rep. Joe Garcia. Attending FIU also afforded him the opportunity of his dreams—to return to his home country of Peru as an exchange student to study at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. Ramos Taype will graduate with not one, but three bachelor’s degrees in international relations, political science and anthropology. He plans to pursue a master’s degree and work in the foreign service or an international organization. Ramos Taype will receive his degrees at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

During the commencement ceremonies, the university will honor the following distinguished community members:

  • Tom Breslin, FIU professor of International Relations, will be awarded the FIU Medallion for University Service at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.
  • Barbara Bader, director of FIU’s Educational Leadership Enhancement Program, will be awarded the FIU Medallion for University Service at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Wendy Link, member of the Board of Governors, State University System of Florida, will be giving brief remarks on behalf of the Board of Governors at 10 a.m. on Monday.

Rebecca Sosa, Miami-Dade County chairwoman, Board of County Commissioners will be the commencement speaker at the 3 p.m. ceremony on Monday.

Graduating? Share your graduation photos and tweets using #fiugrad.

For more details about FIU’s summer commencement, please visit