In the week leading up to the mid-term elections, FIU’s strength in global health response, coastal ecosystems and local educational reform were promoted in Washington D.C., while alumni in the region supported the university’s first generation scholarship initiative.
FIU’s Ebola Expertise
Dr. Aileen Marty, professor of infectious diseases in the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, attended several meetings at the White House this week, including one with President Obama who met with healthcare workers who responded to the Ebola crisis and have returned from West Africa. Marty crisscrossed Southern Nigeria for 31 days this fall leading an international team under the auspices of the Nigerian government to rapidly contain and extinguish the Ebola outbreak within the country’s borders. During her visit to D.C., Marty also participated in discussions with the Administration’s National Security staff and provided input on issues ranging from quarantine protocols, airport screenings and curbing the spread of disease globally.
“If we don’t change our entry method and this outbreak continues to get completely out of control, it’s likely to be seen in other countries,” Marty warned.
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
FIU ‘s School of Environment Arts and Society was recently named a major research, monitoring and education partner of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary under an agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Sean A. Morton, superintendent of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, and John Armor, deputy director for the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, met with FIU’s team for a briefing on the partnership and other potential opportunities at NOAA.
Cyber Defense and Big Data
Brian Fonseca, director of Operations for the Applied Research Center at FIU, and Governmental Relations team member Pamela Pamela attended the 8th Annual Strategic Multi-Layer Assessment (SMA) Conference at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. This week’s conference centered on the use of big data to inform U.S. national security decision-making.
“Understanding these challenges and building stronger relationships with the agency enables FIU to put its intellectual resources to work, specifically from our Applied Research Center, in partnership with the Latin American and Caribbean Center,” Fonseca said.
Funding for FIU’s Latin American and Caribbean Center was recently renewed for $2.3M by the Department of Education.
Minority initiatives showcased
Congressional Black Caucus Director of Member Services and Programming Kwame Canty met with FIU staff to discuss several educational and health initiatives the university is leading. Two initiatives – The Education Effect a university supported community school partnership to improve educational outcomes in Liberty City, and ACCESS (Achieving Community Collaboration in Education and Student Success), a combined effort to improve the academic success of Miami-Dade’s K-12 students – were highlighted for their success and positive impact on the community. Both programs have shown promising results, including increasing overall high school dual enrollment to more than 6,000 and increasing college-going rates at Miami Northwestern.
Alumni Give Back
FIU’s D.C. alumni chapter hosted its inaugural Give Back Fundraiser. The evening of networking and celebration included both FIU alumni and friends and raised more than $7,500 in cash or commitments for the FIU First Generation Scholarship Fund and other vital initiatives. Silvia Tergas, president of the chapter, hosted a conversation on the importance of giving back and how, ultimately, we all benefit from alumni involvement.
Other Panthers Spotted in D.C. this week
- Carlos Duart, FIU Board of Directors, President of CRD Maguire
- Belinda Sardinas, M.A. in Global Governance ’15