In recognition of the university’s commitment to community engagement and public service, FIU has received five Florida Campus Compact awards, including one for the university’s partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
At an awards ceremony in Jacksonville, the university received the 2014 Engaged Campus Award in the public university sector. The award recognizes institutions that advance the purposes of higher education while improving community life and educating students for civil and social responsibility.
“FIU prides itself on being a solutions center for the most pressing issues facing our community today,’’ said Nicole Kaufman Glasgow, interim vice president for engagement. “It is an honor to be recognized for the work that is such an integral part of our university.’’
FIU also received a second place award for Campus-Community Partnerships in recognition of ACCESS, the university’s collaboration with the school district created in 2010 to improve student success, increase graduation rates and promote college readiness.
“This is a shared honor with our M-DCPS partners and the many FIU faculty and staff who participate in this work,’’ said Kaufman Glasgow. “Our collaborative efforts are leading to transformational, systemic change.”
Part of a national network of colleges and universities, Florida Campus Compact works to integrate service with academic study, educate students for civil and social responsibility and promote campus-community partnerships. The annual Florida Campus Compact awards recognize outstanding contributions in higher education that support engaged scholarship.
FIU’s nomination highlighted a number of community engagement initiatives, including the FIU Law Clinics, which provide students with hands-on experience in immigration law, child advocacy and healthcare policy while providing valuable legal services to the public.
Also noted was the Green Family Foundation NeighborhoodHELP initiative, the nation’s first program in a college of medicine which provides healthcare and social services to underserved households in local communities. The program is considered a “community classroom” for developing socially responsible, community engaged physicians.
ACCESS, the university’s partnership with M-DCPS, received recognition as a partnership that produces measurable results while enhancing higher education. The partnership has demonstrated a number of significant results – including increased numbers of students earning college credit through dual enrollment courses, improved support services for students with ADHD and other behavioral issues, and enhanced professional development for teachers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects.
One of the partnership’s signature initiatives, The Education Effect, has dramatically improved student outcomes at Miami Northwestern Senior High School in Liberty City, including increased student test scores, graduation rates and college admissions. The partnership, lauded by M-DCPS Superintendent Alberto Carvalho as a national model for school transformation, recently launched at a second school – Booker T. Washington Senior High School in Overtown.
In addition to the university-wide awards, three members of FIU’s faculty and staff also were honored.
Joyce Fine, an associate professor in reading education at the College of Education, won an Engaged Scholarship Faculty Award for her work designing and teaching clinical literacy courses. She also has published numerous articles and chapters on the benefits of service learning and strategies to improve student literacy.
“What a pleasure to be recognized for doing the work that has already given me much satisfaction,” said Fine. “I enjoy working with my students to improve the literacy of students in the community. It is always exciting to see how much they improve.”
Donald Roomes, a graduate of FIU’s College of Business and former director of the university’s Professional BBA program, was awarded a Community Engagement Educator Award. As an instructor in the College of Business, Roomes incorporates service learning into several courses, including Business Community Leadership and Strategic Management. He also led the effort to reestablish the Enactus student engagement organization on campus and helped lead the group to log hundreds of hours in service projects.
“It is truly exhilarating to be recognized as a community engaged educator,” said Roomes. “I have made this task my passion and joy. By blending theory with practicum and exposing my students to personal growth, enhanced academic understanding and corporate citizenship, the students win in the end.”
Patricia Lopez-Guerrero, the associate director of FIU’s Center for Leadership and Service, was recognized with the “Above and Beyond Award” – given to leaders in the state who have given time and energy to assist Florida Campus Compact with its mission and goals.