FIYou: Maria Pulido-Velosa

Maria Pulido-Velosa

Name: Maria F. Pulido-Velosa

Hometown: Bogota, Colombia

Job Title/Department: Program Manager for the School of Environment, Arts and Society (SEAS) in the College of Arts, Sciences & Education

Campus: MMC

What do you do at FIU, in a nutshell?: My role in SEAS entails managing partnerships with local and international environmental and arts organizations, putting together events that entail collaborations between faculty and students from various departments and often external partners and the public, handling science communications for the school mostly through social media and our website, and helping our faculty and students advance their research in climate change resilience, biodiversity conservation, human-environment relationships and many more very important issues. It is a little bit of everything and that is one of the reasons why I love it!

Number of years at FIU: 5

What do you enjoy most about your job?: SEAS has a multi-disciplinary approach that integrates the arts and humanities with science. One of my main roles is creating pathways that allow researchers, artists and writers to work together to engage the public in important environmental issues by using artistic expression. I love this part of my job because I believe that creating this bridge between science, art and the humanities is crucial if we want to ignite real change in the way societies relate to the natural world.

What do you think students and your fellow faculty/staff should know about your department?: That we are always open to new ideas that involve faculty and students from diverse academic and cultural backgrounds. That is the essence of our school because it allows us to advance cutting-edge research and education, and it helps us get closer to innovative solutions to global environmental problems. Even if a partnership or idea might sound unusual it is by exploring these possibilities that we become change-makers.

Where is your favorite spot on campus? Why?: I enjoy going up to the 7th floor of the library and sinking in the view of Miami from the windows. It use it as a time to reflect on our responsibility to our community and to think about what I can do to serve others.

What is one thing you wish everyone knew about FIU?: That every day we strive to make higher education and research more inclusive to all communities. We are an extremely diverse community and are always looking to diversify it more.

How is FIU “Worlds Ahead”?: We are actively working to solve the problems of today and the future. By having the only underwater research laboratory in the world, Aquarius Reef Base, we are working to ensure that our future world has clean and diverse oceans. The Center for Aquatic Chemistry and Environment is helping us understand the nature of contaminants and helping maintain South Florida’s water resources for future generations. The Sea Level Solutions Center is mobilizing scientists and policymakers to create a resilient Miami. It is truly amazing everything our FIU is doing to create a better world.

Family snapshot: I live with my sister, who just became an FIU student, and my two rescued cats, Pinky and Otto. My family lives in Colombia, and I spend my holidays and vacations there hiking and traveling with them.

Word that best describes you: Dedicated

First paying job: FIU Admissions Office Tour Guide

Favorite TV show: Friends

What is playing on your iPod?: The soundtrack to Hamilton. It has been the soundtrack to my life in the past few months.  I find it very empowering and inspirational because it reminds us that this country was founded by immigrants.

Your proudest accomplishment: Getting my dream job (this one) less than 3 weeks after graduation!

What do you do when you are not working at FIU?: I love painting. I channel my passion for the environment through art that communicates environmental ideas. You see some of my artwork here: I also love hiking, camping and exploring new places.


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