Public-private partnerships produce student success

FIU in DC update: As winter comes to end and beautiful cherry blossoms bloom, FIU held an educational panel on the importance of public-private partnerships that ignite innovation in education at New America; the FIU President’s Council gathered in Washington, D.C., to advocate for university priorities; and the university’s top-talent joined the Future of Coastal Resilience student fly-in.

Igniting innovation in education

Panelists left to right: Jean Morrow, Derek McGowan, Lisa McGill, Ke-ana Durham, Donnie Hale

On April 11, FIU hosted a national dialogue, Igniting Innovation in Education, held at New America in Washington to discuss the fundamental importance of public-private partnerships and their influence on student success. Public-private university partnerships are not only critical to advancing student success and ensuring all students thrive across the educational pipeline but have proved to be the catalyst behind transformative impact for many vulnerable youth and an important step toward achieving national goals.

“We’re all a collective and community stakeholder. As business leaders, [public-private university partnerships] are something we [all] want to do and that’s beyond raising donations,” said Lisa McGill, an executive at  One Consulting Solutions and a member of FIU President’s Council, who attended the event.

McGill joined Jean Morrow, a policy professional at the U.S. Department of Education; Derek McGowan of Lockheed Martin; FIU sophomore and Fostering Panther Pride(FPP) student Ke-ana Durham; Donnie Hale of The Education Effect at FIU; and President Mark B. Rosenberg. FIU supporters spoke on behalf of the success of Education Effect, and Fostering Panther Pride, both of which are university-supported community school partnerships, with collaboration from industries, that bolster student success.

Other examples shared were Lockheed Martin’s internship partnerships and the Department of Education’s collaboration with the tech industry, which committed $300 million toward computer science education. The goal is to create more globally competitive programs and globally competitive graduates, as well as raise better citizens who create a more competitive labor force.

“With a true partnership, we remove all barriers and get things done,” said Morrow.

View the entire panel discussion here.

President’s Council advocates for FIU priorities

FIU President’s Council at FIU in Washington, D.C.

The FIU President’s Council attended a discussion at FIU in Washington, D.C., to advocate and promote the university. The select group of professional, business and civic leader ambassadors lobbied on the hill focusing on DACA, Fostering Panther Pride, storm surge and funding for FIU’s Wall of Wind – the largest and most powerful university research facility of its kind, capable of simulating a Category 5 hurricane.

Some of the meetings in Washington included Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Representative Carlos Curbelo and the offices of Sen. Marco Rubio, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, Rep. Frederica Wilson and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

“We spent the day at capitol hill, meeting with our legislators to discuss and further our initiatives, and advocating for our FIU,” said Melissa Tapanes Llahues, chair of FIU President’s Council and land use and zoning attorney/shareholder at Bercow Radell Fernandez Larkin.


FIU Future of Resilience student fly-in cohort at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Also in town was the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and top-talent fly-ins focused on coastal resilience. The “fly-ins” are participants in an FIU in DC program that helps top FIU student leaders enhance their professional development in the workplace and beyond through a rich learning experience curated in Washington, D.C. Each “fly-in” focuses on a specific topic of importance and aims to bring together an interdisciplinary group of students and faculty. The three-day Future of Resilience Fly-In, co-sponsored by Campus Life MMCincluded undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students meeting with policymakers and people within the private-sector who are having an impact, not only in South Florida but across the United States.

“We got a chance to meet and top-level scientists, policymakers and activists directly, from pretty diverse disciplines and backgrounds, as it should be the way we study and dig into the subject of resiliency, said Mohammadtaghi Moravej, a Ph.D. candidate at FIU’s Wall of Wind research lab.


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To learn more about the university’s presence in the nation’s capital, visit FIU in DC’s website.