A November to remember

On Wednesday, Nov. 21, President Mark B. Rosenberg sent the following message to the FIU community:

Dear FIU family,

This has been a November to remember!

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, we will finally have a well-deserved moment to pause, reflect and appreciate our many blessings. FIU remains a beacon of hope and opportunity. This semester, you’ve shown tremendous strength and optimism that’s given us an incredible burst of energy and taken our efforts to the next level.

These past few weeks are proof of our impact! Here are a few highlights:

Student success: Recently, PBS News Hour brought us national recognition for our innovative, groundbreaking student success efforts in this era of performance funding. FIU will now be helping drive change at other institutions as a part of an Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) initiative called Powered by the Publics: Scaling Student Success.

Celebrating our alumni and faculty: Last weekend, our Torch Awards came home! We celebrated the achievements of our alumni and faculty who are charting new courses in their professions and our community – and reflect the incredible opportunities our FIU provides! It was a spectacular evening full of pride and music, during which Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Sam Moore sang a wonderful rendition of the Beatles’ “Imagine.”

Cybersecurity: FIU is an international research and education hub for cybersecurity. That’s why we were selected as a partner to host the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Conference. Earlier this month we wrapped up a very successful conference that brought together cybersecurity workforce developers, federal and state government leaders, education and training providers to help build the cybersecurity workforce. Our commitment to cybersecurity doesn’t end there. On November 8, we welcomed 200 girls from seven different Miami-Dade schools for “IBMCyberDay4Girls,” a one-day conference that educates young women about cybersecurity.

Leadership: In January, our Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine will celebrate another milestone moment when we welcome Dr. Robert Sackstein as the new dean! Dr. Sackstein comes to us from Harvard Medical School and is going to build on the strong foundation put in place by founding dean Dr. John Rock. That’s not all! Our professional staff is also being recognized for their efforts. FIU Vice President and Chief Information Officer Robert Grillo received the Hispanic IT Executive Council (HITEC) Top 100 award. The HITEC recognizes influential and notable Hispanic professionals who are making a difference in the technology industry.

Research: Our research is changing lives. Years after he lost his hand in a traumatic accident, a hand amputee can “feel” again, thanks to technology FIU engineers have developed. This incredible system was developed by Dr. Ranu Jung and her Adaptive Neural Systems Laboratory team.

Community Engagement: We’re more connected to our community than ever! We earned national designation as an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University by the APLU for our commitment to talent and workforce development; innovation and technology-based economic development; and community engagement. Recently, our Office of Engagement partnered with Forward Cities to host their annual meeting, in which 300 leaders from more than 30 cities across the U.S. gathered to learn more about Miami’s joined efforts to create innovation and economic growth.

Strengthening Partnerships: Our partnership with North Miami is going strong! We recently hosted the North Miami Brewfest – which started as a project led by FIU students. This event not only includes educational seminars that reveal the science behind brewing, but also connects our students to hands-on experience and the chance to network with leading craft brewers.

Arts: We’re bringing world-class art, culture and entertainment to our community. Our School of Music just completed a successful 2018 FIU Music Festival. We held our 32nd annual Festival of the Trees exhibit and auction, benefiting our Interior Architecture Department. Our FIU Theatre students are in the middle of a fantastic season of shows. Our Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum has several exhibitions you’re not going to want to miss! And more than a dozen students are gaining first-hand experience during Art Basel!

Athletics: FIU football has had another record-breaking season. Our Panthers are on the hunt for a conference championship! We’re also bowl eligible for the second year in a row! Please join us for the final game of the regular season on Saturday, November 24 at noon. FIU’s volleyball team has also had a successful season – after qualifying for the C-USA Tournament for the first time since 2015 and earning its most wins in the regular season since 2011!

We can certainly be thankful for this meaningful work that is having a positive impact on our community!

And there’s so much good yet to come. One of the most joyous times of year is right around the corner. In December, we will celebrate the accomplishments of more than 4,200 students who will graduate in 10 ceremonies. There is no better reminder of who we are and why we are here!

I look forward to sharing more with you in my New Year’s letter.

Until then, Rosalie and I wish you a Thanksgiving filled with peace and joy.

Mark B. Rosenberg