2018 in photos


Panthers have a lot to reflect on as 2018 winds down. It was a year of highs. We captured the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl, and set an all-time win record. We graduated more than 12,000 students. And U.S. News & World Report ranked us a Top 100 public university. In 2018, we also experienced heartbreak with the 8th Street bridge accident.

As we prepare to tackle 2019, let’s take a look at some of the most memorable moments of the year as captured by FIU photographers.

FIU fans celebrated from the stands of the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium in the Bahamas as the Panthers took down the Toledo Rockets in a thrilling Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl Dec. 21. With the victory, the 2018 Panthers established a new FIU record for most wins in a season (nine).

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In 2015, Aldo Amenta sustained a severe spinal injury while diving into a pool. His family had to choose between paying for therapy or for his studies. Through FIU’s Ignite Campaign, Amenta received funds to cover his tuition, allowing his family to cover therapy expenses. Amenta graduated with his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering this fall. He walked across the stage with the help of an exoskeleton. Photo Carl Fredrick-Francois.

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University photographer Carl-Fredrick Francois prepares elk with black garlic and purple potatoes for the Taste of FIU Cook Off, the annual cooking competition that benefits the United Way. FIU students, faculty/staff, and alumni all battle head to head for the chance to be named FIU’s Best Chef! Photo by Margi Rentis.

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FIU alumni were recognized for their impacts on their professions, the community and our university at the 17th annual Torch Awards in the Ocean Bank Convocation Center. Photo by Margi Rentis.

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Sophomore Hunter Swihart took home the top prize at the 29th annual Walk on Water challenge for team “Daddy Longlegs.” Photo by Margi Rentis.

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The Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and North Miami Brewfest provided attendees a diverse palette of craft beers to sample. Among them was Rome City IPA, a nationally recognized beer produced by BrewHub. Our alumna, Paige Wuensch (pouring beer), sells the beer to bars, liquor stores and supermarkets as a regional sales manager for the company. Photo by Carl-Frederick Francois.

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A student and loyal fan of “The Office” kicked off October by donning a pumpkin covering on her head. Photo by Margi Rentis.

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Students performed their best skills in the name of school spirit at “Panthers Got Talent.” Photo by Margi Rentis.

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Singer-songwriter Miguel headlined this year’s Panthermonium, a concert that rings in homecoming week. Photo by Carl-Frederick Francois.

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Student leader Lesther Alemán, left, former President of Costa Rica Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera and Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center Director Frank Mora participated in a roundtable at the university on September to speak about the crisis in Nicaragua. Photo by Vince Rives.

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Two-time alumna Aimee Viana, executive director for the White House’s Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, visited campus on Sept. 14 and met with students from the STEM Transformation Institute, Math Mastery Lab and FPL Customer Care Center. She is seen here with Assistant Vice President for University Relations Carlos Becerra, in striped tie, and students. Photo by Vince Rives.

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The piano lounge in Graham Center was a hot spot for computer gamers in August. Photo by Eduardo Merille.

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Professor Steve Oberbauer and Arctic Observatory Network team member Matthew Simon ’17 walk along a narrow boardwalk that helps protect the FIU plant ecology research plot at Toolik Field Station on the north slope of the Brooks Range, Alaska. Photo by Tim Long.

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Beautiful white sand. Perfect weather. A fun game of volleyball with friends. Yep, you’re at Modesto A. Maidique Campus (MMC). If you haven’t already, check out the new sand volleyball court outside of the Wellness & Recreation Center. Photo by Carl Frederick-Francois.

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Nine FIU swimming and diving student-athletes were named to the 2018 College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America Scholar All-America Team this month, highlighting the strength of the Panthers not only in the pool but also in the classroom. Photo by FIU Athletics.

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Born in Bulgaria, Assen Andonov built his first airplane at the age of 13. Andonov is a commercial pilot and the founder/CEO of Assen Aeronautics. He, along with FIU students from electrical, computer and mechanical engineering, created the Assen A1 prototype flying bike, which he displayed at the GC Pit in May. Photo by Ben Guzman.

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Acclaimed author and FIU alumnus Dennis Lehane MFA ’01 was honored with the 2018 Lawrence A. Sanders Award in Fiction during a ceremony at BBC April 12. Lehane is best known for his mystery novels adapted as films for the silver screen. “Mystic River” was directed by Clint Eastwood and starred Sean Penn in 2003. “Gone, Baby, Gone” was directed by Ben Affleck and starred Casey Affleck in 2007. Photo by Tim Long.

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Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright captivated a standing-room-only crowd in Coral Gables April 13 during a stop to promote her new book, “Fascism: A Warning.” Her visit was co-hosted by the Václav Havel Program for Human Rights and Diplomacy at FIU’s Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs. Photo by Ben Guzman.

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FIU benefactor Herbert Wertheim takes a photo of his wife Nicole’s portrait. The 8-foot painting is the work of award-winning Frost Professor of Art David Chang. At the unveiling, the Wertheim family pledged an additional $1 million for the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences. Photo by Carl-Frederick Francois.

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Danny Pino ’96, known for detective roles on the crime dramas “Cold Case” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” returned to FIU April 2 for a candid discussion with students and staff on professional growth and diversity in the field of acting. Photo by Ben Guzman.

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William Tan, a research scientist at FIU’s Applied Research Center, wows an audience at the eMerge Americas conference April 23. Tan and his team developed robots to assist with cleanup efforts of contaminated sites across the U.S. These robots allow people to work remotely, protecting them from harmful radiation. The wall crawler scales walls and moves around pipes, while the pipe crawler travels through pipes. The mini rover, or “mouse,” travels on top of the pipe crawler. By Eduardo Merille.

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On March 19 at 1:47 p.m., the FIU community paused for a moment of silence to honor the victims of the Southwest 8th Street pedestrian bridge accident. As FIU and Florida state flags flew at half-mast, members of the Student Government Association joined hands with students, faculty and staff outside the Graham Center. Photo by Doug Garland.

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Students walked shoulder-to-shoulder with faculty, staff, alumni and community members in a somber procession that stretched half a mile as more than 1,000 mourners paid their respects to the victims of the pedestrian bridge tragedy at a vigil held March 21 at the Modesto A. Maidique Campus. Photo by Tim Long.

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You can call her the Burger Queen! Psychology senior Angelic Cox created “The Jerk Man Burger” and won this year’s Red Robin Golden Robin contest, earning a $10,000 scholarship and a chance to be featured on the Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews menu in the next year. She even got to present her burger to Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives star Guy Fieri at the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival! Photo by Carl-Frederick Francois.

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Uproar 2018 did not disappoint! Organized by the Student Programming Council, the annual concert is one of FIU’s most anticipated events of the Spring semester. This year’s concert in February featured Jesse McCartney (pictured above), the Ying Yang Twins and A-Trak. Photo by Carl-Frederick Francois.

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Happy New Year!

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