Last week, President Mark B. Rosenberg took to Capitol Hill to meet with the South Florida congressional delegation to present FIU’s priorities. During his meetings with Senator Marco Rubio and House members Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Donna Shalala, Charlie Crist and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Rosenberg advocated for their support of initiatives related to resilient coastal infrastructure, neuroscience, health disparities, storm surge modeling and, as always, financial aid and STEM education.
“What FIU has accomplished in such a short time is astonishing. I am proud to support President Rosenberg and the 55,000 Panthers in my community,” said Congresswoman Shalala.
This week was also Panther Alumni Week (PAW). A university-wide initiative, PAW connects students with alumni through class presentations, industry panels and networking events. The week of events promotes the building of relationships, which leads to networking, internships, mentoring and career opportunities. As part of PAW, Rosenberg met with alumni working on the Hill. FIU has more than 30 graduates serving in Congressional offices around the country from both parties, including five chiefs of staff.
At a meeting at the White House, Rosenberg also briefed presidential advisers on important new initiatives at FIU relating to college completion and apprenticeships.
Rosenberg presents on Congressional education priorities
On Feb. 7, Rosenberg participated in an Inside Higher Ed dialogue during which he provided his five-minute take on “What Should Congress Do?” Among other observations, he spoke of the need to improve data collection on how well universities are doing at educating learners; create pathways for just-in-time learning (learning available on-demand); and public-private partnerships that make more impact on economic mobility.
Rosenberg also highlighted FIU’s planning in regards to apprenticeships and workforce models, specifically in the areas of cybersecurity and health care. FIU’s vision is for students to have access to on-the-job training and access to employers, improving employment rates and median wage levels upon graduation.
Student engineers making inroads with employers
While in town for the annual BEYA Diverse Engineering Conference, more than 150 FIU engineering students participated in Panther Alumni Week in Washington, D.C., during two sessions with accomplished FIU alumni engineers. Alumnus David Lagomasino Ph.D. ’14 is a NASA scientist and professor at the University of Maryland. He offered his perspective on environmental research and compared how debate over climate change differs in Florida versus Washington.
“He shared ways to talk about climate change with people who may have different opinions,” said Alexis Woodyard, who graduated in December. “Also, he’s an FIU alumnus, and I love hearing success stories and some of the amazing things he has accomplished.”
The week ended with a discussion focused on cyber professional opportunities with alumni Jonathan Beris, cybersecurity senior director at Centerpoint, and Frank Reyes, a Congressional Innovation Fellow at TechCongress.