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FIU's computing and information honor society wins national Continuing Excellence Award

FIU's computing and information honor society wins national Continuing Excellence Award

May 20, 2021 at 4:35pm

The Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE) Chapter at the Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences received the UPE National Board’s Continuing Excellence Award alongside the University of California, Berkeley Chapter.

The announcement came during the UPE National Convention, held virtually in April at FIU with many of the UPE National Board members physically in attendance.

 “This is the third year in a row that FIU has been selected to host the UPE National Convention,” said Peter Clarke, faculty advisor for the FIU UPE Chapter. “The extraordinary efforts of our UPE student president, vice president and members have made this possible. These students are strong leaders who continue to excel academically.” 

UPE Student President Adriana Sandino and Vice President Raul Faife credit their success to their exceptional student directors and alumni advisors. The convention brings all active UPE chapters together annually to provide updates, share accomplishments and welcome newly established chapters. During the convention, the national board members also present awards to the chapters that have done outstanding work throughout the year.

“We could not do all we are doing without the continuous support from Dr. Madrigal and the UPE National Board members,” Sandino said. “We are also grateful for the unwavering support we have received from the Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences and College of Engineering and Computing’s faculty, staff, our very own UPE executive board and our members. We also appreciate the greater FIU university community, especially FIU President Mark Rosenberg who is an active supporter of our annual hackathons.” 

The FIU UPE Chapter will receive a $500 award. UPE members and leadership concurred that it is not the money that is important to them but knowing that FIU students can compete against students at top universities and be recognized by industry leaders like Microsoft and Google, every year.


“Our UPE Chapter is extraordinary in the kinds of events we host, participation by our students, and dedication to our discipline. We are making a difference every day by continuously improving our nine programs and developing new ideas to better serve society," said Faife. "Many of our members will be joining major tech companies upon graduation or developing their own initiatives for tech startups right here in Miami.”

Executive Director of UPE National Orlando Madrigal said: "I am incredibly impressed by the FIU UPE Chapter and applaud Peter Clarke and all FIU student members for their tireless commitment to the chapter and for doing a remarkable job with hosting our national conference for the third year in a row.” 

UPE is an international honor society for the computing and information disciplines. It was first organized and founded at Texas A&M University in 1967 and has since then chartered more than 270 chapters at colleges and universities across the world. It is endorsed by both the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society (IEEE – CS), the two largest computer organizations in the world. 

FIU’s chapter is the largest student organization for technology at FIU. UPE's mission is to empower students to succeed in technology by developing their technical and professional skills. UPE hosts two national hackathons each year, attracting more than 1,000 students and Fortune 50 company sponsors, as well as established and burgeoning local tech companies in South Florida. In addition to the hackathons, UPE sponsors workshops throughout the year in a variety of technology areas to improve student and participant skills and knowledge with hands-on activities.

“We are so proud of what FIU’s UPE chapter has become,” said John L. Volakis, dean of the College of Engineering and Computing. “The chapter continues to host events that empower students from all backgrounds, especially those from underrepresented groups, to explore the field of technology and find professional success in tech. The national conference provides highly motivated, tech-savvy students with a unique opportunity to network and showcase their talents while engaging top industry recruiters, which can open doors to exciting internships and job opportunities upon graduation.”