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FIU graduates break new ground, pave the way for others

FIU graduates break new ground, pave the way for others

December 9, 2022 at 12:05pm

FIU will celebrate its more than 5,900 graduates this fall during 10 ceremonies Dec. 11–15 at the Ocean Bank Convocation Center. The graduating class includes students who push the envelope and challenge the status quo in their chosen careers.

Among the graduates are exceptional students who will be recognized as Real Triumphs Graduates. They include a groundbreaking female athletic trainer in the National Hockey League who actively works to recruit more women into the profession, as well as researchers who are breaking new ground in the fields of forensics and medicine.

“Our graduates are breaking barriers and using their education to make a difference in the lives of others,” said FIU President Kenneth A. Jessell. “Panthers everywhere are proud of our fall graduates and what they have accomplished.”
Real Triumphs Graduates include:

  • Forensics has been Mirna Ghemrawi’s passion since she was a little girl growing up in Tripoli, Lebanon. At FIU, she has led groundbreaking DNA research for the development of innovative forensic tests, including a quicker method to identify nonhuman species from crime scene samples. Ghemrawi also has conducted pilot studies that have the potential of helping solve sexual assault cases. Coming from a culture where women and girls have a societal pressure to follow the norms, Ghemrawi, 29, hopes her journey can motivate other women and girls to follow their dreams. She will receive her Ph.D. in biochemistry on Sunday, Dec. 11 at 6:30 p.m.

  • In just three years, Phoebe Langius, 21, became a researcher, founding president of iCureHealthFIU and a triple major graduate. With a 4.0 GPA, she was accepted into the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine through the early assurance program at FIU Honors College, where she worked on groundbreaking research that could lead to gender-specific medication to enhance memory. She also started a campus chapter of iCureHealth, a student organization that educates students and provides resources related to preventable chronic diseases She graduates with a bachelor’s degree in biology on Monday, Dec. 12 at 10 a.m.

  • In January, Aisha Visram, 37, became the first female of color to work as an athletic trainer (AT) on a National Hockey League (NHL) gameday bench, as well as the first woman to serve in that capacity in 20 years. A native Torontonian who loves hockey and the health sciences, Visram started in 2012 as an AT for college and professional ice hockey teams in upstate New York before relocating to California in 2020 to be the assistant athletic trainer for the Ontario Reign – the American Hockey League affiliate to the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings. A year later, she was the Reign’s head athletic trainer. Virsram was called up by the Kings on January 13 to fill in for bench staff, making history in the process. She has created Equal Opportun-AT, a nonprofit to raise funds to award grants that help cover expenses for women athletic trainers as they seek positions with sports teams. Visram will receive a Doctor of Athletic Training degree on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 10 a.m.

Beyond Real Triumphs Graduates, other graduates who are making a difference include Emily Morgan, 22, who earned her degree while raising quite a few feisty, four-legged, hooved and hairy kids. Kids as in baby goats, that is. Morgan is the owner of a small dairy goat farm in Homestead. Aiyana's Empire Dairy Goats provides goat milk and cheese to the local community. Morgan also organizes and hosts goat yoga sessions to introduce sustainable, local agriculture to a larger audience, who may have never set foot on a farm. Morgan, the first in her family to graduate college, will walk across the stage on Monday, Dec. 12 at 3 p.m. 

During the 10 a.m. ceremony on Wednesday, Dec. 14, FIU alumnus Gaston Taratuta, CEO and Founder of IMS Internet Media Services, a leading company in digital advertising, will speak to the graduating class. Taratuta was named Entrepreneur of The Year for 2022 by EY Global, one of the largest professional services networks in the world. Taratuta is only the second recipient from South America to receive the award in its 22-year history.

FIU alumnus Chad Moss will speak during the 3 p.m. ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 15 at 3 p.m. Moss is the CEO of Moss Family Office Worldwide, a family asset acquisitions management company, and executive vice president of Moss Construction. His firm employs nearly 80 FIU alumni. His $10 million gift to FIU naming the Moss School of Construction, Infrastructure and Sustainability was the single largest donation by an alumnus. He was recognized in 2017 as the Alumnus of the Year at the FIU Torch Awards and is a member of the FIU Foundation Board of Directors.

FIU Board of Trustees Chair Dean Colson will speak at the 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. ceremonies on Monday, Dec. 12FIU Trustee T. Gene Prescott will speak during the 3 p.m. ceremony on Tuesday, Dec. 13.

The Ocean Bank Convocation Center is located at 1180 SW 113th Ave, Miami, FL 33174.

Video clips and photos for media use will be made available through DropBox. This folder will be updated periodically with new images and videos.