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Professor Jose Faria named winner of 2022 Real Triumphs Faculty Award

Professor Jose Faria named winner of 2022 Real Triumphs Faculty Award

The school of construction management professor has impacted students and community members, among them the underprivileged seeking a livelihood

October 14, 2022 at 9:08am

By Maya Washburn

Jose Faria is on a mission to get students to their dream jobs faster, while also helping members of our South Florida community earn a livelihood, especially those who are experiencing homelessness or formerly incarcerated individuals.

For these efforts, the 16-year veteran and Moss endowed chair of the Department of Construction in the Moss School of Construction, Infrastructure and Sustainability within the College of Engineering and Computing has been named the winner of the 2022 Real Triumphs Faculty Award. Each year, the President’s Council awards a professor $15,000 to recognize their research excellence, collaboration, teaching and leadership.

“Dr. Faria is an incredible leader and impactful professor who passionately passes on his craft to the next wave of professionals entering the industry,” said Interim Provost, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Elizabeth Béjar. “His deep understanding of the industry, community outreach and dedication to the success of each and every one of his students exemplifies our university's commitment to learning, innovation and collaboration.”

Faria was selected by members of the President’s Council Real Triumphs Faculty Award Committee. The cash prize will be distributed from an endowment funded by donations from the President’s Council, FIU’s premier community relations board. 

“One of the reasons why I’m extremely happy to receive this award is because it’s a testament to the work our team does,” said Faria. “We are making changes in the community. We are a department that’s committed to helping people.”

The Venezuelan native worked as an industrial engineer for Pepsi in his homeland before moving to the U.S. to pursue a Ph.D. The shift to teaching as a professor came naturally to him.

“The most rewarding aspect of my work is seeing lives changed,” said Faria. “I see students who were once shy and insecure in the classroom turn into professionals that are confident and know what they want.”

Wanting to see students start their careers more quickly, Faria sought to increase the graduation rate in the Moss Department of Construction Management by creating a software that allows students and their advisors to better understand academic progress and offers specific pathways to graduation.

“These plans help students have a better experience and graduate faster so that they can get to work faster,” said Faria. “Then, they can start earning a higher salary faster and provide for their families.”

Faria collaborated with other faculty to change the curriculum to further ensure success for students, about 60 percent of whom work while taking classes. The changes resulted in a doubling of the four-year construction management graduation rate, which is projected to reach 60 percent.

Additionally, Faria helped develop and launch a community-focused Certificate Program on Construction Trades to provide free construction training and education to transform the lives of homeless, formerly incarcerated and underprivileged individuals through programs offered in local local community centers and jails. Over 1,200 people have benefited from this program.

“We do this outreach to the community for the betterment of those who live around us,” said Faria. “I’ve seen individuals who have been brought down to their knees in life because they’ve lost everything. Now, these same people have become an example to those around them. That is the most gratifying feeling that one can have.”