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THE CAMPAIGN FOR FIU Next Horizon—The Campaign for FIU is the University’s groundbreaking fundraising effort. The campaign’s $750 million fundraising goal is ambitious and representative of just how high FIU has set its sights. The Honors College plays a critical role in achieving this goal. Through the campaign, we will secure the funds necessary to improve the future of every FIU student, our Miami home, and those we reach across the world through our teaching and research in the Honors College. The Next Horizon of discovery and innovation; health and society; environment and resilience; influence and enterprise; and community, arts, and culture will be achieved by focusing on two pillars—student success and research excellence—and attracting investments in the following campaign objectives:






WE WILL BE AN INCUBATOR FOR SOUTH FLORIDA’S BEST AND BRIGHTEST, LAUNCHING TALENTED STUDENTS IN PURSUITS THAT CHANGE LIVES HERE IN MIAMI AND AROUND THE WORLD. The FIU Honors College is home to 2,400 ambitious, curious, and openminded students—drawn from every major and college at FIU. We bring them together with top faculty and practitioners from a variety of fields through a unique, separate curriculum that works alongside any major and transcends disciplines. Our Honors College students are put in an environment where they make novel connections between ideas as they learn with students and faculty who engage topics from a variety of perspectives. We focus on helping students develop the intellectual and vocational tools they need to succeed at FIU and beyond. Fueled by FIU’s $750 million Next Horizon campaign and buoyed by our 30th anniversary in 2020, we will give our students the scholarships, spaces, and programs they need to excel.



Honors College Next Horizon Goal


of Honors students major in areas of strategic emphasis for Florida: 50% in STEM (science, technology, engineering, or mathematics) and 20% in fields that meet critical workforce or economic development needs. “The Honors College is the center of undergraduate excellence at FIU.” ― President Mark B. Rosenberg The Edge Lab, the Honors College’s maker space, provides students with a design and fabrication space for prototyping and manufacturing using 3-D printers, woodworking tools, and various coding and robotics instruments. It is open to all FIU students.

THE HONORS COLLEGE The FIU Honors College is a vibrant, expanding, and engaged community of young scholars from every field. As a dynamic laboratory of the latest in teaching and learning, we provide a transformative undergraduate education that develops talented students into tomorrow’s leaders. The Honors College is home to the hardest-working, highest-achieving students at FIU. They are dual academic citizens who major in disciplines at any one of the University’s eight undergraduate colleges. Because Honors students are not siloed, they produce what is known as the “honors effect”: the palpable impact that top-performing students dispersed across several colleges have on those around them, raising the academic bar across FIU and challenging professors and classmates alike with their quest for knowledge. The Honors College is also a resource for the entire University: programs such as the Edge Lab—our maker space with 3-D printers, scanners, and more—are available to all FIU students. Similarly, our Conference for Undergraduate Research, the largest multidisciplinary research conference in the state, is open to all undergraduates. Through the Next Horizon campaign, we seek partners who will keep the Honors College on the leading edge. Your philanthropy can help pave the way for a new generation of young leaders, giving them the freedom to pursue bold ideas that will make a difference in their communities and in their professions here in Florida and across the globe.

“With more exceptional students choosing to attend FIU and a surge in Honors College enrollment, we are approaching our 30th anniversary in 2020 with bold new plans for programs and space that can accommodate FIU’s widening intellectual center of gravity.” ― JUAN CARLOS ESPINOSA, PHD Dean and Fellow, The Honors College


30 YEARS OF SUCCESS The Honors College began in 1990 as a program in pursuit of a big vision: to help FIU’s most promising students reach new heights. Over the past three decades, we have grown—becoming a full-fledged undergraduate college, creating a Living Learning Community, and, finally, adding a dedicated residence hall.


“Receiving the Eduardo J. Padron Scholarship for transfer students from Miami Dade College was a very rewarding experience for me. It showed me that the amount of hard work and effort that I put forth in my studies paid off. It also allowed me to continue pursuing my post-secondary education. As an individual diagnosed with a learning disability, I was able to use these funds to achieve the same goals as any other neuro-typical student. I wish to continue my education and obtain a master’s degree at FIU. I would also like to continue conducting research at the FIU Brain and Behavioral Development Laboratory or through the Advanced Research and Creativity in Honors program, where I completed coursework. After I graduate, I hope to become a board-certified behavioral analyst and disability advocate.” ―Mariana Barbara ’18, BA in Psychology through the Honors College


PRIORITY INITIATIVES INVESTING IN THE BEST AND BRIGHTEST While Honors College students are FIU’s best, their demographics mirror the rest of the University. They are diverse, reflecting both U.S. and international population trends. Most are multilingual, and they are comfortable working across cultures. They bring with them a unique work ethic, with most successfully balancing multiple demands on their time. Too many, however, have to stop their education mid-stream to take jobs, help their families, or earn the cost of attendance. Too many cannot afford to live on campus, despite the advantages it offers, such as more timely graduation and increased student involvement. Through the Next Horizon campaign, we want to help these outstanding students reach their goals. We aim to establish more endowed scholarships to attract top applicants, meet their full financial need, and assist more in living on campus in Honors housing. You can ensure FIU’s most promising students are able to focus on their studies. Your investment in scholarships will help us recruit top students to FIU and support them in getting the best possible education and persisting through to graduation.

3 OUT OF 4 Honors College students graduate in four years.

41% of Honors College students come from low-income families.

BUILDING COMMUNITY, ENHANCING OUR FACILITIES As we plan for our 30th anniversary, we have identified space to grow as a critical need. Honors College facilities have remained the same from the time we had only 600 students. Today’s nearly 2,400 students require more room. Additional space is necessary to support service and research and to provide a conducive learning environment for all. The latter includes group study rooms, individual study carrels, open areas for activities, and dedicated seminar rooms. Common areas in particular are vital in delivering a fulfilling Honors student experience. Facilities such as a media lab, tech hub, dining areas and kitchen, “nap” rooms, and a coffee bar are places that build community. Campaign investment can fund these spaces in either newly created or renovated facilities. Your support will provide the up-to-date physical resources we need to recruit and retain high-achieving students to the Honors College and help them flourish at FIU and wherever their pursuits may take them.

35,000+ hours of community service provided by Honors College students

Students walking through Parkview Sky Lounge at Honors Hall

THE HONORABLE VERONICA DIAZ Judge Veronica Diaz was active in her undergraduate years at FIU. As a Student Ambassador, she was one of a select group of students who served as hosts for visiting dignitaries at numerous University and community functions. She was also a member of the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority. Judge Diaz graduated from FIU’s Honors College with a Bachelor of Arts in English ’98. She went on to receive a JD from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, graduating cum laude in 2002. Admitted to the Florida Bar the same year, Judge Diaz went into private practice focusing on commercial litigation. In 2007, she began working at the Miami City Attorney’s Office as an Assistant City Attorney and remained there until 2014, when she decided to pursue her long-held dream of becoming a judge. In 2015, she successfully campaigned for a judicial seat and remains steadfast in her work as an elected official for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida. Judge Diaz gives back to her community in many ways, including reading to elementary school children, serving as a Big Sister in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami, and coaching high school moot court teams for competition.


HECTOR MUJICA – GLOBAL AT GOOGLE Enrolling at FIU’s Honors College in 2009, Hector Mujica spent his time as a Panther laser focused on his studies while balancing participation in various internships and leadership roles, including serving as the Student Government Association Senate Speaker. He graduated from FIU in 2011 magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration focusing on International Business. Hector went on to pursue a graduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley, Goldman School of Public Policy, earning a Master’s in Public Affairs. Today, Hector works at, where he manages philanthropic programs and investment in the Americas. In his position with the tech giant’s philanthropic division, he helps lead Google’s global crisis response and humanitarian efforts, as well as broad grant-making in Latin America and Canada, overseeing millions of dollars in philanthropic giving. Hector also serves as an adviser to HOLA, Google’s Latino employee resource group, a position that earned him the Google Global Leadership & Community Impact Award in 2013.

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OPTIMIZING LEARNING WITH STUDENT SUPPORT Our students are high-achievers. They come to FIU ready for a challenge, wanting to pack their undergraduate careers with as many experiences as possible. Through the Honors College, we provide high-impact, out-of-classroom opportunities to help them expand their skills and their worldviews. Through the campaign, we want to create endowed funds to support activities like these in perpetuity: EDGE LAB This innovative maker space has high-tech tools students can use to learn about, design, and make creative materials. Staffed by Honors students, the lab is open to all FIU students. HONORS EDUCATION IN THE ARTS (HEARTS) Through this program, students explore and appreciate different artistic and cultural traditions by attending museums, concerts, and theatrical performances. LECTURE SERIES These thought-provoking learning opportunities bring Honors students together to hear speakers on a variety of topics and then take part in discussion and reflection. ADVANCED RESEARCH AND CREATIVITY IN HONORS (ARCH) This undergraduate research program gives Honors students the opportunity to engage in research or creative projects under the supervision of FIU faculty experts. SOCIAL INNOVATION DAY In culmination of a semester’s work in the Honors Freshman Course, students present projects that address problems or issues at FIU or in the broader community using social innovation strategies. They prepare posters and pitch their ideas to members of the University community and guests. PANTHER MOCK TRIAL TEAM Open to all FIU students, this organization introduces students to important aspects of our judicial system through participation in simulated courtroom trials and other law-related activities.

JOURNEY WITH FIU TO THE NEXT HORIZON Every great public university looks to its honors college to lead the institution to new heights. The FIU Honors College is doing just that. We have a critical role to play in educating South Florida’s most promising students and preparing them to be the leaders of tomorrow. Through the “honors effect,” we also raise the sights of students across the University. Now we seek the passion and philanthropy of FIU alumni, family, and friends to realize these ambitions. Celebrating 30 years of academic excellence, we seek to enhance and expand the opportunities that our students have for intellectual growth and creative exploration. Working together, we will secure the Honors College’s role as the Next Horizon in innovation and student success. With your generous support, we will provide the best, most enriching education possible to our talented students today and for generations to come.



• F irst-Generation Undergraduate Scholarships •M  erit-Based Undergraduate Scholarships • Emergency Assistance Scholarships • Transfer and Retention Scholarships • Honors College Housing Scholarships • U ndergraduate and Graduate Research and Fellowship Awards

• Study Abroad Support • O ptimization Scholarships for Internship Participation


• R ecognizing Excellence in Teaching (Teaching Incentive Program)

• T echnology-Enhanced Classrooms • F aculty Fellowships PROMOTE STUDENT SUCCESS THROUGH THE HONORS COLLEGE

• F acilities Enhancements and Renovations • E dge Lab •H  onors Education in the Arts (HEARTS) • L ecture Series • A dvanced Research and Creativity in Honors (ARCH)

• S ocial Innovation Day • P anther Mock Trial Team


• S eed Funding for Emerging Research • F aculty Chairs • P rofessorships • U ndergraduate Research Infrastructure (travel, equipment, labs)



FIU FOUNDATION, INC. MMC 11200 SW 8th Street, MARC 5th Floor Miami, FL 33199 305-348-6298 Publication Print Date: March 2019

Profile for FIU Foundation

Honors College Case Statement  

Next Horizon Campaign Florida International University Updated April 16, 2019

Honors College Case Statement  

Next Horizon Campaign Florida International University Updated April 16, 2019


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