FIU IN A CHANGING
Education and engagement have the power to transform lives and to change the world for the better. Our faculty, our staff and our students learn that every day through the university’s research projects, which center on collaborative problem solving with local and global communities. Our research mission has never been more important to bettering the future of the world and the people who inhabit it. Today’s society is global and so, too, must be the reach of universities. Thanks to the vital work of our students and faculty, we have created meaningful partnerships that transcend geographic borders. These collaborations truly matter, improving lives in dramatic ways. You will read about some of them in the pages of this report. Our faculty has made it their life’s work to nurture hearts and minds capable of equal parts innovation and empathy. Our hope for the future lies in the continuing pursuit of that essential balance. Our university community is made up of men and women who are smart, creative and inspired. Our research generates results. It’s a powerful combination. It’s what makes FIU Worlds Ahead.
[ ] In 2011 Japan suffered the compound
natural disasters of
an earthquake and a tsunami.
Reducing Disaster Risk N
building standards and alert-warning systems. Olson’s team recognizes that build-
Understanding the immediate human
affect more people than ever before. Richard
ing expertise among professors and other
needs created by a natural disaster, USAID
Olson, director of the USAID-supported
professionals within the various countries is
program personnel are working with FIU’s
Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas Pro-
key to their educating others and expanding
International Hurricane Research Center
gram and co-director of the USAID-supported
the number of people involved and vested
to test transitional structures that might be
Paul C. Bell Jr. Risk Management Program,
in risk reduction. In 11 public institutions
used as temporary housing in the aftermath
says that our global population explosion
in eight countries, FIU has worked to help
of widespread devastation.
– two billion people inhabited the earth in
develop geographic information systems
1900, and nine billion are expected by 2050
and remote sensing capabilities, which will
– combined with unwise land use and poorly
make possible in-country and in-region
planned urban growth have established a
analysis of potential risks. Forty-six faculty
by 12 electric fan-motor units capable of
scenario in which earthquakes, hurricanes,
members in 13 countries have been trained
simulating category 5 hurricane winds. Test-
tsunamis and flooding will have increasingly
through seminars in real-world situations.
ing of temporary structures within the facility
greater negative impact.
Seven “communities of practice” in disaster
gives manufacturers a chance to understand
atural disasters in the 21st century have the potential to loom larger and
reduction are now available through FIU.
Wall of Wind The Wall of Wind is a facility powered
risk reduction have been established in six
shortcomings in design and improve prod-
dozen FIU researchers and facilities to work
countries to harness the knowledge of local
ucts prior to use.
with communities, groups, universities and
experts in urban and rural planning, archi-
The simulator, the most powerful in the
governments in Chile, Peru, Colombia, Central
tecture, the environment and risk manage-
United States, was funded with a combina-
America and the Caribbean. The aim is to get
ment. Additionally, three online courses that
tion of private and public monies, and al-
ahead of what Olson fears is coming – disas-
cover topics such as the cost-benefit analy-
ready recommendations made as a result of
ters of a proportion not seen in modern times
sis of investing in disaster risk reduction
roof testing (on permanent structures) have
– through smarter land use planning, stricter
and the political economy of disaster risk
been published in the Florida Building Code.
The programs bring together more than a
â€œWe have to get real about the vulnerabilities and have the political and economic courage to reduce them.â€? Richard Olson, director Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas Program
The Wall of Wind is a facility powered by 12 electric fan-motor units capable of simulating category 5 hurricane winds.
Securing the Food Supply Reducing arsenic levels in rice
transform arsenic into organic species that
of work studying how organisms handle
ability to produce rice grains with reduced
FIU researcher Barry Rosen’s decades
arsenic at the molecular level is now pointing to strategies that may reduce the amount of
arsenic that ends up in rice, a staple found in the diets of half of the world’s population.
Organic arsenic is absorbed into rice from
the wet ground where rice is grown. While this type of arsenic is thought to be safe,
concerns exist about the long-term effects of ingesting it, and few countries regulate arsenic levels in food.
Rosen and his team of researchers
discovered that the one-celled alga called Cyanidioschyzon has learned to adapt
and process arsenic safely into gas. The
alga is found in the Norris Geyser Basin at
Yellowstone National Park, which has one of
the highest arsenic levels in the world. Cloning a gene from this alga and from other bacteria that turn arsenic into a gas, Rosen and the
arsenic content could have a transformational impact on the safety of food supplies around the world.
Rosen is the recipient of a $5 million
MERIT grant from the National Institutes of Health, a distinction given to fewer than 1 percent of grant recipients. Local ties, global impact
Employing a broader focus on
sustainability and food safety, FIU’s
agroecology program has grown from a
handful of students in 2005 to more than 100 students today. Many of these students have received scholarships and paid internships
for training, research, international travel and
professional conferences thanks to more than $5 million in USDA grant support.
The physical heart of the program is FIU’s
team introduced these genes into rice.
organic garden. Here, students, many of
China, Rosen’s team has grown their first
the science and practice of earth-friendly
In collaboration with a group from Xiamen,
rice crops and shown that they actually can
can be volatilized. The team’s demonstrated
whom come from urban backgrounds, learn agriculture.
Rice fields in the southern
United States, as well as several countries in Asia, have been
found to contain high levels of arsenic, which seeps into the
grains and increases humans’ risks of cancer.
Reaching beyond the campus boundaries,
international collaborations with colleagues in
India and Honduras promote a global practice of agriculture that is ecologically sustainable and economically viable. As part of that
ongoing dialogue, faculty and students host
an annual, week-long workshop for Honduran agriculture students on agriculture, food safety, food security and agroforestry.
Recently, program leaders spearheaded
the establishment of the Florida-Caribbean Consortium for Agricultural Education and Hispanic Workforce Development. This
USDA-funded program will prepare more
than 50 students from under-represented
ethnicities from universities in Florida and Puerto Rico for career advancement in agriculture science.
healthy population and stable economy depend upon a secure,
sustainable food supply. Faculty and students are nurturing and cultivating the intricate links among plants and human health in communities here and abroad. Their efforts are helping create a modern food system that is more productive, competitive, sustainable and safe.
The FIU team produced rice grains with
reduced arsenic content, which could have a transformational impact on the safety of the world’s food supplies.
Senior environmental studies student Nall
spent a year researching alternative growing media for
ornamental plants. His work developing compost materials from insect-rearing waste shows promise for wider application around the world. “Prior to this research, the waste had no practical use,” he says. “This is about moving us toward a more sustainable future.” The recipient of a $24,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Multicultural Scholars Program grant, Moonilall conducted his work at the USDA field extension office in Miami. He has submitted a manuscript for publication to Horticulture Technology.
Preserving Earth’s Resources
[ ] Just below the ocean’s surface,
seagrass meadows conservatively store 19.9 billion metric tons of
carbon, even though the threatened marine ecosystems make up only
0.2 percent of Earth’s surface. The
reserving the Earth’s resources
students increase their understanding of
is a responsibility that belongs to
the function and productivity of agricultural
everyone. FIU takes this duty seriously,
systems as well as increase their scientific
developing programs, conducting research
knowledge of broad spatial agricultural issues
and engaging in sustainable practices for
such as regional water allocation conflicts,
effective change. In 2010, the School of
urban-rural conflicts and ecosystem impacts.
Environment, Arts and Society (SEAS) was formed to better understand and address the challenges that arise from the interaction between human and environmental systems.
GLOWS Internationally, FIU’s Global Water for
Sustainability (GLOWS) program is working to increase social, economic and environmental
WaterSCAPES Research in FIU’s WaterSCAPES
benefits to people in the developing world. While water is a basic need for survival, it is
program focuses on the interaction between
also a finite resource. GLOWS teams provide
the hydrologic cycle and vegetation dynamics
a holistic approach to integrated water
of the Florida Everglades. Sponsored by
resource management. Funded by the United
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center,
States Agency for International Development,
WaterSCAPES is also studying similar
GLOWS currently manages six projects
ecosystems in other parts of the world. The
located in Ghana, Mali, Niger, Rwanda,
research is helping to answer the questions
Tanzania, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Mozambique
of how is the Earth changing and what are
and the country of Georgia.
the consequences for life on Earth. SEAS also houses the Agroecology Program where
In Rwanda, GLOWS provides training and educational workshops to increase
findings lend support to the idea that seagrass protection and restoration could play a major role in mitigating climate change.
awareness of climate vulnerability and
capacity. One week, training sessions were hosted for 13 local and central government members. The following week, 75 villagers
from four communities, including 16 women, were apprised of climate change issues and came up with proposed adaption plans. In the country of Georgia, where most of the population has access to potable water, the big issues are waste management and conservation. Many surface waters are severely polluted, forests are illegally logged and grasslands are overgrazed. Inappropriate irrigation and agricultural practices have degraded large areas of arable land through erosion and salinization of soils. GLOWS is promoting the benefits of preserving the country’s abundant natural resources and
Less than 1 percent (.007) of the planet’s fresh water is accessible
.007% for human use.
priority issues, needs and opportunities of the pilot watersheds as well as on
development and future economic growth. In its second year of implementation, 60 communities were selected in four pilot areas, the upper (upstream) and lower (downstream) areas of two different watersheds. These communities are now involved in the planning and management of watershed resources. Through continuing discussions, local communities and authorities have been apprised of the
FIU researchers also are diving into the
feasible alternatives for proposed on-the-
depths of the world’s oceans to study marine
ground interventions and their potential
organisms, their habitats and the resources
environmental and social impacts.
they provide and need to survive. James
In its efforts to change behavior of
demonstrating the link between sustainable
Blue Carbon and the Amazon
Fourqurean’s Blue Carbon research initiative
younger stakeholders in order to create
is one such project. Fourqurean, a marine
sustainable landscapes for the future,
sciences professor, is examining seagrass
GLOWS has created EcoClubs as a tool
meadows as potential carbon stores for
for informal education in public schools.
greenhouse gas emissions, placing a market
Twenty-one EcoClubs have been founded,
value on a rapidly disappearing resource.
with a total of 336 members, including 298
In the Amazon, researchers are conducting
students, 36 teachers and two parents.
a variety of projects to preserve one of the
Through informative-cognitive training
world’s most diverse ecosystems. All across
programs, EcoClubs provide information and
the world, FIU students and researchers are
hands-on activities for youth interested in
engaged in efforts to protect, preserve and
environmental topics. Interest in EcoClubs
restore the world’s vast resources.
has resulted in the formation of an EcoClub Alliance, which promotes EcoClub activities and connects peers.
Solar Decathlon: Along with architecture professor Marilys Nepomechie, a group of FIU students conceived a home design perfect for South Florida but adaptable to other regions – one that could get all its energy from the sun. They built the house for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon, the prestigious biennial competition that prepares and inspires tomorrow’s architects and engineers and to show the world comfortable, cost-efficient “green” housing. FIU’s team consisted of a diverse group of more than 40 architecture, engineering, interior design, computer science, landscape architecture and journalism students. One of 20 teams from around the world, FIU tied for first place for energy balance, producing all the power the house used with its solar array. Overall, FIU placed eleventh in the competition. “PerFORM[D]ance House,” the 780-square-foot home (with a 1,500-square-foot porch/pavilion), built by the FIU team, is now back in Miami. It is now the permanent home of the FIU Office of Sustainability.
Strengthening Democracy T
oday, as more nations transition from
Administration of Justice has been engaged
authoritarian rule to democracy, FIU
in justice and human rights issues since 1984,
is committed to the student exchanges
leading research, education and real-world
and outreach necessary for a better
problem solving projects throughout Latin
understanding of freedom, universal human
America. The center was part of the USAID-
rights and diplomacy worldwide. Through
funded Colombian Justice Reform initiative,
lectures, conferences and research, FIU
focused on expanding the legal system to
students are learning how abstract ideas,
Colombia’s most vulnerable citizens: Afro-
including the pre-eminence of individual
Colombians, indigenous groups, women
human rights over the rights of nation states,
and victims of sexual or domestic violence.
are applied in political realities.
The center worked closely with Colombian
The School of International and Public
public and private sector counterparts in the
FIU’s Model United Nations team is ranked
No. 5 in North America.
to strengthen professional communication media in Latin America and throughout the world. Through education, training and research, the program encourages
journalists, journalism educators and media owners to make a critical examination of the role of a free and independent press. With
Affairs recently founded the Vaclav Havel
construction and organization of six new
Center for Human Rights and Diplomacy
regional Justice Houses and 14 satellite
under the direction of Dr. Martin Palous,
Justice Houses primarily located in conflict-
former ambassador of the Czech Republic to
has organized workshops on environmental
International Media Center
rights, women’s issues, the role of the press
the United Nations. The center explores the impact of democratic transitions, providing students with the opportunity to learn from
The FIU International Media Center
distinguished scholars and practitioners in
is a not-for-profit research and education
diplomacy, activism and policy.
center established as part of the Latin
Center for Administration of Justice The university’s Center for the
a special emphasis on ethics and on better writing through critical thinking, the program reporting, investigative reporting, human in a developing democracy and others. The program’s success has been clearly conveyed by former Guatemalan President
American Journalism Program, a 10-year
Ramiro de León Carpio, who said journalists
project funded by USAID. The center
trained by FIU helped save democracy in
operates international programs designed
Independent journalists in Cuba are now being trained via videoconference
Model United Nations While globally engaged, FIU’s
the Master of Arts in Global Governance program are studying how globalization
workshops and in a virtual newsroom
commitment to an international dialogue
has broadened and intensified modern-day
through the International Media Center.
always begins with its students. The
security challenges, including migration,
More than 500 journalists from all
university’s Model United Nations program
refugee flows, environmental changes,
regions of the island have participated,
ranks among the top in North America,
resource scarcity, transnational crime,
first through grants from USAID and
training students in international relations,
terrorism, poverty and natural disasters.
currently through grants from the Western
diplomacy and the United Nations’
Hemisphere Affairs agency.
agenda. At the same time, students in As a doctoral student, Betilde Muñoz-Pogossian completed an internship at the Organization of American States. That experience would inform the rest of her career. Today, she continues to build a foundation for the exercise of democracy in Latin America as the acting director the OAS Department of Electoral Cooperation and Observation. Her work is the behind-the-scenes mechanics of democracy: non-partisan cooperation, strategic analysis, technical training and problem solving. “It’s very, very exciting. I can see something concrete come out of the things we do,” Muñoz-Pogossian said. “The best part is the person who is benefitting the most is the citizen.” She credits FIU political science professor Eduardo Gamarra — who arranged for her to interview officials at the highest levels of Bolivian government as part of her dissertation research — for keeping her focused.
Betilde Muñoz-Pogossian (right) visits a polling station with Dante Caputo, chief of the OAS Mission, to observe the local and federal elections in Mexico on July 5, 2009. Photo courtesy of the Organization of American States.
a helping hand A sampling of FIU research across the globe
• Professional Support Morocco for Cuba’s Independent • Morocco Water and Development Journalists Alliance
Pan-Latin American and Caribbean Activities
• The Inter-American Conference of Mayors and Local Authorities • The Latin America Grid • The Americas Venture Capital Conference • Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas • Latin American Journalism Program
• Florida-Caribbean Consortium for Agricultural Education and Hispanic Workforce Development preparing students for career advancement in agriculture science
• Collaborative agroecology programs
• Protecting Haitian Patrimony Initiative • Cognitive behavioral stress management intervention randomized trial focused on earthquake survivors • Pilot study focused on the impact of traumatic and surgical amputations on earthquake victims
• West Africa Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WA-WASH)
• Justice Reform and Modernization Program
• Rwanda Integrated Water Security Program (RlWSP)
• Ongoing research in support of ecosystem preservation
• Integrated Water Resources Management Assistant to USAID Missions Worldwide
• FIU’s NSF-CAKE, creating solutions to major development and public health problems through geospatial technologies
• Collaborative project on reducing arsenic in rice crops
Republic of Georgia
• Integrated Natural Resources Management in Watersheds of Georgia
Kenya and Tanzania
• Transboundary Water for Biodiversity in the Mara River Basin
• HIV Disease Drug Abuse And Nutrient Therapy clinical trial
• Public Health Research Institute • Collaborative agroecology programs
Increasing the Demographic Dividend F
IU’s commitment to improving health
on a global level extends to a variety of
projects. Primary among them is the Global Water for Sustainability (GLOWS) program created in 2006 with funding from the
USAID to help address the world’s growing water crisis. The on-the-ground interaction between a research university and
funded by USAID also touches Tanzania,
antiretroviral therapies used successfully in
share the resources – and challenges – of the
along with its neighbor Kenya, which together Mara River Basin. Already the multi-faceted
for two years and found that long-term
the importance of improved hygiene.
both safe and significantly reduced the risk of
for 32,000 people and educated 15,000 about
HIV in Botswana
particularly in the area of water sanitation, a
was the subject of a recently completed seven-
vital component of health promotion.
The Wami Ruvu Basin in Tanzania is
water rich, but more than half the people there have no access to a clean source. The $15
million GLOWS program is working with local
governments and NGOs to provide sanitation
Elsewhere in Africa – in Botswana – HIV
year randomized clinical trial. An FIU research
group worked on the National Institute on Drug Abuse funded clinical trial in collaboration with the Harvard School of Public Health and the Botswana-Harvard Partnership.
The purpose of the program was to
and hygiene services. Already the work is
determine whether providing nutritional
access to clean water; 85,000 people having
improve immune function and either reduce
paying off, with 66,000 people having gained been educated about improved hygiene
practices; 13 school latrine blocks having
been completed; and 14 more currently under construction, among other positive outcomes. A second, $6.3 million GLOWS program
Researchers followed 878 participants
project has increased access to safe water
development groups enable both to focus on critical questions and specific needs,
other parts of the world are too costly
supplements to HIV-infected adults could
mortality in those infected or prolong the time before onset of AIDS.
Botswana has the world’s highest
incidence of HIV, with more than 24 percent of the population aged 15-49 infected, and
micronutrient supplementation early on was
immune failure, morbidity and mortality while
preventing tuberculosis. The study provides a solid base for additional research that might help establish life-saving or life-extending programs in the absence of access to pharmaceuticals.
Public Health Research Institute
Concerns regarding HIV, as well as
other health issues, inform the mission
of the Public Health Research Institute in
India. The independent non-governmental
organization was founded and funded by FIU Professor Purnima Madhivanan, M.D. Indian born, Madhivanan understands the societal challenges women face in her homeland as well as the lack of critical preventive
measures such as screenings for cancer and
HIV. Selling off her car and home enabled her
driver to transport groups of women seeking
to keep 27 people in a rural area employed
health services as cultural norms discourage
as health educators and clinicians who offer tests and exams to thousands of women and girls annually. Madhivanan has had to rely foremost on a cadre of local woman to spread word of available resources and encourage villagers to participate. Working with an artist, she created a teaching manual with colorful
women from accepting rides from any man who is not a relative. Additionally, she has promoted “buy in” of her programs by telling those in positions of power that healthy women improve the quality of life for men and children. The Institute today includes a
images and text that is used in health
reproductive health clinic, two mobile clinics,
presentations. She also hired a female
a lab and a research facility.
[ ] Women gather water in
Pemba, Tanzania, where GLOWS is working on
sanitation projects and hygiene education.
Contributing directly to the work of the Public Health Research Institute in India appealed to epidemiology doctoral student Alnecia Rumphs. She spent five weeks in rural areas working on a screening program for cervical cancer – the number one killer of women in India. Rumphs evaluated the program’s documentation practices, helped analyze the collected epidemiologic data and made suggestions for improving the program’s efficiency and effectiveness. The opportunity both educated Rumphs in a real-world setting and provided needed support to the institute, which is run from the United States by one of her professors. “I was able to see the culture. I was able to have a better understanding of what strategies we should or should not use in that environment,” she said. “It was a very enriching experience.”
[ ] FIU’s annual Americas Venture Capital Conference links
entrepreneurs together with potential investors.
he National Science Foundation Industry-University Cooperative
Research Center for Advance Knowledge
Enablement (NSF-CAKE), headquartered at FIU, is a coalition of universities and companies specializing in geospatial
technologies that work together to create
solutions to major development and public health problems.
The coalition includes: • TerraFly at FIU
• GIS-Integro geo-analytics, developed by Dubna University and Geosystem Institute, Russia
• Pirouette moving object monitoring
technology from University of Illinois at Chicago
• LocationWorld the leading Latin American system for geo-data and analytics
• Alta Pix for high resolution aerial imagery collected by balloons
Linking Private Sector Investment and Development FIU’s TerraFly, a tool that allows users
to virtually “fly” over any area and receive
detailed data sets, was used after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti to locate displaced
are 79 mobile money systems worldwide,
mostly in Africa and Asia. Two-thirds of these businesses have been launched since 2009. One of those companies, Panama-
persons and facilities as well as track the
based startup YellowPepper Holding,
enabling better coordination of relief efforts.
Capital Conference presented by
progression of post-earthquake activities, Future projects will utilize NSF-CAKE’s
interoperable technologies for predictive
analytics of diseases, preventive measures and treatment outcomes.
With support from the NSF, FIU has
established an “Ecosystem to Pipeline
Research” designed to develop academic
attended the inaugural Americas Venture FIU’s Eugenio Pino and Family Global
Entrepreneurship Center. YellowPepper
was seeking funding partners to launch its
product, a mobile ‘wallet’ that would provide banking services to those with limited or no access to traditional financial services.
At the conference, YellowPepper was able
innovation and then translate research
to close a round of financing with the IFC/
ecosystem project, co-funded by the world’s
director of the Interamerican Development
into viable products for industry. The first
largest vaccine company, Sanofi Pasteur, is
focused on dengue analytics. By mining data effectively and efficiently, FIU is making it
possible to identify trends and come up with
World Bank and connected with the executive Bank (IDB). Within one month, YellowPepper received sufficient seed funding and interest from both private and public investors.
Now operating in Haiti and eight other
solutions that could have a real impact.
Latin American countries, YellowPepper has
Connecting companies and capital
importantly, is playing a vital role in shaping
diseases and preventive measures
mobile communications business, there
• IBM Carmel for disaster monitoring via • IBM STEM for predictive analytics of
According to an industry group for the
won several awards from the IDB and, more communities, stimulating economies and
connecting people to greater opportunities.
romoting the concept of “doing well by doing good,” FIU is creating
both university-based, profit-oriented initiatives and serving as a conduit between fledgling business ventures and capital investments.
Future projects will utilize NSF-CAKE’s interoperable technologies for predictive analytics of diseases, preventive measures and treatment outcomes.
Student Andrew Hofmeyer was introduced to the
concept of microfinancing through the course “Women, Culture, and Economic Development.” Inspired by what he learned and encouraged by his teacher to learn more about international issues and think of solutions, he applied for and received an internship with the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. “I learned how powerful it can be to combine our varying experiences to unite and use our differences to solve global problems together,” he says. He met the bank’s founder, Nobel Laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus, who told him whatever career he pursues, he should do it with joy. Hofmeyer plans to earn a graduate degree in economics. And, he says, “I plan to do it with joy.”
Renewing Haiti FIU’s commitment to Haiti has grown into a
long-term strategic initiative. FIU has provided
resources to support health services, experts to preserve Haitian patrimony and advice to help prepare for natural disasters.
IU’s Haiti Initiative serves as the focal
for our Haitian neighbors. FIU is committed to
Library of the Caribbean’s (dLOC) Protecting
point of the university’s involvement with
protecting Haitian patrimony and preserving
Haitian Patrimony Initiative and the launch
Haitian history and culture.
of “Haiti: An Island Luminous” collection.
Haiti and the Haitian-American community, locally and abroad.
In the field, FIU experts provide advice and
Digitization began of the 480 pieces of Haitian
counsel on environmental concerns regarding
art that are part of the university’s Patricia and
the needs of our community immediately
the geology of the country and how best to
Philip Frost Art Museum’s collection.
following the devastating earthquake of
prepare for potential threats. From the student
January 2010 has transitioned into a long-
perspective, research to support Haiti provides
hosted Digicel’s annual leadership
term strategic initiative supported by the
a global educational experience. Finally, FIU
development conference, which brought
has committed resources to support health-
22 Haitian CEOs and entrepreneurs to FIU
related initiatives, including much-needed
for a three-day retreat in support of their
mental health services and research.
What began as a task force to service
The university-wide effort gives students, faculty and staff the opportunity to leverage strengths in the arts, environment, globalization and health to make a difference
Highlights from the past year of activity include continued support of the Digital
For the second year, the university
The Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work continued research
[ ] The university has continued to support the activities
of FIU’s Haitian Student Organization.
Above left: Children in Haiti
granted by the NIH’s National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism to conduct a randomized trial of a Cognitive Behavioral Stress Management intervention. The study focuses on the impact that the earthquake has had on survivors. The Department of Physical Therapy in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences led an NIH-funded pilot study focused on the impact of traumatic and surgical amputations on earthquake victims in Haiti. Members of the initiative represent all of the units with an interest in FIU’s sustained commitment to supporting Haiti. FIU students continue to play a crucial role in the initiative as many of the university’s activities have been proposed, driven and executed by students. Members of the Haiti Initiative continue to meet every two months to discuss ongoing programs and the strategic alignment of new initiatives.
try on new sneakers hand-
decorated by FIU students and community members in Miami.
Convening the Americas The Inter-American Conference
those interested in the strengthening of
of Mayors and Local Authorities
local governments to share experiences,
The first Inter-American Conference
information and practices and to discuss
of Mayors held in Washington, D.C., in
common goals for the promotion of
1994 was attended by approximately 100
democratic local governance.
people, and co-sponsored by the USAID, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Organization of American States and the
The FIU Geopolitical Summit
One of FIU’s signature events, the FIU
World Bank. The second conference, co-
Geopolitical Summit has been bringing
sponsored by the same organizations, was
distinguished intellectuals to campus since
held in Miami with almost double the number
2009, including political economist Francis
Fukuyama, historian and foreign policy
Since 1996, FIU’s Institute for Public
commentator Robert Kagan, journalist
Management and Community Service has
Fareed Zakaria, former U.S. Secretary of the
worked with Miami-Dade County to present
Interior Bruce Babbitt and New York Times
the Inter-American Conference of Mayors
columnist Thomas Friedman. The summit
and Local Authorities, annually bringing
was created to celebrate the opening of
to Miami more than 500 mayors and city
the university’s School of International and
council members from Latin America and
Public Affairs and provides opportunities for
the Caribbean. The conference provides a
students, faculty and community members
forum for representatives of local, regional
to explore the challenges of globalization
and national governments, NGOs, various
through diverse, compelling perspectives by
international and donor organizations and
major scholars and thinkers.
More than 2,000 people attended
the inaugural Geopolitical Summit in 2009. The event brought together four of the world’s
foremost foreign policy and
international relations experts to
discuss America’s changing role in the world.
The Latin America Grid
The Latin America Grid program is a consortium of universities, businesses and local governments jointly working together to create computer tools that can be used to help meet global challenges. Through collaborative research projects, FIU graduate students work with their counterparts at partner institutions overseas, as well as in the industry, to make software run faster and more efficiently and to build complex scientific applications with goals such as providing better health care and coordinating disaster mitigation. The Americas Venture Capital Conference Established in 2010, FIU’s Americas Venture Capital Conference invites
IU leverages its Miami location at the crossroads of
the hemisphere, leading multiple initiatives to convene and connect the region’s thought leaders.
entrepreneurial firms doing business in Latin
principals found financing and partners
America and South Florida to present their
through the event. YellowPepper is now the
businesses to an audience of leading venture
leading mobile financial network in Latin
capitalists and other strategic investors.
America with more than 4.8 million active
This unique forum creates opportunities
users and has received a grant from the Haiti
for innovative companies to find partners
Integrated Finance for Value Chains and
for their projects. One AVCC success story
Enterprise (HIFIVE), a USAID-funded project,
is YellowPepper, a mobile banking service.
to support the development of mobile money
Attending the premier AVCC, YellowPepper
services in Haiti.
David Lagomasino – a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Earth and
Environment, along with other graduate students with FIU’s NASA WaterSCAPES and
Florida Coastal Everglades: Long-Term Ecological Research projects – helped organize a
NASA-sponsored International Space Apps Challenge at FIU. The global “codeathon-style” event brought together teams from around the world to collaborate on the development of solutions that address critical challenges. Teams from 25 cities, 17 countries and seven continents participated simultaneously.
Lagomasino’s team developed an app called WET (Water Evaluation Tool), designed
to help citizens understand the importance of water and the connectivity between water Members of the Miami Team take a break from NASA Space Apps Challenge held at the Engineering Center April 21-22.
availability and urbanization.
“I hope that all of the participants continue to be inspired by the innovation and creativity
sparked by this world-changing event and bring that enthusiasm for space exploration and environmental and social awareness to their communities,” said Lagomasino.
Rankings & Recognitions FIU is #1 in the United Sates for awarding bachelor’s and master’s degrees to Hispanics. FIU College of Law graduates were #1 in the state in their passage rate on the 2011 Florida Bar Exam. The College of Business Administration’s international business program ranked 16 in 2012 in U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges”. Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work Associate Professor Mary Jo Trepka received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Engineering Professor Arindam Chowdhury is the recipient of a prestigious Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation.
50,000 100,000 167,000 180 96 12 18
Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine Assistant Dean Pedro “Joe” Greer Jr., was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Creative writing Professor John Dufresne has been named a 2012 Guggenheim Fellow, which recognizes exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts. Architecture Professor David Rifkind received the Ackerman Prize, one of the most prestigious international awards for scholarly work in architectural history. Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine Professor Madhavan Nair received a prestigious MERIT Award from the National Institutes of Health recognizing outstanding competence and productivity in research.
Spring 2012 enrollment Students will graduate from FIU in the next decade Alumni
Bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs
Percent of faculty hold doctoral degrees or highest degree attainable in their field
Colleges and schools including Medicine, Law and Architecture Division 1A sports teams, including football
Florida International University USAID Report