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FIU IN A CHANGING

world


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


“We have to get real about the vulnerabilities and have the political and economic courage to reduce them.� 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.


A

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

Moonilall

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

P

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

impacted areas.

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

his country.


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

Cuba

• 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

Puerto Rico

• Florida-Caribbean Consortium for Agricultural Education and Hispanic Workforce Development preparing students for career advancement in agriculture science

Honduras

• Collaborative agroecology programs

Haiti

• 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

• West Africa Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WA-WASH)

Rwanda

Colombia

• Justice Reform and Modernization Program

• Rwanda Integrated Water Security Program (RlWSP)

Amazon

• Ongoing research in support of ecosystem preservation


Worldwide

• Integrated Water Resources Management Assistant to USAID Missions Worldwide

Russia

• FIU’s NSF-CAKE, creating solutions to major development and public health problems through geospatial technologies

China

• Collaborative project on reducing arsenic in rice crops

India

Republic of Georgia

• Integrated Natural Resources Management in Watersheds of Georgia

Kenya and Tanzania

• Transboundary Water for Biodiversity in the Mara River Basin

Botswana

• 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

an option.

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.

T

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

airborne cameras

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.


P

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.

F

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

institution.

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.

entrepreneurship development.

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

of participants.

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


F

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


fiu.edu

USAID Report  

Florida International University USAID Report

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