Week's Recap: The Government May Have Shut down, but This Was No Sleeper Week for FIU

October 4, 2013

Although the federal government may have been shutdown, this was not a sleeper week for FIU advocates in Washington. 

The week kicked off Monday with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s three day Public Policy Conference. The conference brought together a diverse group of guests from all different industries to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing future Hispanic leaders. The challenges that were discussed by Congress members, corporate executives, educators, and government official with expertise in such diverse topics as STEM education, oil and gas, medical benefits for military veterans, and many other. Dr. Irma Becerra-Fernandez, Vice President of Engagement, flew in to lend her voice to the conversation. She also had the pleasure of speaking to the Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, who is leading the charge for President Obama's college affordability proposal.

Also occurring this week was the 40th anniversary meeting of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME). NACME brought together hundreds of industry experts and insiders to consider ways in which the hidden workforce of young minority men and woman could be harnessed. President Rosenberg, Dr. Becerra-Fernandez, and Dr. Norm Munroe from the College of Engineering attended these meetings to share their insight into how FIU has been able to lead the nation in educating young Hispanic engineers and to promote more internships for FIU students.

The Dean of FIU’s College of Education received praise this week for the college’s Creating Latino Access to a Valuable Education (CLAVE) program. CLAVE was honored as a finalist by Excelencia in Education as a finalist for its Example of Excelencia Award. The program was also recognized by Congressman Joe Garcia (FL-26) in a speech that he submitted to the congressional records. CLAVE is a collaborative program between the FIU College of Education and the Miami Dade Public School District that targets low performing urban schools within the school district as a way to enhance the professional development of teachers working in challenging academic environments and ultimately enhance the performance of the students they serve. Congressman Garcia echoed President Rosenberg’s words in saying that “[CLAVE] is a great example of FIU's commitment to Miami-Dade's public schools, its teachers and its students.

Finally, two of FIU’s Student Government Association Senators participated in Google “Hangout” with Congressman Joe Garcia and Fidel A. Vargas, CEO, Hispanic Scholarship Fund. The Hangout on the pursuit of higher education for Latino was moderated by Eliana Murillo, head of Google’s Multicultural Affairs. The students—Bianca Gutierrez, MMC SGA Senator for the Honors College, and Stefan Bahad, President of FIUnite and SGA Business Senator—lent a student perspective to the conversation. The full video of the event can be watch here.

-Javier Hernandez, FIU Federal Relations