Skip to Main Content

The Office of Engagement works with community partners to solve the challenges they face and help link the FIU community to exisitng opportunities. Alongside the City of Miami Beach and the United States Coast Guard, we work to ensure our community has the best resources and support systems readily available. Our established community partners have had a long commitment to FIU's students and the community we serve. Together, we work to share collective resources as we create impact in the world around us. Learn more about our City of Miami Beach partnership and the College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative (CSPI) Program below.

City of Miami Beach


FIU and the City of Miami Beach have forged a dynamic partnerships leveraging our unique assets - geography, history, demographics, and intellectual capital - to address both of our most pressing challenges. The partnership began in February 2014 with just three workgroups. Since then, the robost partnership has flourished and the Office of Engagement now manages the five workgroups focused on education, transportation, history and culture, coastal resilience and adaptation, and messaging. In 2019, FIU and City of Miami Beach earned the Gulf South Summit award for Outstanding Service-Learning Collaboration in Higher Education.

Learn more about our workgroups below.

We are fortunate to have a great public research university in our community. The partnership with FIU provides benefits to the city in many ways, including valuable research on issues impacting the city, technical assistance on important projects, support for our cultural community – and gives us access to an endless pool of talent.Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy L. Morales

Arts, Culture, & History

Through the Arts, Culture, & History workgroup FIU and City of Miami Beach partners have created programs and opportunities for FIU students, faculty and staff and the Miami Beach community to stimulate their knowledge of arts, culture, and history in Miami Beach. Key initiatives include the annual South Beach Wine and Food Festival, the digitization of the Miami Beach archives, and hundreds of other year-round cultural programs.


John StuartAssociate Dean, Cultural and Community Engagement and Executive Director of Miami Beach Urban Studios, & Professor, FIU

Dr. Kenneth LipartitoProfessor, History, FIU


To address the City of Miami Beach’s needs regarding transportation and infrastructure, the Office of Engagement has connected the City of Miami Beach Transportation Department with FIU student and faculty researchers. FIU helps the City facilitate data collection and develop performance measures for both the City’s traffic monitoring and management efforts, and the City’s trolley program.


Dr. Mohammed HadiProfessor, Transportation Engineering, FIU

Jose Gonzalez, Transportation Director, City of Miami Beach

Josiel Ferrer, Transportation Manager, City of Miami Beach

  • $28 million

    raised for the FIU Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism through the South Beach Wine and Food Festival

  • 52,400

    City of Miami Beach documents digitally archived through Arts, Culture, & History work group project

  • 120+

    cultural programs a year, funded by the Miami Beach Cultural Anchor Grant, at FIU's Miami Beach Urban Studios

Coastal Resilience and Adaptation

In 2015, FIU launched the Sea Level Solutions Center (SLSC), a department dedicated to designing and implementing short term and long-term adaptation strategies for a properous South Florida. Since its creation, the City of Miami Beach has served as a key practical partner and real-life laboratory. The SLSC and the City have worked together to hold thought-provoking lecutres and collaborative meetings; developed applications to educate the community on the effects of climate change; and applied for joint-grant funding opportunties. 


Susy Torriente, Chief Resilience Officer & Assistant City Manager, City of Miami Beach C

Dr. Evelyn GaiserExecutive Director of School of Environment, Arts & Society, FIU

Dr. Tiffany TroxlerDirector of Science for the Sea Level Solutions Center FIU

Youth and Education Development

Together FIU and the City of Miami Beach have worked to leverage FIU resources to advance the competiveness of students attending Miami Beach public schools. The work group has addressed key needs in Miami Beach's schools, including dual enrollment course offerings, after school enrichment programs, and math and reading intervention. The opportunities have allowed FIU students to engage in service-learning acitivities as afterschool instructors, and math and reading interventionists. FIU students have also benefited from experiential learning through the City's internship program. 


Dr. Leslie RosenfeldChief Learning Officer, City of Miami Beach

Sandra GiraldoManager of Continuing Education, FIU


With many projects and collaborations positively impacting the City and FIU, our collaborative found a need to create a cohesive message when spreading the word. In 2017, the messaging workgroup was created to promote and highlight the City of Miami Beach and FIU partnership. Since its creation, the partners have highlighted all workgroups in their efforts to better the community, while providing opportunities to FIU students, faculty, and staff to partake in engaged scholarship.


Tonya DanielsDirector of Marketing and Communications, City of Miami Beach

College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative (CSPI)

FIU has partnered with the United State Coast Guard (USCG) to implement the competitive CSPI scholarship program, providing high achieving students with demonstrated leadership skills with the opportunity to build a career with the USCG while attending school. During the school year, students participate in a minimum of 16 hours a month of Coast Guard activities, supervised by the Recruiter in Charge (RIC) at their recruiting office. This includes wearing a CG uniform once a week while on campus and during their four weekly hours of Coast Guard duties. During school breaks, CSPI students receive training and exposure to Coast Guard missions and units. The scholarship includes tuition, books and fees, a full time Coast Guard salary of up to $3,600 a month, housing allowance and medical benefits, and a guarenteed job upon graduation.

Learn more here.