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Often the Office of Engagement is called on to assist various initiatives, events, and partners throughout FIU and the community. The Office serves as a key thought partner and leader in efforts to support. Through leading in assists, the Office is able to support initiatives, programming, workshops, conferences, and other community events that serve as resources in solving the most pressing challenges in our community, as well as a connection point between FIU and external partners.


The Education Effect

The Education Effect serves as a solution to an ever changing educational landscape by utilizing the knowledge of students, teachers, families, and communities to provide an opportunity to educate, empower and exchange ideas, assist people to understand problems, and become assets for change. Through the Talent Development Network, the Office of Engagement has provided high school students with high impact summer internships each year through the Career Pathways Program. 

In 2016, the Education Effect expanded into Little Haiti, thanks to a $2 million donation from philanthropist Rose Ellen Greene. Each year, the Office of Engagement hosts the Little Haiti Community Breakfast to celebrate Maya Angelou, Little Haiti, and the Education Effect partnership. Learn more about the Education Effect here. 


Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE)

NFTE is an organization that activates the entrepreneural mindset and builds startup skills in youth from under-resourced communities to ensure their success. For the past two years, the Office of Engagement has assisted NFTE South Florida in coordinating their summer camps hosted at both FIU MMC and BBC, in addition to hosting their annual Innovation Summit. During the Innovation Summit FIU faculty and students served as Business Coaches and Pitch Captains, guiding students through their business process. Learn more about NFTE here.


FIU United Way Campaign

Vice President for Engagement Saif Y. Ishoof, alongside Vice President for Operations and Safety and Chief of Staff Javier I. Marques, co-chairs the 2018 United Way Campaign for the university. United Way is a non-profit organization that focuses on education, income, and health services locally. So far, the duo has raised $150,000 for the campaign. Some of the ways they achieved this in 2018 was through United Way Kickoffs at both FIU MMC and BBC, the United Way Leadership Breakfast, Dominos & Karaoke Fundraising Night at Vicky's, and the Taste of FIU Cookoff & Live Auction. Learn more about FIU's commitment to United Way here.




On June 5th, 2018 the Office hosted a full-day workshop for internal and external stakeholders focused on providing a catalyst for continuous discussions and research on the applied uses of blockchain within a higher education context. Experts in the technology – both affiliated and unaffiliated with FIU –presented findings and engaged participants in discussions on the use cases and implications of the technology. The workshop, attended by 70 participants, consisted of keynote addresses, interactive exercises, idea talks, fireside chats, and networking to discuss how FIU can be at the forefront of using this technology in an academic setting. View the recap.



Natalie Gil, Practice Director, Rational 7 + MIT Media Lab
Nelson Milian, Co-Founder, Learn01
Justin Wales, Chair Blockchain, Carlton Fields
Oscar Perez, VP Operations & Finance, 8 Base
Feras Ahmed, Director Legal Affairs, Kairos
Robert Hacker, Co-Founder, StartUp FIU
Dr. Hemang Subramanian, FIU College of Business
Dr. Kemal Akkaya, FIU College of Engineering & Computing
Miguel Asencio, Director of dLOC, FIU dLoc
Dr. Kevin Coughlin, VP Enrollment Services, FIU Enrollment Services

Forward Cities

Forward Cities is a national network of cities committed to advancing inclusive innovation and economic development in their communities. The organization hosts two best practice conferences per year.  The Office of Engagement worked to pitch Miami as the host city for the 2018 Fall Workshop. The Office led on the planning for the national conference, including the building of a local host committee and development of the program along with local partners including the Miami Foundation, Knight Foundation, Venture Café, and the Miami Urban Futures Initiative. The conference took place at the InterContinental Downtown on November 7th – 9th, 2018. The Office was able to engage over 80 local speakers and curated six immersion tours of Miami for the 500 participants representing 30 member cities. 


UNBOUND Reception

On October 30-31st, 2018, Unbound brought its globally established platform back to Miami, gathering future-focused speakers, immersive brand experiences, pitch sessions and startup battles. Chaired by Yossi Vardi, it showcased the best grassroots technology and reflected the incredible opportunity for South Florida as an innovation hub for the entire LatAm region. The conference engaged 5,000 participants and was held at Mana Wynwood. The Office forged a partnership between Unbound’s Jose Bolivar and External Relations for FIU to host the opening night reception for the conference at Miami Beach Urban Studios on October 29th. 120 conference VIPS attended the reception.



National Alliance for the Advancement of Haitian Professionals Conference

The NAAHP partnered with the Office for their 7th Annual Conference focused on the Haitian Diaspora. The Office provided support with sponsorships, logistics, giveaways and speakers. The event took place at Kovens on October 25th – 27th, 2018. 


Community Recognition Football Game

FIU Engagement led the logistics for the inaugural FIU Community Recognition Ceremony, in appreciation of first responders, in-kind donors, and University employees who have gone above and beyond to support the university community. The event was held during the FIU Football game on Saturday, September 15, 2018. Guests received specially designed service coins and 16 VIPs were presented with mini FIU Football Helments signed by Coach Butch Davis as they were recognized on the field during the half-time ceremony. 


Marshall Memorial Fellows Miami Experience

Vice President Saif Y. Ishoof hosted Marshall Memorial Fellows from Europe October 11-16, 2018. The fellowship provides leadership development for the next generation of European and United States leaders as they learn about effect transatlantic engagement. FIU Engagement welcomed fellows from Bulgaria, France, Greece, Italy, and Switzerland. During their visit they connected with FIU and Miami leaders, while exploring the community.