A Preeminent Program at FIU is defined as a collaborative endeavor that demonstrates extraordinary success in providing unique learning opportunities, pioneering research and engagement while expanding FIU’s financial base. Designation as a preeminent program is recognition for outstanding contributions to advancing our FIU’s BeyondPossible2020 strategic plan and enhancing the University’s reputation at the national and international level.
Each of these programs will receive support customized to their individual needs. Support may include cluster hire priority, marketing, media relations, fundraising priority, travel funds, grant proposal support, government relations assessment and priority, space priority consideration, student support priority, and/or priority for bridge funding between grants. These designations are for five years with annual renewals to ensure continued excellence.
The call for applications was sent to FIU faculty and staff by Kenneth G. Furton, Provost and Executive Vice President, and Andrés G. Gil, Vice President for Research & Economic Development. The announcement also included the preeminent programs application guidelines for designation.
The Bridge Engineering Program at FIU is tackling one of our nation's major transportation issues. There are more than 607,000 bridges in the U.S. and about 25% of them need to be replaced or retrofitted. With more than 200 million trips a day over these substandard bridges, the potential for tragedy from a bridge collapse is great. Public safety and mobility considerations demands replacing or retrofitting these substandard bridges using new and advanced technologies. FIU's Bridge Engineering Program has a national and international reputation for expertly tackling challenging bridge engineering problems and providing the bridge industry and nation with innovative and advanced technologies."
The Center for Children and Families is a nationally recognized, interdisciplinary clinical research center committed to improving the lives of children and families struggling with mental health concerns. The mission of the Center for Children and Families is to (1) study the causes and nature of children’s mental health problems, (2) to develop intervention and prevention models for evidence-based, cost-effective services that can be used to treat these problems, (3) to provide services for children and families in clinic and community settings, and (4) to educate students, families, and professionals in the U.S. and abroad regarding the causes and treatment of childhood mental health and effective intervention and prevention.
The Extreme Events Institute (EEI), currently comprising the International Hurricane Research Center and the Disaster Resilience and Climate in the Americas program, has become a globally involved center for research, education, and training in natural hazards and disaster risk management. The Institute conducts multi-disciplinary research on hazards and vulnerabilities of all types, with emphasis on the role of pre-impact "risk drivers.” The Institute includes faculty and researchers from the social and behavioral sciences, engineering, computer science, earth and atmospheric sciences, public health, public administration, business, and architecture.
The Institute of Water and Environment represents one of the largest collections of faculty and students associated with water and environmental science in the United States. Increased concern over the preservation of Florida’s natural areas and resources has created a critical need for accurate, unbiased scientific information for those who must make decisions affecting the sustainability of these fragile resources. This Preeminent Program includes the Southeast Environmental Research Center, the Marine Education and Research Initiative and the Medina Aquarius Program, the Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research Program, plus an NSF-funded Center of Excellence on aquatic chemistry and ecotoxicology. It also includes the newly established Sea Level Solutions Center, bringing together faculty from nearly every college and school at FIU to address challenges posed by rising seas. In addition, the Institute features organized research units on the Sustainable Built Environment and Informatics, International Water Group and Socio-ecological Systems. From the wetlands of the Everglades to the coral reefs in the oceans, institute researchers are helping to preserve freshwater and marine resources for future generations.
The STEM Transformation Institute is dedicated to advancing educational research, practice and policy that facilitates educational change across the k20 educational landscape. The Institute leverages multidisciplinary collaborations across the College of Arts, Sciences & Education, College of Engineering & Computing and university to engage stakeholders across our community: students, faculty, administrators, local K12 systems, local colleges, business and industry, foundations and national education organizations. The Institute situates FIU as a living laboratory for developing future STEM professionals, especially those from statistically underrepresented groups, as a response to national calls for 100,000 new STEM teachers and an additional 1,000,000 STEM professionals by 2020. Through its mission, the Institute simultaneously is increasing the number of well-prepared STEM professionals, including teachers, graduating from FIU and entering the workforce.
Of course, these are not the only exceptional programs on campus. We know that impactful work is happening University-wide in numerous top ranked programs in a variety of fields. Our focus on these additional strategic programs will help lift the prestige of our entire University as we focus on student success and research preeminence.