Empower - Recognition and Worlds Ahead Ideas

At FIU our people are everything! Our faculty and staff go above and beyond to provide service excellence for our community – this is what makes us stand out as a Great College to Work For®.

As ambassadors of service excellence, we embrace “Empower” as our e-platform to exchange peer-to-peer recognition and appreciation for one another. This tool will provide our faculty and staff an opportunity to send FIU branded congratulatory messages to their co-workers for a job well done, personal and career milestones, and other custom messages. This is your chance to share gratitude and words of encouragement in real FIU style!

Log in to empower.fiu.edu and get started today.

Service & Recognition Awards

The FIU community gathers each year to honor and recognize distinguished staff and faculty members for their outstanding achievements and years of service.

As valuable members of the FIU family, all faculty and staff play a pivotal role in recognizing fellow colleagues and coworkers for their outstanding achievements. Nominations open each year during the fall. Make sure to check out the HR News & Updates for the opening date.

Service & Recognition Awards Highlights

Service & Recognition Awards Programs

2021 Service & Recognition Awards

2020 Service & Recognition Awards

2019 Service & Recognition Awards

Archive of Service & Recognition Awards

HR Relations
Trudy Fernandez, Director of HR Relations
Modesto A. Maidique Campus | PC-224
Telephone: (305) 348-0101
Fax: (305) 348-0549
Email: hrrel@fiu.edu

Student Employee of the Year (SEOTY)

Each year, FIU joins colleges and universities nation-wide to celebrate “Student Employment Week”. The university takes great pride in preparing our nation‘s workforce by providing quality education and the opportunity for students to apply classroom learning on the job. Nearly two-thirds of today‘s college students hold part- or full-time jobs while in school and it is for this reason that FIU recognizes and awards these students. PLEASE NOTE: The Annual SEOTY Award Ceremony will take place in Fall 2022. This will finally give us the opportunity to submit the FIU winner to nationals as the deadline is in early March every year. Look out for exciting details in the coming months.

SEOTY 2019

Award Recipients

Student Employee of The Year
Erykah Jackson – Exploratory Advising Center

Chartwells Student Employee of the Year
Dejourae Williams – Chartwells

Best Decorated Office
FIU Foundation

First Runner Up
Luisana Zambrano – Office of Research and Economic Development

Second Runner Up
Chavelys Hernandez – Financial Aid/America Reads

Third Runner Up
Lacey Simpson – STEM Transformation Institute

Fourth Runner Up
Isaac Ghobrial – Honors College

Honorable Mentions
Amanda Dahl – Library Operations
Cari Graybill – College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Cristina Gonzalez – Office of Research and Economic Development
Estefany Cabrera – Recreation Services
Gabrielle Harripersad – FIU Embrace
Ilan Timmerman – StartUp FIU
Jorge Loo – College of Engineering and Computing
Katherine de Jesus – Division of External Relations
Laura Sbabo – Children’s Creative Learning Center
Natalie Alonso – Honors College
Nathaly Guervara – Library Operations
Nicole Valle – StartUp FIU
Quenteria Warren – Office of the Registrar
Sabrina Bocaranda Soto – Center for Academic Success
Safia Natalya Boodoosingh – Office of the Registrar

SEOTY 2017

Award Recipients

Student Employee of The Year
Michael DesRosiers – College of Medicine

Social Media Contest Winner
Kamoy Marston – Human Resources

Best Decorated Office
Children’s Creative Learning Center

First Runner Up
Alexis Lopez – Women’s Center

Second Runner Up
Itzel Basualdo – Human Resources

Third Runner Up
Jessica McRee-Krim – Center for Academic Success

Honorable Mentions
Olivia Tercero – America Reads Program
Rodrigo Fonseca – Green Library
Gabriela Ruiz – Advancement
Jackson Fadely – Honors College

SEOTY 2016

Award Recipients

Student Employee of The Year
Bianca Gutierrez – Annual Giving

First Runner Up
Eric Duran – Housing and Residential Life

Second Runner Up
Lily Peterson – Housing and Residential Life

Third Runner Up
Andres Castellanos – FIU Foundation

Fourth Runner Up
TruLe’sia Newberry – Womens Center SA

SEOTY 2015

Award Recipients

Student Employee of the Year
Boris Gilles – Housing and Residential Life

First Runner Up
Kirby Brennan – Applied Research Center

Second Runner Up
Sasha Espinola – Office of International Student & Scholar Services

Third Runner Up
Tamika Duffus – Housing and Residential Life

Fourth Runner Up
Ramon Rodriguez-Paredes – Parking and Transportation

SEOTY 2014

Award Recipients

Student Employee of the Year
Shantell Rolle – Chaplin School of Hospitality Management & Chemistry Department

First Runner Up
Sebastian Fresquet – Donor Relations

Second Runner Up
Yisel Rivera – HR Relations

Third Runner Up
Alexandra Catena – Housing and Residential Life

SEOTY 2013

Award Recipients

Student Employee of the Year
Belkys Yzquierdo – Office of Education Abroad

First Runner Up
Natalie Marques – College of Medicine – Immunology

Second Runner Up
Ana Perez – FIU Foundation

Third Runner Up
Julio Acosta – School of Nursing

Fourth Runner Up (tied)
Lourdes Talavera – University Health Services
Jia Zhu – School of Hospitality & Tourism Management

SEOTY 2012

Award Recipient

Student Employee of the Year
Zackari Abeyta – Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine

First Runner Up
Zahra Arbabi Aski – Campus Life

Second Runner Up
Amanda Garcia – External Relations

Third Runner Up
Theresa Ladaga – University Advancement/Annual Giving

Fourth Runner Up
Jocelyn Cardenas – Student Financial Services

Photo (Award)

Photo (Ceremony)

SEOTY 2011

Award Recipient

Video: Student Employee of The Year 2011

SEOTY 2010

Award Recipients

Video: Student Employee of The Year 2010

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I nominate a student employee?

A university wide communication will be sent out about three months prior to the event that contains a link that will allow supervisors to nominate student employees in their department.

Who can I nominate?

The students must meet the following criteria:

  • Degree-seeking part-time/full-time student enrolled and employed in a student-level position on/off campus.
  • Undergraduate/Graduate students employed as Student Assistants or Federal Work Study.
  • Employed by the department for a minimum of 3 months.

Who is not eligible for nominations?

  • Graduate, Teaching or Research Assistants with a UGS contract are not eligible.
  • Temporary or benefit earning employees.

When will the event take place?

The nation-wide event takes place the 2nd full week of April. The ceremony will be the Friday of that week.

Appreciation Events

At FIU, we seize every opportunity to say “thanks” to our amazing faculty, staff, and retirees who make a Worlds Ahead difference! We revel in your innovative ideas, passion, and contributions. Your unwavering dedication in service to our students and community is what makes FIU a great place to work. For that, we thank YOU!

What better way is there to applaud and recognize your relentless efforts? At our signature appreciation events, of course. Join us as we come together to celebrate in FIU style! We hope to see you there!

HR Relations
Trudy Fernandez, Director of HR Relations
Modesto A. Maidique Campus | PC-224
Telephone: (305) 348-0101
Fax: (305) 348-0549
Email: hrrel@fiu.edu

Faculty, Staff & Family Spring Picnic

A treasured tradition at FIU, the annual spring picnic connects our FIU faculty and staff outside of the work environment and brings together family and friends for a day of food, games, and memories.

Highlights of this annual event include:

  • Outdoor games
  • Lunch & fun foods
  • Crafts
  • FIU faculty, staff & retirees art exhibition
  • Olympic Health Village
  • Kids-Safety Zone
  • Petting zoo and pony rides
  • Face painting
  • Entertainment
  • Door prizes
  • and so much more!

Held annually during the month of April, this is yet another opportunity to show our gratitude to our amazing people. Stay connected and follow us on Facebook for more information about this and other great faculty/staff/retiree special occasions.

Event Photo Gallery

FIU Homecoming

Homecoming Week is a special time of the year when our FIU family and friends come together to celebrate our Panther pride! As President Mark B. Rosenberg has shared, “Homecoming is about the memories and hopes of our university family. It is a time to celebrate the unity of our community and the many positive elements of our ideally located university.”

Join us at our next Homecoming celebration and showcase your Panther pride – Catch the spirit! Every fall semester, join us for a week of celebrations and exciting events that unite our students, faculty, staff, retirees, alumni and community.

Spirit Decorating Competition

The university community is encouraged to “Unleash the Spirit” by decorating their work areas with Panther items and FIU Blue and Gold.

There are three (3) categories that will be judged and recognized separately:

1) Gold Spirit – Entries comprised of more than one department, such as an entire college or division. (e.g. College of Arts, Sciences & Education, Division of Human Resources, etc.)

2) Blue Spirit – Individual departments or offices (e.g. Payroll, Custodial Services, etc.)

3) Door – This category will focus entirely on the best decorated door around our campuses.

2016 Winning Teams

  • Gold: College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts
  • Blue: Office of Residential Life
  • Door: Office of Regional Academic Locations & Institutional Development

Watch a video of all the 2016 entries.

2015 Winning Teams

  • Gold: College of Education
  • Blue: Children’s Creative Learning Center and Student Health Services
  • Door: Office of Financial Planning

Watch a video of all the 2015 entries.

2014 Winning Teams

  • First: College of Education
  • Second: Student Health Services
  • Third: External Relations & Housing

Watch a video of all the 2014 entries.

Spirit Hashtag Competition

You got this, Panthers! Show off your unit’s Blue & Gold spirit via social media! Post, share, tweet and “selfie” throughout FIU Homecoming.

2016 Spirit Hashtag Winner

#FIUHCLibraries – FIU Libraries

2015 Spirit Hashtag Winner

#FIUHCHRL – Housing & Residential Life

FIU Faculty/Staff Homecoming King & Queen

Nominate and vote for your pick of this year’s Homecoming Faculty/Staff King & Queen! Winners will earn royal bragging rights with this fun-spirited peer recognition opportunity.

2016 Homecoming Faculty/Staff King & Queen

Cindy Lopez, Enrollment Processing Associate, Transfer and Transition Services
William Perez, Police Service Technician, Library Operations

2015 Homecoming Faculty/Staff King & Queen

Eva Frank, Instructor, College of Education
Charlie Blackwell, HVAC Refrigeration Mechanic, Facilities Management

2014 Homecoming Founding Faculty/Staff King & Queen

Brenezza DaParre Garcia, Assistant Vice President, Institutional Relations
Tim D. Birrittella, Senior Instructor, COB Department of Marketing and Logistics

Panthers Got Talent

FIU students, faculty, staff and retirees are invited to share their talents center-stage at Panther’s Got Talent. There will be a prize for the best faculty, staff, or retiree performance.

2015 Panther’s Got Talent Winner

Brittany Boyd, Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Department of Psychology – Jaya Nicole, when going by her artist name – blew the judges away with her vocal performance of “Pearl Kinda Girl” and took the winning title for Panthers Got Talent Faculty/Staff Solo Division.

FIU Retiree Reunion

On Homecoming Game Day, FIU retirees are invited home for a celebration in their honor, the FIU Homecoming Retiree Reunion. During this reunion, guests have an opportunity to reconnect with friends and colleagues, take an introductory course on electronic devices, participate in many of the exciting Homecoming festivities and enjoy a delectable lunch hosted by President Mark B. Rosenberg.

In addition, the FIU Ambassador Award is presented to a retiree who offers outstanding dedication, effort and energy to the university and South Florida community. The award recognizes their commitment of time and service to others on a volunteer basis.

Congratulations to our founding FIU Ambassador Award recipient Katherine “Kathy” Schauers! Kathy retired from the College of Education in 2007 after 33 years.

President's Holiday Celebration

During the holiday season, Interim President Dr. Kenneth A. Jessell brings our university together to celebrate our accomplishments, as well as, thank our amazing faculty and staff for their contributions. Through the outpouring generosity of work-force, the annual holiday toy drive generates a bountiful collection of toys to bring merriment and good cheer to children in our community during this special time of year.

Event Photo Gallery