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.

Nominations for the FIU Recognition Awards are now open! 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.

The deadline to submit nominations is Tuesday, January 31, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.

Step 1: How to submit your nomination

  1. Review the award categories and criteria for the next Service & Recognition Awards and determine which award category is most appropriate for your candidate(s). Please note that you may submit nominations for multiple categories and candidates.
  2. Review the nomination writing tips.
  3. Draft your nomination using the nomination template.
  4. To submit your nomination, visit nominate.hr.fiu.edu, follow the submission instructions and then copy and paste your template text.

Step 2: Review award categories & criteria

Your involvement in the nomination process is essential to letting your colleagues know their superior achievements make all the difference in building a stronger and better FIU.

Please note, self-nominations and anonymous nominations will not be considered. Eligibility is not open to the following leadership classifications: university president, provost, deans, and vice presidents.

Categories and Criteria Table

Below are the award categories and criteria for each award. We invite you to review each category before submitting your nomination!

AwardCriteria
Presidential Excellence AwardSupported institutional, strategic, and operational excellence by restructuring processes to improve efficiency, productivity, and quality, and/or implementing critical programs, receiving recognition from peers in the academic community for excellence in research, scholastic, or creative activities. (Full-time faculty, administrative and staff members are eligible for this award category.)
President's Access and Equity AwardDemonstrated efforts exceeding one’s mandated job responsibilities that promote the values of diversity and the importance of equity and inclusion at FIU. A demonstrated commitment to enhancing diversity university-wide that fosters a culture of inclusion and belonging on campus and/or within the surrounding community, shown leadership through positive interactions among persons of diverse backgrounds, and lived experiences which illustrate commitment to inclusion of persons within and outside of the institution who are members of traditionally under-represented groups. (Full-time faculty, administrative and staff members are eligible for this award category.)
FIU Community AwardSupported the university's mission by promoting high quality teaching, state-of-the-art research and creative activity, or collaborative engagement with our local and global communities during the past year. (Full-time faculty, administrative and staff members are eligible for this award category.)
FIU Opportunity AwardPromoted FIU's vision of being a leading urban public research university by contributing outstanding service with a focus on student learning, innovation, and collaboration. (Full-time administrative and staff members are eligible for this award category.)
FIU Torch AwardExemplified FIU's institutional values of truth, freedom, respect, responsibility, and excellence by exhibiting the highest standards of character and ethical behavior. (Full-time faculty, administrative and staff members are eligible for this award category.)
FIU Sustainability AwardPromoted FIU's respect for the environment by providing knowledge, education, and modeling ways to achieve climate preservation as well as capitalize on the economic opportunities of the solutions developed. (Full-time faculty, administrative and staff members are eligible for this award category.)
Service Excellence Award (Staff)This individual possesses the job knowledge, people skills, motivation, and drive for continuous improvement that provide a level of service excellence that exceeds the expectations of FIU customers and colleagues. They are known for service excellence beyond their mandated job responsibilities. Consistently seeks opportunities for collaboration and cross-functional improvements to better serve the university community. (Full time staff members are eligible for this award. Cross-department nominations are highly encouraged.)
Service Excellence Award (Administrative)This individual possesses the job knowledge, people skills, motivation, and drive for continuous improvement that provide a level of service excellence that exceeds the expectations of FIU customers and colleagues. They are known for service excellence beyond their mandated job responsibilities. Consistently seeks opportunities for collaboration and cross-functional improvements to better serve the university community. (Full time administrative employees are eligible for this award. Cross-department nominations are highly encouraged.)
Service Excellence Award (Team)These individuals possess the job knowledge, people skills, motivation, and drive for continuous improvement that provide a level of service excellence that exceeds the expectations of FIU customers and colleagues. They are known for service excellence beyond their mandated job responsibilities. Consistently seek opportunities for collaboration and cross-functional improvements to better serve the University community. (Full time faculty, administrative, and staff members are eligible for this award. Cross-department nominations are highly encouraged.)
FIU Safety and Loss Prevention AwardPromoted safety by demonstrating proactive efforts to reduce accidents and promote safety-related initiatives. This individual has reported unsafe work conditions, promoted safe behaviors, a safe environment and a stronger safety culture. They have been instrumental in resolving unsafe work conditions and/or safety deficiencies. (Full-time faculty, staff and administrative employees are eligible for this award. Cross-departmental nominations are highly encouraged.)

The President’s Access and Equity Committee will review nominations for the President’s Access and Equity Award, and will forward their recommendation to our president for his selection of this year’s honoree. The members of the Operations Committee will review nominations for all other awards, and select the honorees for each award category, with the exception of the Presidential Excellence Award. Finalists for the Presidential Excellence Award will be forwarded to our president for his selection of this year’s honoree.

The honorees for each category will receive a monetary award along with a commemorative token that exemplifies their achievements. In the event there is more than one honoree in an eligible award category, the cash portion is equally divided among the members.

Step 3: Writing tips & template

Nomination Template

In order to submit a nomination, you will need to complete the attached template and then copy and paste your text into the submission box on the nomination website. Please note that the site automatically expires after 24 minutes so it is important to have your nomination pre-written prior to logging into the system.

By following this template you will have a greater chance of providing a strong nomination. The more relevant information you provide, the better chance the committee has of getting to know why your nominee should be considered.

Please click here to access the nomination template: Nomination Template

Nomination Writing Tips

  1. Review the award criteria carefully.
  2. Think about the nominee(s) you have selected and describe how they have met the criteria.
  3. If the nominee(s) has won other awards that the committee should know about, list them.
  4. Include facts or data that may be shared to show the significant achievements the nominee(s) have made as it pertains to the award criteria – numbers help tell the story!
  5. Your nominee(s) are the best source of information. Contact them or a supervisor who may be able to provide you with more detailed information.
  6. Now that you have all the data, you are ready to write your nomination. Be creative and remember that the selection committee may know very little about the nominee(s) – you are going to share as much information about them so they can understand why they deserve this award.
  7. Start your summary by introducing the nominee to the selection committee. You may want to share information as their job title, their length of service, career history at FIU, etc.
  8. Share factual information about the nominee(s)’ accomplishments. Remember, you are now painting a picture to the selection committee about the nominee(s) and you must keep it factual, yet keep them engaged in understanding the achievements of the nominee(s).
  9. Give examples to support your statements about the nominee(s).
  10. Proofread your essay to make sure there are no misspelled words and if there are any acronyms that not everyone may know about, remember to explain them.

Would you like further assistance writing a strong nomination? Please consider taking a writing workshop at the Center for Excellence in Writing. One-on-one sessions will be provided on a first come, first serve basis. To schedule your appointment, please contact their center at MMC (305) 348-6634 or at BBC (305) 919-4036.

Step 4: Access the nomination site

Ready to nominate?

Nominate Someone Online

Service & Recognition Awards Highlights

Service & Recognition Awards Programs

2022 Service & Recognition Awards

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 Faculty, Staff & Family Spring Picnic brings together our workforce, 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 Spring semester, this is yet another opportunity to show our gratitude to our amazing people.

Event Photo Gallery

FIU Homecoming

Homecoming has been a long-standing tradition embraced by our FIU family and community. The weeklong event gives alumni an opportunity to reconnect with their alma mater and for students, faculty, staff and retirees to showcase their Panther spirit and pride.

 

Explore below to learn about our faculty, staff, and retiree traditions:

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.

2021 Winning Teams

  • Gold Spirit: College of Arts, Sciences & Education
  • Blue Spirit: Student Health & Wellness Department
  • Blue Spirit Runner Up: FIU at I-75

Check out all of the 2021 entries

Former Winning Teams

2020 Winning Teams

  • Gold: Facilities Management Department Custodial Services
  • Blue: Athletic Training Services
  • Home Workspace: Ximena Cuadra, Program Specialist, Human Resources

Check out all of the 2020 entries.

2019 Winning Teams

  • Gold: College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts
  • Blue: College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts , Office of the Dean
  • Door: HR Relations

Check out all of the 2019 entries.

2018 Winning Teams

  • Gold: College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts
  • Blue: FIU at I-75
  • Door: Office of the Provost, Planning & Finance

Check out all of the 2018 entries.

2017 Winning Teams

  • Gold: College of Communication, Architecture + the Arts
  • Blue: Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs – Dean’s Office
  • Door: Office of Auxiliary and Enterprise Development

Check out all of the 2017 entries.

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.

Homecoming Faculty & Staff Royalty

To earn the title of Homecoming Faculty Royal and Homecoming Staff Royal, candidates who are nominated in the fun-spirited peer recognition competition, must exhibit the highest caliber of good citizenship as an ambassador of FIU. Our royal highnesses participate in special community events throughout the year

2021 Homecoming Faculty & Staff Royalty

Staff Royal: Felisha N. McKnight | Officer, University Police
Faculty Royal: Michael Cheng | Dean, Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management

Former Homecoming Faculty/Staff Kings and Queens

2020 Homecoming Faculty/Staff King & Queen

Melanie M. Rodriguez, Special Events Manager, Event Protocol & Community Relations, External Relations, Strategic Communications & Marketing
Luis A. Garibaldi, Academic Advisor for Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering and Computing

2019 Homecoming Faculty/Staff King & Queen

Margi Rentis, Multimedia Producer, Marketing and New Media, External Relations, Strategic Communications & Marketing
David Drucker, Staff Writer, Marketing and New Media, External Relations, Strategic Communications & Marketing

2018 Homecoming Faculty/Staff King & Queen

Valeria P. Espina, Executive Administrator and Associate Facilitator for the Strategic Plan, Office of the President
Jose M. Toscano, Director of Campus Life, Division of Student Affairs

2017 Homecoming Faculty/Staff King & Queen

Juliette S. Saint-Louis, Academic Advisor II, College of Communication, Architecture + the Arts
Brocdyl J. Porta, Director of Student Services, Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences.

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.

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.

Roaring Spirit Bake-off

As a new Homecoming tradition, the Roaring Spirit Bake-off encourages our faculty and staff to get creative in the kitchen by whipping up something sweet.

With each passing year, we will add your tasty entries to our Roaring Spirit Bake-off Recipe Book. Check back each year for new additions!

2021 Roaring Spirit Bake-off Champion
Bridget Cram, Assistant Vice President, Academic and Student Affairs

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, participate in many of the exciting Homecoming festivities and enjoy a delectable lunch hosted by our president.

Event Photo Gallery

President's Holiday Celebration

During the holiday season, our president brings the university together to thank and celebrate our outstanding workforce for their many accomplishments and contributions. In conjunction with this event, the President’s Holiday Toy Drive generates a bountiful collection of toys to bring joy and good cheer to children in our local and neighboring communities.

Event Photo Gallery

Bring Your Child to Work Day

Each year faculty and staff are invited to participate in Bring Your Child to Work Day with their children, ages 8 to 18.  Through a full day of enriching activities, this event exposes our future Panthers to a broad range of educational opportunities at FIU and potential career paths to inspire youth and provide a broad understanding of higher education and the workforce.

Our next Bring Your Child to Work Day will take place in 2023. Stay tuned!

2022 Bring Your Child to Work Day

Journey through the activity gallery below for quick look into the 2022 event.

 

Event Photo Gallery