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. We invite faculty and staff to submit nominations to recognize their stellar colleagues when nominations open during the Fall semester.

Service & Recognition Awards Highlights

Service & Recognition Awards Programs

2023 Service & Recognition Awards

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

National Student Employment Week

Each year, FIU joins colleges and universities nation-wide to celebrate “National 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. The National Student Employment Association (NSEA) has declared that the second week in April will serve to celebrate those students who work with enthusiasm, dedication, and initiative to support their campus with a spectacular workforce.

The purpose of this week is threefold:

  1. To enhance awareness of student employment and its important role in higher education experience.
  2. To recognize students who perform outstanding work while attending college.
  3. To thank YOU, the supervisors, who hire students for part-time positions and make the student employment program such a success.

Supervisors have an opportunity to nominate their students for Student Employee of the Year (SEOTY). The SEOTY winner will be entered for the National Student of the Year nomination process.

SEOTY 2023

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

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