Letters reflect support for expansion of FIU campus

admin-ajax (1)Miami’s Community Newspapers has received numerous letters to the editor on the topic of the expansion of the campus of Florida International University. This is just a sampling of some of the letters we have received.

To the Editor:

As a proud alumna of FIU, member of the FIU President’s Council and the recipient of an FIU Young Visionary Torch Award, I support Florida International University and its plans to expand into the fairgrounds next to the Modesto A. Maidique Campus.

This initiative is a win-win-win. It will mean increasing FIU’s capacity to provide a world-class college education to a greater number of young men and women in our community. From an economic perspective, it will bring an initial economic impact of $1.8 billion and an additional annual recurring economic impact of $541 million to our community, above the $8.9 billion FIU already provides. It also will mean job creation.

Most importantly, this will be at no cost to the Miami-Dade County budget or FIU students.

I would like to thank Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and our county commissioners for their leadership on this issue. I hope we can count on their continued support.

Lourdes Carreras-Balepogi

Southwest Miami-Dade

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To the Editor:

Expansion of the FIU campus holds special promise for the FIU Academic Health Center and the community it serves.

FIU’s Academic Health Center consists of the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, the Nichole Wertheim College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences, the Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, the College of Arts and Sciences, and Biomedical Engineering.

The mission of FIU’s Academic Health Center is to improve our community’s health. Expansion to the 86 acres adjacent to the Modesto A. Maidique campus will accelerate that mission through development of clinical and research facilities designed to educate our community’s next generation of health professionals.

Healthcare is changing for our state and for our nation. Our community deserves a healthcare workforce that is prepared to meet its needs. I support the expansion of the FIU campus and look forward to making FIU the nation’s leader in healthcare education through community service.

Yogi Hernandez Suarez, MD, MBA CEO, FIU AHC Health Care Network Associate

Dean for Clinical and Community Affairs Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine

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To the Editor:

I am writing to you today in support of the expansion of Florida International University.

I am currently employed at FIU and have been for three years. I have worked professionally at five different institutions of higher education throughout the country during my career, but I have found a home at FIU and plan to stay for quite a long time. I have even bought a home here in Miami-Dade County so I see the expansion of FIU not only as a benefit to the university, but to the economy of South Florida.

The number of jobs alone that will be created with the expansion of FIU can only have a positive impact on our community. We will have the need for workers at every skill and educational ability, thereby, benefiting many people. As the only public university in Miami, we owe it to our community to expand FIU and contribute to the economic growth.

Kristen A. Kawczynski, PhD

Director, Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution, FIU

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To the Editor:

As a Miami-Dade resident for over 30 years, I support FIU’s much needed expansion into the fairgrounds.

As a mother of three future FIU hopefuls, I look forward to FIU providing my children with its top-notch education in all its growing areas.

Although FIU has an exceptional and thriving campus, its recent expansion has taken it to the perimeter of its current location. Its continued growth is vital to our future generation.

It always seemed to me that the fair’s use of the land is somewhat temporary. The programs it runs, although very valuable, are intermittent at best. It seems to me most reasonable to grant such land to a permanent affair as is education.

I trust all of those involved in decision making for our children’s futures will find a suitable location for the fair to relocate. I am sure all of those loyal constituents will continue to attend fair events.

Lorena Kipershmit

Miami Beach

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To the Editor:

My name is Franklin McCune and I represent a true Golden Panther family. I am a twin and my younger brother and sister are twins. Between my wife and my siblings we have seven FIU degrees: four baccalaureate degrees and three master’s degrees.

FIU means a lot to my whole family especially my immediate family. It was one of my proudest moments to see my wife cross the stage on graduation day and complete her master’s at FIU. We are one big #GoldenPantherNation here.

The chance to expand the footprint of FIU and continue on our path to being the premier public institution in the state is of high value and importance to this community and me. This expansion will allow FIU to reach more students and give them a chance to be successful.

The expansion of space will allow for the growth of the medical school and the community impact it already has. This will help us to continue to keep all this local talent in Miami and doing good work. We urge you as a true family of Panthers, to consider this opportunity for FIU.

Franklin G. McCune Miami

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To the Editor:

As a graduate of FIU Law and president of the FIU Law Alumni Association, I write in support of FIU’s expansion.

Expanding the university is vital to its future success and will allow it to continue to provide access to high-quality, affordable education. I, like many others, owe my success to Florida’s public university system, and to FIU Law in particular. Expanding FIU will allow many others to pursue their dreams, and those who graduate from FIU will give back to our community in ways too great to measure. If we hope to build a better future, we must invest in education. Expanding FIU is an investment worth making.

Robert Scavone Jr., JD

President, FIU Law Alumni Association

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To the Editor:

Through the years, I have enjoyed the Youth Fair with my family. I also have been delighted at how much FIU has grown and flourished. I am very happy to know that our mayor and our county commissioners are working together with FIU and the Youth Fair officials to find a new place for the fair.

I strongly believe the expansion of FIU will be a beneficial one for all. More students will receive an education, which will lead to a better- prepared work force. Our businesses will be impacted positively by the growth. And South Florida will be a definite winner overall, attracting students and faculty from other places. The benefits will be short and long term.

Knowing that everyone involved has great team spirit and is working towards the betterment of our community, I am certain that our mayor, commissioners, FIU and Youth Fair officials will find a good place for the fair and that all of the details will be worked out.

Idelsi Tourino

West Miami-Dade

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To the Editor:

Nearly five years after graduating from Florida International University in 1999, a work promotion sent me packing for Las Vegas, NV. After spending a decade out West, I recently returned to Miami.

While I away, I was kept informed of the changes that were taking place at FIU. My main source of information came by way of social media and colleagues. Since I was now home and settled in Miami, I decided to pay my alma mater an overdue visit.

My younger sibling, who now is entering his junior year at Notre Dame, will be attending Law School upon graduation. Curious and intrigued by FIU’s growing reputation, I scheduled a private showing of the Law School, which ultimately evolved into an impressive campus tour. My parents were both in attendance, along with my brother, as all three have been visiting different law programs throughout the country. The personalized attention given to my family coupled with the overwhelming growth was second to none. It is more than apparent; FIU is successfully striving to become an elite university. My family was pleasantly surprised during the visit. Needless to say, FIU soared to the top of their list of law schools.

There is something special happening at FIU, and I am proud to call myself an alumnus. In fact, the visit was so eye-opening; I am getting involved with campus life. In a few weeks from today, I will be speaking to a class of undergraduates to share my workrelated experiences abroad. Given the opportunity to expand, FIU’s incredibly dedicated support system will add insurmountable amounts of value to the local economy.

The astounding accomplishments achieved by our team thus far is testament to our potential. Our university’s achievements during the past two decades have been truly outstanding given the parameters. Just imagine the success if granted the expansion.

John C. Farias

Miami Beach


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