FIU president to speak at UM

Florida International University President Dr. Mark Rosenberg will come to UM tomorrow as an academic to engage the community at the University of Miami in a discussion about Latin America.

It will be held in the College of Arts and Sciences Wesley Gallery at 6 p.m.

He will address the topics of education as it relates to Latin American competitiveness in today’s globalized world. Rosenberg is not only the president of FIU but also the founder of the Latin American and Caribbean Center at FIU as well as a renowned scholar in Latin American studies.

His visit comes purposely at a time when UM and FIU are forging an official bond known as the Miami Consortium for Latin American and Caribbean studies.

Dr Stephen Stein, 67, the director of the Center for Latin American Studies and Daniella Suarez, a graduate assistant at the center, and Ana Guzman,  a full time staff member at the center are among the network of people that worked to bring Dr. Rosenberg to campus.

“We look for people who are top scholars in their fields and who will talk about topics of crucial importance,” Stein said.

Rosenberg brings both his educational endeavors here in Miami and experience in Latin America. UM students are both welcomed and encouraged to attend.

“Here at UM it should be fostered to learn outside of the classroom.  It is a unique opportunity,” Suarez said.

The talk will deal with Latin America’s role in the world. For Stein, the hope is that this event will tell us what the role of institutions like UM and FIU is in helping the continent to improve.

Suarez has similar hopes for Rosenberg’s speech.

“I would want to know how he purposes to challenge students to get involved and make a difference in those issues,” Suarez said.

Rosenberg’s speech is the first major event since the consortium was initiated this summer. His speech tomorrow follows UM’s professor and Chair of International Studies Bruce Bagley’s visit to FIU.

Between the two universities over 500 faculty members who in some way teach in or study about the region, will provide a critical mass of scholars according to Stein.

“One of the reasons it formed was because faculty here have had good relations with  FIU people for decades,” Stein said.

The consortium means that together FIU and UM graduate students and faculty will split the costs and preparation of programs such as the Distinguished Speakers Series, hold joint research groups, and engage in a student exchange program where masters and doctoral students can take classes at either institution.

Next semester the duo will hold an Ethno Conference on Cuba and Haiti featuring all outlets of expression to highlight Cuban and Haitian culture.

“Putting two strong institutions together, we became a power house [in the field of Latin American Studies]in the United States,” Stein said.

November 14, 2009


Elena Schmidt

Contributing News Writer

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