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January

FIU's Model United Nations team continues to rise in Best Delegate's rankings, moving ahead of every Ivy League school to take the #2 spot in North America! Congratulations to our distinguished delegates and program director Ethan Roberts! You are truly #WorldsAhead!

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Daniela Cediel, a student in the Public Administration program at the Green School, completed the Official White House Internship Program this past summer, where she worked in the Office of Presidential Correspondence under former President Barack Obama.

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On the eve of the 58th Presidential Inauguration, come hear from key influencers on the opportunities and challenges before the historic administration of President Donald J. Trump. FIU in Washington DC invites you to join us in an exclusive and timely dialogue led by our own alumna, Mercedes Schlapp ’94, which will include key presidential advisers and other thought leaders. The event will be streamed live at webcast.fiu.edu.

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With preparations for the presidential inauguration in full swing in the nation’s capital, FIU hosted its first inauguration essay contest for students to win a fully-funded trip to Washington, D.C. The winner of the contest, international relations major Darlyn De La Rosa, will travel to D.C. for the 58th Presidential Inauguration to experience a week of events leading up to the historical moment. “It’s an honor to have been chosen to experience this historic inauguration,'' she said.

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Brian Fonseca, director of the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy, and Eduardo Gamarra, professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations, have collaborated as editors on a new book, Culture and National Security in the Americas. With contributions from several FIU faculty experts, including a forward by Frank Mora, director of the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center, the book examines issues shaping national security policies throughout the Americas.

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Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps is perceived by some as a business empire, with an estimated quarter of the country’s economy under its control. Eric Lob, professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations, has written an article for the Washington Post on efforts to rein in the IRGC, "There’s a battle in Iran over the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps business empire."

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February

China Walker, a recent graduate of the Green School's master's in Disaster Management Program, recently interned with the Miami-Dade County Office of Emergency Management, where she conducted research into best practices, participated in regional training and worked on preparedness briefings with local elected officials, partner agencies and vendors.

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World-acclaimed Saudi Arabian female artist Manal AlDowayan is set to unveil her first solo exhibition, "I Am Here," at Rojas + Rubensteen Projects, a contemporary art gallery and community hub in Little River. Comprising photography, installation, and mixed media, the show is a collaboration with the Green School's Initiative for Muslim World Studies and continues through March 26.

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Academy Award winning filmmaker Michael Berenbaum, a writer and scholar who oversaw the creation of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. and later led a visual history project of survivor testimony with director Steven Spielberg, is the inaugural Fishman Holocaust Studies Scholar-in-Residence at FIU. Miami physician Lawrence M. Fishman and his wife Suzanne R. Fishman donated $100,000 to the university’s Holocaust Studies Initiative to expand Holocaust education in the region.

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Dr. Nelson Varas-Díaz, professor in the Department of Global and Sociocultural Studies, has released a documentary, "The Metal Islands: Culture, History and Politics in Caribbean Heavy Metal Music," based on his research with heavy metal communities in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Cuba. The film explores how music, identity and politics shape communities. It is nominated for Best Documentary at the 2017 World Music & Independent Film Festival. View trailer at link above.

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U.S Rep. Eliot Engel recently visited FIU to discuss the future of U.S. policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Faculty, staff and students from the Green School and around the university recently joined Becky Salokar’s family and friends for a celebration of life in her honor.

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March

The Cuban Research Institute, the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center, and the Libraries at Florida International University are pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Díaz-Ayala Library Travel Grant competition. The awards are offered in honor of Cristóbal Díaz-Ayala, the prominent music collector and independent scholar.

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Excellent coverage in the Miami Herald about the 2017 Hemispheric Conference hosted by the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy and the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center. Congratulations to the team on a wonderful and timely event, attended by leading experts from around the Hemisphere.

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April

The program for “Our Jewish Troubadours” celebrated the achievements in musical and lyrical expressions of two outstanding Jewish singer-songwriters, Bob Dylan, who was the 2016 Nobel Laureate for Literature, and Leonard Cohen, who unfortunately died at age 82 just a few weeks after the prize awarded to his close friend was announced. The two events featured remarks by Distinguished Professor and Jewish Museum Academic Director Tudor Parfitt in addition to lectures by Professor Steven Heine.

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The non-profit news organization Fair Observer recently published an in-depth interview with Cuban Research Institute Director Jorge Duany on the state of U.S.-Cuba relations in 2017. Born in Havana, Cuba, Dr. Duany shares his insight and discusses future possibilities.

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In South Florida the arrival of spring is heralded with pastel-colored eggs, marshmallow Peeps and chocolate bunnies. In churches, Easter is met with blood-red eggs, incense-laden candles, lilies on the altar and fronds shorn from swaying palms. But where did these symbols of Easter come from? Religious studies chair Erik Larson spoke to the Miami Herald about the history behind the holiday’s most recognizable symbols.

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The Green School recognized more than 50 undergraduate and graduate students at its Spring 2017 Awards Ceremony on April 13. Faculty nominated undergraduate students for awards in Academic Excellence and Service Excellence. Graduate students were selected for Best Thesis and Best Dissertation. An additional award was given for excellence in the Model UN Program. Click the link above for a list of all honorees.

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The Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs is pleased to announce the recipients of the Morris and Anita Broad Research Fellowship Awards for 2017-2018. The purpose of the fellowship is to provide FIU faculty members and doctoral students at early stages in their careers with an opportunity to supplement other resources for enhancing their research. The Broad Fellowship Awards are made possible through a generous gift from Morris and Anita Broad.

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Each semester, FIU recognizes and celebrates outstanding student achievement – both academic and non-academic - that exemplifies the university's Worlds Ahead distinction. For the 2017 Spring Semester, five Green School students have been named Worlds Ahead graduates: Venu Mehta, Religious Studies; Kamila Manzueta, International Relations; Cortney Zamor, Anthropology; Brahim Almarales, History; and Medjy Pierre-Louis, political science. Click the title above to read their inspiring stories.

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C-SPAN has aired a January conference hosted by the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center in collaboration with the Brookings Institution, the Cuban Research Institute and Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management on Cuba’s tourism industry. The forum also focused on the U.S. role in Cuba's future and the potential impact of a new presidential administration. Click the title above for photos and video footage.

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Khalilah Camacho-Ali, the former wife of the late heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, spoke about her work to combat discrimination against Muslims, Jews and others during "Confronting Islamophobia, Antisemitism, Racism and Other Expressions of Discrimination." Her talk was covered by the Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel, New Times and WLRN.

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Mark Medish is a former special assistant to President Bill Clinton and senior director on the National Security Council for Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian Affairs. He also served as assistant secretary to the U.S. Treasury. Now the CEO of The Messina Group, Medish will be at FIU on April 17 to discuss “U.S.-Russia Relations: Is this Cold War 2?” We spoke with Medish about his views on on current affairs and what to expect from his talk.

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On April 6-7, FIU offered the Cybersecurity Strategy and Leadership executive certificate course at the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, D.C. More than thirty students from across the globe were in attendance to learn about the most critical cyber threats facing the public and private sectors and the role policy plays in preventing cyber-attacks.

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The 10th Annual Florida International Chinese Speech and Skit Contest was held at FIU’s Main Campus on April 2nd, 2017, with a field of more than 200 competitors. Strategic Language Institute student Christopher Delli Carpini won the Level 3 Speech Contest. To date, Christopher has had only 60 hours of classroom instruction with Mandarin Chinese instructor Zhang Xia. Congratulations to Christopher for seeing his hard work pay off!

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The Green School's Modern Languages Graduate Student Organization received a Shining Star Award at the 2017 Outstanding Student Life Awards. The group hosts several events that prepare students academically and professionally. The students of the organization created a series of workshops with world-renowned speakers from various cultures. For more 2017 winners, see FIU News story linked above.

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FIU's Model United Nations Team recently traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to compete at MUNEmory and Williamsburg, Virginia to compete at the College of William and Mary's &MUN, winning multiple awards.

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The Green School has teamed up with Career and Talent Development to host a week of workshop, panels and events focused on career development, internships and more! Find out more about a career in the Foreign Service, the CIA or the Federal Government. Learn about internships with the Washington Center or volunteering with the Peace Corps. Full details at the link above!

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For the fourth year, FIU is the only Florida site selected to host young African leaders and entrepreneurs this summer as part of the Department of State’s Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders Initiative. The Green School and its Met Center helped develop academic programming for the fellowship. Twenty-five men and women between the ages of 25 and 35 will arrive at the university in June and stay for six weeks.

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May

At 53, Claire Scott-Bacon graduated from FIU with a double bachelor’s in psychology and criminal justice in December of 2016. Scott-Bacon’s work and perseverance paid off when she was awarded the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

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Stanislav Jansta, a member of the steering committee for the Vaclav Havel Program for Human Rights and Diplomacy, has been named Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic in South Florida. Hynek Kmonicek, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the U.S., inducted Jansta into the office this month. Jansta is an accounting instructor in the College of Business.

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In honor of former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s 80th birthday, the Embassy of the Czech Republic hosted a gala dinner in Washington, D.C. on May 16. John F. Stack, Jr., founding dean of the Green School, and Martin Palouš, director of the Václav Havel Program for Human Rights and Diplomacy, attended the gala, hosted by Czech Ambassador Hynek Kmoníček, who recently visited FIU. Palouš, a former Czech and UN ambassador, presented Albright with a bouquet of flowers to commemorate the

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Kevin Evans, assistant professor and director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Politics and International Relations, co-authored a piece for the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage Blog. After hearing that President Trump objected to provisions while signing a bill into law earlier this month, you may be wondering what it all means. This piece explains it and explores how presidents have used signing statements throughout the years. Click the headline above to learn more.

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International Relations major Jose-Andres Camacho spent a semester as an intern working on marketing and communications at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. He obtained this internship in partnership with The Washington Center Internship and Academic Seminars.

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The Green School's Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy has launched a new journal, the Global Security Review, to bridge the divide between academia and the policy world. The journal will be published once a year with articles from leading scholars and practitioners that address many of the most pressing national security threats. Click the headline above to view the first issue.

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José Miguel Cruz, Director of Research at the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center, is an expert on Central American gangs. He recently published articles in numerous publications about the street gang Mara Salvatrucha 13, commonly known as MS-13, and how the Trump administration’s immigration policies may lead to more gang violence. Click the headline above to read his latest in Salon magazine.

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Two graduate students from the Green School’s Department of Religious Studies, Venu Mehta and David St. John, have been admitted into prestigious doctoral programs. Mehta, a native of Gujarat, India, has been accepted into the University of Florida, where she will pursue her Ph.D. in religious studies. St. John was accepted into the Asian Languages and Cultures program at the University of Texas in Austin, where he will continue his studies on Hindi, Sanskrit and Prakrit languages.

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June

Annie Thomas shares her experience working as an education policy intern at Partners for Each and Every Child in Washington, D.C. this summer. Like many Green School students, Annie found the position through FIU's partnership with The Washington Center, the largest nonprofit academic internship program in the country.

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FIU Professor Emeritus of Art History Juan A. Martínez is a leading scholar on Cuban and Cuban-American art. He will be honored at an upcoming conference on Cuban art hosted by the Cuban Research Institute on June 23-24. We sat down with Martínez to learn more about his work and his journey as an art history educator and scholar.

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Growing up between the United States and Southern France, Laura Boudon always knew that she would have a career in international relations. In 2000, she became the first woman at FIU to earn a Ph.D. in that field. Today, she is the director at FIU’s Office of Study Abroad and is helping students find opportunities to learn while traveling.

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In recognition of his longstanding support for FIU, Ambassador Steven J. Green was presented with the FIU Pillar Award during the Spring 2017 Commencement. The Pillar Award is reserved for individuals who have had a transformative impact on the institution. He is only the seventh individual to receive this prestigious award since the university’s founding and is the first to receive the award from President Mark B. Rosenberg.

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Home to some of the best Model UN delegates in the country, FIU’s Model UN team has claimed the #4 spot on the college Model UN rankings for the third year in a row. FIU remains the highest ranked team in Florida and the highest ranked from any public university. This year’s senior class is the first to experience being on a Top 5 team during their entire four-year college career.

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Melissa Baralt, an associate professor in the Department of Modern Languages, won the national Bridging the Word Gap Challenge with her app. Baralt and her team created Háblame Bebé to help improve vocabulary and promote bilingualism among Hispanic babies. Háblame Bebé was the only project in the competition to focus on a minority population. Baralt and her team will be awarded $75,000 for their project.

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Kevin Hill, Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations, passed away unexpectedly on Monday, May 29, 2017. The Department of Politics and International Relations will host a Celebration of Life on Friday, June 16, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. An FIU scholarship fund is being established in his memory. Click the headline above for more information.

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Saif Ishoof, a senior fellow at the Green School, published a personal reflection on Muhammad Ali in the Miami Herald on the one-year anniversary of his passing. Ishoof, FIU's VP of Engagement, reflects on Ali's enduring legacy to choose love and understanding over fear. He writes: "The Champ’s belief in the power of service lives on in his own words: Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.”

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Thomas Just recently won a “Young Ambassador Award for Peace and the Rapprochement of Cultures.” The honor recognizes a research project Just conducted while participating in the International Summer University for Intercultural Leadership program.

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Green School alumna Kamila Manzueta ’17 has been selected as one of 30 students across the country – and one of only 20 graduate students – to receive a prestigious Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship. Manzueta, who studied international relations at the Green School, edged out hundreds of applicants from more than 270 higher education institutions to earn the spot.

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Susan Gladstone, director of development for all of FIU’s Jewish Strategic Initiatives – including the university’s Global Jewish Studies Program and Holocaust Studies - has been appointed as the new director for the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. Gladstone brings more than 30 years of executive experience at the national and global levels.

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July

Michelle Rosario, a political science and philosophy major, is interning at Washington Premier Consulting in Washington, D.C. In her role, she has organized events with various organizations, including Mid-Tier Advocacy. She is currently assisting her firm establish its partnership with the General Services Administration to change the way procurement agencies draft and evaluate federal contracts.

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At the annual Faculty Book Authors’ Reception this summer Steven Heine, Ulrich Oslender, Okezi Otovo, Victor Uribe-Uran and Susanne Zwingel were honored along with a group of faculty from across campus who published books during 2016. From Afro-Colombian mobilization and religious and Asian studies to spousal murder, our faculty explored a wide variety of topics. Their books are available at the Barnes and Noble bookstore on campus.

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International relations major Jocelyn Woolbright shares her experience working as an intern at the Office of Management Policy and Resources in the International Organizations Bureau for the U.S. Department of State. As an intern, she works with many international organizations, attending events and improving her networking skills.

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For the past three decades, photojournalist Carl Juste has traveled the world using photography to tell meaningful stories and shed light on the struggles of Haitians in the United States and abroad. He recently spoke at FIU to discuss the struggles of Haitians experiencing racial, social, political and economic oppression.

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LACC is pleased to announce the launch of a fully online Bachelor's degree beginning this Fall 2017. The degree joins LACC's nationally recognized undergraduate and graduate degrees, joint degrees, and certificates of specialization. To learn more about the online BA, click on the title above.

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During her final semester at FIU, international relations major Natalia Kolbjornsen faced her fears. Self-described as “a little shy,” Kolbjornsen was a bit anxious about networking opportunities. When she landed an internship through The Washington Center, she decided she wanted to step outside of her comfort zone.

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Is it possible to work with the Putin regime? The answer to that question is decidedly “no.” A brief look at recent events ought to convince any open-minded individual that Russia simply can’t be a partner—and indeed has no desire to be one. Check out David Kramer's new essay in The American Interest magazine.

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FIU's Modern Languages Department has a one-of-a-kind partnership with Qingdao University to offer a dual degree in Spanish. Students take lower-division courses with that university’s teachers and then can apply to take upper-division classes with FIU faculty. Upon graduation, they receive degrees from both institutions. The results have already confirmed the value of the program. Six FIU students earned top scores recently on a standardized Chinese Spanish exam.

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Check out the latest news from the Green School, including groundbreaking new research on Central American gangs, the latest ranking for our Model UN team, student accomplishments and much more!

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Kevin Hill was known for his southern charm, sharp wit and keen sense of humor. Friends, family, colleagues and students from around the university recently gathered to remember and celebrate Hill, an associate professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations, who passed away unexpectedly at 51 on May 29, 2017.

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