Faculty Mentor Program participants honored at 2015 Faculty Convocation

FIU held its annual Faculty Convocation Award Ceremony on September 24, 2015, celebrating the collective pride and individual accomplishments of the university’s academics who are selected for recognition by their peers for their exceptional performance, and celebrated by the entire university community. Five of the awardees are past or present members of the Faculty Mentor Program (see below). Congratulations to all!

Members of the faculty have been selected for excelling in one of the categories of teaching, research, service, engagement, librarianship, or advising and mentorship. This year, two winners were selected for the first time for the President’s Council Worlds Ahead Faculty Award. They were Stavros V. Georgakopoulos, Associate Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering, CEC, and Aileen M. Marty, Professor, Medicine, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine.


Uma Swamy
Senior Lecturer and General Chemistry Coordinator
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Uma Swamy was the first to use a fully flipped classroom approach at FIU in conjunction with active learning in a large lecture setting in chemistry. Her classroom involves students working on POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) style worksheets with her as well as highly trained undergraduate learning assistants serving as classroom facilitators. In addition to supervising the general chemistry and Survey of Forensic Science laboratories, she also serves as an advisor to the FIU Chemical Society and runs a volunteer tutoring program called CHEMPAL (Chemistry Peer Assisted Learning) for general chemistry students.


Victor Uribe-Uran
Chair, Department of History
Associate professor, History and Law
Victor Uribe has served two terms as chair of his department, on many university, college and departmental search committees too numerous to count and in the community on issues pertaining to human rights and immigration. He participated in the establishment of the College of Law and the hiring of its founding faculty and administration. Dr. Uribe also served as co-PI and director for the field implementation of the Justice Reform and Modernization Program (JRMP) - the largest federal contract ever awarded to FIU - a multi-million dollar USAID initiative to overhaul Colombia’s inquisitive and written criminal justice system and turn it into an oral accusatory system.


Kevin O’Shea
Senior Associate Dean, University Graduate School
Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Kevin O’Shea recent research projects focus on the treatment of naturally occurring toxins, specifically cyanotoxins produced in surface waters during harmful algal blooms. These naturally occurring toxins contaminate drinking water sources and create a unique challenge for drinking water suppliers because they do not come from a point of industrial sources. His team has conducted detailed kinetic and product studies on the advanced oxidation technologies (AOTs), which employ reactive oxygen species and can lead to effective remediation of a wide variety pollutants and chemical toxins.

Eric Bishop von Wettberg
Assistant professor, Biological Sciences
Eric Bishop von Wettberg’s research investigates how wild chickpeas and related crops were domesticated by early farmers. His laboratory group is examining changes in flowering time, seed shape, nitrogen metabolism, and symbiotic partnerships that occurred as a result of chickpea domestication and the start of agriculture in the Fertile Crescent. With the support of NSF and USAID they are using this understanding to breed improved chickpeas for East Africa and South Asia, where changes in the monsoons due to climate change are rapidly shifting agricultural conditions and food security is a growing concern.


Krish Jayachandran
Professor, PSM-EPM Director and Co-Director of Agroecology Program, Earth and Environment
Krish Jayachandran has been with FIU for the last 19 years with an expertise in soil microbiology and soil sciences. Dr. Jayachandran has mentored close to 200 undergraduate and graduate students on their STEM experiential and experimental research activities. He has won four Multicultural Scholars undergraduate funding awards and three National Needs Fellows graduate funding awards from the USDA-NIFA, totaling close to two million dollars to support 60 undergraduate and graduate students.

For the full FIU News story click here.