Anler Cabrera | Contributing Writer
The completion of FIU’s School of International & Public Affairs school phase II brings to fruition an old promise for FIU.
The school was founded in the summer of 2008 to fulfill the Florida International University’s founders’ promise to “promote globally engaged citizens”.
Today, according to the school’s website, SIPA represents more than 120 countries and more than 50 spoken languages.
The school enrolled more than 5,000 students and employed nearly 360 faculty members, thanks to the 20 million dollar gift from Ambassador Steven J. Green, his wife Dorothea Green, and daughter Kimberly Green in 2015.
The FIU Model UN team, a program housed at the Steven J. Green School, is the top-ranked team in Florida and has been ranked a Top 10 team in North America for 12 years. Recently, the team has presently ranked #3 in North America.
According to Shlomi Dinar, the school’s dean, students who can demonstrate enough talent and passion to be accepted into the FIU model un program are counted among the school’s ”crème de la crème.”
For some students, the Phase II of the school is a tangible change in the academic atmosphere offered at SIPA.
Artashes Harutyunyan, an international relations student from Armenia, says he finds the SIPA school’s new phase not only an improvement for FIU but also, he finds the school will be able to offer a way more dynamic experience for all international students, specifically Model UN.
“The reason I joined the FIU Model UN program is because I wanted to gain experience and meet people from other countries, take part in the general assembly simulation, and gain different perspectives,” said Harutyunyan.
He says the team can provide him with an array of valuable skills, necessary for students entering the professional and political arena.
“It is a great tool to refine your public speaking skills, improve your confidence and negotiation skills, diplomatic thinking, and become more experienced in different international topics [with] opportunities to travel nationwide and worldwide and connect with like-minded people.”
On the question of whether the founder’s promise had come into reality, Harutyunyan provided insight as to what the school had shown him.
“The SIPA school allows me to become a more globally engaged student. The courses the school offers teach about every country and different perspectives in world politics, analyzing different conflicts, additionally, I can learn from other students who come from different backgrounds, so discussions are more dynamic given the student’s different personal experiences”.
The institution will permit 11 departments and degree-granting programs to relocate into a consolidated location once SIPA Phase II is finished.