FIU Stempel College Dean Emerita Michele Ciccazzo has been selected to receive the Alliance for Aging President’s Distinguished Service Award for Excellence 2015. The award will be presented Thursday, Nov. 5, at the 9th Annual Positive Living Awards at Jungle Island.
FIU Stempel College Dean Mark Williams nominated Ciccazzo for her tireless service to FIU as well as her work in the South Florida community. Ciccazzo, a fixture at FIU since shortly after its founding, has 35 years of experience in higher education, and 18 years in administrative assignments at FIU where she’s also served in positions including Department Chair of Dietetics & Nutrition, Dean of the FIU Stempel College and Interim Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at FIU.
During her tenure as Dean, Ciccazzo oversaw some of the important milestones in the history of FIU Stempel College. Importantly, she guided the college through various accreditations. During her leadership, FIU Stempel College achieved a rank of 23 in NIH funding among schools of public health, plus it established itself as a leader in educating minority public health students.
“I am grateful and quite humbled to be chosen to receive this award. This honor is very meaningful to me as an acknowledgement of my contributions over the years to the field of dietetics and nutrition, and to higher education in general, during my time as an administrator in the Stempel College at Florida International University,” Ciccazzo said on receiving the news of her selection.
“The whole FIU family appreciates the many years of leadership and friendship that Ciccazzo has shared with us. She is an academic role model who has motivated as well as educated, and who balances the wisdom of her years with a youthful and giving spirit,” Williams stated in the award submission.
Alliance for Aging Board member Lorraine Harris said about the upcoming awards event that will honor Ciccazzo’s accomplishments as well as those of others selected for recognition, “This is a wonderful festivity that recognizes South Florida’s senior community and their commitment to Miami-Dade and Monroe counties,” adding, “For 364 days out of the year, the Alliance serves the vulnerable elderly in our community. This one night, they take the opportunity to celebrate our older populations’ vitality and their contributions to making our community a better place.”
The Alliance for Aging is a private, not-for-profit organization that’s part of a nationwide network of more than 650 Area Agencies on Aging. Business and community leaders who support the efforts of the Alliance for Aging created the Positive Living Awards as a forum to show their thanks to older adults, like Ciccazzo, who are giving back to their communities.