FIU Stempel College awarded two Emerging Preeminent Program designations

Big 3

The FIU 2015-2020 strategic plan, called FIUBeyondPossible2020, announced the launching of programs designated as “Preeminent” and “Emerging Preeminent.”


A Preeminent Program is defined as a collaborative endeavor that demonstrates extraordinary success in providing unique learning opportunities, pioneering research and engagement while expanding FIU’s financial base. Designation as a Preeminent Program is recognition for outstanding contributions to advancing our FIU’s strategic plan and enhancing the University’s reputation at the national and international level. An Emerging Preeminent Program is a collaborative endeavor which, with strategic support, has the potential to be designated preeminent.

A total of 29 outstanding FIU programs applied. After a rigorous and thoughtful peer-review process, driven by a nine-member Faculty Selection Committee, nine programs have been selected for this designation by the President and Provost. The designations are for five years with annual renewals to ensure continued excellence.

Out of the 9 selected programs, the FIU Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work has two:


Brain, Behavior and the Environment Program

Led by Tomás Guilarte, Dean and Professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, the Brain, Behavior and the Environment Program is a trans-disciplinary initiative at FIU that unites the dynamic and diverse neuroscience community at FIU toward three goals: to create and empower research programs focused on environmental causes of neurological disease, to devise strategies and develop treatments for neurological disorders using novel neuroscience and engineering tools as well as pharmacological approaches, and to establish a rich educational resource in South Florida to educate students, faculty, clinicians, the public, and health officials on the role that environmental factors play on neurological disease.


Health Inequities and Disparities Program

Led by Dr. Mario De La Rosa, professor in the School of Social Work and Director of the Center for Research on U.S. Latino HIV/AIDS and Drug Abuse (CRUSADA), and Dr. Eric Wagner, professor in the School of Social Work and Director of the FIU-Banyan Research Institute on Dissemination, Grants, and Evaluation (FIU-BRIDGE), the Health Inequities and Disparities Program is a multidisciplinary group of faculty and students who are dedicated to advancing health inequity and disparity research by conducting community-based participatory research; determining the impact of HIV, substance abuse and ethnicity on health outcomes and barriers in access to healthcare; developing and testing culturally appropriate substance abuse and HIV prevention and treatment programs; partnering with community stakeholders in South Florida, the Caribbean, and beyond on real world approaches to reduce substance use/abuse and HIV; identifying and eliminating health inequities, health barriers, and health disparities associated with race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation; and developing the next generation of health inequities and disparities researchers through innovative technology and state-of-the-art methodologies.


Asked about the selection of these two programs, Dean Guilarte said, “It is a great day for the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work. The selection of these two programs is an important step in solidifying our research excellence and its relevance to important problems our communities, state, and nation face. These programs will coalesce scientists from FIU and other surrounding institutions and organizations to provide a central hub for basic and translational research as well as educating our students and the public.”


To see the list of preeminent and emerging preeminent programs, click here.

Author: Gus Ruiz

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