On April 4, 2019, Dr. Leslie Rosenfeld attended the 2019 Gulf South Summit as the representative of the City of Miami Beach for the Outstanding Service-Learning Collaboration award for our partnership with Florida International University. The recognition from the summit included a $500 award.
The Gulf-South Summit Award for Outstanding Service-Learning Collaboration is given to a team of practitioners, faculty, and community partners who have demonstrated success in achieving a mutually beneficial collaboration that has successfully addressed a genuine community need.
FIU and the City of Miami Beach were recognized at the GSS meeting with a plaque and a cash award of $1,000 ($500 each). The GSS meeting was held in Huntsville, Texas from April 3-5, 2019.
Florida International University & The City of Miami Beach Partnership
Florida International University and the City of Miami Beach have forged a dynamic partnership leveraging our unique assists – geography, history, demographics, and intellectual capital – to address both of our most pressing challenges. The partnership, facilitated by FIU’s Office of Engagement and the City’s Office of Organizational Development Performance Initiatives, began in February 2014 with three workgroups and has flourished into a robust partnership with five workgroups focused on education, transportation, history and culture, coastal resilience and adaption, and messaging. A brief description of each workgroup follows.
Youth & Education Development Workgroup
Together, the Office of Engagement and City of Miami Beach’s Chief Learning and Development Officer have worked to leverage FIU resources to advance the competitiveness of students attending Miami Beach public schools. The partnership has addressed key needs in Miami Beach’s schools, including dual enrollment course offerings, afterschool enrichment programs, and math and reading intervention. The opportunities have allowed FIU students to engage in service-learning activities as afterschool instructors and math and reading interventionists. FIU students have benefited from experiential learning in the City’s internship program.
In March of 2015, the Office of Engagement and the City signed two MOUs in support of a formalized internship program for FIU students and the municipality, and dual enrollment course offerings for high school students at Miami Beach Senior High School. The Office of Engagement has assisted in recruiting 80+ FIU students to participate in the internship program, eight of whom have gone on to find full time employment with the City.
In collaboration with Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the dual enrollment agreement has allowed FIU professors, Miami-Dade County Public Schools teachers, and even the City of Miami Beach’s City Manager and police chief to teach college courses to students at Miami Beach Senior High School. The course offerings have saved parents and students an estimated $850,000. With the costs of books included, parents and students have saved over $1 million. This year, there are 14 courses, which translates into 25 classes for more than 500 high school students.
To support Miami Beach elementary students who fall in the lower 25% in math and reading testing, FIU has entered into an agreement with Miami Beach to provide math and reading intervention. Starting in August 2018, 10 FIU Learning Assistants, trained through FIU Teach, provide one on one math intervention to students at both Nautilus Middle School and Miami Beach Senior High. FIU Education students, who are in their third or fourth year of reading courses at FIU, provide one on one intervention to students at Fienberg Fisher K-8 Center, Biscayne Elementary, South Point Elementary, Nautilus Middle and North Beach Elementary.
Arts, Culture, & History Workgroup
Through the Arts, Culture, & History workgroup, FIU and City of Miami Beach partners have created programs and opportunities for FIU students, faculty and staff, and the Miami Beach community to stimulate their knowledge of arts, culture, and history in Miami Beach. Key initiatives include the annual South Beach Wine and Food Festival, the digitization of the Miami Beach archives, and hundreds of other year-round cultural programs.
The South Beach Wine and Food Festival has become a staple event for FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism and the City of Miami Beach. In its 18thyear, the festival featured 65,000+ attendees, 90+ events, 400+ chefs, winemakers, and culinary personalities, and 1,200+ student volunteers. Since its creation, the event has raised more than $28 million for the Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism.
Beyond educating the Miami Beach community on food and wine, the annual event has assisted homeless members of the community. The festival collaborates with the Miami Rescue Mission to provide leftover food to those in need. In 2018, the event helped serve more than 20,000 meals.
In 2015, FIU students and faculty partnered with the City to digitize more than 45,000 documents in the City’s archives. The project, completed in 2018, allows open access to the City’s digitized documents.
FIU’s Miami Beach Urban Studios (MBUS) has provided more than 120 programs for the Miami Beach community, funded by the Miami Beach Cultural Anchor Grant. For the third year in a row, MBUS has hosted Growlight/Breakthrough Miami, a three-week summer camp focused on design, art, technology, urbanism, and public policy. Nearly 1,300 K-12 students throughout Miami-Dade County, including Miami Beach students, have benefitted from the program.
To address the City of Miami Beach’s needs regarding transportation and infrastructure, the Office of Engagement has connected the City of Miami Beach Transportation Department with FIU student and faculty researchers. FIU helps the City facilitate data collection and develop performance measures for both the City’s traffic monitoring and management efforts, and the City’s trolley program.
In the Fall of 2018, the two organizations entered into two agreements to assist the City with pavement assessment and red-light traffic enforcement assessment. FIU engineers will assist the City’s Transportation Department as they determine the condition of pavement stripping throughout the City, allowing the Transportation Department to proactively address deficiencies. Through the red-light traffic study, FIU engineers assessed traffic volumes, crash data, red light cameras, and more, to assess the current state of red light enforcement.
Florida Coastal Resilience and Adaptation Workgroup
In 2015, FIU launched the Sea Level Solution Center (SLSC), a department dedicated to designing and implementing short and long-term adaptation strategies for a prosperous South Florida. Since its creation, the City of Miami Beach has served as a key practical partner and real-life laboratory. The SLSC and the City have worked together to hold thought-provoking lectures and collaborative meetings; developed applications that educate the community on the effects of climate change; and applied for joint-grant funding opportunities.
Throughout 2016, FIU researchers participated in studies impacting Miami Beach, one of which allowed FIU researchers to participate in a public design charrette for the future of North Beach. In March of 2016, FIU conducted a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) training for more than 20 City of Miami Beach employees in preparation for the City’s new green building ordinance.
In 2017, FIU and the City worked together on the Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network grant, holding regular meetings to advance projects related to the effectiveness of green infrastructure adaptations. In June of 2017, FIU’s School of Environment, Arts, and Society (SEAS) entered into an agreement with the City to further the collaboration.
This year, SLSC faculty members and City of Miami Beach partners will apply for a planning grant for an Industry University Cooperative Center. The center will serve as a mechanism for universities and cities to partner with industry, specifically FIU and the City of Miami Beach. The center will leverage federal funding to better utilize funding from industry to coproduce materials for the science of adaptation.
With funds from the Miami Foundation, the SLSC has been able to host a series of lectures discussing multi-sector issues when developing resiliency plans. Students from the SLSC will present resiliency plans developed from the lecture series to the City of Miami Beach.
With many projects and collaborations positively impacting the City and FIU, the partners found a need to create a cohesive message when spreading the word. In 2017, the messaging workgroup was created to promote and highlight the City of Miami Beach and FIU partnership. Since its creation, the partners have highlighted all workgroups in their efforts to better the community, while providing opportunities to FIU students, faculty, and staff to partake in engaged scholarship.