On April 17th, the Communication Arts Department held its annual Forum. The event serves to showcases students and is a celebration of the art of public speaking and the importance of communication in a democratic and a globally-engaged society.
FIU students, faculty and alumni rubbed shoulders with community members, and local leaders while gathered and actively engaged in exploring the power of communication. All speakers successfully demonstrated the power of expressing ideas, sharing visions, finding solutions, building consensus, and creating positive change.
Commissioner Francis Suarez, a FIU Alumnus and former Speak-Off competitor, delivered this semester’s Keynote address. He spoke to the importance of fostering good communication skills in today’s society. Prior to running for public office, Commissioner Suarez established a law practice focusing primarily on real estate and corporate transactions. He is also involved in a number of civic and governmental organizations, and is currently running for Mayor in the City of Miami. To read more about his campaign, click here.
The Forum featured the finalists from the Voices of Change Speak-Off, which is a semester-long student speech competition. This semester’s participants had to prepare and deliver a speech focused on a global communicator or communication event that creates or inspires change. The finalists were Mario Di Giovanni, Ariela Nijamkin, and William Perez. After the audience’s vote, Ariela Nijamkin placed first with her speech titled “The Power of Voice.”
Watch the speeches here.
The winners of our two scholarships were also announced during the Forum. Congratulations to Jennifer Zamot for winning the Kathleen Watson Memorial Scholarship. Also, congratulations to Mark E. Lopez-Trigo and Stephanie Piedrahita for winning the Jorge Herrera Memorial Scholarship for FIU Debate. We would like to thank the Herrera and Watson families, our patrons that made these awards possible.
The post-event reception provided an informal setting for networking as well as a relaxed environment to continue the conversation begun during the formal part of the event.
For photographs of the event, visit our Facebook page.