CARTA awards top faculty members for excellence


The College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts is proud to announce that four faculty members from the departments of communication, journalism + media and music have been awarded a 2020 CARTA Faculty Award. These awards recognize and celebrate the excellent work of our faculty members in teaching, research and service.

This year’s awards include two teaching awards for recognition of outstanding instruction; one service award for recognition of outstanding service or community engagement; and one research and professional activities award for recognition of outstanding research, creative work or scholarship.

Each recipient is awarded $2,000 and a plaque or certificate from the Dean’s Office.

On behalf of all of CARTA, we would like to extend our warmest congratulations to each recipient!

Service Awards:

Dr. Mesut Özgen, | Teaching Award

Mezut Özgen transformed the guitar studio, as part of the Instrumental Performance area, at FIU into a top-of-the-heap program that attracts the most qualified students from the region and around the world. He founded FIU’s International Guitar Festival, bringing acclaimed guitarists to campus to perform and conduct master classes and clinics. His courses also offer deep knowledge of the classical guitar repertoire.

Award-winning guitarist and composer, Mesut Özgen, has been teaching at the FIU School of Music as a guitar area coordinator since 2013 and concertizing internationally since 1994. He is the founding director of Miami International GuitART Festival at FIU since 2016. He received Master of Music and Artist Diploma from Yale School of Music, Doctor of Musical Arts from Arizona State University, and M.D. from Hacettepe University.

Daniel Evans | Teaching Award

Daniel Evans came to FIU four years ago as director of the then South Florida News Service, from a position editing local news at the Los Angeles Times. Since then he has helped reshape and redirect the journalism program curriculum to offer students real-world experience in the profession. The impact of his teaching is shown by the number of local, regional and national awards the students he has mentored have won, which include a first-place Hearst Journalism Award.

Dan Evans is an associate professor of journalism and the Miami bureau chief of the South Florida Media Network, the faculty-led, student-produced outlet for the Department of Journalism + Media. Prior to coming to FIU in 2016, he was an editor for the Los Angeles Times, overseeing its community newspapers.

Heather Radi-Bermudez | Service Award

Heather Radi-Bermudez’s commitment to service began long before she joined FIU as a faculty member. While a student at FIU, she helped plant gardens in Overtown, organize campus United Way fundraisers and much more. She has worked to organize around domestic violence issues, served on admissions and advisory committees for the Global Strategic Communication master’s program and provides training for non-profits and professional development programs.

Heather Radi-Bermudez, APR is an instructor for undergraduate learning in the Department of Communication and in the Global Strategic Communications master’s program. She is PR faculty lead for BOLD, the student-run, faculty-led strategic communications agency at FIU. With nearly 15 years of professional experience, Heather is accredited in public relations and is a dedicated member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA); she currently serves as the chair of the Ethics Committee for the PRSA Miami chapter and regularly speaks on topics related to crisis communications, storytelling, ethics and public relations for new pros at industry conferences around the country.

José R. López | Research and Professional Activities Award

José R. López is known for his distinct passion of rescuing culture from oblivion through performance and the recording and analysis of musical repertoire either unknown or overlooked by classical musicians or the public. He has performed traditional works with chamber ensembles in the United States, Italy, Japan and Canada. He also leads the South Florida chapter of the American Liszt Society.

Dr. José R. López is an associate professor and coordinator of keyboard studies.  His main research areas focus on French composer, Charles.V. Alkan, and XIX century Spanish-Cuban composers.

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