Sixth annual Panther Alumni Week connects past with future

Alumnus speaking to current student

From the Class of 1975 to 2018, alumni young and old came together for the sixth annual Panther Alumni Week hosted by the FIU Alumni Association. Over 50 College of Arts, Sciences and Education graduates took part by speaking in classrooms, connecting virtually and attending speed networking events. 

PAW promotes the building of relationships, which leads to connections, internships, mentoring and career opportunities. 2019 saw alumni meet with over 4,000 students solely across our campuses. 

Rhy Williams, who graduated with a BS in Physical Education: Sports and Fitness track, is currently an assistant football coach at ASA Miami Junior College. He had the chance to speak to a freshman first-year experience class and encouraged the students to get involved with extra-curricular activities and step out of their comfort zone in efforts of meeting new people. Williams believes his degree prepared him to have a diverse skillset and the ability to juggle multiple hats at his workplace. 

“As a Panther alum, I feel like it’s necessary to help the next generation of Panthers to be the best they can be,” he said.

Panther Alumni Week spans beyond FIU’s campuses and centers. 

Psychology alumnus, Chi Ali, currently resides in Houston, but made time to attend the virtual “PAW Connect: Students and Alumni Meet Up.” Ali says obtaining his degree at FIU built a personal foundation of navigating and setting obtainable career goals. 

The virtual meet up is a great space for students and young alumni to engage with professionals living in different areas. As one of the most diverse and fastest growing communities in the world, the Panther network  has a base of more than 220,000 people representing every state and 138 countries. The best part is, Panther Chats are held year round.

Two-time graduate Jennifer Echeverria saw PAW as the perfect occasion to give back. 

“The opportunity to share my career goals and time at FIU with my fellow panthers is rewarding,” she said. “As a first-year student at FIU, I wish that I would have had the opportunity to hear stories and advice from FIU graduates.”

The FIU Alumni Association’s mission is to serve the FIU community by providing lifelong connections to the university. Through fundraising, volunteer opportunities, engaging programs and events, we help enhance FIU’s future by providing the necessary resources to sustain our excellence in academics, research and community service.