After the virtual ceremony, FIU graduates celebrate with glamorous and proud parents and masks.


Patricia Garcia finally graduated on Saturday after spending four years at Florida International University, including a research internship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley, and more than a year in the fight against COVID-19.

She, along with 1,000 classmates, is the 11200 SW Eighth St at FIU’s main campus, West Miami-Dade. I attended a 2:00 pm ceremony at Ricardinho Silva Stadium in Tokyo. This was one of the three graduation ceremonies the school had on Saturday, and three more were scheduled for Sunday.

FIU graduate Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Núñez gave a keynote speech at the graduation ceremony at 6:30 pm.

A total of more than 6,000 FIU graduates will walk the stage in two days, both undergraduate and graduate, but will wear masks and stand at a distance from each other in accordance with the COVID-19 Safety Protocol. Do not get a diploma. (I will mail it at a later date.) The photo on Saturday was removed from the stage at the designated place.

Still, due to social distance, graduates were direct graduates, even if the number of invited guests was limited to three. The last face-to-face graduation ceremony hosted by the FIU was in December 2019. The 2020 ceremony was all virtual for the pandemic. (Members of the 2020 class were invited to attend this year’s ceremony.)

Florida International University students will attend a graduation ceremony on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at Ricardo Silva Stadium in Miami, Florida.

Florida International University students will attend a graduation ceremony on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at Ricardo Silva Stadium in Miami, Florida.

There was a decorated mortar board, students leaving the stage with their arms raised, selfies, proud parents, and finally blue and yellow carp streamers popping into the air like confetti clouds. ..

“I’m really proud of what our faculty have done over the last few months to keep learning going,” said FIU President Mark Rosenberg. “Our professional staff will find ways to safely provide graduation ceremonies to ensure the safety of students and families, and will actually enjoy celebrating this breakthrough in the 2020 and 2021 classes. I worked hard to get people together in a way that I could. “

Florida International University students will attend a graduation ceremony on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at Ricardo Silva Stadium in Miami, Florida.

Florida International University students will attend a graduation ceremony on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at the Ricardo Silva Stadium in Miami, Florida.

The students were excited.

“The fact that I can meet many FIU Panthers in person here is very meaningful,” said one of the first graduates to earn a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary engineering from FIU’s University of Engineering and Computing. One Garcia said.

The new program aims to develop the next generation of STEM leaders by focusing on a broader perspective of engineering professionals.

“I didn’t expect myself to celebrate directly. Garcia, who grew up in Miami and graduated from the Young Women’s Preparatory Academy, which is part of the Miami-Dade Public School, said:” She almost did. I didn’t believe it. “

Garcia, who completed a mechanical engineering research internship at MIT and was an intern at the Tsinghua-Berkeley Shenzhen Institute in Berkeley, must decide whether to hire from Microsoft or a master’s degree at Carnegie Mellon University in Berkeley or Pittsburgh.

She also won the GEM Fellowship, a coveted engineering fellowship awarded to top Hispanic, black, and Native American students in engineering and science. Garcia is also a 2020 Millennium Fellow, a finalist at the 2021 NCWIT University Awards, and a “Forbes scholar under the age of 30”.

She spent her last semester in Boulder, Colorado, working on College Thrifts, a startup that wants to create a more sustainable and economical way to attend college.

Garcia celebrated directly with her mother, father and sister. Other families watched a livestreaming ceremony from home.

“I think my success comes from being a student who didn’t go home after coming to school …. I was a student who took advantage of all the opportunities offered by the great educational institution FIU.”

Florida International University students will attend a graduation ceremony on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at the Ricardo Silva Stadium in Miami, Florida.

Florida International University students will attend a graduation ceremony on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at Ricardo Silva Stadium in Miami, Florida.

The stadium, which can accommodate 20,000 people, accommodated 4,000 people (one graduate, 1,000 people and three guests), and placed family and friends on the bench to ensure social distance. The FIU handed out water bottles, sunscreen and handheld fans, taking into account the sun and the temperature of the mid-1980s on Saturday.

“I think everyone is really excited to be able to meet again a year later,” said Maidel Santana, a FIU spokeswoman.

Romy Dorado attended a ceremony celebrating his husband Siavash Noorizadeh and his bachelor’s degree in computer science.

She said she was worried that they would have to attend the virtual ceremony and hoped that the FIU would come up with a plan to celebrate directly.

“Having this normal sensation feels like such a relief,” she said. “I am very proud that my husband has finally graduated with great effort.”

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