Hundreds of alumni return to campus – virtually – to connect with students during Panther Alumni Week 2021

Panther Alumni Week (PAW) looked a little different this year. For the first time, the annual PAW took place online, as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. But that didn’t stop scores of alumni – 250, to be exact – from joining FIU classes virtually from as far away as London to share their career advice and life experiences with around 1,000 current students.

The week also brought alumni and students a host of networking, entertainment and professional development events, ranging from FIU Alumni’s signature “Speed Networking and Mentoring” event, to the Young Alumni Network’s “Breaking Into Tech” industry panel, chats with alumni artists, and even a big band concert featuring FIU School of Music faculty and alumni.

Throughout the week, alumni also made appearances on social media to answer student-submitted questions and introduce viewers to their professions.

“I was so encouraged to see the level of participation from our alumni in the many PAW events that the alumni association sponsored. Whether it was the SGA reunion, or alumni sharing their experiences directly with students in classes, the passion for the Panther Community was quite obvious and is so deeply valued and appreciated,” said Brian Breittholz, the new associate vice president for Alumni Relations, who arrived at FIU last month.

Take a look at a few highlights of the week:

FIU Office of Engagement “Cafecito Chat” featuring Tara Jafarmadar and Hector Mujica, co-founders of Susty, an online store for sustainable products

Cafecito Chat video

FIU Jazz Faculty and Alumni Big Band Present “Be Bop Charlie” by Bob Florence

"Be Bop Charlie" video

London-based jewelry and fashion designer Nicole Akong shares industry insights with Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator fellows

Nicole Akong '99

John Morales of InVivo Strength and Conditioning talks owning a small business

John Morales '19

Onika Williams, Chair of the National Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, shares advice on law careers

Onika Williams '05

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