FIU in D.C. update

With immigration now taking center stage in Washington, D.C., members of the university community continued to advance FIU’s STEM education agenda.

The draft bill released late Wednesday by the Senate’s “Gang of 8″ incorporates a measure that would create a new competitive grant program for STEM capacity building at Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) using 12 percent of the revenues from a $500 fee applied to the H1-B visa fees. In addition to other strong DREAM act components of the bill, this STEM fund would help increase the number of underrepresented minority scientists and engineers nationwide, an imperative that FIU is leading in.

Other components of the STEM fund include scholarships for low-income STEM students (60 percent); matching grants for K-12 public-private partnerships (15 percent); and STEM workforce efforts through the Department of Labor (10 percent). Indications are strong that similar provisions will be in the House version.

Proving our own leadership in the STEM arena, one of our very own DOE Fellows, Emma Lopez, led a Congressional briefing on “Promoting an Emerging Clean Energy Economy extending renewable energy incentives” as a part of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s Young Latino Leaders Summit.

“Renewable energy is not at the same leveled playing field with fossil fuels in terms of subsidies and tax credits. We hope Congress will work on providing long term policies so that we can continue seeing a growth in clean renewable energy” said Lopez.

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