Florida International University will achieve exceptional student-centered learning and upward economic mobility, produce meaningful research and creative activities, and lead transformative innovations locally and globally, resulting in recognition as a Top-50 public university. Florida International University is an urban, multi-campus, public research university serving its students and the diverse population of South Florida. We are committed to high-quality teaching, state-of-the-art research and creative activity, and collaborative engagement with our local and global communities.
Rick, Margarita and Steven have taken classes at FIU. Rick is the chairman of the Advisory Board at the College of Communication, Architecture and the Arts (CARTA). Rick and Margarita have provided scholarships to students in the department of Interior Architecture. They have made a major gift to the Theater Department and the Theater Lobby is named after Rick and Margarita.
Foundation for New Education Initiatives, Inc. seeks to enhance student achievement and community engagement in support of The Parent Academy and other educational initiatives of Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Public education is a public/private enterprise. It can succeed only with involvement and resources from all sectors of the economy and all segments of society. Our vision is to become a thriving Foundation capable of supporting all of Miami-Dade County Public Schools' strategic priorities.
We believe that a good quality public education empowers children to excel and attain their dreams. The encouragement to strive past their current circumstances releases them from obstacles that could have been overwhelming.
As University of Miami alumni, we are actively involved in the following:
UM Library Special Collections
It is home to an outstanding array of rare books, manuscripts, archival collections, photographs and audio-visual items, maps, architectural drawings, artists’ books, and other research materials that document the history of Florida, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and beyond.
All the materials held in Special Collections, from 15th century books to 21st century restaurant menus, are open to use by the public as well as the University Community. Special Collections is dedicated to supporting research and teaching using the collections and actively acquires new materials to create a fuller historical record.
Why we contribute: Rick and Margarita studied for their masters degrees which meant a total of 5 years studying at the library for thousands of hours.
Pedro Villalba Ospina a Colombian artist has worked for more than 20 years creating an artist book of One Hundred Years of Solitude in etchings. This artist book, also called a Bibliophile Edition, with 175 etchings was exhibited at Richter Library in August 2018 to May 2019. This artist book appraised by Marsha Malinowski from New York and presented as a gift to the UM Library Special Collections by the Tonkinson Foundation in January 2020.
Margarita has been appointed to be a member of the Friends of Special Collections.
Rick has a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) with a specialization in Budgets and Cash Flow Analysis and a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA), Margarita has a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA). Rick and Margarita were Alumni Marshalls at the 2012 Commencement. Rick and Margarita are members of the Founders, Ibis, Heritage, Loyalty, and MacLamore Societies.
School of Business
Rick has been a member since 2009 and consistently contributes to the special projects fund. He has provided an internship for a high school student at the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics. In addition, we provided computers for the Miller School of Medicine Project Medishare work in catastrophic relief efforts.
College of Arts & Sciences
The Jerry Herman Ring Theater: We have been a long time sponsors of the Ring Theater. The student presentations are outstanding. We were the title sponsor to the tribute to the Jerry Herman 75th season event.
Helping kids grow up safe, healthy and drug free. Informed Families communicates its mission by providing community connections and educational materials for students, parents and educators.
We believe that children should develop to their potential –physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Substance abuse prevents that from occurring. To educate children and make them aware of the dangers around them gives them the tools to protect them.
The Caroling Competition has become an eagerly awaited holiday tradition in the City of Coral Gables. It began in 1987 when the 550 Building first presented the City with the spectacular poinsettia tree. It’s become a special way of celebrating the holidays, continuing the tradition of the festive sound of children, caroling in front of the holiday tree. The Competition always begins the Wednesday after Thanksgiving and continues through Sunday, with the Award Show held always on the following Tuesday. The Competition is non-sectarian and presents the music of the season regardless of its origins.
Rick sang baritone in his high school choir and he sang in the Penn State glee club. For the past 33 years, the Caroling Competition starts the Christmas season in Coral Gables. This four night event is free to the community. The half hour performances of 5 choirs each night is very uplifting.