From an education standpoint, what are the main challenges to prepare the workforce for an ever-changing job market?

We need to focus on the technology and innovation sector, which is the significant driver of today’s global economy. We must be particularly mindful of South Florida’s needs. High demand areas like aviation and cyber security require a talent pipeline.

How can universities better connect academia with industry to best facilitate praxis?

Florida Memorial University received a significant grant from the Lilly Endowment and the United Negro College Fund. When we were writing for the grant, there was a planning phase where we met with local industry leaders on campus to talk about what they want to see in graduates, what the current market demands were and the skill sets that industries are looking for. Our faculty members then submitted ideas to better connect academia with the needs of industry. The results have been incredible and give us confidence that we are equipping our students for the jobs the market is demanding.

What are the main efforts being done to ensure the affordability of higher education in South Florida?

I am proud to say that we are the least expensive private institution in the State of Florida. We are trying to keep our costs fat because we understand the difficulties that our population has when it comes to being able to afford higher education. This is why for the past four years our costs have not increased.

How does Miami Gardens factor into the equation?

Miami Gardens is a uniquely strong location. The mayor and members of the city council have taken important steps to seek out new opportunities and investments as well as attract new businesses to the city. The stadium is creating job growth, technology firms are investing in the area and schools are opening. You quickly realize that Miami Gardens is full of opportunities.