Student Spotlight

Naser AlmujaibelNaser Almujaibel

  • Home Country: Kuwait
  • Current Pursuit: Masters in Global Strategic Communication

Where did you receive your undergraduate degree?
I received my Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communication with a specialization in production from Kuwait University in 2008.

What is your favorite part about graduate school at FIU?
I think the professors are great. There are very good professors and they teach me great things, regardless of if they recently got their Ph.D. or not. Professors like Dr. Shumow, Park, Berman and Villar are great examples of this.

Are there any opportunities you are taking advantage of during grad school?
I am doing a study abroad trip with Professor Park and Professor Villar, starting May 19th. I will travel to Seville, Spain for multicultural and global advertising courses. I really like these opportunities provided by FIU because it helps me develop my network, connects me with global markets, and gives me unique experiences.

Why FIU?
I like that is has many campuses in various locations. In BBC, the location it is not crowded and I feel more comfortable. I enjoy the facilities there. Being a graduate student here means that I learn from professors who have great experience in the field, especially when they are publishing books and papers, like Professor Berman. I like what she is doing. She has published three books and I found the books very helpful. I know that I will apply what I learned during grad school in the field. Professor Wang is also a great example of someone with great experience in the research field, teaching me a lot in research methods.

Is there a special or memorable moment at FIU?
A great moment would be that I have two research papers accepted at global conferences in my first year in graduate school. Professor Berman will also publish one of the papers in a textbook.

What are your plans after you finish your graduate degree at FIU?
After my Master's degree, I will pursue a Ph.D. in Mass Communication.

Binta DixonBinta Dixon

  • Home State: North Carolina
  • Current Pursuit: Master of Arts in African and African Diaspora Studies

Where did you receive your undergraduate degree:
I received my Bachelor's Degree in Cultural Anthropology at East Carolina University.

Can you describe your current research interests?
My research interests right now have to do with language policy, power, and the role they play in marginalized minority populations in Botswana. In my undergraduate program I did a study abroad program in Botswana; it was an enriching experience and I was able to do coursework while being able to participate in a research project. It introduced me to topics of language and power and the concepts we have today of development and progress. It led me toquestion the role of language in a nation and how certain populations negotiate language and power.

What would you say you love most about your field?
Well I think African and African Diaspora Studies really gives me the opportunity to think deeper about what it means to be a part of the African Diaspora. What even is the Africa Diaspora? Before I came here, I was really just looking at Africa and African Americans, but it really encompasses a wider group and touches on the Caribbean and Latin America, not only Africa, and I think it is something that needs to be explored more. What are the theoretical approaches to blackness and diaspora? Also, what does it mean for these populations in their everyday lives? I think this is something great about the program.

Why FIU?
Really the program here was the only one that I saw that was truly interdisciplinary. When I was looking through the programs for graduate study, I really did want a campus as well as a program that could provide me with different strategies for approaching a problem. I saw the "Worlds Ahead" slogan and it really stuck out to me. This campus specifically seems really diverse. The programs that are put on are really diverse. A month ago I went to a program where they had Gloria Steinem come in and talk about the upcoming election and women's issues. Just seeing that the campus was not only diverse, but engaged in diverse programming for students, was really important.

Is there a special or memorable moment at FIU?
There's actually been a couple. I think the two programs that I remember were the "Afro Homo" event, which brought scholars from all over the country to talk about queerness throughout the Africa Diaspora and what that means as far as intervention by U.S. politicians and what it means in the cultures and societies of different countries throughout Africa and the Caribbean. Dr. Thomas Glaze was one of the people that came and it was a great experience. I also had the chance to attend the TED Talk event; it was a really great experience. Just getting to see what some of the students here are engaged in and the kind of influences they are having—not just in FIU, but in the larger community. It was great.

What are your plans after you finish your graduate degree at FIU?
I am definitely looking to pursue a doctorate program, hopefully within Global and Sociocultural Studies, which is partnered with African Diaspora Studies. That is something that I am really interested in doing. I would like to eventually get into the field and do research and have that translate into publication and hopefully affect actual policy on these issues of language, because they do affect a lot of populations, not only Botswana, but I think aroundthe world with negotiating rights to land and access to the political process in general.

Manny PeterManny Peter

  • Home Country: Nigeria
  • Current Pursuit: Master of Science in Telecommunications and Networking

Where did you receive your undergraduate degree?
I received my Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from one of the best schools in Nigeria. It is actually ranked the overall best school for the past three years, The University of Benin in Nigeria.

Can you describe your current research interests?
I had a passion for computers right from the start, always having interest in telecommunications and networking. I am specifically looking into relatively new technology called "Open Flow Technology." It is a new form of network management. It is software-defined networking. The idea was proposed by some students and professors at Stanford University and will be a growing technology. It helps network managers define a network via software, meaning they can actually design the network using software and programming rather than using routers and switches to do all the work. Essentially, it's a more cost-effective way to run a network, taking out the need for expensive equipment.

Why did you choose FIU?
I chose FIU because it was a really reputable school. FIU is ranked as one of the top research universities in the U.S. by the Carnegie Foundation. Although it is not that old, it is rapidly developing and I decided to come here to learn more about IT. Anything dealing with IT deals with research and finding out new things every day. There's new technologies and new trends in IT, so you have to stay up to date at one of the top universities.Also, you can drive to the beach any day. This isn't like other states where you can't have much fun. It's a school based in Miami, where you can have fun and still be focused on school. I think it's the perfect match.

Are there any opportunities you are taking advantage of during grad school?
I am actually going to the National Society of Black Engineers Convention in Indianapolis. I'll be flying there on the 27th of March. This is a great opportunity for me to meet employers and experience the career fair. This is a way for me to network and meet other grad students like myself. It'll definitely be really fun for me.

What are your plans after you finish your graduate degree at FIU?
I eventually want to run an IT company. Also, I am currently a Cisco Certified Network Associate. I want to be a Cisco Certified Network Professional by the end of the year. This will allow me to be the Cisco IT Training Technician for a company.


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