MIAMI GARDENS — The general public is invited to the ceremony as Florida Memorial University (FMU) breaks ground on a $3 milion Science Annex Building, Friday, Aug. 16. The 10 a.m. ceremony will be held at the northwest corner of the M. Athalie Range Science Building on the campus, 15800 N.W. 42nd Ave., Miami Gardens.

The new Science Annex will be an 8,000-square-foot, two-story structure connected to the existing building via an open-air connector. The annex will include a chemistry lab, biology lab, general lab, lecture room, offices, electrical and mechanical rooms and storage.

An elevator will serve the new and existing building. The planning and design phase of the project was made possible by a contribution from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Inc. Construction costs are being funded through the U.S. Department of Education’s HBCU Capital Fund Program.

The Science Annex is the first of two major construction projects planned for the 2013-14 academic year, officials said: Later this fall the university will begin construction on an Athletic and Wellness Facility as part of a multi-year plan to enhance campus facilities.In another development, for the second year in a row FMU has been selected to receive two Fulbright Language Teaching Assistants (FLTAs) for the 2013-2014 academic year.

This year, Veronica Pasqualin Machado of Puerto Alegre, Brazil will teach beginning and intermediate Portuguese, and Shu-ting Jang, of Kaohsiung City, Taiwan will teach Mandarin Chinese to beginning and intermediate level students. 

Both FLTAs will live on campus, take classes with FMU students and share knowledge about their cultures and countries with the entire FMU community while immersing themselves in the Florida Memorial culture.

“We are excited to have the Portuguese and Chinese FLTAs for the 2013-2014 school year because they enhance student and faculty learning through personal engagement,” stated Callwood-Braithwaite, assistant vice-president of Academic Affairs. 

The program enables FMU to broaden the range of languages that are available to students.  The languages are recognized by the U.S. State department as “critically needed” and by offering them, students are better prepared to enter the workforce and make a substantial impact in global markets.

The federally funded Fulbright FLTA Program brings teaching assistants in 33 languages from nearly 50 countries around the world to select U.S. colleges and universities, with the hope that exposure to the high-demand foreign languages will encourage and stimulate student interest in other international study opportunities.

“In this way we are directly contributing to our institution’s mission to instill in students the importance of becoming global citizens,” Callwood-Braithwaite said. Throughout the year FMU will host several events for the entire campus to meet the FLTAs and become acquainted with their languages and cultures. Last year, the FLTAs enhanced student learning in Religion and Philosophy, English, Music, Education and other disciplines though guest lectures and shared activities.

For more information regarding the groundbreaking ceremony or the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants call 305-623-1443.