UPE Kicks Off the Year with Big Plans for Spring 2021


Two months ago, Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE), the largest student organization for technology at Florida International University (FIU), launched their Spring Kickoff Week and Kickoff Meeting for Spring 2021.

Kickoff Week consisted of a series of one-hour virtual tabling sessions, which the team worked hard to host for seven hours from January 11th-15th. Through these events, interested students got to safely interact with UPE members and learn more about our organization and its membership process, benefits, and programs despite barriers posed by the current pandemic.

Raul Faife, current UPE Vice President, led many of the sessions and comments, “It’s important to have tabling to reach out to newer students of FIU to help them have an advantage in the tech industry by starting sooner.” Faife also expresses how he personally feels guilty whenever he hears graduating students ask others for job openings. Thus, he pushes extra hard for any student to join UPE, especially during tabling, in order to aid in their job security prior to graduation.

Shanna Sit, former UPE E-Board alumna and current UPE advisor, further describes Kickoff Week as “UPE’s ‘start of the semester’ celebration. A new semester to get a fresh start and be involved.”

Now, what is UPE? UPE is a student-run organization that aims to empower students to succeed in the world of technology. Recognized by UPE National, Florida Board of Governors, The Miami Herald, FIU News, and more, FIU’s UPE welcomes students from all academic backgrounds and skill levels who are interested in technology to join and learn more about the field.

Members do so by participating in our various workshops and activities offered through our plentiful (free!) programs, including:

  • UPE Code – Software Development
  • UPE Make – Hardware Development
  • UPE InfoTech – Information Technology
  • UPE Design – UI/UX & Product Management
  • UPE Advance – Career Development
  • UPE Ignite – K-12 students Outreach
  • UPE SparkDev – Innovative technical projects
  • UPE Mentor – Mentorship
  • UPE ShellHacks – Hackathons

Such information was covered in our Spring Kickoff Meeting, which was hosted online on January 15 at 6:30PM EST. With over 100 excited attendees, the UPE Executive Board revealed a few of their incoming plans for the Spring 2021 semester. Some events mentioned were Game Development Workshops with UPE Code, 3D Modelling with Fusion 360 with UPE Make, UI/UX Prototyping Workshops with UPE Design, UPE’s newest program that begins this semester, and plenty more!

As students were able to connect real-time with their UPE community and hear more about the organization, a sense of anticipation grew palpable.

Andy Labrada, an FIU freshman pursuing Computer Engineering and a new member of UPE, expresses, “At first I was not aware of UPE and its benefits, but I knew I had to join something if I wanted to succeed, and I’m glad that it was UPE. The officers were really informed and friendly. I have to say that after the meeting, I was shocked by all the opportunities they offered, and I instantly applied for UPE Code, Advance, and Ignite.”

To view a full recording of our meeting, please feel free to click on the following link: https://youtu.be/1A_cKqvZHEg.

It’s not too late to join the UPE community as well! Membership and program applications were fortunately extended, and they may be found through go.fiu.edu/upemember and go.fiu.edu/upeprograms, respectively.

UPE’s next big event is Global Game Jam (GGJ), a game-development focused hackathon that will take place January 29th 5PM to January 31st 4PM EST. With big plans in store, UPE has solidified yet another promising semester, so make sure to check us out if you’re interested!

Written by: Liana Louise Adaza

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