Rebeca Arocha

Graduate Program Advisor

Rebeca Arocha has been working with FIU for 10 years. She is a two time FIU alumna, having earned her bachelors in Criminal Justice in 2012 and her Masters in Criminal Justice in 2014. Currently, Rebeca is a doctoral student in the International Crime and Justice program.



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Nirmala Arunachalam

Program Director - Break Through Tech Miami



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Ava Bonny

Academic Advisor I

B.A., Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Ava is a FIU alumnus, earning her Bachelor of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. She joined the KFSCIS team in August 2023. Previously, Ava worked with FIU’s Talent Acquisition & Management Department and with the University of Miami as a Research Assessor. Ava desires to help every student she reaches accomplish their goals and have profound academic success.



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Evelyn Cao

Social Media Student Assistant



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Melanie Carrillo

Academic Advisor

Melanie Carrillo is an FIU alumna who earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Certificate in Professional and Public Writing. Prior to joining the KFSCIS Advising team in 2023, Melanie held an internship position at FIU’s Digital Writing Studio and assisted in the creation of digital resources for students and faculty.



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Bernadette Chung

Assistant Director, Academic Support

Bernadette Chung serves as the Assistant Director, Academic Support Services for the Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences. Bernadette has been working at Florida International University for over 15 years with her career starting at the MOSS School of Construction for 8 years holding different capacities. She then joined FIU Online as a Senior Instructional Designer for four years and in July 2018 as Assistant Director, Academic Support Services at the College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts. She earned both her degrees at FIU, BS in Hospitality Management and MS in Higher Education Administration.



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Chantal Cook

Social Media Specialist - Break Through Tech Miami



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Leyssa Desir

Student Assistant



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John Flynn

Systems Network Administrator



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Scott Graham

Assistant Director, Research Programs

Dr. Graham is the Assistant Director, Research, for FIU’s Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences (SCIS), Managing Co-Director of FIU’s NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Advanced Knowledge Enablement (I/UCRC CAKE), and Associate Director, Coordination & Strategy, of FIU’s NSF Center for Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) Center for Aquatic Chemistry and Environment (CAChE). He has also served as Program Coordinator for FIU SCIS’s NSF PIRE and CREST awards. As Assistant Director for Government Relations of FIU’s High Performance Database Research Center and Managing Co-Director of I/UCRC CAKE, he has assisted in overseeing projects totaling over $55 million. His areas of interest include program management, computer ethics, broadening participation, database modeling, Internet applications, and computer architecture. Dr. Graham received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from FIU and his BSE in...



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Myrian Herlle

Academic Advisor III

Before working for the Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences (KFSCIS), she was an International/Academic Advisor in Houston, TX. She traveled nationwide and overseas during her tenure, mentoring, guiding, and advising international college students.

After joining the KFSCIS advising team in 2014,  Myrian began running a pilot program to assist students with academic warnings and probation status. In 2015, she founded the Academic Success Initiative (ASI), a tutoring and mentoring program to help students succeed in computer science and IT courses. The program’s success led to an award from NACADA, the National Academic Advising Association, in 2016. ASI also offers professional development and leadership opportunities to tutors to train them with duties and technical projects for the workplace.

Myrian is a two-time alumna of FIU. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration....



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Amelia Hinds

Student Assistant



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Eric S. Johnson

Systems/Networking Manager

Network Administrator.



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Natalia Laca

Student Office Assistant



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Steven Luis

Executive Director for Technology

Mr. Luis holds a Masters in Computer Science from Florida International University.

Mr. Luis serves as Executive Director for Technology in FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing. Over the last thirty years he has successfully lead higher education IT research and instructional enterprise services for one of the state’s largest Engineering and Computing programs. He manages cluster computing/networking platform and professional IT support services. Mr. Luis collaborates with FIU faculty, industry research staff, and government agencies on computing-related R&D, via the acquisition and execution of millions of dollars in state, local, and federal funded projects, industry contracts. He conducts business development and outreach for the South Florida IT industry and created with management the SCIS Executive Industry Advisory Board. He has overseen dozens of in-house software development projects, establishing business requirements, designing software frameworks, implementing, and deploying them for administrative or R&D purposes.



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Jerry Miller

Associate Director Administrative Services

2023 Ph.D., Computer Science, Florida International University
2011
M.S., Telecommunications and Computer Networking, Florida International University
1982 M.A., Management and Human Resources
1979 B.S., Basic Sciences (Engineering, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, and Physics), United States Air Force Academy

Jerry Miller is an Associate Director, Administrative Support Services, and an adjunct faculty member. He joined FIU in 2006 as Associate Director and Principal Investigator for renewable energy, international security, and technology research at the Applied Research Center where he handled a $4 million dollar research portfolio. He joined the Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences in 2015. He assists the KFSCIS Director with personnel issues, strategic planning, letters of support or recommendation, and research grant writing for large grants. His position is also responsible for media, marketing, and communication for the School.



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Lauren Morency

Academic Advisor I

Lauren Morency is an FIU alumna where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Criminal Justice in 2023. Through her time as a student, Lauren was a Vice-President and later on, a President within her Greek Organization dedicated to the service of musical programs across Miami Dade and Broward County. Prior to joining the Knights Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences, Lauren worked as an 8-12 Substitute teacher in Miami-Dade County.



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Federico Moscoso L

Academic Advisor



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Joselyn Naranjo

Associate Director of Academic Advising

2020 Ph.D., Curriculum and Instruction, Florida International University
2014 M.A., History, Florida International University

Joselyn Naranjo earned both her Bachelor’s degree in History in 2013 and a Master’s degree in History in 2014 from Florida International University. Before coming to the Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences in 2019, she first joined FIU in 2015 as an undergraduate academic advisor for the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs. As of now, she is working on a doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on language, literacy, and culture. Her current interests in academic advising lie in higher education policies and their effects on student engagement, success, and access.



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Carla Pagan

Academic Advisor I

2020 M.A., Global Affairs, Florida International University
2018
B.S., Criminal Justice, Florida International University

Carla Pagan earned both a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice in 2018 and a Master of Arts in Global Affairs in 2020 from FIU. Before joining the Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences (KFSCIS) as an Academic Advisor, she worked for the College of Engineering & Computing’s Advancement Team and for FIU Online as a College Recruiter since 2018. Carla is passionate about student success and engagement within academic advising.



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Alina Perez

Program Director, Community Outreach - Break Through Tech Miami

Alina M. Perez is the Program Director of Community Outreach for Break Through Tech Miami at KFSCIS. Alina has been continuously involved with the FIU Panther community since 2010. She is an FIU alumna with a BS in Communications with a focus on broadcast journalism and is currently on track to finish her MS in Global Strategic Communications from FIU as well. She holds a CQEP (Certified Quality Event Planner) credential as her communications career has been primarily focused on event marketing and planning. Before returning to FIU in 2022 to bring her passions and skill set to Break Through Tech Miami, Alina worked at QuickNode, Addigy, Royal Caribbean, and Ross University School of Medicine, all in a communications and project capacity. During the pandemic, however, she taught elementary school for two years which broadened her skill set and views even further on how early education is power for future success in tech. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her husband...



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Barbara Pita

Program Director, Career Access - Break Through Tech Miami



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Christian Poellabauer

Professor & Graduate Program Director

2004 Ph.D., Computer Science, Georgia Institute of Technology
1998 Dipl.-Ing., Computer Science, University of Technology Vienna, Austria

Dr. Christian Poellabauer is a Professor in the Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences at Florida International University. He received his Ph.D. from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2004 and worked as Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department at the University of Notre Dame from 2004 to 2021. At Notre Dame, he also served as Associate Director of the Lucy Family Institute for Data and Society and Founding Director of the Applied Analytics and Emerging Technologies Lab. At FIU, he directs the MOSAIC (Mobile Sensing and Analytics) Lab, which focuses on developing novel personal, social, and crowdsensing solutions in a variety of application domains, primarily in the healthcare field. Notable outcomes of his lab’s research include the development of various solutions using mobile devices, wearables, and virtual assistants for the diagnosis of concussions, the rehabilitation progress of amputees and...



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Abraham Quant

Bridge Advisor - Break Through Tech Miami



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Alexander Rioseco

Academic Advisor I

M.S., Higher Education Administration, Florida International University
B.A., Psychology, Florida International University
Alexander joined the KFCIS advising team in early 2023 as a two-time alumnus of FIU. He earned an MS in Higher Education Administration, and a BA in Psychology. Previously, Alexander was a Graduate Assistant at the office of Connect4Success, a guided transfer pathway that helps students transition seamlessly to FIU. He also worked at Miami Dade College as a clerk for the Office of the Registrar and Transcript Services assisting students with their transcript requests.


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Ruth Suarez

Academic Advisor III

1988 B.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
1996 M.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois, Chicago

Ms. Ruth Suarez joined FIU in 2013 as an academic undergraduate advisor for the College of Engineering and Computing at the Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences. She received in 1988 her BS degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez and her MS degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1996.

Prior to working at FIU Ms. Suarez worked at the Polytechnic University of PR as an adjunct faculty teaching Freshman Engineering Design, Calculus 1 and Engineering Mechanics Statics courses. She also worked for AT&T/Lucent Technologies for the Core Software Unit as a Testing Engineer. In addition, she worked at the American Heritage School teaching Physics and Engineering courses and at MDC as the Accelerated Programs advisor. Her passions are to raise her children to be positive contributors to society, serve God and help students reach their educational goals.



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Damaris Zabala

Program Coordinator



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Lian Zhang

Finance Manager



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