Press Release

August 19, 2021

FIU Receives CUPA-HR’s National HR Excellence Award

Florida International University’s Division of Human Resources (DHR) has received the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) 2021 HR Excellence Award for its impressive COVID-19 response.

This national award honors transformative HR work in higher education that results in significant and ongoing organizational change within their institutions. CUPA-HR is pleased to offer a $3,000 contribution to FIU’s endowment or a scholarship fund.

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, DHR led the university’s workforce in its transition to remote work — an enormous task, with more than 10,000 employees seeking information and guidance.

“Brilliant minds began to confer, coupling professionalism with practicality; expertise with empathy; and creativity with calm,” said Trudy Fernandez, FIU’s director of HR relations, in her nomination for the team. They produced supervisor guidelines and training, developed a COVID-19 emergency policy that clarified job and benefits status, hosted virtual events to recognize and engage employees, and developed the Panthers Protecting Panthers safety course. In addition to tackling COVID-19, the DHR team responded to racial unrest sparked by the George Floyd murder by leading FIU’s Equity Action initiative, which identified and implemented several actions to address more fully the issues of inclusion and equity.



CUPA-HR is higher ed HR. We serve higher education by providing the knowledge, resources, advocacy and connections to achieve organizational and workforce excellence. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, and serving more than 33,000 HR professionals and other campus leaders at nearly 2,000 member institutions and organizations around the country and abroad, the association offers learning and professional development programs, higher education salary and benefits data, extensive online resources and just-in-time regulatory and legislative information.


Contact Information
Missy Kline
Project Manager and Media Contact