The Division of External Relations is the face of the university. We are charged with increasing public awareness of FIU through effective marketing and communication strategies that enhance the university’s image and present a consistent, unified message.
External Relations is comprised of Media Relations, Community Relations, Marketing & New Media, News & Communications, Web Communications, Publications and Protocol & Special Events. Each department is integral to moving our university forward through effective communication and message development, special events and the cultivation of affinity and pride from both internal and external audiences. We also work on marquee events and special projects, as deemed by President Mark B. Rosenberg, such as FIU’s United Way campaign, TEDxFIU, expanding FIU’s footprint, and the access road leading up to Biscayne Bay Campus.
In addition to in-house experts, we have placed experts in many of your areas as well. Our network of Account Managers works within colleges and units to offer a seamless continuum of marketing and public relations services and a deeper understanding of what it means to communicate effectively in today’s world.
Sandra B. Gonzalez-Levy
Senior Vice President of External Relations
As the Senior Vice President for External Relations, Sandra B. Gonzalez-Levy manages all communications, marketing, media, public relations and community relations, including oversight of FIU’s community board, the President’s Council. Gonzalez-Levy successfully launched a university-wide branding initiative including the implementation of a new logo. She serves as the chair for the Disaster Assistance Task Force under Emergency Management and the Awards and Recognition Committee as well as co-chair for FIU’s Annual United Way Campaign. Gonzalez-Levy formerly served as the executive director of the FIU Foundation, Inc. Board of Directors, where she managed the corporate affairs of the Foundation and served as the liaison between the Board and the University. Through October 2008, she also served as interim vice president for University Advancement where she managed all fundraising activities of the university and raised over $52 million (including state matching funds) in one year.
Gonzalez-Levy joined FIU in July of 2007 from Terremark Worldwide, Inc. where she served as senior vice president of Corporate Communications. Prior to joining Terremark, she was president and CEO of the Miami-Dade Community College Foundation, Inc., the direct support organization of Miami-Dade Community College, the largest community college in the world. In this capacity, Gonzalez-Levy provided leadership in designing and implementing strategies for increasing private financial support and managed more than $56 million of Foundation assets.
She holds a Master degree in business administration from Barry University.
Vice President of External Relations
Under Terry Witherell’s leadership, External Relations added a new Department of Web Communications, Department of Marketing and New Media and expanded the News and Communications Department. She has been instrumental in inaugurating FIU’s first branding campaign, Worlds Ahead; overseeing the launch of FIU’s first digital news site, FIU News; and guiding the successful redesign of FIU’s homepage, fiu.edu.
For 29 years, Witherell has been a true professional and team player at FIU, overseeing the marketing strategies that have directed our brand. She began her career at the university as a graphic artist in the Publications Department and previously served as the associate vice president for External Relations.
Witherell has been honored by the Council for the Advancement & Support of Education numerous times for successful advertising campaigns and internal communications. In 2010, Witherell and the marketing team were Presidential Excellence Award Finalists for the Worlds Ahead branding campaign. She has also provided leadership on some of the university’s major initiatives including FIU’s Quality Enhancement Plan.
Assoc. Director, Operations & Special Projects