Michele Ciccazzo
Robert Stempel 10-Year Anniversary Award
Recognizes an individual or group who has made a significant lifetime contribution to the public health and welfare of South Florida through leadership, vision and dedicated service.
Michele Ciccazzo, Ph.D., R.D. is Dean Emerita for the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. Ciccazzo, a Registered Dietitian, was one of the founding faculty members in the Department of Dietetics & Nutrition when FIU admitted its first students in 1972. She served as Dean of the College from 2012 through December 2014. Before being named Dean of the College, Ciccazzo served as Interim Dean from 2010-2012 and also from 2006-2008. She served as Interim Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at FIU between 2009-2010. Ciccazzo has more than 35 years of experience in higher education, and over 15 years in administrative assignments at FIU where she has also served as Department Chair of Dietetics & Nutrition and Associate Dean of two colleges. Prior to these positions, Ciccazzo was employed as a Family and Consumer Science County Agent with the Florida Cooperative Extension Service, and as a community health nutritionist in both Florida and Indiana. She holds a Ph.D. in Nutrition from Florida State University and a M.S. in Public Health Nutrition from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. During her tenure as Dean, Ciccazzo oversaw some of the important milestones in the history of the College. Importantly, she guided the college through various accreditations. During her leadership, the College achieved a rank of 23 in National Institutes of Health funding among schools of public health in addition to establishing itself as a leader in educating minority public health students. Cicazzo also oversaw the groundbreaking for the 67,000-square-foot building that now houses the College, a new facility that through her vision, was designed to promote interdisciplinary collaboration between social work, dietetics & nutrition and the FIU Stempel College's five core public health departments. Dean Emerita Ciccazzo’s research and teaching interests have focused on community-based nutrition education programs as well as sports nutrition for children and young adults. With funding from the Florida Department of Education, Ciccazzo developed a nutrition curriculum for middle and high school students, which was distributed and implemented statewide in Florida. As a result of her work on this project, she was invited to develop and implement the nutrition track for another statewide training with funding by the Florida Tobacco Pilot Project. She has conducted training sessions at state, regional and national meetings for public and private school teachers, coaches and trainers, regional and local sports organizations, and various health professional associations. More recently, she has been involved in research to discern the efficacy of providing nutrition and health education to college students as measured by an increase in nutrition knowledge and positive changes toward an active lifestyle and healthy eating. Michele Ciccazzo is an amazing example of positive living, and for this reason, her students, faculty colleagues and the whole FIU family appreciate the many years of leadership and friendship that she has shared with us. She is an academic role model who has motivated as well as educated, and who balances the wisdom of her years with a youthful and giving spirit.