Real Triumphs Graduates are a diverse group of graduates in background, nationality, interests and ambitions who have accomplished extraordinary things during their time at the university and are shining examples of what makes FIU students so special.
Diana Baross, who graduated in Spring ’23 with a BA in Economics, has surmounted challenges that have fueled her indomitable drive and commitment to help others. Born with spinal muscular atrophy, Diana struggled most of her life to find her place in this world. She tried different areas of study over the years until she found the academic discipline to pursue. Faced with the barriers disabled adults face in the healthcare system, the lack of effective social support programs, and discrimination in employment, her passion for economics was the result of a desire to impact these conditions. She felt her command of the field would equip her with the capabilities to effect change. Living in Orlando and with limited mobility, Diana credits FIU Online with the opportunity to secure a high-value education with world-class faculty without traveling to campus.
Diana has suffered from health issues and has gone through several surgeries and treatments during her time at FIU. To help those who also have her medical condition, she is part of SMA United for Treatment Options, a patient advocacy organization.
Despite all the obstacles, she has been on the Dean’s List every semester at FIU while maintaining a full-time job as a senior revenue management analyst. She is applying to FIU’s Master of Public Health program in order to gain the additional tools, knowledge, and credentials to continue working to help those living with chronic health conditions. In the long run, Diana has her eyes set on medical school.