Taphenes Koroma

Degree: Bachelor of Business Administration

College/School: College of Business

Taphenes Koroma, a tennis player who often represented her home country of Trinidad and Tobago in international competitions, was used to success. She came to FIU in 2012 with the International Freshman Scholars Award. Her initial academic success resulted in an invitation to join the Honors College and her induction into two honors societies: The National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Delta Epsilon Iota.

But she hit a major roadblock in her sophomore year. With no family in Miami, Taphenes struggled with feelings of isolation and her GPA plummeted, resulting in academic probation. She was in danger of both losing her scholarship and dismissal from the Honors College. When she went home to Tobago on break and realized there were no college opportunities there, she decided to turn around her academic life around.

Back at FIU, Taphenes regained focus and although she was working part-time and taking six or more classes a semester, her grades became so impressive that she won a second academic scholarship, the Florida-Caribbean Institute Tuition Waiver.

Taphenes recently brought an idea she had to FIU’s Office of Engagement: a one-stop organization where new and current Panthers can receive continuous support throughout the semester not just at the beginning. This organization, called College 101 is ready to launch and will help prevent students from perhaps going through what Taphenes did.