The Office of Government Relations is responsible for advocacy of the University at the local, state, and federal levels
The Office of Government Relations helps fulfill this mission by actively engaging elected leaders, monitoring state and federal legislative activity and advocating for FGCU’s Board of Trustees approved legislative priorities.
We also promote FGCU’s education and public service activities in an effort to increase state support for the campus and to expand awareness of FGCU in Tallahassee, FL. Because Florida’s term limits bring new elected officials to Tallahassee every other session, educating legislators regarding the impact of their funding and policy decisions on FGCU’s future is more important than ever. By being a community partner, we seek to strengthen support for FGCU and public higher education by linking the campus to government and the community.
Our success is critical to FGCU’s future due to state support compromising an indispensable part of FGCU’s core operating and capital budgets and the amount of federal research funding provided to institutions and their jurisdiction over policies relating to a variety of student issues. Success at all levels of government will allow FGCU to advance its mission and vision to achieve academic excellence and student success.
Legislative PrioritiesToggle More Info
FGCU's 2020 Legislative Priorities
$16.4 Million: Remaining Funding to Complete Integrated Watershed and Coastal Studies, AB9
$9.2 Million: Recurring Operational Funding - Year 3
- $8 Million: Board of Governors Submission, University of Distinction - The Water School
Staff ContactsToggle More Info
Jennifer Goen has been the Director of Government Relations at Florida Gulf Coast University since August 2005 and is a member of the President’s Executive team. Before joining FGCU, Jennifer served as Senior Legislative Assistant to Florida State Senator Mike Bennett. From 2000 to 2003 she was the first Legislative Affairs Administrator for the Florida House Finance Corporation (FHFC), where she represented the Corporation’s interests before the United States Congress, Florida Legislature, Office of the Governor, Florida Cabinet and various State agencies. While at FHFC, Jennifer was awarded the Special Friend of Affordable Housing by her colleagues for her outstanding Legislative accomplishments. Prior to her management position at FHFC, she served as a Special Assistant to Florida Speaker Tom Feeney and as Chief of Staff for Florida State Representative Greg Gay of Cape Coral.
Jennifer has a Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. She was born and raised in Indiana and moved to Florida in 1990 and to Fort Myers in 1992. In addition to her employment, she served on the Florida 4-H Foundation from 2000-2010.
She has earned the designation of Designated Professional Lobbyist (DPL) by the Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists and currently serves as a member of the steering committee for the national higher education advocacy organization, the Public Higher Education Legislative Advocacy Professionals (PHELAP).
Phone: (239) 590-1020 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Susie Wentworth
Legislative Coordinator II
Jennifer “Susie” Wentworth holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Elon University; a Master of Arts Degree from the University of Florida in Political Science and Master of Science Degree from the University of Florida in Sports Management.
Previously, Susie served as a Chief of Staff for Florida State Representatives Robert Casey and Hugh Gibson. She also held the position as the Director of Communications for the National Right to Work Committee. For the better part of the last decade, she was employed in the Retail Industry at several malls locations for Jones Lang LaSalle and Simon Properties as the Director of Marketing and Business Development.
Susie was born in Charlotte, N.C. and moved to Florida when her family retired there in 1995. She is a sustaining member of the Junior League where she served as the Public Affairs Chair.
Phone: (239) 745-4257 | Email: email@example.com
Samantha Lake graduated in Summer 2017 from Florida Gulf Coast University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She graduated as Magna Cum Laude in her class. While attending Florida Gulf Coast University, Samantha was selected for the President’s Society Legislative Internship in 2015 where she worked with Florida State Representative Matt Hudson.
Samantha previously worked at the Robert Harris Law Firm for six years. She also has contributed numerous hours of community service to non-for-profit organizations.
She was born in Massachusetts and raised in Florida where she attended K-12thgrade.
Phone: (239) 590-7410 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Events & ActivitiesToggle More Info
2020 SESSION DATES
Sep. - Dec. 2019
Legislature convenes for Interim Committee Weeks
January 14, 2020
Regular Session convenes (Article III, section 3(b), Constitution)
12:00 noon, deadline for filing bills for introduction (Rule 3.7(1))
February 29, 2020
All bills are immediately certified (Rule 6.8) Motion to reconsider made and considered the same day (Rule 6.4(4))
March 3, 2020
50th day - last day for regularly scheduled committee meetings (Rule 2.9(2))
March 13, 2020
60th day - last day of Regular Session (Article III, section 3(d), Constitution)
2019 - 2020 EAGLE ADVOCACY EVENTS
September 26, 2019
Eagle Advocacy Kick-off Event | Location: Cohen Center - Room 214
January 28, 2020
FGCU Day at the Capitol
April 9, 2020
Eagle Advocacy Appreciation Event | Location: Cohen Center - Room 214
How to Help Advocate for FGCUToggle More Info
Eagle Advocacy is the official grassroots network of alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends of Florida Gulf Coast University. It is dedicated to providing information to individuals who are interested in helping the University gain support for its legislative agenda among state government officials.
As an Eagle Advocate, you will be part of a proud and committed group of Florida Gulf Coast University alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends who articulate the University’s priorities to those in positions to affect its future. Founded in 2012, this important grassroots network works to ensure that the future of Florida Gulf Coast University remains bright. Eagle Advocates make a difference by persuasively conveying the University’s story and needs to government officials. With your involvement, Eagle Advocacy will make an impact that will carry a strong message about the importance of the University’s mission and the critical need for reliable state funding to carry out that mission. Once you join, you will receive the information and support materials you will need to contact key government officials and convey your message effectively. Membership is free and it only takes a few minutes to join. Members care deeply about FGCU’s future and have the desire to advocate on its behalf. They believe in the University’s value to all Floridians and share that message with elected officials. Advocates stay connected with the Eagle Advocacy network to learn about the issues facing the University, what University officials are saying about the issues and how they can advocate to help advance the University. Eagle Advocates strive to help state government officials understand the impact Florida Gulf Coast University has on the lives of its students and on the Southwest Florida community as a whole.
Throughout the year, we will send the University’s legislative agenda, news, and updates pertaining to legislative activity. We will issue Advocacy Alerts during the legislative session through email. When you receive an Advocacy Alert, we ask that you contact your elected leaders and express your support for Florida Gulf Coast University. Advocates are also invited to take part in events designed to provide insight about the University, network with others committed to FGCU, and educate decision makers who must understand the University’s needs in order to advance the mission of FGCU. Advocates are encouraged to make known any connections they have with elected officials so we can provide guidance for reaching out to those individuals to voice concern or support regarding actions that may affect the University.
We’re here to answer your questions.
Office of Government Relations
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Edwards Hall 213
Fort Myers, FL. 33965