Increasing diversity in the sciences through the Meyerhoff Scholars Program: An interview with Freeman Hrabowski, President, University of Maryland, Baltimore County – Episode #111

HrabowskiThe Meyerhoff Scholars Program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) is at the forefront of efforts to increase diversity among future leaders in the sciences. It was launched in 1988 to provide financial assistance, mentoring, advising, and research experience to African American undergraduate students committed to obtaining Ph.D. degrees in science, engineering and related fields. Today the application process is open to prospective undergraduate students of all backgrounds who plan to pursue doctoral study in the sciences or engineering and who are interested in the advancement of minorities in those fields. Since its launch, the program has graduated over 1,000 students. Alums have earned over 200 Ph.D.s, including over 40 M.D. Ph.D.s, and many other graduates are currently in Ph.D. programs.

To learn more, we are joined by one of the founders of the program, Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, who is today the President of UMBC. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including more than 20 honorary degrees and a profile on 60 Minutes. President Obama named him chair of his Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. His new book is titled, “Holding Fast to Dreams” and includes a chapter on Meyerhoff Scholars Program.

Web extras: President Hrabowski discusses the role of ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the program [click here] as well as some highlights in terms of results [click here]. (The evidence of effectiveness of the program is also reviewed in this 2011 journal article.) He also describes the importance of first-year student performance [click here]. And finally, he discusses the ongoing replication of the program at two other universities [click here].