Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, has served as President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) since 1992. Born in 1950 in Birmingham, Alabama, Hrabowski graduated from the Hampton Institute with highest honors in mathematics. He received his M.A. (mathematics) and Ph.D. (higher education administration/statistics) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A child-leader in the Civil Rights Movement, Hrabowski was prominently featured in Spike Lee’s 1997 documentary, Four Little Girls, on the racially motivated bombing in 1963 of Birmingham’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Hrabowski’s new book, Holding Fast to Dreams: Empowering Youth from the Civil Rights Crusade to STEM Achievement, published in May 2015, is about his experiences with the Civil Rights movement and how they led him to develop programs promoting educational success in science and technology for African Americans and others.
Dr. Hrabowski’s research and publications focus on science and math education, with special emphasis on minority participation and performance. He chaired the National Academies’ committee that produced the Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads report. He was named by President Obama to chair the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. Hrabowski and UMBC were featured on CBS’s 60 Minutes, attracting national attention for the campus’ achievements involving innovation and inclusive excellence.
Examples of Dr. Hrabowski’s honors include the U.S. Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring, the GE African American Forum ICON Lifetime Achievement Award, Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) by the BEYA STEM Global Competitiveness Conference, Educator of the Year by the World Affairs Council of Washington, DC and receiving the Technology Council of Maryland’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dr. Hrabowski co-founded the Meyerhoff Scholars Program in 1988. The program is open to all high-achieving students committed to pursuing advanced degrees and research careers in science and engineering, and advancing underrepresented minorities in these fields. The program is recognized as a national model, and based on program outcomes, Hrabowski has authored numerous articles and co-authored two books, Beating the Odds and Overcoming the Odds (Oxford University Press), focusing on parenting and high-achieving African American males and females in science.
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