Press Release

February 28, 2012

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) were joined today by Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, President of University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), to announce that UMBC has been awarded a $599,977 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF)  to fund scholarships in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for 30 talented transfer students.

 “America’s future depends on our ability to embrace high-tech education and training needed for jobs in the 21st Century,” said Senator Cardin. “Under Dr. Hrabowski’s leadership, UMBC has become nationally recognized for its science, math and engineering programs and this grant will ensure that the university is able to provide more students with the tools they need to get the highly skilled, technical jobs that.0 are needed in the future.”

“Education is the opportunity ladder of this nation and higher education is a critical rung in that ladder,” said Senator Mikulski, Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science, which funds the NSF. “STEM graduates are in demand to fill jobs now. Every student, regardless of race, deserves a chance to excel in those fields. Maryland has the resources and the infrastructure to guarantee any student a rich experience, not to mention job prospects. I’m proud to put funds in the federal checkbook to ensure that Maryland continues to be a leader in preparing our future workforce for jobs today and jobs tomorrow.”

 The NSF grant will provide scholarships for 30 financially needy academically talented transfer students majoring in computer science, computer engineering, information systems, mechanical engineering or chemical engineering through the Community of Transfer Scholars in Information Technology and Engineering project at UMBC. The funding will also establish a Scholars Retreat which will provide mentoring from faculty, peers and industry leaders as well as collect data about the transfer students’ experiences, particularly women and minorities to increase the success rate of all transfer students.

 “This grant will allow us to expand our efforts to help more students of all backgrounds succeed, regardless of where they begin their college experiences,” said Freeman Hrabowski, President of UMBC. “In addition to providing financial support to talented transfer students interested in computer science and engineering, it also will help deepen our understanding of best practices for helping transfer students from across the country excel in science, technology, engineering, and math.”

UMBC is the lead institution of the University System of Maryland Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, along with University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Dr. Hrabowski recently completed work for the National Academies as Chair of their Committee on Underrepresented Groups and the Expansion of the Science and Engineering Workforce Pipeline. Under Dr. Hrawbowski’s leadership, the committee drafted a report titled “Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads,” which provided an in depth view examination of the need to recruit and maintain minorities in the STEM fields.

 As Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science, Senator Mikulski puts money in the federal checkbook for the National Science Foundation each year.

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