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Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, President of the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) was presented as the newest Center for Engagement with Communities Distinguished Fellow to recognize his significant contributions to the field of education.
A strong advocate for STEM education and a mathematician by training, Hrabowski said he gets goose bumps from solving math problems. His speech “Holding Fast to Dreams: Creating a Climate of Success for All Students” addressed the need to have a reality check with the student and the educational institution and then work together to ensure student success.
Hrabowski’s hunger for education was instilled in him at a very young age. He grew up in Birmingham, Alabama in the 1960s and was inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King to march for his right to an education, which landed him in jail for a week at the age of 12. “It taught me that I could be strong at a young age,” said Hrabowski.
The Center for Engagement with Communities (CEC) Fellow’s program was instituted to recognize individuals whose service and education values exemplify the goals of Whittier College and the CEC. Each Fellow is invited to give a talk to the Whittier College community and spend time on campus meeting with faculty, students and invited guests.
Fulfilling his CEC Fellowship duties, and in an incredibly tight agenda, Hrabowski met in the course of two days with Whittier College students, faculty members, as well as community leaders, and local high school administrators. During several meetings held all over Whittier College’s campus, he held engaging discussions around STEM education, curriculum development, and shared strategies on how to create a climate of success.
Hrabowski, has led UMBC since 1992 and has turned it into an undergraduate honors college nationally recognized for its work on access for underserved populations especially in STEM education.
Past CEC Fellows include Richard Solomon, former U.S. Ambassador and alumna Linda Biehl '65, founder of the Amy Biehl Foundation.
Watch Dr. Hrabowski's speech.