Expert in inclusive excellence in STEM to give campus talk

February 22, 2021 - 4:13pm

University president Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, who will speak at the UO in March, fuses his passion for mathematics, education and equity to create national models for inclusive excellence.

Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, will speak on “The Empowered University: Shared Leadership, Culture Change, and Academic Success” as the next offering from the UO African American Workshop and Lecture Series. The series is sponsored by the Office of the President and the Division of Equity and Inclusion.

The virtual event will take place March 2 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Hrabowski will also meet in small groups with diverse campus stakeholders.

Hrabowski grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, during the height of the civil rights movement. He was a youth leader who at 12-years-old was jailed for almost a week for protesting. It was during those years that his love of mathematics was born, alongside his understanding of societal inequities and the power of education.

While studying mathematics at the University of Illinois, Hrabowski was the only Black student in his classes. Stirred to address the issue, he established a tutoring center for African Americans in high school and college math and science courses.

In his book “Holding Fast to Dreams: Empowering Youth, from the Civil Rights Crusade to STEM Achievement,” Hrabowski shows how being a civil rights movement youth leader inspired him to develop programs to promote success in science, technology, engineering and math classes among African Americans and others.

Hrabowski has served as president of University of Maryland, Baltimore County since 1992. Time magazine named him one of the 10 best university presidents. The university is one of the nation's leading sources of African American doctorates in science and engineering; almost half of its seniors go immediately to grad school.

U.S. News & World Report has repeatedly recognized the Baltimore campus as a national leader in academic innovation and undergraduate teaching.

Hrabowski’s research and publications focus on science and math education, with special emphasis on underserved populations and inclusive excellence in STEM. At the University of Maryland he co-founded the Meyerhoff Scholars Program, considered one of the most successful programs for educating African Americans who go on to earn doctorates in STEM disciplines.

Hrabowski has also chaired the National Academy of Sciences committee that produced the report, “Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads.” President Barack Obama called on him to chair the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. His 2013 TED talk highlights the “Four Pillars of College Success in Science.”

Hrabowski has received numerous awards and accolades, including inclusion in “America’s Best Leaders” by U.S. News & World Report and “100 Most Influential People in the World” by Time magazine, and winning the TIAA-CREF Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence, Carnegie Corporation of New York’s Academic Leadership Award, the Heinz Award for contributions to improving the "Human Condition," and others.

An RSVP is required by March 1. Register online or through the Division of Equity and Inclusion website.

—By tova stabin, University Communications