A Talk by Mike Summers, Ph.D.
Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator
The Meyerhoff Scholars Program: A successful model for developing a more inclusive STEM PhD workforce.
Thursday, December 7, 2017 - 3:30 - 5:00 P.M. with a reception to follow.
Spieker Forum, Chou Hall
The Meyerhoff Scholars Program has been at the forefront of efforts to increase diversity among future leaders in science, engineering, and related fields. The UMBC Meyerhoff family is now more than 1,300 strong, with over 1,000 alumni across the nation and nearly 300 students enrolled in graduate and professional programs.
The nomination-based 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. The program’s success is built on the premise that, among like-minded students who work closely together, positive energy is contagious. By assembling such a high concentration of high-achieving students in a tightly-knit learning community, students continually inspire one another to do more and better.
The program has been recognized by the National Science Foundation and The New York Times as a national model. Scores of representatives from federal agencies, campuses, and corporations across the country have visited UMBC’s campus to learn more about the program’s success. The College Board’s National Task Force on Minority High Achievement praised the Meyerhoff Scholars Program as an example that could provide broader educational lessons.
Department chairs and faculty are involved in all aspects of the Meyerhoff Scholars Program, including recruitment, teaching, mentoring research, and special events and activities. Faculty involvement promotes an environment with ready access to academic help and encouragement, fosters interpersonal relationships, and raises faculty expectations for minority students' academic performance.
Through their work with faculty, Meyerhoff Scholars are able to participate in cutting-edge research, publish findings in peer review journals, present at national and international meetings, and even receive awards for their research efforts.
“My door is always open to students. It’s not just a job washing beakers. Students in my lab study how HIV functions and work to help scientists develop drugs to fight AIDS.” — Michael Summers, Ph.D. Robert E. Meyerhoff Chair for Excellence in Research and Mentoring