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September 08, 2006

UMBC LAUNCHES SHERMAN “STEM” TEACHER TRAINING PROGRAM

$5 MILLION GIFT FROM GEORGE AND BETSY SHERMAN
FUELS INITIATIVE TO TRAIN SCIENCE AND MATH TEACHERS FOR URBAN SCHOOLS;
KICKS OFF $100 MILLION CAPITAL CAMPAIGN, LARGEST IN UMBC HISTORY


CONTACT:
Mike Lurie

Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262
mlurie@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE – A leadership gift of $5 million from George and Betsy Sherman will fund the Sherman STEM Teacher Training Program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), a program that will dramatically increase the number of UMBC graduates who move immediately into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teaching careers in at-risk and challenged schools in Baltimore City and throughout Maryland. The gift is a cornerstone of UMBC’s new $100 million capital campaign, the largest in the University’s history.

Through the Sherman STEM Teacher Training Program, UMBC seeks to become one of the nation’s leading institutions for training STEM teachers to work in at-risk schools. The program will provide scholarships for undergraduate and transfer students and fellowships for recent college graduates or mid-career professionals pursuing UMBC’s Master of Arts in Teaching.

“There is no more important education issue right now to the U.S. and to Maryland than getting more students interested in science and math,” said Dr. Geoffrey Summers, dean of the UMBC College of Natural & Mathematical Sciences. “In fact, if we add four physics teachers per year in Maryland public schools, we will double the rate of physics teachers that Maryland currently produces.”

The Sherman gift anchors a $100 million capital campaign ― chaired by John Erickson, CEO of Erickson ― which will seek endowment gifts, annual gifts, grants and gifts-in-kind to support academic initiatives strategically important to the development of UMBC, the region and the nation. The campaign will launch publicly in September with $63 million already raised.


A report from the National Academies designed to assess America’s ability to compete in the 21st century, “Rising Above the Gathering Storm,” calls for the recruitment of 10,000 new science and math teachers each year through competitive scholarships in math, science and engineering that lead to a bachelor’s degree accompanied by a teaching certificate.

George Sherman, retired president and CEO of Danaher Corporation and his wife, Betsy, a former teacher, chose UMBC as a partner to improve K-12 STEM education in urban schools. The $5 million gift began with $1 million to support the existing Sherman Family Teacher Scholars Program in the UMBC Department of Education.

A university widely recognized for its excellence in technology, science and teacher training, UMBC is well-positioned to fulfill the Shermans’ vision. Within five years, UMBC will host 50 Sherman Scholars (undergraduate students) and 10 Sherman Fellows (graduate students) annually. The inaugural Sherman STEM cohort will be assembled for fall, 2006 from existing UMBC students whose studies are concentrated in the STEM disciplines.

“World events of the past five years have further weakened one of our nation’s most competitive advantages: our ability to train, produce and retain graduates in science and technology,” George Sherman said. “The international marketplace is clearly growing and developing at a faster pace than we are right now. To win this race, we must start training tomorrow’s talent today. UMBC’s leadership and faculty are superb and are providing the fresh thinking needed to address contemporary issues.”

Said UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski, “This leadership gift from George and Betsy Sherman reflects the generosity and vision of two people closely connected to our campus for a long time. It demonstrates their commitment to preparing teachers for the youth in America and their confidence in UMBC’s ability to train teachers who will improve the quality of science and math education in Maryland.”

Summers, dean of the College of Natural & Mathematical Sciences, added, “Students get to college and don’t realize what a rewarding career teaching can be. Moreover, a very small percentage of science teachers actually earned their undergraduate degree in science. This program will allow us to work with students early in their college career and develop their interest in teaching math and science in public schools where the need for such education is great.”


Posted by mlurie

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