The Meyerhoff Scholarship Program begins with generous support from
Robert and Jane Meyerhoff to provide financial assistance, mentoring,
advising, and research experience to African American male
undergraduate students committed to obtaining Ph.D. degrees in math,
science, and engineering.
Robert and Jane Meyerhoff
The Meyerhoff Scholarship Program enrolls its first class of students, the M1 cohort of 19 freshmen.
The first cohort of Meyerhoff Scholars, pictured with Mr. Meyerhoff
(right) and Susan Boyer (center), former director of the Meyerhoff
Women are first admitted to the program.
Some of the first female Meyerhoff graduates
Apple Computers, Inc., donates a computer to each member of the M3
cohort. The company also donated computers for the M4 and M5 cohorts.
The M4 cohort earns a 4.0 GPA across the board during their Summer Bridge classes.
The Meyerhoff Parent Association is initiated by a group of M1, M2, and
M3 parents, including original board members Carolyn King, Isabelle
McCants, McCauley Stancil, Edy Brooks, Dr. Sidney Jones, Kathy Chase,
and Shirley Watkins.
The first class of Meyerhoff Scholarship Program graduates goes on to
graduate and professional programs at Northwestern, Princeton, Penn
State, North Carolina State University, and the University of
Pennsylvania, among others.
The Eli Lilly Company sponsors two students from Indiana, the first Meyerhoff Scholars to come to UMBC from outside of Maryland.
UMBC awards Mr. Meyerhoff an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.
Working with UMBC Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator Dr.
Michael Summers, Chianna Paschall M4, chemistry, creates a model of one
of the dozens of proteins that make up the HIV virus. Her model is
featured on the cover of the November issue of the Journal of Molecular Biology.
Chianna Paschall and Dr. Michael Summers,
UMBC Magazine, Summer 1995
The Meyerhoff Scholarship Program creates an ongoing partnership with
Dr. Thomas R. Cech, 1989 Nobel Laureate in chemistry, through which
students complete research internships at his University of Colorado
Dr. Thomas Cech poses with M4 Nefertiti Harmon.
Dr. Kenneth Maton, professor of psychology, and UMBC President Freeman
Hrabowski publish their first study based on the Meyerhoff Scholars'
experiences, "Enhancing the success of African-American students in the
sciences: Freshman year outcomes," in School Science and Mathematics.
The Meyerhoff Scholarship Program is opened to people of all
backgrounds committed to increasing the representation of minorities in
science and engineering.
UMBC receives the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science,
Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring from President Bill Clinton.
Damon Tweedy (M4) is the first Meyerhoff Scholar to graduate with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
The Meyerhoff Graduate Fellows Program begins, focusing on promoting
cultural diversity in the biomedical sciences at the graduate level.
A gift from the Meyerhoff Foundation establishes The Robert and Jane
Meyerhoff Chair in Biochemistry at UMBC and biological sciences
professor Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg is the first honored to hold
Diversity in Higher Education, Volume 1
recruitment and retention of talented African-Americans in science: The
role of mentoring," by Dr. Charles Woolston, Dr. Hrabowski, and Dr.
UMBC begins its partnership with The Leadership Alliance, a consortium
of more than thirty of the nation's leading research and teaching
Oxford University Press publishes, Beating the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Males, based on research about the Meyerhoff Scholarship Program and co-authored by Dr. Hrabowski, Dr. Maton, and
Dr. Geoffrey Greif.
The Meyerhoff Scholarship Program celebrates its tenth anniversary.
Alumni of the Meyerhoff Scholarship Program at the 2000 Reunion.
Chester Hedgepeth (M1), biological sciences, becomes the first African
American student to receive an M.D./Ph.D. from the University of
Pennsylvania and the first Meyerhoff Scholar to achieve the degree.
The Meyerhoff Scholarship Program begins an international partnership
through the Fogarty MIRT Grant with Lancaster University in England,
allowing students to participate either in a one-year exchange program
or a summer research opportunity.
Dr. Summers receives the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science,
Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring in recognition of the
substantive undergraduate research opportunities Meyerhoff Scholars and
others obtain in his HHMI laboratory.
The Journal of Research in Science Teaching
"African-American college students excelling in the sciences: College
and postcollege outcomes in the Meyerhoff Scholars Program," by Dr.
Maton, Dr. Hrabowski, and
Overcoming the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Young Women,
based on research about the Meyerhoff Scholarship Program, is co
authored by Dr. Hrabowski, Dr. Maton, Dr. Monica Greene, and Dr. Greif.
The Today Show
features a segment about the Meyerhoff Scholarship Program.
Crystal Watkins (M3), biological sciences, finishes her M.D./Ph.D. at
Johns Hopkins University, becoming the first female Meyerhoff Scholar
to achieve the degree.
BEST (Building Engineering and Science Talent) cites the Meyerhoff
Program for its exceptional "Institutional Leadership" in a report to
the United States Congress of best practices among university programs
leading the way in training minorities in the sciences.
A gift by the Meyerhoff Foundation establishes the Robert and Jane
Meyerhoff Science Fund to support teaching and research in the life
sciences at UMBC.
The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Chemistry Building is dedicated in
recognition of the Meyerhoffs generosity and commitment to the
universal benefits of education.
Dr. Hrabowski and Dr. Summers are invited by the Howard Hughes Medical
Institute to discuss the success of the Meyerhoff Scholarship Program
at a Symposium on Diversity in the Sciences, held at Harvard
University. The following year, they speak again at the University of
Louisiana Monroe and the University of Washington.
In an editorial titled, "Why American College Students Hate Science," the New York Times
points to UMBC as an innovator in turning American college students into scientists.
Dr. Hrabowski and Dr. Summers co-author a report entitled "Preparing Minority Scientists and Engineers"
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute awards UMBC a $2.2 million teaching
grant to further develop the HHMI Scholars Program, a science education
initiative that focuses on students from diverse backgrounds.
Isaac Matthews M15, mechanical engineering, a star on the UMBC Track
and Field team, is named Arthur Ashe Male Sports Scholar of the Year by Diverse magazine. He is enrolled in the Ph.D. program in mechanical engineering at MIT.
Isaac Matthews (M15), Arthur Ashe Male Sports Scholar of the Year
The Civil Rights Project at UCLA publishes, "Opening an
African-American STEM Program to talented students of all races:
Evaluation of the Meyerhoff Scholars Program, 1991-2005," by Dr. Maton,
Dr. Hrabowski, and M. Ozdemir.
Ebony magazine features Kafui Dzirasa (M8), chemical engineering, in its
"30 on the Rise" collection of 2008 Young Leaders of the Future. The
magazine cited several of his UMBC achievements, including his studies
as a Meyerhoff Scholar and a conference championship in the long jump. Ebony also noted that he received Duke's Somjen Award for Outstanding Dissertation Thesis.
As of Spring 2008, 200 Meyerhoff Scholarship Program alumni have
completed graduate degrees at prestigious universities across the
nation. This group of graduates includes 50 who have earned Ph.D. or
M.D./Ph.D degrees, more than 50 M.D.s, and nearly 100 who have earned
master's or professional degrees in
engineering and other STEM-related fields. An additional 250 alumni are
currently enrolled in graduate and professional schools.
As of February 2010:
Alumni from the program have earned 65 Ph.D.s, 22 M.D./Ph.D.s and 65 M.D.s. Thirty-eight of these Ph.D.s have been awarded between 2005 and the first half of 2008. Meyerhoff graduates have received these degrees from such institutions as Harvard, Stanford, Duke, the University of Pennsylvania, M.I.T., Berkeley, Yale, Johns Hopkins, Carnegie Mellon, Rice, NYU, and the University of Maryland, College Park.
Over 85 additional alumni have earned graduate degrees in Engineering, and nearly 300 alumni are currently enrolled in graduate and professional degree programs.
The program is having a dramatically positive impact on the number of minority students succeeding in STEM fields; students were 5.3 times more likely to have graduated from or be currently attending a STEM Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. program than those students who were invited to join the program but declined and attended another university ."