Read More UMBC News Blog Stories

February 6, 2013

UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski Named the “2013 Black Engineer of the Year”

Elyse Ashburn
Director of Communications

The Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) STEM Conference has named President Freeman Hrabowski its “Black Engineer of the Year,” an honor that recognizes UMBC’s success in helping students from all backgrounds succeed in science, technology, engineering and math.

The BEYA conference is the nation’s largest gathering of STEM professionals and leaders committed to increasing the percentage of underrepresented minorities in the technological workforce. The conference enables leaders in industry, education and government to join professionals and students in addressing the challenges of recruitment and retention in the STEM fields.

“Jobs in the sciences, technology and engineering are among the fastest growing and most crucial to America’s continued success in a global economy – but too few students are succeeding in those fields,” said President Hrabowski. “I am delighted to see many of our nation’s best minds coming together to address this pressing challenge, and I’m honored to share what we’ve learned at UMBC.”

UMBC’s Meyerhoff Scholars Program, started 25 years ago, has become a national model for diversifying America’s scientific and engineering workforce. The program began with the idea of increasing not only the number of underrepresented minority students completing graduate degrees and working in the sciences and engineering, but also the number who are leaders in their fields. The approach used in the Meyerhoff Scholars Program – setting high expectations, building community among students and involving students deeply in faculty research – has proven so successful that these practices are now applied in classrooms and labs across disciplines.

UMBC is now one of the top universities in the country for the number of African American graduates it sends on to earn Ph.D.s in the STEM fields. In engineering and information technology alone, about 12 percent of our graduates each year are African American students.

“To keep engineering and scientific jobs in the United States, and ensure America maintains her global leadership, we need to inspire a new generation of Americans to pursue STEM careers,” said Tyrone Taborn, BEYA chairman and publisher of US Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine. “Spotlighting models for success, like UMBC, is critical to doing so.”

This year’s annual BEYA conference, held February 7-9 in Washington, D.C., will bring together students, college administrators, recruiters, engineering and IT professionals, scientists and high-level decision-makers. In addition to President Hrabowski, a number of technology leaders will be recognized for their career achievements and their efforts in strengthening the STEM pipeline.

For more information, visit

Posted by eashburn at February 6, 2013 5:48 PM