"UMBC attracts bright students from around the world and gives them the support and attention they need to be successful. The achievements of our Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship recipients underscore UMBC's commitment to helping some of our most talented students.”
President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III
Alumni Win Highly Selective Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Study Awards
September 5, 2007 - Matthew Loftus '07, chemistry, and Hadi Gharabaghi, '06, visual arts, recently received one of the nation's most prestigious and generous academic awards, the Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Scholarship. Only 34 high achieving students received this year's award, which provides up to $300,000 over a six-year period for graduate or professional study.
Now in his first year at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Loftus, a resident of Bel Air, Maryland, came to UMBC on a Jack Kent Cooke Transfer Scholarship. He spent summers doing volunteer work in Africa and was vice president of Students Taking Action Now in Darfur (STAND).
Loftus hopes to work as a doctor in developing countries after medical school. "I am blessed and privileged to be a recipient of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Scholarship," said Loftus. "It allows me to be free to pursue a career in international health serving others without having to worry about any debt from medical school."
Originally from Iran where he studied math and physics in high school, Gharabaghi is pursuing an M.A. in Cinema Studies at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. His work has been exhibited at Caladan Gallery, Current Gallery, Iranian.com and the Middle East Institute. While at UMBC, he completed an internship at the Smithsonian Institution's Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.
After receiving his master's degree, Gharabaghi plans to obtain a Ph.D. in Media Studies and teach at the university level. "The prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Scholarship bestowed upon me has materialized my belief in the American Dream," said Gharabaghi. "Having entered this country as a refugee nearly a decade ago, I aspired to achieve and maintain academic excellence since in Iran, I was unjustly denied opportunity due to my religious affiliation. For me, this scholarship is the validation of years of perseverance. Therefore, on the onset of 40, I feel more determined than ever to pursue my dream of an academic career in the humanities."