UMBC Watch

"We are excited about the new Public Affairs Scholars Program, which complements our existing Humanities Scholars, Linehan Artist Scholars, and Meyerhoff Scholars Programs. These programs are attracting growing numbers of truly outstanding students to UMBC."

--President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III

UMBC Launches Public Affairs Scholars Program

Building on its strong commitment to civic engagement, UMBC this fall launched a Public Affairs Scholars Program to complement other targeted scholarship opportunities already available at the University.

The program, supported in part by a $500,000 endowment gift from The Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation, provides scholars with insight into the nature and significance of public affairs and public service careers.

The 12 Public Affairs Scholars who enrolled this fall have a variety of academic majors reflecting interests in the economy, the environment, health care policy, urban affairs, the history of public policy, and community service.

"We want students to see firsthand that working in the public service arena can be both challenging and rewarding," says Roy Meyers, associate professor of political science, who coordinates the program. "Young people need to be encouraged about the possibilities for improving society, whether through government or private action."

In addition to meeting requirements for their selected majors, the Public Affairs Scholars will participate in seminars, attend a new Public Affairs Speakers Series, complete internships in their fields, and prepare special-topics papers in selected policy areas during their senior year.

Rachel Lynn, a Public Affairs Scholar and the 1999 valedictorian at Western High School, received a full scholarship including tuition, fees, and housing. "I'm expecting to be prepared for a career in public service by having a more solid background than I would receive simply by taking classes," she says. "I'm really looking forward to the interaction of this group over the next four years."

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