For the past 30 years, Hrabowski has spent much of his professional career passionately addressing the critical question of why so few minority students and faculty -- particularly African Americans -- are in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering at major colleges and universities throughout the country.
A key outcome of his effort was the creation of the Meyerhoff Scholars Program in 1988 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. The program was aimed at high-achieving minority students in these fields at this predominantly white, public research university founded in 1966. For Hrabowski, the Meyerhoff Scholars Program represents the fulfillment of a dream.
By all measures, the program's positive results are striking. Well over 400 competitively selected students have enrolled in the program. Since the first group of graduates in 1993, more than 265 Meyerhoff students have earned degrees, with 85 percent going on to graduate and professional programs nationwide. Research on the program's effectiveness has shown that the decision by a student to select science, math, or engineering as a major, and possibly as a research career, is directly related to the quality and nature of the student's research experiences and to his or her relationships -- both on and off campus -- with mentors in these disciplines.
Based on his research, Hrabowski will discuss best practices for producing more underrepresented minority scientists, mathematicians, and engineers.
Hrabowski is the co-author of Beating the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Males (1998) and Overcoming the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Young Women (2001).
The Caltech Presidential Lecture Series on Achieving Diversity in Science, Math, and Engineering was established to bring to campus speakers who have had highly successful experiences in promoting women and underrepresented minorities in science and technology.
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