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Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and The Honorable Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, are both part of US Black Engineer magazine’s list of influential college presidents, provosts, and academic deans. Stay tuned for the next issue of USBE magazine.

Both presidents have a special relationship with USBE magazine. In 2001, Dr. Jackson became the first woman to receive the Black Engineer of the Year Award. Dr. Hrabowski won the top award at the BEYA STEM Conference in 2013 for his achievements in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.

In related education news, NASA announced this week that UMBC is one of the select institutions awarded fellowships given to institutions through its Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP).

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute received one of the five additional fellowships  through mission directorate project funds.

All the awards begin in the 2020 academic year and total more than $3 million to support graduate student research. The selected projects include research into the dynamics of Mars’ atmosphere, satellite communications, solar technologies, and other areas that have the potential to contribute directly to NASA’s missions, including returning America to the Moon through the Artemis program.

Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County since 1992, is a consultant on science and math education to national agencies, universities, and school systems. He leads a university that has been recognized as a model for inclusive excellence by such publications as U.S. News & World Report, which for the past 10 years has recognized UMBC as a national leader in academic innovation and undergraduate teaching. Named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time magazine (2012) and one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News (2008), he is the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Council on Education’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2018) and the University of California, Berkeley’s Clark Kerr Award (2019). Hrabowski’s 2013 TED talk highlights the “Four Pillars of College Success in Science.” His most recent book, The Empowered University, written with two UMBC colleagues, examines how university communities support academic success by cultivating an empowering institutional culture.

The Honorable Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., has served as the 18th president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute since 1999. A theoretical physicist described by Time magazine as “perhaps the ultimate role model for women in science,” Jackson has held senior leadership positions in academia, government, industry, and research. She is the recipient of many national and international awards, including the National Medal of Science, the United States’ highest honor for achievement in science and engineering. Jackson served as co-chair of the United States President’s Intelligence Advisory Board from 2014 to 2017 and as a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology from 2009 to 2014. Before taking the helm at Rensselaer, she was chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission from 1995 to 1999. She serves on the boards of major corporations that include FedEx, IBM, and PSEG, where she is lead director. Jackson holds an S.B. in physics and a Ph.D. in theoretical elementary particle physics, both from MIT.

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