Leader in STEM, minority education to receive honorary degree from ASU


March 13, 2014

Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), will receive the Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree from Arizona State University at the May 14 undergraduate commencement ceremony at Sun Devil Stadium.

Hrabowski, a Birmingham, Ala., native, is a renowned scholar of higher education and mathematics who has championed science and math education, emphasizing minority participation and performance. He was recently named by President Barack Obama to chair the newly created President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. Freeman A. Hrabowski, III Download Full Image

Hrabowski is among the inaugural inductees into the U.S. News & World Report STEM Solutions Leadership Hall of Fame. Time Magazine named the veteran educator one of America’s Ten Best College Presidents in 2009 and one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2012.

Recently, CBS’s 60 Minutes featured Hrabowski and UMBC, attracting national attention for the campus’ achievements involving innovation and inclusive excellence. A child-leader in the Civil Rights Movement, he has also been featured in Spike Lee’s 1997 documentary, "Four Little Girls," based on the 1963 bombing of Birmingham’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church.

Hrabowski is the co-founder of the Meyerhoff Scholars Program at UMBC with philanthropist Robert Meyerhoff. The program is for high-achieving students, especially from underrepresented minorities, who are committed to pursuing advanced degrees and research careers in the STEM fields.

The program’s status as a national model and its outcomes have inspired numerous articles and two books by Hrabowski – “Beating the Odds” and “Overcoming the Odds” – that focus on parenting and high-achieving African American men and women in science.

Hrabowski also chaired the National Academies’ committee that produced the recent report, “Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads.” In addition, he serves as a consultant to the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Academies, and universities and school systems nationally. He is a board member of several companies and non-profit groups, such as the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Baltimore Equitable Society and McCormick and Company.

Among his numerous awards and honors are: the TIAA-CREF Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence; Carnegie Corporation of New York’s Academic Leadership Award; and the Heinz Award for his contributions to improving the “Human Condition.&rdquo

Born in 1950, Hrabowski graduated at 19 from Hampton University in Virginia with highest honors in mathematics. He received his master’s degree in mathematics, and his doctoral degree in higher education administration and statistics at age 24 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Media projects manager, Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development

Pioneer of environmental science to receive honorary degree from ASU


March 13, 2014

Pamela Matson, professor of environmental science at Stanford University, will receive the Doctor of Science honorary degree from Arizona State University at the May 14 undergraduate commencement ceremony at Sun Devil Stadium.

Matson, a Hudson, Wis., native, is a pioneer in environmental science. Her research addresses issues such as: sustainability of agricultural systems; vulnerability of people and places to climate change; and global change in nitrogen and carbon cycles. She has worked to develop agricultural approaches that reduce environmental impacts while improving livelihoods and human well-being with multi-disciplinary teams of researchers, managers and decision-makers. Pamela Matson Download Full Image

Dean of the School of Earth Sciences and senior fellow at the Woods Institute for Environment at Stanford University, Matson is an elected member of the National Academy of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was awarded the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 1995 for her trailblazing work.

In addition to serving on advisory boards for Arizona State University’s Global Institute of Sustainability and Colorado State University’s School of Global Environmental Sustainability, she has been a part of numerous National Academies' committees, including the Board on Sustainable Development, the Board on Global Change and the Committee on America’s Climate Choices. She also served on the science steering committee for the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program.

Matson was the founding chair of the National Academies Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability and founding editor for the Annual Review of Environment and Resources. She is a past president of the Ecological Society of America, serves on the boards of the World Wildlife Fund and the ClimateWorks Foundation and directs the Leopold Leadership Program at Stanford University.

The most recent among her nearly 175 publications are “Seeds of Sustainability: Lessons from the Birthplace of the Green Revolution” and the National Resarch Council volume, “Advancing the Science of Climate Change.”

Matson received her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, her master’s in environmental science from Indiana University and her doctorate in forest ecology from Oregon State University.

Media projects manager, Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development