The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) has given $6.9 million to the Meyerhoff Scholars Program at the University of Maryland Baltimore County to enable the expansion of the program to both the University of California, San Diego and the University of California, Berkeley.
The Meyerhoff Scholars program aims to support underrepresented students pursuing careers in STEM fields. It is recognized as one of the most effective models in the country to help inspire, recruit, and retain underrepresented students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees in STEM disciplines. Program participants have earned 300 Ph.D. degrees, 130 medical degrees, 54 M.D./Ph.D. degrees, and 253 master’s degrees. UMBC is a diverse public research university whose largest demographic groups identify as White and Asian, but which also graduates more African-American students who go on to earn dual M.D.-Ph.D. degrees than any other college in the U.S. — a credit to the Meyerhoff program model.
The University of California System, the world’s largest public research university, is also one of the largest undergraduate and graduate educators of underrepresented and low-income students in the country among peer institutions in the Association of American Universities. More than 50 percent of the University of California’s undergraduates from the poorest families in the state surpass their parents’ income within the first five years of graduating.
The grant will allow the San Diego and Berkeley campuses to apply many of the models successfully used at UMBC, including outreach to high achieving underrepresented high school students, research experiences, team learning, peer counseling, advising, preparation in the summer before matriculation, and engagement with students’ families.
“Over three decades, UMBC has developed highly effective strategies to support student success and increase diversity in STEM fields,” said Michael Summers, the Robert E. Meyerhoff Chair for Excellence in Research and Mentoring and Distinguished University Professor at UMBC. “It is truly thrilling to think about the national and global impact the Meyerhoff Scholars Program will have through partnerships like this. UC Berkeley and UC San Diego are among the top U.S. producers of undergraduates who go on to earn STEM graduate degrees, and by working together we can help shape the future of our national Ph.D. pipeline, with inclusive excellence as a core shared value of our work.”