The Meyerhoff Scholars Program has been at the forefront of efforts to increase diversity among future leaders in science, engineering, and related fields. The UMBC Meyerhoff family is now more than 1200 strong, with 800 alumni across the nation and 300 students enrolled in graduate and professional programs. The nomination-based application process is open to prospective undergraduate students of all backgrounds who plan to pursue doctoral study in the sciences or engineering and who are interested in the advancement of minorities in those fields.
The program's success is built on the premise that, among like-minded students who work closely together, positive energy is contagious. By assembling such a high concentration of high-achieving students in a tightly knit learning community, students continually inspire one another to do more and better. The program has been recognized by the National Science Foundation and The New York Times as a national model. Scores of representatives from federal agencies, campuses, and corporations across the country have visited UMBC's campus to learn more about the program's success. The College Board's National Task Force on Minority High Achievement praised the Meyerhoff Scholars Program as an example that could provide broader educational lessons.
Over the last decade, the Engineering Office of Diversity (EOD) under the leadership of Dr. Wosu have pursued and enjoyed a unique relationship with the Meyerhoff administration and students. Each year, Dr. Wosu and other faculty, most notably, Bioengineering, visit the UMBC campus and meet with the Scholars in a formal presentation followed by an informal lunch to allow for interaction with faculty. In addition, EOD tracks students’ progress and encourages them to prepare and contemplate graduate education, especially PhD. Each year Dr. Wosu attends the Meyerhoff dinner which honors and celebrates the accomplishments of the students.
Meyerhoff Scholars are intentionally invited to participate in the Summer Engineering Pre PhD Research Program. The goal of the Pre PhD program is to create a pipeline for students who wish to pursue PhD degrees in engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. The Engineering Office of Diversity (EOD) identifies prospective students with a 3.5 or higher GPA as Pre-PhD Scholars. These engineering students from groups traditionally underrepresented in the field are recruited from institutions across the nation, and are assigned to Swanson School of Engineering faculty mentors who lead multidisciplinary teams in advanced research. Scholars are placed in the admissions pipeline as candidates to MS or PhD program at the Swanson School of Engineering.
All students present their research findings to faculty members, staff and current students. Over the last four years, 17 students participated in the Pre PhD summer program of which 8 were Meyerhoff Scholars. Currently five of the 8 Pre PhD participants are enrolled in graduate programs in Bioengineering, Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Engineering a SsoE. Two of the 8 Pre PhD participants are Junior undergraduate students at UMBC and one of the students accepted a graduate fellowship at another University. Three of the five Meyerhof Scholars became K. Leroy Irvis Fellows also when coming to SSoE.