The Heinz Family Foundation has awarded University of Maryland, Baltimore County President Freeman A. Hrabowski III one of its five annual medals for his work encouraging minorities to study science, engineering and math at college.
"I'm really honored," Hrabowski said in an interview. "I know that I'm getting this award because of the work of my colleagues and students. It's much less about me and really about UMBC."
Hrabowski, who is celebrating his 20th year as president of UMBC, has attracted national recognition for his work at the university. He was recently named one of the world's most influential people by Time magazine and was chosen by President Barack Obama to chair a newly created advisory council on excellence in African-American education.
Teresa Heinz, who founded the awards in 1993 in honor of her late husband, U.S. Sen. John Heinz, praised Hrabowski for refusing to accept typically low participation by minorities in the STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math.