.|  Baltimore Ecosystem Study
Holding Fast to Dreams: Empowering Youth from the Civil Rights Crusade to STEM Achievement

Freeman Hrabowski
BES Book Of The Year 2016

Each year, BES selects a book that is relevant to the activities of the project, and worth a read to BES participants. Here is this year's selection:

Freeman Hrabowski's Holding Fast to Dreams: Empowering Youth from the Civil Rights Crusade to STEM Achievement.

February 12, 2016
The 2016 BES Book of the Year is by Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, III, President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). UMBC is our home in Baltimore, but it is much more than a physical location. It is one of the main reasons we proposed that our urban Long-Term Ecological Research project be located in Baltimore. And President Hrabowski embodies what made UMBC such an important ingredient in our success. His enthusiasm for the project as we were planning for it, and deciding how to embed a project effectively in Baltimore was key to bringing the project to fruition.
One reason that BES resonates so well with UMBC is Hrabowski's leadership in inclusive excellence in science-technology-engineering-mathematics (STEM) training. UMBC has become the preeminent institution among those founded after formal integration of higher education in the United States in preparing minority students for achievement of the PhD and MD-PhD degrees.
This very readable yet profound book tells how Hrabowski came to be a national leader in inclusive STEM excellence. It describes the role of his own upbringing and the power of community in leading him to first a career in mathematics, and later as a university president committed to inclusive excellence. He has, through his experience at UMBC and other institutions, and as a leader of empirically grounded quantitative research on educational strategy for underrepresented persons in STEM. He has combined all this remarkable insight and experience to serve as guide and exemplar for other institutions.
Because the mission of BES includes diversity, this book contains insights that are important to all participants in BES. According to our official Mission Statement, BES seeks to "assemble and nurture a diverse and inclusive community of researchers, educators, and participants." We are fortunate to have President Hrabowski as our guide and partner in this important work. Join me in reading this remarkable book.
Steward Pickett
Director, Baltimore Ecosystem Study
Information on Holding Fast to Dreams is on the independent book review site, Goodreads:
Dr. Hrabowski has made a number of presentations or given interviews, or been the subject of high-visibility articles. A few are linked below.
TED Talk:
CBS 60 Minutes:
Time magazine article: