Hrabowski Fund for Innovation Announces Inaugural Grants

Delana GreggDelana Gregg is assistant director of the Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program.

UMBC has announced the first recipients of Hrabowski Fund for Innovation grants: projects that will empower UMBC students to take an active role in their education, “to not only persist, but to excel.”

Hrabowski Fund for InnovationThe Hrabowski Fund for Innovation honors President Hrabowski’s 20 years of service to UMBC by investing in the future of our university. In 2011, Dr. Hrabowski received the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s Academic Leadership Award, one of the highest honors given to an educator. The award included a $500,000 grant, which he has directed to promote a culture of innovation, entrepreneurship and student success at UMBC. In a 2011 Baltimore Sun interview Dr. Hrabowski described faculty “constantly thinking about how to make students succeed” as “part of our culture.” This fund enables our innovative faculty to put their ideas into action. Here are a few projects I’m particularly excited about:

The Math Gym – A team led by Nagaraj Neerchal, professor and chair of mathematics and statistics, will develop The Math Gym, which will feature “conditioning coaches” and “personal trainers” who will help students keep their foundational math skills in good working order. The gym will promote healthy math habits among all our students, like the regular work outs and conditioning needed to maintain both athletic and mathematical skill.

Putting Students’ German Language Skills to Work – A team led by Susanne Sutton, lecturer in modern languages, linguistics, and intercultural communication, will develop new experiential and service-learning course requirements for undergraduates studying German, connecting students to Baltimore’s German community.

Active Computing Teaching and InnoVation Environment – A team led by Marie desJardins, professor of computer science and electrical engineering, will create ACTIVE, a dynamic “laptop laboratory.” The lab will support innovation in computing courses – with a particular focus on improving the retention and success of women, underrepresented minorities and transfer students – extending active-learning environments, such as CASTLE and the new English writing labs, to a new area of the university.

Check out the other inaugural grant-funded projects and learn more here. Contact Delana Gregg at



  1. Romy Hübler says:

    I’m excited to see the languages reaching out to communities instead of focusing their curriculum on classroom instruction alone.

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