It’s Not Just School, It’s Life: President Hrabowski’s TED Talk on Student Success

Dinah WinnickDinah Winnick is a communications manager in UMBC’s Office of Institutional Advancement.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of watching President Hrabowski’s TED talk on how colleges can promote success for students from all backgrounds. In its first day online, the video reached 58,000 views!

One moment that caught my attention is when Dr. Hrabowski recounts how, a few years ago, a faculty member who returned to campus after a snowstorm to work in his lab found several students camped out there, working on an AIDS research project. He said, “They saw the work not as schoolwork, but as their lives.”

This is a sensibility that permeates the UMBC experience. Our SGA isn’t a “pretend” government; it’s a group that empowers students to create the community and the campus they seek. Our students don’t just solve theoretical problems in the classroom; they go into communities to fix infrastructure, tackle food insecurity and document public history. The take-away: The story President Hrabowski tells isn’t just inspirational, it’s real. It’s our story.

Contact the author, Dinah Winnick, at



  1. […] I watched Dr. Freeman Hrabowski’s TED talk on the key initiatives needed to help all students to be successful. As usual, I was inspired by […]

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