UMBC undergraduate Katie Cano, ’16, Political Science has been appointed to serve as the sole student member of the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) for 2014-2015. She will be sworn in to her new position on August 15, 2014 by the Clerk of the Circuit Court in Calvert County.
As the student Commissioner, Katie will work with MHEC’s other members to establish policies and make decisions regarding budgets and construction priorities, financial aid, the creation of new academic programs, the establishment of new colleges and universities and other matters relating to higher education in Maryland. Among the issues MHEC will address this year will be determining next steps following a 2013 federal court ruling that Maryland has not done enough to desegregate its public higher education system.
Katie, a rising junior, is a Sondheim Public Affairs Scholar and an active volunteer. She has served as a UMBC Residential Life desk staff member and President of her residence hall Community Action Board; peer facilitator for an Introduction to an Honors University course; and an Orientation Peer Advisor and blogger for the UMBC Admissions Office. In 2012-2013, she won one of the inaugural BreakingGround grants to organize UMBC students to work with the Regional Institute for Children and Adolescents, a school for students with emotional disabilities, learning disabilities and other health issues.
Katie will be the third UMBC student in the last 8 years to serve as MHEC’s Student Commissioner, following Josh Michael (2007-2008) and Alexia Van Orden (2010-2011).