The Mark O. Hatfield lecture, named for the late U.S. senator from Oregon, showcases a national-level speaker on a public policy topic.
2018: Holding Fast to Dreams: Creating a Climate of Success for All Students in STEM and Beyond
Freeman Hrabowski, President, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Mark O. Hatfield Lecture – Co-Sponsored by Marquam Hill Steering Committee
April 9, 2018
Rapid and dramatic demographic and technological changes present our nation with enormous challenges for educating students and preparing them for successful careers, particularly in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, Ph.D., president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, leads a campus widely recognized for its culture of embracing academic innovation to help students of all backgrounds succeed. He will draw on UMBC's experiences, along with three decades of studying minority student achievement nationwide, to discuss approaches for promoting inclusive excellence, academic innovation, and ultimately student success.
UMBC in the news:
- "Cinderella Story," The New York Times
- "The Secret Behind the Greatest Upset in College Basketball History," The Atlantic
High expectations, community building, experiential learning and faculty engagement keys to attracting, retaining students
April 11, 2018
As president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Freeman Hrabowski, Ph.D., and his team have transformed their no-name commuter college into a world-renowned, powerhouse for preparing historically underserved minority students for careers in science, technology, engineering and math.
Ranked the number one "Up and Coming" university for six consecutive years by U.S. News and World Report and among the nation's leading institutions for "Best Undergraduate Teaching," UMBC now produces the most black graduates who go on to earn M.D./Ph.D.s than any other college in the country, among many other metrics of success.
OHSU invited Dr. Hrabowski to give the Mark O. Hatfield Lecture April 9 to share his recipe for success and to build a relationship that OHSU hopes will lead to more UMBC students applying to OHSU's Ph.D., M.D. and P.A. programs.
Turning goals into reality
"I've talked about OHSU increasingly modeling the values that we all cherish and providing a refuge in turbulent times," said OHSU President Joe Robertson, welcoming OHSU's guest at the lecture. "Dr. Hrabowski's comments will help inform our ability to do that, particularly for students in science, technology, engineering and math."
Yet, as Dr. Hrabowski explained the formula is deceptively simple:
- Set high expectations for all students: students' reach should exceed their grasp.
- Build a community among students and faculty in the sciences that favors collaboration over competition: build trust not silos.
- Recognize that researchers produce researchers: experiential learning trumps lectures.
- Expect faculty to engage with students: faculty who care about students see to their success.
He calls it inclusive excellence: imbuing in students that, with hard work, they can become whatever they want to be and empowering faculty and staff to be part of the solution.
He also credits that strategy for contributing to the UMBC men's basketball team – ranked dead last in the N.C.A.A. tournament – for its 20-point victory March 16 over No. 1 University of Virginia: the biggest upset in the tournament's history.
"The dream," he said to his OHSU audience, "has to do with people of all races trusting each other enough to come together to solve the problems of human kind."
With data, powerful stories, wit and warmth, Dr. Hrabowski spent his visit sharing UMBC's work and learning about the science and culture at OHSU in meetings with School of Medicine Dean Sharon Anderson, Provost Elena Andresen and Senior Vice President for Research Peter Barr-Gillespie, faculty, Ph.D., M.D. and P.A. program directors, and graduate students before giving his evening lecture.
Reframe the narrative of OHSU as an inclusive, innovative destination
He encouraged faculty to "reframe the narrative" about OHSU. Stop leading with how white OHSU and Oregon are, and what a barrier that is to attracting and retaining diverse faculty and students.
Instead, tell a story about the institution's amazing strengths. That includes OHSU's powerful research on topics from the intersection of race and violence, to the impact of stress and poor health during pregnancy on infant brain development that is relevant to diverse scholars and that he learned about from touring the Fair Neuroimaging Lab during his visit.
Dr. Hrabowski pointed out that the University of Iowa – situated in a state not known for its diversity – has developed a national reputation as a "go to" institution for diverse scholars by building a culture of inclusive excellence.
"What will OHSU do to have the country see it as a destination?" he asked. "It takes looking in the mirror and being honest with ourselves; creating a culture that stops you from pointing fingers at each other and instead builds respect and trust."
He also talked about – and modeled – what it means to build a welcoming community, stopping to say hello to everyone from faculty, students and staff to custodians and food servers as he traversed the campus, drawing out students about their path to OHSU and their plans. It's about seeing people, he said, being kind, building relationships.
He said he had to fight, but prevailed, in featuring a white male UMBC faculty member with students of color on the cover of his book Holding Fast to Dreams: Empowering Youth from the Civil Rights Crusade to STEM Achievement, because he wants white faculty to know that their role as allies who invest in and advocate for all students is as important as that of faculty mentors of color.
A note of hope and encouragement
"Dr. Hrabowski not only provided inspiration and clear, practical strategies for realizing our aspirations as an institution diverse in people and ideas, he provided encouragement and hope. Encouragement that we have the tools to be a place where diverse faculty and students come and thrive and hope about how much more amazing work we can all do together," said Allison Fryer, Ph.D., associate dean for Graduate Studies, OHSU School of Medicine.
Dr. Fryer collaborated with Brian Gibbs, Ph.D., OHSU Chief Diversity Officer to bring Dr. Hrabowski, a longtime associate of Dr. Gibbs, to Portland. Drs. Fryer, Gibbs and Mary Heinricher, associate dean for Basic Science, OHSU School of Medicine, traveled to UMBC over spring break for a preliminary visit to build on relationships with program directors and faculty at UMBC that Dr. Fryer began to foster several years ago.
Binyam Nardos, Ph.D., postdoc researcher in Behavioral Neuroscience and a member of the Fair Neuroimaging Lab, said he was encouraged that OHSU has recognized UMBC's accomplishments and "is demonstrating the will and urgency" to learn from its success. He also appreciated Dr. Hrabowski's realism that underrepresented minority faculty remain the exception in institutions across the country and that there is still much work to be done, even as he encouraged such faculty to embrace their roles as pioneers.
Antoinette Foster, a Ph.D. student in Neuroscience Graduate Program and co-founder of the Alliance for Visible Diversity in Science (AVDS), organized a group of about 20 students who met privately with Dr. Hrabowski. Foster and AVDS have also engaged in a productive dialogue with Dean Anderson, Dr. Barr-Gillespie and Provost Andresen about ways to support and improve retention of diverse students.
Foster expressed gratitude about a core aspect of Dr. Hrabowski's message: "the key to fostering diversity is building community and listening to the needs of your students."
She said she is optimistic that students, faculty and senior leadership can work toward a shared idea articulated in the 2013 OHSU Diversity Action Plan: Creating a community of diversity and inclusion does not just happen, and it cannot be achieved by a single department or council. It is a transformation that occurs only when each of us embraces diversity and leads by example.
Dr. Hrabowski amplified her optimism during his lecture, noting how welcomed he felt at OHSU and how, from the students to the faculty, everyone was leaning in with questions about how to improve.
"You only get that level of questioning when people really care," he said. "That, coupled with strong leadership at the top, will make it possible to bring more diverse people to OHSU."
Mark O. Hatfield (1922-2011)
Mark Odom Hatfield was born July 12, 1922, in Dallas, Ore. His love for his country inspired him to join the U.S. Navy during World War II, shortly after receiving his B.A. from Willamette University in Salem, Ore. After the war, Hatfield completed his master's degree at Stanford University and returned to Willamette as a professor and eventually dean of students.
Hatfield launched his political career in 1950 with a successful run for the Oregon House of Representatives – he was then the youngest legislator in Oregon and still lived at his parents' home. In 1953 he introduced and passed legislation in the House prohibiting racial discrimination in public accommodations, before federal legislation and court decisions did so on a national level.
Hatfield then became the youngest Oregon Secretary of State in 1956, a two-term Oregon governor, then a U.S. Senator in 1966. As a senator and chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Hatfield directed billions of dollars of federal appropriations to projects in Oregon.
After 30 years of service, Hatfield retired from the senate in 1996. He served on the OHSU Board of Directors from 2000 to 2008. He died August 7, 2011, following a lengthy illness.
Hatfield's legacy has been honored with buildings, organizations and wilderness areas around the state and country, including:
- Mark O. Hatfield Library at Willamette University
- Hatfield Marine Science Center at Oregon State University
- Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University
- Hatfield Research Center at OHSU
- Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse in Portland, Ore.
- Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center at NIH in Bethesda, Md.
Dr. Chu goes to Washington
A special presentation by the Marquam Hill Lecture Series
Presented by: Steven Chu, Ph.D. (April 23, 2013)
Human health and well-being depend on a healthy global environment. Steven Chu, Ph.D., discussed his vision of our energy future and how innovations in technology and public policy can help us/U.S. lead the world to a sustainable future. Dr. Chu is a distinguished scientist and co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics (1997). He served as the United States Secretary of Energy from January 2009 to April 2013.Prior to this appointment, Dr. Chu was director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab where he led the lab in pursuit of alternative and renewable energy technologies; he also taught at the University of California as a professor of physics and molecular and cell biology. He has returned to Stanford as a member of the Physics and Molecular and Cellular Physiology Departments.
OHSU concurrently welcomed Dr. Chu as a 125th anniversary lecturer.
The Value of Health: The Argument for Strong Investment in Medical and Scientific Research
A special presentation by the Marquam Hill Lecture Series
Presented by: Albert Starr, M.D. (March 15, 2012)
The late Senator Hatfield was a tireless advocate for scientific and medical research and for Oregon’s system of higher education. That advocacy made possible the Oregon Health & Science University we know today. To honor his legacy, OHSU hosts an annual Mark O. Hatfield Lecture, delivered this year by Dr. Albert Starr. Dr. Starr came to OHSU in 1957 and led OHSU’s heart surgery program. He is best known for co-inventing and implanting the world’s first successful artificial heart valve, the Starr-Edwards Heart Valve, in 1960. Since then, the artificial heart valve technology has saved literally hundreds of thousands of lives.In his lecture, Dr. Starr discussed the importance of public support in the advancement of his own research – as well as that of OHSU – and examined the social and economic benefits of health and longevity.