As Towson University’s Presidential Scholar, Dr. Nancy Grasmick has worked tirelessly
to improve opportunities for our students, faculty and the greater community.
She has done this by working collaboratively across the university and within the
external community to fund, design, pilot, and assess innovative initiatives in education
Some of these initiatives are possible because of well-funded national grants. Others
rely on seed funding from external donors. Unlike prescriptive grants that require
several years of continuing a preset plan, seed funding allows Dr. Grasmick to cost
effectively design small pilot programs, then implement and evaluate them. Successful
pilots then become models for future learning communities and scaling.
Innovation and Leadership in Special Education
A collaboration with Kennedy Krieger Institute has resulted in a sophisticated, interdisciplinary
internship opportunity that graduates highly qualified leaders in special education
and the neurosciences. These carefully selected fellows receive an intensive experience
at Kennedy Krieger, which along with Towson University courses, results in an ADMIN
I certificate. They also team teach the Introduction to Special Education course for
the College of Education atTowson and UMBC. Learn more about this program.
Professional Development in the Neurosciences
Fellows completing the Innovation and Leadership in Special Education Program are
uniquely qualified to effectively translate neuroscience research into classroom application
for student success. As of July, 2018, 16 fellows have completed the program and
are in a variety of education settings from Maryland to Hawaii providing support to
teachers and schools systems. Dr. Grasmick has partnered with Towson, Kennedy Krieger
and Baltimore County Public Schools to develop an online curriculum in the neurosciences
for teachers. Phase one is a course funded by MSDE and has been completed.
The UTeach program at Towson University was inspired, in part, by Dr. Grasmick’s role
as a board member of the National Math and Science Initiative. Through this initiative
she learned of the need for highly qualified STEM teachers and how TU students could
benefit by participating in such a program. Towson University is the first site in
Maryland to receive a UTeach grant of over $2 million. This project enables TU to
prepare highly qualified teachers in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and
mathematics) fields. Dr. Grasmick has raised a significant amount of funding to support
the UTeach program and remains highly involved in the UTeach program.
Presidential Scholar Advisory Council
An Advisory Council led by Board of Regents Chair, James T. Brady, composed of nine
highly respected Marylanders representing a variety of business, state, and governmental
organizations works with the Presidential Scholar to establish priorities, network
across the state, and advise on important education topics. The group has chosen career
technology education opportunities and women’s leadership as its current urgent areas
of need. The Council has been very active in the development and implementation of
the LYNX program at Frederick High School. Some members attended the school’s opening
celebration and others have visited the school since it opened in September of 2017.
Universal Design for Learning
Dr. Grasmick is a staunch supporter of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). This is
a set of principals for curriculum development that gives all individuals equal opportunities
to learn and demonstrate their learning. Dr. Grasmick sponsored the National UDL Conference
at Towson University in 2016 and has funded other projects at areas schools. In July,
2018, she was a presenter at the National Conference at Harvard.
LYNX at Frederick High School
Dr. Grasmick has partnered with the Frederick County Pubic School System and FredrickHigh
School, to develop and implement a new model for high school students to provide individualized,
self-directed learning experiences in accordance with a personal plan for success.
Presidential Scholar Signature Forum
“Preparing for Public Education in the 21st Century” is an ongoing speaker series
that provides opportunities for community and educator stakeholders to access cutting-edge
research. The speaker series also offers perspective on key topics presented by national
experts like Dr. Ben Carson, Frederick Bealefeld, Daniel Pink, Dr. Sharon Lynn Kagan,
and Dr. Rebecca Landa, Elizabeth Green, Wes Moore, Jason Botel and Bethany Brand.
Towson University Professional Leadership Program for Women
Women’s Leadership Collective
The Women’s Leadership Collective at Towson University provides leadership skills
and experience to women throughout their academic and professional lives—while creating
a collective of women supporting women. The Collective creates distinct cohorts of
TU undergraduate and graduate students and high school girls. The Collective’s goal
is to share stories, skills, experiences, and best practices that enable participants
to sharpen communication, assessment, and critical thinking skills as they build self-confidence.
Learn more about the Collective.