TU celebrates potential, enthusiasm of inaugural Hill-Lopes Scholars cohort

By Megan Bradshaw and Roy Henry on October 22, 2019

Fisher College of Mathematics and Science deepening commitment to diversity and inclusion in the sciences

Towson University’s Jess & Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics has officially launched the Hill–Lopes Scholars Program, made possible through a generous donation by Barbara Hill and Ancelmo Lopes.

The program was born out of the passion Hill and Lopes feel for making science exciting and welcoming to underrepresented students. The donors have spoken about their experiences as the “onlys” in the room and firmly believe that since they have succeeded, it is their duty to help others.

“I was the only woman in the room. He was the only African-American, once he hit a certain level in his career. And it's lonely being the only,” said Hill during an Oct. 11 event.

“When you've got that nice hole in the glass ceiling, it means reaching down, grabbing another hand and pulling more individuals through,” she continued. “We hope that that's what this program's all about, pulling talented students through.”

The first cohort of talented students have been selected and will engage in the programming for up to three years. They will receive a scholarship each eligible semester as well as financial support to attend professional scientific meetings and to participate in career-building conferences, workshops and field trips. 

They will also be able to take advantage of existing TU communities and programming, like the Career CenterSTEM student clubs, STEM faculty research mentors and the Women in Science Forum.

Faculty program directors Cindy Ghent, Beth Kautzman, Peko Tsuji and program coordinator Kristin Pinkowski are “excited and energetic and bright and wanting to change things to make them better,” according to Hill.

“It is a joy to sit down with a group of talented, bright people and brainstorm how to make something better. From the first phone call we made here, we got such an excited and enthusiastic response; it has been a joy.”

Fisher College has long stood as a leader in promoting women and minority student success in STEM, with programs like the STEM Residential Learning Community, the Bridges programs, the TU Research Enhancement Program (TU REP)pre-service science teacher education, the Women in Science program and Towson Opportunities in STEM (TOPS)

Meet the Hill-Lopes Scholars Alpha Cohort

This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel’s priorities for Towson University: Diverse and Inclusive Campus and Culture of Philanthropy.