UMBC has strived to increase the success of women in science and engineering fields.
This history began with efforts to build the number of women professors on campus. Initiatives include:
– Women in Science and Engineering (WISE), an informal network of women (primarily faculty) in sciences, technology,engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines established in 2002. WISE meets regularly to provide a community of exchange and support.
– NSF ADVANCE grant awarded to UMBC in 2003 to increase the number of women that advance through the professoriate at UMBC. During the grant period, the number of women tenure-track faculty in STEM increased 47%, and the number of full professors that were women doubled from five to 12. As of 2013, 36% of UMBC STEM assistant professors were women, which demonstrate significant progress.
UMBC recognizes that there is still much to work to do. While progress has been made with women professors, fewer than 50% of STEM undergraduate degrees at UMBC are awarded to women (except for biology and biochemistry). Over the five years from 2010-2014, only about 35% of the undergraduate degrees in chemistry and mathematics were awarded to women;only about 20% of the undergraduate degrees in physics and information systems were awarded to women; and only about 10% of the degrees in physics, computer engineering, and mechanical engineering were awarded to women.
The Hill-Lopes Scholars Program at UMBC seeks to develop a community of like-minded students and scholarship support for students interested in the advancement of women STEM undergraduate degrees. This community will be supported by activities and programs—including faculty mentorship —to increase the likelihood of academic success and continuation into STEM-related careers. This program is being made possible by the generosity of Ms. Barbara Hill and Mr. Ancelmo Lopes.