Program Invites Students to Tackle Major Issues of Our Time

Grand-Challenges-e1458335070939-1920x768A new UMBC scholars program is inviting students from all majors to work together on pressing challenges facing society, from sustainability to health and security issues.

UMBC’s Grand Challenge Scholars Program (GCSP), based on the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) Grand Challenges for Engineering, is now accepting applications for its first cohort. Beginning in fall 2016, these students will begin collaborating to develop solutions to major global challenges through coursework, research, service, and study abroad. Participants will each create their own unique approach to the program guided by their interests and including personal reflection on their experiences and growth as scholars.

Marie desJardins, associate dean in the College of Engineering and Information Technology (COEIT), professor of computer science, and director of the GCSP, describes the program as “a great match with so many things that UMBC and UMBC students are already doing—applied, project-based learning; service learning; entrepreneurial explorations; global involvement; and undergraduate research.”

Amelia Hallworth ‘17, biological sciences, is interested in the GCSP because of the interdisciplinary focus of the program. “Connections between different fields of study will emerge in unusual places, so I think it is important to share problems with people outside of your field,” she says.

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