Based at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, the Meyerhoff Scholars Program began in 1988 focusing on providing financial assistance, mentoring, advising, and research experience to African American male undergraduate students committed to achieving Ph.D. degrees in STEM; in 1990 the program would extend its reach to African American women. By 1996 Meyerhoff would become available to people of all backgrounds, emphasizing a commitment to increasing the representation of minorities in science and engineering.
The program adheres to 13 key components, each serving as a means to promote the overall success of their scholars. Meyerhoff students are encouraged to create environments of both challenge and mutual support that allows for scholarly growth and accountability. Between their summer bridge program, academic advising, and participation in research, conferences, and internships, scholars receive a message that nothing is impossible if they put their mind to it.
Empowered by the Meyerhoff legacy, on April 9th 2019, UC Berkeley would initiate a replicate program, titled the SEED Scholars Honors Program, to apply Meyerhoff's models of success while supporting our own student populations.
The SEED Scholars Honors Program broke ground in 2019, with program development completed by Summer 2020 to welcome its inaugural cohort of 20 scholars on July 5, 2020. SEED intends to grow by 25 students per incoming cohort beginning 2021. The pan-STEM Program covers all engineering disciplines in the College of Engineering, STEM-based disciplines in the College of Natural Resources, College of Chemistry, and STEM-based disciplines in the College of Letters and Science, including mathematics, biological, data, and physical sciences. In partnership with UMBC and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the SEED Scholars Honors Program is one of just two programs in the state of California to adopt the successful Meyerhoff model to a preeminent research-intensive institution, the other being UCSD's PATHS Program.
With a commitment to building a scientific community that is diverse in all forms and meanings, the program utilizes a social justice framework that promotes understanding of identity and experiences, while continuing to provide academic and professional support to scholars guided by the motto Fiat Lux, bringing knowledge to light, illuminating solutions to better the human condition, and serving as a beacon of opportunity for promising minds.