The Baltimore Ravens will honor former longtime general manager and Hall of Famer Ozzie Newsome by making a $4 million gift in his name to Maryland’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

The donation from Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti and his wife, Renee, will create the Ozzie Newsome Scholars Program, which will fund scholarships for Baltimore City Public Schools graduates who attend an HBCU in Maryland.

“The brilliance of Ozzie Newsome extends far beyond his accolades as a player and executive,” said Bisciotti in a statement. “Throughout his entire life, Ozzie has inspired and uplifted everyone around him with his leadership, humility and determination. We hope that Ozzie’s example will inspire each of the Newsome scholars.”

Each of Maryland’s four HBCUs — Bowie State University, Coppin State University, Morgan State University, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore — will receive a $1 million gift as part of the program. Yearly, each of the four schools will select five City Schools’ graduates as Ozzie Newsome Scholar recipients for its incoming freshman class.

Ozzie Newsome

“I am humbled and honored that Steve and Renee Bisciotti chose to associate my name with this tremendously important scholarship,” said Newsome in a statement. “This program will give many local graduates the ability to continue their education, and in turn will equip them with the necessary tools to make meaningful impact in the Baltimore community and beyond. Thee students will further their education through Maryland’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities, which is especially meaningful to me. I look forward to watching the progress made through this scholarship program.”

Scholars will receive an annual college scholarship of $10,000 for up to five years of college, for a total investment of up to $50,000 per scholar.

“We embrace the responsibility of discovering ways to strengthen educational opportunities for the youth of Baltimore City,” stated Bisciotti. “Any positive impact that can be made to help students – especially in the pursuit of a college education and their career goals – only strengthens our community as a whole. The Ozzie Newsome Scholars Program has the added benefit of providing scholarships funds for Maryland’s four HBCUs, which have served Maryland and Baltimore City so well for many years.”


BOWIE, MD – A Bowie State University professor and counseling professional was named Counselor Educator of the Year by the Maryland School Counselor Association (MSCA) for her innovation and leadership in the profession. A recent Bowie State graduate was selected Maryland School Counseling Graduate Student of the Year.

Dr. Cynthia Taylor (’89), who teaches in the Department of Counseling, was one of 17 outstanding professional honored at the Maryland School Counselor Association’s first virtual gala on March 19. Having 15 years of experience in the profession, Dr. Taylor leads the school counseling master’s degree program. She won an outstanding service award in 2015.

“It is quite an honor to receive this recognition,” said Dr. Taylor during the virtual gala. “It’s very enlightening to be able to share concepts… that our students will need to be successful… The ultimate joy is when they are gainfully employed as a professional school counselor.”

James Harris (’20), a Charles County elementary school counselor and recent BSU graduate, was recognized as an excellent graduate student for his commitment to academic excellent and professional growth, while serving the academic and social-emotional needs to his students.

“It is an amazing honor to be able to receive this award,” said Harris at the virtual gala. “I want to thank my teachers who continued to push me.”

MSCA President-elect Nikki Ham, who is also Bowie State’s associate director of clinical counseling and field experiences, expressed her excitement that the evaluators representing parents, school administrators, counselors and teachers selected two BUS-affiliated counselors for top honors.

“I was extremely proud, as a graduate and staff members of Bowie State University, when the independent evaluators submitted her names of the honorees for this award,” said Ham.


About Bowie State University
Bowie State University (BSU) is an important higher education access portal for qualified persons from diverse academic and socioeconomic backgrounds, seeking a high-quality and affordable public comprehensive university. The university places special emphasis on the science, technology, cybersecurity, teacher education, business, and nursing disciplines within the context of a liberal arts education. For more information about BSU, visit

The day of March 24th was an historic moment in higher education, specifically for our historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). I am very thankful for those who serve as dominant advocates for our HBCUs and of our government officials – federal, state, and local who continuously fight for equity funding and resources for HBCUs. Additionally, I am overly grateful for those who proudly stand on the impact of our HBCUs in the state of Maryland. Maryland is home to four HBCUs that include: Bowie State University, Coppin State University, Morgan State University, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

After fifteen years of battling for equal rights of better state funding that will bring much-needed support to carry on with a high-quality education at the Maryland’s four HBCUs. The battle is only one step further with $577 million over a decade we will accept; however, it is still not equitably enough. Let’s continue the fight for MORE. We applaud House Speaker Adrienne Jones and Senator Charles Sydnor for their willingness in leading this effort to the resolution of this long-standing lawsuit of what defines brighter days for our institutions. Also, I applaud the Legislative Black Caucus for their efforts in this resolution as well.

On March 24th, Bowie State University welcomed Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, along with Senate President Bill Ferguson and House Speaker Adrienne Jones, for the official signing of the legislation lawsuit. As a result of the $577 HBCU Settlement Bill, Morgan State University will receive $24 million, Bowie State $16.7 million, Coppin State University $9 million, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore $9.7 million in state funds in the fiscal year 2023, and at least $9 million annually thereafter, through the fiscal year 2032. The funds in the settlement are expected to be used for scholarships and financial aid support services, as well as faculty recruitment and development. Also, the funds could be used to expand and improve existing academic programs, including online programs, and the development and implementation of new academic programs.

The ongoing efforts to ‘Campaign For HBCUs’ will carry on to evolve around the educational landscape of our HBCUs. And the fight for equity funding doesn’t just stop here; however, it will keep going for Maryland HBCUs and all other HBCUs that rely on state funding. In the words of President Breaux, HBCUs will continue to be a beacon of hope and promise for those seeking to improve their families and communities through public higher education. And the HBCU Campaign Fund will always advocacy, support and commend the roles of our HBCUs and their vigorous leaders, faculty, and staff.

I am proud to say that truly, We Are HBCUs!

Dr. Mickey Burnim

BALTIMORE, MD – University System of Maryland (USM) Chancellor Robert Caret named Mickey L. Burnim interim president of Coppin State University. Dr. Burnim will begin his service as interim president on July 1.

Current Coppin State University President Maria Thompson in January announced that she will step down June 30 and return on her native Tennessee.

Dr. Burnim served as president of Bowie State University between 2006 and 2017. Dr. Burnim also served as interim president of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore during the summer of 2018 before the start of President Heidi Anderson’s tenure on September 1.

“We are grateful to Mickey Burnim for his ongoing service to the University System of Maryland. Dr Burnim very capably guided the University of Maryland Eastern Shore on an interim basis last summer, and his considerable experience and perspective position him quite will to lead Coppin during the course of a search for President Thompson’s successor,” Cabet said.

During Dr. Burnim’s 11 years as president, Bowie State experienced significant increases in regional and national recognition, added majors in cybersecurity and information technology, opened three new buildings, grew enrollment and graduates, and undertook a successful fundraising campaign.

Dr. Burnim previously served as chancellor of Elizabeth City State University, an Historically Black University in North Carolina. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of North Texas and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Typically, the search process for a new president at most USM campuses can take approximately eight to twelve months to complete. A search committee has been appointed and will, with assistance from executive search firm Academic Search, conduct a thorough search of highly qualified candidates. The search committee’s work will conclude with its recommendation of finalists for consideration by the chancellor and the Board of Regents. The board will make the final selection.

BALTIMORE, MD – With a 580-acre headquarters campus in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and more than 3,000 employees in six locations across the U.S., the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) carries out a mission that helps make possible much of the world’s advancement in science and technology. Last fall, Morgan State University (MSU) began a major collaboration with the institute through a $30-million, five-year program led by The John Hopkins University. The Professional Research Experience Program (PREP) offers undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty from Morgan, Hopkins and Binghamton University, State University of New York opportunities to work at NSIT. Morgan can receive up to $1 million per year from PREP in personnel funds for Morgan students and/or faculty to work to NIST laboratories. Michael Spencer, professor of electrical engineering (ECE).

Founded in 1901 as the National Bureau of Standards, an agency with the mandate to provide standard weights and measures for the nation, NIST took its current name in 1988 and now has a broader mission: “to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.”

Dr. Michael Spencer, Ph.D., professor of electrical engineering (ECE)

“Morgan is geographically fortunate to be situated near several high-quality national laboratories. NIST is one of them, and they have outstanding world-class resources,” says Michael Spencer, Ph.D., professor in Morgan’s Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. School of Engineering and the administrator of Morgan’s PREP grant. “So this becomes an opportunity for students and faculty to develop joint relationships with laboratories of interest at NIST. It’s even more fortuitous that our current Vice President for Research and Development (Willie May, Ph.D.) is a former director of NIST and has a lot of ties there, so he can suggest relationships that can be developed.”

To strengthen the connection between MSU and NIST and to facilitate the University’s participation in the research, Morgan has allocated funds to provide bus transportation to NIST headquarters from the Hopkins campus.

“The program is open to any students or faculty who meet the requirements of the NIST laboratories,” Dr. Spencer says. “NIST’s research is predominately in physical science, computational science and engineering, but they also do work in other areas.

“International, as well as domestic students and faculty, are eligible for PREP,” he adds. “This is one of the few places where an international student can have an internship without having to pass security clearances.”

Dr. Spencer is hopeful that Morgan’s partnership with NIST will flourish to its fullest, noting that one of NIST’s five Nobel laureates will give a lecture at Morgan on April 30.

“If strong collaborations can be established between the laboratories and Morgan through PREP,” he says, “a large number of our students may benefit.

About Morgan State University

Morgan State University serves the community, region, state, nation, and world as an intellectual and creative resource by supporting, empowering and preparing high-quality, diverse graduates to lead the world. The University offers innovative, inclusive, and distinctive educational experiences to a broad cross section of the population in a comprehensive range of disciplines at the baccalaureate, master’s, doctoral, and professional degree levels. Through collaborative pursuits, scholarly research, creative endeavors, and dedicated public service, the University gives significant priority to addressing societal problems, particularly those prevalent in urban communities. For more information, visit

About NIST

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was founded in 1901 and is now part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. NIST is one of the nation’s oldest physical science laboratories. Congress established the agency to remove a major challenge to U.S. industrial competitiveness at the time—a second-rate measurement infrastructure that lagged behind the capabilities of the United Kingdom, Germany, and other economic rivals. For more information, visit


BALTIMORE, MD – Coppin State University’s first female president Maria Thompson announced Thursday that she will step down from the Historically Black University at the end of June.

Dr. Maria Thompson

Thompson wrote in a letter to the University’s community that she would be returning to her native city of Nashville following her recent marriage and battled a serious health challenge.

“As you are aware, over the past year, I successfully battled a serious health challenge that required taking some additional recovery time at the start of this academic year. My doctors have been delighted with my progress over these many months and have recently given me a clean bill of health. During the Christmas holidays, my joy was multiplied with the decision to marry my long-time companion – Dr. Joseph Perry. We have determined that the time is right to begin a new chapter as we make a new life together in my native city of Nashville (where my mother also continues to reside), sometime after the conclusion of the current academic year.”

Thompson, 57, was appointed as president of Coppin in 2015, as the university struggled through several difficulties. Her appointment came two years after an oversight committee investigating conditions at Coppin State for the Maryland Board of Regents found evidence of serious mismanagement, according to The Baltimore Sun.

“Without question, we have much yet to accomplish and I want to assure all that I will be working diligently for the remainder of my tenure to advance our strategic priorities to recruit an increasing number of new students for the next academic year – freshman, transfer, and graduate students – while also working to retain more of our current students who require a robust advisory capability given what, for many, is a non-traditional approach to higher education. I also look forward to continuing to work with our valued external partners – our city and state government officials, our colleague universities and community colleges, and our business leaders who are vital to our educational mission and extra-curricular student experiences,” Thompson wrote.

Thompson came to Coppin after serving four years at the State University of New York at Oneonta, where she was provost and vice president for academic affairs. Before that, she worked 13 years at Tennessee State University, a historically black university in Nashville, Tennessee assisting to direct research and sponsored programs.

Click here to read Thompson’s letter to the University community in its entity.

PRINCESS ANNE, MD – The University System of Maryland (USM) announced the appointment of Dr. Heidi M. Anderson as the next president, on Tuesday, of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES), effective September 1, 2018.

Anderson replaces Dr. Juliette Bell, who stepped down July 1. Former Bowie State University President Mickey Burnim recently was appointed to lead UMES on an interim basis.

According to a press release by the university system, Anderson, who holds a Ph.D. in Pharmacy Administration, brings nearly two decades of higher education leadership success to the role. As former Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Texas A&M University-Kingsville from 2015-2017, she managed a $35 million budget and oversaw 22 academic departments, 10 centers and institutes and more than 40 academic majors. She guided the creation of new degrees in areas from computer science and engineering to clinical mental health counseling. She also was actively involved with the team responsible for the design and construction of a new $60 million music facility.

In September 2017, Anderson took on the role of Special Advisor to the President, from which she led and completed a plan for a new College of Allied Health Professions and helped guide the creation of the TAMUKIngsville programs in the new University System Center near the flagship Texas A&M University-College Station.

“The Board of Regents and I are pleased to welcome Heidi Anderson as the new president of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore,” said USM Chancellor Robert L. Caret. “Everyone we spoke the described Heidi as a visionary, dynamic, inspirational and trusted leader who fosters strong, collaborative and collegial teams, and who values transparency, integrity, and shared governance.”

“In provostial and vice-presidential roles on campuses varied as Texas A&M University Kingsville, the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and the University of Kentucky, Heidi has helped grow student enrollment, lead successful fundraising campaigns, create research opportunities for faculty, improve the student experience, and bolster connections with local communities, all the while demonstrating sound fiscal stewardship,” said Caret. “Beyond these measurable attributes, we were equally impressed by her passion and energy for supporting students, for the UMES mission, and for actively driving positive change. Heidi Anderson will be an excellent and transformative leader for UMES.”

“I am thrilled to be appointed the 16th leader of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore,” Anderson said. “I embrace UMES’ focus on high-quality teaching and on producing knowledgeable citizens capable of leading and competing regionally, nationally and globally. As a first-generation student, I’m particularly impressed by the university’ strong emphasis on student success.”

“I had the opportunity recently to visit the campus on my own and to speak directly with several students,” Anderson continued. “What I learned about and from them touched me deeply. I look forward to helping support these smart, talented young scholars achieve the bright futures they have earned through their dedication and hard work.”

From 2013 to 2015, Anderson served as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. As the university’s chief academic officer, she manged a $37 million budget, launched a faculty development initiative to improve retention rates and helped guide the construction of a $26 million Integrated Professional Education Complex, as well as the design of a 426-bed residence hall. She also led initiatives that increased African-American (28.4%) and American Indian (1000%) enrollment to record levels.

As Vice President and Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness from 2011 to 2013 and Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs from 2006 to 2011 at the University of Kentucky, Anderson managed a $25 million budget and created and led new policies, practices and programs for faculty recruitment, appointment, promotion and retention. She also served that institution as Assistant Dean for Educational Innovation and as a professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science.

Before her time in Kentucky, Anderson chaired and served as a professor in the Pharmacy Care System Department at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. She was also an assistant professor in the University of Tennessee’s College of Pharmacy.

Anderson earned her Ph.D. in Pharmacy Administration, M.S. in Education and B.S. in Pharmacy at Purdue University. Among many other honors and professional service affiliations, she has served as President and Vice President of the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. She is also the author or co-author of scores of refereed publications, as well as professional articles, abstracts and book chapters.


About the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES)

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore was founded in 1886 by Methodist Episcopal Church elders as a private school on 16 acres in Princess Anne.

Today, UMES balnce their heritage as a historically black, public research institution that has grown into a 1,100-arce campus with the mission to serve a diverse student body representing nearly three dozen nations. UMES offers undergraduate degrees in 38 disciplines and another 16 distinctive graduate programs. UMES provide today’s college student ample opportunity to develop into a well-rounded individual capable to assuming leadership in society.

For more information, visit