For Immediate Release
June 21, 2012
Contacts: David Ottalini, 301 405 4076 or email@example.com
Maryland Alumna Howard Named State Secretary of Higher Education
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Maryland Alumna Danette Howard (Ph.D.'07) has been named the new state secretary of higher education. Governor Martin O'Malley made the announcement today (Thursday) in Annapolis. Howard has been serving as the interim secretary since last August.
"The University of Maryland looks forward to supporting Secretary Howard as she works to improve higher education in the state," said University of Maryland President Dr. Wallace Loh. "We share similar goals of helping Maryland students have broad opportunities to attend and complete their college educations in a timely and cost-effective manner. "
As secretary of higher education, Howard serves as the chief executive of the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC), the state's postsecondary education coordinating agency. She will provide leadership for the state's $110 million financial aid program, oversee the approval of new academic programs and institutions seeking to operate in Maryland, and will advise Governor O'Malley and legislators on higher education policies and initiatives.
"I am grateful to be given the opportunity to continue to serve the people of Maryland as secretary of higher education," said Howard. "I am looking forward to helping the administration move toward its higher education attainment goal."
In his announcement, Governor O'Malley praised Secretary Howard's dedication to creating innovative programs and willingness to continue working in his administration. "We believe that under her leadership, we can build on the progress we've made to eliminate barriers to completion and help students obtain the skills and education they need to compete and win in the New Economy," he said.
Secretary Howard has spent her entire professional career in higher education - including a position as researcher and policy analyst at UMD. While pursuing her doctorate in Education Policy in College Park, she worked on the Race, Equity and Diversity in the South Project, which examined trends in postsecondary enrollments, completion rates and faculty hiring and promotions. She has also worked at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and served as a key researcher in a multi-year project sponsored by the National Association of Black and Hispanic Physicists, which studied factors that contributed to students of color succeeding in STEM disciplines. Before becoming interim secretary last August, Howard served as MHEC's director of research and policy analysis.
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