Maryland representative supports the need for higher education
Maryland Representative Steny Hoyer visited UMUC recently, touring the Academic Center at Largo and meeting with students and staff, including President Javier Miyares and Provost Marie Cini. During his Jan. 24 visit, Hoyer, the second-ranking Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives, learned about UMUC's innovative approach to providing workforce-relevant higher education programs to adult students.
"Having someone of his stature [come to UMUC]…is really empowering," said Timothy Rochford, one of the UMUC students who met with Hoyer. "It makes you want to be a better person. It made me want to step up my game."
Rob Wilmot, chair of the UMUC University Advisory Council and a father of four, told Hoyer that he has been able to earn undergraduate and graduate degrees—and gear up for a doctoral degree—because of the flexibility UMUC offers. "None of that was on the radar for me before I became a UMUC student," he said.
In addition to Miyares and Cini, Hoyer met during his visit with Cynthia A. Davis, acting dean of the UMUC Undergraduate School; Kelly Wilmeth, associate vice president-stateside military; and Jeff Tjiputra, academic director of the computer networks and security program at UMUC and coach of the university's highly successful cybersecurity team, the UMUC Cyber Padawans.
Hoyer said he supports UMUC's mission and believes public spending on higher education is essential to keep the United States strong in the competitive global economy. But he noted that building support among his fellow lawmakers for investments in higher education is a tough job.
"It is incumbent upon us as policymakers and fellow citizens to try to enhance access to college," Hoyer said. "Unfortunately, a lot of people in Washington know the cost of this, but not the returns."