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Freeman Hrabowski 談大學科學教育成功之四大要素

Freeman Hrabowski: 4 pillars of college success in science

 

Photo of three lions hunting on the Serengeti.

講者:Freeman Hrabowski

2013年2月演講,2013年4月在TED2013上線

 

翻譯:洪曉慧

編輯:朱學恆

簡繁轉換:洪曉慧

後製:洪曉慧

字幕影片後制:謝旻均

 

影片請按此下載

MAC及手持裝置版本請按此下載

閱讀中文字幕純文字版本

 

關於這場演講

Freeman Hrabowski 12歲時與馬丁.路德.金博士一同參加示威遊行。他現在是馬里蘭大學巴爾的摩分校(UMBC)校長,致力於在校園中創造一種環境,幫助弱勢學生-尤其是非裔美籍、拉美裔及低收入家庭學生-獲得數學及科學學位。他分享了UMBC實施的四種主要方案。

 

關於Freeman Hrabowski

擔任UMBC校長20年期間,Freeman Hrabowski幫助各種背景的學生順利取得藝術、人文及科學學位。

 

為什麼要聽他演講

擔任馬里蘭大學巴爾的摩分校(UMBC)校長20年期間,Freeman Hrabowski將一所年輕的大學轉變成研究機構,被譽為全國最具創新性的大學之一。他的目標是:繼續建構一所頂尖的研究及教學大學,協助各種背景的學生取得學術上的成就。

 

Hrabowski共同創立Meyerhoff獎學金計劃,協助少數族群學生於理工領域獲得傑出成就;這個計劃已成為全國典範。Hrabowski經常撰寫關於少數族群於這些領域中參與學習及學習表現的文章。他向歐巴馬總統提供關於教育問題的建議,並向美國國家科學基金會、美國國立衛生研究院及美國國家科學院提供諮詢。身為孜孜不倦的教育家、領導者及指導者的Hrabowski,於2012年榮獲《時代》雜誌提名為全球最具影響力人物之一。

 

「這所中型州立大學獲得全國最具創新性學校之一的美譽。」

-《60分鐘》,2011年11月13日

 

Freeman Hrabowski的英語網上資料

Home: president.umbc.edu

 

[TED科技‧娛樂‧設計]

已有中譯字幕的TED影片目錄(繁體)(簡體)。請注意繁簡目錄是不一樣的。

 

Freeman Hrabowski 談大學科學教育成功之四大要素

 

我想談論的是本校的成就-馬里蘭大學巴爾的摩分校,UMBC。它教育各種類型的學生,涵蓋藝術、人文、科學及工程領域。我們的故事格外重要的原因是,我們可從這群學生身上學到許多東西。他們並非典型的學術佼佼者,例如有色人種學生、某些領域中的弱勢學生。這個故事格外獨特的原因是,我們學會如何幫助非裔美籍學生、拉丁裔學生和低收入家庭學生成為世上頂尖的理工人才。

 

因此我打算以我童年的故事作為開場白。我們都深受童年經歷影響,很難想像這已是50年前的往事。當時我還是阿拉巴馬州伯明罕的九年級學童-一位喜愛拿A的孩子、一位喜愛數學及閱讀的孩子、一位會對老師這麼說的孩子-當老師對全班說,「作業是10個習題。」這名胖小子會說,「再多給我們10個。」全班同學會說,「閉嘴,Freeman。」這是每天固定上演的戲碼。因此我總是抱著這個疑問:「如何才能使更多孩子真心喜愛學習?」

 

令人驚訝的是,某個周末,在教會裡-我根本不想待在那裡,我被安置在房間後方做數學習題-我聽見某人說:「如果我們能讓孩子參加伯明罕的和平示威,就能讓美國瞭解,甚至連孩子也明白是非之分;孩子確實希望盡可能獲得最好的教育。」我抬起頭來,問道,「那個人是誰?」他們說他是馬丁‧路德‧金博士。我對父母說,「我非去不可,我想去,我想參加。」他們說,「想都別想。」

 

(笑聲)

 

我們發生了一些摩擦。坦白說,當時孩子不太會跟父母頂嘴,於是我說,「知道嗎?你們都是偽君子。你們要我上教堂、要我聽話,那個人希望我參加,你們卻不允許。」他們考慮了一整晚。隔天早上,他們走進我房間。他們徹夜未眠,他們不斷地哭泣、祈禱和思考:「我們該讓12歲兒子參加這場遊行,搞不好進監獄嗎?」他們決定讓我參加。當他們進房告訴我時,起初我十分興奮,接著我突然想起警犬和消防水管之類的,開始害怕起來,嚇得要命。我經常與眾人分享的其中一個領悟是,有時,當人們做出勇敢的事,並不意味著他們真的那麼勇敢,只是意味著他們認為這件事十分重要。

 

我想擁有更好的教育,我不想用別人的舊課本,我想知道我就讀的學校裡不僅有好老師,也有我們所需的資源。這場經歷的結果-我仍在監獄的那週,金博士對孩子們的父母說,「你們孩子當天所做的事將影響所有尚未出生的孩子。」

 

我最近赫然發覺,目前三分之二的美國人1963年尚未出生,因此當他們耳聞伯明罕兒童十字軍運動時,以許多方面來說,如果他們在電視上看見相關報導,就像我們觀賞描述1863年的電影《林肯》一樣-這已成為歷史。真正的問題是,我們得到什麼教訓?令人驚訝的是,對我來說最重要的是,孩子有權主宰他們的教育,他們接受的可以是對學習及提問充滿熱情的教育。

 

因此,這對我目前所領導的大學具有十分重要的意義。馬里蘭大學巴爾的摩分校,UMBC,成立於我與金博士入獄的同年-1963年。創立這所機構格外重要的原因是,馬里蘭州位於南方,如各位所知,它是當時本州第一間所有種族學生都能就讀的大學,因此黑人、白人及其他人種學生均前來就讀。它進行了50年的實驗,實驗內容是:我國是否可能成立某些教育機構及大學,讓不同背景的人前來就讀、學習;學習彼此合作、學習成為領袖、學習互相支持?

 

對我來說,這個實驗格外重要的原因是,我們發現可在藝術、人文及社會科學方面下功夫,因此我們於60年代開始致力於這項工作。我們培育了許多法律至人文領域的人才,我們培育出傑出的藝術家,Beckett(著名劇作家)是我們的靈感來源,本校許多學生進入劇院工作,這是一項了不起的成就。我們面臨的問題即美國長久以來面臨的問題:以理工科來說,黑人學生很難順利畢業。但瀏覽這些數據時,我發現的是,一般而言,大多數學生均無法順利完成這門學科。因此我們決定做些能提供幫助的事,首先針對弱勢族群、非裔美籍學生,然後是西班牙裔學生。

 

慈善家 Robert 及 Jane Meyerhoff 說,「我們願意提供協助。」 Robert Meyerhoff 說,「為何當電視上出現黑人男孩時,只要跟籃球無關,全是負面的報導?我想改變這一點,提供某些正面影響。」我們整合所有想法,設立 Meyerhoff 獎學金計畫。這個計畫的意義在於,我們從中學到許多東西;問題在於,我們如何引導本國培育的非裔美籍學生完成理工博士或醫學博士學位?這是一項大工程,請給我一點掌聲。這是一項大工程,確實如此。

 

(掌聲)

 

你們知道,大多數人並不瞭解,並非僅有少數族裔學生無法順利完成理工學業;坦白說,我指的是美籍學生。如果各位不清楚這一點,最初主修理工科的黑人及西班牙裔美國人中,只有 20 % 順利取得理工學位;最初主修這些學科的白人中,事實上只有 32 % 順利畢業;只有 42 % 亞裔美國人能順利畢業。

 

因此真正的問題是,其中的挑戰為何?好,其中一部分當然是K-12(幼稚園到12年級)教育。我們必須加強K-12教育,但另一部分與校園中的理工文化有關。無論各位是否知道,許多SAT分數極高的學生,許多A.P.(先修課程)成績極佳的學生,就讀我國最負盛名的大學,最初主修醫學或工程預科,最後卻改變主修科目。我們發現主要原因在於他們無法順利完成大一科學課程。事實上,在美國,我們通常稱大一理工課程為「淘汰課程」或「障礙課程」。

 

在座多少聽眾認識某個最初主修醫學或工程預科的人,於一、兩年後改變主修科目?這是美國面臨的挑戰。半數聽眾聽說過-我瞭解、我瞭解。令人感興趣的是,許多學生十分聰明,能克服這個障礙,我們需要找到幫助他們的方法。

 

因此,我們幫助少數族裔學生的四種方法是-現在我們也幫助一般學生-第一點,高度期望。我們需要瞭解學生的學習狀況-他們的成績、寫作業的用心程度、考試技巧、學習態度、對學業的熱誠及熱情-因此幫助學生達成這個目標十分重要。但同樣重要的是,他們必須瞭解用功將使情況改觀。我不在乎你多聰明或自以為多聰明,聰明僅意味著你準備開始學習。學習令你興致勃勃,你渴望提出好問題。

 

你們知道,諾貝爾獎得主 I.I.Rabi 說,他於紐約成長的過程中,一天結束後,所有朋友的父母都會問孩子,「你在學校學了什麼?」他說,相反地,他的猶太裔母親會問,「Izzy,你今天是否問了好問題?」因此,高度期望與好奇心及鼓勵年輕人擁有好奇心有關。為了達成高度期望的目標,我們開始尋找需要協助的學生,看看能提供何種幫助。不僅使他們克服理工科障礙,也使他們成為最棒、最傑出的學生。

 

以下是個有趣的例子。一名在第一學期拿C的小伙子想繼續唸醫學院,我們說,「你必須重修這學期課程,因為如果你打算進入下個階段,就需要紮實的基礎,每一門基礎課程對下個階段來說都是關鍵。」他重修了那個學期。那名小伙子順利於UMBC畢業,成為首位獲得賓州大學醫學博士的黑人,現在任職於哈佛大學。很棒的故事,也請給他一點掌聲。

 

(掌聲)

 

第二點,考試成績並非唯一。考試成績很重要,但並非最重要的事。有位女學生學習態度很好,但考試分數不高,但她擁有一項十分重要的特質-K-12教育過程中,她從未缺課過;這是對學習的熱誠。那名女孩孜孜不倦地學習,現在是約翰‧霍普金斯大學醫學博士。她擔任教職,擁有精神病學終身教職及神經科學博士學位,她和她的指導教授擁有治療糖尿病患者的威而鋼第二用途專利,請給她熱烈的掌聲(掌聲)。因此高度期望十分重要。

 

其次是建立學生社群的想法。你們都知道,我們一向認為理工科十分棘手,我們並未教導學生以社群方式學習,這就是我們成立學生社群的原因。使他們瞭解彼此、建立彼此間的信任,使他們互相支持,學習如何提出好問題,但同時學習如何清楚解釋自己的想法。如各位所知,靠自己的力量拿A是一回事,協助他人取得好成績則是另一回事。這種責任感將使整個情況改觀,因此建立學生社群十分重要。

 

第三個想法是,藉由研究人員培育研究人員。無論是藉由藝術家培育藝術家,或以社會科學來說-無論哪門學科-尤其是理工科。舉例來說,如同藝術,我們需要科學家帶領學生進入這門領域,因此本校學生經常在實驗室裡埋頭苦幹。

 

以下是個很棒的例子。幾年前,巴爾的摩暴風雪期間,本校接受霍華休斯醫學研究中心資助的研究人員於幾天後返回實驗室工作,所有學生都不肯離開實驗室。他們佔據了整個實驗室,他們在實驗室裡埋頭苦幹。對他們來說,實驗並非作業,而是生活。他們知道自己正進行愛滋病研究,他們觀察這種令人驚嘆的蛋白質設計。令人感興趣的是,每位學生都專注於這項研究。研究人員說,「沒有什麼比這更棒的事了。」

 

擁有社群、高度期望和作育英才的研究人員後,必須擁有願意關懷學生的老師,即使在課堂中。我永遠忘不了一位老師對輔導人員說,「我班上有個小夥子,一位黑人,似乎對學習興趣缺缺,根本不寫筆記,我們得跟他談談。」重點是,老師得觀察每位學生,瞭解學生是否確實投入課程,然後說,「看看我能如何帶動他們,我可以向輔導人員尋求協助。」這是一種聯繫。那名小伙子已取得醫學博士學位,現在任教於杜克大學神經工程系,請給他熱烈的掌聲。

 

(掌聲)

 

因此重點在於我們開發了這種模式,不僅協助我們進行評估,評估哪些做法可行,我們領悟到的是,我們必須考慮重新設計課程,因此我們重新設計了化學及物理課程。但現在我們致力於重新設計人文及社會科學課程,因為太多學生對課程興趣缺缺。你們知道嗎?許多學生,包括K-12學生及大學生,不願只是坐在課堂上聽課,他們需要參與。

 

因此我們所做的是-如果各位瀏覽我們的化學探索中心網站,將看見全國各地的人前來觀看我們如何重新設計課程,強調合作的重要、科技的運用,在課程中使用生技公司提出的問題。並非僅教導學生理論,而是教導他們對理論提出質疑。效果非常棒,整個馬里蘭州大學系統中,進行重新設計的課程與日俱增。

 

這就是所謂的學術創新。

 

這一切意味著什麼?意味著不僅是理工科,我們現在將這個計畫推廣到藝術、人文及社會科學領域,推廣到師資教育領域,甚至-特別是IT領域的女性。

 

如果各位不知道,自從2000年以來,主修計算機科學的女性人數已下降79 %,這就是我所謂的建立學生社群將使情況改觀,告訴年輕女性、少數族裔學生及一般學生:你們辦的到。最重要的是,給予他們建立社群的機會,讓老師帶領他們進入這個領域,我們評估什麼可行或不可行。最重要的是,如果學生擁有自我意識,夢想和價值將使情況發生不可思議的改變。

 

當我還是身處伯明罕監獄的12歲孩子時,我不斷地想,「不知道我的未來將會如何?」我不曾想過這位來自伯明罕的黑人小子,某天會成為擁有來自150個國家學生的大學校長。那裡的學生不僅是為了獲得學位,他們喜愛學習,他們渴望成為佼佼者,他們有天將改變世界。

 

亞里士多德說,「卓越並非偶然,它是高度企圖心、全力以赴和謹慎實行的結果;它代表眾多選擇中最明智的選擇。」他還說了一些令我起雞皮疙瘩的話。他說,「決定命運的是選擇,而非機會。」是選擇,而非機會,決定了你的命運、夢想和價值。

 

十分感謝。

 

(掌聲)

 

以下為系統擷取之英文原文

About the talk

At age 12, Freeman Hrabowski marched with Martin Luther King. Now he's president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where he works to create an environment that helps under-represented students -- specifically African-American, Latino and low-income learners -- get degrees in math and science. He shares the four pillars of UMBC's approach.
 
About the speaker
During his 20-year tenure as president of UMBC, Freeman Hrabowski has helped students of all backgrounds pursue degrees in arts, humanities and the sciences. 
 
About the transcript
So I'll be talking about the success of my campus, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, UMBC, in educating students of all types, across the arts and humanities and the science and engineering areas. What makes our story especially important is that we have learned so much from a group of students who are typically not at the top of the academic ladder -- students of color, students underrepresented in selected areas. And what makes the story especially unique is that we have learned how to help African-American students, Latino students, students from low-income backgrounds, to become some of the best in the world in science and engineering.
 
And so I begin with a story about my childhood. We all are products of our childhood experiences. It's hard for me to believe that it's been 50 years since I had the experience of being a ninth grade kid in Birmingham, Alabama, a kid who loved getting A's, a kid who loved math, who loved to read, a kid who would say to the teacher -- when the teacher said, "Here are 10 problems," to the class, this little fat kid would say, "Give us 10 more." And the whole class would say, "Shut up, Freeman." And there was a designated kicker every day. And so I was always asking this question: "Well how could we get more kids to really love to learn?"
 
And amazingly, one week in church, when I really didn't want to be there and I was in the back of the room being placated by doing math problems, I heard this man say this: "If we can get the children to participate in this peaceful demonstration here in Birmingham, we can show America that even children know the difference between right and wrong and that children really do want to get the best possible education." And I looked up and said, "Who is that man?" And they said his name was Dr. Martin Luther King. And I said to my parents, "I've got to go. I want to go. I want to be a part of this." And they said, "Absolutely not."
 
(Laughter)
 
And we had a rough go of it. And at that time, quite frankly, you really did not talk back to your parents. And somehow I said, "You know, you guys are hypocrites. You make me go to this. You make me listen. The man wants me to go, and now you say no." And they thought about it all night. And they came into my room the next morning. They had not slept. They had been literally crying and praying and thinking, "Will we let our 12-year-old participate in this march and probably have to go to jail?" And they decided to do it. And when they came in to tell me, I was at first elated. And then all of a sudden I began thinking about the dogs and the fire hoses, and I got really scared, I really did. And one of the points I make to people all the time is that sometimes when people do things that are courageous, it doesn't really mean that they're that courageous. It simply means that they believe it's important to do it.
 
I wanted a better education. I did not want to have to have hand-me-down books. I wanted to know that the school I attended not only had good teachers, but the resources we needed. And as a result of that experience, in the middle of the week, while I was there in jail, Dr. King came and said with our parents, "What you children do this day will have an impact on children who have not been born."
 
I recently realized that two-thirds of Americans today had not been born at the time of 1963. And so for them, when they hear about the Children's Crusade in Birmingham, in many ways, if they see it on TV, it's like our looking at the 1863 "Lincoln" movie: It's history. And the real question is, what lessons did we learn? Well amazingly, the most important for me was this: That children can be empowered to take ownership of their education. They can be taught to be passionate about wanting to learn and to love the idea of asking questions.
 
And so it is especially significant that the university I now lead, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, UMBC, was founded the very year I went to jail with Dr. King, in 1963. And what made that institutional founding especially important is that Maryland is the South, as you know, and, quite frankly, it was the first university in our state founded at a time when students of all races could go there. And so we had black and white students and others who began to attend. And it has been for 50 years an experiment. The experiment is this: Is it possible to have institutions in our country, universities, where people from all backgrounds can come and learn and learn to work together and learn to become leaders and to support each other in that experience?
 
Now what is especially important about that experience for me is this: We found that we could do a lot in the arts and humanities and social sciences. And so we began to work on that, for years in the '60s. And we produced a number of people in law, all the way to the humanities. We produced great artists. Beckett is our muse. A lot of our students get into theater. It's great work. The problem that we faced was the same problem America continues to face -- that students in the sciences and engineering, black students were not succeeding. But when I looked at the data, what I found was that, quite frankly, students in general, large numbers were not making it. And as a result of that, we decided to do something that would help, first of all, the group at the bottom, African-American students, and then Hispanic students.
 
And Robert and Jane Meyerhoff, philanthropists, said, "We'd like to help." Robert Meyerhoff said, "Why is it that everything I see on TV about black boys, if it's not about basketball, is not positive? I'd like to make a difference, to do something that's positive." We married those ideas, and we created this Meyerhoff Scholars program. And what is significant about the program is that we learned a number of things. And the question is this: How is it that now we lead the country in producing African-Americans who go on to complete Ph.D.'s in science and engineering and M.D./Ph.D.'s? That's a big deal. Give me a hand for that. That's a big deal. That's a big deal. It really is.
 
(Applause)
 
You see, most people don't realize that it's not just minorities who don't do well in science and engineering. Quite frankly, you're talking about Americans. If you don't know it, while 20 percent of blacks and Hispanics who begin with a major in science and engineering will actually graduate in science and engineering, only 32 percent of whites who begin with majors in those areas actually succeed and graduate in those areas, and only 42 percent of Asian-Americans.
 
And so, the real question is, what is the challenge? Well a part of it, of course, is K-12. We need to strengthen K-12. But the other part has to do with the culture of science and engineering on our campuses. Whether you know it or not, large numbers of students with high SAT's and large numbers of A.P. credits who go to the most prestigious universities in our country begin in pre-med or pre-engineering and engineering, and they end up changing their majors. And the number one reason, we find, quite frankly, is they did not do well in first year science courses. In fact, we call first year science and engineering, typically around America, weed-out courses or barrier courses.
 
How many of you in this audience know somebody who started off in pre-med or engineering and changed their major within a year or two? It's an American challenge. Half of you in the room. I know. I know. I know. And what is interesting about that is that so many students are smart and can do it. We need to find ways of making it happen.
 
So what are the four things we did to help minority students that now are helping students in general? Number one: high expectations. It takes an understanding of the academic preparation of students -- their grades, the rigor of the course work, their test-taking skills, their attitude, the fire in their belly, the passion for the work, to make it. And so doing things to help students prepare to be in that position, very important. But equally important, it takes an understanding that it's hard work that makes the difference. I don't care how smart you are or how smart you think you are. Smart simply means you're ready to learn. You're excited about learning and you want to ask good questions.
 
I. I. Rabi, a Nobel laureate, said that when he was growing up in New York, all of his friends' parents would ask them "What did you learn in school?" at the end of a day. And he said, in contrast, his Jewish mother would say, "Izzy, did you ask a good question today?" And so high expectations have to do with curiosity and encouraging young people to be curious. And as a result of those high expectations, we began to find students we wanted to work with to see what could we do to help them, not simply to survive in science and engineering, but to become the very best, to excel.
 
Interestingly enough, an example: One young man who earned a C in the first course and wanted to go on to med school, we said, "We need to have you retake the course, because you need a strong foundation if you're going to move to the next level." Every foundation makes the difference in the next level. He retook the course. That young man went on to graduate from UMBC, to become the first black to get the M.D./Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He now works at Harvard. Nice story. Give him a hand for that too.
 
(Applause)
 
Secondly, it's not about test scores only. Test scores are important, but they're not the most important thing. One young woman had great grades, but test scores were not as high. But she had a factor that was very important. She never missed a day of school, K-12. There was fire in that belly. That young woman went on, and she is today with an M.D./Ph.D. from Hopkins. She's on the faculty, tenure track in psychiatry, Ph.D. in neuroscience. She and her adviser have a patent on a second use of Viagra for diabetes patients. Big hand for her. Big hand for her. (Applause) And so high expectations, very important.
 
Secondly, the idea of building community among the students. You all know that so often in science and engineering we tend to think cutthroat. Students are not taught to work in groups. And that's what we work to do with that group to get them to understand each other, to build trust among them, to support each other, to learn how to ask good questions, but also to learn how to explain concepts with clarity. As you know, it's one thing to earn an A yourself, it's another thing to help someone else do well. And so to feel that sense of responsibility makes all the difference in the world. So building community among those students, very important.
 
Third, the idea of, it takes researchers to produce researchers. Whether you're talking about artists producing artists or you're talking about people getting into the social sciences, whatever the discipline -- and especially in science and engineering, as in art, for example -- you need scientists to pull the students into the work. And so our students are working in labs regularly.
 
And one great example that you'll appreciate: During a snowstorm in Baltimore several years ago, the guy on our campus with this Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant literally came back to work in his lab after several days, and all these students had refused to leave the lab. They had food they had packed out. They were in the lab working, and they saw the work, not as schoolwork, but as their lives. They knew they were working on AIDS research. They were looking at this amazing protein design. And what was interesting was each one of them focused on that work. And he said, "It doesn't get any better than that."
 
And then finally, if you've got the community and you've got the high expectations and you've got researchers producing researchers, you have to have people who are willing as faculty to get involved with those students, even in the classroom. I'll never forget a faculty member calling the staff and saying, "I've got this young man in class, a young black guy, and he seems like he's just not excited about the work. He's not taking notes. We need to talk to him." What was significant was that the faculty member was observing every student to understand who was really involved and who was not and was saying, "Let me see how I can work with them. Let me get the staff to help me out." It was that connecting. That young man today is actually a faculty member M.D./Ph.D. in neuroengineering at Duke. Give him a big hand for that.
 
(Applause)
 
And so the significance is that we have now developed this model that is helping us, not only finally with evaluation, assessing what works. And what we learned was that we needed to think about redesigning courses. And so we redesigned chemistry, we redesigned physics. But now we are looking at redesigning the humanities and social sciences. Because so many students are bored in class. Do you know that? Many students, K-12 and in universities, don't want to just sit there and listen to somebody talk. They need to be engaged.
 
And so we have done -- if you look at our website at the Chemistry Discovery Center, you'll see people coming from all over the country to look at how we are redesigning courses, having an emphasis on collaboration, use of technology, using problems out of our biotech companies on our campus, and not giving students the theories, but having them struggle with those theories. And it's working so well that throughout our university system in Maryland, more and more courses are being redesigned.
 
It's called academic innovation.
 
And what does all of that mean? It means that now, not just in science and engineering, we now have programs in the arts, in the humanities, in the social sciences, in teacher education, even particularly for women in I.T. If you don't know it, there's been a 79-percent decline in the number of women majoring in computer science just since 2000. And what I'm saying is that what will make the difference will be building community among students, telling young women, young minority students and students in general, you can do this work. And most important, giving them a chance to build that community with faculty pulling them into the work and our assessing what works and what does not work. Most important, if a student has a sense of self, it is amazing how the dreams and the values can make all the difference in the world.
 
When I was a 12-year-old child in the jail in Birmingham, I kept thinking, "I wonder what my future could be." I had no idea that it was possible for this little black boy in Birmingham to one day be president of a university that has students from 150 countries, where students are not there just to survive, where they love learning, where they enjoy being the best, where they will one day change the world.
 
Aristotle said, "Excellence is never an accident. It is the result of high intention, sincere effort and intelligent execution. It represents the wisest option among many alternatives." And then he said something that gives me goosebumps. He said, "Choice, not chance, determines your destiny." Choice, not chance, determines your destiny, dreams and values.
 
Thank you all very much.
 
(Applause)

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