National Professional Science Master's Association Names Director of Strategic Planning

Donald Langenberg is a nationally recognized scientist and higher education leader
June 01, 2010

WORCESTER, Mass. – June 1, 2010 – Donald Langenberg, former chancellor of the University of Maryland system, has been named director of strategic planning and external projects for the National Professional Science Master’s Association (NPSMA), which is headquartered at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).

Founded in 2007 with a $500,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, NPSMA is a collaborative of program directors, faculty members, administrators, alumni, and students from the nearly 200 professional science master's (PSM) programs offered by close to 100 colleges and universities across the nation. The association engages businesses, industries, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and trade associations in the development of PSM degree programs and the establishment of internships and job placements for PSM students and graduates.

A groundbreaking physicist and nationally recognized higher education leader, Langenberg headed the 13-member University System of Maryland from 1990 to 2002. He previously served as chancellor of the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he was also a professor of physics. Langenberg's research focuses on experimental condensed matter physics and materials science, particularly superconductivity. His work in this field led to a new type of voltage standard now in use worldwide. He has received countless honors and awards for his work, included being named deputy director of the National Science Foundation by President Jimmy Carter in 1980. He has also received the John Price Wetherill Medal from the Franklin Institute and the Distinguished Contribution to Research Administration Award from the Society of Research Administrators.

Langenberg has served as chairman of the board of directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the executive board of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges. He has also served on the boards of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the University of Pennsylvania and as president of the American Physical Society. Since his retirement from the University System of Maryland, he has contributed significantly to the growth and development of professional science master's programs as the former chair of the advisory board of the Council of Graduate Schools Professional Science Master's Initiative and mentor to the new National Professional Science Master's Association.

"Don Langenberg brings to this new position a wealth of experience at the highest levels of science and higher education, as well as a sincere belief in the importance of the professional science master's to America's competitiveness," said Bogdan Vernescu, chair of WPI's Department of Mathematical Sciences and founding president of NPSMA. "We are fortunate to have someone of his caliber helping guide the association through the next phase of its development and as it seeks to become a strong, sustainable organization," said Elizabeth Friedman, the current president of the NPSMA and PSM Program Manager at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

As part of the organization’s new focus, NPSMA is restructuring its office staff. The officers will take over the functions of the executive director, assisted by Deborah Warren-Hite at WPI. "I would like to express our immense gratitude to Stephen Lemire, the founding executive director, for launching NPSMA, setting its processes and procedures in motion, and managing two national and four regional meetings," Friedman said. "We wish him well in all his future endeavors."

About Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1865 in Worcester, Mass., WPI was one of the nation's first engineering and technology universities. Its14 academic departments offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science, engineering, technology, management, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts, leading to bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees. WPI's world-class faculty work with students in a number of cutting-edge research areas, leading to breakthroughs and innovations in such fields as biotechnology, fuel cells, information security, materials processing, and nanotechnology. Students also have the opportunity to make a difference to communities and organizations around the world through the university's innovative Global Projects Program. There are more than 25 WPI project centers throughout North America and Central America, Africa, Australia, Asia, and Europe.


Michael Dorsey, Director of Research Communications