Dr. Rocky Lopes '80 Endowed Scholarships for Leadership & Education & SALC Founders Award
About the Dr. Rocky Lopes '80 Endowed Scholarship for Leadership
Established in November of 2021, the Dr. Rocky Lopes '80 Endowed Scholarship for Leadership will provide merit-based scholarships for undergraduate students through the Division of Student Affairs. Recipients will demonstrate a commitment to leadership within a student organization by being elected to, currently serving, or having completed a term of leadership such as Chair, Vice Chair, President, Vice President, or Committee Chair, on a registered student organization. The student will remain in good academic standing.
A graduate of the College of Education, and an active participant in student leadership activities while on campus, Dr. Lopes' commitment will ensure that future generations of students can have a similarly impactful experience at the University of Maryland with reduced financial burden.
About the Dr. Rocky Lopes '80 Endowed Scholarship in Education
Established in November of 2021, the Dr. Rocky Lopes '80 Endowed Scholarship in Education will provide merit-based scholarships for students at the College of Education. It's Rocky's hope that his scholarship will provide students with the same great opportunity he had to attend the College of Education which gave him the knowledge, skills, and abilities to develop and implement award-winning education and public safety programs throughout his career in the Emergency Management profession.
About the Dr. Rocky Lopes '80 SALC Founders Award
Established in 2022, the Dr. Rocky Lopes SALC Founders Award will provide a Lifetime Membership in the UMCP Alumni Association for each SALC President upon graduation, and effective in 2023, a three-year membership for each senior SALC Vice President upon their graduation. Lopes founded and served as President of the Student Alumni Board in 1978 which set the framework for today’s Student Alumni Leadership Council. He became an Alumni Association Lifetime member on his graduation, and desires that SALC leaders receive Alumni Association memberships as well as his legacy gift.
About Rocky Lopes, Ph.D.
The opportunities provided to me at the University of Maryland, both as a student leader and by obtaining a wide and varied academic background, gave me the knowledge, skills, and abilities to develop and implement award-winning education and public safety programs throughout my career in the Emergency Management profession. I learned how to work with people from a variety of backgrounds, find ways to engage volunteers, and build consensus to achieve desired goals and outcomes.
As a commuter student at the University of Maryland, I was active as a leader on Homecoming, University Sing, Student Alumni Board (Founder), Student Government Association, and the Kappa Sigma Fraternity (founding brother). I was honored to be inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa, the student leadership honor society. I also volunteered one-half day every week at a local public elementary school where I eventually did my student teaching.
I graduated from the University in 1980 with dual degrees in Microbiology and Elementary Education. I subsequently earned a master's degree from University of Maryland University College and a Ph.D. in Sociology with an emphasis on emergency management from the University of Southern California.
I taught at Montgomery County Public Schools for a few years and then accepted a position at the University as the Training Manager for the Facilities Department. Moving toward what would become a career in Emergency Management, I worked for the American Red Cross National Headquarters, Disaster Services Department as Manager of Disaster Education. Following that 20-year job, I was hired to work with the National Weather Service to serve as Administrator of the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program and Deputy to the Tsunami Program Manager. I also served as National Faculty at the FEMA Emergency Management Institute and National Fire Academy.
Combining what I learned to be a teacher with student leadership skills as a collaborator (and sometimes "cat-herder,") I organized and supported groups of diverse individuals who shared passions to protect, serve, and educate people in all U.S. states and territories. I am proud that throughout my career, I collaborated to build healthier and safer communities, including my life-long home of Silver Spring, Maryland.