Congresswoman Donna Edwards to speak at UMES winter commencement

PRINCESS ANNE — U.S. Rep. Donna F. Edwards, who represents Maryland’s 4th Congressional District, will be the University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s 2015 winter commencement speaker.


An estimated 329 degrees will be awarded Dec. 18 at the Hytche Athletic Center. Graduation ceremonies start at 10 a.m.


Edwards became the first African-American woman from Maryland to serve in Congress after winning a special election in June 2008.


Prior to that, she worked as a public-interest advocate for non-profits and in the private sector on NASA’s Spacelab project. She currently serves on the House of Representatives’ Science, Space and Technology Committee, and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.


Protecting and strengthening Medicare and Social Security have been among national issues she has embraced along with defending women’s rights, expanding economic opportunity for women and raising awareness about domestic violence.


Her biography notes she was the first member of the House of Representatives to introduce a constitutional amendment to overturn a controversial 2010 Supreme Court decision that removed caps on political campaign donations.


She has characterized herself in campaign literature as someone “who stood up to big developers and special interests in Prince George’s County to protect union jobs, build 400 family homes and provide safe, reliable access to the natural environment.”


She also represents constituents in Anne Arundel County.


Edwards’ Dec. 18 appearance at UMES will be her second as a Congresswoman. She visited campus in January 2014 as part of a tour she organized to learn how historically black institutions deliver science, technology, engineering and math programs.

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