UMES student to serve as University System of MD regent

  • Langston Frazier was Gov. Larry Hogan's pick

    Friday, March 16, 2018
    Langston O. Frazier

    UMES junior Langston O. Frazier's nomination by Gov. Larry Hogan to serve on the University System of Maryland's governing board has received formal approval from the state senate. 

    Frazier will represent 170,000 of his peers - including his 20-year-old sister at the University of Maryland Baltimore County and those at other USM campuses - as student regent for 12 months starting July 1. 

    “I'm looking forward to sharing the concerns of students and their ideas with the regents, especially those who think they don't have a voice,” Frazier said. 

    Although records are incomplete, Frazier is believed to be the second UMES student to be a regent in the USM era. Malika Singleton served during the 1995-96 school year. 

    Frazier has embraced an active campus life since enrolling in 2015, which he credits to UMES' Men Achieving Dreams through Education orientation program. Frazier joined the group prior to his freshman year. 

    “It really gave me confidence that what I had experienced in high school could be valuable at college,” said Frazier, a golf management major from Bowie. 

    At Bowie High School, he was sophomore class president and was involved in student government and community activism projects as far back as elementary school. During his senior year in high school, Frazier served on the Student Advisory Council to Prince George's County Public Schools' chief executive officer. 

    As a collegian, he's been involved with the Discover UMES broadcasting operation, the Golf Management Student Association, the UMES athletics department's media relations team and Hawk Radio, where he has co-hosted an online broadcast with UMES' interim vice president of Student Affairs. 

    Langston O. Frazier
    University System of Maryland
    Student Regent ~ 2018-19

    Favorite beverage: hot tea (herbal)

    Favorite pizza: ham & pineapple (Hawaiian)

    Favorite entertainer: Sam Smith

    Favorite sport: bicycle road racing

    Favorite team: the Washington Redskins

    Favorite study subjects: music, social studies

    Favorite music genre: jazz, classical & show tunes

    ~

    The golfers he'd invited to play in a foursome:
    President Obama, Tiger Woods & Phil Mickelson

    Knows how to play the trumpet

    Sang at Carnegie Hall with his high school choir

    Named for playwright Langston Hughes

    Frazier's activism, his enthusiasm - his “Hawk Pride” - caught Dr. J. Michael Harpe's attention and prompted the administrator to nominate him as candidate for student regent. 

    Frazier received formal notice in February he was Hogan's nominee to be the next USM student regent. 

    “I wasn't prepared for it all,” he said. “Although I had participated in a lot of student government activities, I was in shock, but very honored and blessed.” 

    Frazier said his life's experiences will guide him in his time as a regent. Born in May 1997 three months early, he weighed less than two pounds. 

    “I'm told it was a struggle for me, and my family,” he said. 

    In elementary school, Frazier was diagnosed with a hearing impairment, likely the result of his premature birth. He relies on hearing aids but downplays his circumstances as a disability. 

    “The way I look at it,” he said, “If people see all that I do … being active, working hard but enjoying life; maybe other students will see that despite the odds, anything is possible and to always dream big.” 

    A UMES golf management program requirement is passing a “playing ability test” to qualify for PGA of America's pro credentials. The organization has placed a lot of emphasis on acceptance, diversity and inclusion. 

    “That really appeals to me,” he said. “People being more accepting of others is something we need.” 

    As a young black man who plays the game left-handed, he knows he draws attention when he steps on a course. He's learned to shrug it off. 

    “I'm just a guy who plays golf,” Frazier said. 

    With graduation looming in 2019, Frazier is giving serious consideration to pursuing a master's degree in journalism and possibly a doctorate in higher education. 

    His family provided plenty of role models as inspiration. His parents are Hampton University graduates and one of his grandfathers earned a Ph.D. from Michigan State University, which explains why the 1998 Camry that Frazier inherited from him sports a Spartan decal. 

    Prior to taking office in July, Frazier is planning to reach out to other high-profile student leaders across the state to get a sense of issues he should embrace as a regent. 

    He's hoping to focus the governing board's attention on the key role technology plays in the life of current college students. 

    “It's a big deal for our generation,” he said. “We're phone savvy. We get current events instantly. It's kind of the way education needs to evolve to keep up with students, engaging them technologically through phones, websites and the like.” 

    Frazier said he'd like to see Maryland's public colleges put greater emphasis into “having more textbooks and support material online, enhancing it digitally.”