2012 SREB Compact for Faculty Diversity – Conference for Graduate Students, Postdocs and Jr. Faculty

The 2012 Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Compact for Faculty Diversity/Institute for Teaching and Mentoring will be held in Tampa, Florida, Thursday, October 25- Sunday, October 28. Several of the PROMISE mentors have led sessions at the SREB conference in the past, including Dr. Johnetta Davis (Founding Co-PI for PROMISE at UM College Park), Dr. Wendy Carter-Veale (PROMISE Dissertation Coach), and Dr. Renetta Tull (PROMISE Director). Last year, 25 of our PROMISE AGEP graduate students from all campuses attended the 2011 SREB conference in Atlanta. As of 7/21/12,  7 students have been nominated for the 2012 conference, and others are on the waiting list.

This year, the PROMISE AGEP would especially like to encourage Instructors, Postdocs, and Assistant Professors to participate in the concurrent “Jr. Faculty Professional Development Conference” for SREB. This will be the 3rd year for this kind of extension. Here is the link with information: https://promiseagep.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/junior-faculty-conference-2012-tampa.pdf. Instructors, Postdocs, and Assistant Professors should seek funding from their respective departments for this worthwhile conference.

More about SREB –  watch the video:

(See PROMISE Alumna and Former Peer Mentor, Dr. Frances Carter (Public Policy, UMBC) at 3:10-3:23.


UPDATE November 8, 2012

Photo of PROMISE Participants (subset) at the SREB Conference, Tampa, October 2012.

Published by Renetta Garrison Tull

Dr. Renetta Garrison Tull is the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at the University of California Davis. She previously served as Associate Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives at The Graduate School at UMBC, and was Professor of the Practice in the College of Engineering & IT. She was Special Assistant to the Sr. Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs & Director of Graduate and Professional Pipeline Development for the University System of Maryland (12 institutions). She is the Founding Director of PROMISE: Maryland’s Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) – http://www.umbc.edu/promise, and Co-PI for the USM LSAMP. Her research on global diversity in STEM continues, and she is an international speaker, covering nearly all continents, for groups and conferences such as the World Engineering Education Forum, the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies, and the Pacific Sciences Congress. Her personal website is: http://renettatull.wordpress.com. Connect with her on Twitter: @Renetta_Tull; https://twitter.com/Renetta_Tull

6 thoughts on “2012 SREB Compact for Faculty Diversity – Conference for Graduate Students, Postdocs and Jr. Faculty

  1. I had an amazing experience at the SREB conference this year. I had the opportunity to meet students of color getting their PhDS across fields. Through these interactions, I was able to extend my interest beyond my field and take on a more interdisciplinary perspective. I feel fortunate to have attended a conference that feels like a supportive community.

    Additionally, my professional development was enhanced through the many workshops I attended. One particularly interesting workshop examined financial investing and gave me ideas on how i can make my graduate stipend grow and feel less financially burdened throughout my graduate experience. Overall, this conference enriches me socially, and emotionally. If I am given the privilege, I would attend this conference every year of my graduate school career.


  2. I also enjoyed the SREB conference this year. It was my second year attending and each year I meet more minority PhD students and faculty members. As was repeated at the conference, that was the most minority PhDs I will ever see in one location.

    This year was particularly helpful giving ideas of how to find a dissertation topic and navigate the remainder of my program. One presenter shared a number of resources, of which one gave a very detailed outline of an entire dissertation. Similar to my MISE buddy at the SSI (another SREB attendee, Laurene), I made a pact with 2 other PhD students at other schools to make sure we all complete our programs.

    Regarding faculty, I spoke with more schools than I did last year to see what criteria they have for future faculty members. Asking early in my graduate school career gives me time to work towards those goals. A number of schools were interested in human-computer interaction and I hope to participate in an early faculty visitation program next semester.

    As you can see my professional network was enhanced even more by attending this conference and would love to attend in the future.


  3. It is difficult to explain what attending the SREB conference means and how different you feel after being a participant. I have been very fortunate in having two opportunities to attend this conference. As a third year graduate student, I constantly struggle with feelings of doubt in terms of my ability to successfully complete my doctoral degree. The SREB conference injects my being with motivation and direction that I do not get from anywhere else.

    All of the sessions offered at the conference are pertinent to successful graduate study. I was able to attend a session that focused on managing stress that comes with writing a dissertation. It is so wonderful to hear tips on managing stress in an area that many people are not familiar with, and everyone in the room has similar experiences, which reinforces the fact that you are not alone and that the things that you go through are normal. I think that is most useful in conquering self-doubt.

    Since it was my second year, it was great seeing old friends and catching up and seeing how we have all progressed in our programs of study. Although, not explicit, we serve as a check for each other to ensure that we continue our journey to achieve our doctoral degree. The conference also offers a chance to meet new people and make new friends that you are able to add to your support network.

    Finally, the opportunity the conference offers to speak with faculty members, mentors, and diversity recruiters is amazing. I was able to pass out over 15 CV’s and speak with recruiters at lunch. This opportunity allows me to better assess the type of academic institution that best suits my skills and my area of study. It also allows me to gain a better understanding of what institutions are looking for when they are hiring faculty members.

    Thank you for this opportunity and I hope I am considered for the next conference.


  4. Once again, the SREB conference was an awesome experience. I attended last year as a first year Ph.D. student and was amazed at how much I got out of it. This year, I was not disappointed. Not only was I encouraged to see so many young people of color pursuing the same goals as myself, but networking with them to create a larger and further reaching support system was exciting and motivating. I especially appreciated the faculty recruitment fair at which I met with several institutional representatives with a plethora of information about potential job opportunities, career options, and suggestions for increasing marketability as a student in an interdisciplinary program.

    William Harvey’s opening session “You’ll Find a Way…Or Make One” was very encouraging. He provided five methods for getting through the maze of academia and confirmation of the reasons why all of us can still be successful as minority students and faculty. At another session we received common sense tips on how to maintain sanity throughout the doctoral process and beyond, such as maximizing social capital through networking, being true to and believing in ourselves, and never being afraid to be the only one or the first. I say these are “common sense,” but they are often the very things that we forget about in our day to day lives and I definitely benefited from the reminders. As someone who endeavors to enter academia as a faculty member in the near future, I found James Anderson’s suggestions for finding innovative ways to engage students most helpful. He introduced ideas such as using a crossword puzzle as an exam, which requires the use of both recall and recognition rather than one or the other; having students take another professors exam; and ultimately remembering that, whatever methods you use, student success is all the proof/validation you need. Finally, one of my favorite sessions was “Financial Planning for the Future,” offered by Steve Reznik. Though not every aspect of his presentation was applicable to my personal situation or easy to understand, overall the message was that it is never too early and there is no amount too small to begin investing in my future. He made himself extremely available to all attendees and even recently met with one of my colleagues to further discuss her finances.

    In conclusion, though I can’t include every single detail of my wonderful time at the conference, I hope what I have discussed gives anyone reading an idea of how amazing it was to be in attendance and why I’m already looking forward to next year if extended the opportunity again.


Please Comment! Leave a Reply.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: