PROMISE Summer Success Institute (SSI) 10th Anniversary Celebration! August 16-17, 2013


2013 PROMISE Summer Success Institute (SSI)

10th Anniversary Celebration

Theme: Mentoring for Transitions & Advancement

Friday and Saturday, August 16-17, 2013

Eventbrite - PROMISE Summer Success Institute (SSI) 2013

 SMC Center2013 PROMISE SSI LOCATION, Downtown Baltimore:

University of Maryland Baltimore, The Founding Campus

SMC Campus Center (2nd Floor Ballroom)

621 W. Lombard St., Baltimore, MD 21201, (410) 706-7532

Lodging: Camden Yards Hampton Inn & Suites, Conference Rate $107 + tax/night. Discounted Conference Rate in the “PROMISE” Block,  valid until July 17, 2013.

Parking & Transportation:

Parking: Baltimore Grand Garage (5 North Paca Street between Baltimore and Fayette Streets)


Campus Map:,

Walking directions from this garage to the SMC Center ( 5-7 minutes):

– When leaving the garage, turn left and walk south on N Paca St toward W Baltimore St  (0.1 mi )
– Turn right onto W. Lombard St.  (Destination will be on the left)

Public Transportation:


  • Friday, August 16, 2013 – Casual.
  • Saturday, August 17, 2013 – Business –  (No: Jeans/athletic attire/tee-shirts; Yes: Jacket/shirt/tie/shoes, Yes: Skirt/dress/pantsuit.) See Forbes’ “Dress for Success” article.
  • Please be sure that you have a jacket, sweater, and/or wrap for the air-conditioned rooms.


The PROMISE Summer Success Institute (SSI) provides professional development, encouragement, motivation, career advice, peer support, and camaraderie, for new/incoming graduate students, continuing graduate students (master’s and doctoral level, and the PP&Ps (Postdocs, Professors, and Professionals). This event is open to graduate students throughout the state of Maryland, from any school within the University System of Maryland. PROMISE: Maryland’s AGEP is particularly focused on professional development for underrepresented students in STEM fields; broadly, graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and faculty from any group or discipline are warmly invited to attend.

PROMISE SSI Horizontal




Fri., Aug. 16 

  • Students & Postdocs: SMC Center, 2nd Floor
  • Speakers: Camden Yards Hampton Inn & Suites

Sat., Aug. 17 

  • SMC Ballroom, 2nd Floor
  • SMC Meeting Rooms, 3rd Floor
8:15 AM
  • Arrival
  • Light Breakfast
  • Registration & Breakfast
  • Elm Ballroom Pre-function area, 2nd floor, SMC Center
  • (9:00) Room 223. Dissertation House (Continuing Students) Host: Dr. W. Carter-Veale,  
  • (9:00) Room 203. Postdoctoral & Alumni Writing Suite (Postdocs) Host: Dr. Renetta Tull, Room 203
Saturday’s morning sessions (8:30 AM -11:00 AM) will be held in the Elm Ballroom A & B, 2nd Floor – Rooms 208 & 210

  • (8:30) Welcome and Opening 
  • (8:40) Morning Plenary: The Importance of Broadening Participation to National Defense with Dr. Reginald Brothers, US Department of Defense 
  • (9:00) PROMISE Talks: TED-styled talks by PROMISE alumni: Research on Healthcare (Speakers from: University of Puerto Rico – Rio Piedras, Robert H. Smith School of Business – University of Maryland College Park, CDC, FDA, Evidera, Faster Cures, NIH-National Cancer Institute)
  • (10:00) Mentoring for Career Growth & Transition with speakers from the US Department of State, and MIT. Inspired by AAAS.
  • (10:45) Circle of PhDs – “PhD Roll Call” 


  • (12:00) Lunch – 2nd Floor SMC Center
  • (1:00) Room 223. Dissertation House  (Continuing Students) Host: Dr. W. Carter –  Room 223
  • (1:00) Room 203. Postdoctoral & Alumni Writing Suite (Postdocs) Host: Dr. Judith Pollack – Room 203
  • (11:30) Breakout Success Seminars:
    • Room 351. Making the Mental and Emotional Switch from Undergrad to Graduate School: A New World” (Sponsored by MAP – Mentoring at Purdue)
    • Room 311. When Bricks and Sticks are Replaced by Clicks: MOOCs – The Next Wave” with Dr. Andrew Ng (Coursera)
    • Room 349. Mentoring for Advancement – Mentoring Pods”  with World-class Mentors and Leaders (Boeing Cyber Solutions, MIT Lincoln Labs, Purdue, Los Alamos National Labs, NC State & “Creative Growth Solutions For You!,” Lockheed Martin and Beysix Consulting, NASA, Harvard, NIH)
  • (12:45) 10th Anniversary Celebration Lunch
    • Elm Ballroom A & B, 2nd floor, Rooms 208 & 210. 
    • Mentoring Tables with PROMISE Alumni
    • Remarks from honored guests
    • Recognition of PhD Candidates
    • 10th Anniversary Keynote Address: Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, President of UMBC


  • (2:30 PM) Cake Reception & Networking “Tweet-up”
(Speakers’ Reception: Sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation)




For students and postdocs: SMC Center, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, 2nd Floor

  • Dissertation House 

    DH2This session is for “alumni” of the Dissertation House (DH).   “Alumni of the DH” are current graduate students, who have already worked with Dr. Carter-Veale, and who have attended at least one DH (at SSI, UMBC, UMB, or UMCP) in the past. Follow the traditional DH application procedure and send applications to, with the subject line: DH SSI 2013. Come ready to post your goals, ready to blog, and ready to work. You know the drill.


  • Postdoctoral & Alumni Writing Suite 

    PublicationBannerThis session welcomes postdocs from all USM schools,  postdocs who are conducting research in the Maryland area (e.g., NIH, NASA, Johns Hopkins), and alumni of PROMISE who are now postdocs at other institutions around the world. The session is based on the best practices of the Dissertation House for graduate students, and the “Writing for Publication” sessions that PROMISE has conducted for both graduate students and early-career faculty. Participants should review the “Impact Factor” and “Demon of Perfection” slides prior to arrival. PROMISE Alumni at any institution who are working on their publications (e.g., books, articles, grant proposals within a postdoctoral appointment or tenure-track appointment) are strongly encouraged to participate.

    • Location: SMC Center, Room 203
    • Co-Leaders: Dr. Renetta Tull & Dr. Judith Kadarusman Pollack
    • In advance of the workshop: Review the PROMISE Information for Postdocs, bring your CV, your mentor’s CV, and the style guide (Information for Authors) for the journal that you are targeting for your pending article.
      • 9:00 Introductions and goal-setting
      • 10:00 Work on publications
      • 12:00 Lunch discussions
      • 1:00 Goal-driven “Annual Review” Planning
      • 2:00 Work on publications
      • 4:30 Report-out


For Speakers:

External/Visiting Speakers’ Evening Orientation and Reception

8PM – 9PM, Hampton Inn and Suites Camden Yards.

sloan foundationVisiting speakers are invited to join the PROMISE Director to learn more about PROMISE and the SSI. During this orientation reception, visiting speakers will be able to connect  in advance of the Saturday program.

The Speakers’ Reception is sponsored by : The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation



SMC Center, Elm Ballroom A& B (Rooms 208 & 210), 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM Arrive by 8:15 AM for registration and light breakfast refreshments


Cloud8:30 AM:  Director’s welcome and overview of PROMISE, 10th Anniversary Retrospective

The first PROMISE SSI was held in 2003. The opening remarks will feature a short history of PROMISE: Maryland’s Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP), and its place as a program of the National Science Foundation. PROMISE is one of many AGEPs throughout the US. The PROMISE AGEP began with UMBC, the University of Maryland College Park, and the University of Maryland Baltimore – The Founding Campus. The PROMISE AGEP is now operating under its “PROMISE Pathways” grant which explores expansion of PROMISE to all institutions within the University System of Maryland (USM).


Reggie Brothers8:40 AM: Opening Plenary: “The Importance of Broadening Participation to National Defense”

Dr. Reginald Brothers, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research (DASD-R), Department of Defense

Dr. Reginald Brothers joined the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Research and Engineering as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research on 6 December 2011. Dr. Brothers is responsible for policy and oversight of DoD Science and Technology programs from Basic Research through Advanced Technology Development. He is also responsible for oversight of DoD laboratories, ensuring the long-term strategic direction of the Department’s S&T programs, and for developing those technologies needed for continued technological superiority of US forces.
  • 9:00 AM: The PROMISE Talks: PROMISE Alumni Discuss Their Research on Healthcare

SSI 2013 PROMISE Talks Photo Banner 9AM FINAL_50
    • Moderator: Dr. Patricia Ordonez (PROMISE Alumna – UMBC, Computer Science), Assistant Professor, Computer Science, University of Puerto Rico – Rio Piedras, RESEARCH: Bioinformatics
    • Dr. Sean Barnes (PROMISE Alumnus – UMCP, Mathematics), Assistant Professor, Operations Management, Robert H, Smith School of Business, University of Maryland College Park, RESEARCH: Health Opertations Management
    • Dr. Ebony Dashiell-Aje (PROMISE Alumna – UMCP, Human Development), Evidera (formerly United BioSource)
    • Dr. Robert Alexander (PROMISE Alumnus – UMBC, Public Policy), Center for Disease Control (CDC)
    • Dr. LaTese Briggs (PROMISE Alumna – UMBC, Biological Sciences), FasterCures
    • Dr. Kelly Kitchens (PROMISE Alumna – UMB, Pharmaceutical Sciences), FDA
    • Dr. Victor Ayala (PROMISE Alumnus – UMB, Immunology), NIH-National Cancer Institute

Speakers appear courtesy of their own personal donation and with support from:

SSI guests 2013


  • 10:00 AM: “Mentoring for Career Growth and Transition”

Mentoring Banner w Mentors SSI 2013

    • Moderator: Dr. Franklin Carrero-Martínez, Foreign Affairs Officer, U.S. Department of State
    • Co-leader: Dr. Frances Colón, Deputy Science and Technology Adviser, U.S. Department of State
    • Co-leader: Dr. Frances Carter-Johnson, (PROMISE Alumna – UMBC, M.S. – Applied Physics, Ph.D. Public Policy; Mississippi AGEP Alumna (AGEM), M.S. – Pure Physics), Postdoctoral Associate for Educational Research –  MIT Teaching and Learning Laboratory. (In Fall 2013, Dr. Carter-Johnson will begin a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship at the National Institutes of Health’s Center for Scientific Review.)

This U.S. science policy professionals will discuss “”How to continually be a good mentee and how to develop the ‘Career Mentor’ relationship.” They will highlight relationships with their “career” mentors, Dr. E. William Colgazier (Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State), and Dr. Daryl Chubin (Founding Director of the AAAS Center for Advancing Science & Engineering Capacity.)  This session was developed in partnership with current and past fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), following discussions from the Global Diaspora Forum, supported by the U.S. Department of State.



  • 10:45 AM: “Images of Possibility: The Circle of PhDs”

    • Nikki AlexisCo-leader: Dr. Sophoria N. Westmoreland (UMCP PROMISE Alum, Currently Assistant Research Professor, Mechanical Engineering – The U.S. Naval Academy).
    • Co-leader: Dr. Alexis Y. Williams (UMCP PROMISE Alum, Currently, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Human Development, University of Maryland College Park.)
  • Dr. Westmoreland and Dr. Williams are subjects in Dr. Jennifer Bacon’s upcoming book: “Sisters in the Dissertation House” (New Forums Press),   and the the Spring 2013 Issue of “Intersections & Inequality” from the Consortium on Race, Gender, & Ethnicity. Read more about Dr. Westmoreland and Dr. Williams and their reflections on the PROMISE Dissertation House, here.

All guests at the SSI with PhDs will be asked to circle the perimeter of the room and share name, undergraduate institution, graduate institution, and current position. This “Circle of PhDs” has become a tradition for the SSI.  The circle represents a milestone for our newest PhDs, and encourages new and continuing students who are in pursuit of their current graduate degrees.  

  • 11:15 AM: Break


Audiences: New/Incoming Graduate Students (NS),Continuing Graduate Students (Completed at least one year of graduate study: CS)Postdocs/Professors/Professionals (PP&P)

    • Room 351 (NS): “Making the Mental and Emotional Switch from Undergrad to Graduate School: A New World”

      • Gloria AnglonMODERATOR:  Gloria Casilda Anglón, Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions at Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
      • Gloria is a past PROMISE Graduate Assistant at University of Maryland College Park, and UMBC. After finishing her graduate degree in Sociology at UMBC, she was awarded an administrative fellowship at Harvard University. Her key areas of interest and expertise are as follows: Sociology, Higher Education, Broadening Participation in STEM, Racial and Ethnic Diversity, Graduate Recruitment and Retention, Graduate Admissions Preparation, Graduate Student Development, and Event Coordination

    • Levon Esters

      Panelist: “What faculty expect” –  Dr. Levon Esters, Associate Professor, College of Agriculture, Purdue University.

        • Dr. Levon Esters, Project Director, is Associate Professor of Agricultural and Life Science Education in the Department of Youth Development and Agricultural Education at Purdue University. Dr. Esters taught for two years at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences which is the largest urban agricultural education program in the United States.  He has 14 years of experience coordinating pre-college career development programs focused on the agricultural sciences for urban high school age youth.  Dr. Esters’ research interests include STEM career development; use of agriculture as a context for teaching and learning STEM; and the career development of racial and ethnic and minorities.  Dr. Esters is Project Director for a USDA-funded grant focused on increasing the mentoring support of women and underrepresented minority students in Purdue University’s College of Agriculture which will lead to an increase in the number of women and URM students who complete STEM-based agricultural and life science graduate degrees and enter the STEM workforce. Dr. Esters served as a member of authoring committee that developed the 2009 National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies report, Transforming Agricultural Education for a Changing World.  He also served as lead project evaluator for an 1890 Capacity-building Grant which focused on enhancing undergraduate education through learner-centered teaching.
        • Dr. Jennifer R CohenPanelist: “How to be a superior graduate student” Dr. Jennifer Cohen, NSF AAAS Fellow (former postdoc at Johns Hopkins University).
        • Jennifer R. Cohen, Ph.D. earned an Associate’s degree from City College of San Francisco and her B.S. in Biology from Howard University. She was awarded a Minority International Research Training Fellowship to conduct biomedical research in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where she explored an inexpensive alternative for malaria prevention. In 2010, she earned her doctorate in Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology from the Johns Hopkins, School of Medicine. Her discovery of the targeting signal for the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus envelope protein enhanced the modern paradigm of virus production by providing a novel approach for preventing viral infection. As a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Brady Urological Research Institute, her work investigated the non-classical roles of B-cell lymphoma 2 protein during prostatic disease. Dr. Cohen is passionate about the recruitment, retention and advancement of minorities within biomedical research. Dr. Cohen developed a successful model for creating community among minorities in science and has shared her “best practices” regarding diversity at the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education, Christopher Newport University, and the National Postdoctoral Association annual meeting. Her dedication to scientific research is merged with a commitment to using policy to change the stereotyped race and gender of science.

MAP Logo PurdueSESSION SPONSOR:  The MAP Program.  The Mentoring@Purdue (MAP) program is a mentoring program designed for women and minority graduate students in the College of Agriculture at Purdue University. MAP aims to improve the quality of graduate education through fostering mentoring relationships between graduate students and faculty members in the Agricultural and Life Sciences. A major outcome of the MAP program is to help students grow professionally, academically, and personally to become successful individuals in their chosen area of study. (Dr. Levon Esters appears at the 2013 PROMISE SSI courtesy of the MAP program.)


    • Room 311 (CSPP&P): “When Bricks and Sticks are Replaced by Clicks: MOOCs – The Next Wave”*

      • Andrew Ng 3Speaker (via video): Dr. Andrew Ng, Co-Founder of Coursera, Associate Professor, Stanford University.  Dr. Ng participates courtesy of Coursera. Dr. Ng will give a short talk on the MOOCs movement, and how graduate students, postdocs, and faculty can move into this new way of delivering course material to thousands of students. He will take questions from PROMISE participants in the room.
      • Andrew Ng is the co-founder of Coursera and a Computer Science faculty member at Stanford. In 2011, he led the development of Stanford University’s main MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) platform, and also taught an online Machine Learning class that was offered to over 100,000 students, leading to the founding of Coursera in January 2012. Through Coursera, Ng’s goal is to give everyone in the world access to a high quality education, for free. Today, Coursera has 70 top educational partners from around the world who offer more than 300 courses in a wide variety of subjects, including computer science, business, medicine, science, teaching, humanities, social sciences, and more. More than 3.5 million students from 196 countries have enrolled for Coursera courses, making Coursera the largest MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) platform in the world. [Ref: U.S. News STEM Solutions.]


    • Room 349 (CSPP&P): “Mentoring for Advancement – Mentoring Pods”  with World-class Mentors and Leaders from academic, government, and industry sectors.

      • Miryam GerdineMODERATOR:  Miryam C. Gerdine, MPH
      • Management Analyst
      • Office of Legislation, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
      • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

During this section, participants will sit at tables with one of the mentors-in-residence for this session (listed below). Participants will spend 20 minutes with their chosen mentor, and will be prompted by the moderator to switch to a different mentor for the next 20 minutes.

      • Beyond the advanced degree: Preparing for professional, executive positions
        • David RicoDr. David Rico, Boeing Cyber Solutions.
        • Synopsis: Dr. David F. Rico will host a mentoring pod with a focus on advanced training, skills, and certifications coupled with one’s research background, to facilitate the process of successfully obtaining executive-level positions in public, private, and academic institutions. Dr. Rico will discuss the synergistic role of leveraging one’s PhD to maximize career success and earning potential in the 21st century by maintaining a balanced portfolio of academic and non-academic commitments and activities. He will identify, distinguish, and discuss the role of knowledge and information workers in post industrial society at-large. He’ll also introduce emerging academic and industry management and technological trends, critical skills, and capabilities needed in the workforce, and the most valuable certifications for maximizing and maintaining fluidity between major industry sectors to enable sustainable employment and relevance in today’s highly-competitive marketplace. Finally, Dr. Rico will close with a discussion of tips, tricks, and techniques for maximizing earning potential, avoiding pitfalls of overextending one’s self, and making critical strategic decisions to ensure career success. [Dr. Rico appears courtesy of invitation by UMBC PROMISE Alum, Samuel Cordero, via the National Security Agency.]
      • Making the transitions (grad student to PhD, postdoc, professor), keeping your cool, and addressing the issues: How do you deal with the lack of respect on the new job that may come from subtle discrimination based on age, gender, or race?
        • Christine Grant 2Dr. Christine Grant, Professor, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering; Associate Dean of Faculty Development and Special Initiatives, College of Engineering, North Carolina State University; and Founder of “Creative Growth Solutions for You!” 
        • Synopsis: You can now be called “Dr. ____,” but how do you deal with situations where people question your credentials and experience? This topic was requested by PROMISE alumni and postdocs who found that themselves excited about starting their new positions, but were continually being challenged about their credentials. Often, their hiring supervisors were very supportive and acknowledged their expertise, but when they had to work with others in the department or on a different campus, they received comments like:  “Did you really do enough work to get a PhD?”  (Even though you’ve won international awards in your field.) -OR- “I need to know if you can teach this class.” (Even when you’ve taught the class to stellar reviews on a sister campus.) How do you handle situations when people argue with you (about being in your own lab) because they think that you’re a student, or support staff? What do you do when other professors try to “steal” your grad students, or when students challenge your authority? These are questions that have been posed to PROMISE by PhD alumni who are underrepresented minorities, and women of all races. Dr. Christine Grant brings to PROMISE her experiences as a full professor of engineering, as a national speaker and leader within the NSF ADVANCE community (winner of many grants to assist women faculty), and as a professional coach. [Dr. Grant, winner of a U.S.Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, was guest at the PROMISE SSI 2004, and she returns as part of the 10th anniversary celebration, courtesy of her company, “Creative Growth Solutions for You!”
      • Academic Leadership & Global Influence
        • Sujata Bhatia Dr. Sujata Bhatia, Assistant Director for Undergraduate Studies in Biomedical Engineering; Assistant Dean, Harvard Summer School; Associate – Science, Technology, and Globalization – Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs – Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
        • Sujata K. Bhatia, MD, PhD, PE is a physician, bioengineer, and professionally licensed chemical engineer who serves on the teaching faculty of biomedical engineering at Harvard University.   In addition, she is an Associate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government for the Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; she works with students on projects for medical innovation in Africa, as well as global engineering education. In 2010, Sujata wrote and published a textbook, “Biomaterials for Clinical Applications,” which discusses opportunities for both biomaterials scientists and physicians to alleviate diseases worldwide.  The book appeared on bestseller lists for Biotechnology, Clinical Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering.  The book was also selected as Innovation Book of the Week by the Harvard Science, Technology, and Globalization Project.  In 2011, she published another book, “Engineering Biomaterials for Regenerative Medicine.”  The book appeared on Kindle best-seller lists for Polymer Science, Polymer Chemistry, and Microbiology.  In 2012, she published two books with her Harvard students, “Medical Devices and Biomaterials for the Developing World: Case Studies in Ghana and Nicaragua,” and “Naturally Based Biomaterials and Therapeutics: The Case of India.”  In 2013, Sujata will represent the United States at the Global Grand Challenges Summit, a joint initiative of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, the U.K. Royal Academy of Engineering, and the Chinese Academy of Engineering. VIEW:  Dr. Bhatia’s interview by Scientista READ: Dr. Bhatia’s “Before They Were Scientists: A Letter to My Younger Self” in the Huffington Post.  Her biggest passion is to “Enable People’s Dreams.”  [Dr. Bhatia’s connection with PROMISE is courtesy of Dr. Frances Colon’s invitation to PROMISE to participate in the 2013 Global Diaspora Forum.]
      • Government Lab Opportunities and Leadership
        •  Jaron Lockett Dr. Jaron Lockett, MI, Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health, Current Rotation: Office of Government and Congressional Relations, National Cancer Institute
        • Dr. Jaron Lockett joined the NIH Management Intern (MI) program in August 2012. As a MI, Jaron is interested in pursuing a career in science administration and management. He joined the NIH in 2007 as a post-doctoral fellow in the National Institute on Aging (NIA) in Baltimore, MD. In 2009, he became the Scientific Recruiter and Associate Training Director for the NIA. His scientific background helped him as a recruiter as he met with various groups to discuss the training opportunities offered at the NIH. As the Associate Training Director, he enjoyed interacting with the post-docs and has worked to completely reface the NIA’s training program by incorporating fellows into more of the institute’s activities. One of his hallmark programs include the creation of the NIH-Baltimore Fellows’ Symposium which highlights the scientific achievements of the post-docs at the NIH labs located in Baltimore, which include NIA,  the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI).Jaron earned his B.S. in Biology at Bowie State University in 2001. He continued on to Wayne State University in Detroit, MI where he received his Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Pathobiology and Cancer Biology in 2007. Jaron has a long history with the NIH as he was in the inaugural class of the National Graduate Student Research Festival and received a F31 grant from the NIH to support his graduate work. [Dr. Lockett began his mentoring relationship with PROMISE in 2011.]
      • Positions at National Labs:
        • Nwokedi IdekaDr. Nwokedi Idika, Cyber Security and Operations Group, MIT Lincoln Laboratories.
        • Dr. Nwokedi Idika is a member of the technical staff at the Cyber Systems and Operations Group of MIT Lincoln Laboratory.  Principally, Dr. Idika conducts research in the areas of cybersecurity situational awareness and computational trust.  Broadly, his research interest lies at the intersection of artificial intelligence, usability, security, and trust. Dr. Idika obtained his Bachelor of Science (summa cum laude) in computer science from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2005.  He obtained his Master of Science and Ph.D. in computer science from Purdue University in 2007 and 2010 respectively.  While at Purdue University, he conducted research in the areas of malware detection, security metrics, and attack graph analysis as part of the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS). [Dr. Idika, an alum of the undergraduate Meyerhoff Scholars program at UMBC, appears courtesy of sponsorship by The Lincoln Laboratory of The Massachusetts Institutes of Technology, Bill Kindred, Manager of Diversity and Inclusion.]
      • En route to tenure: Plan now for  your future career as a tenured professor:
        • Neil KnoblochDr. Neil A. Knobloch, Associate Professor, Extension Education, Youth Development and Agricultural Education, Purdue University.
        • Dr. Neil Knobloch is an associate professor of agricultural and life science education at Purdue University. He is chair of the PK-12 Council for the College of Agriculture and the Life Science Education Signature Area (LSESA) in the Department of Youth Development and Agricultural Education. He develops teachers, graduate students, and professors transition their teaching strategies to be more engaging for their students. Using the learner-centered teaching model, he studies student learning and motivation. He has conducted curriculum and faculty development projects to enhance human capacity at Land-grant Universities (LGUs) and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and has served as project director or co-project director of 40 grant-funded projects (cumulative amount of $7.1 million). Currently, he is project director of a large interdisciplinary grant project that is developing educational games to help college students learn difficult science concepts in introductory life science courses (i.e., animal science, food science, and plant science). He is passionate about helping faculty and students develop more engaging educational experiences that will enhance the STEM education and career pipeline. [Dr. Knobloch is a Co-PI of Mentoring (MAP) @Purdue.]
      • Career Choices and Tips for Success:
        • Miguel RomanDr. Miguel O. Román, Terrestrial Information Systems Laboratory, NASA Goddard Flight Center. Dr. Román is on the list of Puerto Ricans in the United States Space Program.
        • My research focuses on the development and application of satellite remote sensing to produce stable, well calibrated, and scientifically validated products from a series of earth observing satellites. My focus is on the quantification of uncertainty in satellite-derived products through a combination of quality assessment and validation techniques including day/night visible, near-infrared, and multi-angle imagery and measurements acquired from in-situ and airborne platforms. At the international level, my work focuses on addressing the challenges associated with the validation of Land Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) derived from satellite data by coordinating major field and airborne campaigns, managing a global network of validation sites, developing internationally-recognized validation protocols and standards, and ensuring that validation data and results are made available for free within the global user community. [Dr. Román appears courtesy of collaboration with the Institute for Broadening Participation in Damaricotta, Maine.]
      • Technology, Innovation, Education Consulting:
        • Charles Johnson-BeyDr. Charles Johnson-Bey, Open Innovation Program Manager at Lockheed Martin and Founder of Beysix Consulting, LLC.
        • Dr. Charles Johnson-Bey has demonstrated experience in designing and executing projects that leverage the intersection of technology, strategy, and business to create value and new opportunities. His expertise has spanned the commercial industry, the defense industry, and academia. For the past 10 years, he has worked for Lockheed Martin Corporation with increasing levels of responsibility in advanced technology and strategy. His current responsibilities include program performance and strategic coordination of the corporation’s innovative research activities with National Laboratories and Fortune 50 companies. Coincident with his Lockheed position, he founded Beysix Consulting to assist schools with their Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) education strategy.  He received a BS degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University and received both a MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Delaware. [Dr. Johnson-Bey, a colleague of PROMISE aluma Dr. Patti Ordonez, appears courtesy of Beysix Consulting.]
      • National Security Science:
        • Dr. Scott Kinkead,  Science Advisor, NA-82 at National Nuclear Security Administration, Los Alamos National Laboratories (New Mexico).

          Los Alamos
          “Computerized simulation of our galaxy – 2,” from LANL’s Science and Technology Photo Gallery.
        • LANL’s mission is to develop and apply science and technology to ensure thesafety, security, and reliability of the U.S. nuclear deterrent; reduce global threats; and solve other emerging national security and energy challenges. “At Los Alamos National Laboratory, a diverse workforce of multidisciplinary teams fuels the creativity and innovation that are essential to address emerging issues and solve problems of national and international importance. To be successful in our critical mission, it is essential that we embrace diversity and create an inclusive work environment where all employees feel welcome and fully engaged.” —Charlie McMillan, Laboratory Director. (What postdocs have to say about Los Alamos: [Dr. Kinkead appears courtesy of connections with LANL Scientist Dr. Deanne Idar, and CJ Bacino, Office of Diversity and Strategic Staffing.]

Speakers  for the PROMISE 2013 “Mentoring for Advancement – Mentoring Pods” session appear courtesy of their own personal donation and sponsorship by:  MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Beysix Consulting, Los Alamos National Laboratories, and Creative Growth Solutions for You!  We also thank members of AWIS (Greater Baltimore chapter, Bethesda and DC chapters) for their support. We thank PROMISE alumni, business owners, partner organizations (e.g., NSF ADVANCE, Institute for Broadening Participation, MSPHDs, WEPAN),  and corporate diversity officers (MIT Lincoln Labs, LANL) for working with us to develop this session and for supporting PROMISE. 

Creative Solutions

Lincoln Labs

Los Alamos National Laboratories


AWIS_GreaterBaltimore hi res_95%



    • Luncheon Program welcome from University System of Maryland Administrators.
    • Meet, Greet, and Eat! Alumni Mentors-in-Residence leading lunch table conversations on various topics. Choose a table, enjoy your meal and the conversation. 

Alumni Banner

      • Dr. Angela McRae, Visiting Scholar, Catholic University; Adjunct faculty, University of Maryland College Park (UMCP Alum)
        • Table Topic: Balancing work and family, getting a faculty position.
      • Dr. Troy Grant, Adjunct Professor, Loyola University of Maryland and Teacher, Prince Georges County Public Schools (UMBC Alum)
        • Table Topics: Finishing the dissertation while working full-time, writing books “An Autobiography of an Unknown Man,” from probation to inspiration, life in the military,
      • Dr. Heather Holden, Research Scientist,  Intelligent Technologies Researcher at Army Research Laboratory Simulation Training and Technology Center (STTC), (UMBC Alum)
        • Table Topic: The process of editing and writing a book in your field
      • Dr. Oliver Myers, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Mississippi State University (UMBC Alum)
        • Table Topic: Time management and health/wellness
      • Dr. Stacey N. Williams, Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Notre Dame of Maryland (UMB Alum)
        • Table Topics: Balancing family and graduate school, life as a professor
      • Dr. T. Sean Vasaitis, Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMB Alum)
        • Table Topics: Staying on top of your research, transitioning from postdoc to professor
      • Dr. Trudy (Smith) Amin, Drug Enforcement Administration (UMB Alum)
        • Table Topic: Transitions throughout graduate school, then to postdoc, then to permanent work
      • Dr. Jocelyn Reader, Postdoctoral Fellow, Greenbaum Cancer Center (UMB Alum)
        • Table Topic: Things to consider when choosing a postdoctoral position
      • Dr. Alycia Marshall, Chair, Mathematics, Anne Arundel Community College (UMCP Alum)
        • Table Topic: Careers at Community Colleges.

Alycia MarshallFeature: Dr. Alycia Marshall, tenured professor & Mathematics department chair (AACC) – PROMISE: Full Circle. UMCP PROMISE Alumna, Dr. Alycia Marshall, now has her own NSF grant ($598,000) for the Engineering Scholars Program at Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland.  In February 2013, Dr. Marshall won a Verizon Community Innovator Award for her work with the ESP program.  The Engineers Scholars Program provides up to $4,000 per year for tuition, mentoring opportunities, funds for students to attend professional conferences, organized study groups and scheduled opportunities for students to interact with industry professionals on a regular basis. The program targets underrepresented groups in Engineering (women, African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans), but the scholarships are open to all students. Dr. Marshall used PROMISE: Maryland’s AGEP and UMBC’s Meyerhoff Scholars Program as models for her grant.


    • Luncheon Program: Recognition of PhD Candidates: All PhD Candidates (post qualifying exams, proposals, etc.), from all schools in the University System of Maryland will be asked to come to the front to be recognized. PhD candidates should be prepared to give a 30 second introduction with name, school, department, research topic, and expected year of graduation.







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  • 3:00 PM: ADJOURN

Stay tuned to this website for a running list of confirmed guest speakers.

Please bring business cards to share among peers, speakers, mentors-in-residence, and guests. (You can get cards made that say “Graduate Student.” If you have passed your comprehensive exams, proposal, and other doctoral milestones according to the policies of your academic department, you can have “PhD Candidate” written on your card. See this discussion on the forum from the Chronicle for Higher Education for ideas: Reading: Pathways Through Graduate School and Into Careers. 

Hampton Inn BaltimoreLodging: 

Hampton Inn Baltimore – Downtown/Convention Center, Camden Yards
550 Washington Blvd, Baltimore, MD  21230
Phone:  410-685-5000.

Conference Rate: $109 + tax/night, valid until July 17, 2013
Ask for a room in the “PROMISE” block.


Donations to memorial funds (in memory of our former PROMISE Peer Mentors who have passed away)  in lieu of registration fees, are strongly encouraged:


About the Summer Success Institute (SSI) About PROMISE: Maryland’s AGEP   

Follow @PROMISE_AGEP on Twitter for articles, advice, and up-to-the-minute information. ____________________________________________________________________________________

Eventbrite - PROMISE Summer Success Institute (SSI) 2013

Please stay tuned to this page for regular updates on speakers and logistics. Last update: August 10, 2013

The primary sponsor for the 2013 PROMISE AGEP Summer Success Institute is The National Science Foundation, Division of Education and Human Resources, Directorate of Human Resource Development, Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) “PROMISE Pathways”  grant #1111217 . Co-sponsorship is provided by The Graduate School at UMBCThe University of Maryland College Park Graduate School, and The University of Maryland Baltimore Graduate School. Employers of some of our guest speakers are also sponsoring their participation. This website will be updated with the names of those organizations as our guests are confirmed.

*”When Bricks and Sticks are Replaced by Clicks” (Ref: Eric Schatzker, anchor and editor-at-large at Bloomberg Television, “Market Makers,” June 19, 2013.)

PROMISE Logo New Draft 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) –, 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: Connect with her on Twitter: @Renetta_Tull;

32 thoughts on “PROMISE Summer Success Institute (SSI) 10th Anniversary Celebration! August 16-17, 2013

  1. I am very excited to hear Dr. Reginald Brothers’ talk on broadening national defense. As someone who has worked with the Department of Defense, I know his talk will help me transition from an academia setting to government setting if I return to the DoD after my master’s degree.


  2. I am particularly interested in the talk being given by Dr. Andrew Ng about MOOCs as well as the Promise Talks by alumni from promise. In addition the Saturday talk about Broadening participation and the circle of PhDs.


  3. The “When Bricks and Sticks are Replaced by Clicks: MOOCs – The Next Wave” session seems like it will be interesting, I would definitely like to learn about this new classroom approach. I personally am also interested in listening to the talks by Dr. Nwokedi Idika and Dr. Jaron Lockett because those are career pathways that I can see myself pursuing the future as opposed to tenure or teaching positions. SSI should be great!


  4. I’m looking forward to hearing from the PROMISE Alumni as they discuss their research in healthcare. For me it’s a great motivation to see and hear about individuals who have been in the position I’m currently in and their achievements as it relates to their individual research. I’m also interested in hearing the talk about “keeping your cool and addressing the issues”. I think that in any new position there is always a chance that you have to deal with a lack of respect from others you may have to encounter. Learning how to deal with such situations I believe is vital in being successful in that new position.


  5. I look forward to attending the Summer Success Institute this year and I’m particularly interested in the PROMISE alumni talks. It will be interesting to hear the variety of speakers from backgrounds in natural sciences and their trajectory to pursue research in healthcare.


  6. I am looking forward to the “Breakout Success Seminar Sessions. Learning their stories picking their brains on how to make a successful CV. This will be a good opportunity to make key relationships that may benefit in the future.


  7. There are many components of this upcoming SSI that I am very excited about attending. First, I am very interested in “The Importance of Broadening Participation to National Defense” talk presented by Dr. Reginald Brothers. I have participated in an internship with the Army research Laboratory in the past and would welcome the opportunity to work with the DoD again. Another aspect of this SSI that I am excited about attend are the various breakout sessions, specifically the presentations given by Dr. David Rico, Dr. Charles Johnson-Bey, and Dr. Scott Kinkead. August 17th cannot come soon enough.


  8. I’m looking forward to this year’s SSI as well, especially the PROMISE talks and the Breakout Success Seminar sessions. I’m quite interested about the information that will be shared by PROMISE alumni such as Dr. Sean Barnes and other professionals including Dr. David Rico.


  9. For those who are interested in participating in the PP&P (Postdoctoral, Professors, & Professionals) and Alumni WRITING SUITE on Friday, August 16, 2013, please “register” for the *Friday* seminar as a comment here.


    1. Name:
    2. Title + Affiliation:
    3. Your goals for the day (e.g., edit a paper for Journal of X, submit a paper to IEEE journal):

    Placing a comment here will suffice as registration for Friday, but please note that you will need to register for the Saturday, Aug. 17 event through EventBrite: There are several activities and mentors for our PP&P (postdocs, professors, professionals) group on Saturday, including mentoring tables by Dr. Christine Grant, Dr. Neil Knobloch, and a section on MOOCs by Dr. Andrew Ng.


  10. Frances Carter-Johnson
    Postdoctoral Associate for Educational Research, MIT Teaching and Learning Lab
    ADVANCE article second draft, Dissertation article formatting for submission


  11. If you have an allergy, please refer to the following list of ingredients for the dishes that will be served for the lunch.

    • Roasted Vegetable Lasagna in a White Sauce (vegetarian) – Pasta, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, vegetables

    • Eggplant Parmigiana – Eggplant, eggs, bread crumbs, marinara sauce ( tomatoes, garlic sugar, basil, salt, pepper)

    • Mixed Green Salad – Romaine, spring mix, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots
    • Ranch –
    • Italian — garlic salt, onion powder, sugar, oregano, ground black pepper, thyme, basil, parsley, celery salt

    • Green Beans with Red Peppers – Green beans, roasted red peppers, oil, salt pepper

    • Steamed Broccoli with Lemon Zest – broccoli florets, oil, salt, pepper, lemon zest

    • Roasted Breast of Turkey – Turkey salt, pepper, garlic, onion powder, paprika, parsley

    • Cornbread-Herb Stuffing – unsalted butter, cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, eggs, buttermilk, onions, celery, chicken stock

    • Cranberry Sauce – cranberries, orange juice, apple juice cinnamon

    • Roasted Salmon Fillet – Salmon, salt, pepper, lemon juice

    • Lemon Caper Sauce – lemon juice, capers, vegetable stock, salt pepper, corn starch

    • Baby Spinach with Blue Cheese and Candied Walnuts – Spinach, blue cheese crumbles, walnuts, sugar

    • Mashed Sweet Potatoes – sweet potatoes, milk, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar

    • Stir-Fried Mixed Vegetables – broccoli, sweet red peppers, carrots, water chestnuts, pea pods, straw mushrooms, salt, pepper, olive oil



    A Message from Dr. Renetta Tull for PROMISE: Maryland’s AGEP:

    Good afternoon everyone! The Dissertation House group and the Postdoctoral Fellows and alumni are working on their documents, and the team is here at the SMC Center preparing for your arrival.

    Here are some things to remember:

    1) Please review the information on the website:

    We’ve kept that site up-to-date with all of the latest information. Please note that in the comments section, a list of the luncheon items has been listed, with ingredients. We have gone through the registration files to accommodate all allergies. There is something for everyone!

    2) Remember: Business attire.

    3) The Baltimore Grand Garage is your designated parking garage. (Luncheon speakers have another garage, and speakers for the conference will receive complimentary parking either at the conference hotel or in the Baltimore Grand.) If your name is not listed as a speaker on the program, please plan to pay for your parking. Alternatively, you can carpool, take the MTA 35 bus from UMBC’s campus, or connect with the College Park group through Dr. Perez (information on the website.)

    4) Bring your business cards. Prepare to network!

    5) Make sure that your cell phone or tablet is charged. We’re going to have a “Tweet-up” at the end, where you will be asked to “Tweet.” If you don’t have Twitter, we will have a designated space for the SSI on our Facebook site for you to post. You will also have an email option.

    6) Updates will be posted on Twitter and Facebook. Note that you do not need a Twitter account to read Tweets:

    6) Plan to have fun! Make new friends, learn something new, and find new colleagues.

    We’ll see you tomorrow!

    Best regards,
    Renetta Tull


  13. FROM the “TWEET-UP”


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