Workshop on Graduate Funding. $$, $$, $$, $$ … $$! W/the $1M NSF Fellowship Coaches. Sat. Sept. 6, 2014

“Funding Your Graduate Education”

An Annual “Special Saturday Success Seminar”


Dr. Frances D. Carter-Johnson, AAAS S&T Fellow at the NIH Center for Scientific Review

Dr. Patricia Ordóñez, Department of Computer Science, University of Puerto Rico – Rio Piedras 


Our speakers, UMBC Alumni and former NSF GRFP winners, bring their award winner seminar back to UMBC! This seminar has been presented at the National Science Foundation’s HBCU-UP national conference, the American Association for the Advancement in Science’s  Emerging Researchers Network national Conference, Harvard, MIT, Spelman, Clemson, and at others universities in Puerto Rico, Texas, and DC. Our speakers have been part of MIT’s Tech TV series, and continue to be sought-after speakers on the topic of graduate funding. 


SONY DSCDr. Carter-Johnson is a graduate of UMBC’s Department of Public Policy and formerly served as a STEM Policy Analyst at Westat.  Dr. Carter-Johnson has degrees in Public Policy, Applied Physics, Pure Physics, and Mechanical Engineering from UMBC, Georgia Tech, and Spelman College. She has received research support and fellowships from NASA, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP), SREB, The Department of Education, GEM, the American Evaluation Association, NIH, and MIT. Dr. Carter-Johnson completed her postdoctoral training at the Teaching and Learning Laboratory at MIT, and is a Science and Technology Policy Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She currently designs studies and analyzes data to develop policy solutions to enhance diversity in the biomedical workforce at the Center for Scientific Review at the National Institutes of Health.


pattiDr. Ordóñez  is a graduate of UMBC’s Department of Computer Science. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras. Dr. Ordóñez has degrees from Johns Hopkins University and UMBC in Hispanic and Italian Studies, and Computer Science respectively.  She has taught several classes at UMBC and was a Technical Trainer for UMBC’s Training Centers, focusing on JAVA Computer Programming Certifications and curriculum development. Dr. Ordóñez  was an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, and has received fellowships and/or recognition from Xerox, Verizon, Google, The Ford Foundation, The Hispanic Scholarship Fund and UMBC. Dr. Ordóñez is the Leader of Biomedical Informatics Function for the Puerto Rico Clinical and Translational Research Consortium, and her research is   focused on applying machine learning, data mining, and data visualization to big time series data for the purpose of improving medicine and on developing assistive technologies for programming. Dr. Ordóñez also presents this workshop on graduate research funding in Puerto Rico in Spanish.


Our speakers’ work on the topic of graduate funding was presented at the “Understanding Interventions” national conference in 2012, and was published in a paper by the American Association of Engineering Education in 2013. This year, in addition to their annual workshops in Boston, their seminar, “The $10 Million Dollar Plan: Increasing Graduate Funding and Diversity in Computing” was presented at the 2014 Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing, in Seattle, WA. Their list of winners continues to grow, and participants who have taken their workshops have won the prestigious NSF GRFP Fellowship and other awards,  totaling more than $1 million of fellowship money! 



Learn how to apply for the NSF GRFP Fellowship, learn about the nuances of submitting a fellowship to NSF, have terms deciphered, and start your application on Fastlane – NSF’s computer system.



Funding Your Graduate Education – UMBC Workshop 2014

9:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Saturday, September 6, 2014

UMBC Sherman Hall, Room 003

(First floor Lecture Hall. Sherman Hall is between the Administration Building and the University Center. It is across the walkway from the Sondheim Building.)


PLEASE RSVP (Breakfast refreshments and lunch will be served): 

  • UMBC’s students:
  • If you are not a student at UMBC, RSVP by posting in the comment section at the bottom of this message with your name, school, and discipline (academic department)/major.


Graduate students and undergraduates from all schools in the region are invited to attend this seminar. All current LSAMP Bridge to the Doctorate Fellows are required to attend the workshop, and are required to apply for the NSF GRFP.



Directions and Parking:

See the “Comments” section below for more details.


Frances Patti Money

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;

9 thoughts on “Workshop on Graduate Funding. $$, $$, $$, $$ … $$! W/the $1M NSF Fellowship Coaches. Sat. Sept. 6, 2014

  1. The schedule for the day is as follows:

    9:00 – 10:00 AM – Setting up the account (If you wish to do this, bring your laptops)

    10:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Seminar “Funding your graduate education”

    12:00 PM – 2:00 PM – Lunch Seminar – Starting your application – NSF Fastlane session


  2. Directions to UMBC (Map plus directions to the Administration Building). Parking Rules and Regulations are available online at Please contact Parking Services at 410-455-2551 for any questions.

    Parking details:

    After 3:30 PM on Friday afternoon through Monday morning at 7:00 AM, parking is free in any un-metered, open space or open lot. Metered spaces are not free. Visitors may park in any open space without a meter. If you come to campus at any other time, you may park at the metered spaces. Please bring quarters. Machines are available within the covered parking lots and on top of the parking garages to provide change from dollar bills.
    Questions? Contact Parking services:

    General directions to UMBC:

    From 95 (North or South)
    The UMBC Exit is THE SAME EXIT off of 95 for the BWI Marshall Airport.
    Follow the signs for UMBC, Rt. 166, Catonsville.

    Once you are on UMBC’s campus (landmarks: Silo on the left, BW Research Park on the right plus construction), stay in the right lane.

    * Make a RIGHT onto Hilltop Circle.

    [Any un-metered spot on the street, around the circle is free for the Saturday seminar.]

    For the parking deck:

    * Pass Administration Drive (immediately past the parking deck)

    * Make a left onto Administration Drive.
    –> Parking in the gated lower deck: Cost on weekends = $0.50 flat fee, quarters only
    –> Parking on the metered upper deck: Cost everyday = Meter fees are $.25 for each 15 minutes, quarters only, maximum time of 5 hours.


  3. RESOURCES Discussed by the speakers during today’s seminar:

    The next NSF GRFP seminar, sponsored by UMBC’s College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences (CNMS), Friday, September 12, 2014:

    ———————- website:


    GRFP website with more information:


    Information about the NASA internships. See the Oct. 12 deadline for internships:


    Sign up for additional information to receive information about funding opportunities:


    Format for asking about recommendation letters:


  4. Hi everyone! This was such a great workshop! Thank you for providing it! I think I’ve learned a lot more about how to find fellowships, how to apply for them, and I’ve learned a lot about how to write for the applications as well too! 🙂 If it’s possible, can you keep me on the list for meeting up to work on the applications? I think it’s a wonderful idea and would provide a great environment setting for anyone who is planning on applying as well.


  5. Thanks for your comment and getting your homework done Amanda! Looking forward to reading essays!


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