Conference to prepare undergrads for grad school. GEM GRADLab: Sat. Sept. 20,2014


Calling all STEM undergraduates in the region!

Are you a STEM undergraduate student who is thinking about graduate school?

This FREE conference is for you!

Do you know someone who should be thinking about making plans for graduate study? If so, we have a conference that is designed just for them! If not, surely you can find people within your academic or personal circles who can begin to think about graduate study … even as a freshman or sophomore!

The A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland College Park is hosting a

GEM GRAD Lab on Saturday, September 20, 2014.

Facilitators: The National GEM Consortium. The GEM Mission: The mission of The National GEM Consortium is to enhance the value of the nation’s human capital by increasing the participation of underrepresented groups (African Americans, American Indians, and Hispanic Americans) at the master’s and doctoral levels in engineering and science.

Hosts: A. James Clark School of Engineering, the University of Maryland College Park’s Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering: Established in 1981 as a unit within the School of Engineering, the Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering provides academic support services and outreach programs designed to recruit, retain, and graduate African American, Hispanic American, and Native American engineering students.

Co-sponsors: The National Science Foundation’s PROMISE: Maryland’s Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate: PROMISE: Maryland’s AGEP is a university system-wide effort for the state of Maryland to facilitate underrepresented STEM graduate student and postdoctoral professional development and pathways to careers. UMBC leads the alliance that consists of all 14 colleges, universities, and regional education centers in the University System of Maryland, four community colleges, and a former NSF Model Institution of Excellence Hispanic Serving Institution in Puerto Rico. PROMISE has been a critical catalyst for increasing enrollment, retention, and graduation rates of underrepresented minorities.

Co-hosts: Howard University, Penn State, Virginia Tech, University of Virginia, and the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) via PROMISE.

GRADLab Flyer 2014


Download a high resolution of the flyer here:



Registration includes print materials, breakfast refreshments, lunch, access to the resource fair, information from speakers, and opportunities to network with representatives from graduate programs. Registration is free


PROMISE: Maryland’s AGEP is one of the co-hosts, along with Howard University, the University of  Virginia, Penn State, and Virginia Tech.  As part of PROMISE, undergraduate students from all schools within the University System of Maryland are invited to attend.





We will sponsor a bus from UMBC to go to College Park on Saturday, September 20. The bus is available to students from any school within the USM who is interested in attending. Undergraduate students, graduate student mentors, postdoctoral mentors, staff and faculty mentors are all welcome to ride the bus.  Details for the bus will be posted in the comments section below after all details are finalized.

Those who are interested in taking the bus should register for the GRAD Lab and send an email to with the subject: BUS for 2014 GRADLab, with name, email, phone, number, school, and major. The bus is generously sponsored by the Meyerhoff Scholars Program at UMBC.

Please check this page regularly for updates, and register today!





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;

5 thoughts on “Conference to prepare undergrads for grad school. GEM GRADLab: Sat. Sept. 20,2014

  1. There will be bus transportation from UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) to the GEM GRAD lab at the University of Maryland, College Park.

    The bus will leave UMBC at 7:45 am from the Commons Circle at UMBC and will be back to UMBC around 5:00 pm from College Park. If you are interested in riding the bus with us, please send an email to

    During weekends, people UMBC can park anywhere (metered spots, I recommend parking at the Commons Garage Parking Lot). If you need further assistance, please don’t hesitate contacting us.


    1. Here is the bus schedule:

      Depart: UMBC, COMMONS CIRCLE – 8:00 am

      Depart: BWI MARC/Amtrak station – 8:15 am

      Arrive: UMCP – 9:00 am

      NOTE: UMBC’s bus is leaving from


      Commons Circle is near the Commons Student Center. NOTE: This is not the Administration Building.

      IF you are driving to UMBC to catch the bus, you can come 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. Pass Administration Drive (immediately past the parking garage). Make the 2nd LEFT onto Commons Drive. The Commons Building will be in front of you. It is a multi-leveled glass walled building. Park in any open space or open lot after 3:30. If you park at a meter, you must have coins available to pay the metered fees. The Commons is surrounded by the Parking Garage, the Physics Building, the Public Policy Building, and the Theatre. You will know that you are in the right place because Commons Drive ends in a loop with these buildings at the edges.

      After the program:
      The bus will leave College Park at 4:00 pm, and will make stops at BWI Amtrak station and UMBC please make sure to let us know if you will not take the bus back to UMBC



    Registration will begin at 9 a.m. in the Pepco Room (#1105) and a light continental breakfast will be available. Please click on the link below for directions to the Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building.



    Parking is available FREE OF CHARGE on a first-come, first served basis in LOTS XX1 and XX2 and Paint Branch Visitor’s Lot near the Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building. Other lots on campus are permit/pay lots and you MUST follow the instructions indicated on the signage at the entrance to each lot. Below is a link to a full campus parking map which includes the restrictions for all lots on campus.

    Click to access map_campus.pdf

    Lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m. with an opportunity to visit with graduate programs from around the region at the Resource Fair.


  3. AGENDA:

    GEM GRAD Lab
    Sponsored by University of Maryland College Park, PROMISE
    Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building
    September 20, 2014


    9:00 AM Registration/Pre-Survey/Continental Breakfast (Pepco Room #1105)

    10:00 AM Welcome and Introductions (Lecture Hall #1110)
    Darryll Pines, Ph.D., Dean of the Clark School and Nariman Farvardin Professor of Aerospace Engineering, University of Maryland College Park/ A. James Clark School of Engineering

    10:15 AM Session 1: Why Graduate School? (Lecture Hall #1110)
    Michele Lezama, Executive Director, The National GEM Consortium

    11:15 AM Break

    11:30 AM Session 2: How to Apply to Graduate School (Lecture Hall #1110)
    Renetta Garrison Tull, Ph.D., Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Student Professional Development & Postdoctoral Affairs, University of Maryland Baltimore County (GEM Consultant)

    12:30 PM Lunch / Graduate Resource Fair (Kay Boardrooms #1107, #1111, Rotunda)

    1:30 PM Session 3: How to Fund Graduate School (Lecture Hall #1110)

    – Nandadevi Cortes-Rodriguez, Ph.D., Program Coordinator for PROMISE, Graduate Student, Development and Postdoctoral Affairs, University of Maryland Baltimore County

    – Francis DuVinage, Ph.D., Director of National Scholarships Office,
    University of Maryland College Park

    – Jeffrey A. Franke, Assistant Dean/Chief of Staff, Graduate School,
    University of Maryland College Park

    – Michele Lezama, Executive Director, The National GEM Consortium

    2:30 PM Break

    2:45 PM Session 4: Voices from the Field (Lecture Hall, #1110)

    MODERATOR: Silvia Muro, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Maryland College Park/ A. James Clark School of Engineering

    – Brittny Davis, Graduate Student, University of Maryland Baltimore County/Chemistry and Biochemistry

    – Sheriff Jolaoso, Graduate Student, Virginia Polytechnic Institute/College of Engineering

    – Pedro Peña, Graduate Student, University of Maryland College Park/A. James Clark School of Engineering

    3:30 PM Closing Remarks/Post Survey (Lecture Hall #1110)

    3:45 PM Program End


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