Good morning Dr. _insert your name here_ (per @UMBC Pres. Hrabowski). @PROMISE_AGEP Reflections: SREB @SREBDocSch #Institute2014 #Atlanta

PROMISE AGEP – University System of Maryland: We have been on a journey and you have been given an assignment. In Atlanta, at this past weekend’s SREB Compact for Faculty Diversity/Institute on Teaching and Mentoring, UMBC’s President Hrabowski told you that you are pioneers, and that your academic contributions will set the groundwork for generations to come. Dr. Sandra Murray from the University of Pittsburgh (full professor, Department of Cell Biology) told you to “Fantasize! Focus! Know what shoes you will wear when you win your Nobel Prize.” As you climb, Dr. Orlando Taylor reminded you to remember to include people from all races and backgrounds so that you don’t become the new models of marginalization. You are going to fly. You are going to conquer. Picture it!

Tell us who you are. Introduce yourself. Tell us your SREB experience, and your dream. Here is a guide.

1. Name.

Write “Dr. _____” if you already have your PhD., and “Future Dr. _____” if it is forthcoming

2. School, position (e.g., graduate student, PhD candidate, Postdoc), department

3. Your SREB experience

4. Your contribution to STEM and to your field at large (current and future … dream!)

5. Fast forward to 2034 – Your vision of your achievements as a professor and beyond

Grad students and postdocs from schools around Maryland with Dr. Tull and UMBC's President, Dr. Hrabowski
Grad students and postdocs from schools around Maryland with Dr. Tull and UMBC’s President, Dr. Hrabowski

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;

31 thoughts on “Good morning Dr. _insert your name here_ (per @UMBC Pres. Hrabowski). @PROMISE_AGEP Reflections: SREB @SREBDocSch #Institute2014 #Atlanta

  1. 1. Future Dr. Marisa Franco

    2. PhD Candidate, Counseling Psychology, University of Maryland College Park

    3. The SREB conference seems to get more and more meaningful for me every year. This year, as I am moving towards the tail end of my PHD program, I was able to be intentional about networking with professionals who I will contact to help me find an academic position later on. Chief directors of diversity across universities indicated that they are willing to go out of their way to help me find a position or recommend me for others, if not at their university. I handed out my CV to multiple schools and signed up for databases so that I may receive emails as they advertise new positions. I found out about post doc opportunities that I would not have otherwise. I feel this conference is vital for my future as a professoriate, and will be essential in getting me hired for a position.

    4. I would like to become a professor of psychology, internationally, and eventually return to the US for a tenure track position. I see myself contributing to my field through research. My research focuses on the mental health effects of racial identity invalidation. I have seen this issue play out across cultures, but manifest differently, depending on the racial system. Next year, I am hoping to study identity invalidation in Trinidad and Tobago through the Fulbright program.As a professor, I could see myself offering a service abroad class where students learn about racial systems in different countries and are able to visit their countries and gain an immersive experience. It will be important for my career to also act as a mentor to promising minority students so that I can “lift as I climb.” I am particularly interested in helping minority students interested in getting their PhDs.

    5. By 2034, I see myself having achieved tenure at a university where I am teaching a series of courses and actively engaged in research. I see myself mentoring both undergraduate and graduate students and heading a productive research team where all members benefit in the form of career mentorship, presentations, or publications. I see myself doing a thread of research abroad, and perhaps spending my summers in different countries engaging in research. I will be particularly competent in statistics so that there are no barriers to whatever imaginative research projects I want to do. I would also like to start partnering with community based organizations and do some community based research projects where members of the community benefit directly from the research being done, and their voices are heard and reflected in the research projects.


  2. 1.Future Dr. Kristen Lycett

    2. University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Graduate Research Assistant

    3. I didn’t really know what to expect when I signed up for the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring. It was my first year attending and my first involvement with the Compact for Faculty Diversity and the Southern Regional Education Board. I had no idea just how big this event would be. To see and meet the hundreds of intelligent and driven minority students that were present at the Institute, was the most inspiring thing I have witnessed since I started my graduate program. Possibly the most inspiring moment though, was the ceremony honoring all the recent graduates. It was a chance for these men and women, no longer students but actually doctors (DOCTORS!!!), to not only receive recognition for their hard work, but to also stand up and encourage each other, which they did with much enthusiasm. On top of all that, we were given great advice by mentors and professionals who actually want to see us succeed and I was able to find out about Postdoc positions by speaking with University recruiters and representatives. Ultimately, the Institute has helped make the idea of staying in academia a little less daunting for me and I appreciate all the support and encouragement I received from everyone there!

    4. While it might be nice to have a species named after myself someday (Hematodinium lycetti has a nice ring to it…), I have other, more important plans. I have always been interested in research and answering questions, but I have found I also enjoy teaching, particularly when it involves hand on learning. While I want to stay in academia and teach at the University level, I also see myself creating outreach programs for younger students. This would involve bringing these students to campus, maybe doing hands on science demonstrations and workshops and getting them in the lab so they can start to answer questions of their own. I would also really like to create a college pipeline for Native American students, especially those in STEM fields.

    5. In 2034 I see myself with tenure and a thriving research lab, graduating Ph.D students of my own. I would eventually like to head a department and be recognized for my work in helping Native American students get into and through college. I would like to be receiving grants, not just from major scientific organization like NSF, but also through tribes and other organizations that promote minorities in higher education. I also see myself with a family, made up of both my own children and the students that I mentor. I would like to play a role in expanding the educational support programs offered through my own tribe so that more of our children are going to college and coming out debt free. I also see myself continuing to race in 5 and 10Ks because running keeps me healthy and sane and I hope to stay competitive in my age group.


  3. 1. Future Dr. Donta Henson

    2. UMBC, 1st year graduate student, Information Systems Department

    3. My SREB experience was one of great respect and awe. The first and most impressionable experience for me, was hearing about the tremendous research that was being conducted by my peers. It was absolutely phenomenal to hear the passion with which some of the PhD students spoke about their research. The second thing which made a lasting impression on me was the fever pitch at which the networking was taking place. People were just bursting with knowledge and information that they couldn’t wait to share with one another. Lastly, but far from least was the level of inspiration obtained over that weekend. Nowhere in my academic pursuits have I received the level of motivation I’ve received at the SREB Compact. There’s some level of motivation seeing people who look similar to you achieving their academic goals, but it’s an entirely different feeling when you hear those same people come from some of the same neighborhoods and situations that you come from.

    4. In the future, I would like to increase the participation of minorities in technology in academe and in industry. Specifically, I would like to teach underrepresented minorities to use public health informatics to eliminate health disparities in this country along with solving other public health problems at large.

    5. By 2034, I’d like to have transitioned from the classroom into the administration. I want my legacy to reflect the diversification of not only of a specific field of study, but of a university itself. One of the messages I took away from the SREB compact is that even though the student population may diversify, and the faculty may diversify, it isn’t until the administration diversifies that change is accomplished.


  4. I am future Dr. Joey Brown. I am a sociology graduate student at the University of Maryland – College Park.

    My SREB experience was informative, humbling, and inspirational. It was also most certainly unforgettable. This was my first time ever attending the Institute for Teaching and Mentoring. Initially, I was physically exhausted. However, I was mentally set ablaze by the ardent zeal with which the conference organizers and presenters as well as the recent PhD graduates stressed the individual and social importance of finishing our doctoral programs while providing useful tips and encouragement. Indeed, I also enjoyed meeting and networking with enthusiastic peers from across a variety of STEM disciplines. Further, the presence of recruiters provided an incentive to engage and discuss various post-PhD employment opportunities.

    I enjoyed the diversity of sessions because they provided something for attendees across the academic spectrum, from undergraduates to faculty. Because of my current position within my graduate program (taking my final course before comprehensive exams and having co-authored with mentors), I found “Discovering Your Doctoral Swagger: Getting the Ph.D. finished and Beyond,” “Writing Your Dissertation,” and “Getting Published: Advice for Scholars,” sessions extremely useful. These sessions provided me a better sense of what an advanced position within graduate school looks like and how to navigate that time period. I must say that I feel much more confident about progressing in my program and completing my PhD.

    Finally, the energy and encouragement of everyone at the conference was central to why I feel that my experience was so positive. I enjoyed the PhD graduation banquet where recent graduates received awards for their achievement and spoke about their experiences. It was extremely humbling to hear their stories, struggles, and success. It brought a reality to life after the PhD that made me feel very revived. Further, the awards ceremony celebrating mentors and Institute supporters was also humbling. These experiences made me feel like everyone believed in me and that I can accomplish anything. Finally, the closing speech by Hrabowski was overwhelmingly encouraging. He pushed us to dream and I do in ways that I haven’t done in quite some time. In short, my experience has left me renewed and ready to push forward. I hope to attend from here on out and recommend the experience to anyone who is fortunate to be selected.

    I see myself as contributing to STEM and my field at large in two ways: through my research and through mentoring. As a sociologist, my discipline provides a unique perspective by forcing us to think about the complex ways in society shapes people and people shape society. I have an interest in understanding and reducing material inequality because I think it contributes to the underdevelopment of much human talent that can be used in a variety of ways to better the human condition. For me, this means longer, higher quality lives and producing a more safe, sustainable society for generations to come. However, I don’t think this can be done through one disciplinary lens. So, in addition to using my sociological training, I’d like to connect and engage with individuals across disciplines with similar goals to help in my pursuits. Further, I want to help train others to do the same. In practice, this means I would do well to take a university faculty position where I can pursue research and work with students, while also being active in the academic community. Indeed, I also want to continue to work for increasing academic diversity because we need diverse viewpoints to help different communities help themselves.

    By 2034, I will have completed my PhD and become a full professor at an academic institution. I see myself as directing a center that researches wealth inequality and morality. My institution seeks to empower disadvantaged communities by assisting them in wealth accumulation. Further, the institute would be keen on facilitating conversations across different groups so that see each other as valuable human beings. I will travel the world giving talks about my research, inspiring others to dream and fervently chase those dreams while providing them practical strategies to materially support themselves.


  5. 1. Name.Future Dr. Jaye Nias

    2. Bowie State University, Doctoral Candidate, Computer Science

    3. This was my first year attending the SREB conference. I had no idea what to expect but I was incredibly grateful for the experience. Every event was enriching and encouraging. Even in my free time networking with other students – I was able to learn and share experiences that I can take back and implement in my own academic career. The recruitment fair was wonderful. It was a great opportunity to meet with institutions who were committed to diversity in faculty which is a strong change from the technical job fairs I attend at many conferences. The MD AGEP community was supportive and I appreciate the camaraderie that I felt from my colleagues in from the MD schools in attendance. I look forward to participating again in the future and even after I obtain my doctorate.

    4. My future STEM goal is to become a ‘key player’ in my research discipline -as well as, an inspiration for future minority doctors in STEM.

    5. Fast forward to 2034 – I hope to be department chair at a small minority university. It is my goal to emulate many of the other female STEM doctorates who helped pave the way for me by making opportunities available for future faculty and graduates.


  6. 1. Future Dr. Berthel Tate.

    2. Bowie State University, Graduate student, Computer Science Department

    3. My first SREB experience was FANSASTIC!! I was so grateful for the exposure and opportunity to fellowship with so many minorities in STEM, looking to ascertain terminal degrees. Throughout the conference, I was surrounded by positive forward thinkers, looking to support one another, which was both humbling and encouraging. Sharing experiences with fellow colleagues revived my fire and passion to continue in pursuit of my own D.Sc. in Computer Science.

    4. It is my ideology that exposure at a young age will reduce the anxiety many students feel, as it relates to STEM coursework. It is important to me that my nieces, nephews, and younger cousins not be afraid of STEM related coursework. Personally, I have committed to encourage the youth in my immediate family to actively become more involved in computer science by teaching them the fundamental principles of programming through Scratch and HTML coding.

    5. My vision of achievement as a professor if I were to fast forward to 2034, would be to have my students understand that a working knowledge of the foundational concepts of any area of study will prepare them to think beyond what’s put in front of them. My mission is to empower my students with the desire to always move beyond being a novice, and become an expert in their chosen interest area.


  7. 1. Future Dr. Ashley J. Belle

    2. University of Maryland College Park, PhD candidate, Environmental Science and Technology

    3. The Institute on Teaching and Mentoring was absolutely phenomenal! This was my first time attending the event and I already look forward to the possibility of attending again with the goal of walking across the stage in my regalia and thanking those who have supported me throughout this doctoral journey. I was so inspired by The Institute that I even encouraged my colleagues from other Universities to inquire about attending in the future. The sessions were very informative and provided me with several resources and tools to navigate transitioning from graduate student to professor. The Faculty Recruiting Stations were also beneficial and provided me the opportunity to speak with representatives from both teaching and research intensive Colleges/Universities. I was also introduced to several programs, where underrepresented groups are invited to campuses throughout the nation as a visiting scholar for a year to experience teaching and faculty life at the University level. The keynote speakers selected for The Institute were also very empowering!

    4. Diversity within the field of agricultural and environmental sciences is severely lacking the presence of African Americans and women. In hopes of increasing diversity within my field, I will continue to be a constant presence within the scientific community by presenting award-winning and cutting-edge research and serving in leadership roles in my professional societies. Coming from a family of teachers, education has always been a priority in my life and has led me on a continual mission to encourage the academic advancement of America’s youth. As a professor, I hope to be able to provide each student the opportunity to excel in the sciences. Apart from teaching at the college level, I strive to have a successful research program and be able to positively impact students from all backgrounds with special emphasis on identifying, recruiting, and developing students who share my heritage, gender, and interest in bioenergy.

    5. In 2034, apart from being a Full Professor and Director of a University’s Environmental Institute, I inspire to be a top advisor to the President of the United States on key environmental issues, with an emphasis on sustainability, renewable energy production, and water re-use.


  8. 1. Future Dr. James Lankford

    2. University of Maryland – College Park, Graduate Research Assistant, Aerospace Engineering

    3. If I had to sum up my SREB experience in one word it would be inspirational. This was my first year attending the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring and my only regret is that I wish I knew about this earlier. Given that acquiring your PhD requires you to narrow down your focus and become an expert in a particular topic, you almost forget there are a multitude of different people just like you trying to achieve similar aspirations. Just being able to see the wide range of under-represented people striving for the same thing I am made my PhD journey more meaningful; it reminded me that it’s bigger than myself. After the Institute I felt so encouraged to continue with my program and so grateful to have had the opportunity to meet all of the people I did.

    4. In the future I see myself using my acquired skills and credentials to help introduce STEM related fields to under-represented men and women. I’d want to teach them what it’s really like to be in a STEM related field. More importantly I want to show them that there isn’t one stereotypical type of person that can work in the STEM field. By reaching out to young people early and exposing them to people in their field of interest that they can relate to, you can make the idea of that young person working in that STEM field more realistic.

    5. By the year 2034, I see myself as a professor at a university teaching engineering related courses and actively engaged in the research community after having worked in industry performing cutting edge research in the aerospace field. Using my experience in academia and industry, I want to serve as a mentor to a diverse group of students. I want to serve as a guide, helping them to get on the right track toward achieving their academic as well as career goals whether they be in industry or the academy.


  9. I am Dr. Rwany Sibaja, postdoctoral fellow for faculty diversity at UMBC, where I am a member of the History Department, the Hispanic-Latino Faculty Association, and a regular attendee of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning faculty group.

    Although I attended the Promise AGEP conferences in Maryland these past two years, I was unsure of what to expect in Atlanta for the SREB Compact for Faculty Diversity/Institute for Teaching and Mentoring (CFD/ITM [SREB needs to come up with a shorter name]). That uncertainty was a good thing; it allowed me to form my own opinions and not arrive with preconceived ideas about what to expect. At worst, I imagined it was going to be a weekend-long Tony Robbins “Unleash the Power Within”-type of motivational conference. At best, I hoped that I could woo some recruiter and secure a job interview that would provide me options as my postdoc at UMBC begins to wind down.

    Instead, I found CFD/ITM to be a lively, practical, and reassuring conference. Panelists and speakers reminded us that for every step we have yet to take in our academic careers, we have accomplished a great deal more that we should be proud of and can use to due our future endeavors. Among the sessions I attended, Bob Bell’s session on preparing for a job interview reminded us that a failure to anticipate the questions we (future professors) will face in a job interview is tantamount to not stretching before a game: you might come away fine, but in all likelihood you will be less prepared and more likely to hurt your own chances for success. Bell gave use practical advice. He reminded us that it’s smart to identify our liabilities and turn them into strengths, and to use power phrases that effectively showcase our work.

    Perhaps the most beneficial session for my own research interests was Chuck Dziuban’s talk on digital tools and teaching. I am currently teaching an “Introduction to Digital History” course at UMBC and found elements of his presentation applicable to what I already do in class, but also inspiring to what I can yet accomplish. I enjoyed his description of the “unbundled” classroom, where students become participants in class, online, and with the outside world. Dziuban smartly addressed the issue of disruption with the advent of digital tools by encouraging us to embrace it as part of our innovative practices. However, unlike Dziuban, I am highly skeptical of MOOCs as venues for effective teaching and authentic-engaged learning. Case in point: in a room of a thousand people, only a dozen (or so) raised their hand when asked if they ever finished a MOOC-based course.

    Because I am in the middle of job application, Melanie Sinche’s presentation “But I have no skills- thinking outside academia for PhD jobs” was timely and informative. Sinche tackled the dilemma many people face on the job market when weighing their knowledge and skills for a particular job posting. In reality, most PhDs bring a range of transferable skills that cover many career paths. She also valued factors that are often ignored, or even dismissed, in academia when thinking about future employment, such as location, family interests, and personal interests. In short, Sinche argued that if a job does not satisfy us, how can we excel at it? This issue – the holistic health of the job seeker – became a constant theme of the conference. Dr. Freeman Hrabowski brought it home on Sunday when he talked about Jessica Soto-Pérez’s untimely passing in 2004 and the awareness this tragedy raised about the myriad of factors graduate students face when seeking a diploma (as Drs. Tull and Ordoñez brought to light in their article “The Jessica Effect”).

    My hope is that post-postdoc, I will be able to use my research and teaching to empower students (or readers) to ask difficult questions, to push their intellectual limits, but to also find joy in the intellectual journey. Sometimes I get dismissive reactions when I mention my research topic: soccer in Argentina. But regardless of a person’s interest in football, basketball, soccer, or fringe sports like Quidditch (yes, university students have actually fielded teams and compete), sports have become a way for people to make some sense of their lives, to connect with others, to express themselves (sometimes with religious-type fervor), and to seek a release from their everyday lives. They are also a reflection of class, gender, and socioeconomic differences and viewpoints. As Marshall McLuhan once wrote, “Games are contrived and controlled situations, extensions of a group awareness that permit a respite from customary patterns. They are a kind of talking to itself on the part of society as a whole. And talking to oneself is a recognized form of play that is indispensable to any growth of self-confidence.” My research can help us analyze the ways in which people use sports to talk to themselves and imagine their place in the world. Isn’t that what educators hope to achieve with their students?

    Twenty years from now, I’ll be 58. My kids will be out of college (or maybe attending an SREB conference themselves). My goal is to wake up, go downstairs to the bakery, purchase some hot bread, go back upstairs, pour some hot coffee in a large mug, and join my wife on the balcony as we overlook the Mediterranean Sea near Costa Brava, Spain. Now I have to figure out how to do this in 20 years while making a difference in people’s lives through my work.


  10. 1. Future Dr. DeLauren McCauley

    2. University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Graduate Student, Chemistry & Biochemistry

    3. My SREB experience was rewarding this year and it came at the perfect time. Mid to early semester is the best time for motivation and fellowship with other underrepresented groups who are focused on the same goal. I especially enjoyed the mock graduation ceremony, where each graduate shared their experiences. Whether personal or general, I was encouraged from each graduate and it was comforting to know that others had experienced some of the same issues, if not worse than me, but still finished strong. I also enjoyed the keynote speakers who all presented a different aspect of their story along with their perseverance to get them to where they are. Overall, it is good to know that the SREB has ensured a safe and strong networking environment while going through this process and even after graduation!

    4. My goal is to lead minority students to STEM fields and in doing so, eliminate the common misconceptions, particularly within the physical sciences. Paying it forward was a recurring theme this past weekend and I hope to provide some of the inspiration to future students that was given to me.

    5. In 2034, I expect to be in my dream position of teaching and mentoring young minority women and providing them with different opportunities to complete their doctoral degrees.


  11. 1. Future Dr. Emerald L. Christopher

    2. The University of Maryland Baltimore County, PhD candidate in the Language, Literacy, and Culture program

    3. I was hesitant in the past to go to the Institute due to its heavy focus on STEM. To be honest, I never considered social sciences as a part of STEM. With that said, I took a chance and am so happy that I did. I connected with scholars across all fields and had the opportunity to meet and interact with other University of Maryland system students. I was able to learn about opportunities across the country involving my field that I was not previously aware of. Lastly, I found the interest sessions to be invaluable as they empowered me to continue to push forward in completing the PhD.

    4. My fields of focus include African-American Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, and History. The purpose of my research is to bring to light the historic and contemporary constructions of black womanhood and how that construction contributes to violence against black women, violence that is more often than not invisible in mainstream media. In the future, I intend to collaborate with the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women to meet the challenges of addressing violence against women, particularly black women and underrepresented populations.

    5. In 2034 I will be a tenure track professor in Gender and Women’s Studies, African-American Studies, or American Studies. After publishing at least two books by 2034, I will not only have expanded my research areas but will also have a continued relationship with policy makers. Based on my past and current experience as a Congressional staffer, I will be seeking to run for office at some point in my career.


  12. 1. Future Dr. Bre-Onna DeLaine

    2. UMB, Doctoral Candidate, Molecular Medicine Program

    3. I attended SREB in 2013 as a third year student looking for encouragement to complete my degree. During SREB 2014, I had a new focus as a senior student looking for career options. Not only was I inspired and re-energize, the sessions I attended gave me useful and practical information about time management, stress reduction, and grant writing. Speaking with the university recruiters was the most helpful aspect of the conference. I spoke to university department chairs, deans, and provost to find out exactly what they were looking for in faculty candidates. I also learned the steps they took to reach their current positions. After these conversations, I became open to the idea of working at a community college and using my research to inform my teaching technique. I’m also much more aware of the changing trends in education.

    4. Currently, I work at the UMB’s Center for Vaccine Development. I love the mix of molecular biology and microbiology to solve public health problems. I hope to use my background to teach biology classes targeted to students interested in infectious disease and public health.

    5. By 2034, I imagine I’m juggling teaching and mentoring student researchers at a minority serving institution or community college. I prefer to work one on one with students and behind the scene for large initiatives. Twenty year from now, I believe my skills will be best utilized from a classroom and working to maintain equal access to higher education.


  13. 1. Name.
    Future Dr. Allen-Wilcox

    2. School, position (e.g., graduate student, PhD candidate, Postdoc), department
    Masters student at UMBC-Shady Grove studying Industrial/Organizational Psychology

    3. Your SREB experience
    I had an overwhelmingly amazing experience at the SREB Conference. From start to finish, every moment was perfect. I came to the conference unsure of several things regarding my future goals, but left the conference with much clarity. I was able to connect with individuals in fields similar to mine and also with individuals from different fields. It gave the experience more variety. It was amazing to be in the same space as 1200 other like-minded individuals whose goals were to further their education and make a difference. I was also amazed because I met individuals who were in fields that I’d never heard of. The SREB opened up my mind and expose me to all types of knowledge in a short period of time. When I saw the graduates walk across the stage, I envisioned myself doing the same. All of the speakers were amazing and I felt comfortable enough to go up and speak with them whenever I felt the need. I had the opportunity to meet and bond with other PROMISE AGEP students, which was especially meaningful to me. Thank you Dr. Tull, PROMISE AGEP, SREB and friends for this awesome opportunity!

    4. Your contribution to STEM and to your field at large (current and future … dream!)
    Eventually, I would like to spend some time in consulting working for firms and organizations that work towards the goal of molding young minds and individuals in academia. I would like to apply my knowledge of I/O wherever I go with the hopes of increasing productivity amongst all parties involved.

    5. Fast forward to 2034 – Your vision of your achievements as a professor and beyond
    By 2034 I will most-likely be in administration. I would like to be the director of a student organization which, builds students up and helps them to achieve their academic goals while also finding their personal identity; something like PROMISE. I want to be a member of my students’ support team by sharing my experiences along the way while also encouraging them to create new experiences for themselves.


  14. I am future Dr. Camille Koroma and I am a graduate student at the University of Maryland, School of Nursing.

    This was my first experience at at the SREB conference. It was amazing to say the least. This was definitely a recharge to one finish graduate school, but to also pursue and finish my Doctorate in Nursing Practice in psychiatric mental health. The most profound effect on me was when the graduates walked across the stage and made their individual speech and testified their own personal story. I didn’t even realize we went one or two hours over the actual time because I was lost in their inspiring journeys. During that moment, I saw myself walking across that stage and presenting my own speech and my own journey to getting my doctorate.
    Another experience that had a profound affect on me was Dr. Daniel Jean’s doctoral swagger seminar. By the end I not only gave him my contact information, but we are now in the process of a mentorship along with one of the other scholars that came down to SREB. We have decided to make the mentorship deal mostly with accountability. He has seen and mentored many people to their Ph.D’s and it was just inspiring that he not only wanted to help with that, but to see his mentee’s go continuously higher.

    I would like to continuously learn and explore aspects of psychiatric and mental health in regards to minorities. I would like to present my findings and teach my findings and to express and reiterate how important mental and psychiatric health is to humans and their development.

    20 years from now, I would like to be an expert in my field of research teaching in colleges as a tenure professor and at the high school level. I know that it is just as important to nurture our babies in high school as it is to nurture our babies during college. I also plan to be a mentor/advisor as well to others trying to pursue their doctorate degrees. But to be honest, when I receive my highest possible degree as far as nursing, in twenty years I hope to still live limitless and continue to learn and teach whatever it is that I love in whatever field it takes me.


  15. 1. Dr. Taeyjuana Curry
    2. University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Chemistry & Biochemistry
    3. The SREB Compact for Faculty Diversity/Institute on Teaching and Mentoring is an amazing conference and I only regret that I did not participate in this conference as a graduate student. I found many of the sessions to be quite inspirational and helpful. The opening session really set the tone of the meeting. The candor with which each of the speakers shared their respective journies ushered in a feeling of security and ensured all of the conference participants that they were in a safe space to share their journies. The themed sessions were very insightful and I was able to gather insight and strategies for optimizing my entire academic experience. Lastly, I was able to meaningfully network with many recruiters and am hopeful that some of those interactions will eventually lead to a tenure-track position.
    4. Your contribution to STEM and to your field at large (current and future … dream!) I have contributed STEM and my field through my research and service. My graduate research focused on the incorporation of photothermal therapy into a multimodal, targeted, nanoparticle mediated cancer therapy. The work was published, is currently being tested in mouse models and will one day move to clinical trials. My current research aims to understand and mediate the toxicity associated with semiconductor based quantum dots (“QDs”). QDs are already being utilized in consumer products and my research will contribute to the fundamental understanding of the toxic properties, and inform the protocols that will be necessary to protect consumers. Thus far, thoughout my academic career, I have served the field throught teaching, tutoring and mentoring undergrads and grads in STEM. I have also enjoyed the opportunity to serve in leadership roles in various organizations that serve minorities in STEM including FGAMP and the Michigan AGEP Alliance.
    5. Twenty years from now, I will have established a prolific, interdisciplinary lab at a research-1 institution that values diversity. My lab will thrive on the synergy fostered from research completed by postdocs, graduate students, and undergrads from various disciplines including Physics, Applied Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Engineering. I will be a fellow of the American Physical Society and the Biophysical Society, serve as an editor of one of the top journals in applied physics or nanotechnology. I will also have started a nonprofit organization aimed at the recruiting of elementary school-aged minority girls into the sciences through hands on engagement in the sciences.


  16. Hello future Dr. Akinsiku

    Masters Student, Human-Centered Computing(HCC), University of Maryland-Baltimore County

    This year’s SREB was one to remember. I had an amazing time! The experience made me reflect and count my blessings. I met a number of intelligent leaders who all have inspired me. Hearing the number of success stories, despite the struggles, was extremely motivating. I had a chance to talk and learn from individuals who have already gone through the Ph.D process. I have realized coming to SREB that much has been done, but the work is far from over. I was able to reflect on what I need to do, personally, to move the mission forward.

    “Find your passion that touches you… That makes you say this Ph.D is worth it.” -Dr. Bob Bell Jr.
    I am interested in discovering new research methodologies that will help develop culturally appropriate ubiquitous technologies to solve quality of life issues. Additionally, enable and inform people to better appropriate technologies to solve issues.

    “Become a steward of your discipline.” -Dr. Orlando Taylor
    Recently, I have finalized my research and personal Ph.D goals. I have asked myself countless times through the process, “What would I want someone to say about me and my work when it is all over?” My answer is excellent. Someone once said to me that when you focus on being excellent, things eventually fall into place. Being a steward in a discipline, to me, means maintaining(research) the field and ensuring its existence(mentoring).

    I want to impact the way my field, HCC, looks at research in developing nations. I intend to take an international leadership role in HCI/HCC communities, education policy, and innovation within the developing world. I plan to focus on my research, but along the way, look at an administrative leadership(e.g., dept. chair, dean, provost, etc…) role. Ultimately, I want to become a leader at a school outside of the United States. I do not know what that leadership role may be, but somewhere between chief research scientist, president of a university, or politician. I want to use my experience here in the United States to join the movement to continue to build a science and technology research infrastructure in Africa.


  17. Future Dr. Onimi Jademi

    Graduate Student, Information Systems, University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

    I heard so much good things about the Compact for Faculty Diversity and the Southern Regional Education Board and I was pretty excited to be nominated to attend this year’s conference. From the first day, to the last, I was in awe.

    So many aspects of SREB were impactful for me, so many defining moments. From Dr. Robert Belle’s group meetings, I got a deeper meaning and sense of purpose for getting a PhD. The keynote speeches from the likes of Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, Dr. Orlando Taylor, Dr. Danny Jean and Dr. Mary Gonzales made me realize that I can overcome grave challenges and setbacks and still come out successful. The graduation ceremony was huge for me. Seeing all these people who look, talk and walk like me, hearing their stories and seeing the glory helped me see myself achieving the same feat. The workshops also helped address specific issues and give definite answers to some of the questions I have had in my heart for a while. SREB has given me a new motivation to go back to work, see it through and come out victorious. I got encouragement that I am not alone and that I cannot quit not just for myself but because the future of thousands of others are attached to mine. The conference has further spurred the spirit of mentoring in me, letting me know that I’m not just successful for myself, but to remember to help others succeed as well. The networking event helped me expand my network of professionals, thanks also to SREB for the business cards.
    Overall for me, the best conference I have ever been to!

    My contributions to STEM right now are just mundane compared to the plans I have for the future. I hope to do quality research during my journey towards a PhD and afterwards, not just run-of-the-mill research but great discovery and addition to the subject area.

    In 2034, I see myself being a mentor to hundreds of students, minorities and otherwise. I will be a source of motivation to thousands of people, showing them that age, skin color, race and gender are nothing but attributes, features, elements and that they don’t matter for anything. I will be a tenured professor operating the most unconventional and productive research lab in the country and equally employing the most unconventional students in my lab. My lab will work to solve real world issues and create futuristic technologies that transcend the current space. I would love for my lab to be a forerunner, be at the base of innovation and invention. I hope to invent the next best thing in technology, could be a programming language/platform . I see myself contributing so much to the field that I will be seen as one of the forerunners of my field and my publications will be used as base literature for my field and included in literature that students read to prepare for qualifying exams. i would love to also be an entrepreneur. I see myself in the start-up industry, pushing my inventions and innovations from the lab to industry. I see myself not just being successful in career and industry but also having a family of my own. I see myself getting to my goal weight and staying healthy. I will be a wife, a mother, a mentor, a mentee, a friend, an aunt, a daughter, an ally, a confidant, a teacher, eloquent speaker, lifelong learner.
    I will also be very active in pushing for the education of the girl child in Africa, especially in STEM related fields. I will be an activist and a proponent for the education of girls in Africa. I hope to be an example to young girls and women that you can have it all.


  18. 1. Future Dr. Isaac Mativo

    2. University of Maryland Baltimore County, PhD student, Computer Science

    3. In a 1676 letter, Isaac Newton wrote “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”. The 2014 SREB helped me see further both as a graduate student and as a pioneer. It is difficult to describe my whole experience at the Teaching and Mentoring conference using a few sentences, but I will attempt to capture the highlights. To me, the overall theme was greater than just graduating with a PhD and getting a good job. It was about an appreciation of the continuum, and where I fit in it. It was about realization of three vital things; First, that it is a privilege to be in the position I am in today, and that many people have sacrificed to make this possible. Second, it is important for me to work diligently and earn the degree. Third, having graduated, I should work to create more opportunities for those coming after me. This is a noble mission!

    I enjoyed and learned a lot from the various sessions and workshops. I learned about the challenges of writing a dissertation, and how to navigate the process. This ranged from choosing a topic to using the correct writing format to clear articulation of ideas. A workshop on getting published helped me further understand the process of manuscript submission, the review process, and the follow-up process. I also attended a workshop on writing CVs which I found quite helpful in identifying the format and content of good CVs. Finally, a workshop on statistics gave a very well presented process of identifying what statistical tools to utilize based on the nature of data being analyzed.

    Networking with the recruiters and other attendees was rewarding as well. I got a sense of what areas within computer science colleges are looking to hire faculty in. I reinforced existing contacts and established new contacts for future follow-ups. I also obtained information about post-doc positions and funding opportunities, as well as career placement resources.

    4. Currently, my contribution to STEM is in using machine learning techniques to improve prediction modeling in health informatics. A key ingredient of my approach is using natural language processing algorithms to extract information from patient-reported data in clinical narratives, and using this data in the prediction models. The result of my work can then be used by clinical decision support systems at the point of care. In future, I plan on teaching and doing research in informatics and data science. I plan on being a mentor to others, and help advance the use of computing technology in healthcare. Hopefully, this will contribute to quality healthcare access across diverse populations.

    5. It is a summer morning on July 7th, 2034. I have just finished eating breakfast and I’m reviewing a grant proposal when I see a video chat request from one of my graduate students, Tom Q, a PhD candidate. I accept the chat request. Tom is in Angola with a group of researchers testing out a device that quickly predicts the existence of a certain tropical infectious disease, and recommends an action plan. He is calling to wish me a happy birthday – and inform me of research lab he would like us to collaborate with.

    After the chat, I look at my wrist watch to see the time, my physical condition, and my emotional condition. You see, the watch has an embedded device we developed that wirelessly communicates with my various physical systems, and constantly learns from terabytes of data running in the cloud to personalize my information. As I get up to go teach a class, I smile as I remember the words or Dr. Hrabowski 20 years ago in Atlanta. I remember the Maya Angelou poem he started his keynote speech with, “On the Pulse of Morning”

    …Lift up your eyes
    Upon this day breaking for you.
    Give birth again
    To the dream.
    Women, children, men,
    Take it into the palms of your hands,
    Mold it into the shape of your most
    Private need. Sculpt it into
    The image of your most public self.
    Lift up your hearts
    Each new hour holds new chances
    For a new beginning.
    Do not be wedded forever
    To fear…

    I take a coffee, with cream and honey, and walk out to mold another pioneer. It’s going to be a great day!


  19. Future Dr. Ondego, Victor

    UMBC, Graduate student, Information Systems Department.

    I attended SREB with an open mind and left with mixed emotions. I was overwhelmed by the wealth of opportunities both for my own professional and personal development, as well as that of other attendees. As with a lot of other enjoyable experiences in life, there was not nearly enough time to explore and absorb all of the different opportunities, shake hands and smile at all of the different people I would like to stay connected to, or even exhaustively retain all of the invaluable information I encountered. One sentiment that has stuck with me is the notion that we are all “Pioneers”. Understanding, acknowledging and embracing the thought that one is somehow carving not only their own path, but that of others that come after them is an extremely responsibility-laden and sobering idea. Once this thought is acknowledged and embraced, the requirement to excel becomes not only a desirable goal, but a necessary one.

    Teaching, both in the near past and present, affords me the opportunity to see some of the challenges faced by others within the ‘formal’ learning environment first-hand. I ensure that I am as accessible as I can be, to intervene to mitigate some of these perceived challenges in and outside the classroom setting. On the other hand, I also encourage and champion successes and triumphs along the way to illustrate to my students (and colleagues) that they are well on their way towards success and it is being recognized and acknowledged. I hope to keep being a small part of not only imparting knowledge, but also encouraging (as well as being encouraged by) others through this journey of self-actualization.

    In future, I hope to be part of the change that takes an approach that looks at not how we can mould the person to fit within the system but rather how we can mould the system to best accommodate all persons as unique as we come. In Human-Centered Computing concepts, for example, I always advocate for my students to look at making the user functional and not focus primarily on system functionality. If the approach of making the user functional is adopted and successfully achieved, system functionality becomes an inevitable by-product. As much as we should encourage underrepresented persons to adopt different strategies that help us fit better into categories that were created by and for the current majority, for purposes of representation and participation, careful scrutiny of these categories as well, counts as a worthy cause. I want to not only ask questions such as: how can we raise underrepresented persons’ competence early (through early childhood education, etc) and interest in the STEM fields so we can be better represented, but more importantly also ask: how can we transform these STEM fields so that they clearly and appropriately relate to the motivations and interests of, and thereby, inherently automatically attract our underrepresented groups.


  20. 1. Name:

    Future Dr. Lo

    2. School, position (e.g., graduate student, PhD candidate, Postdoc), department

    School: University of Maryland, Baltimore County

    Position: Master’s Student

    Department: Biological Sciences

    3. Your SREB experience

    This was my first time attending the 21st Teaching and Mentoring Conference.

    Also, it was my first time going across the states to attend a conference.

    I never had this type of opportunity before. I honestly didn’t know what to expect, but now that I have gone to the conference and experienced it in full entirety, I treasured every moment of the event. I would recommend it to everyone I know. This was a rare opportunity and I was glad to have been part of it. There was ~1,300 attendees at the event. When I attended the event and saw everyone working towards their degree, the charisma in the room was very powerful; it empowered me to achieve higher education.

    Currently, I am in my 2nd year of my Master’s program. By attending the event and seeing the liveliness of the environment was unmeasurable. Everyone had a warm smile and I noticed that people who had previously attended this conference were looking forward to coming back. The conference was not only a place to gain advice on becoming a future faculty member, but it was a reunion place where that brought a sense of hope to each and every person in the room – I realized there was this power – although the conference is once a year, the conference felt like one big supportive family. When I saw people reunite with other attendees that they had met the previous year, there was a sense of belonging. No one was on the faculty track alone. We are all here. Just as Dr. Ansley Abraham mentioned, “We come to the conference and everyone becomes recharged.”

    When I first came to the conference, I was surprised. The Compact for Faculty and Diversity provided business cards for each attendee! Initially, I thought the stack of business cards would be enough for the entire conference. I ended up giving away all of my business cards to presenters, recruiters, and other aspiring future faculty attendees. 🙂

    On Friday (Oct. 31, 2014), I was inspired by the panel at the Welcome Session.

    Dr. Ansley Abraham did the opening talk. He welcomed everyone to the event and, yes, I do agree with what he said; it was a privilege to be sitting in the room as an attendee. It was a rare opportunity and I am glad to have been there.

    Dr. Orlando Taylor spoke next. He said an inspiring statement, “We need you to have a broad intellectural effort, but never lose who you are.” We need ourselves to define who we are, and not to be marginalized.

    When Dr. Daniel Jean’s spoke, I found myself taking my padfolio out to write down some of his words. He advised everyone to identify our passion and purpose. He said that sometimes we will face our own fears along our path to our dream career; however, we just need to know our fear, face our fear, overcome our fear, and everything will become easier. One favorite quote that I particularly like is, “Don’t get ready, be ready for opportunities.” This is a very true statement. You never know when the door of opportunity opens, but, if you are always prepared, then, when the door opens, you can walk through with ease. Dr. Jean’s path to success was inspiring. It taught me dreams are achievable.

    From Dr. Maria Gonalez’s talk, I learned to never give up. She reminded us to also give back to the community.

    Overall, at the welcome session, I was inspired by each person’s story. Each person was determined and worked to achieving a successful career. 🙂 If I ever feel down in the future, I feel that I just need to remember each person’s story from this conference, and then, it would remind me that I can also do it – through dedication and commitment, I can achieve my career goal. Similar to the old adage: If there’s a will, there’s a way.

    Later that day, I went to the “Solo Success – How to Thrive in Graduate School When You’re The Only ___ in Your Department.” Kerry Ann Rockquemore presented us with common mistakes that people do while on their career path. She advised each and every one of us to be proactive and to have a network of mentors. When I was at her session, I actually found that I did all of the common mistakes that she presented. I was glad to have gone to the session because she gave us a different perspective on things. By attending this event, I learned the importance of career-life balance and that ‘success’ has many meanings.

    Then, we had lunch and listened to Daryl Smith’s talk. I learned the importance of having a diversified group of faculty at a university.

    At the conference, a big smile came across my face as I saw the graduate scholars in their caps and gowns. Unlike universities, each person not only had the chance to shake hands, but they had the opportunity to share their own speech. I was touched by many of the graduates’ speeches. Some went through a rough road, but, were standing at the podium, raising their plaque in the air with a big smile. They did it! The graduation ceremony was very memorable.

    I remember when I was going up the escalator after the ceremony, I said, “Congratulations!” to a graduate in front of me. He turned around and said ‘thank you’. Then, he said that he really enjoyed having the opportunity to go up to the podium and thank everyone who helped him on his journey.

    SATURDAY (Nov. 1, 2014):

    On Saturday, we had the opportunity to meet scholars who were of the same discipline. Then, we practiced on our 5 minute ‘elevator speeches.’ This was a great exercise. I learned that when we give presentations for our academic career, we need to recognize our audience. I found this exercise to be helpful because when I went to recruiting room, I spoke about my research in very simple easy-to-understand words. When I was back in the lab, I tend to talk i a scientific language and forget that the public audience may not understand a specific term, such as ‘immunosenescence.’

    I found that the small sessions were very helpful. In the room, there were several Biology professors present and they also gave helpful advice on presenting our elevator talks.

    Then, we listened to Chuck Dziuban’s talk on how technology will change the way we learn and teach. I learned that we are all students – whether we are faculty or students in the class. As faculty members, we need to keep up with the changing technology, which could impact the style of teaching and learning. I was also inspired by the Tangelo Park program. I was moved by the impact that the program has made. I learned that as a teacher, setting the foundation for the next generation is important.

    I later went to the ‘Writing Proposals for Competitive Grants in Science.’ This was a very helpful seminar. Shawn Gaillard, the Program Director of NIGMS from NIH, provided an informative presentation. I have not written a grant before, but my career goal is to become a faculty member who does some teaching and some research. I’ll need to know how to write grants one day. I learned from the event that writing is an important skill to have. I learned that there are different types of grants, which are divided by where the applicant is in their academic career. There’s F grants, K grants, and R grants. There’s so many! I took a lot of notes at this session. It was concise, informative, and something that I need to become more familiar with for my career path.

    Today was also a special day. Mentors were given awards for being a great mentor to students. I really appreciated how on Friday the conference celebrated the achievements graduates and on Sunday, the conference celebrated the achievements of the mentors. This was a memorable moment and I learned that many faculty mentor students and watch their students grow academically. A simple phrase, such as ‘thank you’ can mean a lot.

    As an aspiring faculty member, I wanted to hear insight on what it was like to be a faculty member and what issues are currently circulating among the faculty world. I went to the ‘How Changes in Higher Education Will Affect Your Career” workshop. There were more faculty members than students present and it was nice to hear various perspectives on various issues.

    I am fairly new with making CV’s. I signed up for a CV review session and it was helpful. I’m going to update my CV soon according to the feedback I received. 🙂

    SUNDAY – Nov. 2, 2014

    This was the last day of the conference. On this day, Dr. Freeman Hrabowski (UMBC President) came to visit! 🙂 We took a picture with him too! When Dr. Hrabowski gave his talk, it was very inspiring, touching, and motivational. It was nice to hear about Dr. Hrabowski’s experience. The story where he talked about joining the march outside was very touching. From his talk, Dr. Hrawbowski said that we were all pioneers. I learned that I don’t have to be scared. We all have the ability inside us to achieve great things. I also realized the difference between, “I’ll try to achieve my goals” vs. ” I have it in me to achieve my goals.” Thank you for the inspirational speech, Dr. Hrabowski!

    Overall, I was glad to attend the conference. Throughout the conference, I spoke for maybe like 30 – 40 min with several recruiters. I learned a lot. Before the conference, I didn’t know that a faculty position actually lies on a spectrum; some colleges are more teaching-based and little research-based. In contrast, other colleges are little teaching-based and more research-based. I also didn’t know that much about liberal arts colleges before this conference. When I spoke with representatives from these colleges/universities, I realized that there are also STEM faculty positions here as well. For some reason, I was thinking that as a STEM faculty member, I would only have gone to the research-heavy colleges. Also, I learned that universities are divided into tiers, such as ‘R1.’ Before this conference, I didn’t know what an ‘R1′ university was. Overall, the networking room was a great experience! I spoke with faculty members and learned about various classroom sizes, styles of teaching, faculty diversity, importance of publications. Three recruiters also gave me a CV review too. It was a great experience. Several recruiters said that they hope to see me come back next year so they can see me grow academically. It was really moving. 🙂 It also motivated me to go forward and pursue my career goal.

    If there were a few phrases to sum up my experience, I would say:
    – big family
    – memorable
    – supportive
    – eye-opening to meet people at various stages in their career
    – inspiring
    – walking out and wanting more
    – great place to learn about current issues in the faculty world

    4. Your contribution to STEM and to your field at large (current and future … dream!)

    Currently, I am in my 2nd year as a Master’s student in Dr. Jeff Leips’ research laboratory at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. I think I started my contribution to the STEM field when I was an undergraduate student at UMBC.

    As an undergrad, I was also working in Dr. Jeff Leips’ laboratory and researched on larval foraging behavior as a non-immunological method for avoiding parasitoid wasps’ attacks.

    Also, when I took Genetics Lab (BIOL 302L), I spent an entire semester with my lab partner to isolate and characterize a novel bacteriophage. When we were working with the bacteriophage, I realized that it yields small, turbid plaques. So, we named it, “Camo,” a shortened version for camouflage, since it camouflages on the petri dish. 🙂 Details on our findings are on the Bacteriophage database.

    Currently, I am working on finding the genetic effects of the innate immune system and immunosenescence in fruit flies. I am still working on my thesis project. 🙂

    5. Fast forward to 2034 – Your vision of your achievements as a professor and beyond

    Wow. 2034? As a professor, I vision myself holding my own lab. I would be teaching on the side, mentoring students in my lab, and balancing my career and life. I think ‘success’ is measured by whatever makes me happy. I think that when I have made a contribution that impacts the community for the better, then, I think I did a pretty good job. If I can leave with a legacy behind, that would be like above and beyond! 🙂 Right now, I’ll just try to move forward one step at a time. 🙂


  21. 1. Joshua Akhigbe, Ph.D.

    2. University of Maryland Baltimore County

    3. SREB experience. The Compact for Faculty Diversity and the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring conference was a very unique experience for many reasons. Until now i’ve attended both local, regional, national and international conferences where i usually present a poster or gave a talk but this 21st meeting on Teaching and Mentoring was uniquely centered on the premise that what do you do and how do you get to the next career path and here is how we can help. More than anything else the institute provided me with the necessary information for life beyond bench work in a research laboratory. Furthermore, it afforded me insight into the inner working, policies and decision making in an acedemic institutions. In addition, I was able to network with recruiters from other institutions as i seek a tenure track position as an independent research scientist. Lastly, due to the numerous interactions i had with department chairs, representatives from different universities, deans, faculties and provost i came away more informed and well equip. All the many questions i had were addressed to my satisfactions and i was able to hear differing opinion of a wide range of issues.

    4. Among my many research interest through the years, ranges for synthesis and modulations of organic chromophores for a number of bio-medical applications such as PDT, photoacoustic imaging, functional dyes and as light harvesting complexes. Currently, I am working on the synthesis of photo-activatable probes for fluorescence guided surgeries. The major critical barriers are the inherents limitations of available probes for fluorescence guided surgery.

    5. 2034. I can only imagine doing research because is the love of my life. Also, training and mentoring the next generation of research scientist on how to own a project and to be critical thinker and experimental scientist. Personally, i hope to one day run a multi-disciplinary research institute that train young postdoctoral research scientists to prepared them for life in the academia or industry.


  22. 1. Future Dr. Molly F. Morin

    2. Ph.D. Student, University of Maryland College Park – Student Affairs Concentration

    3. As a first year doctoral student the SREB Compact was exactly what I needed as I begin my doctoral experience! Starting my doctoral journey has been a huge transition and the SREB Compact provided me with the opportunity to connect with new colleagues who are at different stages of their doctoral journey as well as faculty and administrators pursuing the careers that they love! It was especially meaningful to hear about the research that my peers are engaged with and are passionate about and how they arrived at their area of research! The knowledge gained at SREB will serve as a strong foundation for me as I make my way through my first year of doctoral study and beyond! I gained strategies to employ during my doctoral journey and it was especially helpful to hear about ways to navigate the challenges that may come during this journey as well as how to navigate the job search process when pursuing a career in academia. It was especially inspiring to see the graduates at the SREB Compact and hear about their journey to completion! Although there will be times of challenges and doubt – I know I can do this and have a community of support to reach out to. I feel so privileged to have attended the SREB Compact!

    4. In the future I would like to increase the access, retention, and graduation of students of color (particularly Latina/o, low-income, and first-generation college students) at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Specifically, I would like to teach future student affairs/higher education professionals who provide support to our growing diverse student populations. It is vital for future student affairs/higher education professionals to be equipped with tools and knowledge to be scholar-practitioners and recognize the power and privilege they have to make in the lives of college/university students. I am especially interested in supporting students in their process of thinking about access and equity in higher education and serving as a mentor to future student affairs/higher education professionals.

    5. Fast forward to 2034 – since my heart lies in teaching, in 2034 I continue to see myself teaching but also having made the transition into administration. This area of administration might be within a College of Education or within the university as a whole. My work will continue to be engaged in area of access and equity in higher education and I will continue to conduct research in this area of study and bring others with me on this journey in pursuing higher education. It is equally important that both faculty and administration in higher education diversify and I seek to contribute to this diversification especially as a Latina as the Latino population continues to grow in the U.S. It is so important for students to see role models in the field so they too can see themselves in the academy. I want to give back to others for the support that has been provided to me and pave the way for future faculty and administrators of color.


  23. Future Dr. Lakeya S. McGill

    UMBC, Graduate Student, Human Services Psychology

    My SREB experience was inspirational. I applied for the opportunity to attend the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring with hopes that I would be encouraged to continue on my journey towards a career in academia. My SREB experience provided me with this encouragement and so much more. I left feeling a part of a community, a community of brilliant scholars who are dedicated to improving the culture of education, STEM, the U.S., and beyond. This sense of community and the dedication among my peers motivated me to always strive to do my best so I too can make a lasting contribution in the world. I also left feeling unstoppable. The journey to obtaining a PhD has been challenging, and I know securing a tenure track faculty position will be even more challenging, but after attending the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring, I am confident that I will be successful. I was inspired by several events at the Institute, but the most rewarding experience was the Institute Graduates’ Awards Banquet. As I watched each graduate step on stage with radiant smiles and sometimes tears in their eyes, I felt joy in my heart because I knew that one day I too would experience this triumph.

    I will contribute to STEM and my field at large through my research and mentoring. My research focuses on examining the relation between health behaviors and health outcomes in adults living with sickle cell disease (SCD). I will continue to explore health among adults living with SCD and begin to assess health behaviors among other populations. Through my research and service, I will help eliminate health disparities and promote wellness. In addition, I will provide students, including women and minorities, with the opportunity to work in my lab, and I will be a mentor for students from underrepresented populations.

    In 2034, I envision myself as a professor at a medical school, where I will conduct research and provide clinical services to adults living with medical conditions. I will be well known for my research, clinical services, advocacy, and mentoring both nationally and internationally. I will serve on thesis and dissertation committees for numerous students, including women and minorities. I will also have an impressive curriculum vita, which includes a plethora of publications, presentations, and book contributions. In 2034, I will be working to improve myself both personally and academically, but most importantly, I will be helping others. I will be a teacher, clinician/psychologist, friend, daughter, sister, wife, mother, advisor, and mentor helping others to realize their goals.


  24. 1. Future Dr. Jerrell Scott

    2. Graduate Student in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Program at University of Maryland, Baltimore.

    3. There were many positive impacts that fit into the tangible and intangible realms. The workshops were thoughtful to the audience, making their significance readily appreciated by participants in this conference. The business cards was a pleasant surprise as it potentiated the networking among all of those in attendance. The workshop topics were clever, such as the one which helped us explain our research in five minutes or less to the develpment of Ph.D. “swagger” which explains a majority of things that one must be sufficient in to successfully earn a Ph.D. The intangibles of this conference was particularly special to me as it placed young, diverse people at all different points in the Ph.D. process, from start to completion, in one place to converse, network, share ideas and encourage one another.

    4. With my current topic, I am working towards elucidating the mechanisms involved in the inactivation of the transcription factor Nrf2. This new information will create novel therapeutic targets for patients that suffer from diseases that depend on the imbalance of the vital protein for cell-survival. This information learned via my topic will increase my knowledge base as it is important to me to learn as much as I can. This knowledge may be applicable to other cellular mechanisms with similar patterns. But more so, to learn as much as I can about intracellular mechanisms and metabolic functions, but cause this knowledge will equip me with the tools to properly diagnose an issue revolving around the molecular mechanisms of a cell.

    5. Twenty years from now, I visualize myself as the Dean of the School of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences at Morgan State University.


  25. 1. Future Dr. Amaka Nwankwo-Igomu

    2. Morgan State University School of Community Health & Policy, DrPH Candidate, Dept of Public Health Analysis

    3. There are not enough words nor space available on this site to fully describe my SREB experience. In a few short words, it was INSPIRING, MOTIVATING, PHENOMENAL, OVERWHELMING, and an UNBELIEVABLE CALL TO ACTION. I had not fully grasped the magnitude of the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring organized by the SREB when I applied in late August to attend the conference in Atlanta. I knew that I was interested when Dr. Renetta Tull mentioned the Institute at the most recent Dissertation House and eagerly submitted my application when the opportunity presented itself. I am so overjoyed that I did! The Institute which also hosts a partnership meeting for The Compact for Faculty Diversity is, quite frankly, a forum of some of the brightest minority and underrepresented men and women in the STEM and “STEM-extended” fields striving to make their mark on the world.

    Many of us attended the Institute because of our deliberate or curious intention to pursue careers within institutions of higher learning. For me, I had hoped to inquire about opportunities that would allow me to continue my path in public health while simultaneously engaging in the field of teaching and mentoring, both of which are passions of mine which I’ve been able to informally excel in over the past few years.

    We have our charge: Go out and impact minds and expand the work and contributions of underrepresented groups. That I will do.

    4. When I entered my undergraduate program at Temple University as a STEM student, I thought I was headed for a career in medicine. Well, sort of. I knew I wanted to be a doctor but really wanted to serve people in underserved communities more than I desired to work in a hospital. Then I discovered public health and it was as if the gates of heaven opened up. I had discovered the field that made my heart beat faster and made my efforts feel valued. I had discovered my passion. What later became clear was that there was a connection between my love for chemistry and the sciences and public health. Big dreams and aspirations have been what has kept me engaged and always striving for my best.

    Thus far, I’ve contributed to the field of public health as an epidemiologist, community advocate, health educator, public health manager, mentor, and leader. I’ve been blessed to work with amazing people both in the United States and in over a dozen countries. I’ve carved a niche for myself as a health analyst with a focus on data and the science behind health. I’ve also been fortunate to learn from some of the best minds and leaders of the world. I am grateful to many of them my mentors. I’ve been guided and advised well, so I hope to equally advise and mentor well.

    Fast forward…as a Doctor of Public Health, my current focus is to integrate my data expertise with policy engagement. Working internationally has shown me that true public health is as much about community participation and engagement/advocacy as it is about utilizing available data and evidence-based models to create and improve policies that impact populations.

    Aligning my desires alongside and/or within institutions of higher learning is also a part of my pursuits in the next year.


    1. Certainly by 2034 I would have embarked on my career as a U.S. Ambassador able to share my wealth of knowlege with countless men and women while focusing on international agendas which include innovative models of education (pre-K to 20+), global/world health and special populations in need, community develoment, and social engineering/anthropological programs. Look for me!


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