PROMISE & SREB (@SREBDocSch). Join us in Tampa, Oct. 2016! #ThinkBigDiversity

Greetings PROMISE participants! You are invited to join us for our PROMISE trip to the 2016 Southern Regional Education Board’s Compact for Faculty Diversity/Institute for Teaching and Mentoring. Each year, as an AGEP family, we travel together to the SREB conference in either Atlanta, Virginia, or Tampa.  The October 2016 conference is in Tampa, Florida, and we’re inviting you to go. The website for “The Compact” is here:  We repeat what we said last year, “If you went to the 2016 PROMISE SSI on August 20, 2016, think of The Compact as SSI …  quadrupled!”

The 23rd Annual Compact for Faculty Diversity Institute on Teaching and Mentoring will be held at the Marriott Tampa Waterside Hotel & Marina, Tampa, Florida from Thursday – Sunday, October 27 – 30, 2016.


There are nearly 1000 early career faculty, postdocs, and graduate students from around the U.S. at the conference.  In order to go, you need to be nominated by the PROMISE AGEP. Read some of our former posts for the SREB conference from 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015  here.

YOU can go with us to Florida! This is all-expenses paid  trip that includes flight, select meals, and lodging. This invitation is for  graduate students who plan to actively pursue faculty careers. PROMISE must nominate you. You cannot nominate yourself. We will take as many people as we can, depending on funding. One year, we had so many great responses that we received additional funding and we took 30 people! Funding is limited this year, so please read through the information below.

Here are some facts about the conference: 


  • This is the last year of the grant from NSF that will provide funds to support AGEP/STEM scholar’s attendance to the Compact for Faculty Diversity Institute on Teaching and Mentoring.  Scholars nominated to attend the Institute must be individuals who have an expressed interest in teaching at the post-secondary level. All of the sessions at the Institute will focus on topics and issues related to teaching and mentoring at the postsecondary level. Consequently, scholars who are not interested in teaching at the postsecondary level would not benefit from attending this Institute.


  • Per SREB’s instructions: “Nominated scholars must be minority or underserved STEM majors enrolled in a Ph.D. program. SREB will not accept nominations from students.”


  • SREB will pay for the following:
    • Lodging in a double room (2 persons per room) for 3 nights @ $92.50 per night including tax – $277.50 per scholar.
    • All conference meals (Thursday evening to Sunday morning excluding dinner on Thursday and Saturday evening) -$240 per scholar
    • Registration fee (includes all conference materials) – $350 per scholar.
    • The total cost that we will pay for each scholar is $867.50
    • AGEP campuses are asked to pay for the flights. The total package to attend will be approximately $1100 per person.


  • Single rooms will not be available for scholars. Please do not to ask for single rooms. If you are chosen, you must select a roommate. You will be placed in double rooms. If you are chosen, you should indicate the name of the person that you would like to room with while at the Institute when you receive your registration code. If you do not select a roommate, we will assign them a roommate. If you are not willing to share a room, you will not be nominated.


  • Given the limitation of funds, SREB  will not be able to pay for graduates as they have done in the past. If scholar attended the Institute in 2015 or 2014 and wants to attend to participate in the Friday Awards Ceremony, they will have to pay the cost of attendance.


  • Faculty/Staff: The Institute will schedule some sessions that are specifically designed for faculty/staff. If faculty or staff would like to attend the Institute, place their names on the spreadsheet. They will be issued the appropriate ID so they can register online for the Institute. An invoice can be sent after the Institute. SREB will not pay for faculty or staff.


  • We will be nominating graduate students who participate in the PROMISE: AGEP-T. This means that you must be a graduate student at one of the institutions within the University System of Maryland. If you are interested, you must show evidence of participation in a PROMISE AGEP event prior to September 12, 2016 .


SREB Scholars who participated in The Compact’s graduation ceremony in VA in 2015. Photo credit: The Southern Regional Education Board. 



Write a comment to this post (below) with the following information (do not send  this information via email. If this information is received via email, without being posted below, your application will not count.) You may use last year’s page entries as a reference: PROMISE SREB PAGE 2015

Please follow this order:


b) INSTITUTION & DEPARTMENT: Please state your university & department (no abbreviations). You must be a graduate student in a STEM field from one of the universities listed here: Include the link for your department and your laboratory.

c) WEBSITE: Provide at least one link for your professional website. If you have more than one, you may provide up to three links, e.g., LinkedIn, department website. If you don’t have a professional website, please create one. We will not consider entries from those who have not developed a digital presence. Your digital presence should include your presentations, publications, and research interests. 

d) MILESTONE DATES: Planned year of graduation for your PhD.

e) ASPIRATIONS: One paragraph that describes the reason why you want to be a professor; include your research interests and how you will contribute to STEM research in your field. Please be specific and use the language of your discipline. Please discuss your specific research (think about the way that you would contribute an abstract for a journal, or the way that you would write a summary paragraph in dissertation that chronicles your STEM contribution.)

f) PROMISE PARTICIPATION: Which PROMISE events have you attended (e.g. SSI, Dissertation House, a PROMISE event on your campus), and what have you learned?

g) SREB HISTORY: If you’ve been “The Compact” in the past, what did you learn?

h) TWITTER: If you have a Twitter account, please write a 140 character tweet with the name of one of your STEM faculty aspirants or mentors. Please note that these mentors should be faculty within your specific STEM discipline who have assisted you in some way with STEM content knowledge or research such that you would consider becoming a member of the faculty. Please include @PROMISE_AGEP, @SREBDocSch, and the hashtag #ThinkBigDiversity. If you don’t have a Twitter account, we encourage you to create one to participate in professional social media conversations.  You will be contributing to our PROMISE  #ThinkBigDiversity feed.

i) Once you apply using this format, send an email to with the subject “SREB 2016 application, now online” so that we will have your email logged in our database for this event.


DEADLINE for completion of items “a” through “i” above:

Monday, September 12, 2016 9:00 AM EST


Here are some blasts from the past:

From SREB 2015:




From 2014:



From 2013:




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;

28 thoughts on “PROMISE & SREB (@SREBDocSch). Join us in Tampa, Oct. 2016! #ThinkBigDiversity

  1. a) NAME: Gloria A. Opoku-Boateng

    b) INSTITUTION & DEPARTMENT: University of Maryland Baltimore County, Department of Information Systems (IS PhD Program)

    c) WEBSITE:

    d) MILESTONE DATES: Spring/summer 2017

    e) ASPIRATIONS: I always wanted to be a professor but once I started graduate school, I quickly realized that it took more to be one. The hopes of being a professor started to settle in the back burner of my aspirations until recently when I found the PROMISE family. As I start to think through finishing my dissertation and finding my career path at the intersection of my passion and research interests, I have started to strongly and consciously consider being a professor and/or research scientist. With my specific interests in chronic conditions and the use of technology to manage health care, my dissertation looks at the problem of age-related cognitive decline and the use of serious games to maintain and enhance mental acuity. I am experimenting such serious games on paper and electronic platforms to see which enhances cognitive performance in older adults.

    –> SSI 2016, I learned that I am not in this alone.
    –> Dissertation House Fall 2016, I learned to set actionable goals for dissertation writing and be mindful of graduate school goals when settle timelines.

    g) SREB HISTORY: I have never been to “The Compact” in the past.

    h) TWITTER: My Twitter handle is @glowhyiaOB

    i) Email sent!


  2. a) Kristin Noell

    b) University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Department of Natural Science, Toxicology Program


    d) MILESTONE DATES: December 2017

    e) ASPIRATIONS: My aspirations of wanting to becoming an educator, stem from my desire to wanting to see more educators that were more like me. I feel that minorities especially African American women in STEM are very underrepresented. So with that in tow, I want to be mentor to african american students in STEM as well as other minorities, and share my experiences with students. I feel that I have a variety of experiences that multiple students from different social, economic, and racial backgrounds could relate to and gain some valuable insight as well as motivation. I also feel that being an educator you have the ability to impart the change that you would like to see in your particular area.

    f) PROMISE PARTICIPATION: 2014- 2016 DH, 2015- 2016 Sisters in DH, 2014, and 2015 Fall Harvest Dinner, 2015, and 2016 PROMISE Research Symposium & Professional Development Workshop at College Park. 2015 When Faculty says X. 2014- 2016 Summer Success Institute. I have learned various things from each of the events, I attended but the one thing that stands out the most is the sense of community and the motivation that you get from others that are either in the pipeline or who have gotten their PhD.

    g)I have only attended one SREB conference, which was in 2015. I attended the grant writing workshop that was held by NIH, and it gave me so much information especially when it comes to preparing the grant and what they are actually looking for. I also benefited from the Resume Workshop.

    h) tweet sent, it has 2 parts.
    i) email to promise staff sent


  3. a. Shawnisha Hester

    b. University of Maryland Baltimore County – Language, Literacy & Culture –


    d. May 2020

    e. Becoming a professor was not necessarily on my radar, that was not until recently. Recently, I attended a PROMISE event that discussed the freedom that university professors have. I was immediately sold. My aspiration is to become a university professor and share knowledge gained from my vast background. Specifically, I want to train the next generation of STEM scholars the use and importance of taking an interdisciplinary approach to research and gaining knowledge. I want to be a resource and advocate. My research interest spread across many disciplines and uses a mixed-methods approach. I am interested in story-telling and replicating programs like PROMISE across the country. Specifically, I want to integrate various social science methodologies across several disciplines. I want to examine how STEM students view themselves and others and the role that perception plays in how they define and characterize themselves and their work. Having a social science and professional background will be an asset to the STEM field because it will offer another lens to view various problems and procedures. In addition, it will offer creative ways to address more nuanced problems.

    f. I have attended all of the PROMISE events across the years, going back as far as 2005.

    g. I have not experienced “The Compact.”

    h. see Twitter

    i. done


  4. a) Name: Erica Dasi

    b) Institution, Department: University of Maryland Baltimore County, Department of Biological Sciences.

    Departmental link:

    Laboratory link:

    c) LinkedIn:

    Professional website:

    d) MILESTONE DATES: Spring 2017 (Masters)

    e) Aspirations:

    My desire for becoming a professor stems from my experience of having faculty mentors throughout my undergraduate career. My mentors provided me with sometimes knowledge in my field, but more importantly guidance, support, and encouragement. I would not be in graduate school today if it weren’t for them believing in my success. I aspire to become a professor to not only share knowledge that I have acquired, but to also assist students with reaching their maximum potential regardless of their age, gender, race, or social status. I also hope to use this role as a platform to engage minorities in STEM (Science, Technology Engineering, and Mathematics) and inspire others towards becoming mentors and instructors.

    My research interests surround providing clean water to communities worldwide, reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and enhancing renewable energies. My interests also extend to exploring the biological and chemical nature of emerging contaminants (such as arsenic, fluoride, nitrate, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products) of concern in drinking water sources and developing strategies of treatment. I plan to contribute to STEM research in my field by advancing our knowledge on the impacts of emerging contaminants on the environment and developing novel, sustainable, and affordable strategies of treatment.

    f) PROMISE Participation:

    Funding Your Graduate Education with the NSF GRFP Fellowship: Provided tips for applying for the NSF GRFP, which I have been able to use while applying for other fellowship and internship applications.

    Summer Success Institute: Taught me the importance of being proactive while networking, asking for help when it’s needed, and being apart of a community while in graduate school.

    g) SREB HISTORY: Yes, I have been to “The Compact” in the past. I learned about the importance of starting early when it comes to looking for faculty positions. It’s never too early to begin creating/refining CV’s, professional websites, and participating in professional development activities.


  5. A) Patrick Carrington
    B) Information Systems Department at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)
    Department Website:
    Lab Website:

    C) Personal Website:

    D) Graduation Year: 2017

    E) Aspirations
    My drive to become a professor is fueled by my research interests, the past experiences that I have had with my professors and other researchers in my field. My research involves developing technologies, strategies, and techniques that make it easier for people with diverse physical and mental abilities to achieve their goals and improve their own lives. Independence and empowerment are central themes of my research, which aims to use technology to better support people who use wheelchairs. I believe that these same goals apply to teaching students, especially in STEM. Through research and teaching, I would be able to mentor students and give them the tools to carry those lessons into their own lives, thus empowering them to be independent as well.

    F) Promise Participation
    I have participated in several PROMISE events over the years. This includes funding seminars, the Summer Success Institute, graduate student development events, etc. I have attended the dissertation house twice and both have been great experiences for me that have helped me progress toward graduation. From each of these events I have learned strategies for dealing with the stresses of graduate school, being successful inside and outside of my career, and very importantly that the difficulties that I am facing are not isolated. There are other students who are likely to be facing the same issues and challenges.

    G) SREB History
    I attended SREB in 2013. It was a great experience. I learned about different types of academic career opportunities. It was very motivating to see the large number of people who had graduated and were graduating. From the career fair I learned about a lot of different opportunities for people who are graduating with PhDs who want to pursue academic careers.

    H) Tweet
    My twitter handle is @justpac


  6. Adegboyega Akinsiku (Ade)

    University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Human-Centered Computing

    Dec 2018

    I have a strong passion to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to collegiate students and the pipeline (k-12), not only within academia, but within entrepreneurship. I intend to become a research professor and take an international leadership role in HCI communities, education policy, and innovation within emerging markets. I am interested in the research and the development of culturally appropriate technologies to solve quality of life issues.

    SSI, SREB, MIT Media Lab Visit

    Yes, The Compact has played a crucial part in helping me navigate my graduate career. I have had the opportunity to build lasting relationships with other PhD students around the US, and gained a wealth of knowledge from workshops and events.


  7. a) Hector Medina

    b) University of Maryland Baltimore County, Department of Mechanical Engineering


    d) MILESTONE DATES: December 2017

    e) ASPIRATIONS: I have had the pleasure to be a Teacher’s Assistant (TA) for several Mechanical Engineering undergraduate courses, and I have learned about myself that I enjoy sharing experiences in my field, as well as the path I have taken to be where I am today (navigating through graduate school). I have learned about opportunities beyond school and gained exposure to other areas I didn’t know I was intrigued by. I have also learned that becoming a professor offers the flexibility to conduct research on anything you find interesting; at the same time you invite students to discover interests they might’ve never considered before (thanks to research in undergraduate I decided to pursue a graduate degree). I am currently conducting research in the biomedical field, more specifically geared towards imaging using x-rays. I have always enjoyed helping others, and would love to continue to do so by researching biomedical solutions to improve the quality of life of individuals in need. I believe in leading by example, and that showing someone what can be done is much more impactful than talking about plans and how something should be done.

    f) PROMISE PARTICIPATION: I have participated in every event (or version of it) that PROMISE has offered on an annual basis (similar seminars every year that cycle through the academic calendar, but not in all in the same year). I have been in PROMISE since I arrived at UMBC and became a Bridge to the Doctorate fellow in August of 2010. Events: Fall Harvest Dinner, Dissertation House, Cookout, Summer Success Institute, Math seminars, Public Speaking seminars, Networking events, Professional Development workshops, PROMISE Research Symposium, MIT Media Lab visit, etc. I have learned that I want to do more with my education!

    g) SREB HISTORY: I have never participated in the SREB conference before.

    h) No Twitter account. Facebook post: Thank you Dr. Thomas J. Beck (at Beck Radiological Innovations) for showing me a new research area I am passionate about! PROMISE: Maryland’s AGEP @SREBDocSch #ThinkBigDiversity

    i) Email to sent.


  8. a) Onimi Jademi

    b) INSTITUTION & DEPARTMENT: University of Maryland Baltimore County. Information Systems

    c) WEBSITE:
    Lab Affiliation:

    d) MILESTONE DATES:May/Dec 2018

    My interest for research in Health IT was founded when I lost 2 people dear to me within the space of a few months owing to situations that (in my opinion) could have been avoided if hospitals were more equipped with the needed technologies. I would particularly love to continue to research into healthcare systems and how IT can be used to improve the quality of service, especially in low-income countries in Africa. I aspire to set up a research lab as a professor and work constantly with great minds to come up with low-cost solutions for healthcare issues in Africa. I aspire for my lab to not just be an institutional establishment, but to have affiliations with organizations that can implement our solutions on a large scale to bring our ideas on paper to life.
    I am also passionate about improving participation of the girl child (especially the African girl child) in STEM. I would love my research to serve as motivation for girls to show them an example of what they can do and who’s already doing it big!

    SSI 2014 – Helped me decided on a PhD career. I also gained contact with wonderful mentors that still help me till this day (Dr. Alexis Williams rocks btw!)
    MIT Media Lab visit – Taught me to broaden my horizon, think creatively, spread my wings. There’s more to IT!
    SREB 2014 – See below…

    g) SREB HISTORY: SREB 2014.
    Learned about my PhD swag and how to upgrade it (putting together a better CV, developing a better digital presence). The experience also helped me recognize that so many others have walked in my shoes and succeeded and I can do it too!

    h) TWITTER: Don’t have twitter

    i) Email sent!


  9. a) Ana Isabel Maldonado

    b) University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Human Services Psychology (Clinical & Community Psychology) PhD

    c) WEBSITE:

    d) MILESTONE DATES: August 2022

    I want to become a professor because I want to teach and mentor others, guiding them through higher education and beyond. I also want to pass down my excitement for research and encourage others to pursue it. Moreover, I am a true proponent of the idea that diverse experiences contribute to the advancement of knowledge. Diversity means different perspectives and different perspectives means a variety of creative solutions for the same problem. As a true proponent of this, not only do I strive to use my diversity as a tool to advance understanding in my field, but I also strive to be a positive role model and inspire my underrespresented students to pursue research.

    My current research interests entail the secondary prevention of intimate partner violence among perpetrators. I am interested in determining factors that increase the motivation to change for perpetrators of intimate partner violence and thereby reduce their likelihood of recidivism. I am particularly interested in the intersection between alcoholism and perpetration of intimate partner violence and alcohol’s role in perpetration. Given that there is much to be understood about factors that influence change, my research will fill in gaps in the literature.

    1) SSI
    learned about the importance of creating relationships and finding mentors inside and outside of my field
    learned about time management
    inspired to start off strong!

    2) PROMISE TA Orientaion
    learned about numerous opportunities to build my teaching portfolio
    learned about teaching opportunities(i.e. Prof-it,HU, MOOCS)
    learned about opportunities to develop skills (CIRTL workshops, SkillSoft)

    3) Work Life Balance Workshop
    learned advice about graduate school and how to handle problems professional (i.e. clear communication)
    learned I have to determine my priorities in order to find the balance between work and life that will make me the happiest

    4) Funding Your Graduate Education
    always apply because I have nothing to lose
    the application process itself is a skill I NEED to learn and master
    learned about numerous funding opportunities and how the varied based on when I could apply
    Have many mentors review my work and create many drafts
    Learned what should be included in an award winning essay


    h) TWITTER: N/A.
    I currently do not have a twitter account. However, I will create one when I get the opportunity to do so, so that I may participate in professional dialogue and contribute to the PROMISE feed.
    Alternatively, I will post on Facebook!

    i) email sent


  10. a) Kristen Lycett

    b) University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Department of Natural Sciences (Marine Estuarine Environmental Science Program)

    c) LinkedIn:

    d) I plan to graduate in Spring 2017.

    e) Marine science has always been my passion and I knew I wanted to do research in this field from an early age. It wasn’t until I graduated with my Bachelors degree and was unable to find a job in my field, that I found a passion for teaching. I spent two years working in outdoor education and fell in love with the hands on curriculum we taught. I want to bring this level of experiential education to the college classroom by better incorporating hands on labs with classroom lecture material. I also want to bring younger students to college classrooms so that they can learn to feel comfortable and know that college is something that is possible for them. In particular, I want to help indigenous students pursue higher education in this way.

    In terms of research, my interests lie in the field of Marine Ecology and Biodiversity. I want to understand and explore how organisms are connected, including humans. Species conservation is an important aspect of this and something I feel that is the responsibility of humankind. It will be up to my generation to undo the environmental loss and harm that has already been done, but a lot of research is required to make sure restoration and conservation are done correctly. I am currently writing a proposal for the NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship to work with white abalone, the first invertebrate species listed as endangered in the US. The wild population of this species is so low as to prevent or limit natural reproduction so hatchery input is required for recovery to be possible. In order to successfully produce hatchery stock, a scientific understanding of sexual maturation and spawning is required and I am hoping to look at gene expression in mature and immature abalone to see if gonad maturity can be induced for more successful spawning.

    f) I have been involved with PROMISE since 2014, having attended the Research Symposiums at College Park in February 2014, 2015, and 2016. I have also attended several webinars remotely as well as ‘When Faculty say X’ lead by Dr. Renetta Tull at UMES. I attended the 2014 Fall Harvest Dinner, but was unable to attend the dinner in 2015 as I was at the American Indian Science and Engineering Society National Meeting. I have attended the Dissertation House and Summer Success Institute in both 2015 and 2016. Through PROMISE, I have received a wealth of encouragement and information to help me succeed in higher education. From dissertation writing workshops, to networking with other minority students and faculty, PROMISE has helped me feel that pursuing a career in Academia is actually possible.

    g) I was a fortunate enough to be selected to attend the SREB Institute on Teaching and Mentoring in both 2014 and 2015. I can vividly remember my first Institute where I didn’t really know anyone and I felt so out of place until the graduation ceremony. It was such a powerful event and I felt such joy and pride for all of those graduates. I didn’t know any of them, but it didn’t matter anymore because they had gone through the same things as me. As I clapped and cheered for each one, I no longer felt like an outsider. I think this was the moment that has enabled me to be far more comfortable networking with new people at the conferences I attend, instead of hanging back. On top of this, I have always enjoyed seeing so many institutions present at the career fair who are actively working to hire people like me. I have also enjoyed the one on one CV writing sessions (because everyone is different, a seminar is helpful but cannot provide you with all the answers).

    h) “My AISES Lighting the Pathways mentor, Dr. Wilga is helping me succeed in academia. @PROMISE_AGEP @SREBDocSch #ThinkBigDiversity”

    i) My e-mail has been sent.


  11. Part A: Name
    Name: William Easley

    Part B: Institution
    Institution: University of Maryland, Baltimore County
    Department: Information Systems
    Department Website:
    Lab Website:

    Part C: Online Presence
    Personal Website:

    Part D: Graduation Year
    Graduation year: 2019 (Anticipated)

    Part E: Aspirations
    I am interested in joining the professoriate because I realize that I would not be where I am today without support of the faculty that I have developed relationships with over the years. I realize that faculty have a difficult job that requires them to educate, mentor, and motivate students while also dealing with many other things (funding, politics, service, etc.). Over the past several years, I have found that I have both a passion not only research, but also teaching and mentoring. Through mentoring and teaching, I want to motivate others to reach their full potential and change the world for the better. My research interests relate to accessibility and education. In my research, I have worked with a variety of population (including individuals with visual impairments, individuals with cognitive impairments, and underrepresented minorities) to find answers to questions that have real world implications. I believe that academia is perfect for me because it allows me to do important work that impacts the “real world” in more than one way.

    Part F: PROMISE Participation 
    I have had the opportunity to attend many PROMISE events over the last three years including opening meetings, end of year picnics, summer success institutes, research symposiums and a number of workshops (including applying for the NSF GRFP), and seminars (dealing with stress, managing finances, IRB training, etc.). I have learned a lot from attending all of these events and would say that they helped successfully transition from my undergraduate career into a master’s program and then again into a Ph.D. program. Among the most impactful things that I have learned about is how important it is to develop a professional image, how to make yourself a strong applicant for funding opportunities, and many skills such as presenting can be sharpened through practice. It goes without saying that these events have also given me the opportunity to interact with a great community of people who also act as a support network.

    Part G: SREB History
    SREB History: If you’ve been “The Compact” in the past, what did you learn?

    I have been to “The Compact” once before in 2013. While I attended a number of sessions for early careers students, SREB was incredibly helpful in that I was able to speak to representatives from a number of postsecondary institutions about what they look for in a strong candidate. I have been able to take what I learned in an effort to shape myself into someone who can be competitive in the tenure-track job market. Attending SREB so early in my graduate career helped me find direction. If given the opportunity to return, I believe that attending sessions and talking to recruiters will help me to gauge how far I have come and what I can do to improve my chances in the future. Know what I need to do to achieve a difficult goal makes it seem so much more feasible.

    Part H: Tweet
    my tweet: Thank you @amyhurst for pushing me to turn “I think” into “I will” and not to limit myself @PROMISE_AGEP, @SREBDocSch #ThinkBigDiversity

    Part I: Email
    Once you apply using this format, send an email to with the subject “SREB 2016 application, now online” so that we will have your email logged in our database for this event.


  12. a) Zalalm Abate
    b) University of Maryland, College Park
    c) MILESTONE DATES: December 2017
    I have worked as a teaching and research assistant in higher institutions. I enjoy working with a broad range of people and academic interests in STEM research domains. I have always enjoyed helping others, and would love to continue to do so by researching biomedical solutions to improve the quality of life of individuals in need. I believe in leading by example, and that showing someone what can be done is much more impactful than talking about plans and how something should be done. I am quite interested in using a global lens to understand experiences of individuals from marginalized groups, and see myself becoming an academician who pursues international scholarship in order to understand how nuances of context can influence interpretation and internalization of discriminatory experiences.

    I have attended the PROMISE Research Symposium and Professional Development Conference, where I had the opportunity to give an oral presentation of my doctoral research. Through the research symposium, I was provided with constructive criticism that has enabled me to strengthen my presentation skills for not only the scientific community but also for a more general audience.
    g) SREB HISTORY: I have never participated in the SREB conference before.
    i) Email sent!


  13. a) Courtney Grimes
    b) University of Maryland, College Park, Department of Chemistry (also with Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Department) PhD
    c) LinkedIn:
    d) MILESTONE DATES: I plan to graduate in the Spring of 2018

    e) ASPIRATIONS: Growing up, I was taught the importance of receiving an education. Science has always been a passion of mine and my dream would be to pass along that passion to others through education. As a young black woman interested in the STEM fields, I would love to encourage more women and people of color that becoming a scientist or engineer is a wonderful and exciting career path to pursue. I had the opportunity to be a Teacher’s assistant (TA) for Chem 272: Bioanalytical Chemistry Lab at the University of Maryland, College Park, and I truly enjoyed interacting with students. Although the class sizes were fairly large, I wanted to get to know my students on a personal level. I wanted to show them that I truly believed their education and success mattered to me. I am currently a PhD candidate in my fourth year studying atmospheric chemistry. Specifically, I am studying the measurement techniques associated with detecting black carbon in the atmosphere. Black carbon is believed to be the second leading cause of global warming after carbon dioxide. My topic of research is of great importance and I hope to educate others about the importance of studying atmospheric chemistry.
    f) PROMISE PARTICIPATION: I have been to the SSI event in 2016. I learned that I am not the only one going down this journey, and ask if I need help. I also learned that it is so important to have a mentor for guidance. I went to a talk about the importance of technology and how it could be useful to you.
    g) I have not been to the compact.
    h) I do not have a twitter account
    i) Email sent


  14. a) NAME: Ellesse-Roslee Akre

    b) INSTITUTION & DEPARTMENT: University of Maryland School of Public Health: Health Services Administration.

    c) WEBSITE:é-mawh-6672a136

    d) MILESTONE DATES: May 2020

    e) ASPIRATIONS: As the world changes so should education. Public Health is a field that is growing rapidly; it is in need of researchers and educators that are on the cutting edge of technology and innovation. As a post-secondary educator, I will conduct research that is ahead of the curve in the public health field. In the past Public Health focused primarily on the spread of disease and public safety. I will approach research from a societal, political and entrepreneurial perspective. My research interests include the impact of the Affordable Care Act on affordability and access to health care. I am interested in the economic analysis of health insurance policy and the political and economic impact of its implementation. Through a combination of cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analyses I will create ethical standards for monetizing health utilizing economic modeling.
    My current research project aims to provide a comprehensive assessment of patient activation and empowerment strategies (PAES) for diverse patient populations, more specifically, racial and ethnic minorities. The study is three tiered. Its objectives are to: 1) Assess how patient activation and empowerment differ by patients’ characteristics, physician-patient relationship and community characteristics; 2) identify effective PAES for patients with varying characteristics, including demographic and social economic status, health conditions, and cultural backgrounds; and 3) uncover the barriers to patients’ activation and empowerment via focus group interviews with patient groups, physicians, and local health department representatives participants.

    Annual Networking Reception for Diverse Graduate Students
    PhD Career Skills: How to Successfully Manage Your Professional and Career Development
    As a first year doctoral student, I was unfamiliar with the resources available to me. Doctoral students are imbued with the false perception that, at this level of education, you are completely on your own. The PROMISE events taught me that there is a community that supports my doctoral endeavors. Additionally, they helped convert my idealistic notions of what my doctoral journey would be into an actionable plan -with milestones- that will assist me in making my doctoral journey all that I can be.


    h) TWITTER: Im @DisneyZootopia Judy Hopps made for Qual but want to do Quant Dr. Jie Chen is helping me be a Predator! @PROMISE_AGEP, @SREBDocSch
    Reply: @DisneyZootopia @PROMISE_AGEP @SREBDocSch #ThinkBigDiversity.

    i) email: sent


  15. a) NAME: Joey Brown

    b) INSTITUTION & DEPARTMENT: University of Maryland – College Park (Sociology)

    c) WEBSITE:


    d) MILESTONE DATES: Spring 2018

    e) ASPIRATIONS: I want to become a faculty member to advance research on racial & ethnic inequality and to work with talented students. I will contribute to work in STEM via my sociology dissertation on racial & debt from a life course perspective. My dissertation is an exploration of the intersection of race and debt across the life course. It draws upon life course theory, critical race theory, and sociological work on parental resources relate to child outcomes. In paper 1, I extend recent work on debt comparisons across cohorts among young adults by examining debt and debt burden differences between blacks and whites across historical cohorts. In paper 2, I focus on how debt relates to intergenerational financial transfers between parents and children. In paper 3 of the dissertation, I will explore links between family debt and child/adolescent mental health.

    2016 PROMISE Graduate Students of Color Networking Recpetion – I learned about new resources on campus that can help facilitate graduation, learned more about the importance of networking, and also met some new graduate students of color who have similar research interests.

    g) SREB HISTORY: I attended “The Compact” in 2014. It was a great experience. I learned about using technology in the classroom. The session focused on new modes of technology that could be implemented in the classroom. I also attended a very useful session that taught me the importance of being able to succinctly state my research interests within 2 minutes. Lastly, I picked up tips for writing my dissertation proposal and attended a fun session called “Dissertation Swagger” that provided information on steps to facilitate success and networking during the PhD.

    h) TWITTER: My Twitter handle is @JBFutureSocPhD

    i) Email sent!


  16. a.) K. Lynn Trice

    b) Howard University/ Political Science

    c) WEBSITE: Provide at least one link for your professional website. If you have more than one, you may provide up to three links, e.g., LinkedIn, department website. If you don’t have a professional website, please create one. We will not consider entries from those who have not developed a digital presence. Your digital presence should include your presentations, publications, and research interests.

    d) MILESTONE DATES: 2017

    e) ASPIRATIONS: I want to be a College Professor in Political Science because it is the last place where young adults can learn about participating in the political process and to apply politics to their personal life.

    f) PROMISE PARTICIPATION: I attend the Dissertation House where I get encouragement and empowerment from other scholars

    g) SREB HISTORY: I attended SREB last year and it was one of the best conferences I have ever attended. They assisted me in getting my Military Resume transformed to a Scholar CV.

    h) TWITTER: MsNotMrsTrice
    i) Email Sent


  17. A) NAME: Tuesday Barnes

    B) INSTITUTION & DEPARTMENT: University of Maryland – College Park (Sociology)


    D) MILESTONE DATES: Spring 2019


    During the 2016 PROMISE Summer Success Institute, I had a brief but profound conversation with a scholar who captured the complete essence of my research in one sentence: “We romanticize resilience, but not the cost of it.” These words, from Ms. Tanesha Leathers, hit my body with chilling familiarity and awe. My master’s thesis entitled, “The Cost of a Token: An Examination of African American Girls in a Private High School” explores the social-psychological costs associated with being a racialized token in a private predominately white, all girls high school. Following my research, I partnered with KIPP charter school in Baltimore, MD to create Standing Tall and EmPowered (S.T.E.P) which is a monthly discussion group for African American high school students to dialogue together about topics both inside and outside of their respective schools. Many students described oscillating between their white schools and black neighborhoods with a DuBoisian double consciousness that left many drained. As a first generation college student that attended an all girl’s private school, I have witnessed the conversations around black resiliency and the desire to equip black students with the tools to navigate the professional world. I know, however, that building this resilience is emotionally, mentally, physically, and even spiritually taxing. For many students of color in STEM fields these experiences have become interwoven in the tapestry that is our professional life, but I am here to challenge us to reimagine a world where the aforementioned is not true. Can we reimagine our world in more livable terms? My research has domestic and international implications for the ways that students of color have been taught to navigate the professional sphere and how this impacts our quality of life. My goal in life is to build on the knowledge of other scholars to create a just and livable world. I believe that being a professor at a research university will enable me to do this work and more for all.

    2016 PROMISE Summer Success Institute: I learned several strategies for success while attending my first SSI this summer. During the Dissertation House, Dr. Wendy Carter-Veale provided key insight into maximizing the professional benefits of your relationship with your adviser by arriving on time to all meetings with a structured agenda, taking notes, and providing guidelines for reading your work. Later, Jocelyn Broadwick presented on “Writing with Power and Purpose” and highlighted the importance of active vs passive voice, choosing strong verbs instead of nominalizations as well as removing unnecessary prepositional phrases.

    The Sister’s in the Dissertation House hosted an evening session with Dr. Patricia Ordonez and Dr. Alexis Williams where I learned the importance of sisterhood as a tool for collective healing in getting through graduate school. The following day, I attended a breakout session with Dr. Clifton Griffin about professionalism in the digital age. One of the most profound things Dr. Griffin said that truly resonated with me was, “whatever you feel is your greatest strength feed it and your liabilities, just work on them.” The entire conference was filled with incredible people that had great wisdom to share, Dr. Daniel Jean said to eliminate self-doubt and that “people should be able to see the mastery of your topic.” Additionally, Dr. Jean told us to remember the 3P’s: Publish, Present, and connect to a Professional organization.

    2016 & 2014 Graduate Students of Color Networking Reception: I networked with several scholars around campus in various departments ranging from the biological sciences to the humanities. Dean Franke spoke on the importance of cultivating spaces for students to connect with one another and build partnerships across discipline. Christopher Perez highlighted all the great people, such as Dr. Renetta Tull, that work behind the scenes to ensure that we all complete our respective programs.

    G) SREB HISTORY: Although I have never attended SREB, the testimonies from other scholars makes me excited to learn and expand myself with this experience.

    H) TWITTER: Twitted Dr. Kris Marsah and Dr. Rashawn Ray. My Twitter handle is @TuesdayBarnes

    I) Email sent


  18. Please follow this order:

    a) YOUR NAME: Marisa Franco

    b) INSTITUTION & DEPARTMENT: University of Maryland College Park, Psychology

    c) WEBSITE:

    d) MILESTONE DATES: August 2017

    e) ASPIRATIONS: My research specifically explores experiences of racial identity invalidation (e.g., the denial of an individual’s racial identity) and its effects. I have studied factors that contribute to invalidation, constructed a measure of identity invalidation, and examined its relationship to cardiovascular and psychological health. I also have examined invalidation internationally through conducting interviews with mixed race Trinidadians. I have disseminated my work through 7 publications (5 as first author). To date, I have received multiple grants to conduct my research, including The International Research Grant for Graduate Students, along with the Michael Sullivan Diversity Research Award, and The Association of Black Psychologists Graduate Student Research Award. My immediate future goal is to seek the professoriate and pursue an R03 or R21 award. In line with the strategic plan of The National Institute of Minority Health and Health disparities, my research will examine mechanisms that explain mental health disparities for Multiracial individuals –disaggregating disparities amongst Multiracial and Monoracial individuals. Through a professorship, I also aspire to develop curriculum that recognizes experiences of individuals from diverse backgrounds, and engage in mentoring relationships that promote the progress of ethnic minority students.

    f) PROMISE PARTICIPATION: Which PROMISE events have you attended (e.g. SSI, Dissertation House, a PROMISE event on your campus), and what have you learned?

    This year, I attended the SSI where I learned to effectively network, to communicate my research, and to critically engage with other’s research across fields. During the institute, I met a point person at NIH who I am currently in contact with as he assists me with my application for grant funding. I believe that making this connections will be pivotal for me in pursuing my future career goals in becoming a professor who develops an extramurally funded research program.

    I have also attended Fall Harvest Dinner and the Graduate Students of Color Networking event. Each of these events helped me to build connections with diverse graduate students across fields. These events have helped me recognize the importance of connecting with others who share your experience while pursuing academic goals. PROMISES focus on building connections for students of color helped inspire me to create my own social group to build bridges across graduate students of color in the DMV area: Graduate Students of Color in the DMV.

    Last, I attended the PROMISE research symposium for two years in a row, one in which I presented my research, and one in which I attended pertinent academic presentations. Presenting my research to a broader audience allowed me to think about how to disseminate my research effectively to those outside my field. This experience culminated in me receiving an award for my research presentation. Furthermore, I attended a useful talk on negotiating jobs in the academic market. As a graduate student, women of color, it is helpful for me to see myself as a valuable contributor to the academic market who can make negotiations for benefits that corroborate my value. I will be referring back to this talk as I go on interviews for the academic job market this year.

    g) SREB HISTORY: If you’ve been “The Compact” in the past, what did you learn?

    I am a five year attendee of the SREB conference, and the conference is the most productive and academically fulfilling conference that I have ever been to. I have made powerful connections through this conference, including a research contact who helped me devise a research proposal to conduct international research in Trinidad and Tobago, and another colleague who has connected me with potential job opportunities. This year, it is critical for me to attend the conference as I will be on the academic job market and plan on introducing myself to the network of recruiters who attend the conference. I will come prepared with my resume and business cards and fully utilize the conference to expand my career opportunities.

    h) TWITTER: Done

    i) Email sent!


  19. a) Angel Love Miles

    b) INSTITUTION & DEPARTMENT: University of Maryland College Park, Women’s Studies

    c) WEBSITE:

    d) MILESTONE DATES: Dissertation Successfully Defended on September 7, 2016. Graduating December 2016.

    e) ASPIRATIONS: One of the reasons why I have managed to beat the odds that statistics about women and minorities with disabilities suggest is because I have had wonderful teachers and mentors who have invested in me. My earnest desire is to return on their investment by becoming a high caliber researcher and professor, and by contributing to developing research that enhances our knowledge about underserved populations like African American women with disabilities. This Fall I will begin the Postdoctoral Fellowship in Translational and Community-Engaged Scholarship to Improve Community Living and Participation of People with Disabilities at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). This postdoctoral position is housed in the UIC Department of Disability and Human Development and the Department of Occupational Therapy. As a postdoctoral fellow I will expand on my dissertation research on the barriers and facilitators to homeownernership for African American women with disabilities, and prepare my work for publications so that I can build a strong academic profile that makes me a competitive contender for a future faculty position in Women’s Studies, Disability Studies, and the social sciences.

    f) PROMISE PARTICIPATION: I have been an active Promise participant since the program began at the University of Maryland College Park. It helped me to, better understand, and eventually meet the academic expectations professors have of students in graduate school. Adjusting to graduate school was initially a difficult transition for me because I started graduate school straight from undergrad. Promise provided a support system of like minded students and faculty of color with records of success I could learn from and emulate. I attended the Summer Success Institute as well as the Dissertation House, many times. I would not have completed my dissertation without the skills and support system created through Promise. My successful completion of the dissertation is a direct outcome of the resources, supports and skills I developed as an active participant in the Promise Program.


  20. Congratulations to the 9 students who were chosen for this year’s SREB conference. Kudos to all who applied!

      Here is your agenda:

    Click to access 2016%20Institute%20Agenda%20FINAL.pdf

    You must go to your program orientation:

    1) Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016
    5:30 PM.
    Meeting Room 8

    Orientation for Alliances for Graduate Education and the
    Professoriate (AGEP) and Program Representatives
    Presiding and Presenter: Robert L. Belle Jr., Associate Director, SREB-State
    Scholars Program and AGEP, Southern Regional Education Board, Atlanta, GA

    2) Friday, Oct. 28, 2016
    7:00 AM
    Grand Salon I

    Breakfast Meeting for Alliances for Graduate Education and the
    Professoriate (AGEP) Program Representatives and Guests (Required)
    Presiding and Presenter: Robert L. Belle Jr., Associate Director, SREB-State
    Scholars Program and AGEP, Southern Regional Education Board, Atlanta, GA

    3) Bring your CVs to the faculty job fair. Some schools, like UMBC, will have on-site meetings with search committee chairs.

    Please be ready to congratulate the people who have graduated on Friday night. Celebrate all of the successes.

    Be ready for the photo session on Saturday afternoon.

    I am getting an award on Friday night, and won’t be able to get to Florida until Saturday. My session for faculty will be on Saturday at 1:30 PM. I will see you at the photo session at 3.


  21. Monday, October 31, 2016.
    We’re back from a fruitful trip!

    Please answer the question (as a reply to this comment):

    What was the most important thing that you learned from SREB that will propel you to apply for a faculty position?


    1. As a sixth year PhD student, I was focused on creating relationships with academic faculty recruiters at the SREB conference. By the time of the conference, I had already applied to multiple positions and some of the schools I applied to were represented amongst recruiters. I was able to make personal connections with recruiters from the schools in which I was applying and gain a better understanding of benefits of working at those schools, making me more enthusiastic about faculty positions. After meeting me, a number of recruiters were willing to share their positive impressions of me amongst the departments in which I applied. I also met another student who had worked under faculty in a department of which I was interviewing. She sent a positive recommendation of me to her mentor. Ultimately, the relationships I built at SREB will help increase my chances of being considered as a viable candidate for faculty positions, and broaden my options in my academic search. Those who attend the conference are truly invested in recognizing the strengths that minority students bring to academia and in seeing us succeed.


    2. The most important thing that I learned from SREB is how to market myself to potential employers. This is my second time attending compact, therefore I focused more on attending sessions that would help me now as a candidate, and after I have completed the PhD. I attended workshops such as ” how to negotiate your first faculty position”, “CV workshop” and ” Getting published, advice for scholars” just to name a few. I was able to take back so much from these workshops and made connections with people who could serve as potential mentors through the process. In addition to that, I was able to establish key contacts for potential fellowships, postdocs, and faculty positions.


    3. The most important thing that I learned from SREB is that opportunities can come from where you least expect them. As a candidate this year attending the compact, I was focused on interacting with recruiters and networking with faculty from different institutions. I attended a CV review which provided me with useful feedback to strengthen my overall faculty application package. Overall, the positive atmosphere is something that unfortunately is not always present when discussing the academic job search or approaching different faculty for advice about finding faculty jobs.

      I was also impressed to learn about the phenomenon surrounding “black twitter” and “fictive kin”, important social issues that are not necessarily discussed in the majority of conversations about my potential role as faculty. It is both encouraging and appreciated that these issues are prevalent and get attention at the conference plenary level. Beyond just being an entertaining talk, there was a discussion of very real issues that might often be overlooked especially in non-socially focused fields.

      These very practical and socially relevant issues propel me toward applying for a faculty position.


  22. The most important thing that I learned from SREB that has propelled me towards a faculty position is that there are ways to develop my “Brand” as a student that can make me more marketable when searching for a faculty position. My branding can make me more marketable and help increase my chances of finding a good faculty position.


  23. This year I was focused on actively trying to wrap my head around navigating the job market. I’m a 5th year doctoral candidate completing my dissertation proposal. I feel as if I have adequate preparation and support to write the dissertation (in part becuase of sessions I’ve previously attended the last time I was at SREB), but what comes next was the scary question for me. So, this prompted me to attend sessions geared toward finding faculty positions and considering my options after graduation. There are 2 experiences that propelled me to want to apply for a faculty position. The first was my attendance at the “Finding Your First Faculty Position.” I found it motivational me because the information presented allowed me to envision myself completing the job application process, negotiating a contract, and securing employment. By the end of the session, I saw myself as Dr. Brown, faculty member at MyDream University with an awesome start-up package, interacting with colleagues, and on my way toward tenure. The other experience was my CV review session. My reviewer, Dr. Christopher Whitt, was a University of Maryland – College Park alumn and is currently political science chair at Augustana University. It was a great match! He offered me some great suggestions on how to improve my CV, but was also very enthusiastic about my progress and potential for securing funding and employment. So, for me, connecting with faculty who saw me as a potential faculty member and receiving information that helped me to see myself successfully navigating the job market both provided huge self-esteem boosts, giving me the confidence to believe I am on the right track and can actually finish and get a job as a faculty member. I’m so thankful I was allowed this opportunity!


  24. The most important thing that I learned from attending the SREB conference was that it’s never too early to begin preparing for a faculty position. In fact, as a current master’s student there are actions I can take now that include keeping my resume and CV up to date and building an online professional image through a personal website, LinkedIn, and/or ResearchGate. I can also begin researching current faculty positions now to understand the job requirements. Knowing this information now will help me shape myself into an ideal candidate by the time I enter the job market.


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