15th PROMISE Summer Success Institute: Aug. 19, 2017 #ThinkBigDiversity

The PROMISE Summer Success Institute, sponsored by the National Science Foundation’s Alliances for Graduate Education and Professoriate (AGEP) program, will celebrate 15 years of the Summer Success Institute in 2017!

Logo SSI 2017 part 2


In 2003, “SUCCESS 2003” (later named the PROMISE Summer Success Institute or “SSI”) brought together graduate students in STEM from underrepresented groups in Maryland for a conference and series of workshops with the goal of building a community of scholars who would finish graduate degrees and go on to be professors and leaders in their respective fields.

We started with three schools: UMBC, the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP), and the University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB). Now, in 2017, PROMISE is led by these primary partners, and operates under the imprimatur of the University System of Maryland (USM: 12 institutions, 2 regional centers), and has partnered with the Maryland Independent College and University Association (MICUA) to include students from their 15 member and affiliate institutions) to serve graduate students throughout the state of Maryland.  PROMISE alumni are tenured professors, department chairs, NSF and NIH grantees, and leaders in government, corporate, and non-profit sectors. Our alumni are now sending their students to PROMISE, and PROMISE is pleased to be connected to the AGEP community at-large.

Eventbrite - PROMISE AGEP Summer Success Institute (SSI) 2017: Grad Students, Postdocs, Alums, Professors, Professionals #ThinkBigDiversity

$$ This conference is free, sponsored by the National Foundation and our partners. We encourage you to support our speakers through purchasing their books and engaging with them on social media. 

Please save the date, and mark this page so that you can join us for SUCCESS 2017, a Maryland Pipeline Professional Development Conference, which will include activities for undergraduate students through the USM’s Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) on August 17 – 18, and the PROMISE SSI on Saturday, August 19.

Social Media: #ThinkBigDiversity

Our hashtag for @PROMISE_AGEP is #ThinkBigDiversity is most prominent on Twitter, however, we also post on our PROMISE Instagram (#ThinkBigDiversity on Instagram) and PROMISE Facebook (#ThinkBigDiversity on Facebook) pages. Please join us in the #ThinkBigDiversity movement.  (ASEE paper: Hashtag #ThinkBigDiversity: Social Media Hacking Activities as Hybridized Mentoring Mechanisms for Underrepresented Minorities in STEMComputing Research News paper: Expanding the Pipeline: PROMISE Brings a New Phase of #ThinkBigDiversity to Maryland Grad Students)


15th PROMISE SSI: Sat. August 19, 2017

Location: The Hotel at Arundel Preserve, Hanover, MD.

Saturday, Aug. 19 Schedule At-a-Glance

  • 7:15 AM: Registration – 2nd Floor, Hotel at Arundel Preserve
  • 7:45 AM: Breakfast Mentoring Round Tables
  • 8:30 AM: Welcome and Introduction to Global Perspectives in STEM (R. Tull)
  • 8:45 AM: Thinking About Artificial Intelligence — Looking into the Future (D. Tull)
  • 9:00 AM: Plenary 1: “Finances, Math, and Money. What Every Leader Needs to Know.” (Reuben Advani)
  • 9:45 AM: Plenary 2:  “How STEM Professors are Committed to Social Justice” (Leslie Gonzales, Gregory Triplett, Stephen Wirkus, Erika Camacho)
  • 10:30 AM: Circle of Doctorates: (Kaye Whitehead, Marc Lamont Hill)
  • 11:15 AM: Networking Break
  • 11:30 AM: Breakout Sessions by Level: Undergraduates (Karl Reid), New Graduate Students (Miryam Gerdine, Levon Esters, Marquita Qualls, Sweeney Windchief), Continuing Graduate Students (Karin Block, Steven Damo, Ulises Ricoy, Darryl Williams), Postdocs/Professors/Professionals (Reuben Advani)
  • 1:00 PM: Luncheon Program – Round tables hosted by Faculty, Alumni, Mentors (Jeffrey Franke, Erin Golembewski)
  • 1:30 PM “Motivational Minutes” & Celebration of Doctoral Candidates (Teresa Ramirez, Joy Johnson, Joann Boughman, Janet Rutledge)
  • 2:00 PM Luncheon Keynote: Dr. Baratunde Cola, NSF 2017 Waterman Award Winner – “From Football to Nanotechnology”
  • 2:30 PM #ThinkBigDiversity Social Media Dessert & Networking, Book Signings
  • 3:00 PM Adjourn

Bara Waterman Award

PROMISE is pleased that Dr. Baratunde “Bara” Cola will be one of our 2017 featured speakers. Dr. Cola, the Million Dollar Engineer, is a winner of the 2017 Alan T. Waterman Award,  the United States’s highest honorary award for scientists and engineers, no older than 35 years of age. Dr. Cola is an Associate Professor at Georgia Tech, Director of the NanoEngineered Systems and Transport (NEST) Laband CEO of Carbice Nanotechnologies.

Carbice Cropped

Reuben AdvaniGuest Speaker: Reuben Advani, CEO of the Global STEM Alliance, New York Academy of Sciences, Author of The Wall Street MBA. Advani will give two sessions:  “Finances, Math, and Money. What Every Leader Needs to Know,” and “Value Propositions, Valuation, & Cash Flows: Be your own “Career CEO.”   The Wall Street MBA and Advani’s other book, “Financial Freedom: A Guide Achieving Lifelong Wealth and Security” are sold in bookstores around the world. He has been featured in prominent magazines including Investor’s Business Daily and US News and World Report. Additionally, he has taught graduate level business courses at several universities. Advani degrees from Yale University and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Eventbrite - PROMISE AGEP Summer Success Institute (SSI) 2017: Grad Students, Postdocs, Alums, Professors, Professionals #ThinkBigDiversity

Morning Table Hosts and Mentors: 7:30 AM11:00 AM



  • Dr. Daniel Jean, Executive Director of Academic Development and the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) program, Montclair State University. Dr. Jean was a keynote for the PROMISE SSI 2016 and will be a keynote for the LSAMP Bridging Conference 2017. He participates courtesy of the Words Travel Movement.
  • Dr. Alexis Williams, Lead, Academic Peer Mentor Program (AMP), Teaching and Learning Transformation Center, University of Maryland College Park. Dr. Williams was a PROMISE Peer Mentor while a graduate student at the University of Maryland College Park. She is an alumna of the PROMISE Dissertation House and was a postdoctoral researcher with PROMISE at UMBC. She is a co-author of the PROMISE paper for the American Society of Engineering Education on the value of engaging “non-STEM” researchers in STEM initiatives: “An NSF AGEP Program’s Unintended Effect on Broadening Participation: Transforming “Non-STEM” Graduate Students into Engineering Education Faculty, Researchers, K-12 Educators, and Advocates”
  • Dr. Sharlene V. Roberson, STEM Program Director, Towson University.
  • Dr. Angela McRae, Assistant Professor of Education, and Coordinator of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Education, Catholic University. Dr. McRae participated in PROMISE as a graduate student at the University of Maryland College Park. Now as a member of the faculty at Catholic University, she leads the Women in Science series and collaborative STEM education initiatives.
  • Dr. Shreyasi Deb, Ph.D., MBA, is a health services researcher with research interests in disability, health and health care disparities and aging. Currently, she conducts environmental scans of health insurance payment, coding, and reimbursement policy of relevance to orthopaedic surgeons and manages strategic communication with regulatory agencies and other stakeholders. Dr. Deb also conducts analyses of both federal and state health policies and regularly writes on health policy and health care delivery issues. She has extensive training in quantitative research methods and is a reviewer for peer-reviewed health services and public health journals. Dr. Deb received a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County where she was awarded the Graduate School Dissertation Fellowship. She also has an MBA from the International Management Institute, New Delhi, India and worked for several years in human resources, organizational development, and talent management in India and was a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).
  • Dr. TaShara Bailey, Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow, and PROMISE Director, President’s Diversity Advisory Council, University of Maryland, Baltimore.  Dr. Bailey has degrees in agricultural and biosystems engineering, and in higher education.  She was in the first cohort of the NSF-sponsored USM’s PROMISE AGEP-T STEM Postdoctoral Fellows, placed at the UMBC, and participated in teaching activities at Coppin State University in the Department of Psychology.
  • Dr. Brittini Brown, Director for Assessment and Research, Office of Student Life, UMBC. Dr. Brown began participating in PROMISE as a graduate student at Purdue University, at the invitation of her dissertation advisor – PROMISE Mentor Dr. Levon Esters. Dr. Brown brings experience from the USDA and the American Council on Education.
  • Dr. Quincy Brown, Program Director for STEM Education Research at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Dr. Brown was previously Senior Policy Advisor in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Dr. Brown earned tenure from the Department of Computer Science at Bowie State University. She was an LSAMP Bridge to the Doctorate Fellow at Drexel University and participated in PROMISE as a postdoc at the University of Maryland College Park.
  • Dr. Marvin Carr, STEM and Community Engagement Advisor, Institute for Museum and Library Sciences. Dr. Carr previously served as Policy Advisor for STEM Education, Innovation, and Diversity to U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Dr. Carr was a Gates Fellow, and participated in PROMISE as a graduate student in the M.S. program in Systems Engineering, prior to obtaining his doctorate at Morgan State University.
  • Dr. M. Antonio Silas, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA. Dr. Silas is new to the PROMISE Mentors. He brings experience in agricultural education, and leadership in MANRRS: Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences.
  • Dr. Rochelle Michel, Research Director, Educational Testing Service – Princeton (Home of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), the entrance exam for graduate school).
  • Dr. Frances Carter-Johnson, Data Scientist, National Science Foundation
  • Dr. Patti Ordóñez, Associate Professor, Computer Science, University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras (also, Researcher at FACEBOOK, and The MIT Center for Brains, Minds, + Machines)
  • Dr. Lola BrownAssistant Dean of Engineering, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, City College of New York (CCNY)
  • Dr. Karen Morgan, Assistant Provost (Interim), New Jersey City University

Guest Bloggers: Social Media All-Stars #ThinkBigDiversity


  • Dr. Yaihara Fortis-Santiago, Director of The Science Alliance, New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS). Dr. Fortis Santiago participates courtesy of NYAS.

New York academy science all NYAS cropped

  • Dr. Stephani Page (Microbiologist), Initiator of #BlackAndSTEM, Follow @ThePurplePageDr. Page studies protein components of microbial signal transduction pathways. Her work has been covered by Fast Company, Scientific American, and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She is a “STEM social media celebrity,” known for mobilizing and engaging an online community of underrepresented scholars.


  • Dr. Patty Lopez [Patricia D. Lopez, Intel Corporation, Mission Critical Data Center] (Computer Scientist), Founding Director of Latinas in Computing, she serves on boards for the Computing Alliance of Hispanic Serving Institutions (CAHSI), the Anita Borg Institute, and the Computing Research Association-Women (CRA-W). She also served as the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing 2013 General Co-Chair. Awards: Great Minds in STEM/HENAAC, Community Service Award, 2010; Hewlett Packard Diversity and Inclusion Award, 2004. Follow: @LatinasInC , @pittrpatt

Latinas in Computing

  • Dr. Caleph B. Wilson (Immunologist) a scientist and STEM advocate. Follow @HeyDrWilson. His science expertise is to “teach T cells to kill cancer and HIV infected cells” through gene editing and cell engineering. Dr. Wilson the founder of First Generation STEM (#1stGenSTEM) and co-founded the National Science & Technology News Service (#NSTNSorg). He works to facilitate STEM access through mentoring, following science policy issues, promoting STEM outreach, and writing science communication articles. He is the Editor of The Daily Biotech Log.

sloan foundation

USM LSAMP new July 2017 updated

Activities for undergraduate students: University System of Maryland (USM) NSF Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Bridging Conference and Math Institute: Thursday, August 17 – Friday, August 18, 2017.  Dr. Daniel Jean and Dr. Marquita Qualls will lead professional development sessions, and the National Science Foundation’s Math Institutes are assisting with mathematics talks. There will be sessions for undergraduate students at the SSI on Saturday, August 19, 2017, led by Dr. Karl Reid, Executive Director for the National Society of Black Engineers.

PROMISE NSF USM logo Dec 2016

PROMISE SSI General Agenda

Friday, August 18:

11:30 AM – 4 PM – The $1,000,000 STEM Seminar: Applying for the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

Our speakers were winners of the NSF GRFP Fellowship (as graduate students), and now as educators, they have taken their winning method on the road. They have given workshops at Harvard, MIT, UMBC, Howard, the University of Puerto Rico, and other schools, and have collectively assisted students with earning millions of dollars in fellowship award money. Each NSF GRFP Fellowship is worth more than $100,000. Our speakers have helped to produce several winners. You can be one of them!


  • This is a special session, concurrent with the LSAMP’s Math Institute. This session is open to all undergraduate students, and first and second-year graduate students.
  • Session time: Part I: 11:30 – 1 PM – Applying for the Fellowship.
  • Session time: Part II: 2:30 – 3:30 PM – Starting Your Application on Fastlane.
  • Lunch with participants from the LSAMP Math Institute will be available to all who choose to stay for Part II.
    • Dr. Frances Carter-Johnson, Data Scientist, National Science Foundation
    • Dr. Patti Ordóñez, Associate Professor, Computer Science, University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras (also, Researcher at FACEBOOK, and The MIT Center for Brains, Minds, + Machines)
    • Dr. Lola BrownAssistant Dean of Engineering, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, City College of New York (CCNY)

6:00 PM – Orientation and Welcome Dinner for Speakers and Mentors-in-Residence

Saturday, August 19:

7:15 AM: Registration – 2nd Floor, Hotel at Arundel Preserve

7:45 AM: Breakfast Mentoring Round Tables

Sponsored by UMBC’s Branch of STEMConnector


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bkfast mentors

  • Dr. Talmesha Richards, Chief Academic and Diversity Officer, STEMConnector.
  • Dr. Bilita Mattes, Chief Academic Officer and Provost, Harrisburg University.
  • Dr. Beverly Magda, Associate Provost of Corporate Partnerships, Harrisburg University.
  • Dr. Kinna Perry, Ph.D., M.B.A., Associate Dean, The Graduate School, Rutgers-Newark.
  • Alisha N. Sparks, Elementary School STEM Program Manager, Center for Educational Outreach, Whiting School of Engineering, Johns Hopkins University. PROMISE Alum.
  • Dr. Mark Lewis, Professor, Associate Dean of Diversity and Faculty Development, School of Operations Research and Information Engineering, Cornell University. Dr. Lewis has participated in activities such as the PROMISE Research Symposium 2016 and the PROMISE SSI 2016 as a mentor, and round table discussion leader for preparing for faculty positions.


8:30 AM: Welcome and Introduction to Global Perspectives in STEM

Sloan Board Photo_RTullRenetta Tull, Founding Director of PROMISE will give a short overview of the need for pipeline professional development programs like PROMISE, and how participants in PROMISE have participated in activities in Costa Rica and Korea through the Latin and Caribbean Consortium of Engineering Institutions (LACCEI), and the World Engineering Education Forum. Dr. Tull will provide highlights from her “Increasing Engineering Identity Among Diverse Students through Global Engagement” talk for the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies (IFEES). Tull serves as Special Assistant to the Sr. Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs & Director for Pipeline Professional Development Programs for the University System of Maryland (USM), Associate Vice Provost for Strategic Affairs (UMBC), and Professor of the Practice in the College of Engineering and IT (UMBC). Tull teaches techniques for “Social Media & STEM Inclusion,” and she speaks internationally on “Global Diversity in STEM.”  Twitter:  @Renetta_Tull

8:45 AM: Thinking About Artificial Intelligence — Looking into the Future

Damon Tull AtHamiltonDr. Damon L. Tull is Director for Fellowships & Research Opportunities at the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) with a portfolio that includes support for national programs such as the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Diversity Postdoctoral Program, DoD’s National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Program, and others. As part of the instructional faculty for Johns Hopkins’ Whiting School of Engineering’s Center for Leadership Education, a former Associate Professor and Director of Information Services Technology at Washington Bible College, former Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering (image processing research) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and tech entrepreneur, Tull remains fascinated by innovations in technology, and seeks to share the information with others. Tull was a speaker at the recent 2017 TechConnect World Innovation Conference and will share thoughts on global innovation and “future thought” with the PROMISE audience.

9:00 AM: Plenary 1: “Finances, Math, and Money. What Every Leader Needs to Know.”

Reuben AdvaniWe’re “projecting” into the future. You will be CEOs, lab leaders, Principal Investigators, Division Directors, Provosts, etc.  In other words, you will be the caretakers of big, multi-million dollar budgets. All of the need to know financial basics. We need to be comfortable with the terminology, and general concepts, regardless of discipline. This session will be led by guest speaker: Reuben Advani, CEO of the Global STEM Alliance, New York Academy of Sciences. His book, The Wall Street MBA, will also be available for purchase on-site. Reuben Advani’s participation is in partnership with The New York Academy of Sciences. He has served as an adjunct professor of finance at Drexel, Temple, and Villanova Universities.

New York Academy of Sciences - nyasBlg_RGB

9:45 AM: Plenary 2:  “How STEM Professors are Committed to Social Justice”

SSI 2017 Plenary Panel 2 Leslie Erika Stephen Greg Gregory

Dr. Leslie Gonzales (Michigan State University, tenured Associate Professor as of June 2017) will frame the issue and moderate this session. Dr. Gonzales conducts research on legitimacy within the academic profession and the broader field of higher education, and the possibility of agency among academics to negotiate, remake or resist marginalizing structural and cultural features of academia. Dr. Gonzales will also discuss building capacity for social justice. She is the author of Latina Faculty in the Labyrinth: Constructing and Contesting Legitimacy in Hispanic Serving Institutions

Session Co-Sponsors: 

VCU Virginia Commonwealth University

sloan foundation

STEM Professors (with tenure) for this panel include: 

  • Dr. Gregory Triplett, Professor and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Dr. Stephen Wirkus, Associate Professor, Mathematics, Arizona State University (West), MIT Visiting Professor at MIT (’13-’14)
  • Dr. Erika Camacho, Associate Professor, Mathematics, Arizona State University (West), MLK Visiting Professor at MIT (’13-’14)

Dr. Camacho can be seen in a 2017 spot for Vme for

Generación STEM | Science, Technology, Engineering … – Vme TV

She discusses being underrepresented and Latina in STEM, and being colleagues with her husband, Dr. Stephen Wirkus.

10:30 AM: Circle of Doctorates

Kaye Whitehead Race Brave

  • Marc Lamont HillSpecial Guest via Skype, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, Distinguished Professor, African American Studies, Morehouse College, host of BET News and a political contributor for CNN. Dr. Hill will virtually join our “Circle of Doctorates” and will give a few words about collective responsibility. Dr. Hill is the author of “Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond.” A select number of books will be available on-site at the SSI. Kindle, paperback, and hard cover copies are available through Amazon.

Nobody - Marc Lamont Hill

11:15 AM: Networking Break

11:30 AM: “Success Seminars” – Breakout Sessions

  • BREAKOUT SUCCESS SEMINAR #1 – For Undergraduate Scholars

Karl Reid NSBE 2 “Work Smarter, Not Harder” – Dr. Karl Reid, Executive Director, National Society of Black Engineers. Dr. Reid will share information from his new book. His discussion of ” three specific “shifts” will help you succeed in college: The first one, The Attitude Shift, focuses on developing a new mindset about your intellectual ability, and about the importance of confidence — and how to rebuild it — especially after you suffer setbacks. The Connection Shift shows how to engage your faculty members, administrators and peers on campus, all of whom are necessary to demystify the college experience and produce a more fulfilling holistic experience. And finally, The Behavior Shift offers practical steps for improving your grades and deepening your learning. It provides the rationale behind, and the steps toward developing the kind of comprehensive approach that has helped other students succeed. The first 30 undergraduate students registered will receive a complimentary book. 

Karl Reid book

This session sponsored by the USM LSAMP

USM LSAMP new July 2017 updated

  • BREAKOUT SUCCESS SEMINAR #2 – For New/Incoming Graduate Students

SSI 2016 New Student Dream Team Mentors

  •  The New Students’ Mentoring “Dream Team”  will work with students to assist with the transition between undergraduate studies and the first year of graduate school. These scholars, professors, STEM leaders, and mentors, will discuss time management, how to work with your professors, the expectations of faculty with respect to lab work and research, resilience, attention to detail, and making the transition between being “task-oriented” and being an independent thinker.


  • Miryam Gerdine, MPH, Social Science Research Analyst and Project Officer for the Leadership in Public Health Social Work Education Training Grant and the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Grant, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Associate at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Health, Behavior and Society; previous Chair of the Networking and Mentoring Committee for the Latina Researchers Network. Gerdine has also served as a judge for the annual February PROMISE Research Symposium, and mentor at the November PROMISE Fall Harvest Dinner.Latina Researchers Network


  • Levon Esters, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Youth Development & Agricultural Education, Purdue University; Co-PI for “Mentoring at Purdue” (M@P), Senior Research Associate at the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions – University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Esters’ participation is courtesy of the MAP Program, U.S.D.A.MAP Logo_Drop Shadow (1)


  • Marquita Qualls, Ph.D.  Principal, Entropia, Inc., Former Manager at GlaxoSmithKline, Former National President for the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE). Dr. ‘Q’ has also provided workshops for the University of Maryland Baltimore. Dr. Qualls participates courtesy of Entropia.Entropiaimage


  • Sweeney Windchief, Ed.D. (Fort Peck Assiniboine Tribe), Assistant Professor, Montana State University. He is part of the PNW-COSMOS team for the Pacific Northwest AGEP. His research interests include critical race theory, indigenous epistemologies, indigenous peoples and higher education, indigenous intellectualism, American Indian student success and higher education, and mentorship. Dr. Windchief has also been a guest speaker for the University of Maryland College Park.

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The Mentoring Dream Team is back again to work with new students on transitions to graduate school, time management, and overcoming concerns of the first year.



  • BREAKOUT SUCCESS SEMINAR #3 – For Continuing Graduate Students (at least one year of graduate study completed.)

How to Thrive and Finish Your Program – A “When Faculty Say X”

Moderators for this seminar:

  • Dr. Maria Nandadevi Cortes Rodriguez, Diversity Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, Department of Biology in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Ithaca College.
  • Dr. Brooke Odle, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University, will co-moderate this Guest Professor Session.


These professors from across the country, members of the Alfred B. Sloan Mentoring Network Advisory Board,  are here to answer all of the questions that you never asked your own faculty, and are too nervous to ask your advisor. Between them, they have experience as deans, department chairs, center directors, and PIs of grants from NSF, NIH, and the U.S. Department of Education.



Panelists for this seminar – Sponsored by the Sloan Foundation’s Mentoring Network:

  • Dr. Karin Block, Associate Professor & Deputy Chair, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, CCNY; and Adjunct Associate Research Professor, Marine Geology and Geophysics, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University
  • Dr. Steven Damo, Assistant Professor, Chemistry, Fisk University. Dr. Damo also serves as the Director of the NIH MARC U*STAR program at Fisk.
  • Dr. Ulises Ricoy, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Associate Professor of Biology
    Northern New Mexico College, Española, NM, Leadership Committee: Society for the Advancement of Chicano & Native American Scientists (SACNAS)
  • Dr. Darryl Williams Dean of Undergraduate Education for School of Engineering; Research Associate Professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering; Director, Center for STEM Diversity
  • Dr. Jessye Talley, Lecturer, Industrial and Systems Engineering Department, Morgan State University. She will be one of the audience table hosts.

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  • BREAKOUT SUCCESS SEMINAR #4 – For PP&P [Postdoctoral Fellows, Professors, and Professionals]

Value Propositions, Reuben Advani 2Valuation, & Cash Flows: Be your own “Career CEO.”

Postdocs, faculty, and professionals are leading their own labs, starting small businesses, and managing portfolios. In your current and upcoming leadership roles, financial literacy should go beyond balancing a budget. Reuben Advani will lead this session to jump-start levels of financial confidence among the senior-level participants. Reuben Advani is CEO of the Global STEM Alliance (GSA) at the New York Academy of Sciences. Prior to joining the GSA, Mr. Advani founded, built, and sold a continuing education company offering mini-MBA courses to corporations and law firms worldwide. Advani began his career with the investment bank Morgan Stanley, where he was a member of the firm’s corporate finance group and later joined Sony Corporation where he was active in the development of Sony’s online initiatives.

reuben advani wall street mba
Reuben Advani’s participation is co-sponsored by the New York Academy of Sciences and UMBC’s Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.

12:45 Prepare for Lunch Buffet – Round tables hosted by PROMISE Alumni and Mentors

1:00 PM: Luncheon Program

Welcome Remarks from PROMISE AGEP Founding Partner Institution Co-PIs: Dean Jeffrey Franke, The Graduate School, University of Maryland College Park; Sr. Associate Dean Erin Golembewski, The Graduate School, University of Maryland Baltimore.

Jeffrey Erin


Luncheon Mentors – Our mentors’ participation is courtesy of the University System of Maryland’s Academic Affairs Advisory Council.

luncheon mentors

  • Dr. Akua Asa-Awuku will be among the faculty who will be available to meet and mentor students. Dr. Asa-Awuku is an Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Maryland College Park.
  • Dr. Lawrence Paul Sanford, Professor, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Horn Point Laboratory, and Interim VP for Education.
  • Dr. Karen L. Olmstead, Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Salisbury University.

towson faculty

  • Dr. Timothy J. L. Chandler, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Towson University.
  • Dr. Leah Cox, Vice President of Inclusion & Institutional Equity, Towson University.
  • Dr. David A. Vanko, Dean, Jess and Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics, Towson University.
  • Dr. Janet Delany, Professor, Dean of Graduate Studies, Towson University.

umbc luncheon

  • Dr. Scott E. Casper, Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, University of Maryland Baltimore County.
  • Dr. Keith J. Bowman, Dean of the College of Engineering and Information Technology, University of Maryland Baltimore County.

added mentors

  • Dr. Fiona Glade, Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Studies and Academic Affairs, University of Baltimore.
  • Dr. LaKeisha L. Harris, Interim Dean of the Graduate School, Associate Professor/Graduate Program Coordinator, Department of Rehabilitation, University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
  • Dr. Cosmas Nwokeafor, Dean of the Graduate School, Bowie State University.
  • Dr. Keith Williamson, Provost & VP Academic Affairs, Coppin State University.

umb mentors

  • Dr. Gerald M. Wilson, Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Director, Combined Graduate Program in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Maryland School of Medicine.
  • Dr. Joana Carneiro da Silva, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Institute for Genome Sciences.
  • Dr. Sandra M. Quezada, Assistant Dean for Admissions; Assistant Dean for Academic and Multicultural Affairs, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Course Director for Medical Spanish, University of Maryland School of Medicine.


  • Dr. Kathryn Klose, Vice Provost and Dean of The Graduate School, University of Maryland University College.


USM Schools


1:30 PM “Motivational Minutes” & Celebration of Doctoral Candidates

Teresa Ramirez 2 CROPPED“Straight Out of Compton to an Ivy League.”Dr. Teresa Ramirez, American Society of Human Genetics,  Chapter President of the National Institutes of Health’s Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native American Scientists – NIH SACNAS.  She received her Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology from Brown University and was the Founder/First President of SACNAS at Brown.  Dr. Ramirez participated and graduated from the Mujeres de Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE) third DC cohort, “Las Emprendedoras” in August of 2016. Sharing from her bio for HACE, PROMISE notes that “Dr. Ramírez is a first-generation Mexican American and the first in her family to graduate from college and earn a doctoral degree, and she firmly believes in the importance of mentorship and how it can create a positive impact in the lives of others as it did in hers.”


Joy Johnson“Finish Well.”  –  Dr. Joy Johnson, VP of Mobile at AudioCommon, is a 2015 graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with her doctorate in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science. She was a National Science Foundation Fellow and Intel GEM Ph.D. Fellow while at MIT. She recently transitioned from leading mobile at an MIT-founded music technology startup, AudioCommon (AudioCommon is a team of MIT musicians and Ph.D. hackers revolutionizing the way music is created, organized, and shared in today’s interconnected world) as a partner, to working in experience prototyping at Apple in their Special Projects Group. She is on the Alumni Board for the GEM Fellowship and on the board for some STEM-related non-profits focused on providing technical, research experiences for minorities and women, including i-Trek.

See Dr. Joy Johnson’s keynote from From Strata + Hadoop World New York 2015.

A Call to the Professoriate, A Call for Candidates

  • Remarks: An Invitation to Engage — Call to the Professoriate”  – Dr. Joann Boughman, Sr. Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, University System of Maryland
  • Call for Candidates Dr. Janet C. Rutledge, Co-Founder for PROMISE, Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School, UMBC

Janet Rutledge Jo Boughman

2:00 PM Luncheon Keynote: Dr. Baratunde Cola, NSF 2017 Waterman Award Winner – “From Football to Nanotechnology”


Presented by Dr. Darryll J. Pines, Dean, A. James Clark School of Engineering, Professor of Aerospace Engineering, University of Maryland College Park. He has served as dean and the Nariman Farvardin Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the Clark School since January 2009. He first arrived in 1995 as an assistant professor and later served as chair of the Department of Aerospace Engineering from 2006 to 2009. As dean, Pines has led the development of the Clark School’s 2020 Strategic Plan and achieved notable successes in key areas, such as improving teaching in fundamental undergraduate courses and raising student retention, achieving success in national and international student competitions, placing new emphasis on sustainability engineering and service learning, promoting STEM education among high school students, increasing the impact of research programs, and expanding philanthropic contributions to the school.


Bara at MITOn April 13, 2017, the National Science Foundation (NSF) recognized Baratunde “Bara” A. Cola of the Georgia Institute of Technology with the nation’s highest honor for early career scientists and engineers, the Alan T. Waterman Award. Bestowed annually, the Waterman Award recognizes outstanding researchers age 35 and under in NSF-supported fields of science and engineering. In addition to a medal, awardees each receive a $1 million, five-year grant for research in their chosen field of study. Cola pioneered new engineering methods and materials to control light and heat in electronics at the nanoscale. He serves as an associate professor at Georgia Tech’s George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering. Cola, 35, is the founder of Carbice Nanotechnologies, Inc., a company that uses a carbon nanotube-material to remove heat from computer chip testing stations, allowing for faster and cheaper testing of chips during production. He also is a co-founder of the NSF-funded Academic and Research Leadership Network, a group of more than 300 Ph.D. engineering researchers from minority groups underrepresented in academia, industry and government laboratories. [Text: NSF, 2017; Photo courtesy of MIT’s MLK Visiting Professors Program.]




2:30 PM #ThinkBigDiversity Social Media Dessert & Networking, Book Signings

Speakers’ books will be available for either purchase or donation. 

This conference is free, however, we encourage you to support our speakers and share their books.  Their links on Amazon.com are here, where some are available in hardcover, paperback, and/or Kindle:

2017 SSI Speakers books banner

3:00 PM Adjourn

In accordance with the spirit of PROMISE and inclusion, the SSI is open to all who are interested in building community, regardless of background, discipline, or status. Faculty, staff, and family members (per “The Jessica Effect”) are also invited to attend. 

Eventbrite - PROMISE AGEP Summer Success Institute (SSI) 2017: Grad Students, Postdocs, Alums, Professors, Professionals #ThinkBigDiversity

Hotel Arundel PreserveLocation: The Hotel at Arundel Preserve, Hanover, MD.

Travel: If you are arriving by plane, the airport is Baltimore-Washington International (BWI). If you are traveling by train, please be sure to plan to exit at the “BWI” stop (not “Baltimore”). The hotel has a free shuttle from BWI airport.

Parking: The hotel has a connected parking deck, and parking is free of charge.

Hotel Rooms: Special Block: $149.00 plus tax, available until Monday, July 17, 2017. Please identify yourselves as part of the USM – Pipeline Professional Development Conference group and make your reservation through The Hotel at Arundel Preserve’s Reservations Center, 888-624-4011.

History of the PROMISE SSI (with conference links from 2003 – 2015)    |    PROMISE SSI: #ThinkBigDiversity 2015     |    2014 SSI Social Media Accolades   |    SSI 10th Anniversary 2013  |   PROMISE SSI Book on Amazon   | Sisters in the Dissertation House Dessert Discussion 2016 | SSI 2016

Short articles that discuss the PROMISE SSI:

Expanding the Pipeline: PROMISE Brings a New Phase of #ThinkBigDiversity to Maryland Grad Students, Article from 2016 SSI, published by Computing Research News

“Think Big Diversity: Advice for Aspiring #STEM Ph.D. Graduate Students, Postdocs, and Junior Faculty” – Article from 2015 PROMISE SSI Keynote Speaker, Dr. Andrew Williams, Founder of Spelbots

A full list of publications, media mentions (including magazine and newspaper features, and the 2016 White House Press Release) can be found on the PROMISE Publications page: https://promiseagep.com/publications/. The PROMISE “book” with 10 years of SSI history can be purchased on Amazon.

Eventbrite - PROMISE AGEP Summer Success Institute (SSI) 2017: Grad Students, Postdocs, Alums, Professors, Professionals #ThinkBigDiversity

PROMISE Staff 2017:

PROMISE staff 2017 BEST use

Yarazeth Medina, Program Coordinator, Graduate Student Development & Postdoctoral Affairs, UMBC

Christopher Perez, Associate Director, Office of Graduate Diversity and Inclusion University of Maryland College Park

Wele Elangwe, Director of Graduate Studies, University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Shawnisha Hester, GA – Language Literacy & Culture, UMBC

Erika Aparakakanange, Education Policy, UM College Park

Denise Williams, AGEP Fellow, Chemistry,  UMBC

Hector Medina, GEM Associate Fellow, Mechanical Engineering, UMBC

Thank you to the Ms. Shirl Curtis and Ms. Denise Atkinson in The Graduate School at UMBC for their assistance with logistics.

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) – http://www.umbc.edu/promise, 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: http://renettatull.wordpress.com. Connect with her on Twitter: @Renetta_Tull; https://twitter.com/Renetta_Tull

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