16th PROMISE Summer Success Institute (SSI): August 18, 2018 (8/18/18) #ThinkBigDiversity

SSI Image

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). Currently, 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.

Link to PROMISE SSI archive: https://promiseagep.com/promise/the-promise-summer-success-institute-ssi/

We will be using Whova (you can download it from Google Play or the App Store) for our event’s agenda, so please make sure to download the app and create a profile using the same email address you will be using to register at the following link when requesting your ticket:

Download Whova app:

Get Whova Now

Sneak peek of our event’s agenda: Whova agenda

If you are prompted to input an invitation code, use the following: PROMISE2018

Eventbrite - PROMISE AGEP Summer Success Institute (SSI) 2018: Grad Students, Postdocs, Alums, Professors, Professionals #ThinkBigDiversity

UPDATE: 10:00 AM EST, Weds. 8/15/18: 

Our ticketing process has ended, but we have made space for you at the conference! Since you plan to come, we will need you to register onsite on Saturday. However, let us know that you are coming and send an email asap to promisestaff@gmail.com with the subject “PROMISE SSI 2018 On-site.” Within the message, please give us the following information (a quick 3-minute exercise): 1) Name, 2) Institution, 3) Academic discipline, 4) Department, 5) Current level (MS, PhD, Postdoc, etc.), 6) Long-term degree goal, and 7) Career goals (short-term, and long-term). We also encourage you to open or fire up your Twitter account and tweet using the hashtag #ThinkBigDiversity to let us know that you will be with us on Saturday, 8/18/18!

FAMILIES ARE INVITED TO ATTEND. We are honoring “The Jessica Effect.”

$$ This conference is free.

 The conference is 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.

Join us for SUCCESS 2018, 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, and the PROMISE SSI on Saturday, August 18.


Attire: Business and business casual. We are asking that all guest plan to wear colors that represent our cohesion as an alliance. All of the logos for the University System of Maryland’s institutions and schools that are partners in the PROMISE Engineering Institute have combinations and variations of these colors.

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 Newspaper: Expanding the Pipeline: PROMISE Brings a New Phase of #ThinkBigDiversity to Maryland Grad Students).

PROMISE Summer Success Institute (SSI) 2018:


Saturday, August 18, 2018

(Pre-conference LSAMP-sponsored activities for undergraduate students Aug. 17, 2018.)

The Hotel at Arundel Preserve
Address: 7795 Arundel Mills Blvd, Hanover, MD 21076
Phone: (410) 796-9830
The rate of $149.00 + tax (6%) is good until 7/31/18, but please consider making the reservation earlier.
Call: 1-888-624-4011, Ask for the “PROMISE SSI 2018” rate.
In booking online, use code: 180815UMBC

For Sponsorship Package options to support the 2018 SSI please click on the following link: Sponsorship packages for the PROMISE AGEP Summer Success Institute 2018.



Global. STEM. Inclusive.

ThinkBigDiversity Laptop 2

Agenda (To be updated):

Friday: 8/17/18 (Pre-conference)

  • 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM: LSAMP Bridging Conference for New/Incoming Undergraduate and Transfer Students

    • 2nd Floor Ballroom
  • 6:00 PM: Speakers’ Orientation Welcome Dinner

    • Washington Room, 2nd Floor

Saturday: 8/18/18

  • 7:45 AM – Registration – Coffee & Networking

    • 2nd Floor Atrium
  • 8:18 AM – Welcome & Opening Session

    • Opening Statement: Yarazeth Medina, Program Coordinator, University System of Maryland (USM) PROMISE AGEP & USM Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP); Graduate Student Development & Postdoctoral Affairs, UMBC
    • Introduction to the SSI: Renetta G. Tull, Founding Director, PROMISE AGEP & the PROMISE Engineering Institute, Professor of the Practice (College of Engineering & IT, UMBC)



  • Career & Leadership Development Breakfast Program 

    • Dr. Talitha Hampton-Mayo: Branding Yourself for Academic and Professional Success
    • Dr. David Mayo, Project, Engineer, Aerospace Corporation (UM College Park Alum)
    • 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, Baltimore (UMB)
    • Dr. M. Antonio Silas, Director of Off-campus Student Services, UMBC
    • Maria Lund Dahlberg, Program Officer with the Board on Higher Education and Workforce focused on the Science of Effective mentoring in STEMM. She has worked with a number of groups across the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, including the Committee on Science, Engineering, Medicine, and Public Policy, the central Office of Communications, and the National Academy of Medicine.
  • Breakfast group 1
    •  World Wildlife Fund: Global Careers in Conservation
      • 1. Mary Ta, Program Officer, Sustainability Research and Development2. Dawn Deskins, Senior Program Officer, Business Services3. Annisah Smith, Business Services Intern4. Megan McDaniels, Program Associate, Resilient Coastal Ecosystems
        5. Grace Lee, Associate Specialist, Activism and Outreach

Women of WWF - Megan Mary Annisah


  • 8:45 “Your Social Media Presence on the World Stage and Claiming your Place as a Global Change Agent”

    • UNESCO Beiking Crop Sept 2017 - Crop2Speaker:  Dr. Renetta G. Tull, Founding Director of PROMISE,  Engineering Report II team for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Global Engineering Deans Council/Airbus Diversity Finalist, VP for Initiatives for the Latin and Caribbean Consortium of Engineering Institutions (LACCEI). Twitter @Renetta_Tull.
    • Interactive Breakfast Round Tables with Hosts continue with the keynote.
    • 2nd Floor Ballroom


James West

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Panel Sponsor: 

PEI Group Logo May 2018

Kaye Wise Whitehead

  • Dr. Daniel Jean, Executive Director of EOF and Academic Development, EOF and Academic Success, Montclair State University, @WordsTravel

daniel jean

  • 11:00 AM #ThinkBigDiversity Group Tweets, Part I 

  • 11:10 AM Networking Break

    • #ThinkBigDiversity Memories
      • Make sure to come by and say “hi” to Jamie Lybarger.
        • Find her set-up on a table near the ballroom entrance.
        • She will help you make a sign that you can use for the photo contest.
      • Whova #ThinkBigDiversity Photo Shoot & Contest
      • Networking with Speakers
  • 11:30 AM #ThinkBigDiversity Breakout Sessions

11:30 CONCURRENT SESSION #1: Advanced Undergraduate Students and New/Incoming students:  Preparing for your First Year in Graduate School and Preparing for the NSF GRFP Fellowship

Baltimore Room – 2nd Floor

Part 1: Preparing for your First Year in Graduate School

  • Dr. Levon Esters, Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication, Purdue University.
  • Dr. Marquita Qualls, Leadership Coach/Founder, Entropia Consulting, Inc.
  • Dr. Hiro Okahana, Council of Graduate Schools.
  • Miryam Gerdine, Health Resources and Services Administration, and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

first year panel

Panel Sponsors:

EntropiaimageMAP Logo_Drop Shadow (1)

Part II: Preparing for the NSF GRFP Fellowship

nsf grfp fellowship


  • 11:30 CONCURRENT SESSION #2: Continuing Students: Squad Goals! Learn how to find your squad, avoid isolation, and work together to finish your degree 

Washington Room, 2nd Floor

Perhaps you have friends from childhood, undergrad, cousins, or people who were in some of your classes in grad school, or connections that you made through PROMISE. You can make a pact and a plan with your “squad” to meet your goals, and complete that graduate degree.

continuing students panel.png

      • Squad Goals Moderator: Dr. Yaihara Fortis-Santiago with online video guest: Dr. Mónica I. Feliú-Mójer, Program Manager, University of California San Francisco.
      • Special Guest Stories and Advice From:
        • The Dream Girls – Jacqueline Ladd, MS, Washington Bible College & Loyola University Maryland, Gaye Stokes, Liberty University & Loyola University Maryland, Schonette Jones-Walker, Esq., Wesleyan University & Howard University. “From Jersey to Japan, between them, these women have experience as military veterans, wives, mothers, grad school, but most importantly — friends. They are “The Dream Girls” and they keep each others’ dreams alive. They will inspire you too!” (Schools: Washington Bible College, Loyola, Georgetown, and Howard U.)

dream girls.png

      • The SororsDr. Silvia L. Mazzula, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, City University of New York, and Dr. Cynthia Guzmán – Founder and President of Owl Springs Consulting, LLC. (Online participation)
        • Two sorors, different colleges, different states, different times, become PhDs, mental health experts, and on a social justice mission

silvia mazzula

Cynthia Guzman SSI crop

Dr. Guzmán is Founder and President of Owl Springs Consulting, LLC (OSC), which aims to build culturally competent care and capacity within healthcare facilities that serve the American Indian/Alaskan Native community. Owl Springs Consulting, LLC (OSC) is a firm supporting tribal sovereignty, self-governance and self-determination efforts through the assumption of eligible programs via Self-Governance compacts or Self-Determination contracts authorized under the 1975 Indian Self Determination & Education Assistance Act.

      • The #HU7 – Seven former engineering undergraduates from Howard University decide that they will all get PhDs. More than 20 years later, they are among leaders in areas of education, non-profit, government, and industry.

HU7 Banner 2018 Stacked FINAL

The #HU7: Full Story

1. Dr. Jaret C. Riddick (Mechanical Engineering): Dr. Riddick on LinkedIn, Director, Vehicle Technology Directorate (VTD) at the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL).

2. Dr. John S. Davis, II (Electrical Engineering): Senior Information Scientist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School; Co-Director, Center for Scalable Computing and Analysis, The RAND Corporation.

3. Dr. Renetta Garrison Tull (Electrical Engineering): Associate Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives at UMBC, Professor of the Practice in the College of Engineering and IT.

4. Dr. Makola M. Abdullah (Civil Engineering): Dr. Abdullah is the 14th president of Virginia State University.

5. Dr. Carl A. Moore (Mechanical Engineering): Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Florida A&M University- Florida State University College of Engineering.

6. Dr. Kimberly L. Jones (Civil Engineering): Professor and Chair of the Department of Civil Engineering at Howard with profile pages here, and here.

7. Dr. Fred Ware (Electrical Engineering): Dr. Ware specializes in hardware platforms for video and digital imaging. He has worked for several companies including Raytheon and CISCO.

  • 11:30 CONCURRENT SESSION #3: Postdocs, Professors, and Professionals – PP&P: Advancing Your Professional Life

Severn Room – 2nd Floor (Ballroom, Far right)

Moderators: Dr. Autumn M. Reed,  Director of UMBC STRIDE, Coordinator, Faculty Diversity Initiatives ADVANCE Program, UMBC Office of the Provost

Dr. Blessing Enekwe, Program Director, Postdoctoral Affairs, University of Maryland College Park

Autumn Blessing 2018

Round Table Leaders:

  • Improving your LinkedIn Profile: Dr. Elisse Wright Barnes, LinkedIn Trainer
  • How to Win a Center Grant: Dr. Maria Tamargo – City University of New York.
  • Pursuing Faculty Excellence Without Going to “The Sunken Place” – A look at the B-Index: Dr. Beronda Montgomery – Michigan State University, Lead for “mentorWELL” – Follow @BerondaM
  • How I became a Department Chair: Dr. Leona Harris, Chair, Division of Sciences and Mathematics, Associate Professor of Mathematics, College of Arts and Sciences,University of the District of Columbia
  • Writing a Career Award: Dr. Brian Burt, Iowa State University
  • How I became a “Queen Maker” – Examples from developing women leaders: Dr. Gilda Barabino,  Berg Professor and Dean of The City College of New York’s Grove School of Engineering.
  • How to Publish without Perishing: Dr. Ramon Goings, Loyola University [via Twitter @RamonGoings].
  • Tips for preparing strong research funding proposals to the intelligence community: Dr. Carl McCants, Technical Director at Office of the Director of National Intelligence, National Counterintelligence and Security Center (ODNI-NCSC).
  • Developing a global reputation through excellence in teaching: Dr. Spencer Benson, Founder and Director of Education Innovations Intl. Consulting/University of Macau, former Director, of the Centre for Teaching and Learning Enhancement, University of Macau SAR, PRC, (2013-2017), and former director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of Maryland, College Park MD, US (2003-2013).

PPP 2018 SSI

carl mccants

Spencer Benson 2

Panel Sponsors:



NSF Career Award #1651808 – PI: Dr. Brian Burt

CCNY Grove School

  • 1:00 Luncheon: “Invitation to Engage”

    • Welcome: PROMISE AGEP Co-PI, Jeffrey Franke, Assistant Dean and Chief of Staff, The Graduate School, University of Maryland College Park
  • Jeffrey franke
    • Ballroom – 2nd Floor
    • Table Hosts – Administrators, Faculty, and Staff from the University System of Maryland.

Banner - USM School Logos

  • 1:45 Luncheon Program

    • Welcome from the University System of Maryland – Dr. Joann Boughman, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs

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  • Recognition of Doctoral Candidates 

    • All doctoral candidates will be invited to come to the front to share their name, school, department, dissertation topic, and expected year of graduation.
    • Moderators:
      • Dr. Erin Golembewski, Senior Associate Dean, Graduate School, University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB)
      • Dr. TaShara C. Bailey, Senior Program Specialist and PROMISE Director, University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB)
      • Jeffrey Erin


  • 2:00 Special Guest Speaker:

Astrophysicist Dr. Keivan Stassun, 2018 AAAS Mentor Awardee, Stevenson Professor, Physics & Astronomy, Vanderbilt University

keivan stassun

Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Research, College of Arts and Science
National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2004)
Research Corporation Cottrell Scholar (2006)
Ford Foundation Fellow (2007)
Fletcher Foundation Fellow (2009)
American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow (2012)

Article: Astrophysicist Keivan Stassun Wins 2018 AAAS Mentor Award

Sponsor: American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS)


  • 2:30 #ThinkBigDiversity Dessert “Tweet” Reception

    • Hotel Ballroom
    • Renew the Pacts
    • Meet speakers and mentors
    • Solidify connections
    • Make new friends!

MUSIC by: Dr. Damon Bradley/DJ, Creator of TechnoFist – NASA Engineering Leader & International DJ, brings his music to the PROMISE SSI. Dr. Bradley was the DJ for another PROMISE event in May. Read more here, regarding his commitment to STEM and to music. We are pleased to have him join us. He is a rocket scientist and a DJ. Guests can chat with him about pursuing passions.

Damon Bradley NASA TechnoFist


Social Media Stars:

Tweeting Live from SSI 2018:

Dr. Stephani Page, Founder of #BlackAndSTEM, @The PurplePage

Dr. Patti Lopez, Latinas in Computing @LatinasInC

social media stars

  • 4:00 Speakers’ Networking Reception

    • Hotel – Upper Floor (by invitation)

Sunday: 8/19/18 (Post-conference)

      • 9:00 AM “Annual Graduate Student Breakfast & Chat”

        • Breakfast with Dr. Renetta Tull, PROMISE Director. Each year, following the SSI, Dr. Tull meets with grad students over breakfast and coffee for a casual chat. Discussions can include anything related to work, career, or life.
        • Location: Bagels ‘N’ Grinds Restaurant (across the street from the Hotel at Arundel Preserve, 7791 Arundel Mills Boulevard
          Hanover, MD 21076) – Cost: On your own – typical cost of bagel sandwich and coffee will be less than $10.





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