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). 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.

We will be using Whova (you can download it from Google Play or the App Store) for our event, 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:


$$ 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 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 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, Hanover, MD

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):

  • 7:45 AM – Registration – Coffee & Networking

  • 8:18 AM – Welcome – “Your Social Media Presence on the World Stage”

    • Breakfast Roundtables with Hosts
  • 8:30 AM – Claiming your Place as a Global Change Agent

  • 9:30 AM – “The James West LEGENDS Panel: Transferring the Wisdom”

daniel jean

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

  • 11:10 AM Networking Break

    • #ThinkBigDiversity Memories
      • Sign-making for participants and families
      • Whova #ThinkBigDiversity Photo Shoot & Contest
      • Networking with Speakers
  • 11:30 AM #ThinkBigDiversity Breakout Sessions

  • Undergraduate Students: Preparing for Success in the Upcoming Year 
  • New/Incoming students:  Preparing for your First Year in Graduate School
  • Continuing Students: Squad Goals! Learn how to find your squad, avoid isolation, and work together to finish your degree. 

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.

  • Squad Goals Moderator: Yaihara Fortis-Santiago, Ph.D. with online video guest: Mónica I. Feliú-Mójer, Ph.D.
    • Special Guest Stories and Advice From:
    • The Dream Girls – Jacqueline Ladd, MS; Gaye Stokes, Schonette Jones-Walker, JD. “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.)
    • The SororsSilvia Mazzula, Ph.D. and Friends
      silvia mazzula
    • 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


  • Postdocs, Professors, and Professionals – PP&P: Advancing Your Professional Life
    • 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
    • How I became a Department Chair: Dr. Leona Harris, Chair of Computer Science, UDC
    • 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.
  • 1:00 Luncheon: “Invitation to Engage”

    • Table Hosts – Administrators, Faculty, and Staff from the University System of Maryland.

USM Schools

  • 1:45 Recognition of Ph.D. Candidates

  • 2:00 Special Guest Speaker: Dr. Keivan Stassun, 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 Reception

    • Music by Dr. Damon Bradley
    • Renew the Pacts
    • Meet speakers and mentors
    • Solidify connections
    • Make new friends!


Social Media: Dr. Stephani Page, Founder of #BlackAndSTEM


Categories: Ph.D. Completion

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