PROMISE AGEP 2002 – 2013

Former Historical Context for the PROMISE AGEP


PROMISE: Maryland’s AGEP is an alliance of the three public research universities in Maryland, led by UMBC, dedicated to the increasing the number and diversity of Ph.D. graduates in the sciences and engineering who go on to academic careers. AGEP is a program of the National Science Foundation. The initial award for Maryland’s AGEP was funded in 2002 for 5 years. The PI for the first phase of Maryland’s AGEP grant was former UMBC Provost and Professor of Public Policy, Dr. Arthur T. Johnson. The second award for PROMISE was made in 2008 and has a duration of two years.  UMBC’s next Provost, Dr. Elliot Hirshman, became the PROMISE PI in 2008.  Dr. Hirshman left UMBC to become the President of San Diego State University in 2011. The current PI is Interim Provost and Physics Professor, Dr. Philip Rous.

The Co-PIs on each campus are:

The alliance between UMBC, UMB, and UMCP encourages interaction between the university communities. Each university will develop its own set of activities in three areas: 1) cultivating new graduate students; 2) building a supportive community where students can excel; and 3) promoting professional development. Although some of the activities will be on individual campuses, one of the keys to the success of PROMISE: Maryland’s AGEP is the development and implementation of activities that promote successful recruitment, retention, graduation, and professorial training that will involve and engage students from all three campuses.

PROMISE uniquely serves the needs of graduate students across three campuses through activities that range from retreats, seminars, and conferences, to informal discussions during breakfast. The services and programs of PROMISE are open to all graduate students who are seeking or interested in obtaining the PhD, regardless of discipline. The focus of the services and programs is geared toward one of the goals of PROMISE: To increase the numbers and diversity of Maryland’s graduate student population in sciences, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. The services and programs of PROMISE will always reflect this goal. PROMISE seeks to increase diverse representation by designing programs that will successfully cultivate new students from diverse ethnicities; and facilitate retention, successful graduation through the PhD, and preparation for the professoriate.

Broadly, students can participate in PROMISE regardless of their status (full-time, part-time), ethnicity, discipline, or source of funding. Narrowly, students who are underrepresented will be strongly supported as they utilize the services and resources of PROMISE; these students can be encouraged to consider PROMISE to be one of their major mechanisms of support. Services and resources are available to underrepresented students, and to students of all ethnicities who work to achieve the goals of PROMISE at UMBC, UMB, and UMCP.

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