The PROMISE Summer Success Institute (SSI)

Summer Success Institute (SSI) 2021: Most of Now: Opportunities, Setbacks & Navigating Uncertainty
August 19 1-4pm and August 20 1-4pm (virtual)

Past SSI Information can be found here:

2019 Summer Success Institute  August 17, 2019

2018 Summer Success Institute August 18 2018


2017 Summer Success Institute


2016 Summer Success Institute


ABOUT The  Summer Success Institute:

The PROMISE Summer Success Institute (SSI), an annual conference sponsored by PROMISE: Maryland’s Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) was founded in 2003 intending to bring together new/incoming graduate students and those grad students (both Master’s and Ph.D. level) who were continuing in their programs so that they could prepare for and embrace the upcoming academic year of graduate study. This tradition continues! The SSI provides a support system, particularly for graduate students from underrepresented backgrounds (African-American, Latino(a)/Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islander heritage). The SSI has been called “The Grad School Pep Rally” by students because of the motivational encouragement that is presented by other faculty and staff of color, alumni, and special guests.

Dr. Erika Camcho (Arizona State University West) talks with MIT’s Assistant Dean of the Graduate School, Christopher Jones, at the 2007 SSI.

The goal of the SSI is to empower grad students to succeed, provide secrets of success (including MANY unwritten rules), provide a sense of community, and foster new friendships. We believe that all of the graduate students who are admitted to Maryland’s graduate programs deserve to be there. It is our job to make sure that we provide students with the tools to keep them in school, and to assist with skills that will be needed to facilitate graduation and successful careers.

The SSI is a MUST for underrepresented graduate students in Maryland. The SSI provides a “critical mass” of graduate students who let them know that they are not alone and that they can succeed. Broadly, all graduate students, regardless of race, are invited to participate in the activities of PROMISE. We believe strongly in community building and welcome the opportunity to support ALL graduate students in their endeavors.

During the early years, the following people represented a subset of the speakers (pictured below): Dr. Juan Gilbert (Clemson, Florida State), Fox TV’s Patrice Sanders (nee Harris), Dr. Calvin Mackie (Tulane, Channel Zero), Dr. Christopher Geiger (University of Central Florida), The Apprentice’s Dr. Randal Pinkett, Dr. Eloy Rodriguez (Cornell), Dr. Mercedes Franco (Queensborough Community College), and Dr. Makola Abdullah (FAMU, Bethune Cookman).

Registration for the SSI is  is underwritten and sponsored by the AGEP Program in the Human Resources Division of the National Science Foundation. Speakers are invited to have books and materials for sale on-site at the SSI.



 SSI 2015, August 15, 2015, The Hotel at Arundel Preserve, Hanover, Maryland

SSI 2014, August 2014, The Hotel at Arundel Preserve, Read more: SSI Social Media Accolades page with the program book, “Tweet stream” and Storify link. Twitter: #PROMISEagep, Instagram #PROMISEagep

SSI 2013, August 2013, The University of Maryland, Baltimore, SMC Center,  PROMISE Summer Success Institute 10th Anniversary Celebration

SSI 2012, August 2012, Hotel at Arundel Preserve, Hanover, Maryland.

SSI 2011, August 19-20, 2011, Sheraton Town Center Hotel, Columbia, MarylandSSI 2011 (full website with photos and descriptions), Agenda 2011, Program Book 2011, 2011 PROMISE SSI Tweet Stream from the PROMISE Twitter page: Click here

SSI 2010, August 20-21, 2010, UMBC’s Campus

SSI 2009, August 19-20, 2009,  CCBC Catonsville Campus, and UMBC’s Campus

SSI 2008, August 15-16, 2008, UMBC’s Campus and UM College Park’s Campus

SSI 2007, August 16-18, 2007, UMBC’s Campus, and Sheraton Columbia Hotel

SSI 2006, August 17-19, 2006, Sheraton Columbia Hotel, Columbia, Maryland

SSI 2005, August 19-20, 2005, Sheraton Columbia Hotel, Columbia, Maryland

SSI 2004, August 19-21, 2004, UM College Park and Sheraton Columbia Hotel

SSI 2003, August 13-24, 2003, UMBC, UM College Park, and UMB

The first Summer Success Institute was held in 2003. The original name was SUCCESS 2003.  In that first year, SUCCESS 2003 had segments on each campus and active sessions from Wednesday, August 13 through Friday, August 22.


Follow PROMISE on Twitter @PROMISE_AGEP.

PROMISE is sponsored by the National Science Foundation’s Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP). More about PROMISE on the main website: and about Marylands new AGEP, the AGEP PROMISE Academy Alliance here:

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