The PROMISE Summer Success Institute (SSI)

PROMISE is sponsored by the National Science Foundation’s Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP).  There are more than 22 AGEP programs throughout the U.S., including Puerto Rico. PROMISE is Maryland’s AGEP. More about PROMISE on the main website:


Save the date:

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

Details will be posted soon.


2017 Summer Success Institute

The 2017 SSI Featured NSF’s 2017 Million Dollar Engineer,

Dr. Baratunde Cola, Winner of the 2017 NSF Waterman Award

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

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 Keynote Speaker, Dr. Andrew Williams, Founder of Spelbots

Please follow and join us @PROMISE_AGEP, #ThinkBigDiversity

Please stay tuned. Updates will be posted online.

2016 Summer Success Institute

Main conference: Saturday, August 20, 2016

SSI Dissertation House: Thursday, August 18, and Friday, August 19, 2016


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.


  1. Attend the National Postdoctoral Association’s @nationalpostdoc session in MD, March 13, 2015: Institutional Diversity Postdoc Fellowships | PROMISE: Maryland's AGEP - February 26, 2015

    […] The PROMISE Summer Success Institute (SSI) […]


  2. Save the Saturday dates: May 2 – Cookout & Celebration of Grads; August 15 – PROMISE Summer Success Institute | PROMISE: Maryland's AGEP - March 31, 2015

    […] The PROMISE Summer Success Institute (SSI) […]


  3. PROMISE Summer Success Institute (SSI) – August 15, 2015 | PROMISE: Maryland's AGEP - March 31, 2015

    […] The PROMISE Summer Success Institute (SSI) […]


  4. PROMISE Alumni Professors Give Voice to #BaltimoreUprising: Dr. Karsonya Whitehead, Dr. John Bullock, & Dr. Chris Whitt #Baltimore | PROMISE: Maryland's AGEP - April 29, 2015

    […] The PROMISE Summer Success Institute (SSI) […]


  5. Interview w/ Kavita Krishnaswamy, @UMBC Computer Scientist, Ambassador for Disability & STEM | Renetta Garrison Tull - Living Life Online - July 8, 2015

    […] University Institute on Disablity and Public Policy for including Kavita as a guest for his PROMISE SSI presentation, colleagues in the Graduate School at UMBC (Dean Janet Rutledge, Assist. Dean Brian […]


  6. PROMISE Summer Success Institute (SSI) – August 20, 2016 | PROMISE: Maryland's AGEP - May 2, 2016

    […] The PROMISE Summer Success Institute (SSI) […]


  7. When Research & Representation Matter | #blackdoctoratesmatter - September 4, 2016

    […] month Maryland’s AGEP PROMISE held its annual Summer Success Institute geared to supporting and celebrating graduate students pursuing degrees in STEM.  While the […]


  8. President Obama’s Academic CV (by @stevekolowich) & Thoughts for My Students #ThinkBigDiversity | Renetta Garrison Tull - Living Life Online - January 21, 2017

    […] present, have been thinking about becoming more politically active. Indeed, during our PROMISE AGEP Summer Success Institutes (SSI) and professional development workshops, we have hosted scholar activists in the past to show […]


  9. UMBC support for STEM grad students from underrepresented groups featured as a national model – UMBC NEWS - September 25, 2017

    […] Summer Success Institute, hosted annually since 2003 at UMBC and other USM institutions, is “a retreat that invites […]


  10. 16th PROMISE Summer Success Institute (SSI): August 18, 2018 (8/18/18) #ThinkBigDiversity | PROMISE: Maryland's AGEP - July 9, 2018

    […] The PROMISE Summer Success Institute (SSI) […]


Please Comment! Leave a Reply.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: