PROMISE: Maryland's AGEP

Archive for the ‘Summer Success Institute (SSI)’ Category

Updates for August & September 2013: Following the Summer Success Institute (SSI)

In Grad Student Success Seminar, Graduate Student Professional Development, PROF-it, PROMISE: Maryland's AGEP, Summer Success Institute (SSI) on August 22, 2013 at 12:41 PM

This information was sent to students via email on August 21, 2013. It is repeated here.

We have some updates: 

1) Sat. Sept. 7: NSF Graduate Fellowship Workshop led by PROMISE alums Dr. Frances Carter-Johnson and Dr. Patti Ordóñez,  plus “Featured Fellowship Opportunity, due Aug. 23” (from SSI Mentoring Pods’ Moderator, Miryam Gerdine), see the full post and the comment section:

2) We’ll see you on campus! Opening fall semester reception at UMCP (8/29), lunch at UMB (9/3), and dinner at UMBC (9/6). DETAILS:

3) Calling all STEM PhD students: It’s time for the annual, NATIONAL, SREB Compact for Faculty Diversity/Institute on Teaching and Mentoring! (This is the conference that Dr. Carter-Johnson described as “Multiplying SSI by 1000!) You may have a chance to go, all expenses paid! One year, we took 25 people! (Dr. Robert Alexander from the CDC, PROMISE Alum, met his wife at this conference!) Other alums have found jobs at this conference! Coming October 2013. Apply now, it’s first come, first serve:
4) If you have any remaining comments about the SSI, please post them here:

Additional Events at  UMBC:



a) TA Training and “Teaching & Learning” Workshop on Friday, 8/23, 8:30 AM. Topics: Disciplinary Thinking, Blackboard, Conflict Resolution, etc. Plus, “TOP TAs” from departments will give tips for success. Each school will be represented. We will also share information about the $2000 CCBC/UMBC Teaching Fellows program through PROF-it, and the $1000 IHU opportunity.  All new TAs, and all who are interested in “Teaching & Learning,” please RSVP here:

b) Lunch seminar on Life/Work Balance with Psychologist, Author, and Poet, Dr. Robert Deluty, Friday, 8/23, 1PM. Don’t miss this event! Humor, advice, tips for success! RSVP here:

Coming in September:

How to Minimize Stress and Balance your Life

In Grad Student Success Seminar, Graduate School Preparation, Graduate Student Professional Development, PROMISE: Maryland's AGEP, Summer Success Institute (SSI) on September 12, 2011 at 1:23 PM

Dr. Robert Delutty

On August 26, 2011, Dr. Robert Deluty, Associate Dean of the Graduate School, led a luncheon workshop for graduate students. The main goal of this workshop was to encourage graduate student to find the perfect balance between their academic responsibilities and goals and their personal lives.  Dr. Deluty shared important information during this one-hour session and PROMISE would like to share it with you.

Even though graduate school is not an easy path, UMBC will definitely help you to succeed. There are several resources on campus, such as orientations and workshops that will make your academic and personal life easier. Members of the Graduate School are here to collaborate with you and make of your graduate education a priceless and complete experience. Using the resources on campus is a great start and a key item in your career at UMBC.

On the other hand, your success as a graduate student is highly related to finding the right balance in your life. This balance implies our physical, mental, and social health, as well as your stress management.  There are usually three types of balances that a successful student must have when completing graduate school. The first balance is between course-work and research field. The second balance is between the reading, writing, and conducting of research. The third balance is between a personal and a professional life.

In order to achieve these three balances, Dr. Deluty suggests:

  • Do not forget about the larger picture for focusing on your particular field. There should be a balance of knowledge and dedication between your discipline and your field. Many students tend to forget about the broadness of their disciples when working in their particular areas of research
  • Get a sense of professors beforehand. Asking former students, interviewing them, taking courses with them can be definitely helpful to know the characteristics and interests of faculty members at your department. This would be very useful when choosing a mentor or advisor
  • Take risks. Going outside your comfort zone and pushing yourself to the next level is very rewarding and will allow you to learn new things. Risks are step stones in your path towards success
  • Find the right mentor. Mentors are not necessarily faculty members; a friend, coworkers, significant other, or classmate can be your mentor and give you guidance through your graduate career. Pay attention to your surrounding and find the right person to mentor you
  • Talk to former students in your department and rely on multiple informants. Find as much information as possible about a course and/or program
  • Be aware that your definition of balance might not be the same as your mentor’s. You might have different values than your mentor and your motivation might not be his or hers. Always be willing to express your ideas with your mentor
  • Try study groups. For some students, study groups can be a powerful and useful tool to study and discuss relevant topics in their courses
  • Be assertive. Graduate school can be an excellent arena to practice your assertiveness; later on, it might not be as easy
  • Keep the communication lines open with your mentor. Expectations and levels of reception can be easily determined with a good conversation
  • Prioritize. Establishing priorities is not going to be only helpful for graduate school, but also for your professional life
  • Never feel comfortable with confusion. Ask questions, especially in early stages of your graduate career
  • Always find time to eat and sleep well. If your health is deteriorating, you are not going to be able to focus, which will jeopardize your success as a graduate student
  • Determine the right time to move on. Do not read, research, or collect data for too long. You have to figure out when is the right moment to move forward with your research. Remember that reading is only the first step in your research
  • Do not too be focused on being perfectionist. This would only develop unnecessary  feelings of anxiety
  • Take care of any medical condition you might have. Your health is important to succeed in graduate school and do not leave it behind. Pay especially attention to this.
  • Be aware that over and under socialization can have a negative impact on your graduate career. It is always important to be in touch with your family and friends.
  • Find self-motivating books. Two suggested readings by Dr. Deluty are “Observed and Imagined” and “The Long and Short of It,” which were written by him.

UMBC is definitely looking forward to fostering your success as a graduate student. PROMISE is part of the resources on campus for graduate students, with activities and workshops through the semester. For further information about workshops and seminars, please email


Submitted by Miguel Nino, UMBC Graduate Student, Instructional Systems Development

Summer Success Institute Registration is open! (August 19-20, 2011)

In PROMISE: Maryland's AGEP, Summer Success Institute (SSI) on July 27, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Dear Graduate Students, Postdocs, and PROMISE Alumni,

We are pleased to announce that our 9th Annual PROMISE Summer Success Institute (SSI) will be held, August 19-20, 2011 at the Sheraton Hotel in Columbia, Maryland.  This year’s SSI is generously sponsored by PROMISE at the University of Maryland College Park through funding from the National Science Foundation.  All meals, workshops, and a hotel stay are free for the first 150 registrants.  In addition to workshops on global leadership, the imposter syndrome, and navigating politics, this year’s SSI will have an outdoor “Retreat” component, featuring Craig Imler and the Outward Bound/Terra Trax team who have served us so well at our annual winter PROMISE retreats for graduate students at Coolfont and Rocky Gap.

This year, as part of our new PROMISE Pathways Project, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are invited from all of the institutions in Maryland, and from Universidad Metropolitana, our partner in San Juan, Puerto Rico. All STEM and interested faculty also are invited to attend. Alumni are invited to share tips and participate in the Saturday discussion on “Challenges, Triumphs, and Victories.”

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) in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. We also have workshops of interest to Postdoctoral Fellows. 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.

Register Today:

Featured Plenary Speakers: Dr. Kellina Craig-Henderson (National Science Foundation), Dr. Raymond Rodriguez (UC Davis), Dr. Derrick Cogburn (American University), and Dr. Joan Reede (Harvard University).

Dr. Kellina Craig-Henderson

Dr. Derrick Cogburn

Dr. Raymond Rodriguez

Dr. Joan Reede

UMBC Provost Elliot Hirshman (PROMISE PI) will be the new president at San Diego State University

In Dissertation Completion, Dissertation House, Grad Student Success Seminar, Graduate Student Professional Development, PROF-it, PROMISE: Maryland's AGEP, Summer Success Institute (SSI) on June 15, 2011 at 11:20 PM

UMBC Provost Elliot Hirshman

PROMISE: Maryland’s AGEP expresses hearty congratulations to UMBC Provost Elliot Hirshman on his new appointment to President of San Diego State University.  Dr. Hirshman has served as the PI for the PROMISE AGEP since he arrived at UMBC.  Dr. Hirshman has championed the programs of PROMISE and has been a strong supporter of the Dissertation House, PROF-it (Professors-in-Training), and the Summer Success Institute (SSI).  Dr. Hirshman has been a speaker for the annual August SSI and for the February leadership graduate student Success Seminar.  He has provided strong support for our collaborations in Puerto Rico, and for initiatives that broaden participation at the graduate level.   Dr. Hirshman, we thank you for your commitment to PROMISE and we wish you great success with your new post!


PROMISE: Maryland’s AGEP is a program of the National Science Foundation. The PI, Provost Elliot Hirshman, has served with Co-PIs from three campuses: Dean Janet Rutledge (UMBC), Dr. Renetta Tull (UMBC), Dr. Carol Parham (UM College Park), and Dr. Jordan Warnick (UM Baltimore).

Secrets of the Faculty Interview. Coming Aug. 20. 10:30 AM

In PROMISE: Maryland's AGEP, Summer Success Institute (SSI) on August 14, 2010 at 5:35 PM

PROMISE: Maryland’s Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) and the UMBC Graduate School present a seminar for all graduate students and postdocs:

“Secrets of the Faculty Interview”
Friday, Aug. 20, 2010
10:30 AM, Commons 331
Guest Speaker: Dr. Philip Rous, Dean of the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences.

Dr. Elliot Hirshman, UMBC’s Provost and PI for PROMISE will provide the opening remarks and introduction.

* All graduate students and postdocs are invited to attend.
* The event is free.
* Please RSVP using the public MyUMBC web page:
This event is part of the 8th Annual PROMISE Summer Success Institute (SSI). To attend *additional* events on Saturday, August 21, please fill out the registration form on the SSI’s website. Space at Saturday’s SSI is limited the first 100 graduate students and postdocs who register through Additional space has been reserved for administrators, faculty, and staff. Information will be regularly updated via timelines of and  Accounts are not needed to view these pages; these sites display
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