PROMISE: Maryland's AGEP

SSI 2008

PROMISE: Maryland’s Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP)

Summer Success Institute (SSI) 2008



This event is free of charge.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN FROM JULY 18 – AUG. 8. Please register today!

Pre-conference meetings @ UMBC:

Friday, August 15, 2008
9 a.m. – 11 a.m.: Pre-conference Peer Mentors’ Meeting
(This meeting is for Peer Mentors who have been designated by
Dr. J. Davis’ office via Coordinator Maritza Gonzalez, Dr. Jordan Warnick, or Dr. Renetta Tull)

Location: Room 327, Commons Building, UMBC Campus
Breakfast refreshments will be served.
Lunch: On your own
Food options:

1:00 p.m. – 4 p.m.: Pre-conference Dissertation House (Meeting for ALL Ph.D. Candidates)
Join the Dissertation “Support and Results” system!
Speaker: Dr. Wendy Carter, TADA, Thesis and Dissertation Accomplished!
Location: Room 327, Commons Building, UMBC Campus
Snacks will be served.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Colony Ballroom
Adele Stamp Student Union
University of Maryland College Park Campus
8:30 a.m – 4:30 p.m.
Meals provided: Breakfast refreshments, hot lunch, light desserts.
(Vegetarian option available.)

Note: ALL of the Saturday activities for the SSI will be held at UM College Park. ATTIRE: Business Casual.


UMCP’s Host Website for SSI 2008:


AGENDA: Saturday, August 16, 2008
Colony Ballroom, Adele Stamp Student Union
University of Maryland College Park Campus

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Registration and Breakfast Refreshments

9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Welcome & Introduction to PROMISE! Overview of the Program and Introduction of Speakers and Mentors-in-Residence
Dr. Renetta G. Tull
Director of PROMISE, the AGEP for Maryland (UMBC, UMCP, UMB)
Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Development (UMBC)

Dr. Johnetta G. Davis
UMCP Associate Dean of Graduate Student Affairs
Faculty, Department of Family Studies, University of Maryland College Park
Director, Office of Graduate Recruitment, Retention, and Diversity (OGRRD)

Dr. Charles Caramello
Dean of the Graduate School
Division of Graduate Studies

Introduction to PROMISE Projects

Speakers: PROMISE Peer Mentors

K. Wise Whitehead
Ph.D. Candidate
Language, Literacy, and Culture

PROMISE Reflections

Asha-Lateef Williams, M.Ed
Doctoral Candidate
Department of Special Education

9:15 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Morning Panel: Alumni – Our Stories
This panel features recent Ph.D. graduates from UMBC, UMCP, and UMB. They will share their stories, challenges, and tips for success. Learn how they did it!

PROMISE Alumni Guest Speakers:
* Dr. Adia Garrett (UMBC, Psychology)
* Dr. Rodney Harrell (UMCP, Urban Planning)
* Dr. Kelly Kitchens (UMB, Pharmacology)

Dr. Jamaine SC Davis
Cancer Research Training Award (CRTA) Postdoctoral Fellow
National Cancer Institute, Macromolecular Crystallography Laboratory
National Institutes of Health

10:00 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.
SURVEY: Dr. Laura Dykes
Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education
AGEP Postdoctoral Fellow
The National Academy of Engineering of The National Academies

BREAK: Discussions with Speakers & Transition to Breakouts

10:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.: Summer Success Seminars
Workshop 1 (Incoming Students): Balancing Life and Graduate School: Preparing for Success

Guest Speakers
* Sophoria Nicole Westmoreland (UMCP, Mechanical Engineering)
* Kenneth Newsome (UMBC, Systems Engineering)
* Miguel Acosta Tapia (UMBC, Chemical Engineering)
* Marishka Brown, (UMB, Pharmaceutical Sciences)

Maria T. Malave, M.S. Environmental Engineering
Victor Torres
Ph.D. Student, Electrical Engineering, UMBC
Engineer, NASA Space Center
Research Area: Photonics and lasers

Workshop 2 (Continuing Students): Assessing Your Dependable Strengths

* Guest Speaker: Dr. Susan Martin (Higher Education Administration)
Alumna, University of Maryland College Park – M.A. Counseling and Personnel Services
UMBC Career Services Center, Liaison for Graduate Students

11:45 a.m. – 12:50 p.m.: Lunch & Afternoon Address: A Personal Story of Success
We are pleased to offer you a delicious luncheon, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the UMCP Division of Graduate Studies. Please allow vegetarians to be served first so that they may receive the limited portions of the vegetarian entree.

Frances D. Carter
NSF Graduate Research Fellow, GEM Fellow, NIH Fellow
NIH-Meyerhoff Evaluation Research Project
PhD Student – Public Policy, UMBC

Frances Carter has undergraduate degees in Physics and Mechanical Engineering from Spelman and Georgia Tech, and Master’s degrees in Pure Physics and Applied Physics from Mississippi State University and UMBC respectively. She has been involved in both the Mississippi AGEP (AGEM) and the Maryland AGEP (PROMISE).

Christopher M. Jones
Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Graduate of Morehouse College (Degrees in Physics and Mathematics)
Graduate School: MIT (Degrees in Technology & Policy, Nuclear Engineering)

About Christopher Jones:
Dean Jones is a 2008 recipient of the The Irwin Sizer Awards for Significant Improvements to MIT education.

Dean Jones’ participation in the PROMISE SSI is co-sponsored by the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education at MIT.

1:00 p.m – 1:50 p.m.: Developing Your Support Systems as a Graduate Student
This session will allow current graduate students to share their stories of support and success. This session is designed to help students understand that graduate school should not be an isolated activity. All students need support from friends, family, or colleagues. These speakers will share their examples of successful support networks.

Mileidy Gonzalez
Ph.D. Candidate, UMBC
Biological Sciences
Specialty: Bioinformatics


* Patricia Ordonez-Rozo (UMBC, Computer Science)
with Diana Ordonez, Gustavo Rozo-Torres, and Akshay Java
* Stacey Williams (UMB, Pharmacology)
* Calvin Williams (UMB, Molecular Medicine)
* Sean Barnes (UMCP, Mathematics)

1:50 – 2:00: Recognition of Ph.D. Candidates
Facilitators: Guest “Mentors-in-Residence”
Dr. Stephen Roberson (Physics) and Dr. Monica Tripp-Roberson (Music), former professor of Music at Spelman College.
The Robersons are friends of former UMCP Peer Mentor Dr. Willie Merrell (Physics).

BREAK: Discussion with Speakers

2: 20 p.m. – 3:20 p.m
Connections and Networking Meeting
PROMISE PIs, Alumni, and Staff

This breakout session will allow students to meet others from their respective campuses. Continuing students will discuss strategies for success with new students in respective UMBC, UMB, and UMCP meetings. Campus coordinators will discuss goals and objectives for success in the upcoming year.

UMCP Meeting: Colony Ballroom
* Dr. Johnetta Davis, UMCP Associate Dean of Student Affairs

* Gloria Anglon, Assistant Director of the Office of Graduate Recruitment,
Retention, and Diversity (OGRRD) and Coordinator of PROMISE@UMCP

UMBC Meeting: Charles Carroll Room (J)
* Dr. Marcella Wilson
UMBC PROMISE Alum, Computer Science
Dissertation House Graduate

UMB Meeting: Charles Carroll Room (K)
* Dr. T. Sean Vasitis
UMB PROMISE Alum, Pharmacology
Research Associate, University of Maryland School of Medicine

3:30 p.m. Closing Session and Reception


Jocelyn C. Reader
Ph.D. Student
Human Genetics, UMB
Merck Fellow

Jocelyn Reader is a UNCF Merck Fellow and a winner of the Minority Research Traineeship Award. She has presented her research on “Identification of a Cryptic 11;17 Translocation Resulting in a Novel NUP98-PHF23 Fusion in Acute Myeloid Leukemia” and presented work at the International Congress of Human Genetics in Australia.

SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKER: Dr. Kafui Dzirasa (Neuroscience)
Undergraduate Meyerhoff Scholar, UMBC
Chemical Engineering, Former UMBC Student Body President
Medical School, Duke University

Dr. Dzirasa’s participation in the PROMISE SSI is co-sponsored by the Meyerhoff Scholarship Program at UMBC.

Dr. Dzirasa’s Highlights:

* Featured in the Ebony magazine “30 on the Rise” collection of 2008 Young Leaders of the Future.

* Published in the Journal of Neuroscience and Behavioral Brain Research

* Advice to grad students published in Science Careers

Please plan to park in Lot 1. This lot will be free.
Note that you will pass the Stamp Student Union (Stamp) on your way to Lot 1; plan to walk approx. 2 blocks to return to Stamp.
Lots 1 and Z are available as well as meters. Lots 1 and Z are behind the tennis courts.

If you decide to park in the Union Garage, directly adjacent to Stamp, you will need to pay the garage fee. PROMISE is not able to provide free parking vouchers for the SSI. Current rates at this facility are $2.00 per hour, with an $10.00 per day maximum.

Photo of STAMP STUDENT UNION (for reference as you approach the building):

Other information about the Stamp Student Union:
Please note that the UM College Park Shuttle System is NOT running between the College Park METRO station and the Stamp Student Union during the summer.

The Colony Ballroom is on the 2nd floor of the Stamp.


Transportation from UMBC.

The van will leave UMBC’s campus at 8:15 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 16,
and leave UMCP at 4:30 p.m.

Van pickup location: Outside of the Administration Building
UMBC Campus

The van is white and is marked “NEXT LEVEL TRANSPORTATION.”

Board Van: 8:05 a.m.
The Van will leave for UMCP at 8:15 a.m.
Scheduled arrival at UMCP, approx. 8:45 a.m.

Board Van: 4:30 p.m.
The Van will leave for UMBC at 4:35 p.m.
Scheduled arrival at UMBC, approx. 5:05 p.m.

Please register for the van by emailing with the subject: “Van for SSI” by Monday, August 11.

NEW! Aug. 15 note: Please note that you had to register for the van. If you didn’t register for the van by sending an email to, you may need to arrange a carpool. Your carpool is free to follow the van.

Please note that the scheduled UMBC shuttle service for Aug. 16 falls outside of the range of our van schedule. You may still use the shuttle service if you’re interested in arranging carpools from UMBC to UMCP.

Please remember to register for the SSI Conference.
This event is free of charge.
Renetta G. Tull, Ph.D.
PROMISE Director

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