PROMISE: Maryland's AGEP

SSI 2011, August 19 – 20, 2011, Sheraton Town Center Hotel, Columbia, MD


2011 PROMISE SSI Tweet Stream from the PROMISE Twitter page: Click here


Registration is now closed, but you are encouraged to view the contents of the site for pertinent information regarding attire, donations, and the twitter feed:

Agenda 2011

Program Book 2011

Buses will be provided to the Sheraton from both College Park and UMBC on Friday morning and the buses will return to the campuses on Saturday afternoon.  Students from College Park, email:  Students from UMBC or Baltimore, email: In the subject line,  type: “Bus for SSI”.  Registered students from these campuses have already been contacted, but additional space may be available.


Featured Speakers for 2011:

Dr. Derrick Cogburn, (International Relations & Information Studies) American University. Dr. Cogburn is the Executive Director of the Institute on Disability and Public Policy ( and works with Southeast Asian nations.

Dr. Kellina Craig-Henderson, (Social Psychology) National Science Foundation

Dr. Raymond Rodriguez, (Nutritional Genomics) University of California, Davis

Dr. William Robinson, (Engineering and System Security) Vanderbilt University

Dr. Joan Reede, (Program for Faculty Development & Diversity) Harvard University

Dr. Beatriz Zayas, (Environmental Science/Toxicology) Universidad Metropolitana

Assist. Dean Christopher Jones, (Nuclear Engineering/Technology & Energy Policy) MIT

Dr. Raheem Beyah, (Computer Systems, Software) Georgia Tech



Dr. Arvenita Washington Cherry (Postdoctoral Fellow, UMBC).  Dr. Cherry is a former Science Middle School Teacher and Adjunct faculty member at The American University and University of Maryland University College.

Dr. Idalis Villanueva (Faculty, Bioengineering, University of Maryland College Park; formerly at NIH).  Like many students who participate in PROMISE: Maryland’s AGEP, Dr. Villanueva was an active participant in AGEP when she was a graduate student at the University of Colorado at Boulder.  Her undergraduate degree is from the University of Puerto Rico- Mayagüez.

Dr. Frances Carter  (STEM Policy Analyst, Westat).  Dr. Carter is a former PROMISE Peer Mentor. She has degrees in Public Policy, Applied Physics, Pure Physics, and Mechanical Engineering from UMBC, Georgia Tech, and Spelman College. She has received fellowships from NSF GRFP, SREB, GAANN, and GEM. She has been an invited speaker at several national NSF programs including HBCU-UP, ERN, and provides funding training for students at UMBC and MIT with her colleague Patricia Ordóñez.


Select Profiles Featured on:

Registration for the PROMISE 2011 SSI is scheduled to open on July 25.


  •  Free for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from institutions in Maryland and partners through PROMISE Pathways (universities within Maryland and Universidad Metropolitana in San Juan, Puerto Rico). Conference sponsorship includes all meals for both days, all workshops and special activities, and a double occupancy hotel room for Friday, August 19. [UPDATE As of 8/11/11 — HOTEL ROOMS ARE SOLD OUT FOR THE PROMISE BLOCK. Please consider commuting or contact the hotel directly for a reservation and to make payment arrangements.]
  • Graduate students or postdoctoral fellows outside of the state of Maryland will need to contact the hotel directly to make room reservations.

In lieu of registration fees, participants are encouraged to donate to the Dr. Angela Grant Memorial Scholarship and the Jessica Soto Perez Bridge Fund.

The 2011 PROMISE SSI is sponsored and underwritten by

PROMISE at the University of Maryland College Park.

PROMISE, a multi-campus program in Maryland, is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.


Register is now closed, but you are encouraged to view the contents of the site for pertinent information regarding attire, donations, and the twitter feed:


NEW! Dissertation House 12 Hour Marathon at the PROMISE SSI, 1:00 PM 8/19 to 1:00 AM 8/20

Participation in the Dissertation House portion of the program requires an additional application process. Please follow the directions and procedures that are listed on the website.

Facilitator: Dr. Judith Kadarusman Pollack

DH Alum, Former PROMISE UMB Coordinator, Dissertation Defense Coach


2:00 – 4:00 PM



Outdoor Team-Building Led by Terra Trax, coming to us from Arizona

“Life is an Adventure – Unique Challenges, Exceptional Results”

Interactive Action Learning

Lead Facilitator: Craig Imler (Formerly of Outward Bound Professional)

This activity is based on our former PROMISE Retreats at Coolfont West Virginia and Rocky Gap

Participants may record their experiences and upload photos for this 2011 event at


The Ph.D. Alumni Panel on Saturday morning, 8/20, will feature:

  • Dr. Chris Whitt (UMCP, Political Science) – Assistant Professor at Augustana College
  • Dr. Jesus Caban (UMBC, Computer Science) – Researcher at NIH – National Library of Medicine, Adjunct Instructor at UMBC
  • Dr. Erica Martin Richards (UMB, Neuroscience) – Psychiatry Resident at Johns Hopkins Medicine
  • Dr. Ernesto Muñoz (UMCP, Meteorology) – Research Scientist/Climatologist at New Mexico Consortium
  • Dr. Stacey Nicholls (UMCP, Math) – Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Anne Arundel Community College
  •  Dr. Victor Ayala (UMB, Immunology) – Research Scientist at the National Cancer Institute (NCI- SAIC).

Moderator: Dr. Frances D. Carter (UMBC, Public Policy)


Special Guests (Mentors-in-Residence)  will lead “Table Topics” during lunch, Saturday, 8/20:

Dr. Lydia Contrares-Martin (Faculty, Univ. Texas Austin) and Dr. Lealon Martin (Faculty, RPI in NY)

“Maintaining a Long Distance Relationship”

Dr. Marcella Wilson (Recently featured on Fox News, and John Tesh Radio)

“Becoming a Tech Expert”

Dr. Kaye Wise Whitehead (Faculty, Loyola University; Emmy nominated filmmaker)

“Managing a Family While in Graduate School”

Dr. Viviana Beatriz MacManus (Postdoctoral Fellow, UMBC)

“Doing International Fieldwork”

(Based on her human rights research  experiences in Argentina, Mexico, and Chile as a graduate student in Latin American Literature and Critical Gender Studies at the University of California, San Diego)

Also featuring:

  • Dr. Sarice Boston (Scientist, BD Technologies – North Carolina) and Dr. Quintin Boston (Faculty, NC A&T) —  “Setting and Keeping Goals”
  • Dr. Adrienne Starks (Scientist, NIH) — “Life as a Postdoctoral Fellow”
  • Dr. Stacey Williams (Faculty, College of Notre Dame) and Dr. Calvin Williams (MD/PhD, Cristiana Care) — “Having Children While in Graduate School”
  • Dr. Jocelyn Reader (Greenebaum Cancer Center and Adjunct Faculty at University of Maryland University Center) — “Applying for a Grant”
  • Dr. Jaron Lockett (NIH/National Institute of Aging) — “Jobs, postdocs, and internships at the NIH – National Institute of Aging”
  • Dr. Alycia Marshall (Math Professor, Anne Arundel Community College) — “Becoming a Professor at a Community College”

Mentors-in-Residence also include participants from our PROMISE IMPACT writing session: Dr. Jennifer Bacon (Faculty, Iona College, NY), Dr. Asha-Lateef Williams (Scientific Reviewer, Kelly Government Services),  Dr. Gary Cruz (Great Minds in STEM, Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists), and others.


TWEET LIVE during the conference!

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