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Expanding the Pipeline: The CareerSTEM Team Serve as Mentors-in-Residence at PROMISE 2018

The CareerSTEM Team Serve as Mentors-in-Residence at the PROMISE 2018 Summer Success Institute


The PROMISE Summer Success Institue is a Maryland Pipeline Professional Development Conference, which include activities for undergraduate students with the goal of building a community of scholars who would finish graduate degrees and go on to be professors and leaders in their respective fields. The PROMISE 2018 Summer Success Institute (SSI) brought together graduate students in STEM from underrepresented groups in Maryland for a conference and series of workshops.

The SSI features professional development activities that directly cater to the needs of graduate students in STEM, and peripherally to “postdoctoral fellows, professors, and career professionals (PP&P).” The SSI was developed to connect graduate students before the start of fall semester classes by offering seminars and a welcoming environment to address the loneliness factor, mentally prepare them for a new academic year, share tips for professional development, and develop a sense of community. In an effort to provide underrepresented graduate students in STEM with diverse role models and mentors, the SSI speakers are called “Mentors-in-Residence,” and they engage with participants throughout the duration of the conference, not just during their designated keynote speeches and workshop sessions.

PROMISE: Maryland’s AGEP is a university system-wide effort for the state of Maryland to facilitate underrepresented STEM graduate student and postdoctoral professional development and pathways to careers. UMBC leads the alliance that consists of all 12 colleges, universities, and regional education centers in the University System of Maryland, four community colleges, and a former NSF Model Institution of Excellence Hispanic Serving Institution in Puerto Rico. PROMISE has been a critical catalyst for increasing enrollment, retention, and graduation rates of underrepresented minorities. The annual Summer Success Institute (SSI) attracts 200-225 participants, including speakers from all parts of the U.S., and student guests from other states, e.g., Purdue, MIT, Princeton, universities in Puerto Rico, Georgia Tech, and Texas A&M. The audience will include students: Undergraduate and graduate; postdoctoral fellows, professors, and career professionals. The SSI includes stakeholders of all ages, as the SSI is designed to include families within its structure.

The 2018 SSI will have a strong emphasis on exposing undergraduate and graduate student participants to STEM organizations for current and future employment (including internships, postdoctoral appointments, visiting researchers, and full-time positions). There will also be an emphasis on helping advanced graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and professors to build mutually beneficial research and training partnerships across corporate and government sectors.

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