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Under the GSPD umbrella and building on a legacy of more than 20 years, PROMISE events are organized with minoritized scholars in mind – with  input from students from underrepresented backgrounds in content and design,  PROMISE events build academic skills, social supports, and career networks. While there is intention in ensuring PROMISE events meet the needs of scholars from minoritized backgrounds, they are open to all graduate students and postdocs and PROMISE whole-heartedly welcomes participants from all backgrounds and disciplines. PROMISE at UMBC is a part of a PROMISE network across the University System of Maryland and hopes to provide a community of learning and support from the day you arrive on campus to the proud day you depart for your next career stage.

In your time here, we hope you come to rely on PROMISE to be a “third space” where you feel safe, supported, and championed. We hope you join us for coffees and games, seminars on preparing for a career as a faculty member, building teaching and public speaking skills, enhancing your writing and writing productivity, and learning to network to build a community of peers and mentors effectively. You can learn about the latest offerings and workshops our myUMBC page. We frequently partner with the Graduate Student Association, the Black Graduate Student Organization and the Latinx & Hispanic Graduate Student Association  and other organizations on campus.

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Flagship Events

Besides monthly workshops, some of the PROMISE’s flagship events include:

  • Dissertation House: A multi-day intensive writing workshop with one-on-one coaching to help you make significant progress on your proposal, thesis, or dissertation
  • The Annual PROMISE Research Symposium: An event that honors the work of underrepresented graduate scholars throughout the University System of Maryland
  • Fall Harvest Dinner: A community-building event that brings the whole PROMISE group together for a warm meal and sharing of stories.
  • Summer Success Institute (SSI): A professional development conference hosted by PROMISE program volunteers from across the University System of Maryland that serves as a platform to highlight researchers from underserved backgrounds and facilitates networking opportunities for current graduate students, postdocs, and early career faculty across the State to propel their careers.
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Fall Harvest Dinner

PROMISE has a long history not just here but through the University System of Maryland. PROMISE was initially developed as part of a state-wide alliance through an NSF Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) grant. For additional history on the 2003-2018 AGEP programming, visit PROMISE: Maryland’s AGEP  website.

In 2018, PROMISE received new NSF AGEP funding to diversify postdoctoral scholars and transition them into tenure-track faculty positions. This effort is in alliance with four other University System of Maryland institutions. We are thrilled to offer a community, career support, skill building, and inspiration in this vital part of their academic journey. You can learn more about this new program at the AGEP PROMISE Academy Alliance website. You can register for events by going to my.umbc.edu/groups/gspd.

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Champaining Diversity

The Graduate School at UMBC and PROMISE view diversity as a central part of our vision for creating the best, most effective academic community to push this country forward through outstanding teaching and excellent research, creative scholarship, fieldwork and contributions to society through professional work.

Explore how we champion and support diversity by connecting graduate students to: