UMD Welcomes First PROMISE Postdoctoral Fellow

Obioma Ohia, Ph.D., is the 2014 PROMISE Postdoctoral Fellow conducting research at Maryland’s College Park campus. Photo by Rikke Nielsen.The University of Maryland recently welcomed Obioma Ohia, Ph.D., to its College Park campus for an enriching, year-long research experience. Ohia is the first participant in the University System of Maryland's new PROMISE Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, which is designed to promote faculty diversity by preparing talented postdoctoral trainees with the career skills needed to succeed in academic research in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, PROMISE: Maryland's Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) is a university system-wide effort to facilitate underrepresented graduate student and postdoctoral professional development and pathways to careers. 

"The overall goal of this fellowship is important because faculty have a long-term ability to influence campus culture and environment and strengthen the ability of universities to serve diverse student bodies," Ohia said. "A diverse faculty can encourage students who have similar backgrounds and cultural beliefs, and serve as role models."

Ohia's research seeks to advance our understanding of the outer heliosphere—the region of space containing the solar system and the sun's magnetic field. He is working closely with James Drake, Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Physics. Drake also has appointments in the university's Institute for Physical Science and Technology, Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics (IREAP), and Joint Space-Science Institute.

In addition to conducting research as a visiting research associate at IREAP, Ohia will participate in a community of scholarship, create new collaborations, and cultivate employment opportunities. He will also receive a stipend, benefits, and career development guidance.

Ohia holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Iowa State University and a doctorate in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

To learn more about the PROMISE Postdoctoral Fellowship Program and to apply, please visit

Writer: Niambi Winter

About the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences

The College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland educates more than 8,000 future scientific leaders in its undergraduate and graduate programs each year. The college's 10 departments and six interdisciplinary research centers foster scientific discovery with annual sponsored research funding exceeding $250 million.