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Thank you for visiting DiscoverUSG, the official news blog for The Universities at Shady Grove.
On April 10th, the 2017 Maryland Legislative Session ended, traditionally known as Sine Die. Unfortunately, this date also signaled the end of my time with Montgomery County’s Office of Intergovernmental Relations (IGR).
As the first Gene Counihan Legislative Intern, I was chosen to support the County’s IGR office during the annual Legislative Session. The Office of IGR represents the County’s interests at the regional, state, and federal levels. Moreover, the Office prepares the Legislative program and acts as the liaison between the state government, the County’s state delegation, and congressional staff.
This position was advertised through the Career and Internship Services Center (CISC) at The Universities at Shady Grove. I am indebted to Jennifer Willis-Oliveira, Acting Assistant Director of Employer Relations, who met with me on numerous occasions to help me improve my resume and cover letter.
I was beyond excited when I found out that I had been selected as Gene Counihan’s Legislative Intern. The anxiety I felt about being the new person quickly faded as the Director (Melanie Wenger), analysts, and staff members (Kathleen Boucher, Sara Morningstar, Amy Samman, Leslie Frey, Verna Price, and Wanda Wells) went above and beyond to make me feel part of the team. I was given important responsibilities and was lucky to witness what goes on behind-the-scenes.
I assisted Delegate Queen (District 14) in receiving a unanimous vote on a bill to extend the eligibility period during which businesses that lease property in the Burtonsville Enterprise Zone may claim both real property tax credit and personal property tax credit. Some of my responsibilities included attending hearings, helping to implement a new county legislative tracking system, analyzing bills, and writing position statements and briefing materials.
In addition to tracking legislation, I attended weekly meetings. On Mondays, the staff would generally meet with the County Council to discuss bills that would be coming on the agenda and asking the Council to take positions on the bills. On Wednesdays, we attended meetings at the Maryland Association of Counties, where representatives from our 24 state counties would try to come to a consensus on the different pieces of legislation. On Fridays, there would usually be Montgomery County House Delegation meetings where the County’s Delegates would discuss and vote on upcoming legislation. Some of the speakers at the Delegation meetings included Senator Ben Cardin and Dr. Jack Smith, Superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools.
The highlight of my experience was meeting Gene Counihan – the man who my position was named after. Gene has an impressive CV – he spent most his life as an educator for Montgomery County Public Schools, he served in the House of Delegates for over 12 years, he served as a special assistant to Governor Glendening, he was the Maryland Government Relations Officer for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, he was elected Chair of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, and served as the inaugural chair of the Board of Advisors at the Universities at Shady Grove.
He told me to meet him in the Legislator’s Lounge of the historic Calvert Inn in Annapolis. To my surprise, it turned out to be the local hangout spot for, Senators, Delegates, administrative and legislative staff members. There I was having dinner with representatives I saw at committee hearings. Gene made sure to introduce me to everyone who entered the room. I even made the acquaintance of some of the Governor’s closest advisors.
Ultimately, it was an experience that I will never forget. I met some truly amazing people with enormous hearts. I will cherish my time with the Office of IGR for the rest of my life and my only regret is that I will no longer see their faces on a day-to-day basis.
It is fair to say that I have learned the importance of civic duty and I definitely plan on returning for the 2018 Legislative Session.
My name is Kelly Rogan and I am the Coordinator for Disability Support Services at USG (housed in the Center for Academic Success). It is my mission to create an accessible and accepting atmosphere for students, staff, and faculty. I would like to take this opportunity to share some information on the use of inclusive language related to individuals with disabilities.
We most likely have no intention to marginalize or cast judgment on those with disabilities but the use of certain phrases or words can do just that. I am not here to give you the “PC” talk and tell you that everything you have ever said, thought, or wrote is wrong or offensive. My intention is to provide you with some insight to help make our campus community an even more inclusive place.
Here are some tips and examples:
I encourage you to keep these in mind as you interact with others on the USG campus, as well as in the general community. Whether you are planning an event, creating signage, or meeting one-on-one, these tips will help you to create an accepting and inclusive environment. Remember – not all disabilities are observable, so consistent use of inclusive language is important, as there are individuals who may never disclose to you that they have a disability; doing so establishes that you are a safe and accepting part of our campus community.
Are you familiar with the Universities at Shady Grove?
Over the last four years, I’ve asked that exact question at countless transfer fairs, college nights, presentations, and Open Houses. As a reader of this blog, you may be tempted to answer “yes,” but just how familiar are you? Do you know how we work? If so, could you explain how we work to others? Could you explain why someone would want to attend USG instead of anywhere else?
I’m Jen Cohen, and I work as the Senior Recruitment Coordinator in the Center for Recruitment and Transfer Access (CRTA), a somewhat hidden component of SAS. I say hidden because unlike the Center for Academic Success, Career and Internship Services Center, Center for Counseling and Consultation, and Office of Student Services, our most pertinent work is largely done off-campus. We help prospective students and community members to become familiar with USG – to understand both how and why it works – and hopefully to attend (or encourage others to attend) a program offered here in the process.
You may not know it, but you’re a recruiter, too. If you’re a current student, when a friend or family member asks you where you attend school, you have an opportunity. If you’re an employee who works at or with USG, when you are asked about your job, you have an opportunity. If you’re a community member, when a neighbor or colleague asks you what those buildings near Giant are, you have an opportunity. An opportunity to spread the word about this hidden gem in Montgomery County that affords so many local residents with an easier path towards becoming a college graduate. But in order to do this, you will need to be armed with some tools. You will need to surpass “familiar” with USG and make it a point to truly understand how it all works. Today, I invite you to get to know USG:
By sharing these simple bullet points with friends, family, and colleagues, you have the chance to provide them with an “aha” moment – that moment when USG transforms from a simple group of buildings into a place that allows them to achieve their educational dreams.
Invite others (and come yourself) to learn more about USG at our upcoming Undergraduate Open House on Saturday, April 22nd. As newly minted recruiters, I’m counting on you to help me spread the word!
Hi there! My name is Shelby Speer, and I am the Graduate Student Services Coordinator in the Office of Student Services at Shady Grove. My job is to improve and enhance the experiences of graduate and professional students via events, programs, and services.
It is true that graduate and professional students are not often in the spotlight on college campuses, but at USG we want to make sure that they feel welcome and appreciated. If you are a graduate student who is reading this blog post, perhaps you have had a Student and Academic Services representative from one of our centers swing by one of your classes and deliver goody bags? Maybe you have relayed your suggestions to a member of our Graduate Student Advisory Committee? Or you have attended an event run by a graduate student organization? These are just a few of the ways that we recognize and value graduate students on the USG campus.
I am very excited about our upcoming inaugural Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week, which is April 3-8 in multiple locations and at various times across campus. The week will feature mini-workshops on a variety of topics, multiple opportunities for free food and beverages, and even “swag bags” just for graduate students! Get the complete event schedule on our website, and/or swing by one of our information tables this week (located in the lobbies of all three buildings).
If you are a graduate or professional student who is looking for ways to get more involved in our campus community, please contact me and I would be glad to discuss options with you. I’d also be happy to hear any suggestions for improving your experience here. Finally, please be sure to check out our Graduate Student Resources webpage, which is frequently updated with events and announcements just for you.
Let’s work together to make this place even more vibrant and welcoming for graduate students. See you at Appreciation Week! And for those of you who are graduating this academic year, I look forward to celebrating with you at our inaugural graduate and professional student Graduation Gala on May 12th as well!
Hi, my name is Mandi Mader and I work as a Counselor in USG’s Center for Counseling and Consultation (CCC) located inside of the Priddy Library. I have over 20 years of experience working with adolescents, young adults, couples and families with a variety of concerns related to ADHD management, relationship problems, parenting skills, and insomnia. But today, I would like to focus on an area that is so common to college students, and that is lack of sleep.
Sleep deficiency can cause problems with learning, focusing, and reacting. You may have trouble making decisions, solving problems, remembering things, controlling your emotions and behavior, and coping with change. You may take longer to finish tasks, have a slower reaction time, and make more mistakes. Sleep deprivation is also linked to a greater risk for anxiety and depression.
A common myth is that people can learn to get by on little sleep with no negative effects. However, research shows that getting enough quality sleep at the right times is crucial for mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.
Ok, now that I have your attention, here are some important tips for getting better sleep:
Remember, we do not need to try to sleep. Our body is designed to sleep. If we increase exercise, keep a schedule, and learn to relax, great sleep is possible. Only YOU can prioritize your health and remember — the only thing that replaces sleep is SLEEP.
If you have trouble a) staying asleep, b) falling asleep, or c) repeatedly waking up too early, three or more times a week for more than one month, you might have insomnia. If you are not sure, and you do not get relief from the above tips, I encourage you to make an appointment at the USG Center for Counseling and Consultation for a free insomnia assessment. To set-up an appointment call 301-738-6273.
Mandi Mader, LCSW-C