Thank you for visiting DiscoverUSG, the official news blog for The Universities at Shady Grove.

Posted in OnCampus | Leave a comment

Grover Essentials

Grover Essentials is a service that provides students, faculty, and staff at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) with the opportunity to get staple foods, toiletries, and baby items at no cost to them. It was started as a way to increase food access and promote wellness at USG. Grover Essentials had its grand opening on August 20th and so far it has had great success as measured by the number of total visits, number of unique customers, and self-reported satisfaction with this service. The only requisite to use Grover Essentials is to have a valid USG ID. Customers also fill out an intake and liability form the first time they shop at Grover Essentials and fill out a satisfaction survey after each use. Customers are encouraged to visit Grover Essentials once a week.

Grover Essentials

Increasing food access and promoting wellness became a central idea to the creation of Grover Essentials as the more we talked to students, faculty, and staff it became apparent that this would not only be a beneficial service but also a much needed one. In Psychology classes we are taught about Maslow’s pyramid of human needs and the first level is composed of securing physiological requirements for breathing, food, water, shelter, clothing, and sleep. Keeping this in mind we decided that if we could help students attain their basic needs, they would be better prepared to help themselves with succeeding in their education and personal lives.

Food insecurity has recently been a hot topic among researchers as studies have shown that college students at all levels (2-year and 4-year colleges) are experiencing hunger and having to make decisions between paying for food, housing, and tuition bills (Blumenthal & Chu, 2018). Food insecurity is defined as, “limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods, or the ability to acquire such foods in a socially acceptable manner. The most extreme form is often accompanied with physiological sensations of hunger” (Goldrick-Rab, Richardson, & Hernandez, 2017).

The University of Wisconsin’s Harvesting Opportunities for Postsecondary Education (HOPE) Lab surveyed more than 33,000 students across 70 colleges in the United States and they found that 67% of the students were food insecure (Goldrick-Rab, Richardson, & Hernandez, 2017). Not only is this significant from the standpoint that the majority of college students surveyed were experiencing food insecurity but also because this was much higher than the 12.3% of Americans in the general population who reported being food insecure according to the United States Department of Agriculture (America’s Eating Habits: Food Away From Home, n.d.). Being centered in one of the wealthiest counties in the country does not completely insulate us from these issues. Manna reports that 79,000 to 81,000 Montgomery County residents do not know where their next meal will be coming from (Manna Food Center, n.d.). Grover Essentials has become one of the tools we are using to ameliorate this reality for our students.

Grover Essentials was made possible through the generous donations from various departments and individuals at USG. We are thrilled with the response and usage that Grover Essentials has gotten thus far. We have had more traffic than we had previously anticipated and as a result we have secured two UMBC interns to help us keep up with the demand. Manna has also been a strong supporter of the Grover Essentials effort and has committed to helping us restock Grover Essentials as need arises. We are fully stocked so pass the word around and come check us out!

America’s Eating Habits: Food Away From Home. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Blumenthal, S., M.D., & Chu, C. (2018, August 06). Food Insecurity on College Campuses.
Retrieved from https://www.clasp.org/press-room/news-clips/food-insecurity-college-campuses

Goldrick-Rab, S., Richardson, J., & Hernandez, A. (2017). Hungry and homeless in college:
Results from a national study of basic needs insecurity in higher education. Madison, WI:
Wisconsin Hope Lab.

Manna Food Center | Facts and Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved from


Posted in OnCampus, Students, Top Stories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Celebrating Women in STEMM


By: Parisa Meisami

The Student and Academic Services at the Universities at Shady Grove will host its very first Celebrating Women in STEMM event on Tuesday, October 9th from 3-6pm. The event is a mini-symposium focusing on education and career pathways for women in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Medical).  There will be a panel discussion, networking, activities, and information for students and attendees.

This event will:

  • Increase the awareness about challenges that women face in STEMM either in education or workplace and discuss the possible remedies and strategies to manage them.
  • Familiarize students with different career pathways in STEMM that they could consider for their future
  • Encourage students already in STEMM fields to stay in STEMM fields

The panelists will talk about their educational and professional experiences and share their advice with students who would like to pursue STEMM careers.  Following the panel discussion there will be a demonstration and resource fair, as well as professional networking. Organizations such as NASA, the Rockville Science Center, Integrated Pharma, and Lonza are scheduled to participate.

The featured panelist are:

  • Annica Wayman, Ph.D., Associate Dean of UMBC, TLST
  • Alexis Bossie, Ph.D., Head of Media of Therapeutic Cell Solution
  • Mina Izadjoo, Ph.D., President and Chief Science Officer of Integrated Pharma
  • Poorva Dharkar, Ph.D., MBA, President of Association of the Women In Science, Bethesda Chapter
  • Jana Goodwin, Ph.D, RN, CNE, Assistant Professor at USG, Director, BSN Program, OAD
  • Chioma Obi, M.D., MPH,  Maryland Tech Connection
  • Treniece Terry, Ph.D., Senior Associate/Chemical Engineer, Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute
  • Somara Theodore, Meteorologist,  NBC 4 Washington
  • Moderator, Raquel Marhsall, PhD, Electrical Engineer and Second-Career Educator from NASA,

Registration is FREE! Register today!

If you have any question, please feel free to contact Parisa Meisami.

Women In Stem Event Flyer-1

Posted in Community, Guest Post, OnCampus, Students, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

USG Hosts its First Ally Week!

shelby photo 11-14-16

By: Shelby Speer

What is Ally Week?

In 2005, the Gay Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) hosted the first LGBT Ally Week, which is when “LGBTQ K-12 students and LGBTQ educators lead the conversation on what they need from their allies in school.”1 Since that time, the efforts have expanded to colleges and universities to better promote student safety and well-being.

What Does LGBTQIA+ Stand For?

The acronym may differ slightly, but it generally means “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, asexual, and more.” Allies can have none, one, or more than one of these identities, as everyone has the capacity to be an ally!

What’s going on at USG?

We have a full program of events going on in support of Ally Week. The complete schedule is below. Be sure to check out the Information Tables Monday and Tuesday, the Free2B Meet and Mingle Wednesday and Thursday, and the launch of the USG Identity Quilt project on Friday. Most importantly, please register for the Ally 101 Training on Thursday: space is limited and lunch will be provided.

USG Pride Day 2018_7

What else can I do to be a better ally?

GLSEN recommends2:

  • Intervene when you hear anti-LGBTQ language or remarks.
  • Be conscious of your privilege and speak from your own experiences, rather than assuming the experiences of LGBTQ students and other marginalized folks.
  • Read our resource on being an ally to trans and gender nonconforming students.
  • Practice asking someone’s pronouns in a respectful way. Learn more by reading our pronoun resource.
  • Familiarize yourself with the rights of trans and gender nonconforming students in schools.
  • Review “6 Questions About Allyship Answered by LGBTQ Students

What resources are available to me at USG?

  • USG offers a single-use All-Gender Restroom located in Building III, 1st floor near the Priddy Library and the Student & Academic Services office.
  • Review the LGBTQIA+ Resources webpage for an extensive list of resources
  • Join the LGBTQIA+ Listserv to be kept “in the know” about future LGBTQIA+ events and initiatives

We look forward to seeing you at Ally Week! For more information, please email Shelby Speer.


1“Ally Week” GLSEN, http://www.glsen.org/allyweek.
2 “Action for Allies” GLSEN, https://www.glsen.org/allyweek/betterallies.

Ally Week poster_ 8.5x11 (3)

Posted in Faculty/Staff, Guest Post, OnCampus, Students, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Mobile Market Mondays at USG

Beginning this Monday, September 24th, the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) is implementing initiatives to encourage health and wellness on campus through Mobile Market Mondays. The Mobile Market is a program supported by the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB), who provides fresh seasonal fruits, vegetables, and other food items at ZERO COST for distribution to the campus and community. All you need to do is stop by Lot 5 (visitor’s parking lot), bring your grocery bags and pick up some food. We invite you to come on the 4th Monday of every month to collect food items.

Looking to volunteer? The market will run solely on volunteer labor; we welcome all volunteers. Please sign up here.

In addition to the Mobile Market Mondays at USG there is also the new food pantry, Grover Essentials, located in the SAS Suite (building III). All members of the USG Community with a valid USG ID are welcome to visit on a weekly basis. For more details and ways to involved, please contact:

Obioma Akaigwe                         Iris Schauerman
oakaigwe@umd.edu                     ischauer@umd.edu
Tel: 301-738-6169                           Tel: 301-738-6189

We are excited about these programs and hope it will help in the effort to promote wellness and healthy living.

Fall Semester Market Days Schedule:
Time: 11am-1pm  
Location: Lot 5
Sept 24th

Oct 22nd
Nov 26

Note: No proof of eligibility is required. Food availability is on a first-come basis. There will be no market when campus is closed.

USG Mobile Market Poster Final Version 1


Posted in Community, Faculty/Staff, OnCampus, Students, Top Stories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Executive Director’s Welcome Message and Video

Dr. Stewart Edelstein

Dr. Stewart Edelstein

Dear USG Community,

A warm welcome to students, faculty, and staff and especially those new to USG! There’s a remarkable energy here.  It comes from the enthusiasm of our students, the close interaction between students and faculty, and a supportive staff.

We pride ourselves on the full range of academic and student services we offer and the many activities available to enrich a students’ educational experience and assist in their personal and career development.  I encourage all students to participate in the Town Hall meetings of our Student Council and Graduate Student Advisory Council. Your experiences and feedback only make us stronger.

Keep up-to-date with all of the news and activities happening around USG on our website, the USG Mobile phone app, USG Weekly e-newsletter, and on social media. Check out what students are saying by reading the Around the Grove student blog. We also have a news blog, DiscoverUSG, where we feature guest bloggers (faculty, staff and students). If you have an interesting story to share, please let us know. There’s nothing more that I love than hearing from students on our campus.

I hope that you find your experience at USG to be a rewarding and enriching one. I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible throughout the semester.

Here’s to a wonderful year!


Stewart Edelstein, Ph.D.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, USM
Executive Director, USG


Posted in OnCampus, Top Stories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Guest Post: Rommel Pazmino, UMD Criminology & Criminal Justice student

Rommel photo

Rommel Pazmino

My name is Rommel Pazmino and I’m a junior studying Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland, College Park at the Universities at Shady Grove. This summer I decided  to study abroad in Italy to better understand the vulnerabilities associated with being a refugee in Italy. As a Criminology and Criminal Justice major, I have a passion to help and assist people who are in need of help. However, before you can help others you need to know their individual stories to be able to help them. In the news we hear a lot about immigration policy changes, undocumented people being deported, kids being separated from their families and we are too busy thinking about what is happening here that we forget about the rest of the world.

The truth is that today, the world has a migration and immigration crisis and it’s not just a problem in the U.S or Europe. Other countries in Latin America and in the Middle East are going through the same thing. Unfortunately, this crisis makes immigrants, migrants, and refugees very susceptible to human trafficking due to their vulnerabilities. Human trafficking is the second largest criminal industry and it’s considered a form of modern slavery. This criminal industry exploits millions of children and adults every day. This is a topic that many people don’t know about.

Rommel Italy 2

During my trip, I developed an understanding of the reactions to human trafficking, both by the government as well as non-profit organizations. I also participated in activities in a non-profit setting in order to understand the challenges faced by both the organization and the people it serves. LESS, the non-profit that I visited in the city of Naples, was a wonderful well-organized institution that has dedicated 19 years to the growing migrant population in Italy. LESS provides activities and projects that are part of an integrated support system for social inclusion to prevent failure of integration, inequality, marginalization, and discrimination against migrants. Some of their programs and activities include psychological support ( for victims of human trafficking), legal advice and support, writing center (for resumes), ELICA (program with integration activities in the community), WIU (art classes for adolescents), IARA-AIDA (programs that provide Italian lessons, internships, job opportunities, counseling, food and shelter). Overall, LESS “emphasizes the importance of building a community in which refugees are socially integrated with the public.”

Rommel Italy 3Marco, a member at LESS, said that politicians and the media in Europe portray migrants as a flood, invasion or swarm, when in reality migrants benefit the community and economy. The truth is that “people who flee crises are seeds, scattered by a storm. When too many seeds are stuffed into one farm’s soil, few germinate and everyone loses. If farmers fear this outcome enough, those fears can become self-fulfilling. As each farmer pushes the seeds downhill onto someone else’s land, they pile up and become a burden. Alternatively, farmers share the seeds and all reap a rich harvest” – Michael A. Clemens.

Rommel GroupThis experience changed my worldview and I was able to feel a connection with the refugees because even though my story is different I’m also a migrant. I’m glad that there are places like LESS that truly care for people in need. Italy is a beautiful country with warm people that made me feel like I was home. I am thankful for the adventures I had, for the people I met, the culture I was exposed to, and the lifelong memories I’ve made. My study abroad experience will forever hold a special place in my heart. Finito, allora andiamo!

Rommel Italy 1

Posted in Guest Post, Students, Top Stories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Guest Post: Davina Whyte, Summer R.I.S.E. Intern at USG

Davina Whyte

Davina Whyte

Hello, my name is Davina Whyte. I am a rising senior at Northwood High School. This summer I had the opportunity to participate in the Summer R.I.S.E. program. Summer R.I.S.E. (Real Interesting Summer Experience) is a unique opportunity for Montgomery County High School students to explore potential careers and for local businesses to participate in developing a talent pipeline. I thought the Summer R.I.S.E. program would be a great opportunity for me to experience the workfield.

During my first week as an intern for the marketing and communications department at The Universities at Shady Grove (USG), I was able to experience what it is like to work in a professional setting. When I first found out I was assigned to USG, I was afraid I wouldn’t fit in because I am a high school student working with adults and I didn’t know much about marketing and communications. The staff at USG were inviting and my coordinators, Laura and Kristen, were able to teach me everything I needed to know and helped me with my projects that I had to complete. I knew that if I had a question I could just ask them and that is a very comforting feeling being in a new environment where I didn’t know anyone. Working with marketing and communications really helped me gain a better understanding of what really happens behind the scenes of getting the USG message out there.

While working on my project I learned how to plan and take notes. I’ve also learned how to conduct focus groups and become more comfortable with public speaking. Attending meetings has taught me that taking other people’s opinions into consideration is also important. Another big thing that I learned was that not everything you do is perfect the first time. Most things take multiple tries and you will sometimes need help along the way and that’s where teamwork comes into play. With marketing and communications, they have a lot of things to do and by them coming together to show how much progress they have made and what they need to work on is an important part to working in a professional setting.

Now that I have spent these three weeks here, I am definitely going to miss all the people that I have met. Luckily, I plan on attending the University of Maryland, College Park at USG and majoring in Communications. All in all, my experience at USG has been a great one. I would encourage other students who are looking for a way to gain experience in a business setting to participate in the Summer R.I.S.E. program and look for an internship opportunity at USG.

Summer RISE students

Summer R.I.S.E. intern students at USG (left to right): Briana Flores Ramirez, Davina Whyte and Arianna Carr (Kevin Liu not pictured).

Posted in Community, Guest Post, OnCampus, Students, Top Stories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment