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

Posted in OnCampus | Leave a comment

We’re Moving!: Services on Display in the BSE

Adam headshot

By: Adam Binkley, Senior Coordinator Center for Academic Success (CAS)

If you’ve been on campus here at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) anytime over the last year chances are you’ve noticed a little construction project we’ve got going on. You know, that rather large building that now fills out the skyline—the Biomedical Sciences and Engineering (BSE) building.

On a personal level, I’ve been serenaded by construction sounds from the beginning, watching the BSE materialize right outside my office window.

Well, my office window for one more week.

If you were to step into it today you’d hardly know it belonged to me. Colorful posters and books bursting from shelves? Gone. Instead you’ll find bright blue moving crates packed to the brim and bubble wrap (bubbles mostly un-popped). My desk is still covered in papers and pens, but soon those items will be packed up too.

That big, beautiful building I’ve been watching take shape is about to become my new home, and I couldn’t be more excited for you to be my guest.


In the BSE, you are going to see innovation. You will look into laboratories and open classrooms and see science on display. You’re going to see services on display, too. Three of our campus service centers, the Center for Academic Success (CAS), the Career and Internship Services Center (CISC), and the Center for Counseling and Consultation (CCC), are all moving. CAS and CISC are going to be operational in the new building on October 22. CCC will be open in the Spring semester.

This move brings so much more than a new location, primarily it brings new opportunities for students to be their best at USG.

At CAS, we’re excited to have more space for students to work together. Open workstations, spaces for peer academic leaders, and a STEM study space are waiting for collaborative learning. Our testing center will now be in-house, and we have more space for one-on-one writing support and academic coaching.

DSC_3435Our colleagues at the CISC are looking forward to opening their space up for more engagement between students and employers. CISC’s glass wall opens out, expanding space for receptions and events. Within the center, you will see professional development on display through interview rooms for students and employers to connect.

In the spring, the CCC will be moving out of the library to their new home in the BSE. This location will be more discreet, and there will be space for students to be mindful and meditative. With dedicated areas such as group rooms and a relaxation room, students will be able to decompress and destress.

DSC_3451As for me, I’m looking forward to covering a new desk in papers, pens, and the signs that academic progress is being made. I’m looking forward to helping students set goals and exceed them.

And I’m looking forward to you, making this move with me and helping put services on display at USG.

Don’t worry, I won’t make you carry any boxes.


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

Celebrating Women in STEMM: Inspiring Innovation


Parisa Meisami, STEMM Services Coordinator, Center for Academic Success (CAS)

The Student and Academic Services at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG), will host its annual event: “Celebrating Women in STEM: Inspiring Innovation, 2019” on October 3, 2019, from 3:00-7:00pm.

The event is a mini-symposium focusing on research insights and career pathways for women in STEMM (second M for Medicine).  We will have a panel presentation with discussion and a networking session for students and attendees.

With the upcoming opening of the new Biomedical Sciences and Engineering (BSE) facility, USG’s partner universities will be able to bring additional STEMM degrees to this campus and region in the coming years.

Let’s bring together bright minds and kind hearts, and inspire emerging scientists and students and make strong meaningful connections among all attendees!

Keynote Speaker: Carla Easter, Ph.D.
Chief, Education and Community Involvement Branch
National Human Genome Research Institute

Panel Moderator: Hadiya Woodham, Ph.D.
Program Director, Biological Sciences
University of Maryland, College Park at USG

The featured panelist are:
– Kandice Tanner Ph.D. (NIH Stadtman Investigator Head, Tissue Morphodynamics Unit)

– Oldooz Hazrati, Ph.D. (Senior Staff Fellow at FDA)

– Luz J Martinez-Miranda, Ph.D. (Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering at UMD, Maryland Energy Innovation Institute)

Chair of Networking Session: Mina Izadjoo, Ph.D.
President and Chief Science Officer
Integrated Pharma Services

We are asking all attendees to please RSVP.

Women In Stem Event Flyer_Final2_KL

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

Are you robot-proof? Guest Blogger: Tetyana Bezbabna, Assistant Director UMD Information Science


Tetyana Bezbabna, Assistant Director, UMD Information Science

In the 21st century, robots can mimic human intelligence and can do anything: interpreting medical images, scanning resumes, manufacturing automobiles, collecting data on people, and even building other robots! Robots do the same work as humans but much faster and with minimum mistakes. Therefore, many companies are replacing their human labor with machines to optimize their production and make it more cost-efficient. Numerous studies have shown that 40-50% of jobs done by humans today may be eliminated in the next two decades by robots and AI-powered machines.

Have you thought about a robot being able to do your job? Would it be more efficient and productive at it? Should you worry about the chance of an AI machine replacing you?  What skills you need to learn and master to make yourself robot-proof, making sure no robot is as successful as you are when performing your responsibilities. The University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) Bachelor of Science in Information Science (InfoSci) program offered at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) will help you answer those questions and gain the necessary skills and proper qualifications to differentiate yourself from AI-powered machines, securing your job and helping you advance professionally.

Data Visualization

Our academic program teaches students the skills from three following areas, making sure they are competitive in a current job market:

  • Creative thinking and continuous innovation — we teach our students to have a creative mindset and the mental elasticity to adopt, invent, discover, and create novel technology and information solutions valuable to organizations and our society as a whole.
  • Effective teamwork and strategic leadership — our students are taught to work in teams, motivate their team members, and lead their teams to success.
  • Human, data, and technology literacy — our students do not only know how to effectively work with computers, but also how to successfully work with people and use available data and information to make strategic decisions.

Group Brainstorming

InfoSci is a multidisciplinary program which combines knowledge from computer science, data and information science, management, and user experience. Therefore, whether you want to work with data to discover and visualize novel solutions to organizational problems or lead a team in designing, developing, or deploying an information system, an InfoSci degree from UMD will help you achieve your professional goals. In our courses, students learn a great variety of skills by undertaking different organizational roles including the role of a creative designer — responsible for building a system prototype, business analyst — responsible for gathering system’s business requirements and translating those into user stories, or developer — responsible for building the actual system based on communicated system requirements.

Contact us today at usginfosci@umd.edu to discuss your professional interests, and the ways our program can help you work towards achieving those. Join us today to ensure your career in the future!


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

Human Trafficking…Exposed. Guest Post: Dr. Wendy Stickle, Program Director, UMD Criminology & Criminal Justice

Wendy Stickle

Dr. Wendy Stickle, Program Director of the University of Maryland, College Park Criminology and Criminal Justice program at USG

Human trafficking.  Prostitution.  Child labor. Exploitation.  These are words we have all heard.  These are words we often attribute to far off, exotic places.  Maybe Vietnam? India? Russia? Places that aren’t as developed and modern as the United States.  Not as wealthy as Montgomery County.  Those who make these assumptions are partially correct. Human trafficking occurs in Eastern Europe. It is happening in South East Asia.  But, it is also happening here in Montgomery County. It is occurring in every state in the United States.  If confirmation is needed, consider the recent arrest of Emily Zhang.  After a four-month investigation by the Montgomery County Police’s Vice and Intelligent Unit, Ms. Zhang was arrested for prostitution and human trafficking.

Like most people, I also didn’t fully understand the magnitude of the world’s human trafficking problem. It wasn’t until I was asked to teach a course on the topic in 2014 that it really hit home.  Human trafficking is occurring in every country, on every continent in the world.  Corruption, demand, and fortune are just a few factors that explain how this could be.  Once I finally digested this knowledge, I was overwhelmed, almost suffocating.  How could slavery still exist? What could I to do about it? I struggled with this last question.  I couldn’t give money to every worthy organization. I couldn’t travel to work exposing the traffickers and those complicit in the crime of trafficking. What I could do, however, was raise awareness.  I could make people realize this crime is occurring in their own backyards.  Help people understand the signs of trafficking, hopefully increase the reporting of this often invisible crime.

Human Trafficking book.jpgIn this effort to raise awareness, I began teaching a semester-long course on human trafficking—the first at the University of Maryland, College Park.  My colleague and I developed a study abroad course, taking students around the world, to see for themselves how this crime occurs.  I am the Chair of the Montgomery County Human Trafficking Committee’s Education and Outreach subcommittee. And most recently, I co-authored the first textbook on human trafficking from the criminology/criminal-justice perspective.  It is my hope that this book will land in the hands of many.  Students and those interested around the country, will gain a better understanding of the complexities that allow for this crime to occur.

Stickle Class

Dr. Stickle and her students studying the intersection between
 refugee status and human trafficking in South Italy, July 2019.

I work in higher education to expose students to ideas, opportunities, and challenges they may have never considered.  Whether it be through a book, in the classroom, or places like Thailand, Cambodia, Italy, and next summer, South Africa, I hope that I am empowering all of my students to be informed and to be pioneers of change.  This generation will have the ability to not only demand, but create change towards a more just world where human trafficking does not exist.

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

Sign Up. Stand Out. Guest Post: Shelby Speer, Graduate Student Services Coordinator


Shelby Speer, Graduate Student Services Coordinator

Want to develop some superb skills that will make you stand out to employers? My name is Shelby Speer, and I am the Graduate Student Services Coordinator here at USG. I am also the main coordinator of leadership programming, and wanted to tell you a little bit about some great opportunities that you should take advantage of.

First, register for the #USGLeads Leadership Symposium on September 18. At this event, you will hear from experts and engage in activities designed to increase your leadership proficiencies. Our keynote speaker is Tony Spearman-Leach, the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations for Make-a-Wish Mid-Atlantic. He will be followed by an activity where you will learn how to make the most your online presence. Next, you will choose from three workshops on different leadership topics.

Next, sign up to complete a nationally-recognized Emerging Leadership Badge! This self-paced achievement will encourage you to apply leadership development theory to activities that you may already be doing. It only takes about 15 hours to complete, and you’ll receive a certificate and gift at the Student Engagement Recognition Awards ceremony. Already completed this badge? Apply for the Expanding Leadership Badge! Enrollment is encouraged by September 15, though applications are rolling.

Finally, I am excited to announce the launch of the Interculturalist Badge: the first in the state! You can either complete this at your own pace like the leadership badges, or in conjunction with the in-person Leadership and Diversity Learning Series. Sign up today!

We hope that you will engage in one or more of these rewarding opportunities: in addition to looking great on your resume, they will help you to expand your co-curricular opportunities at USG. Please feel free contact me with any questions at srspeer@umd.edu.


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

Fall 2019 Welcome from USG Executive Director

Dr. Stewart Edelstein

Dr. Stewart Edelstein, USG Executive Director

Welcome to the start of another exciting academic year.  Believe it or not, this fall marks the beginning of USG’s 20th year since our campus launched full-time degree programs from universities throughout the University System of Maryland. We’ve certainly come a long way since that time!

Since 2000, approximately 12,000 students have earned degrees from the nine universities that deliver academic programs on the USG campus. Another 1,000 or so new anticipated graduates this year will help to increase that total yet again. To all of the students beginning their studies at USG this year, I want to extend a very special welcome to each of you as you pursue your degrees and career aspirations.

A very special welcome to the students and faculty in programs that are starting at USG this academic year:  from Salisbury University, the MS in Applied Health Physiology; from the University of Maryland (Baltimore) School of Pharmacy, the MS in Pharmaceutical Science and the MS in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics; and from UMBC, the MPS Biotechnology program and the BS in Translational Life Science Technology.

Opening Soon…the BSE!

Later this fall, we will open our fourth academic building: the new, state-of-the-art Biomedical Sciences and Engineering (BSE) education facility. Construction is nearly complete and we look forward to moving in within the next few weeks. We also look forward to an exciting grand opening celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony set for the afternoon of November 7. Please mark your calendars. You’ll hear more about that event in the weeks ahead.


Biomedical Sciences and Engineering (BSE) Education Facility

Fun Facts and Attributes about the BSE:

  • A six-level, 220,000-square-foot building, essentially the size of all three other buildings combined. It will enable the campus to ultimately more than double its enrollment capacity.
  • One of the most sustainably sourced and built laboratory buildings in the region – on track to receive LEED Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, the highest such rating.
  • Includes 20 fully-equipped teaching laboratories to serve a wide range of STEM programs, along with 12 active learning classrooms and two 120-plus seat lecture halls.
  • Unique features will include a product design laboratory and significant work space for student research projects.

So What is Going in the BSE, You May Ask?

Lecture halls and classrooms in the BSE will be available for use by all faculty and students.  We welcome everyone on campus to use the building as a place to meet, study and socialize. It’s a large facility with many different kinds of places to congregate. I hope you will spend some time enjoying the beautiful, outdoor public art feature with running water, when the installation is complete, adjacent to the boardwalk.

One of the first and most exciting features of the new BSE will be a full-service, community dental clinic that will be operated by the University of Maryland (Baltimore) School of Dentistry. Equipped with 24 operatory stations, including four enclosed surgical offices, the facility will provide comprehensive dental care to community patients. Care will be provided by faculty-supervised, advanced general education dental students and dental hygiene students.

Academic programs will be phased into the new BSE over the next three years. UMBC’s Translational Life Science Technology and the UMCP Biological Sciences will be the first to use the specialized laboratories in the new facility. Next year, the UMCP Clark School of Engineering will use the BSE for its new degree, Embedded Systems and the Internet of Things, which will be offered exclusively at USG.  UMBC will be using the computational labs for its Computer Science program, with a specialization in Cybersecurity. And the University of Maryland (Baltimore) School of Dentistry will offer a BS/MS program in Clinical Dental Hygiene Leadership and a post-baccalaureate certificate program in Oral Health Science.

Some Student Services will Relocate to BSE

Three of USG’s Student and Academic Services will be relocating to the BSE. These offices and their new locations will be:

  • The Center for Academic Success (first floor, suite 1322);
  • The Career and Internship Services Center (first floor, suite 1318); and
  • The Center for Counseling and Consultation (third floor, suite 3139).

State Commission to Study USG Begins its Work

During the last Maryland General Assembly session in Annapolis, state lawmakers created a special study commission to focus on Ensuring the Viability of the Universities at Shady Grove.

The commission, which is being led by the University System of Maryland Chancellor’s Office, recently began its work and is reviewing issues such as the future growth of degree programs at USG, and the institution’s funding methodology and decision-making structure. The group will also analyze USG’s impact on economic and workforce development in Montgomery County and the region.

USG Board of Advisors Chair Michael Knapp and I are among the individuals serving on the commission. I want to thank those on the USG staff who have been helping to prepare important background for the commission and I want to thank our Board of Advisors and members of the community for their engagement and advocacy. The commission’s work will be pivotal in helping to shape the future of USG and a long-term financial model to support the campus’s operations.  A final report is due to the General Assembly by December 1.

The commission will hold two listening sessions as part of its work.   The first listening session is scheduled for September 11 from 5-6 pm.  It will be held at USG.

This listening session is specifically designated for gathering feedback from students, faculty and staff. I would urge all of those within the USG community who are interested in providing input or following the discussions to participate.

More information will be distributed separately about the listening session location and how members of the USG community can sign up to speak. In addition, anyone interested will be able to provide written feedback to the commission via a website which is being set up.

Fall Events Abound

In addition to the BSE grand opening event, we have a busy and exciting fall season of events ahead. You can always keep up with campus events and news on the USG website, but here are just a few highlights of what’s ahead:

Some Other Happenings on Campus

Some of you just returning for the fall may have noticed that Building III was recently rededicated and is now officially named the Camille and Clifford Kendall Academic Center.” Our most sincere thanks to the whole Kendall family. They joined us at a special event to honor the legacy of Cliff Kendall, one of USG’s founders and greatest supporters. At that event, the Kendall family also generously announced that they would be making an additional major donation to expand scholarship opportunities for students at USG, including those who will be entering the new Clark School of Engineering programs that will begin here in 2020.

Kendall Family

The Kendall family at building re-dedication ceremony.

I want to remind you about Mobile Market Mondays, a food distribution program which takes place on campus each fourth Monday of the month, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Lot 5. USG is proud to continue its partnership with the Capital Area Food Bank, which provides a variety of fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, and other food items at zero cost for distribution to individuals from the campus and greater community.

The Priddy Library offers several workshops, study rooms, snack options and extended hours for students. Take advantage of all of their resources to help you succeed.

Finally, I want to close by extending best wishes to some special students at USG, who I know will have a busy and exciting year ahead! Congratulations to USG’s new Student Council President Mikal Abraha and to all of her fellow elected members of the Council, which represents the students enrolled in undergraduate programs from the various universities on campus. I invite you to check out the full listing of the Council members on our website.

To stay up-to-date on all that is happening around campus, please make sure you sign up to receive the USG Weekly e-newsletter, download the USG Mobile App, and read the news blog “Discover USG” and the student blog “Around the Grove.” For emergency notifications and weather closings, sign up for USG Alerts and follow USG social media (FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn).

It’s going to be an exciting year at USG and I want to wish all of you the very best!

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

In Demand: Government Accounting and Finance Professionals

The sky is the limit with a Graduate Certificate in Government Financial Management.

Mikhail Pevzner

By Mikhail Pevzner, Professor of Accounting, University of Baltimore

Knowledgeable government accounting and finance professionals are essential to the thousands of entities that require regular auditing, including government contracting firms, municipalities, counties and even the federal government.  So essential, in fact, that Big4 and non-Big4 accounting firms perform plenty of government auditing and consulting work, especially in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area.

Some of the largest government consultants and auditors in the area are Deloitte, EY and KPMG. In Baltimore, CliftonLarsonAllen is heavily involved in government audit work and SB & Company audits the City of Baltimore. Internal audit jobs are also in demand in government agencies such as Maryland Office of Legislative Auditor or Baltimore’s City Auditor’s Office. The opportunities for career growth within these careers are many, and they often provide excellent benefits and work-life balance. Accounting and finance careers are a good fit for non-traditional students, career-changers and professionals seeking to reach the next level in their career.

The University of Baltimore’s Graduate Certificate in Government Financial Management—offered at both the Universities at Shady Grove and UB’s Baltimore campus—is specifically designed to prepare you for a career in government accounting and finance by focusing on the content of Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) exam. And, most courses are offered online or in hybrid formats.


For those who complete the Certificate and want to continue to deepen their accounting education, you can add several more courses and complete your Master’s in Accounting and Business Advisory Services degree, which is offered completely online or at UB’s Baltimore campus. You can also pursue graduate certificates in internal audit services or business valuation to further or enhance your skill-set and employability.

There are minimal prerequisites for the certificate, which makes it achievable even if you don’t have an accounting background. With some basic accounting and finance courses and a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college, you’ll be well on your way to a new (or greater) fulfilling career in government accounting and finance.

Ready to get started? Contact Mikhail Pevzner, professor of accounting and the Ernst and Young chair in accounting, at the University of Baltimore, at mpevzner@ubalt.edu or 410-837-5862.

About the Author

Mikhail Pevzner is a professor of accounting at the University of Baltimore and academic program director for the Graduate Certificate in Government Financial Management. He also holds the E&Y Chair in Accounting. His research interests include empirical archival capital markets research, empirical archival auditing, disclosure, international accounting and finance. In academic year 2016-17 Pevzner was a visiting academic fellow, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Chief Accountant. He returned to the S.E.C. during academic 2018-2019 as visiting economist in the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis. Pevzner earned his Ph.D. at Washington University in St Louis.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment