Hello everyone! My name is Robyn Dinicola-Wagle and I am the Chief Student Affairs Officer for the Student and Academic Services (SAS) division at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG).
Have you ever sat down in front of a computer screen to approach a writing assignment or some other task and drawn a blank, or been uncertain about where to begin? This was me 18 years ago when I was tasked with building a student affairs operation at USG from the ground up. I was sitting in an empty office in Building II, with a blank sheet of paper in front of me, and a great deal of uncertainty and anxiety about how and where to begin. While the task was a challenging one, I refused to let doubt or uncertainty derail me. I forged ahead with optimism and excitement and tried to remember that I was not alone, that I had resources and support at my disposal. I stayed focused on my goal of ensuring that, through close collaboration with our partner campuses, the students who enrolled in programs at USG, would have a support system in place and opportunities to have a robust college experience at the USG campus.
While there were a few bumps along the way, I am delighted at how far we have come and excited about the services and programs available to students at USG. Students are the heart of what we do and we continue to let your voices guide the development of the student experience at USG.
When SAS opened in 2000, it was staffed with just two people. Today, SAS is comprised of five departments with 40 dedicated, knowledgeable, and professional team members. Our extraordinary team provides services and creates opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to connect, engage, and succeed. We provide numerous opportunities for you to develop your skills and abilities, and to engage in the USG community. The question is . . . will you take advantage of all that USG has to offer you?
There is no shortage of opportunities for you to engage at USG. We offer more than 50 student organizations, and promote an active and diverse community through a variety of programs, events, and activities. Students at USG can develop leadership and organizational skills through involvement in Student Council, Student Ambassadors, Guided Study Session Leaders, Student Event Board, Orientation Leaders, and through a variety of leadership programming, including our newly forming USG Emerging Leader badge and our monthly lunch and lead series. Don’t miss the first event in this series for a discussion on Women in Leadership, happening October 12th.
In SAS, we offer assistance in locating meaningful internships that work with your competing life and school priorities and will assist you in preparing for your transition from school to career. We will help you strengthen your writing abilities and enhance your academic abilities through our expert writing coaches, peer-led guided study sessions and Writing Fellows Program. We provide free counseling and skills workshops as well as opportunities for you to de-stress and have fun. I encourage you to explore the broad range of services, programs and activities we offer through SAS:
Office of Student Services (OSS)
Need to get your USG ID? Stop by OSS! Do you need help with scholarships or financial aid? The OSS team can answer your questions. We also support student organizations, veteran and international student services, and leadership development.
Center for Academic Success (CAS)
Need help with writing papers or study skills? The CAS team can help you by providing academic coaching, writing consultations, disability support, and great workshops to help you achieve your academic goals!
Career & Internship Services Center (CISC)
Looking for a job or internship? CISC staff will provide one-on-one coaching to help improve your resume and cover letter, enhance your job search strategies and even prepare you for interviews! Find jobs and internships on our USG Career Connector.
Center for Counseling & Consultation (CCC)
Need a safe place where you can talk about some life’s stressors or other personal concerns? The CCC team has licensed therapists who will provide you free and confidential services; including personal/relationship counseling; career and major counseling and skills workshops.
Do you want to get involved and make a difference? The team in OSS provides many ways for you to get involved in the USG community. We provide opportunities for you to develop your leadership skills, to take part in community service and to attend social events on campus.
I encourage you to take advantage of all that USG has to offer. Don’t let feelings of uncertainty or anxiety hold you back! Keep forging ahead and know that we are here to assist you — all you need to do is take the first step and connect with us! Please feel free to call upon me or any member of the Student and Academic Services team for support and assistance. You can find us in the SAS Suite, Building III, first floor for access to our services, or find us on the USG website to make an appointment. And keep an eye out for USG’s first mobile app, which will be available in November!