Recently, I had the opportunity to reconnect with Armen Ghazarian, a 2008 graduate of The University of Maryland, College Park at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG), and a current epidemiologist at the National Cancer Institute. Before Armen found USG, he didn’t think his goal of becoming a doctor was possible. But, the location and cost of UMD College Park’s Biological Sciences program at USG put him on the path to success and introduced him to a new career path, in which he now thrives.
Armen is an example of what we call The Power of 9: the transformational effect that students experience when they pursue advanced degrees offered at the Universities at Shady Grove. As part of the University System of Maryland, USG’s collaborative model provides students the opportunity to access top-rated undergraduate and graduate degree programs from across 9 Maryland public universities, all on one convenient campus. Of the 10,000 students who have graduated from programs offered at USG, nearly 9,000 have remained in Montgomery County and are active participants in the workforce. It’s one of the many statistics that make me especially proud.
The transformational effect that Armen experienced at USG is like the stories I hear from students and graduates nearly every day. As I walk along our campus, I know full well that I am in the presence of our region’s future social workers, engineers, data scientists, hotel and restaurant managers, business owners, healthcare providers — each actively transforming their own futures through the innovation and creative collaboration of our university partners through The Power of 9.
This week, USG will launch an exciting new campaign around The Power of 9 which will feature Armen as well as several other rising stars who transformed their futures at USG. The campaign includes prominent advertising on Metrorail, on bus routes in Montgomery County, across social and digital platforms, and in a new on-campus event series, called Beyond the Degree.
Our new campaign is designed to celebrate, support and grow the qualities that set USG’s model of higher education apart and is timed with a fresh new rebrand of our look and logo. Together, these exciting changes signal just a bit of the positive momentum that we have planned for the year ahead.
This momentum will be significantly advanced by the opening in Fall 2019 of the Biomedical Sciences and Engineering (BSE) Education facility at USG. The BSE will bring new degrees into the region from our university partners in medical, technical sciences, engineering, computational and information sciences that will open up career opportunities for students and grow our local talent pool in these important fields.
This campaign is for students as much as it is for our regional business community. Our collaboration with business and community leaders, working closely with our university and regional education partners to prepare students beyond the degree has powered the region’s economic development, but we are just getting started. Our hope is that this campaign further inspires students and businesses to consider what’s possible when they tap into the Power of 9.
Over the next several weeks, be on the lookout for USG’s ad campaign, and in the meantime visit powerof9.org to learn more and to get involved.