Did you know that there are over 1,000 graduate students taking classes at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG)? My name is Shelby Speer, and I am the Graduate Student Services Coordinator in the Center for Student Engagement and Financial Resources. My main role is to enhance programming, engagement, and support for this wonderful population.
You may be aware that we hosted our second annual Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week earlier this month. I am proud to announce that we were even more successful than last year, as we had 234 total interactions! As part of the week’s activities, students made their own trail mix, planted flowers, gave feedback to Dr. Edelstein, played board games, enjoyed a networking happy hour, and challenged undergraduates to Family Feud! By popular demand, we will be having an encore of the trail mix/flower planting during De-Stress Week on May 7th from 5:30-7:00pm in the Student Lounge, which will be open to all students!
Our next big event is Graduation Gala on May 11th. This is a celebration for graduating graduate and professional students and their families. The event will feature food and drinks, keynote and graduating student speakers, recognition of the Academic and Community Excellence Award recipients, photo booths, gifts, a string quartet, and more. We are looking forward to celebrating with everyone!
Finally, all these accomplishments would certainly not have come to fruition without the amazing support of the USG Graduate Student Association. New this year, the GSA has been instrumental in programming and support of our graduate student population. In addition to Grad Student Appreciation Week, we have hosted fundraisers; participated in #USGFest, the Involvement Fair, and International Night; held Coffee Days with the GSA; and ran activities during CSEF Saturdays, just to name a few. If you are a continuing graduate student, or will be joining the grad student community next year, please keep your eye open for board member applications in late August. In addition to paid positions, there is also the opportunity to become a general member.
I encourage all grad students to check out what USG has to offer. Please be sure to periodically visit the Graduate Student Resources webpage for lists of upcoming events and announcements, as well as to subscribe to the GSA Monthly Newsletter. Feel free to reach out to me with any ideas on how to improve the graduate student experience at USG. See you around the Grove!