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.
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:
- Thursday, Oct. 3 – Celebrating Women in STEMM symposium, with keynote remarks by Dr. Carla Easter, Chief of the Education and Community Involvement Branch of the National Human Genome Research Institute.
- Monday, Oct. 28 – USG Civic Engagement Series event, featuring legendary Chef Jose Andres.
- Tuesday, Oct. 29 – 8th Annual Montgomery County Business Hall of Fame luncheon, an event that has, since inception, raised more than $1 million for scholarships benefiting students at USG. Tickets for this event must be purchased through the Business Hall of Fame website.
- Saturday, Nov. 2 – USG’s Undergraduate Expo, which is open to all prospective students and members of the community who are interested in learning about the baccalaureate degree offerings available at USG from various Maryland public universities.
- Thursday, Nov. 7 – Biomedical Sciences and Engineering (BSE) Ribbon-cutting Ceremony and STEMM Showcase, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
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.
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 (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn).
It’s going to be an exciting year at USG and I want to wish all of you the very best!