Dear USG Community:
Welcome back to campus for the beginning of spring 2020 classes. It’s hard to believe that we are not only starting a new decade, but that we are also now in our 20th year of operation as the Universities at Shady Grove. I want to start by wishing all of you a successful and productive semester.
We’re excited and there is a buzz around campus as we launch the first semester of classes in the new Biomedical Sciences and Engineering (BSE) building and also welcome new students, faculty and staff. Our slogan for the BSE is “Built for Breakthroughs.” I look forward to this being just the start of many exciting breakthroughs for students as they begin to experience the active learning teaching facilities within the BSE.
Another part of the BSE that I am excited about is the upcoming opening of a community dental clinic that will be operated by the University of Maryland, Baltimore School of Dentistry. Please look for details on its opening date through our website, USG Weekly and other communications. The clinic will be open to anyone within our campus community who is interested in accessing its services, as well as to those in the greater community.
One important information item about the BSE: The new Grover Café is now open. It is located on the first floor of the BSE, next to the offices of our Career and Internship Services Center and the Macklin Center for Academic Success. With the opening of this new, improved shop, the former Corner Bistro coffee shop – which had been located next to our Green Grove Café in the Kendall Academic Center – is now closed.
New Decade, New Chancellor for USM
Congratulations to Dr. Jay Perman, the new Chancellor of the University System of Maryland (USM), who served previously as president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Dr. Perman has always been a strong advocate and partner of USG and we are delighted to welcome him in his new role. We look forward to having him visit the campus in the near future.
Advocacy for USG in Annapolis
The Maryland General Assembly’s 90-day legislative session is underway and USG will be working closely with USM and legislators to advance recommendations of the recently completed study commission that focused on Ensuring the Fiscal Viability of USG. I want to thank our USM colleagues and those who served on the commission and delivered the final report to the General Assembly in December.
USG Student Advocacy Day in Annapolis is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 14. As many as 20 of our student leaders will head to the state capital that day to meet with state senators and delegates, and to engage them on issues of importance to USG. I want to thank our student services team for their help in organizing this event and to thank the students who will be participating. There is no better way to share the story of USG’s success and its importance than through the eyes of the students.
Student Speaker at UM Commencement Attended USG
I was so proud to attend the winter commencement recently at the University of Maryland, College Park, and to have the chance to hear the wonderful student speaker Bita Riazi, who graduated with her degree in Communication and took her classes here at USG. It was a powerful and uplifting speech and if you have about seven minutes to spare, I invite you to hear it, starting at the 38:00 minute mark on this video of the December ceremony.
State of Education in Montgomery County Forums
Montgomery County is known for its commitment to quality education, with a world-class school system and one of the nation’s top community colleges, in Montgomery College. The presence of USG – with the unique opportunity we provide for residents to conveniently earn undergraduate and graduate degrees from any of nine leading Maryland universities – takes that commitment to educational excellence to the next level.
In recent years, Montgomery County Councilmember Craig Rice – who chairs the Council’s Education and Culture Committee – has hosted forums on the “State of Education in Montgomery County,” together with Dr. Jack Smith, Superintendent of Schools, and Dr. DeRionne Pollard, President of Montgomery College. I am delighted that this year he has expanded the forums to include USG in the discussion and I will be representing our campus at the forums.
The first of the two public forums will be held this evening – Tuesday, January 28 – at Montgomery College’s Germantown Campus in the Bioscience Education Center, from 6-8 p.m. The second will be held on March 4 at Northwood High School in Silver Spring.
Highlighting Successful ACES Program Graduates
For several years, USG has partnered with Montgomery County Public Schools and Montgomery College on a program to support students who are from demographic groups that are historically underrepresented in higher education. Called ACES (Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success), the joint program helps students by providing a structured and supportive pathway to college completion. Fourteen MCPS high schools participate in the program, together with MC and USG, and there are, in total, more than 2,500 students in the ACES pipeline.
I wanted to share this recently produced video, which showcases the program’s accomplishments and highlights five students who graduated with bachelor’s degrees they completed in programs offered at USG.
Upcoming Events of Note…
Although the semester is just getting underway, I want to highlight the dates of a few noteworthy, upcoming USG events.
- USG International Night is set for Thursday, February 20.
- Our next Civic Engagement Series event will be held on Tuesday, March 10, at 2 p.m., with a focus on the issue of human labor exploitation.
- The annual Student Achievement and Leadership Awards Breakfast is set for Friday, April 17.
- Our annual Graduation Celebration at USG will be a combined event to honor all of the year’s undergraduate and graduate degree recipients, and that event will take place on the evening of Thursday, May 7.
Have a great spring semester, everyone! See you around campus.
– Stewart Edelstein