Getting Involved Through the GSA. Guest Post: Alyssa Berrios, Alum and Current Graduate Student from UMD at USG

Alyssa Estrella Berrios
University of Maryland, College Park – M.Ed Human Development (anticipated ’23) | B.A. Communication ’21

My name is Alyssa Berrios and I am finishing up my first year as a graduate student. I am currently studying Human Development with the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG). I recently graduated from UMCP at USG with my B.A. in Communication. I loved my undergraduate experience at USG so much, even though most of it was virtual, that I decided to stay a bit longer as an M.Ed graduate student.

When I first started out at Montgomery College (MC), I wasn’t involved at all. Truthfully, I was really busy with classwork, working three to four part-time jobs, and just trying to balance out everything in college. Once I got to UMCP at USG, I made it a priority to get more involved on campus. Being involved on campus was essential to me since I wanted to build my portfolio up, meet new people, and network with my community.

I quickly got involved with the Undergraduate Communication Association (UCA) and became a USG Student Ambassador. Although my time in person was cut short because of the pandemic, USG made it easy to become more involved. My undergraduate experience at USG quickly finished and I graduated in May 2021. I knew that going into graduate school would be tough, but I wanted to continue making new connections with my community at USG, and that’s why I applied to become a part of the Graduate Student Association (GSA).

The GSA was created in order to increase graduate student involvement within the USG community. I currently serve on the GSA as the Institutional Representative (IR) for UMCP graduate students and as the Chair of Events & Initiatives. In these roles, I have been able to create events connecting students at USG. This winter, I helped foster a better connection with the undergraduate Student Council members and GSA members through a fun mixer. I also serve as a member of the Student Advisory Board, Sidney Katz Student Advisory Board, and USG Student Member on the University System of Maryland Student Council (USMSC). As you can see, I’m extremely involved on campus, and love it! All of these positions encompass my passion for promoting the Shady Grove campus and have provided me with more opportunities for my graduate student experience to be heard. Through my time on the GSA board, I have felt represented on campus and continue to meet new and amazing people.

If you’re a graduate student at USG and would like to serve on the GSA board, I would highly recommend applying for the 2022-2023 academic year — the priority deadline is May 31!

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