Student BlogsWelcome to Around the Grove, the official student blog of The Universities at Shady Grove!

Apply to be a Student Blogger for the 2018-2019 academic year! The application is open through August 24, 2018.

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Event Planning-Wedding Bells

Doctor Who Inspired Photoshoot

Kim & Angel

Hello all. I feel that summer break flew by so quickly. We have a couple of weeks until fall semester starts. Can you believe it? I hope you all are getting some relaxation time to help you get ready to start another wonderful academic year. I have had a busy summer due to my two summer courses and wedding/honeymoon planning. In addition, in a couple of days, I will be marrying my better half. (Finally!) It has been a long and stressful process, but it will be all worth it once it is done 🙂 If I learned anything from this summer it would be to stay calm and collected, organized, and of course be thankful for my supportive family and friends during this stressful yet eventful summer.

For those planning a wedding or any event, I thought I would list several tips to help you avoid the last minute stress.

  1. Create a budget – This was a hard process for us, but we eventually agreed on a number. For any event you are planning, this is an essential first step to give you an idea of your set limit when you go shopping for supplies or looking for a vendor.
  2. Create a timeline – This was a critical step for me to stay ahead. Knowing when anything is due (this goes the same in school) could help you avoid stress and stay on top of your responsibilities.
  3. Create a plan – My soon-to-be husband and I knew our strengths in event planning so we divided the responsibilities according to that. Having a partner or a group of people helping you with event planning is important so you can designate the responsibilities. This could help you not to be as stressed as when you do everything on your own.

Although there may be more steps that you can add to my list above, I highly believe in focusing on these three tips especially when you are getting started with the planning process. Speaking of planning process, guess what! We are going to Europe for our honeymoon! Yay! I am super excited because I have wanted to do this for a long time. If any of you have been to Europe and have any tips, please let me know by commenting on this blog. I would greatly appreciate any suggestion you may have to make our time there worth it. I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer. See you all around!

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Around the Grove

Hello all and welcome back! This post, I would like to talk about what goes on around the grove and let you know about opportunities that can change your time at USG. 

Whether you’re new to the Universities at Shady Grove campus or a veteran, there are many opportunities on campus that you may not know about. There are a large number of clubs on campus that cater to nearly every cause, belief, or hobby. A sample list of clubs include;


  • Accounting & Business Association (ABA)
  • Business Management Association (BMA)
  • Care Package Club (CPC)
  • Christ Centered Life (CCL)
  • Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)
  • Criminology and Criminal Justice Student Association (CRIMSA)
  • Film Club (FB)
  • History Student Association (HSA)
  • International Club (IC)
  • Nurses for Global Health (NGH)
  • Political Science Student Organization (PSSO)
  • Psychology Student Association (PSA)
  • Social Work Student Association (SWSA)
  • Students Engaged in Public Health (SEIPH)
  • Terps Without Borders (TWB)
  • University of Maryland Association of Nursing Students (UMANS)
  • Undergraduate Communication Association (UCA)


There are clubs outside of this list and so it is important to visit the portal for extracurricular clubs and organizations and see what interests you. The link is: https://shadygrove.campuslabs.com/engage/


The second opportunity is becoming a student blogger!! The application can be found at: https://uatshadygrove.org/application/ and is due 8/24/2018. Students are paid $15 a blog post and will post bi-weekly on a particular day if accepted. For more information feel free to contact, Kristen Koehler at KKoehler@umd.edu. It’s a great opportunity to fine tune your writing skills and share your experience at USG with the world!


The third opportunity I would like to discuss would be the Student Ambassadors. The Student Ambassadors are students who exemplify the spirit and mission of USG. Ambassadors work at undergraduate and graduate orientations, work at information sessions at different high schools and middle schools, and give tours to interested individuals on campus. The application for student ambassadors can be found at: https://www.shadygrove.umd.edu/sites/default/files/u194/Student%20Ambassador%20Application%20Fall%202018.pdf and is due 9/7/2018. For more information, please contact Jennifer Riehl at jcohen80@umd.edu.


Finally, there is the Campus Recreation Center (CRC) which offers many services and opportunities. The center has a gym which contains cardio and strength training equipment, free for student use. The center also hosts Yoga and Zumba classes which are offered at economic costs to students. There are also many intramural sports that students can take part in, including soccer, flag football, and ping-pong. The center is complete with separate male and female locker rooms with showers. More information about the center can be found at https://www.shadygrove.umd.edu/campus-resources/campus-recreation-center.

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Garden of Unity and Peace

I hope you all are enjoying your summer break. I love the fact that I have free time to relax at home and catch up with family and friends. In addition, since I have my wedding in a few weeks, I NEED the time to make sure everything is ready. Anyway, I am a huge fan of relaxation so I thought I would share about the Garden of Unity and Peace located between building I and II. If you have not seen the space, I would suggest visiting it. The space has a fountain, a book exchange section, a swing, and plenty of seating areas. I love it! If I was not working, I would spend most of my time there. I think that it is the best place to study (or just sit) because of the calm environment as long as it is not humid or raining outside. I like that we have a space like the Garden of Unity and Peace where we can collect our thoughts and relax.

Moreover, having a relaxed and calm mind are important to me especially when life becomes hectic. Having these skills help me become more productive and focus on my goals. I highly believe that if you are able to calm yourself during stressful situations, you are more able to think critically and be resourceful in figure out a solution to your problem(s). This is useful not only in school but also at work. Many of us become overwhelmed with the amount of schoolwork and job work that we start to panic. Next time this happens, remember to breath.

Below, I provided a list of potential activities that you might like to relieve stress.

  • Yoga
  • Working out/sports
  • Breathing Exercises
  • Coloring/painting*
  • Playing with clay*
  • Sleeping
  • Hiking
  • Cooking/baking *
  • Arts & crafts/DIY projects*

*Hands-on activities help relieve stress because they help take you mind off your worries. I love cooking when I am stressed because one, I love food and two, I am doing something with my hands.

Speaking of relaxing, what do you do to relax? Comment below about what helps you relieve stress.


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Having grown up where I have, I have had the pleasure of meeting people from all corners of the world. Diversity is as normal to me as birds in the sky and fish in water. From my time in Montgomery County Public schools to Montgomery College and finally to the Universities at Shady Grove, I have been immersed in diversity.

During these trying times, diversity is often seen as a double-edged blade. To some, opening ourselves to diversity may lead to dangers. Politics aside, the fear of the unknown is perfectly natural. There’s a reason most of us learned to crawl and walk before we ran. Why we have flashlights to venture into the dark and why information is seen as invaluable as gold in our society. Diversity, however, is not something to be feared but instead embraced. USG does exactly that with its multi-cultural-bilingual, diverse student population. USG is host to a wide array of clubs, organizations, and events that seek to embrace the diversity that makes USG a wonderful representation of what Montgomery County is all about. Personally, I have taken part in Terps Without Borders and have witnessed the work done by the Care package club. Both are organizations on USG that seek to give back to our local and global community by sharing information and resources with places all over. Events like Cultural Tea Time and International Night invites students to come together and share what is so great about their own cultures.

At USG, we grow and learn together, inside and outside the classroom. This type of diversity is quickly becoming the truth of the country and even the world. As global populations continue to become more mobile and fluid, we can expect greater diversity in the years to come, despite the efforts of the fearful.

As a MCPS, MC, and UMD student, I cannot recommend USG enough.  Here you encouraged to be an individual while learning about the world around you as well. Thanks for reading and remember to be open-minded in your interactions with others!

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Questions to Ask in Grad School

This week marks my first week of summer break! Yay! I officially finished my first year and I am excited to finish my last year in my graduate program. Some of you who are entering your last year in your program are probably thinking about what you will be doing next. I know the feeling because I was a bit lost during my last year in undergrad. I often wondered what career would suit me and if were to apply to graduate school, which program would I apply to? Although I am uncertain about which career path I should follow, I use my love of learning and exploring the different possibilities in my career field (education). I am glad that I applied to graduate school because I believe it is the perfect opportunity to explore what I truly enjoy and passionate about, which could help me identify my potential careers. Through my previous and current graduate programs, I have learned that I want to get involved in research in the field of education. I believe that using research can help influence policy making for minority students and help open more doors to endless possibilities in higher education. As a first generation college student, I could understand the struggle in navigating college (i.e. financial aid, academic success, and career exploration). I have always been passionate about helping others, hence, why I want to help students, like myself, to succeed in higher education. I also want to become a role model and want to see more representation that is diverse in higher education to encourage young students to be in the field of education.

Below are some questions that I often use to help me figure out my next steps. (FYI – I use these every day to help remind me of my goals and my next steps in my career field).

  1. What is am I passionate about?
  2. What do I eventually what to do? / What are my career aspirations?
  3. What can I do to gain more knowledge about what I want to do in my career?
  4. What cause is important to me?
  5. What are my life goals and how can my education help achieve my life goals?
  6. How can I improve my skills to make me more marketable?
  7. How can I become a better leader and role model to others?
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How to: Summer

How to: Summer 

Welcome to another one of my posts! Summer is well under way for most of us now, tans are developing, barbecues are being used, and the beaches are packed. For those of us taking a staycation, I thought I would let you know about what’s going around locally in the DMV.

Right at the Universities at Shady Grove campus, the rec center, library, and bookstore continue to have summer hours. Useful in the event you want to work out, study, or buy your books early for the coming semester. The hours are;

Rec Center

M-F: 12 PM – 6 PM

Closed for the weekends

Priddy Library                       

M-Thursday          Friday – Saturday    Sunday

9 AM – 9 PM         9 AM – 5 PM      12 PM – 5 PM



10:30 AM – 3:30 PM

Closed for the weekends
Besides what’s going on at the USG campus, there’s tons to do around the area. Washington D.C. is conveniently metro-rail accessible, meaning you have full access to everything the city offers. Whether you walk the National Mall and see all the historic sights, or go visit the many free museums, you’ll be sure to find some way to spend your time.  

Along with the cities that dot the landscape, there are many parks within a few hours drive. Cunningham Falls is a personal favorite, complete with many trails and a nice lake for swimming. Brookside Gardens is much closer and very beautiful no matter the season. With beautiful flower arrangements and great sights, selfies are a must here. Lastly, there’s Sandy Point that offers a lot for a small park. Great place to have a barbecue and enjoy the summer breeze.


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Welcome New Students!

You must be excited to start your journey here at USG. I know I was! I could vividly remember my orientation day as an undergrad and how thrilled I was to finally start my junior year in college. As the first in my family to attend college in the US, I was not sure what I had to do to become successful in my studies. Luckily, USG provides services to students that help students achieve their academic and career goal. Knowing about the different services helped me navigate my college experience. The Center for Academic Success (CAS) helped me improve my writing and study skills, the Career and Internship Services Center (CISC) helped me explore my career path, the Center for Counseling and Consultation (CCC) guided me in figuring out my career plan, and the Center for Student and Engagement and Financial Resources (CSEF) assisted me in applying for the USG Scholarship. As you can see, all of the departments contributed to my success in undergrad as well as graduate school. Therefore, I highly encourage you to take advantage of the services that they offer. For new students, I provided you some tips on how you can make the most out of your time at USG and what resources are available to you.

Things to do FIRST:

  • Get your USG ID – you will need your USG ID to access any services on campus. If you do not have this, you can go the Student and Academic Services suite and look for the Center for Student Engagement and Financial Resources (CSEF).
  • Download the USG Mobile app – This app is great because you can access all of the information that the USG website has, such as class and campus event schedules. You can download it via Google Play or the App Store.
  • Sign up for campus alerts – I find this useful especially around the winter time because they will let you know if the campus is closed or delayed due to weather conditions.

Below are some of the services that you can take advantage of during your time at USG. I have listed some of the services that they can provide you. I would suggest visiting their websites to learn more about which of their services you may be interested in. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below.    


  • Writing Consultation/tutor
  • Academic Coaching (i.e. time management, organization, study tips, test taking)
  • Disability Support Services


  • Financial Aid
  • Scholarships
  • Student Organizations
  • Campus Event (i.e. Cultural Tea Time)


  • Resume Review
  • Mock Interview
  • Internship/Job Searches


  • In-take session
  • Career Counseling
  • Personal Counseling
  • Couple Counseling

Priddy Library

  • Workshop
  • Research Help
  • Snack Shack
  • Study Rooms

Office of Informal Technology (OIT)

  • Computer Log in
  • Wi-Fi Connection
  • Computer Labs
  • General Computer Questions
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To the Brave Women and Men

Hi all! Thanks for reading another one of my posts, I just wanted to say that it means a lot to me to know that my posts reach so many of you. I also wanted to say sorry for posting this so late. The auto-post mechanism does not always execute flawlessly and I’m sure my human error played a part in all this, but better late than never hopefully. I wanted this blog to be about my time doing a ride-along with the Rockville Police Department a few days ago. I decided to go on this ride-along to gain experience and insight into other fields besides medicine. I like to broaden my scope of knowledge and perspective to better understand the world around me.

Like many police departments throughout Montgomery Country, the Rockville Police Department offers ride-along opportunities to interested individuals, wherein an officer takes you on a trip through a day in their life. Being enforcers of the law is not easy, and these brave men and women lay down their lives to ensure that we can all live safe and in peace. Crazy sights are common for officers during their time on duty and you’re almost sure to see or learn something interesting during your time.

I began the process several days ago by going to the police department in Rockville, conveniently located near Rockville Town Center, there I was given a form to sign which included my contact information and availability. A few days later, I received a call from a police sergeant. The sergeant assigned me to an officer to ride with for 3 hours. Initially nothing much happened, there being officers responding to calls before we could. Eventually the officer was called in to talk to witnesses about a possible robbery. When we got there the officer spoke to the callers and he ran me through the decision-making process. It was extensive to say the less, involving evidence collection, witness testimony, notification of the proper inner departments, and deciding where a good place to find more information might be. For the sake of privacy, I won’t be going into the details of the crime but hopefully that’ll act as incentive for you to go out on a ride-along as well.

After that I decided to ask my assigned officer about himself and how he became an officer. He told me that right after high school he had enrolled with the Marines and had served for 10 years or so before deciding to settle down with his high school sweetheart. From there, he entered private security but was told by a co-worker there that the police force may be something to consider. He had originally avoided joining the police after the military, because he had worked as a military police officer and wanted a change from that field. He decided to apply and found that he loved it. He was happy to find a way to do what he loved, giving back to the community. He excelled at the police academy and went on to work with SWAT for most of his time in the force. He eventually switched to general police work to avoid the high stress job of SWAT since he was getting older and was thinking about retirement. Now he plans to do five more years before ending his time of service but does ride-alongs to inspire possible future officers.

I was impressed and wanted to share his story with his permission. I hope you all learned a bit more about what a police officer goes through in the service of others. An unpredictable and sometimes dangerous job, but someone’s got to do it. Thanks for reading!!

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Get Interested in Uninteresting Topics-Reading Strategies

This past spring, I took a class on Reading Comprehension, which surprisingly I loved (primarily because the professor was great)! Though I am not a fan of reading, this class has helped changed my perspective of reading. It also taught me helpful skills, such as using background knowledge, graphic organizers, collaborating with peers, breaking down the information, and other reading strategies, to help improve my reading comprehension. One topics that intrigued me was how to get interested in uninteresting topics, where we learned how to apply the previously mentioned strategies/skills. Reflecting on that class, I thought I could use the skills that I learned and apply them to my current summer classes. I am currently taking a research method class that focuses on statistical analysis. Many people are not interested in this topic due to its complexity (including me). This situation is typical among college students because there are prerequisite courses that we need to take to pass the class and get that degree. To help me become successful at learning in my statistics class, I plan to use the strategies below. I also thought that would be a great opportunity to share them with you so that you can use these strategies in your future classes. If you are interested in learning more about the strategies below, The Center for Academic Success provides academic coaching regarding this skill. All you need to do is set up an academic coaching appointment with them and you are set!

Reading Strategies

  • Background Knowledge – to ensure that you remember the information that you learned, it is important that you make some type of connection to the text in order to create meaning. For example, I am fortunate enough to have taken several statistic-related classes in undergrad and graduate school so I have some familiarity with the text. There are particular areas that I need help with so I may focus more on those.
  • Graphic Organizer/Effective Notetaking – I am a visual and kinesthetic learner so I need to write things down and have hands-on activities. In this case, with statistics, I would take notes from our texts and lectures, and research videos to provide me with additional information to support what I learned. As long as you have a way to organize the information that you are learning (i.e. typing note, creating diagrams, or handwriting notes), this should help you review especially when you are getting ready for your quizzes or exams.
  • Generating text-based questions – I find this helpful because I can create my own questions that can be answered through the text that I just read. This ensures that I remember the important information that I read. In addition, by creating questions, it helps you realize if you truly understand what you read.
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The Scribe Life

Scribe Life

I hope summer is treating everyone well and you all have visited the beach or pool at least once by now. I wanted to take this post to talk a little about my work as a scribe and how it has changed my way of thinking and what I want to do.

For those unfamiliar with what a medical scribe is, we are essentially notetakers for health providers. We take the patient’s history and current story and chart it into an online system. Medical charts are composed of; History of Present Illness (HPI), Review of Systems (ROS), Physical Exam (PE), Past Medical History (PMHx), any reevaluations, and disposition.

Scribes take on different roles depending on where they are employed. Some locations allow scribes to put in providers’ orders into the system for nurses and techs to fill out. Scribes can work in a variety of settings such as in the emergency department, clinics, other departments in a hospital, and private practices. I work as a ED medical scribe where we are not allowed to put in orders, just chart. The process is relatively straightforward. There is a medical system of some sort that everyone logs onto, nurses, techs, providers, medical scribes, etc. Once logged on, providers sign up for patients and now can place orders for that patient. Scribes can also see the board and see which patients the providers have signed up for, we then sign up for them too. The provider then goes to the patient’s room to talk to them about why they are here (HPI), their history (PMHx), and to conduct a physical exam. Once this is done the providers go back to their computers and the scribe begins putting the information into the system as providers put in orders for IV lines, blood work, imaging, etc. Rinse and repeat many times over in a shift.

Training to become a scribe includes learning medical terminology, mock charting, learning the differential thinking of providers, and learning what clinical signs mean. Basic anatomy is also included in the training. Training is not difficult and is invaluable for those interested in careers in healthcare. You learn a lot being a scribe and can find out if specific specialties are of interest to you. Emergency medicine is hectic but rewarding. Emergency providers know many emergency procedures and are the frontline providers when things go bad fast. They work with other specialist to provide the best care and can handle a lot on their own.

Becoming a scribe is fulfilling work and a great step in the right direction for students interested in medicine. Currently the company that holds the most scribing contracts in the area is Scribe America. Private offices have private scribes that are not affiliated with any company. Becoming a scribe starts with expressing interest to private practices or going to the Scribe America website and finding the career link. With contracts at all major hospitals in the area, Scribe America may be worth your while.

Thanks for reading and I hope this was helpful to some of you out there. Thanks to those not interested in medicine for being patient and understating. Remember to have a great summer and enjoy yourself before the fall!

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