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

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Ditch your workout routine for this

There was a time a few months ago when I would hop on the treadmill for 30min-40min just to burn enough calories to eat some more in the day. This is not necessary. I noticed even though I spent so much time jogging, I was losing no weight. I wasn’t even pigging out after or recuperating the calories I burned by eating so I was really just convinced that my body wanted to stay the weight it currently was.

I decided to try something new. I had done it a few times here and there, but never consistently. It’s called HIIT or high intensity interval training. This stuff works! I spend about 20 minutes on the treadmill, eat the same as before (I track all my foods for the most part in MyFitnessPal) and started seeing changes unlike before.

Another awesome side effect of this exercise is that I feel faster. All my life I have never been the fast person on the team. I was almost always among the last few when we’d do races or sprints at practice. With this HIIT exercise, I feel faster. I used to sprint at speed 9, but I’ve now been able to do as fast as speed 10.5-11 on the treadmill. Give it a try! It really does work and you will sweat.

My regimen:

0-3 min: warm up (walking on speed 3.5, then take up to a slow jog on speed 6)

3-13 min: 40 seconds sprinting (choose your own speed and take your time building up to faster speeds – if you are new to this start out at speed 8.5 or 9), then 20 seconds completely off (I usually let the treadmill run while I take this break). You’ll do this for 10 minutes straight and the time will fly by.

13-16min: cool down and walk or jog at low speed.

This is all I started out with (alongside my weight lifting exercise) and I saw a huge difference and saved time. The best part is USG has the equipment you need to get this quick workout in.

Try it out and let me know how it goes!

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Addictions can be good!



I love reading but I look for free articles and short stories online.  We are in a time where you can find almost anything for free on the internet. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is look at my investments and read articles about current events to find out how it will affect my investments. Sometimes I can’t read some of the articles because I have to subscribe to different news and social media companies. Now that I am invested in stocks and have an addiction to understanding more about the industry It’s hard to not sign up. I just signed up the wall street journal. My business professors kept advising me that I needed to know more the world and sign up because I would be left in the dark if I didn’t. Now my lights are on and I read about 1-2 hours about different industries and current events around the world. I have a problem but I think it’s a great problem to have. I am very interested in automobiles and technology and how that will affect our future. Reading and digging more into the areas I am interested in has helped me make better investment decisions. Other than my personal use for the journals I read other articles in different areas because knowledge is power and I want to be able to understand different cultures and areas of business because it can affect us all around the world. It helps me look at a bigger picture and understand more about what’s happing around us because you never know how it can help you or others out. I am hooked on reading but I am getting my money’s worth (bang for my buck).  So if you have an addiction I hope it’s helping you better yourself.


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Staff Spotlight: Gordon Price

As my second year of pharmacy school wraps up, I’ve been reflecting quite a bit on my experiences at USG over these past four semesters. A large part of what has made my time at USG so wonderful thus far is the supportive staff and faculty here on campus. One person who I am especially thankful for having met is Gordon Price, Coordinator in the Office of Student Services (OSS).

Last year’s SMdPHA/SGA Public Health Roundtable was the first big event I had organized myself. Coordinating this roundtable involved inviting many U.S. Public Health Service officers, booking a location, figuring out catering, creating a program, and advertising. As a first year student completely new to event planning, I was overwhelmed to say the least. But luckily, there was Gordon who was more than willing to help me navigate the process. Over time, I’ve also learned that Gordon is super easygoing and fun to talk with about practically anything!

I’m sad that Gordon will be leaving USG next year to go back to Oregon, where he’s previously lived for 15 years. While he did grow up in Montgomery County, he and his wife raised their children in a small town in Oregon. While there are so many exciting things going on here, they miss the slow pace and friendly community left behind, so making the move back to the West coast is the best decision for Gordon and his family.

Yesterday afternoon, as Gordon drove me and my friend Larissa to pick up some supplies needed for this year’s Public Health Roundtable, I decided I’d take this opportunity to learn a little more about him. Gordon happily agreed to my request for an interview.

QN: So Gordon, what brought you to USG? GP: Well, I was moving back to D.C. from Oregon and I applied to several places in the area. I had two interviews, one with USG and one with George Washington. I had my interview with GW the morning after I drove across the country to get here, and I knew I didn’t do very well on that one because I was falling asleep. Shady Grove is a unique place and I’m glad I ended up here. My background is in student services — working with students, student life, organizations and things like that.

QN: What are you going to miss the most about USG when you leave? GP: The students, for sure. I remember the Leadership Bistro OSS held within the first week I was here. I remember sitting with a student from Palestine and a lady from Ecuador. I was excited to get to sit with and learn from students from all over the world. USG has a great diversity of international students. So that’s what I’ll miss the most. And the staff too – the people in OSS are great. And this is such a unique institution we have with its 9 different universities.

QN: What’s been your proudest accomplishment here at USG? GP: I started a student leadership program from the ground up based on the social change model which is all about getting students involved, changing the world, creating a world that they want to live in. So I built the curriculum, taught the lessons, and it culminates with the Student Appreciation Cook-out where we’ll be awarding students for completing the program. Students actually participated and finished the program! We started with 15 students and 7 stuck with me throughout the whole year. They also had to complete a community project. As a group, they came together and did a food drive for a local community. So that’s been pretty cool. QN: That’s amazing. Congratulations on making that happen!

QN: Lastly, what is one piece of advice you’d like to give students? GP: Get sleep. Take care of yourself. You put so much time into your studies and your work. But I think students forget to take care of themselves and if they don’t, everything will start to fall apart. So you have to take the time to replenish yourself and take care of your mental health and your physical health. I think that’s crucial. And also, follow your dreams! QN: That’s great advice! It looks like we’re here and that wraps up the interview. Thank you so much, Gordon. GP: It’s my pleasure.




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Student Council Elections

USG Student Council

The USG Student Council represents the students here at USG. They are in charge of ensuring the students have a thriving campus culture. The council also hosts monthly town halls, to listen to students’ feedback about different services offered Ion campus. In addition, the council weighs in on major decisions concerning USG’s future, including tuition costs.


Election Week

From April 18th until April 25th, the voting ballot will be open. Students can vote for different candidates. Only students attending the same institution as the candidate can vote for that candidate. Meaning, if you are a UMCP student, you cannot vote for a UMES candidate.


By clicking here, you can vote for your favorite candidates. The student candidates campaigned by giving out goodies,  posting around flyers or talking with other students. As a candidate for UB, you might see some flyers with my picture.



Make sure you vote. In a sense, voting in the elections makes your voice heard. By voting you are not only determining the future of the student council, but also the future of USG.

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To Blog is Not Just to Write

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As a continuation of my reflective posts as graduation nears, and my desire to inspire others to write, I thought it would be appropriate to have another post about writing. I cannot believe that I have been blogging for the Around the Grove blog for two years now. It seems like yesterday that I was trying to figure out what I wanted my first ever blog post to be.

Something I have realized over these past two years about blogging is this. Blogging is so much more than sitting down and cranking out a post. Blogging has allowed me to change my perspective on how I view the world, including even the most mundane interactions.

To blog is not just to write. To blog is to seek. In order to craft a blog post, sometimes you need to take the preliminary steps of pursuing new information and observing everyday interactions.

Although us bloggers publish a post every other week, for me personally, it feels as if my mind is always in blogging mode. Being a blogger has made me more perceptive about my surroundings because everything can be turned into a post.

An intriguing word
A thought-provoking phrase
A random conversation
A fun USG event!

To blog is not just to write. To blog is to interpret. You have to analyze all of the details, gain an understanding, and craft out your perspective on paper.

To blog is not just to write. To blog is to learn. Blogging has required me to do extra research online and learn things I never would have otherwise. Blogging has allowed me to challenge myself and learn through the exploration of writing beyond my comfort zone.

To blog is not just to write.
To blog is to make meaningful relationships, both with others and your own self.

I would love to read your thoughts – so feel free to comment!
And I would love to see you become a USG Blogger if you aren’t one already. 🙂
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Hard Work on Display

Last Friday, one of our Bloggers, Rebecca, talked about the research she is doing for UMBC’s Undergraduate Research Day in her article “Presentations: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly“. It was so relatable, and I feel like most of us students are going through that research phase for our papers right now.

I’m personally working on two major papers currently. One is a 25 page paper on Climate Change and Environmental Health in Peru. The other one is my capstone (thesis without defense) as a degree requirement for my Masters of Public Health (MPH). My topic will focus on the Role of External Players on Cambodian Healthcare System. Neither of these topics are considered easy to research because they’re set in developing countries with limited existing research. It definitely is time consuming. I feel like I have too little time with too much to do. However, one exciting and nerve-wrecking thing is that graduation is only a month away. Also, my last day to submit my last assignment is May 1st so I really only have two weeks left. I can see the light at the end of this tunnel!

Whatever our majors may be or what semesters we are in, we all know that doing research and writing papers definitely aren’t easy feats. We put in hours of hard work and battle with sleep deprivation in order to get that “A”. Sometimes, it really is quality work, but it doesn’t really get shared with anyone, besides our professors.

This is why I think it is a great idea to share our research work at the USG Student Research Day on May 3, from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. The research can come from class assignments or internships. 

If you are nervous because this is your first time, or if you wanted some help to polish your work, there is a Research Posters Workshop occurring on April 25. In addition to telling you how to create a poster, the workshop will also educate you on how to make a poster design effective. They will also share useful tips for presenting your research poster.

This sounds like a great opportunity to take part in. I hope you will consider it!

Let’s put our hard work on display! 🙂

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Presentations: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I recently signed up to give a presentation on the research I’m doing for my senior thesis at the University of Maryland Baltimore County‘s undergraduate research day. Presentations are pretty nerve-wracking – if not downright terrifying – for most people, but giving a good presentation is a really important skill to have both in academics and in the work place.

If you get the chance to practice this skill in your own school’s program or in clubs, I definitely recommend taking the risk to build up your courage. The Universities at Shady Grove also has a Toastmasters club where you can practice public speaking in a supportive, informal environment to help overcome public speaking fear.

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Made using dogr.io

So what should you do if you have class presentations coming up at the end of this semester? I’m no expert, but here are a few tips I’ve picked up over the years:

  • Start working on your presentation early. The biggest mistake people make is being underprepared or doing a rush job. If possible, start working on your PowerPoint as you’re writing your paper or doing your project so you can create it while the info is fresh in your mind. Start sooner rather than later. You’ll be less nervous if you’re more prepared.
  • Plan out what you’re going to say. A few people are good at speaking on the fly, but most people ramble, blank on information, etc. if they don’t prepare. Spare yourself and your audience and plan ahead of time the major points you want to make or even write out a script. You don’t have to follow your plan exactly or read it word-for-word, but thinking through your presentation will make it ten times better and help you feel more prepared.
  • Practice, practice, practice! It’s always easy to figure out who rehearsed a speech and who didn’t. Last semester, I would rehearse in my room, for my family, and even while I drove to school. It felt silly at the time, but it really helped me iron out what I wanted to say and make sure I was meeting the time limit. I also felt more confident going into the presentation.


    Get out from the podium and show them who’s boss! (But maybe don’t use Wikipedia as a source…) Standing at the right place in the room can help you engage attention. (Photo: Beatrice Murch/Wikimedia)

  • Command the room. When you feel nervous about a speech, it’s easy to look nervous and undermine the hard work you’ve put in. I’m not the world’s greatest public speaker, but I’ve noticed it helps to come out from behind the computer and stand beside the PowerPoint screen, facing the class. You can’t hide and you look a lot more confident!
  • Don’t second guess yourself. Once you leave the podium, leave your presentation there too. If your professor gives you feedback, file it away for next time, but don’t obsess over how you did in your head…This will make public speaking more intimidating. Pat yourself on the back for accomplishing yet another task and overcoming your fear, and move forward! (Easier said than done, I know!)

Best of luck with all of your end-of-the-semester assignments! We’ve got this!

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Happy Thursday! In just four weeks from today, on Thursday 11th May, the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) will be hosting an undergrad graduation celebration. While I know this may seem like a good amount of time from now, the excitement about the 2f70abff7db68a565200c45ad643dc312c6f8562b473f1a49877b25dbf39c004graduation celebration on the USG campus is taking over!

Students fortunate enough to be graduating in just a few days are extremely excited that they will have not one, but two graduation celebrations. That’s right, two celebrations! How is this possible you ask? Let me explain.




USG will be hosting a graduation celebration while each institution will be hosting their own graduation commencement ceremonies. For example, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s commencement ceremony is slated for May 27th while the USG undergrad celebration will be held on May 11th. So for those that consider graduation to be one of the biggest days of their life, they will get to experience it twice!! 

So why have two celebrations? My immediate answer is why not! But having never attended a USG undergrad graduation celebration, I found myself unable to justify attending as opposed to just staying in bed and catching up on reality shows. I did some recon by asking fellow students, professors, and staff that have attended a USG undergrad graduation celebration and gathered clarity. Let me explain.

The USG celebration is more like a party than a ceremony. A big crowd gathers in the decorated multipurpose room in building number two which creates an atmosphere that has everyone feeling fancy. Music plays loudly, delicious foods and beverages are served, and everyone and their grandmother is present taking photos, exchanging hugs and well wishes. A few tears are shed as graduates realize that they have achieved this significant milestone. It is a bittersweet moment for most, but overall it turns out to be the best night of their lives at the USG campus. Learn more about the event and RSVP heregraduation celebration thumbnail

Definitely does not sound like something I would want to miss if I was graduating! If you were in a slump and not feeling the excitement of graduation, I hope this blog was able to give you at least an ounce of excitement. If you are still not feeling the excitement of graduation, I believe you can also take a guest. Word around town is that Gabe is such a hoot and I do know for a fact his calendar is clear that day…

Congratulations to all the undergrad graduating students from the 9 colleges on our 1 campus. Your presence will be truly missed. I encourage you to take the remaining days to enjoy undergrad life.

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The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Hey USG! 

The neat thing about going to the Universities at Shady Grove is that it provides students the opportunity to work and gain valuable life experience while in school. I can definitely say that this factor has helped in my journey to landing a job that I have dreamed of. Many of my classmates and others that I met on campus were or are students that have jobs, families, and other responsibilities. Having this kind of discipline, even for a little while, will do wonders for a student’s work ethic…and it shows in the working world. I can personally attest to the positive outcomes and feedback I have received, or witnessed by other students, about how well USG students can organize and prioritize.  

We are doing well! So when the going gets tough, just think about how much better you will feel knowing that your hard work will pay off. You are doing something most others can’t. Many students that go away to university have a completely different experience…which isn’t negative, or positive…but it’s all in what they make it. However, in today’s society it is very common to see complacency. This leads to disregarding opportunities that could help a student in the long run; i.e. Finding a job in their field of study, moving out, building a resumè. 

So while I am winding down my journey here at USG, and the light at the end of the tunnel is near, I can confidently say that if you keep up with your discipline here at USG, it will pay off! 
Keep up the good work! 

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Damn, I look good!

Ever thought you looked bad in a picture, then looked at it a few months or even a year later and thought “wow, I actually look really good here”? In the moment the photo was taken, you clearly remember feeling like the picture was so bad, but then you realized you were hating on the picture for nothing.

It is common for humans to be critical of themselves. Improving your physical well-being and feeling good about yourself is important. If you’re on the path toward being more accepting of yourself, physically and emotionally check this workshop out. USG’s Center for Counseling and Consultation wants to help you Love Your Self.

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