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

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Spring Break in Paris

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Paris is known as the city of love, but I went and found something even deeper: an appreciation for art and language.

As a business major, my focus has always been on business concepts and business programs. So this spring break, I decided I wanted to do something different by participating in the “Classical Myths in Paris” short-term study abroad program and learning about a subject I am completely unfamiliar with. 

Although it has only been 3 days in Paris so far, one of the best parts about this experience has been being forced to interact with people in a different language. Although I am bilingual, I still find learning a new language to be difficult. I recognize that I can’t be a master of all languages; however, taking the time to learn phrases from each country I visit is better than nothing. Especially in France, I have learned that making the attempt to speak French and show that you are not simply making the assumption that they know English truly does go a long way.

Here are some of the little phrases I have been using while navigating around the city. Although these are simple, knowing little phrases in every country you plan on visiting is crucial. 

  • Bonjour – Hello [it’s extra polite to add a title: Madame, Monsieur]
  • Bonne journée (bunn zhour-nay) – Have a nice day [when leaving]
  • Bonsoir – Hello [in the evening]
  • Bonne soirée (bunn swa-ray) – Have a good evening [when leaving]
  • S’il vous plaît (seel voo pleh) – Please [literally, “if you please”]
  • S’il vous plaît, parlez-vous anglais? – Please, do you speak English? – (seel voo pleh, par-lay voo ahn-gleh?)
  • Merci (mehr-see) – Thank you 
  • Merci bien/merci beaucoup – Thank you very much (mer-see byen, mer-see bo-koo)
  • Je vous en prie (zhuh voo zahn pree) or De rien (duh ryen) – You’re welcome
  • Au revoir (ohr-vwahr) – Goodbye
  • A bientôt (ah byen-toh) – See you soon
  • La carte, s’il vous plaît? – The menu, please (la kart, seel voo pleh?)
  • L’addition, s’il vous plaît? – The check, please (la-dee-syon, seel voo pleh?)

 As I have written before, participating in a study abroad program really allows you to expand your worldview, as I experienced when I participated in the accounting study abroad program over winter break. Now I realize the importance even more. Doing a study abroad program that is different from your field of study allows you to develop your cultural competency even more!

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Peru in my Shoes (A Study Abroad Story Part 1)

Hello from Peru!

I hope everyone is having a great first day of Spring Break! (Sorry if you’re not on Spring Break right now.) I just want to share with everyone what I am up to during my Spring Break.

I’m enrolled in a course called “Peru: Sustainable Development, Democracy and Human Rights” through the UMD Short Term Study Abroad Program.

We’re just now in the beginning part of our trip, and we’ve spent the last 3 days in the Amazon jungle in the Madre De Dios region. We’re staying at an ecolodge called Posada Amazonas to learn about the native Infierno community, the work they do for ecotourism, and the ecosystem of the Tampobata region.

Today, we went on 4 different hikes, walked over 10 miles on difficult terrains, sat in on several scary boat rides, and had a lot of interesting experiences. Here are my two favorites:

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  1. Hiking in the Flood Plains Forest in the Tambopata River Basin. It really is walking through a swamp. As you can see, I got a part of Peru in my shoes. This hike is especially special because the local guides wanted to show us a special Ceba tree, which is so huge that it won’t even fit in a panoramic. This tree is supposed to  be the biggest in their forest region and believed to be tied to a lot of spirituality and beliefs.

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2. I also got this opportunity to make a new furry friend! Meet Lucas the Capuchin! I saw him when my group and I went to see a Fish Farm the locals are starting up. This business aims to bring in tourists who wants to learn more about the Infierno community by eating at their restaurant for authentic food and learning how to fish with bow and arrow. Definitely did not expect to see a friendly little monkey there!

Well, that’s it for now since wifi is spotty, and we have 4:30am wake up calls!

To be continued…

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Learn how to use your tools (like Excel)

Seo Summary Computer Business Growth ChartIn 2003 I was a young sailor on a submarine in the Pacific Ocean. I knew how to install software, configure routers, and write some code. So, when my senior officer asked me how to use Excel to create a pie chart, it was completely expected that I knew how to do that, too. But I didn’t have a clue! And, I didn’t have the ability to just go to Google it. (There is no constant internet connection on a submarine.)

Wherever you are in your life right now, you’ve got it easy. If you want to make a pie chart, or a cherry pie, the internet can show you how!

Recently, I was helping a client of mine to polish up a business plan in preparation for a loan application. He had a year worth of data from sales, inventory, investments, etc. and five years’ worth of projections based on the investments he wants to make. I ended up showing him how to make some charts, and format his spreadsheets. We reworked a good percentage of his data and used referential cells so that we could show how the numbers would change if one of the assumptions changed, such as a 10% increase in sales compared with a 20% increase in sales. This also made it easy to see what would happen if he extended his hours. After showing him a few basic charting tips he put together a professional looking document with full color charts that really brought his business numbers to life.

Today, the ability to use technology effectively is not a marketable skill, it’s a nonnegotiable requirement. But, that doesn’t mean that you need to be a whiz. The internet is full of how-tos and useful tips. Mastering a search engine and thinking “there’s got to be a better way” will steer you towards mastering your software tools. I’ve already covered “Google fu” in another post. Here are some examples of things to know about how to boost your Excel (or any other spreadsheet app).

There are many resources on the internet, each with their own style for presenting the ‘how-to’. You may find videos better, or maybe you learn better by reading and then doing. Whatever your preference for a spreadsheet application, there are plenty of sources for you.

Here’s a complete two-hour portfolio that’s a good place to start if you have little to no understanding about spreadsheets.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lXerL3DHRw

Freeze panes are fun and they make it so that you can hold horizontal or vertical labels in place and scroll across multiple rows or columns of data without having to remember which data is in which row or column.

http://www.excel-easy.com/examples/freeze-panes.html

Referential cells make it really easy to change one or more variables in a formula. You can incrementally increase variables and do many other cool things with cell references.

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Use-cell-references-in-a-formula-fe137a0d-1c39-4d6e-a9e0-e5ca61fcba03

Filter and sort is a great tool that helps you organize your data or extract just a selected portion of your data based on the values or even the colors of cells.

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Sort-and-filter-data-ffb9fcb0-b9cb-48bf-a15c-8bec9fd3a472

Here’s everything to know about graphs (charts). Everything.

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Create-a-chart-from-start-to-finish-0baf399e-dd61-4e18-8a73-b3fd5d5680c2

Most of what you can do in Excel, you can do in the alternative spreadsheet apps like Numbers on Mac OS or even Google Sheets. Here’s an example of how you can do charting in Sheets.

https://support.google.com/docs/answer/63728?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en

 

 

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Gear up for grad school apps!

Since those of us who are undergraduates at the Universities at Shady Grove are within at least a couple years of graduating, a lot of us have the question of what on earth we should do after graduation on our minds. One obvious path is going to grad school. While this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, the great news is that USG has tons of resources to help with the daunting process of applying to grad programs. As I’ve talked to professors and grad school alumni, I’ve come up with a list of some of my own tips for applying:

  • Start early!!! If you are planning to enter grad school in the fall, you should probably start working on searching for, getting in contact with, and applying to grad schools at least a year (if not more) in advance from when you would start the program. So if you’re hoping to enter grad school in the fall of 2017, you should start the process in at least the fall of 2016. The earlier, the better because it’s a lot of work. Be aware that GRE scores, transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc. can take a while to get sent. If you are starting late in the game, limit the number of schools you apply to so you don’t get overwhelmed and miss things or consider waiting till next year to apply so you can really bring your A-game.
  • Research your programs well. Comb through every part of a program’s website and read about the coursework, internships, experiences, and faculty to get a better sense of what their focus and objectives are and how well it fits with what you want in a grad program. Unlike with undergrad programs, grad programs offer you the chance to really focus on a specific area that interests you, so find something that excites you!
  • Get a GRE prep book, take practice tests, and sign up for a practice class. These books explain the test format and offer practice questions, refreshers on how to do that math you learned in high school, and more. There are also apps where you can practice answering questions on the go. Best of all is that USG offers a summer GRE prep class for students and alumni, completely free to students, run by our incredible Center for Academic Success staff.
  • Find a mentor to guide you through the process. Whether a professor, a career counselor, or a current grad student, find someone (or multiple people) who can give you insight into the process, suggest programs, give things a second look-over, and offer advice and encouragement. This is crucial!
  • Talk to your professors. Get more engaged in speaking in class and meeting with professors outside of class so they can get to know you and your work in order to write a stellar recommendation. Not to mention, profs can be a great resource to let you know about grad programs they think would fit you, as well as recommendations for how to make your application stronger. They want to see students go to awesome grad programs, so don’t be afraid to ask them for help!
  • Gain internship, work, public speaking, research, and publishing experience in your field.  Grad programs can be extremely competitive, especially funded ones. So completing internships, volunteering, working on research with a professor, presenting papers at conferences and symposiums, and publishing in journals can make you a more impressive candidate. This kind of experience proves that you are serious about working in your field, disciplined, and hard-working.

Best of luck!

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Now is YOUR time

Midterms are here, but that is not the only exciting thing happening at the Universities at Shady Grove campus this week. On March 14th candidate applications for the USG Student Council became available. However, have no fear of applying for a position on the council as the election won’t be that extreme where you will need the help of Oliva Pope and her Gladiators (from the hit TV series Scandal). As stated in the flyer below all you have to do is run for USG student council and BE A LEADER.17212251_931078170360764_4383726229541203655_o

The Universities at Shady Grove Student Council as some of you may know is unique in the sense that it consists of representatives from all nine universities on the USG campus. Yours truly has had the pleasure of serving as the University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s representative and also as the Chair of Advocacy and Outreach. Details on the requirements, roles, and responsibilities for members of the Council can be seen here. And all you need to know about the elections process can be seen here. Fill out the application using this link here.

A significant fact to note is that there are stipends available for each position on the student council! So why not earn some extra cash while engaging, empowering and evolving the USG student body. Being someone who does not believe in unpaid internships, something that being on the council is very similar to as it provides experience and resume entries that can spur careers; I think USG is truly amazing to deliver these stipends.

That being said, as I reflect on this experience, there were many wonderful times where we were able to engage, empower and help the USG student body evolve and because of that, I wanted to encourage each and every one of you to apply for the USG Student Council. Over this past year while on the council we received feedback from students on the campus and were able to take these to the USG administration. To date, we have worked closely with the USG administration to address student concerns and have been very successful. I quite like that I can park in the Traville garage from 4 pm now! I am excited that USG is an inclusive space and will be adding a gender neutral restroom. I feel secure and comforted when my fellow students talk about how brightly lighted the walkway from the Shady Grove garage is. And I am extremely pleased that my program of study has been completely revised to address the demand of the workforce.

I see that many students on the campus have the passion and enthusiasm to be great council members and I am eager to see them all take the incredible opportunity of being on the council and contribute meaningfully to USG campus life. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have and good luck to all the candidates. #LifeAtUSG

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What is a MET?

Hi there! 

These past few months I have been interning at the Shady Grove Adventist  Center for Health and Fitness. What do we do there? It is a cardiac and pulmonry rehab facility that works with patients to increase their functional capacity and quality of life.

Functional capacity…what’s that? In simpler terms, it is the ability of a person to do work (and the amount of work needed) to complete everyday (“functional”) tasks. The MET, or metabolic equivalent, is the unit that is used to measure how hard your body is working at rest and during those functional activities. 1 MET is equivalent to how hard your body is working at rest…right now, reading this blog post! 🙂 

There are specific calculations that help compute how hard your body is working on certain pieces of exercise equipment. So if you are calculated of working at 3.5 METS on a treadmill…that means you are working 3.5 times harder than you are at rest! 

So what’s the big deal about all of this?…Well, at cardiac rehab, we encourage patients to care about their MET values. The staff keeps track of the MET level progression throughout the rehab program. We educate the patients that for every 1 MET increase in exercise intensity, it decreases a person’s mortality rate by 15%.  How awesome is that? This basically means that with each 1 MET Value increase during exercise, a person’s body is working and fighting against common risk factors that lead to heart disease. So if you’re curious on how to figure out your metabolic equivalents, reach out to the Salisbury Exercise Science department, or students. We are well versed in calculating and implementing MET Values for exercise. Our main resource of information is The American College of Sports Medicine. 
Check it out and keep up those MET Levels!

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Being Healthy, but Staying Delicious

Late night snacking, craving delicious food 24/7, and just loving to eat led me to search for healthy, but delicious options for my daily nourishment. Eating larger meals that are healthy and protein packed will keep you full and craving less junk food (although a bag of cheetos never hurt anyone).

I really care about building my body to be strong and healthy, but I also work full-time, am in grad school part-time, and have a social/personal life to balance. Below are 2 recipes that are healthy, filling, and delicious. I frequent these dishes because most of them take under 20 minutes to make (including preparation too)!

Recipe #1: Ranch chicken – I usually use Pam instead of olive oil. Adding lemon juice (fresh) also takes this recipe up a notch.

Recipe #2: Picadillo – I modify this one a bit more than #1. First I use 96% lean ground beef (Trader Joe’s or Harris Teeter). I use Pam instead of olive oil. I do not use: chorizo, bay leaves, nutmeg, cloves, raisins, or red-wine vinegar.

Other than these recipes, here are some awesome things to check out from Trader Joe’s:

  1.  World’s Puffiest White Cheddar Corn Puffs (snack)
  2. Trader Joe’s Veggie Sticks (snack)
  3. Frozen ready to eat edamame (snack)
  4. Sriracha Tuna Salad (lunch)
  5. Asian vegetable stir fry – fresh not frozen (recipe on container)
  6. Trader Joe’s Green Tea – Unsweetened and Bottled

I also have to rave about Halo Top ice cream, which can be found by the pint at Safeway. The nutrition and calorie count is unbelievable when you taste the ice cream. It can be a little pricey, but if you forgo buying your favorite flavor of Coldstone, you’ll probably break even.

All in all, I have a handful of recipes that are extremely healthy for dinner and lunches, and I’ve also found some good snacks that are somewhat healthy compared to Oreos and chips. If anyone wants some more recipes to try or snacks, feel free to leave a comment or contact me via Facebook! I’d love to chat.

 

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Please click on the link!

 

I love Tesla, not just because I am a business student but also because I believe in what they are doing to help save the world! Tesla is helping the world accelerate to sustainable energy products. I love my home how it is (Hawaii)! I don’t want Hawaii to change because it is a beautiful paradise that is green and peaceful. The fresh ocean breeze is always in the air and it’s a great smell that I miss. I don’t want my island to be polluted by fossil fuels which would destroy my paradise. As a business student, I read about C.E.O’s that say you have to do something you love because you if wake up and love what you do you will never dislike your job. I looked for internship’s but I was doing it to make my resume look better. The more job’s I applied for the more I found out that I was very unhappy! Until I decide to stop looking and apply somewhere I believed in and had the joy working for. It’s easy to get up now and go to work because when I talk about all the great things Tesla does I have a smile on my face! If you click on the link you will understand why I love my job! I do miss Hawaii but I know when I return I will be happy to smell that fresh CLEAN ocean breeze thanks to what Tesla is doing! We have to change how we treat our planet because if we don’t all the paradise’s around the world will be gone! It’s not always about profit! Doing the right thing has a better return for our future!

#Hawaiiisingreathands #Teslapowerwall #Cleanenergy

 

 

 

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The Opioid Epidemic & Our Community

Each spring, the Universities at Shady Grove’s Office of Student Services (OSS), in collaboration with student organizations, hosts a Civic Engagement Series event that brings attention to a critical issue of interest to our community. Successful past events have focused on issues such as domestic violence, vaccine hesitancy, and human trafficking.

This year, OSS is partnering with Students Engaged in Public Health (SEIPH), APhA-ASP Generation Rx, Criminology and Criminal Justice Student Association (CRIMSA), and the Student Section of the Maryland Public Health Association (SMdPHA) to bring attention to the current opioid epidemic, which has become nothing short of a deadly, public health crisis. Just to give you some perspective, according to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the number of deaths related to heroin per year has increased by more than 5 times between 2010 and 2016, from 170 to 918. And the number of deaths related to fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is much more potent than heroin, has increased by more than 23 times in that same time period, from 31 to 738. But that’s just Maryland. The epidemic has hit states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania even harder.

Rather than say more now about the state of this crisis and what’s driving the worsening of illicit and prescription opioid abuse, I’d like to encourage you to attend The Opioid Epidemic and Our Community: A Multidisciplinary Panel Discussion where experts we have invited will bring awareness to the urgency of this issue, as well as give the audience insight into what is currently being done and what still remains to be done in addressing it at the local, state, and federal levels. What our role can be in this as students, staff, and faculty will also be explored. Following the panel discussion, there will be a Q&A session as well as a resource fair featuring organizations that include The Tree House CAC of Montgomery County Maryland, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness. 

We are so excited to be hosting this event (it falls perfectly during National Public Health Week too!) and intend for it to have a huge impact. Please extend this invitation to your friends and family, as all are welcome to attend!

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Grammar Day

Hi everyone,

The semester may seem long and tedious. You might be busy writing papers, doing homework. For those who are managing well – good job! If you may be struggling, don’t forget – SAS is here to help!

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As part of the Center for Academic Success’s (CAS) mission to help students succeed academically, they held an event by the Ping Pong room on 3/7/17. Grammar Day was an event to inform students about grammar mistakes that are common . There were several games and a few workshops. Hopefully students left the event with a better understanding of English grammar.

When students checked in, then were given a punch card. They got to play 3 different games. Playing games and attending a workshop earned students punches on their cards. By getting four punches, the student was entered into a special raffle.

Students may not be aware of some common mistakes made when writing. The games were designed to help students understand the common mistakes and how to correct them. When I attended the event, I learned some mistakes that I make when writing. Until Grammar Day, I hadn’t thought of them as mistakes.

If you had attended the event and tried some of the games, you may have learned a thing or two. Hopefully you won’t need to schedule an appointment to catch a mistake that you can catch on your own.

Remember CAS’s motto – “Study Smarter, Not Harder”

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