Congratulations to all! + Thank you!

Hello to all! Congratulations to all seniors who are graduating and to juniors who finished the semester strong! I will be walking across the stage next Saturday at the Reckord Armory at College Park to receive my B.A. in Communication. I’m so excited!

To wrap up my blog posts this semester I wanted to reflect on some of my best moments at USG this past year. This semester I served as a Student Ambassador for my second year, and also a tour trainer. I also got to train some of the UMBC PAT members, which allowed me to meet even more people here at USG. I worked in the Advancement Department here on campus and gained valuable experience helping with events like the Skilled for Success: Building an Entrepreneurial Mindset event. I served spring semester as a teaching assistant for COMM 398W- Website design, where I got to help students in the lab with creating websites. I successfully completed the USG Emerging Leader Digital Badge, which allowed me to reflect on experiences that allowed me to be a better leader.


Working a Student Ambassador event for Transfer Access Night

Aside from academic related things, I became closer with one of the best people I’ve ever met, my best friend, Jenni. Although this past semester has been tough, she has gotten me through stressful times by supporting me with friendship and laughter. We attended the same high school but drifted away during our time at MC, but I am so happy USG brought us back together.


Jenni served as an intern for the CSEF office this semester.

Some of you might not know this but In October I suffered a knee injury where I tore my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), and meniscus. I was required to have surgery to repair this so I went in for surgery right before Thanksgiving. I was extremely worried that I would fall behind in my class work and being able to manage a job. Luckily, my professors here at USG were more than accommodating to my injury and need to have surgery in the middle of the semester. I am so grateful that I had such caring professors and advisors.

This has been a crazy semester and year in general, but I am thankful to say that I will be continuing my education and earning a masters degree. This coming August I will begin taking classes at the University of Maryland College Park to earn a Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.) in Technology Entrepreneurship. I’m going to be a Terp for at least another year and a half! Go Terps!

I wish everyone good luck in their future endeavours and I thank you SO much for reading my blog!

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Just Because I’m Leaving…

That’s right! This will be my last ever blog post 😦  It has an honor and a pleasure to be able to bring you guys some type of news and information. I know many times it seemed like it was me just ranting about my school work. But that was why I wanted to join in the first place, to share those experiences with everyone.

Blogging has definitely enhanced my communication skills and pushed me out of my comfort zone. I definitely think my voice, as a writer, has gotten strong. I am very grateful to myself and Kristen Koehler for this opportunity. I would stay on and continue to tell everyone about my life. However, my senior year is expected to be crazy busy. With student teaching, actual classes, working at CSEF, Student Council (yes! I made it on to the Council), and the Council for Exceptional Children, I will be a busy body. That being said, since I am quite active on campus, I plan to make the most out of my senior year at USG.

I am not sure when the Student Blogger Application is going to be pushed out. If and when it does, please apply and give yourself a chance to let your stories be heard and read. It is an amazing opportunity and you get to work with amazing individuals.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and all my previous blogs. Please feel free to stop me in the hallway and say hi, if you can catch me. Just because I’m leaving, doesn’t mean we aren’t friends anymore 🙂 


Just a nice picture for you guys to remember me by.

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Attention Soon-to-be Alumni!


You made it! It is the end of the spring semester. While most of you are finishing up your final exams and getting ready for graduation, I wanted to say thank you so much for providing me the opportunity to share my experiences here at USG with you. It was truly a pleasure. I hope you enjoyed reading my blog posts as much as I enjoyed sharing them with you. I have always wanted to blog, so I was really excited when I found out that I was going to be one of the bloggers USG. I wanted to provide some insights from the perspective of someone who attended USG as an undergrad and grad.

Additionally, I wanted to take this time to remind those who are graduating this month that as USG alumni, you can still use certain services at USG. Below, I provided you with the list of student services and which services they can provide you as an alumnus.

Center for Academic Success (CAS)

If you are planning on applying to graduate school, you can schedule writing consultation appointments with CAS to review your personal statement for graduate school. They also have summer Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) workshops to help you prepare to take the GRE exam. If you are interested in this workshop, stop by CAS or call them to ask about it.

Career and Internship Services Center (CISC)

If you are in the process of looking for jobs, I highly recommend using CISC. As an alumnus, you can still come to them to get your resume reviewed and use their USG Career Connector to search for jobs. Also, there some USG events that alumni are welcome to attend so stay tuned.

Lastly, USG has an Alumni Ambassador at USG Facebook page. Please like the page to get updates about any upcoming alumni events at USG. Also visit USG’s Power of 9 page to read about other alumni’s stories.

Graduate School at USG

Will you be returning to USG for graduate school? If so, do not forget to participate in the Graduate Student Association (GSA) and help be the voice of graduate students at USG.

What do you have planned for the summer?

I will be taking two summer courses for a month then I have the rest of July and August available! Wuhuu!! PLUS, I’m getting married in August so having July and August free is great. I wish you all the best!

Have a great summer!

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Gaithersburg Book Festival

The Universities at Shady Grove is looking for volunteers that speak a diverse array of languages. Our institution is hosting a multilingual story time tent at the Gaithersburg Book Festival. Anyone who is fluent in Spanish, Korean, French, Amharic, Farsi, Chinese, Vietnamese, Portuguese, Russian or any foreign language can apply to read to children. Families will come together to listen to children’s stories in a variety of different languages including American Sign language.

The Gaitherburg Book Festival will include writing workshops and a wide variety of fun activities, arts and crafts workshops and a chance for children to play games. The event will feature games in the Children’s Village, which also includes a meeting space for the most talented children and young adult writers. The festival will be an opportunity for book signings, presentations and readings.

Among the award-winning and best-selling authors and illustrators coming to the Gaithersburg Book Festival this year are:

The event will take place on Saturday, May 19th from 10AM-5PM in 20 minute slots. If you are interested contact Emily Spangler or Iris Schauerman.

Emily Spangler –

Iris Schauerman –

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Vacation Time!

vacationIt is incredible that the semester has ended! Where did time go?

The last week of my semester was very intense; it involved a lot of presentations. I was battling with some allergies as well as a cough, but I managed to finish the semester strong. I also got a pleasant surprise by getting an “A” in my twenty-page research paper.

It is no secret that graduate students compromise social activity and vacation for school work. While this can be beneficial to achieve short-term goals, i.e., completing a project, the long-term effects can be stress, exhaustion, and burnout. I have decided to go against the grain and take much needed “me” time away from work, school and other responsibilities. So, I have planned to travel half way around the world to Kenya! I will be traveling on Thursday and will stay there for ten days. My plans are simple: relax, mentally detox, go on a wildlife safari and spend time with family.

I hope that you have plans to take your vacation as well.

Cheers to finishing the semester!

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So Long, Farewell!

Four semesters later, here I am writing my last ever blog post for Around the Grove. My decision to apply to be a blogger during my P2 year was completely spontaneous, but I’d say it’s one of the best ones I’ve made in pharmacy school. I’ve written happy posts, sad posts, angry posts, and funny posts. More than anything, blogging has been an outlet for me to use my left side brain and continue to improve my writing. It’s also allowed me to promote exciting social and educational events at USG. Overall, being a blogger has been a wonderful experience that I’d recommend to any USG student. Please be on the lookout for the opportunity to apply, and feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions!

With third year wrapping up next week, I’ll be starting my experiential rotations very soon. I think the general consensus among my P3 classmates and I at USG with respect to rotations is that we’re “nervous but excited”. I decided to ask a few of my classmates which rotation(s) they’re most looking forward to and why. For my last post, I’d like to share some of their responses with you:

Larissa can’t choose from among her seven rotations. She’s excited for “everything”. Larissa will be at several Kaiser Permanente sites in Baltimore and throughout the DC Metro area, many of which are in underserved communities.

Phuong is most looking forward to her anticoagulation clinic rotation with Kaiser Permanente because it will be a “chance to make a difference in a very specific patient population”.

Tony is most looking forward to his rotation at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because he’s worked in both hospital and retail, but never a government setting. Tony will be working in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Rheumatology Products at FDA.

Ben is most excited for his Bioverativ rotation in Boston and Medimmune rotation in Gaithersburg because he’ll get to see firsthand how pharmacists “leverage basic science to carry out effective formulation design of small biologic molecules”.

Hannah is stoked for her rotation in the Amazon rainforest because, well, it’s the Amazon! Hannah says “it will be exciting to go abroad and see a very different side of pharmacy; we’ll get to learn about medicinal plants which is something we didn’t cover much in school.”

As for me, I’m most looking forward to my Cardiology rotation at the University of Maryland Medical Center. It’ll be a challenging one for sure, but I can’t wait to put what I learned during my Cardiology therapeutic module into practice.

Thanks so much for following along with me on my adventures Around the Grove; it’s been fun 🙂 Whether you’re a current student, staff member, prospective student, or someone else who’s chanced upon this student blog, I wish you all the best in your own life’s adventures!


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Family Matters


Katherine, me, my mom and dad, and Elizabeth last week at my dad’s ceremony.

Last week, I had the privilege of seeing my father inducted into the Maritime Patrol & Reconnaissance Hall of Honor. My dad’s 35-year Naval career included piloting P-3 Orion anti-submarine aircraft during Vietnam and the Cold War and this award honored his loyal service to our country and his years of keeping the United States safe. I’m so proud of him.

Both of my sisters were there for the ceremony and since it was held midweek, our spouses and kids did not make the trip down to Jacksonville, Florida for the event. Hanging out with my sisters without our families made me think about what it was like to grow up with them. As the three of us walked down the beach last week, I realized that we were not just sisters, but great girlfriends. We share what is going on in our current lives, but can also remember stories from our youth.

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    Elizabeth, Katherine and me circa The Olden Days.

    Like the time Katherine and I begged my mom to try on Elizabeth’s white go-go boots (while she was not home) and my mom said “Do what you like, but if she finds out, don’t come running to me.” Well, she did find out only because we stretched out the white vinyl.

  • Or the time 4-year-old Katherine had a stomach bug and Elizabeth and I thought it was a good idea to feed her red jello and celery. “Mom, Katherine threw up!”
  • And the multiple times we stayed in Navy hotels where the bed sheets always smelled like beans.
  • And how I, the shyest one, always had to call the pizza place to order or call the radio station to be the 9th caller. (I did score Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors on 8-track…don’t be jealous.)
  • Or one winter, I was ice skating pretending to be Peggy Fleming (look her up if you just said “Peggy who?”) and fell on my face. My dad was away and my mom put us all in the VW bug and had Elizabeth and Katherine sit with me in the back seat and hold a towel on my bloody chin so we could drive to the hospital for stitches. And I am sure none of us had seat belts on…it just wasn’t something you did back then.



Elizabeth, Katherine and me last week on the beach.

So what does all of this have to do with USG? Well, it doesn’t really and you can tell it’s the end of the semester when I just freestyle my blog post. But I hope you enjoyed taking a little trip down memory lane with me and congratulating my dad on his stellar award which he definitely couldn’t have achieved without my amazing mom….and his three fabulous daughters, of course…



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Dining with the Chefs Review

On Monday I had the honor of attending an inspiring event that allowed the guests a truly unique dining experience at The Universities at Shady Grove (USG) campus. The University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s (UMES) Campus Kitchen Project at USG took local dining to a whole new level with the Dining with the Chefs event and I am excited to share my experience of attending this event with you as my final blog post for this semester. The event was to no surprise sold out, so it was truly an honor for me to be able to attend and I wanted to share information about this event with you so that you can start planning to attend the next one from now.

The Dining with the Chefs event was held to help raise the funds needed for the UMES Campus Kitchen Project (CKP). The UMES/USG CKP helps feed Montgomery County residents as part of the broader national Campus Kitchen Project organization that works with colleges across the nation to use food as a tool to strengthen bodies, empower minds and build communities. The CKP at USG meets once a month to prepare fresh meals in bulk which are delivered to families and has to date prepared more than 10,000 meals. Students, faculty and staff at USG are all invited to participate and more information about UMES/USG CKP can be found by visiting the Facebook page here. Dining with the Chefs was held to help raise the funds needed to buy the ingredients for the 200 plus meals that CKP prepares and delivers each month to shelters and families in transitional housing.


Set amidst beautiful Wizard of Oz themed décor in the multipurpose room of the versatile Conference and Events (CES) venue, the biannual Dining with the Chefs event was well attended by members of the community. The 8,700 square foot ballroom of the Conference Center at USG was filled with over 25 dining tables with 9 guests seated at each and there was still room in the ballroom for a stage with a podium and 2 huge projector screens. I was truly impressed with the set-up of the venue and everyone seated at my table appreciated the comfort in which we were able to dine and enjoy the evening’s festivities. The event also utilized the foyer space of the building for the reception which allowed the over 200 guests in attendance to access any of the 3 bars and also participate in the silent auction where the prizes were on display throughout the area.

The event featured 16 renowned local chefs that worked with the amazing and talented students in the UMES Hospitality and Tourism Management Program. A six-course gourmet meal was prepared and served to the guests and the guests were given the opportunity to meet and dine with the chefs. Some of the chefs that I recognized were Chef Ype Von Hengst from Silver Diner, Chef Enzo Livia of IL Pizzico, Chef Jeff Eng of Clydes Tower Oaks, Chef Elise Wendland of Comus Inn, and Chef Mark Mills of Chocolates and Tomatoes farm.


I had the pleasure of dining with 2 of the chefs at my table and had an amazing time at my table with fellow guests who were overall very pleased with the event and who all indicated that they will surely be attending the next Dining with the Chefs event and also will be looking for other ways that they can assist the UMES/USG CKP. Be sure to check of the event photos posted here.

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Festival Time!

Hey there! This week is definitely feeling springy – gives me just a little taste of summer and I know I can’t be the only one who is ready to be done with the semester! We’re still trucking along though. If you’re reading this; know that you’re not alone.

As a COMM major and Director of Social Media and Marketing for the UCA, I think it would be wrong of me not to mention the event that’s going on TOMORROW! We’re hosting our annual UMD COMMpetition: Digital Media & Film Festival on May 3rd at 6pm.


I have practically all of my classes with some of the people that will be presenting their work. From music videos to short films, it’s a time to get to see what the Communication Department has put their hard work into. I will say it’s really interesting to see everyone’s creative style. No one person is the same. Films and any digital media products are all so different. This will be my first time attending so I hope to see you all there!

If this is your first time reading one of my blogs, please feel free to check out the other ones I’ve posted throughout the year here. It’s been a pleasure writing for Around the Grove this past year and I wish everyone a good end of the semester! Finish those papers, individual projects, group projects, and study for those exams. It will pay off.

For the last time this semester: Thanks for reading and enjoy your summer! 🙂

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Student Appreciation Cookout

You feel that? The weather seems to be getting warmer. Which means Summer is almost here. Are you guys excited for the end of the semester? I sure am!

Last Thursday, USG held an exciting event dedicated to us, the students. It was another successful event!The event took place in the central quad. Fortunately the weather was really nice. There were all types of fun things at the event- games, food, music and even animals!


One part of the event that was really popular were the various games. If you walked around the grass, you would have seen Jumbo Jenga, Cornholes, Waterguns and an inflatable Obstacle Course. Not only was it fun to play the games, but you also had the chance to win either a t shirt or a stuffed llama.


Like many events at USG, there had to be food. This event was no exception. When you entered the event, you were given three tickets to use on food. There was popcorn, hamburgers and ice cream. Perfect for a warm sunny day!


Perhaps the most popular part of the event were the different animals students were able to pet. This was actually new this year – there haven’t been animals in previous cookouts. There were different animals – baby goats, ducks, bunnies and llamas. They were all equally soft! Let’s hope they return for next year’s cookout!


If you were lucky to be on campus during the event, you might have heard the music playing. If you didn’t hear about the cookout before it started, the music would have definitely gotten your attention. The DJ picked a nice selection of songs that played throughout the event.

This year’s event was a huge success! It’s special because it honors all the students at USG. This is just one example of how important the students are!

As we reach the last 2 weeks of the semester, be sure to lookout for events that are unique to the end of the semester. Also, be on the lookout for posters advertising the De-Stress Lounge. Make sure to mark your calendars!


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