Friday, October 24, 2014

Remember to breath and relax

Hello fellow UMBC students,

This semester seems to have flown by with many challenging moments. When you think you have all the time in the world, you really don't! Most of you are looking forward to a break and relief from the daily stresses of school. It's important to remember that no matter how many things are going on in your life, you must take time to breathe and relax. I know that is easier said than done. I myself struggle with this daily but remember if you don't take that moment, you won't be of any use to anyone else or more importantly yourself!! Yes, diligence and persistence is the key to being successful. In those free moments relax and release. I wish everyone a great and productive second half of the semester.

(Photo taken from Flickr C.C. 2.0 under username George Sharp)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ants Marching...

Take an hour out of your week and reflect. Do it!
*Remember your end goals for school...
    -Have you incorporated these hopes with the current curriculum?

I have been swamped with school, utilizing the programmable coffee maker set 4 hours from the moment I am hitting the sheets.  However, it is ok to deviate from personal dreams,  in fact it's often required of students to earn the A's.  I have yet to meet someone that knows everything.  That said, who am I to say that one subject has nothing to do with my aspirations?  I don't. So I want to keep my options viable and strive for excellence in each and every class. One long-term goal for every student should be to get a job. Remember that employers take GPA seriously, and so I should too!  

      Check this awesome app that tells you when to set your alarm:
                     -this website tells you the time to set your alarm so that you don't wake up groggy!

This table should help you understand where the times provided by the app are coming from.

(Photo taken from

Synopsis of my personal reflection:
My personal reflection identified that I feel like an ant, marching to the beat of academia.  The struggle is real, and IT IS OK to be fragile, but in the tussles, I needed to recollect WHY I was committing every waking moment to my classes. (See above) I needed motivation, and I needed it then and there to finalize a project, paper, or the study session.  Motivation is pivotal for every college student, and is sourced from the battle between the id and the ego. My id requires me to sleep, while my ego says to finish the work regardless of the state of my current happiness.  A great way to satisfy the inner id is to attend the weekly transfer student network workshops.  Food, socializing, and pertinent information about student life are all bundled up in one hour to maximize time(a must when under the pressure of deadlines).  Keep the id happy and let the ego prevail!

A few pictures of yesterdays(10/22/2014) TSN event:
*There are so many support structures at UMBC, in particular, the transfer student network (TSN)
TSN Retriever Ready Event
Sam and Patrick enjoying the food & fun!!!

These are two pictures taken at the 9th and final TSN workshop, held in COMMONS 331 on Wednesdays during free hour.

These events are held at the beginning of each semester and include topics such as:
-Clubs and Orgs 101
-Involvement Fest
-Undergraduate Research
-Study Skills
-Academic Advising

The food provided included pizza, wings, chips and salsa, water, tea and, desert. personal diet restrictions can also be provided!

By Patrick McElvaney
All rights reserved

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sir Prizé

ALCON (military for "to whom it may concern"),

If you are reading this, I would like to start out by thanking you for taking the time out of your day to read my thoughts. My name is Melvin Green Jr. (though I sometimes answer to Marvin or Malvin). I work at OCSS. In one sentence, my job is to serve those who served in the military. What does that look like? Something like the following:


Mondays are for musings in my book. My day begins with a poem by Kipling, a little Sun Tzu, and "Beach Chair" by S dot Carter.  Next, I brain storm ways to encourage student veterans to participate. I send emails, walk around and introduce myself to people I have yet to meet and try to build rapport. I sometimes fail at building report because sometimes I like to lead with a joke. For example, I wanted one person to adopt the moniker "Calc 3", but he was not fond of this nickname. However, I still feel like this is a good name that is deserving of a home. Any takers? I've also been told never to ask another person "How much a polar bear weighs". I am currently working on new introductions.


TastyKake Tuesdays are for raising awareness about Vets 2 Vets. Typically I can be found in the commuter lounge with UMBC veteran tee shirts and some sort of snack for veteran students. I look forward to Tuesdays because of the interesting conversations that I have with student population. So far, two of the most interesting things I have learned came from a USMC veteran is teaching in Baltimore who had much to say about how respect universally understood across cultures and a Navy veteran who described to me how underwater searches are conducted.


Wednesday is my favorite day of the week for two reasons: I once lost a spelling bee for misspelling this word and because of our office camel. At this point in the week I am making sure that I have met my weekly obligations as well as planned out the week ahead. This day is used for learning about those around me (time permitting). I believe it was on a Wednesday that I received a crash course on Calcutta from one of the CAs.


Thursday is my second favorite day of the week because the year after I lost in the spelling bee for misspelling Wednesday, I lost because I misspelled Thursday (True story!). Thursday is also the end of my work week in OCSS and is used to ensure I have tied up all loose ends. My week is deemed a success if I have met 1 new student veteran, responded to all emails, learned one thing from a co-worker, and managed to smile the entire time!

Thank you for reading!

(Photo taken from Flickr C.C. 2.0 under username arbyreed)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

TSN Event for October

Hello Everyone!

I hope the stress due to midterms and exams has not worn everyone down. There are some activities and events offered on campus to help deal/cope with stress.

Transfer Student Network (TSN) in-conjunction with Student Events Board (SEB) will be hosting such an event on Wednesday, October 29th at 7pm-9pm on Commons Main Street.

This is a Pumpkin Carving and Painting event, tools and equipment will be provided. Prior to the event, TSN will provide free pizza at the Off-Campus Student Services Lounge at 5:45 till the event begins at 7pm.

I would encourage everyone to attend, it is an opportunity to meet people or just paint/carve pumpkins. It also has free food! Pizza!


I hope to see everyone on Wednesday, October 29
At the: OCSS Lounge, then Mainstreet
From: 5:45-9pm

Have a good day!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Boo Bash!

Halloween is only around the corner and this year it falls on a Friday! You know what that means. You can go out and celebrate the holiday without having to worry about waking up early the next day to go to class. The holiday with be here before you know it. Do you know what you're going to do to celebrate? Here is a great Halloween event to think about. Boo Bash will be here on October 30th and will be held from 7PM-8PM in the Game room and Flat Tuesdays in the Commons! What is Boo Bash you ask? Well it's an event sponsored by OCSS where you take a pledge to be a designated driver and practice the wonderful skill of not drinking and driving. At Boo Bash you learn all the great alternatives to drinking and driving. Boo Bash ensures your safety while you still have fun socializing and going out to fund events. You all should take the pledge! Happy early Halloween everyone and please stay safe!

(Image taken from Flickr C.C. 2.0 under username TxDOT)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Upcoming Transportation Events!

Hey World!

Are you interested in learning about different transportation options? Do you know about all of the different sustainable choices you have? Come learn about them and get engaged at these upcoming events!

10/22, 11:30-1:30, Harvest Fest: Fun & FREE food!, Main Street & Commons Terrace
Stop by our table to find about carpooling and how you can meet fellow carpooling commuters in your area.
More information here:

10/29, 12-1, Street Smarts: Transportation Fair, Main Street 
Learn about different ways to get to campus and car maintenance tips. OCSS will be there to talk about carpooling, zipcar, and MTA passes.

11/7, 12-1, Carpool Social w/ FREE LUNCH, Flat Tuesdays
Join us for our last carpool social of the year. We are honoring National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. Come find yourself a driving buddy for those tired-driving days for this semester and semesters to come!
Updates to come:

(Source: Flickr user Nicholas A. Tonelli under CC BY 2.0)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

MIDTERMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How to be stress-free

Hi guys. I hope everyone has settled fully in and  are doing well in their studies. Hard work pays off in the end, and I believe that everyone will do fine at the end of the semester.

Seven weeks into the semester. I'm sure we all want a break.  While the workload keeps piling up with exams coming up, I want each and every one of you to remember that there are ways and resources available to ease the stress of school. 
       Time management,regular physical activity,  good sleeping and eating habits are a few ways to reduce stress and stay sharp for school. Also, the counseling center on campus is a great place to go; the center has trained professionals that can help. talking with friends also helps. The OCSS office and Commuter Lounge is a fun place to meet friends too. 
 Let us finish this semester strong and well in order to enjoy the holidays!!!      

( Image taken from

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Midterms are here!

Yes it is that time of the year again. The time of year that lets you know you're almost done with the semester and you have to buckle  down for what is to come. It is midterms. I know midterms time can be stressful but with these simple tips you will pass all of your midterms with flying colors.

1. Prepare for your midterms by making a strict study schedule. This will help you get and stay organized and on task.
2. Make flashcard and go through them on your way to and from class while on campus. This is a great way to study during the downtime you spend doing simple everyday activities.
3. Join a study group. Study groups are great resources to have because they give you a better perspective on the material and you can test yourself and others. Study groups also give you the chance to seek out understanding of class material from your peers.
4. Don't cram! Cramming is the absolute WORST thing you could ever do when studying for a test. It is proven that if you cram from an exam the material with not stay with you for a long period of time.
5. Get a good night's sleep before your exam. Sleep is one of the best ways to prepare for the exam day because it gives your body and brain a break from the stress of studying. It also gives your brain a chance to retain the information you have studied.

(Picture taken from Flickr Creative Commons under username Mostly_sane)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Upcoming TSN Events

Hey everyone!!

I hope everyone isn't too overwhelmed with work! I know the mid semester exhaustion is probably kicking in but don't let that get to you! Keep working hard, everyone is doing great!

TSN (Transfer Student Network) is hosting their second to last workshop this Wednesday, Oct 15th at 12:00 pm in Commons 331!

What: Academic Advising
Who: Dr. Ken Baron 
Where: Commons 331
Free food!

I would advise (pun on words =)) everyone to come!  Classes for spring are going to open up very soon and I am sure we all have a lot of questions about academic advising!

Dr. Baron is there for YOU! He is there to answer any questions you may have!

There is also going to be free food! Who doesn't like free food?! Come join the fun!!

OCSS also offers MUCH AND MINGLE! Every friday in the commons in the cafeteria at NOON! Its a really great way to chill and play games with other students while eating lunch!

Have a great day!!

Keep smiling!


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Enjoy Mingling? So Do We!

Hi everyone! Happy Homecoming Week!!

Homecoming week is always an awesome time at UMBC to get together with old and new friends on campus, and to basically embrace what it means to be a Retriever! Some relationships that you make here at UMBC will be with you a lifetime. So why not make as many new relationships as possible!

Every Friday at 12:00 in Lower Flat Tuesdays PACC & TSN host Friday Munch & Mingle!

What does this mean for you? A great time to come unwind with not only some great staff of OCSS and other students, but a chance to kick-butt at some fun cards and board games! If you can only stay 5 minutes or 55 minutes, we welcome everyone to stop by and at least say hello!

I look forward to seeing everyone stop by this week! And just to be sure, don't forget to put it in your calendars ;)

Monday, October 6, 2014


Advising season is here! It's time to start making advising appointments and start thinking about what classes you want to take for next semester. Here are a few tips on advising and registration:

1. Find out who your advisor is. You can do this by going to my.UMBC, clicking on the top scroll bar under topics, select Advising & Student Support, than click on My Advisors.
2. Make an advising appointment. Depending on your major and the advising department you can do this through email or phone.
3. Write your appointment time and date down! This is so important and be on time for your appointment.
4. Look for classes you're interested in taking next semester. This can be done by looking at the classes you still  need to take for your major, looking at your degree audit to see what other credits you need to take, and look through the course description for potential classes.

(Image taken from Flickr Creative Commons under username mary.rachel)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Up Coming Events On Campus!!

Hello all you lovely Commuters,

I hope that September was good for all of you and now I welcome you all to October! Time is going really fast! I hope that all is well with your classes and you are sparing some time in your busy schedules for some fun. 
I just wanted to take the time now to remind you guys of some events coming up in the next couple of days. 

Friday, October 3

Go out and watch Maleficent (heard it was a great movie!)  in LH1
Tickets are $2 at the CIC

Saturday, October 4

Maleficent (FREE!!) 

Breakfast and Bingo
Go Out and play for FREE and win FREE prizes while enjoying delicious breakfast selections!
Did I say free? Happening in Sports Zone at 7PM. 

Tuesday, October 7

Wake up it's Good Morning Commuters!! Get your Breakfast fix here from 8:30 AM to 10:00AM on Main Street! We are all happy to see you!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Donate Blood and Save a life!

Hey there Commuters! Hope you all are doing great in this first week
of Autumn!

If you are feeling like doing a good deed today I just wanted to quickly let you guys know about an amazing opportunity to do so.The details are all below!

UMBC's Inter-Fraternity Council is hosting a blood drive with the American Red Cross! 

visit (with the user code 0531838) to set up your appointment to give blood. 

The blood drives going to take place today at the UC Ballroom from 9 am-8 pm tonight.So come all and support the members of IFC and give blood!

Hope to see all of  you good folks there!

“Every time you do a good deed you shine the light a little farther into the dark. And the thing is, when you're gone that light is going to keep shining on, pushing the shadows back.” 
― Charles de Lint
(Picture from Flickr Creative Commons under username prc1333)

Safa Zahangir

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Your October To-Do List

Hello all,

Hope you are enjoying your first days of October (which is my favorite month)!

Since it is October and school is flying by, you should make yourself a To-Do List. For me, this helps me stay organized and on top of all of my commitments.

So, here are some tips in starting your very own To-Do List:

1. Start simple -- Don't be too specific in what you need to get done. Start broad and then narrow down what you need to get done.

2. Organization! -- Don't add everything in one area! Categorize by commitments (i.e. family, work, school). It will help you see what you need to do per commitment.

3. Have fun with it! -- I know that there can be a lot of anxiety associated with getting work done, but you can make it easy to plan things out. If you know in advance what you need to get done and write it down, it can make you less stressed and make things a lot easier for you.

Please try to set a goal to make your own To-Do List (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.) and stick with it! You will feel a lot better in the end when you can scratch out that you completed a task. Then, reward yourself with a pumpkin beverage because it IS Fall after all!

Have a great day and GOOD LUCK!

(Image from Flickr Creative Commons under username sfgirlbybay)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Meet Bukky

Hello Everyone,

My name is Oluwabukunola Olagun, but most people call me Bukky. This is my first time working on campus with TSN (Transfer Student Network) under OCSS (Off Campus Student Services) office and I’m really excited!

TSN exists to help transfer students get acclimated to their new campus and to help you with any questions you might have. As a TSN leader my job is to help transfer students by providing information about UMBC to make your transition here fun and uncomplicated. I know how hard it can be without any support on campus because I transferred from (HCC), but I joined the OCSS team to help students have a great time knowing the campus.

Currently I am a junior here at UMBC pursuing a HAPP (Health Administration and Public Policy) major with a minor in Spanish. I hope to one day work with different countries on their health administration and policies while learning about their cultures and history.

 I love to read, one of my favorite books is called Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and I want to travel around the world. I enjoy listening to music (all kinds!) and watching K-dramas and Indian movies. I love meeting new people, because I enjoy learning from their experiences.

I hope to meet all of you, so stop by our TSN events or by the OCSS office right next to the bookstore if you have a question or just want to hang out.

Have a great and exciting semester!


           ( Image from Amazon .com/Brave-New-World-Aldous-Huxley/dp/0060850523)

Monday, September 29, 2014

The sickness! :-(

Hi everyone! I hope everyone's semester is going well. We're almost there! Midterms will be here soon and then next thing you know it'll be winter break, but before that here is what's going on on campus. It's official the annual fall semester sickness has arrived. Every year there is some strange flu that travels around UMBC. Here are some tips on how to avoid the mysterious sickness.

1. Drink lots of water!!! Water is key to keeping hydrated and flushing out any illnesses.
2. Exercise is key! Weekly exercise not only helps you stay healthy but also helps decrease stress. No matter how hectic things may get do something for you and treat your body to a little exercise.
3. Keep things clean and wash your hands! This will not only reduce germs but practicing good personal hygiene will always benefit you no matter what time of year or where you go. 
4. Most importantly get some rest! A good sleep schedule of at 6-8 hours will keep you alert and feeling great when you awaken. A good nights sleep will also has many health benefits such as reducing stress, kick starting the bodies repair cycle, and reducing the risk for depression. 

Stick to these steps and you'll either be feeling great in no time or you'll stay feeling great. Good luck!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Meet Ola

Hello everyone,
       My name is Oladimeji Oluaderounmu. Long name right? Yeah, I get that a lot. The good thing is, you can me OLA!!!!.  I  am a  junior here at UMBC studying Biology. I plan to study medicine after my adventure here at UMBC  ends. I am a fun loving, cheerful individual who enjoys meeting people and networking. Some of my hobbies include volunteering, watching/playing soccer, music, reading novels and playing the piano.
      My role here at UMBC as an OCSS staff is serving as a PACC (Peer Alumni from Community Colleges) Leader. As a PACC leader, I assist students that are planning to transfer from 2 year community colleges to a 4 year college and vice versa. I do this by sharing my personal experience (I transferred from a community college too) and help ease their transition by connecting them to the relevant resources.This semester, I will be working with students at Howard community College( HCC) with my partner Alison Pfannenstein. 
To learn more about PACC, please visit
     I hope you all have settled in for the fall semester. I beseech you all to work very hard.  I wish you all a successful semester.
(Photo was taken from

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Transfer Student Network Workshop: Study Skills and Campus Resources

Hello everyone! I hope your first several weeks of school have gone well! I find it hard to believe that it is already almost October. The semester is sure flying by!

Since midterms are approaching faster than we may think, the Transfer Student Network (TSN) team has a workshop to help you learn about study skills and campus resources!

If you are nervous about midterms, don't fret! We will have professional staff members that will give you wonderful study tips. In addition, we will have information about the wonderful Writing Center on campus!

Don't know what the Writing Center is? Don't worry -- you will learn all about the resources that are available to students!

Don't forget that we also have FREE lunch and giveaways! Perhaps you will be a lucky winner!

However, the BEST winners are the ones who gain awesome knowledge about study skills and writing!

So, come on out to the TSN workshop on October 1, 2014 from 12-1p. Location TBA.

(Check OCSS website or come by the office!)

Good luck and hope to see you then!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Meet Patrick McElvaney

Hello World,

My Name is Patrick McElvaney and I am one of the newest members to the PACC organization, a division of Off-Campus Student Services(OCSS)!  I am a Senior at UMBC studying Computer Science with a background in Biology, Philosophy, Athletics and the Arts.  I have often been told I look like Stephen from Laguna Beach.

Like most students at UMBC, I want to change the world for the better!

I have a strong desire to restore the Chesapeake Bay to a sustainable ecosystem by both conscientious behaviorism and spreading awareness of offensive habits. In particular, I am working on a project at UMBC via the council of computing majors club that will bring awareness of chemical runoff from streets, neighborhoods, and farms.

I also enjoy reading books, of which Old Man and the Sea and Cats Cradle are among my favorites, as well as skateboard, gaze at the stars, and grow vegetables in my back yard.

Music has been a peacemaker through stressful times in my life like finals week, and I don't think the sky is the limit, sorry Biggie.

One of my most valued takeaways, looking back at my first year at UMBC, would have to be the opportunities waiting at my doorstep. Aside from the classes we all sign up for and vow to earn A's in, I want to introduce you to the portion that makes up the other half of academia.  I have had the opportunity to participate in organizations like the cyber defense club, and the game developers club (gdc -- which turned out not to be for me) for free. That's right, no need to ask mom and dad for more money. Or rockets and more club, which sent me through a timewarp to a younger me when I thought I could do any and everything, as I witnessed and even launched a rocket of my own with UMBC students that shared a similar love.  Even Swimming at 7:30 in the morning with someone who has a different swimming background that resulted in me laughing at myself as I tried to butterfly kick like an otter, only to feel like I was drowning with poor technique; by the way the outdoor pool is heated. These are some of my experiences from last year that have made me feel like I am a part of the campus instead of a student who exclusively pays to listen to professors and take their tests.  Part of each and every tuition paid to the school goes toward funding these clubs and I emplore you all to follow your own direction in life.

Go for it, then reflect on what is in your best interests. Make mistakes, for one who makes no mistakes makes nothing. Realize that this is a campus where there is no in/out crowd, only opportunities at your doorstep...

While working as a PACC leader, I would like to:

*Make transfer students feel at home at UMBC:
---I am here to help transfer students build their foundation so that campus is familiar.
---I am here to encourage exploration of the campus, and literature on the web, so that students have pre-meditated direction about their day.
---I am here to "assist S.T.E.M. students integrate and graduate like a native."

Please feel free to contact me or see what PACC may have to offer you at our new and evolving website:


Wishing everyone a safe and successful fall semester,


Copywrite Picture URL Reference:

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Happy Fall UMBC!

According to Google, September 23rd, 2014 marks the first day of Fall! So...Happy Fall UMBC!!!

[Photo Taken from Allison Gooch Portfolio from]

Fall is my favorite season out of all seasons and here are some of reasons why:
  1.         My birthday [:
  2.        It’s scarf and beanie weather!
  3.         I love almost all pumpkin flavor desserts, such as: pumpkin pie, chocolate chip pumpkin muffins, pumpkin sugar cookies, pumpkin pie cupcakes, pumpkin spice latte…yeah everything pumpkin I approve. 
  4.         Continuation from #3 I love baking especially anything pumpkin flavored.
  5.         I love the sound when you step on crunchy leaves.
  6.        The colors of Autumn are just beautiful to look at.
  7.      . No allergies!!!

But enough about myself and more about OCSS. Here are some upcoming events to look forwards too!
  • Every Tuesday: Good Morning Commuters (GMC)from 8:30-10:00 am @ Main Street
  • October 10th: Commuter Connection- Homecoming Kick-Off from 12:00-1:00 pm @ Lower Flats Tuesday
  • October 30th: Boo Bash @ 7:00pm @ Game Room/Flat Tuesdays
I hope you are enjoying your semester so far and I look forward to seeing you at our events!

-Angela [:

Monday, September 22, 2014

Do it for you!

Hi everyone! I hope your semester is going well! We're about a quarter of the way through the semester and time is flying by. Next thing you know it'll be winter break! Since time always seems to fly by so quickly while in school I just want you all to start thinking about how all the things you've done in and outside of school are going to contribute to where you want to be and what you want to do with your life. Start thinking about some questions to ask yourself like where do I want to be in 5 years, what kind of job do I want, how can I get there? These are good starter questions to really help you analyze your academics, accomplishments, and extra curricular activities and figure out how your experiences here at UMBC will help you take that next step. It is also a great time to start talking with advisers and teachers to find out more information about how the things you have done relate to your future goals. If you want to get involved in research go talk to one of your favorite teachers about it. If you want to go to graduate school do some research about the school you would like to attend and the major you want to study. Now is the perfect time to start thinking about the future and to start taking steps toward getting the job you want or living the life you want. The Career Services Center does a great job at helping students with this. It is never to late to plan. Be confident and just do it. I promise it will pay off in the long run. 

Best- Chloe 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A greener OCSS makes a greener UMBC

Hi everyone! My name is Alexa White. I am the new Sustainable Living & Transportation Outreach Intern. I am a senior and have spent most of my time at UMBC with sustainability groups like Students for Environmental Awareness and Geography & Environmental Systems Council of Majors. Being involved with these groups has given me the opportunity to raise awareness about environmental issues through events and engage in building a strong community around our campuses sustainability.

UMBC's sustainability culture and initiatives have come a long way since I was a freshman. We have more composting, bike sharing, and an improved transit system. We have a community garden being built as we speak and every semester there are mass events/conferences students participate in, like Conference for the Chesapeake Bay, Eco-fest, and Powershift. I could go on about all the awesome sustainable efforts being made, but then you'd be reading a novel.

This semester, my goal is to continue promoting environmental awareness with OCSS events like Carpool Socials and Sustainable Living Off-Campus. I want to inspire off-campus students to adopt a love for sustainability through OCSS' efforts to be environmentally conscious.

Our first event is this Monday, 9/22! Monday is World Car-free Day: a day dedicated to avoiding our heavy reliance on cars. In light of that, OCSS is hosting a Carpool Social with free lunch to engage our commuter students in the Casual Carpooling program. This program is a great way for students to save money, parking time, and gas. Less stress on the environment and you. It's a win-win!

We don't want World Car-free Day to be just one day! Click on the link below to learn more about Monday's Carpool Social and explore the Casual Carpooling group to learn more about your options of going car-free: 

Little actions matter! Enjoy your semester!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Meet Alison!

Hi everyone! My name is Alison Pfannenstein and I am a PACC leader within OCSS. As I'm sure you've read from other bio's by now, PACC stands for Peer Alumni from Community Colleges. With that said, I am a transfer student from Howard Community College where I was part of the Rouse Scholars program. However, I am no stranger to UMBC.

I am currently a Senior in the Computer Science department with this being my 5th semester here at UMBC. Aside from work with OCSS, I am part of the Discovery, Research, and Experimental Analysis of Malware (DREAM) Research team on campus. With plans on graduating this December, I am trying my best to go out with a bang and leave my mark!

Off campus, I enjoy spending quality time with a good book in the hammock or at the gym. I am also jokingly becoming the crazy cat lady among friends - my cat Rose is definitely spoiled rotten. She may at first seem a little crazy and as if she lives off of espresso & caffeine (that's my diet, not hers), but deep down she is a lovable jokester that knows exactly when you start doing homework to get in your face.

I am very excited to meet everyone as the semester continues on! Though I am usually squirreled away in the research lab getting work done or pounding out a run on the treadmill and along the loop, I can always be spotted at TSN activities including Wednesday seminars and Friday Munch & Mingle events! For more info on either listed or other upcoming events be sure to visit the awesome desk staff of OCSS in the Commons (located to the right of the bookstore).

Monday, September 15, 2014

UMBC bus shuttles now go to Baltimore City!

There are a few new things about UMBC's shuttle bus service this semester and one of them are we now can go to Baltimore City! The new shuttle route now goes to downtown Baltimore including the Inner Harbor, Lexington Market, Baltimore's sports stadiums, and the University of Baltimore (UMB) campus.  The shuttle bus has two routes for downtown Baltimore, the Downtown A line and the Downtown B line. One thing to note is the Downtown A line only runs on weekdays but the Downtown B line runs from Monday-Saturday. If you are using the transit tracker app to anticipate where the bus is look for the orange line. So if you ever want to get off campus for a bit and enjoy city life take the shuttle bus to Baltimore City and have a blast! Be safe and have fun this semester everyone!


(Photo taken from Flickr under username Tim Shahan from CC 2.0)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Meet Matt!

Hey everyone, I am Matthew Kovarek.  I am a first year employee of PACC (Peer Alumni from Community Colleges) and I am responsible for assisting and guiding new and recent transfers from my former community college AACC (Anne Arundel Community College), and am a recent resident of the state of Maryland.  I grew up in a small town on the coast of Texas called Port Lavaca, not many people have ever even heard of it.  I attended high school there as well.  I was anxious to leave after graduation, but did not know what I wanted to do.  Therefore, I joined the Air Force.  I did a 3 year tour before I got out, and fell into plumbing, as I still did not know what I wanted to do.  Through plumbing, I discovered an interest in engineering.  I still did not have any idea what kind of engineering I wanted to do until I had to do an Intro to Engineering class at AACC.  It was there, that I discovered what I wanted to do during a project where we had to research various types of engineering.  That is where I found Chemical Engineering.  This turned out to be great since I also recently obtained my Master Plumber's License, as these two fields are closely related.  I hope to do some internships and/or research over the next few summers to help me decide what I want to specialize in within this field.

I also dabble a little with guitar and am a very athletic person.  I usually work out or exercise at least 4-5 times a week.  I really enjoy animals and have a few cats and dogs of my own.

Occasionally I do enjoy a good book, but I rarely have time during the school year. 

As a PACC leader, I aim to assist students in the process of transferring to UMBC.  I made the transition with no one to aide me, and I know firsthand how frustratingly hard the process can be.  I want to use my experience to assist others so that they do not have to go through the same painful process that I did. 
I am looking forward to helping students this semester, as well as meeting new and interesting people.  I am usually at helping out at TSN events, but feel free to stop me on campus and say hi, whether you have any specific questions for me or not.
I hope that everyone has had a great start to the school year. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Meet Ma'neh

Hey Everybody!

     My name is Ma'neh Tcheffo but I also go as Money (Mo-nay). This is my first year as a Commuter Assistant (CA) here at OCSS and I am really excited for this semester!

     I am a 3rd year Junior and I having been living on campus since my freshman year. I am a Psychology major with a minor in Social Work. I like to know what people are thinking and what makes people tick. I aspire one day to be an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist.

     I like to think that I am very involved on campus. I am on the Student Events Board (seb), Student Government Association (SGA), Residential Life, and I also work in the Commons. That does not mean that I do not have much of a personal life though! I do enjoy going out with friends whenever we are all available.

     For my hobbies, I enjoy learning how to play piano, reading books, and watching my favorite shows on television. I really do not have a lot of time like I use to but I try to squeeze in these activities.

     I hope that you all have a wonderful semester and stay awesome!


                                       Photo taken Flickr user Paul Bailey under CC 2.0

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hello World

Allow myself to introduce...myself. My name is Melvin Green Jr. and I am the Graduate Assistant for Veteran Student Services in the Off-Campus Student Services (OCSS)office. My primary role is to act as a liaison for the student veteran population by connecting them to resources and opportunities available in the UMBC community. This is my second semester in the Information Systems program. I'm pretty excited to be on campus each day as this experience is following 7 years of active duty in the Air Force. I often find myself being impressed by very minor things daily. I'm happy that the Yum Shope sells Mike & Ikes and that Chik-fil-a is within walking distance. More importantly, I am grateful to be in a position to make a meaningful contribution to both the UMBC community and the student veteran population!

For more about me, I'd like to offer up a few insightful musings:

1) It is my belief that I have been conditioned to love McDonald's cheeseburgers. It started with the cheeseburger happy meal and a toy. Now I eat them even though I'm pretty sure it's not food. It's almost like I don't have a choice at this point.

2) I listen to the Sun Tzu's Art of War audiobook during my daily commute. I like to think there is much to be said about people who make a decision to be happy each morning. Sun Tzu had a lot to say about being happy. It's hidden underneath all the stuff he says about war.

3) I'm a huge fan of "Mom & Pop" restaurants. It has been my experience that places with small menus and little in the way of decor have the best food!

4) I had my first child a few months back and realized that naming a child is a very difficult task. Chalupa Batman!

5) Trevor Noah has been the most insightful person when it comes to explaining the complexities of the African American experience....he's from South Africa.

6) If I were to follow my passions, I'd be a horologist. I love Movado, but can't justify buying one...yet. Also, I like Shinola's attempt to save Detroit.

7) In my mind, I'm still a basketball player. One day, I'll write a book entitled "How Basketball Explains the World: An unlikely theory of globalization".  With any luck, Franklin Foer will do the foreword.

Photo taken Flickr user 85th Support Command under CC 2.0

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Meet Klara!

Good Morning fellow UMBC Students!

My name is Klara Cheung and I am a new Commuter Assistant (CA) for Off Campus Student Services (OCSS) for the Fall 2014 Semester. I hope all of you are having an awesome semester and to those incoming students, I hope you are all having a great first semester here at UMBC.

I am in my 5th year as a college student and my 3rd year here at UMBC (credit-wise I'm a senior). My major is Financial Economics with a minor in Statistics. I am considering pursuing a certificate in accounting. My future career goal is to work for a corporation as a managerial accountant. I think accounting is actually a lot of fun. I recently changed my major last semester from Statistics to Financial Economics.

I transferred here to UMBC from St. Mary's College of Maryland in the Spring of 2011. There, I pursued a Mathematics major before I came here to continue my college career. I didn't become very involved on campus until Spring 2012 where I joined my first club called Splash UMBC.

I am now apart of another organization: alpha Kappa Delta Phi. I joined aKDPhi in Spring of 2013 and have become incredibly active on campus. Since I've joined, I've traveled and met a ton of people, volunteered at a great number of places and created some awesome experiences.

As far as hobbies go, I wish I had more time for them. I used to love reading but barely have any time to start a good book. When the winter comes, I like snowboarding but haven't gone in a couple years. I've been trying to get into arts and crafts, a lot of the do it yourself projects on Pinterest mostly.

It will be a super busy semester for me. I am taking 5 upper level classes in Economics and Statistics. I am President of our Greek Council, the Multicultural Greek Council, and I am the social chair for alpha Kappa Delta Phi (in charge of relations on campus). So I'm looking forward to taking on this challenging semester and excited to begin my work here at OCSS!

Wishing you all the best with the rest of the semester,


(Klara is in the middle)