Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Happy Early Birthday Hope!

Hi Everyone,

             I wanted to make this post about my good friend/ co-worker's birthday! Hope and I both started working at OCSS  in the fall of 2014 with TSN. Then when I left TSN last fall to do my teaching internship, Hope graduated that semester. Now that it is my last semester, Hope ended up coming back to work with TSN. Which I was super excited to be able to work with Hope again!

Happy Happy Birthday Hope! Hope you have an amazing day! You are such kind and loyal friend! I am so glad that you are working at OCSS! Lets celebrate your birthday!

  (Hope and I at her birthday party last year)

Hope's  Birthday is on March 18, be sure to give her birthday wishes!



Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Brush up on your Leadership Skills! Apply for LeaderShape!

Hey there Commuters!
Do You,
Have a passion for service?
Like to connect with other students?
Want to make a difference in Baltimore?
This could be the program for you.
Info Session: 4pm - 4:45pm, February 23 in Commons 329
Applications are due March 13.

Program Components

  • A week of the LeaderShape ® Institute: Sun, Aug. 9 – Fri, Aug. 14, 2015
    • 60 students divided between participating colleges
    • Overnight retreat at Notre Dame of Maryland University
    • Facilitators and guest leaders from the Baltimore region
  • Fall Follow Up: day-long retreat: Sat, Oct. 3, 2015
    • Review goals and reconnect with cohort
    • Meet with community leaders
    • Begin planning for spring
  • Service Activity 
  • Spring Forward Retreat: Sat. Feb. 6 - Sun. Feb.7, 2016
  • Spring 2016: Plan a community-based project around your area of focus
  • Ongoing support
    • Campus liaison
    • Collegetown staff
    • Website, Facebook Group
    • Community liaisons

To APPLY by March 13 please visit:

(Photo taken from,
Safa Zahangir

Thursday, February 26, 2015

March MTA bus passes...BUY THEM NOW!

Do you commute to school?

Do you ride a MTA bus?

Do you ride the MTA bus daily or most of the week?

Do you get tired of spending $60+ for a monthly bus pass when buying it through MTA?

Are you annoyed of paying buying an all day pass or spending exact change when you don't have it just to ride the MTA daily?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you should consider buying a MTA All Access Pass!

If you don't know what a MTA all access pass is, well let me share the knowledge. Basically, this bus pass is your all access card to riding MTA buses (with only a few restricted buses/trains)!  The great part about this is OCSS sells them at a discounted price. 

How much does it cost you ask? ONLY $39.00 on your UMBC red ID!!!!! WHAAAT!?!?!?!?!

We understand how broke a college student is, so for students only we sell them at a discounted price. Pretty nice huh? Think of this as an investment to your education...just by getting to campus without wasting gas or more money! Also think about the $25 bucks you can spend on food [: 

If you have bought your March bus pass or know about this, then give your self a high five cause you're awesome! If you haven't bought one yet, then really consider if this is a good investment for a month!

If you still need to purchase them we are currently selling them until March ___! Just stop by our commuter assistant desk with money on your red card and we will handle the rest. We are located right next to the book store and are open from 9am-5pm. 

If you want more information about the passes just click on this link: 

Now stay awesome!

-Angela [: 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

TSN Healthy Eating!

Hello Everyone!

For everyone that doesn't remember who I am, My name is Samantha and I am a TSN leader! I am pursing a Psychology major and and Aging minor.

I hope everyone is having a good semester so far! I know my first round of tests started and I am sure all of yours also have. I know it can be overwhelming getting to get to know the teachers style and testing methods but don't worry you will get the hang out of it!! Studying can be stressful and did you know you are exerting energy when you study…that means you need to consume more food to give you more energy.

The perfect way to find out information about food is by coming to our TSN workshop this week.

This Wednesday Feb 25th, TSN is hosting another workshop! WOOHHOO!

This week we will be talking about: Whats on your plate???

Come find out awesome places to eat on campus and yummy food ideas! =)

Here is the link for all the information you need to know about this weeks workshop:

Hope you are all keeping warm in this cold! Keep smiling and pushing through the semester! We are 5 weeks in!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Meet Noblin

Hello Everyone!

 My name is Noblin Ogbonna. I am one of the PACC Leaders (a connection between UMBC and CCBC). I graduated from Community College of Baltimore County with an Associate in Biology. I transferred to UMBC last semester. I am a Biological Science major. This is my second semester at UMBC and I am excited to be here. I love acting, dancing, travelling, meeting new people and I love to help people in any way I can. Please feel free to reach out to me an ask me any questions you have about PACC and CCBC.

Take care and have a great semester!!!!!!!

(Photo taken from Flickr C.C. 2.0 under username Sven G.)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Apply to be an OPA/Woolie/ IHU Peer!

Do you think you have a good feel of campus?

Are you willing to share your experiences with incoming Retrievers?

Do you want to get more involved in the UMBC community?

If you answered yes, you should consider joining the O-Team (Orientation Team)!

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions is looking for potential student leaders to join the O-team this summer. These positions include Orientation Peer Advisor (OPA), Welcome Week Leaders (Woolie), and Introduction to Honors University (IHU) Peer Facilitators.

As a(n)…

--> OPA you would work during Orientation Course Selection Day where you would facilitate the orientation and registration activities for new freshmen and transferring students

--> Woolie - you would lead incoming students during all the fun filled activities sponsored by UMBC during Welcome Week

--> IHU Peer - you would be a co-teacher in one of the courses UMBC provides to help new students transition to attending an honors university

These positions are great ways to be a part of UMBC as student leaders who, let’s face it, we ALL encountered at some point when we came to UMBC!

Hurry, applications are due by 5 pm today!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Week Four

Wow, it is already week 4, going on to 5, of the 2015 and I am wishfully feeling like I am in the swing of this semester... Its to bad emotions are fleeting (a little philosophy for you all, haha your welcome). In these last two days I've had 2 exams and a quiz (although I have quizzes every week), which I was able to prepare for in the beginning of the semester by studying what was taught directly after being introduced to the topics, but man CELL BIO... talk about a curve ball? Over all my exams went well with majority of the questions being based on the material I had previously digested. but I digress.

As a PACC leader on the HCC side I was able to have my first set of office hours at my previous Community College, where I was asked questions from people looking to transfer out of HCC. Most being general question, but a young dapper gentle man I knew before I transferred sought to establish a connection with me where I was able to share with him my transfer experience. Specifically about keeping his eyes and ears open for UMBC's many research and internship opportunities that would be perfect during the summer days in order for him to get a good first foot in the door whit this school, getting ahead in a way. He would exposed to the campus in order to get familiar with the ways things are here while forming any relationships possible that would add to the academic life experience. While on the UMBC side of PACC I have been able to meet face to face with two of my mentees, I will be meeting another tomorrow for the first time, while working on when to meet up with another one who has been busy thus far, and lastly have not even had a response to my initial invitation from one of my mentees. I sure hope everything is going very well for all of them though, because (for those who get this and know classes are getting real..) "Winter is Coming"

PACC Leader: Akbar Babadjanov


My name is Akbar Babadjanov and I am a PACC leader for UMBC-CCBC. I have Associates of Arts in Business Administration and Associates of Science in Computer Science from CCBC. I am currently a Senior graduating in December 2015 from UMBC with BS in Information Systems. I would like to continue my graduation and get my MPS from UMBC in Cybersecurity. I am currently interning at CareFirst BCBS at Application Development department. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about OCSS, PACC program, UMBC or CCBC.

Thank you,
Akbar Babadjanov

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Meet Bukky!


My name is Bukky and this is my second semester working with Off-Campus Student Services (OCSS) as a  as a TSN (Transfer Student Network) Leader. This semester, I also have the opportunity to also work as a Commuter Assistant.

Allow me to fully introduce myself...

I am a senior with a Health Administration and Policy Program (HAPP) major and a Spanish minor.
I love all things Bollywood, South Korean dramas, and watching old black and white movies (Captain Blood). I am excited about meeting you all in our OCSS (TSN workshops, Good Morning Commuters, etc.) events this semester.

TSN offers many events including programs that acclimate transfer students with the UMBC community/campus, our workshops are on Wednesdays from 12:00pm to 1:00pm in Lecture Hall 1.

Feel free to stop by our office in Commons, right nest to the bookstore if you have any questions about our events or services.

I hope everyone's having a great semester and i look forward to seeing you!


Monday, February 16, 2015

Stay Warm and Stay Safe

Hi everyone! I know things are getting heated up as we get further into the semester but keep in mind that while you may be busy with school you can't neglect your personal health. It's growing colder by the day and now we're expecting snow so I thought I'd give you all a few tips about how to stay warm and safe during this on coming blizzard

1. Stock up on bottled water and high energy foods like dried fruit and nuts
2. Get a head start at sprinkling salt 
3. Make sure to stay ahead of the shoveling
4. Make sure all vital electronics (cell phones, computers, etc.) are fully charged in case of a power outage
4. Last but not least make sure to winterize your car! Doing this will not only help save time and energy in the long run but your car with thank you greatly. Also be sure to gas up before the weather gets bad just in case you need to go anywhere after the snow hits.

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Best- Chloe

(Photo taken from Flickr CC 2.0 under username Julio)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Education, Black History, and the Military!!!

To whom this may concern:

  In honor of Black History month, I would like to take time out to point out some of stories that have inspired me over the years! 

    I must begin with one of my favorite personalities from black history, Booker T. Washington. The author of Up from Slavery (good read) is famous for his tenure at the head of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. However, it is the self-reliance at the core of his story that I find most inspirational. Washington was born a slave and learned to read even though it was forbidden. His desire for education eventually led him to Hampton Institute in Virginia where his relationship with former General Samuel Armstrong (founder of Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute) blossomed into a movement where the desire to be self-supporting was given life within the African American community. 

  It is difficult to mention Booker T. Washington without mentioning W.E.B Du Bois. As the first black recipient of a history degree from Harvard University and author of The Souls of Black Folks (another good read) Du Bois positioned himself to become one half of the a long debate over how African Americans could best assimilate into American Society. Before Martin and Malcolm there was Booker and Du Bois! The challenges Washington and Du Bois posed to one another exemplified the potential of healthy debate to encourage social change. 

Third is the original Beyonce, Madam C.J. Walker! Born as Sarah Breedlove in 1867, Madam Walker, like many women during her time battle hair care issues that resulted from living conditions to which she was subjected. It was her development of hair care products to combat hair loss amend African American women that led to her being regarded as the first female self-made millionaire in America! It is my opinion that Beyonce's platform was partially built by Madam Walker!

However, Madam Walker's individual net worth paled in comparison to the economic power of Greenwood, Olahoma's "Black Wall Street".  Once a beacon of prosperity in the black community, Black Wall Street is more than the title of Game's album cover, it is a story worth looking up. 

Lastly, an NFL fact: Doug Williams is the first African American QB to win a Superbowl! #HTTR

**Disclaimer: These opinions are just my own and do not aim to serve as an encompassing review of the lives or work of any of the following individuals. 

  (Photo taken from Flickr CC 2.0 under username Jason Thomas)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Meet Klara

Hi Everyone!

My name is Klara and I'm in my last semester at UMBC. I transferred here from St. Mary's College of Maryland in Spring of 2012 and am a Financial Economics Major on the Bachelor of Science track. I'm from St. Mary's County in California, MD. It sounds crazy right? California, MD does exist though, as well as Hollywood, MD. I get a lot of confusing looks when I tell people where I'm from. Anyways, a little bit more about my academics! I am studying to be an accountant, hopefully on the corporate level and work for a large corporation in the future. Hopefully after I graduate, I will be obtaining an internship in accounting and prep to take the CPA and CMA.

I am a member of alpha Kappa Delta Phi, Sorority Inc. and the President of the Multicultural Greek Council. I have worked for Off-Campus Student Services since the Fall of 2014.Since starting here at OCSS, I've helped with several events including our Commuter Connections (once a month on Fridays) and with our Good Morning Commuters program. What's Good Morning Commuters (GMC)? OCSS holds a breakfast every Tuesday from 8:30 to 10:00 for commuters! All you need is to have your Commuter Gold Card (which you can purchase as a commuter for $5 cash every Tuesday during our breakfast). It's a one time purchase and then you can receive a free breakfast every Tuesday as well as a few other benefits listed on the back of the card.

Hope to see you all at our events and have a great day!!


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Meet Salma

Hi Everyone, 

Happy Wednesday!

My name is Salma Waheed and I am senior at UMBC. My major is Psychology with a certification in Early Childhood Education. After I graduate this spring, I hope to become an elementary school teacher. I am super excited to be working at OCSS again. Due to a teaching internship, I was unable to work here in the Fall. I am really glad to be back at OCSS and to be working with transfer students!

Be sure to check out our Transfer Student Network Workshops/Events

We have a Commuting 101 workshop in Lecture Hall 1 from 12 -1 on Feb. 11 !

Lunch will be provided. Hope to see you then! 

Hope you have great day! 

Stay positive, 


(Hope on the left, Salma on the right)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Meet Natalie

Hello helloooo!

How is everything going? I hope it’s been a great semester for you so far. My name is Natalie. My major is Biology and minor in Chemistry. I am one of the PACC leader serve as a connecting link between UMBC and Montgomery College. I am also one of Student Event Board (seb) committee members. This is my second semester at UMBC, and I am still excited to be here!! 

I was born and raised in Thailand :) Sawaddee kaaaaa Ask me! I can teach you how to speak Thai.

I love cooking, baking and eating. I love the feeling when I spend my time in the kitchen baking/cooking for others. Seeing how much they appreciate my food (even though it may turn out horrible sometime), It is just the best feeling ever.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any question. Do Your Best and Have a wonderful Semester everyone :)

Peace Out
♥ Natalie 
Me & my crews at the National Aquarium
during Welcome Week in January 2015
(Natalie- second on the left)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Get a head start!

Hi everyone! I hope your semester is going well. I just wanted to give you a tip on thinking about the things you want to do with your education and in life early. I know it's still super early in the semester but thinking about the things you want to do a head of time and planning things out can help save you a lot of trouble and stress in the long run. If you have an internship that you need to do or would like to do before you graduate take the time to plan out the steps you will take to inquire about and get the internship you want. If this means doing some Google research on your own and sending out emails or making calls about setting up a position than take the initiative to do this, it will only help you. Not only will planning ahead help set you up for better success but it will also help you expand your organizational and active skills. No matter what you want to do in life thinking about how you will get there early will help produce a better outcome. I hope my advice was helpful. Have a great day!

Best- Chloe 

(Image taken from Flickr CC 2.0 under username Suesue2)

Friday, February 6, 2015

Meet Sonny!

Hey everyone! :)

My name is Sonny, and this is my second semester at Off Campus Student Services as a Commuter Assistant. As a CA, I primarily try to help commuters find their place on campus as well as provide resources such as information on transit and off-campus housing. I'm a junior biology major from Upper Marlboro, Maryland with a passion for people, and I love playing bass and going hiking. I'm really excited about this semester, and I'm especially looking forward to meeting new people, so feel free to stop by the Commuter Lounge and say hi!

Also, make sure to come out to our first Commuter Connection event this semester!

When: This Friday! 2/6, 12:00-1:00pm
Where: The Commons, Lower Flat Tuesdays
Why to come: To find out about the new UMBC carpool lot, opportunities to form your own carpool, free food, giveaways, trivia, and more! 
Hoping to see you there!

- Sonny 

(Sonny on the left)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Guess what day it is? …HUMP DAAAY!

Now that it’s the second week of classes, you should be settling into the groove, figuring out where in your schedule you can fit in studying & hangout out with friends. And if you’re anything like me, naptime! Speaking of me, allow myself to introduce… well, myself. 

I’m Rex! I’m new to the OCSS team this semester as a PACC leader for Anne Arundel Community College. I transferred to UMBC via Hood College and AACC. I’m working on a dual Chemistry and Biochemistry B.S., and I'm a member of the ACS chapter on campus. I have a lot of eclectic interests and hobbies. Just to name a few; I like hiking with my dogs, collecting houseplants, making ceramics, trap & skeet, baking hearth breads, and making dry cured bacon. I like all things science/technology related. And I speak fluent Hungarian.

As well as a holding weekly office hours at AACC, you can find me at TSN workshops and events. If you see me around, tell me an interesting fact about you or a cool hobby you have!