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)

Friday, September 5, 2014

Meet Megidelawit(Meg) Yirefu!

 Hello, UMBC! My name is Megidelawit Yirefu, and I am currently serving as a  PACC Leader under the STEM Transfer Student Success Initiative grant funded by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. I am very much excited to be part of this program that is designed to provide information and support for both prospective and current transfer students. Before I tell you a little about what I do, I will start this blog by telling you a little about myself.

I am originally from Ethiopia, but I have spent most of my life here in the U.S. I am currently a junior majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology here at UMBC. I transferred to UMBC last fall after a year at Montgomery College, so I can relate to the transfer experience. After finishing my undergraduate degree, I plan to pursue a career in medicine. I am fascinated by the complexity of the human body and the many mysteries it holds!  

Great Falls, VA (photo taken from

When I am not occupied with school work, I enjoy watching TED videos, volunteering, & long hikes to list a few.I find hiking to be somewhat therapeutic.  In fact, this summer I took a trip to Great Falls National Park in VA,  and the view of bluish-grey water rushing down the rocks is just spectacular. The place is one hour away from UMBC, and I highly recommended it to anyone who enjoys nature!

So now that you know a little about me, I will tell you what my role is as a PACC Leader. As a PACC Leader, my role is to connect transfer students to resources at UMBC and Montgomery College. The transfer process is not always smooth, so please feel free to contact me with any concerns you have or even if you want to just grab lunch and chat sometimes( I promise I am friendly!).  PACC holds events throughout the school year, so be on the look out!

For more information about PACC and ways to contact me, Visit:

I will leave you with one of my favorite videos. Hope it can serve as a motivation for the school year! I would say "Good Luck", but I know you don't need it, because you got hard work on your side.

Richard St. John: Secrets of success in 8 words, 3 minutes

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Meet Sonny!

Hey, everybody! My name is Sonny Duttweiler, and I'm very excited to begin my first semester as a Commuter Assistant (CA) at Off-Campus Student Services (OCSS).

I grew up in Prince George's County, but I attended high school in Calvert County. I'm currently a junior at UMBC, and I'm pursuing a biology major as well as a chemistry minor. I eventually want to attend graduate school in order to go into a career in pharmacy. I'm particularly interested in the clinical aspect of pharmacy because I love working with people.

I'm also a musician, and I played bass in an alternative rock band for about four years. I also play guitar, drums, and keyboard. I enjoy athletic activies such as playing tennis, swimming, and jogging, too. Two of the main things I want to do during this year are to start reading more and to travel. 

As a Commuter Assistant at Off-Campus Student Services, one of my main goals is to make sure commuters have a great experience at UMBC. Not only do we provide information on topics such as transit and off-campus housing, we also plan and run events designed with commuters in mind. I've lived on campus my whole time at UMBC, and I hope that having that different perspective can contribute to our events. Make sure to check out the Fall events calendar!

I'm really looking forward to meeting new people this year, as well as finally being able to give back to my school. Feel free to stop by the commuter lounge if you have any questions, want a place to hang out, or even if you just want to say hi!

Good luck with classes, and have an awesome semester! :)


(Sonny is on the left and Oladimeji on the right)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Meet Sam!

Hi Everyone!

My name is Samantha Perlmutter, you guys can call me Sam though :) This is my first semester being a TSN leader and I am really excited. TSN as you all know, stands for Transfer Student Network and it is a subdivision of the Off Campus Student Services (OCSS) office.

My job as a TSN leader is to answer questions that transfers might have! We are here to help you guys and don't hesitate to visit the OCSS office or e-mail me or any of my co- workers with any questions. I know being a transfer myself (from CCBC) is a hard transition and can be a bit scary at times. We are here to relive that stress and be there for you.

So heres a little about me. I am currently a junior here at UMBC and I am pursing a BS in Psychology. I am not so sure yet what I am going to be doing with that degree but I will definitely let you know when I figure it out, and I am open to any suggestions!

I enjoy chilling with friends and I enjoy spending time with family. I am the oldest of four and I love spending time with my siblings, they are amazing! The beach is one of my favorite places in the world and after a long semester I always make sure to get there. I love laughing and having a good time! "Be positive" is one of my life mottos.

I hope to get to know all of you guys and please don't hesitate to come by the OCSS office or send any of us an e-mail!

P.S. If anyone needs to vent or just take a break from studying I am here. I am a great listener and I love chilling!

Hope everyone has an easy semester and don't forget to smile! =)


Photo taken Flickr user Pennan Brae under CC 2.0

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Meet Alvin!

How's it going Retrievers? My name is Alvin Blesson, and I am a newly hired Commuter Assistant (CA) at OCSS for Fall 2014! (WooHoo!)

Currently, I am a Computer Engineering major in my third year at UMBC. I am also from little, old Catonsville and grew up in this area my whole life; however, there is a lot about C-ville that I have been completely oblivious to i.e. the MTA.

Although we strive to help all students at UMBC, Off-Campus Student Services (OCSS) has mainly become the frontline of support for three major student groups: commuters, transfers, and veterans. In addition to mastering rudimentary office tasks like organizing things and transferring phone calls, I am here to help my fellow students navigate the services provided by UMBC. This includes providing students the relevant information they need about parking, off-campus housing, and the wide array of transportation options.

Now, I’m not the most directionally gifted guy on the planet, so I hope you guys bear with me as I better learn the bus schedules and routes so that I can eventually point you in the right direction. Another thing about OCSS I am really excited about is, the Good Morning Commuter Breakfast (GMC). I’m sure ALL of you have heard about this super popular event where we serve breakfast on Main Street in the Commons every Tuesday morning from 8:30 am. to 10 am. This will be a challenge for me as waking up early has not been a common practice in my time at UMBC, but I look forward to struggling with you because once you buy your Commuter Gold Card, you can enjoy the most important meal of the day for FREE!

I hope everyone has a great semester, and I urge you all to come to our space in the Commons if you have any questions or just want to hang out. As I look forward to meeting all you Retrievers, I’ll leave a picture below from my former job to show the end of my Subway shenanigans and the start of a new chapter at OCSS!

"Hmm, I wonder why he doesn't work there anymore..."


Friday, August 29, 2014

Its NEYO!!

Hello everyone,
My name is Neyo Adekoya. I’m a senior here at UMBC with a major in Biology and minor in Psychology. I’m glad to be part of the OCSS family again this semester and I am looking forward to working with all the new student employees in their various capacities. Some of my hobbies are Cooking, Dancing, and watching Soccer. Aside from that, I derive great pleasure in volunteering and doing meaningful community work. After graduation, I plan to volunteer outside the country with the Peace Corps program before pursuing my post graduate degree.
My role as an OCSS staff is serving as a PACC (Peer Alumni from Community Colleges) Leader.  PACC is part of an initiative that caters for the successful transition of community college students into a four year college. I’m glad to be part of the PACC program for the second semester running and I’m excited for the future prospects of the program.

I transferred from CCBC last fall and transitioning was not easy. This is why being a part of PACC excites me. As a PACC leader, I am able to help other community college students through their transfer process and also help them acclimate to the UMBC community quickly. In addition to that, PACC has been a springboard to other campus involvements and leadership opportunities for me.

In my role I work specifically with CCBC and I’m happy to be working with my new partner Patrick, who brings with him a lot of energy and humor. To learn more about PACC, please visit
I hope you all have enjoyed the first few days of the semester more than you have enjoyed reading about me and what I do. I wish you all a wonderful semester and remember OCSS is here to assist all commuter and transferring students into making their UMBC experience as successful as it can be.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Meet Angela!

Hi everyone! My name is Angela Saguros and I am a returning student employee at Off-Campus Student Services (OCSS)! I am super excited to be working with my fellow old and new commuter assistants (CA's) for this upcoming semester!

I am currently a junior at UMBC and majoring in Psychology with a concentration in Developmental Psychology. Before entering UMBC, I started out my college career at Bowie State University then transferred to UMBC for my sophomore year.

My position at OCSS is working with commuters! I am a part of the Good Morning Commuters and the Commuter Connections team. For those who do not know what Good Morning Commuters (GMC) and Commuter Connections are, GMC hosts a breakfast every Tuesday morning from 8:30-10. In order to get breakfast for the WHOLE school year (fall and spring), you will need to purchase a Gold Card from one of our breakfast! That card will gain access to free breakfast and other discounts on campus! Commuter Connections is a commuter related event held once a month on Friday from 12-1PM filled with fun activities, giveaways, and FREE FOOD! Both events are a great way to meet and connect with other commuters, and I encourage everyone to come out!

I am very excited to start the new semester and meet new UMBC students! I hope you enjoyed reading my blog post. Stop by the desk for any questions you have about OCSS or commuter life! We are happy to help!

As always, good luck this semester! :D


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Meet Hope!

Hi everyone,

My name is Hope Arbesman and I am a returning student employee at Off-Campus Student Services (OCSS)! I am so excited to be joining the team again this year and I am looking forward to meeting all the new incoming students this year!

I am currently a senior at UMBC and I am planning on graduating this December with a dual major in Psychology and Sociology. Words cannot describe how anxious, yet excited I am to graduate. After graduation, I plan to obtain a job in Higher Education and look into Higher Education or Student Affairs Graduate programs.

My position at OCSS is primarily working with transfer students. I am apart of the Transfer Student Network (TSN) team, which helps incoming transfer students get acclimated into the UMBC community. We provide resources for the transfers in hopes that we can make their transition process a bit easier.

I know that it was difficult for me to transfer to UMBC. I transferred from Carroll Community College to UMBC in the Spring 2013 semester. I felt alone and I did not know the resources available to me as a transfer student when I first started at UMBC.

That is why I love what I do in OCSS. I want to make it easier for incoming transfers to adjust to UMBC. I have a passion for helping others, which has made me pursue a career in Higher Education. I can honestly say I love my position and I would not change it for the world. :)

Besides working, I like to spend time with my boyfriend, family,
and friends. Some of my fellow (and current) co-workers are some of my closest friends and we love hanging out together besides at work. I love listening to music, reading, cooking, baking, and exercising. In addition, I am the happiest during the fall when the leaves are super crunchy and when I am eating and drinking pumpkin everything.

With that being said, I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog post. Please feel free to contact me or any of the Commuter Assistants (CA's) with any questions you may have! We are always here to help you.

Wishing you lots of luck with your upcoming semester!

Hope at one of the Commuter Connections events last semester

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Keep Calm! A new Semester is Beginning!

Hey There Commuters!
A big welcome to all of you, both returning and new commuters at UMBC. I am Safa Zahangir from Off Campus Student Services (OCSS). I just wanted to welcome you guys back to the campus!

It's been a long 3 months of summer break with some good memories and excitement. Although the summer is over the excitement is not, because we have a brand new semester. This semester will bring lots of expectations and plans.We already have a 7 day long welcome week with lots of activities going on around campus to help you guys get all those lazy summer days out of your system, and to gear your energy toward all the things happening on campus.

Here at the OCSS we are not sitting around either, because we are bringing you our very first Free Good Morning (GMC) Commuter Breakfast over at the Commons Breezeway form 8:30 am-10 am tomorrow on the first day of classes!To get you more pumped up, folks who went been to our amazing Saturday or Sunday Commuter Retreat wear your retreat T-shirts over to breakfast to win a free Commuter Gold Card, which is going to serve you well for the entire year.

So get yourself to the breezeway tomorrow and get your free bagels and steaming hot coffee to start the semester off with a bang!

Safa Zahangir
Commuter Assistant
Off Campus Student Services