2020 Vision: Cultivating Connections...

...in chaos
...in advising
...in hindsight
...for best practices.

As we are currently in the year 2020, we have borrowed the visual acuity term of 20/20 vision to highlight the clarity at which we see the importance of connection and collaboration, not only through times of crises, but at any given point in time. The global pandemics of COVID-19 and racism, especially anti-Black racism, has had a devastating impact on so many lives in a number of different ways. It is clear now that the strength in which we come together and support each other through difficult times is how we should always be working together and collaborating, for best practices, in advising, in chaos, and in hindsight. Now is a good time to reflect on the past and create a clear vision for the future. In order to respect the health and safety of our UMD community, we will be honoring social distancing by hosting this year’s conference entirely online.


Indigenous Land Acknowledgement
We respectfully ask that you take a moment to acknowledge the Indigenous land that you are on and reflect on both the history of genocide and the current thriving rich culture and traditions of our native colleagues, students, and neighbors. The land that the University of Maryland is on today is home to the Piscataway tribe. As many of us are attending this conference remotely, we encourage you to use a resource like Native-land.ca to learn more about the land on which you live. Read about land acknowledgments from the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture and Changing the Narrative about Native Americans: A Guide for Allies.


The 2020 Undergraduate Studies Advising Conference will be held virtually via one hour concurrent sessions over the course of 3 days: Tuesday, August 11, Wednesday, August 12, Thursday, August 13, 2020.



Joint Advising: How to Work Effectively with Your Advisees' Other Advisors
Speaker: Heather McHale

A TerpEngage Roadmap: Enhancements for the 2020-2021 Academic Year
Speakers: Jason DeSanto Jones, Apitchaya Reed

Navigating Uncertainty: Student Services in the Time of COVID
Speakers: Ron Padrón, Ashleigh Brown, Melanie Hayden Glover



Community Learning Zones: Paths Forward
Speakers: Sika Wheeler, Briana O'Neal, Jamila Aswad, Catherine Donohoe

Raising the Roof: Keeping Morale High
Speakers: Ashleigh Brown, Noah Jacobs, Marchelle Payne-Gassaway, Gabriela Hernandez, Devyn Sturdavant, Iceney Williams

*RESCHEDULED to 8/25 - see Program section below for more details* Conversations about “Academics for Black Survival & Wellness”: Debrief and Discuss Accountability Goals within UMD Context
Speakers: Dr. Carlton E. Green, Neela Wilson



Advising International Students Post-COVID-19: Visa Regulation Updates for Academic Advisors
Speakers: Aviana Symon, Katrina Knudsen

InTERPreting Self-Care Strategies from the Science of Well-being
Speakers: Sonya Henry, Natalie Brady, Maria Barra

Beyond the #Hashtag: Effectively Engaging and Communicating Advising
Speaker: Jessica Lee


Download the Conference Program to learn more details about the sessions, including which will or will not be recorded.

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Many sessions will be recorded and made available here (under "Presentations and Cross-Campus Shared Resources") by Friday, August 14th.

* "Conversations about 'Academics for Black Survival & Wellness': Debrief and Discuss Accountability Goals within UMD Context" has been RESCHEDULED: In lieu of a live conference session at this day and time, Dr. Carlton E. Green and Neela Wilson would like to encourage everyone to participate in Academics for Black Survival and Wellness (ABSW) Training and then participate in their session on August 25th, 2:00-3:00pm to discuss actionable next steps and liberation for Black lives within the UMD context. Please register and complete at least one ABSW training module prior to joining the August 25th discussion, the more training modules you complete, the more informed the conversations will be. For Non-Black Academics, register through here. For Black Academics, register through here.


For new advisors and seasoned advisors interested in refreshing their understanding of what our campus partners can offer our students, we have put together a slideshow of information for a virtual Info Fair. Feel free to download the PDF and save for future reference.

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Or view our quick guide.


The UGST Advising Conference has been around for 25 years now and for many of those years, our local College Park and Prince George's County community has shown their support for academic advisors and staff at University of Maryland by donating goods and gift cards as raffle prizes for our conference. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the Prince George's County community very hard. Let's do our part to give back and support our Prince George's County and College Park communities.

If you have the means, please consider donating to any of the following local organizations, you can click on the logo below to be redirected to their website:

Nonprofit Prince George's County logo
House Initiative Parnership logo
Hyattsville Aging in Place logo

Laurel Advocacy logo
The Neighborhoodwell logo
Melwood logo

Employ Prince George's logo
Meals on Wheels College Park logo
College Park Food Bank logo

Greater Riverdale Cares logo
Food and Friends logo
Capital Area Food Bank logo

For more information about the impact COVID-19 has had on Prince George's County community, check out this article.