TerrapinSTRONG Annual Report 2022-2023
- Campus Unit: TerrapinSTRONG
The University of Maryland strives to create an inclusive environment where every member of our community feels that they belong and are empowered to reach their full potential.
TerrapinSTRONG introduces and infuses its vision of inclusion and our institutional values across the university to create a more cohesive identity and a stronger commitment to community, connection and inclusion.
TerrapinSTRONG creates a sense of belonging and an expectation of personal responsibility among UMD community members. It acknowledges the exclusionary issues in our shared community history, communicates our values, indicates the importance of taking care of our community and emphasizes the role every person plays in the success of this place.
TerrapinSTRONG connects people to history, place and people. TerrapinSTRONG helps members of the UMD community build relationships, find support systems and understand how their work connects to the wider vision of inclusion. It provides opportunities for engagement with ourselves, with each other and with our institution.
TerrapinSTRONG emphasizes the importance of an environment where everyone can reach their full potential. It represents the diversity of our campus community in the past, present and future, provides resources for support of diverse people, and encourages practices that serve everyone. TerrapinSTRONG brings marginalized voices to the table and clearly communicates our commitment to be a welcoming and safe place.
A Design Year
The second year of TerrapinSTRONG implementation has focused heavily on design. Our first year was dedicated to introducing TerrapinSTRONG to our entire community and providing intentional TerrapinSTRONG onboarding for undergraduate students in all colleges and schools. Units continue to create and refine initiatives for undergraduates, but this year we have been working explicitly to develop robust employee onboarding programs and expectations across all colleges, schools and divisions.
Design for Belonging
TerrapinSTRONG launched the Design for Belonging workshop experience.
Partnering with the Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, we developed a guided opportunity to reimagine aspects of onboarding with belonging in mind. Seventy-five representatives from more than 20 departments & programs participated, leading to proposals that ranged from a simple daily supervisory check-in to a brand new system to support employees who are learning English. As plans firm up for 2023-24, we are excited to improve our ability to welcome new employees, integrate them into our culture, and help them feel they belong and can succeed in their new home at UMD.
TerrapinSTRONG by the Numbers
In academic year 2022-23, our focus transitioned to the onboarding of new community members, although longtime employees have been continually encouraged to participate as well.
total course completions
% of full-time employees who have completed the training
graduate students completed
trained in person
The TerrapinSTRONG website has expanded in the 2022-23 academic year to include all the action plans within the onboarding courses, as well as specialized action plans for supervisors and instructors. Employees and students are able to locate their own TerrapinSTRONG representative(s), access the onboarding courses, and jump to the TerrapinSTRONG webpages of individual units.
TerrapinSTRONG requests each unit demonstrate their commitment to TerrapinSTRONG somewhere on their websites. These pages largely include an expression of commitment to DEIJB work and TerrapinSTRONG values, as well as information about TerrapinSTRONG initiatives in that unit.
The following TerrapinSTRONG pages exist currently:
ARHU - College of Arts & Humanities (access restricted to ARHU students)
What Participants Say
New Graduate Student Welcome
In an effort to ensure all graduate students have an opportunity to feel belonging at UMD, Graduate Student Life and TerrapinSTRONG teamed up to develop the New Graduate Student Welcome for August 24, 2023. The event is a collaboration including the Graduate School, Graduate Student Government, TLTC, International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS), UMPD, Environmental Safety, Sustainability and Risk (ESSR), Dining Services, Facilities Management and others.
The event features interactive workshops and a resource fair between 4-8 p.m. Details are available on the New Graduate Student Welcome site.
TerrapinSTRONG hired a student videographer in January 2023. In partnership with the TerrapinSTRONG Graduate Assistant, she is conducting video interviews with university faculty, staff and students to capture their experiences with belonging and community on campus. These will be used on our social media channels and to create new belonging videos for module 4 of the TerrapinSTRONG onboarding course. We have also developed a new module entitled "How the University Works" that will debut with TerrapinSTRONG in the next few months.
Future video projects include alumni trailblazer interviews, a series in partnership with the Latinx Alumni Network, and a video explanation of university finances.
TerrapinSTRONG Symposium: Belonging
The Office of Faculty Affairs, the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, and University Human Resources are partnering to bring what we hope will be the first annual TerrapinSTRONG Symposium to campus on November 1, 2023. The symposium will be an opportunity for faculty to share research and for staff to share initiatives related to an annual theme in the realm of DEIJB. We hope this allows our scholars and practitioners to bridge the gaps between their work and learn from the immense expertise at the University of Maryland.
The first symposium will focus on the topic of belonging. We will hear from faculty members whose research addresses the importance of belonging and staff members who are currently making an impact on belonging with exciting initiatives. There will also be ample opportunity for interaction, discussion and resource-sharing across all attendees.