Smith Undergrad Staff Spotlight
Tori Shay, Academic Advisor, Undergraduate Programs
This week, Tori Shay will be celebrating her one-year anniversary as an academic advisor for the undergraduate program at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. And while she’s only completing her first year as a professional advisor for Smith, she has spent the past seven years at the University of Maryland building bridges, growing communities, and empowering students.
Growing up in Stony Brook, Long Island, home of Stony Brook University, Tori would hear the sounds of the university’s football and lacrosse games from the stadium behind her house. School spirit was a part of who she was before she even began thinking about what university she would attend. While Stony Brook had a special place in her heart, Tori knew she needed a change of scenery for her four years as an undergrad. With an infectious Big 10 spirit and an undeniable sense of community, the University of Maryland was an easy choice.
Tori quickly became very involved with the greater Maryland community. During her four years here, she became a sister at Delta Gamma (DG), where she learned the importance of female empowerment, joined the New Student Programs Undergraduate staff, where she was able to leverage her experience as a Freshman Connections student to help other succeed, and went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Family Science and a Leadership Studies minor. The silver lining among all these experiences was Tori’s undeniable devotion to helping others find their footing, find their niche, and find the resources to realize their dreams. In a way, Tori gave so many people a telescope to look beyond their current situation and realize their potential.
It comes as no surprise to find Tori working as an ambassador for students, helping them through the twists and turns of an intense, whirlwind of a four-years at UMD. Tori’s “advising” work doesn’t stop when she turns of the lights and walks out of her office in Van Munching at 5 p.m. “I work 24/7. I am always around students,” remarks Tori. Besides being a full-time staff advisor at Smith, Tori is the House Corporation Vice President and Employment Committee Chair for the Beta Sigma chapter of DG on campus. Tori is so committed to enhancing the sorority experience on campus and combatting ill truths surrounding Greek Life, that she is also the House Director and Faculty Advisor for Delta Phi Epsilon, and winner of last year’s “Housing Director of the Year” as voted by DFSL. Being around kids is not only a nostalgic walk through memory lane for Tori; she’s a natural role model for her students and sorority sisters. She knows that the college experience is not an evenly-paved road; there are failures along the way, and it’s just a matter of turning these failures into lessons for growth. “I just know how to be on the students’ level. I am real with them, so they can be real with me. I’d rather people fail early on than in their professional life. Really, the worst thing I can do is be a hypocrite.” Beyond Greek Life, Tori functions as a liaison for Freshman Connections, teaching two UNIV100 courses and advising a club that helps Freshman Connections students get into the business school, called “Operation Business.”
Tori counts her blessings, and is grateful to be able to work for the Smith Undergraduate Program, a program that puts students first. But this decision to put students behind the wheel is no surprise. “Every student here has ambition and drive, and I can relate to that. It’s a family here, and everyone gets that.” Tori is looking forward to developing the interconnected ecosystems of Greek Life, Freshman Connection students, and business undergrads, as she continues to grow her career by helping others grow theirs.
For more information about the undergraduate program at Smith, visit: www.rhsmith.umd.edu/undergrad.