Meet the UST Advisors

Sam Darden graduated from UD with a B.S. in Early Childhood Education and recently completed the Masters of Education in Instruction degree at Wilmington University.  She has been teaching special education pre-kindergarten for five years. Sam minored in Spanish at UD and is bilingual, but has not yet had the chance to travel abroad.  When Sam entered college at UD, she started in the University Studies program and changed her major five times. She told UST that even now, she still has no clue what she wants to do with her life!


Sharon Grayson is a UD alum who majored in Communication with a minor in Legal Studies. While completing her undergraduate degree, she thought she would pursue a career in strategic communication and public relations. As she got closer to graduation, she considered law school, but ultimately decided to complete a master’s degree program in Communication. After working with college students as an academic advisor and instructor at Towson University and Community College of Baltimore County, Sharon secured her current position as a UST advisor and FYS instructor. Sharon also teaches sections of BUAD212 and COMM350, both public speaking courses.

Sharon told us, “I definitely use the theory and practice I learned from the Communication major in advising undergraduate students and facilitating presentations for UST.” Even though she did not go to work at a PR firm, she definitely uses some of the strategic communication skills she learned to contribute to the UST unit’s programming initiatives and social media campaigns.


Adrian McCleary, Assistant Director of the University Studies Program, was born in the Bronx and attended school in New York. The first job he ever held was as a grocery store clerk. Although Adrian originally thought he wanted to be an elementary school teacher, he pursued an undergraduate degree in Communications and worked as a radio station board operator and announcer during and after college. He then pursued a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration and secured his first professional job as an Academic Advisor at University of Connecticut, where he discovered that his passion was working with undeclared students.  Adrian was drawn to Delaware because of its central location and easy access to Philadelphia, DC and NYC.

Adrian, whose family’s country of origin is Jamaica, is a UConn basketball fanatic – GO HUSKIES! – and never eats bagels because “it’s not a good use of carbohydrates!”



Lys Murray is an academic advisor for the University Studies Program and the Assistant Director for the Office of Academic Enrichment at UD’s Center for Academic Success. Her undergraduate major was in Choral Music Education. Lys told us that her first job after college was as a 6th-8th grade choir director: “I did that for a few years, but decided that teaching in the schools (especially middle school!) was not for me. I found a job as an administrative assistant and did that type of work until I found my passion here at UD, working with college students. My Master’s degree in Individual & Family Studies helped me to move up to my current position.” In her free time, Lys is still very active in the music world, where she sings in UD’s Schola Cantorum and directs other choirs when the opportunity arises. Lys said, “I had a great education in music, and it has had a profound effect on my life. I wouldn’t change a thing.”