Hadiyyah Abdul-Jalaal currently serves as the Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic AmeriCorps VISTA member sponsored by the University of Maryland SAFE Center Equity and Community Engagement programs for the July 2021- July 2022 service year. In this role, Ms. Abdul-Jalaal will review and recommend updates to internal policies that will foster an environment of diversity and inclusion and align with the Center’s vision of being an antiracist organization. She will work to support the development of the Center’s Survivor Leadership Program and Survivor Ambassador Program. Before joining the Center, Ms. Abdul-Jalaal served for three years as an undergraduate research assistant at George Mason University under the direction of Dr. Correa-Cabrera. In addition, Ms. Abdul-Jalaal had the opportunity to interns twice with the U.S. Department of State. First, in 2019, with the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor in the Office Multilateral and Global Affairs on the Internet Freedom, Business, & Human Rights team. Then, in 2020, with the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons on the Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs team. Ms. Abdul-Jalaal received her Bachelor’s degree in Government and International Politics with a concentration in International Relations while receiving a minor in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from the George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government in May 2021. Ms. Abdul-Jalaal earned a Master’s in Public Policy with an emphasis in Terrorism, Transnational Crime, and Corruption in May 2022 from George Mason University.
Sophie Aron joined the SAFE Center staff in June, 2019 as a Research and Program Coordinator. In this role she will help develop and support the SAFE Center’s state and local task force work, public health research and program implementation, and survivor leadership programming. She also works to support the Center’s crisis intervention team. Before joining the SAFE Center in her current role, Ms. Aron interned for a year at the Center in a similar capacity while pursuing her Masters in Social Work. She has also completed an internship with social workers at a D.C. charter school and served a year of AmeriCorps conducting conflict mediation in Montgomery County middle and high schools. Ms. Aron has spent a year in India, Vietnam, South Africa, and Argentina studying healthcare systems and how trauma affects access to public healthcare systems. Ms. Aron earned her Masters in Social Work from the University of Maryland School of Social Work, and her BA in Anthropology from Hamilton College.
Danielle M. Barnard is a nationally certified victim advocate, CA, serving as a Case Manager at the SAFE Center. In addition to her experience in victim advocacy, Danielle has background in social justice, community development, international development, and diversity and inclusion. Before coming to the SAFE Center, Ms. Barnard worked as a legal advocate for survivors of sexual assault in Southwest Michigan for the Cora Lamping Center in Benton Harbor, MI. In this position, in addition to providing trauma-informed direct services and crisis response for survivors across the county, she also developed relationships with the county prosecutor’s office, law enforcement, and cross-cutting local groups such as the SW Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force and the Interfaith Action Collaborative. Internationally, Ms. Barnard worked on a team of development and social work graduate students in Madagascar working local governments and organizations to support various high-needs populations such as youth in detention, rural farmers, and isolated medical facilities. In addition, while in Madagascar, she and her cohort did policy advocacy on behalf of regions being exploited by transnational corporations and presented proposals to the president’s Chief of Staff. Ms. Barnard has a Masters in Community & International Development and a Bachelors in Theology. In the future, she aspires to complete her Masters in Social Work so that she can provide more clinical support to high-needs communities nationally and internationally.
Karina Velasco is a bilingual licensed bachelor level social worker. Karina has extensive outreach, recruitment, and advocacy experience working with Latino youth and families. Karina has worked with the immigrant community in different capacities over the past decade, beginning with her work as a youth leader with CASA de Maryland helping bring change and educational opportunities for undocumented students through the passage of the Maryland Dream Act. She also served as the Outreach Specialist and later Case Manager for the Adelante youth program at the Maryland Multicultural Youth Centers (MMYC) in Langley Park, MD. Karina has most recently worked with unaccompanied minors and victims of human trafficking, providing home assessments and case management services through Bethany Christian Services. Additionally, Karina worked with CASA de Maryland as a Community Youth Organizer where she led and encouraged young adults to take part of community change and support initiatives in immigration, health, and education. Ms. Velasco received dual-associate degrees in General Studies and Mental Health from Montgomery College in 2013 and later earned Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2017.
Susan Wallendorf, MS, supports the SAFE Center as a Case Manager. Ms. Wallendorf received a BA from the University of Baltimore in 2019, where she majored in Human Services Administration, with a Victim Studies minor. She went on to receive her master’s in Criminal Justice from the University of Baltimore in 2021, where she also earned a trauma-informed care certificate as part of her studies. Ms. Wallendorf has a professional background in victim assistance and case management and has worked in direct services in both the public and private sectors, including roles with the Baltimore County Health Department and the University of Baltimore’s Second Chance College Program. Her past work has focused on program coordination, victim services and peer recovery, among other areas. She has undergone extensive training in victim assistance, including completion of the Roper Victim Assistance Academy of Maryland, which provides participants with an advocacy-based overview of victimology, victim rights, and victim assistance.
Tanejah Jones, MSW-LMSW joined the SAFE Center as a Prevention Social Worker in September, 2020. Tanejah’s primary role is to help develop, implement and manage the Prevention Project that will be presented in high schools within Prince George’s County. In addition to the prevention project, she is also providing clinical, crisis intervention, and individual and group therapy services at the Center. Ms. Jones completed a Master’s degree Clinical Social Work from Simmons University in Boston, MA. During her time at Simmons she interned with Dove, Inc., a community domestic violence organization as an outreach and education specialist. Her role was to go into the community, local middle schools and high schools to present about domestic violence and the warning signs of an abusive relationship. Additionally, she interned at the Centers for Violence Prevention and Recovery (CVPR) at Beth Israel Medical Center working with survivors of domestic violence, community violence, sexual assaults, and human trafficking. At CVPR she also worked one-on-one and facilitated groups with survivors of violence using trauma-informed care. Tanejah has a passion for prevention work and enjoys working within the community.
Neil Mallon, LCSW-C is a clinical social worker with The Institute for Innovation & Implementation at the University of Maryland, School of Social Work and a clinical field instructor and advisor to the University of Maryland SAFE Center. Mr. Mallon has over ten years of clinical and macro social work practice experience within a variety of service settings, including child welfare, mental health, immigration, staff training/development, research and evaluation. In his current role at The Institute, Mr. Mallon works extensively with Maryland’s public and private child welfare providers to support the implementation and integration of a functional assessment tool to support decision making, quality improvement initiatives, and outcomes monitoring for youth and families served by the state’s child welfare systems. He is also the clinical field instructor for social work student interns at the SAFE Center and advisor for case management related policies and practice protocols. Mr. Mallon has assisted in the development of the Center’s trauma-informed and survivor-centered approach to practice and serves as a liaison to the State’s public and private child serving systems to support cross system collaboration in service delivery for domestic minor victims of trafficking. Mr. Mallon earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Towson University and a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
Ashley Greene supports the SAFE Center as an Economic Empowerment Coordinator, working with trafficking survivors to secure employment, education, and housing, and connecting clients with the tools and resources necessary to lead self-sustaining lives. Ms. Greene joined the SAFE Center in January 2021, bringing with her nearly a decade of experience as an employment specialist, during which she developed high-level skills in client relations, pre-employment assessment, and interpersonal communication. Her past work includes job counseling and coaching at non-profits and social service providers, as well as experience in community health as a patient account representative. Ms. Greene also brings to the SAFE Center team over 3 years’ experience working with Columbus House Shelter to fight against homelessness, where she supported clients’ transition back into the community. She has also worked with the re-entry population as an advocate, supporting them as they reenter society. Ms. Greene plans to continue her work in the Workforce Development field at the SAFE Center developing new partnerships to provide employment to trafficking survivors.
Vasu Moodley currently serves as the Operations Manager for the SAFE Center. Vasu has over 16 years’ non-profit experience in South Africa, India, and the United States with special focus on community development and adult basic education for social change. As the Business Manager of CV Projects SA, Vasu led the establishment of the Ikusasa Development Trust, a nonprofit organization that spearheaded the S3Village Integrated Development Project. Vasu was the former Acting Director of Operation Upgrade of South Africa, a literacy nonprofit that was awarded the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Confucius Prize for Literacy in 2008. Vasu is a Trustee of the James Nxumalo Education Trust, and an advisory board member of the Family Literacy Project. He has also served as a Rotarian with the Rotary Club of Umhlanga since 2012. Vasu holds a Bachelor of Social Science in Politics and History from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (previously University of Natal).
Jannina Santana is the Paralegal for the Legal Services Team at the UMD SAFE Center. She has over 7 years of experience as a Paralegal in various firm settings. During her five years at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP, she assisted in Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) pro-bono cases. She is fluent in both Spanish and English. She is currently attending Prince George’s Community College to earn her Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies.