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SAFE Center Welcomes New Team Members in 2018

September 10, 2018

In recent months, the SAFE Center has welcomed three new staff members and three social work field placement students to our team!

Staff Members:

Amanda K. Rodriguez, Esq. is the Chief Counsel for Policy and Legal Advocacy at the SAFE Center and the Co-Chair of the Legislative Subcommittee for the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force. She previously served as an Assistant State’s Attorney for Baltimore County where she oversaw all human trafficking investigations in the county. In 2014, Mrs. Rodriguez transitioned to the role of Manager of Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Policy for the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention and was appointed as a Special Assistant United States Attorney where she oversaw the state-wide implementation of policy and protocol related to human trafficking in Maryland. Before accepting her position at the SAFE Center, she spent three years at Turn Around, Inc. as the Chief Program Officer. Amanda Rodriquez graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2005 and received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 2007. During her legal study, she was the first student attorney in the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic at the University of Baltimore. She has written several articles on the international implications of human trafficking on the United States’ economy, human trafficking prosecution and investigation, and domestic minor sex trafficking – which have been published nationally and internationally. She has also received numerous awards for her work on human trafficking in Maryland.

Rebeca García Gil is an Equal Justice Works Crime Victims Justice Corps attorney at the SAFE Center, focused on immigration law and crime victims’ rights. She was born and raised in Mexico City and moved to the U.S. in 2010 to pursue an undergraduate degree in journalism at Indiana University. Ms. Garcia Gil received her J.D. in May 2018 from the University of Maryland Carey School of Law where she worked for a year under Professor Maureen Sweeney in the Immigration Clinic. That experience cemented her passion for immigration law. She was also the editor-in-chief of the Maryland Journal of International Law, where she published an article on unaccompanied migrant children from Central America and organized a symposium on the U.S.-Mexico Relationship in International Law and Politics.

Proma Chowdhury is serving at the SAFE Center as the second year Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic AmeriCorps VISTA member. She will continue the initiative to build capacity for the SAFE Center’s economic empowerment and volunteer programs. Ms. Chowdhury graduated in May from the University of Maryland, College Park with a B.A. in Public Policy and a double minor in Spanish and Business and Sustainability. Service has always been a part of her life, and – most recently – she has volunteered in the UMD community through UMD Alternative Breaks, UMD Help Center, Partners in Print, the Rawlings Undergraduate Leadership Fellows, and Images. Proma is excited to serve at the SAFE Center as it is a part of her alma mater and supports a vulnerable community close to home.

Social Work Field Placement Students:

Monica Altamirano is completing her final year in the Undergraduate Social Work and Psychology programs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Prior to her field placement at the SAFE Center, she volunteered at Eduardo Armenta Pediatrics and Adolescent Clinic. Ms. Altamirano assisted with front desk duties, administrative work, and interacted with patients in the office to schedule appointments, and/or to answer questions or concerns. After the completion of her programs, she plans to join the Air Force and serve active duty as an officer. Her passion is to have a military career and work in the mental health field by dedicating to helping soldiers, veterans, and families. Ms. Altamirano graduated with honors from Montgomery College and earned her A.A. in General Studies and a certificate in Women’s Studies.

Sophie Aron is a second year, macro health, Master of Social Work student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore School of Social Work. Prior to interning at the SAFE Center, Sophie interned with social workers at a DC charter school, served a year of AmeriCorps doing conflict mediation in Montgomery County middle and high schools, and earned her BA in Anthropology from Hamilton College. While at Hamilton, Sophie spent a year abroad in India, Vietnam, South Africa, and Argentina, studying population’s access to public healthcare systems, looking specifically at how that access changes when a country experiences trauma. It was from this experience that Sophie’s interest in affording healthcare to marginalized populations stemmed. At the SAFE Center, she hopes to work in collaboration on a number of macro-level projects including grant writing, legislative advocacy, and strengthening the relationship between the Center and law enforcement.

Claudia Sosa is in her last year of the Master of Social Work program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore School of Social Work. She received a B.S. in Psychology from University of Maryland University College. Prior to her placement at the SAFE center, she interned at Camp Fire, USA where she organized, developed and executed community events and activities for various communities. She worked with property management staff, community partners and residents to build strong relationships to better service the community. Mrs. Sosa is active in her church where she works with adolescents in her church’s youth ministry. Mrs. Sosa is bilingual.

UMD SAFE Center Team Statement on Racial Injustice

The UMD SAFE Center decries the structural racism that remains as a toxic legacy of our country’s history and permeates our society today, and we are working to ensure that we are an actively anti-racist institution.