Human Trafficking…Exposed. Guest Post: Dr. Wendy Stickle, Program Director, UMD Criminology & Criminal Justice

Wendy Stickle

Dr. Wendy Stickle, Program Director of the University of Maryland, College Park Criminology and Criminal Justice program at USG

Human trafficking.  Prostitution.  Child labor. Exploitation.  These are words we have all heard.  These are words we often attribute to far off, exotic places.  Maybe Vietnam? India? Russia? Places that aren’t as developed and modern as the United States.  Not as wealthy as Montgomery County.  Those who make these assumptions are partially correct. Human trafficking occurs in Eastern Europe. It is happening in South East Asia.  But, it is also happening here in Montgomery County. It is occurring in every state in the United States.  If confirmation is needed, consider the recent arrest of Emily Zhang.  After a four-month investigation by the Montgomery County Police’s Vice and Intelligent Unit, Ms. Zhang was arrested for prostitution and human trafficking.

Like most people, I also didn’t fully understand the magnitude of the world’s human trafficking problem. It wasn’t until I was asked to teach a course on the topic in 2014 that it really hit home.  Human trafficking is occurring in every country, on every continent in the world.  Corruption, demand, and fortune are just a few factors that explain how this could be.  Once I finally digested this knowledge, I was overwhelmed, almost suffocating.  How could slavery still exist? What could I to do about it? I struggled with this last question.  I couldn’t give money to every worthy organization. I couldn’t travel to work exposing the traffickers and those complicit in the crime of trafficking. What I could do, however, was raise awareness.  I could make people realize this crime is occurring in their own backyards.  Help people understand the signs of trafficking, hopefully increase the reporting of this often invisible crime.

Human Trafficking book.jpgIn this effort to raise awareness, I began teaching a semester-long course on human trafficking—the first at the University of Maryland, College Park.  My colleague and I developed a study abroad course, taking students around the world, to see for themselves how this crime occurs.  I am the Chair of the Montgomery County Human Trafficking Committee’s Education and Outreach subcommittee. And most recently, I co-authored the first textbook on human trafficking from the criminology/criminal-justice perspective.  It is my hope that this book will land in the hands of many.  Students and those interested around the country, will gain a better understanding of the complexities that allow for this crime to occur.

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Dr. Stickle and her students studying the intersection between
 refugee status and human trafficking in South Italy, July 2019.

I work in higher education to expose students to ideas, opportunities, and challenges they may have never considered.  Whether it be through a book, in the classroom, or places like Thailand, Cambodia, Italy, and next summer, South Africa, I hope that I am empowering all of my students to be informed and to be pioneers of change.  This generation will have the ability to not only demand, but create change towards a more just world where human trafficking does not exist.

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Sign Up. Stand Out. Guest Post: Shelby Speer, Graduate Student Services Coordinator

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Shelby Speer, Graduate Student Services Coordinator

Want to develop some superb skills that will make you stand out to employers? My name is Shelby Speer, and I am the Graduate Student Services Coordinator here at USG. I am also the main coordinator of leadership programming, and wanted to tell you a little bit about some great opportunities that you should take advantage of.

First, register for the #USGLeads Leadership Symposium on September 18. At this event, you will hear from experts and engage in activities designed to increase your leadership proficiencies. Our keynote speaker is Tony Spearman-Leach, the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations for Make-a-Wish Mid-Atlantic. He will be followed by an activity where you will learn how to make the most your online presence. Next, you will choose from three workshops on different leadership topics.

Next, sign up to complete a nationally-recognized Emerging Leadership Badge! This self-paced achievement will encourage you to apply leadership development theory to activities that you may already be doing. It only takes about 15 hours to complete, and you’ll receive a certificate and gift at the Student Engagement Recognition Awards ceremony. Already completed this badge? Apply for the Expanding Leadership Badge! Enrollment is encouraged by September 15, though applications are rolling.

Finally, I am excited to announce the launch of the Interculturalist Badge: the first in the state! You can either complete this at your own pace like the leadership badges, or in conjunction with the in-person Leadership and Diversity Learning Series. Sign up today!

We hope that you will engage in one or more of these rewarding opportunities: in addition to looking great on your resume, they will help you to expand your co-curricular opportunities at USG. Please feel free contact me with any questions at srspeer@umd.edu.

 

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Fall 2019 Welcome from USG Executive Director

Dr. Stewart Edelstein

Dr. Stewart Edelstein, USG Executive Director

Welcome to the start of another exciting academic year.  Believe it or not, this fall marks the beginning of USG’s 20th year since our campus launched full-time degree programs from universities throughout the University System of Maryland. We’ve certainly come a long way since that time!

Since 2000, approximately 12,000 students have earned degrees from the nine universities that deliver academic programs on the USG campus. Another 1,000 or so new anticipated graduates this year will help to increase that total yet again. To all of the students beginning their studies at USG this year, I want to extend a very special welcome to each of you as you pursue your degrees and career aspirations.

A very special welcome to the students and faculty in programs that are starting at USG this academic year:  from Salisbury University, the MS in Applied Health Physiology; from the University of Maryland (Baltimore) School of Pharmacy, the MS in Pharmaceutical Science and the MS in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics; and from UMBC, the MPS Biotechnology program and the BS in Translational Life Science Technology.

Opening Soon…the BSE!

Later this fall, we will open our fourth academic building: the new, state-of-the-art Biomedical Sciences and Engineering (BSE) education facility. Construction is nearly complete and we look forward to moving in within the next few weeks. We also look forward to an exciting grand opening celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony set for the afternoon of November 7. Please mark your calendars. You’ll hear more about that event in the weeks ahead.

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Biomedical Sciences and Engineering (BSE) Education Facility

Fun Facts and Attributes about the BSE:

  • A six-level, 220,000-square-foot building, essentially the size of all three other buildings combined. It will enable the campus to ultimately more than double its enrollment capacity.
  • One of the most sustainably sourced and built laboratory buildings in the region – on track to receive LEED Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, the highest such rating.
  • Includes 20 fully-equipped teaching laboratories to serve a wide range of STEM programs, along with 12 active learning classrooms and two 120-plus seat lecture halls.
  • Unique features will include a product design laboratory and significant work space for student research projects.

So What is Going in the BSE, You May Ask?

Lecture halls and classrooms in the BSE will be available for use by all faculty and students.  We welcome everyone on campus to use the building as a place to meet, study and socialize. It’s a large facility with many different kinds of places to congregate. I hope you will spend some time enjoying the beautiful, outdoor public art feature with running water, when the installation is complete, adjacent to the boardwalk.

One of the first and most exciting features of the new BSE will be a full-service, community dental clinic that will be operated by the University of Maryland (Baltimore) School of Dentistry. Equipped with 24 operatory stations, including four enclosed surgical offices, the facility will provide comprehensive dental care to community patients. Care will be provided by faculty-supervised, advanced general education dental students and dental hygiene students.

Academic programs will be phased into the new BSE over the next three years. UMBC’s Translational Life Science Technology and the UMCP Biological Sciences will be the first to use the specialized laboratories in the new facility. Next year, the UMCP Clark School of Engineering will use the BSE for its new degree, Embedded Systems and the Internet of Things, which will be offered exclusively at USG.  UMBC will be using the computational labs for its Computer Science program, with a specialization in Cybersecurity. And the University of Maryland (Baltimore) School of Dentistry will offer a BS/MS program in Clinical Dental Hygiene Leadership and a post-baccalaureate certificate program in Oral Health Science.

Some Student Services will Relocate to BSE

Three of USG’s Student and Academic Services will be relocating to the BSE. These offices and their new locations will be:

  • The Center for Academic Success (first floor, suite 1322);
  • The Career and Internship Services Center (first floor, suite 1318); and
  • The Center for Counseling and Consultation (third floor, suite 3139).

State Commission to Study USG Begins its Work

During the last Maryland General Assembly session in Annapolis, state lawmakers created a special study commission to focus on Ensuring the Viability of the Universities at Shady Grove.

The commission, which is being led by the University System of Maryland Chancellor’s Office, recently began its work and is reviewing issues such as the future growth of degree programs at USG, and the institution’s funding methodology and decision-making structure. The group will also analyze USG’s impact on economic and workforce development in Montgomery County and the region.

USG Board of Advisors Chair Michael Knapp and I are among the individuals serving on the commission. I want to thank those on the USG staff who have been helping to prepare important background for the commission and I want to thank our Board of Advisors and members of the community for their engagement and advocacy. The commission’s work will be pivotal in helping to shape the future of USG and a long-term financial model to support the campus’s operations.  A final report is due to the General Assembly by December 1.

The commission will hold two listening sessions as part of its work.   The first listening session is scheduled for September 11 from 5-6 pm.  It will be held at USG.

This listening session is specifically designated for gathering feedback from students, faculty and staff. I would urge all of those within the USG community who are interested in providing input or following the discussions to participate.

More information will be distributed separately about the listening session location and how members of the USG community can sign up to speak. In addition, anyone interested will be able to provide written feedback to the commission via a website which is being set up.

Fall Events Abound

In addition to the BSE grand opening event, we have a busy and exciting fall season of events ahead. You can always keep up with campus events and news on the USG website, but here are just a few highlights of what’s ahead:

Some Other Happenings on Campus

Some of you just returning for the fall may have noticed that Building III was recently rededicated and is now officially named the Camille and Clifford Kendall Academic Center.” Our most sincere thanks to the whole Kendall family. They joined us at a special event to honor the legacy of Cliff Kendall, one of USG’s founders and greatest supporters. At that event, the Kendall family also generously announced that they would be making an additional major donation to expand scholarship opportunities for students at USG, including those who will be entering the new Clark School of Engineering programs that will begin here in 2020.

Kendall Family

The Kendall family at building re-dedication ceremony.

I want to remind you about Mobile Market Mondays, a food distribution program which takes place on campus each fourth Monday of the month, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Lot 5. USG is proud to continue its partnership with the Capital Area Food Bank, which provides a variety of fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, and other food items at zero cost for distribution to individuals from the campus and greater community.

The Priddy Library offers several workshops, study rooms, snack options and extended hours for students. Take advantage of all of their resources to help you succeed.

Finally, I want to close by extending best wishes to some special students at USG, who I know will have a busy and exciting year ahead! Congratulations to USG’s new Student Council President Mikal Abraha and to all of her fellow elected members of the Council, which represents the students enrolled in undergraduate programs from the various universities on campus. I invite you to check out the full listing of the Council members on our website.

To stay up-to-date on all that is happening around campus, please make sure you sign up to receive the USG Weekly e-newsletter, download the USG Mobile App, and read the news blog “Discover USG” and the student blog “Around the Grove.” For emergency notifications and weather closings, sign up for USG Alerts and follow USG social media (FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn).

It’s going to be an exciting year at USG and I want to wish all of you the very best!

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In Demand: Government Accounting and Finance Professionals

The sky is the limit with a Graduate Certificate in Government Financial Management.

Mikhail Pevzner

By Mikhail Pevzner, Professor of Accounting, University of Baltimore

Knowledgeable government accounting and finance professionals are essential to the thousands of entities that require regular auditing, including government contracting firms, municipalities, counties and even the federal government.  So essential, in fact, that Big4 and non-Big4 accounting firms perform plenty of government auditing and consulting work, especially in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area.

Some of the largest government consultants and auditors in the area are Deloitte, EY and KPMG. In Baltimore, CliftonLarsonAllen is heavily involved in government audit work and SB & Company audits the City of Baltimore. Internal audit jobs are also in demand in government agencies such as Maryland Office of Legislative Auditor or Baltimore’s City Auditor’s Office. The opportunities for career growth within these careers are many, and they often provide excellent benefits and work-life balance. Accounting and finance careers are a good fit for non-traditional students, career-changers and professionals seeking to reach the next level in their career.

The University of Baltimore’s Graduate Certificate in Government Financial Management—offered at both the Universities at Shady Grove and UB’s Baltimore campus—is specifically designed to prepare you for a career in government accounting and finance by focusing on the content of Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) exam. And, most courses are offered online or in hybrid formats.

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For those who complete the Certificate and want to continue to deepen their accounting education, you can add several more courses and complete your Master’s in Accounting and Business Advisory Services degree, which is offered completely online or at UB’s Baltimore campus. You can also pursue graduate certificates in internal audit services or business valuation to further or enhance your skill-set and employability.

There are minimal prerequisites for the certificate, which makes it achievable even if you don’t have an accounting background. With some basic accounting and finance courses and a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college, you’ll be well on your way to a new (or greater) fulfilling career in government accounting and finance.

Ready to get started? Contact Mikhail Pevzner, professor of accounting and the Ernst and Young chair in accounting, at the University of Baltimore, at mpevzner@ubalt.edu or 410-837-5862.

About the Author

Mikhail Pevzner is a professor of accounting at the University of Baltimore and academic program director for the Graduate Certificate in Government Financial Management. He also holds the E&Y Chair in Accounting. His research interests include empirical archival capital markets research, empirical archival auditing, disclosure, international accounting and finance. In academic year 2016-17 Pevzner was a visiting academic fellow, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Chief Accountant. He returned to the S.E.C. during academic 2018-2019 as visiting economist in the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis. Pevzner earned his Ph.D. at Washington University in St Louis.

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My Summer RISE Experience, by Wootton High School Senior Ian Wolfe

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Wootton High School senior Ian Wolfe, Summer RISE Intern at USG

Hello, my name is Ian Wolfe, and I am a rising senior at Wootton High School. I had the fortunate opportunity this summer to intern at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) through Summer RISE (Real Interesting Summer Experience), a unique way for students to experience the workforce in order to make decisions about their future. I was interested in marketing and communications, and was placed within that department at USG. I thought this would be a great way to experience the day-to-day life of this industry in a professional setting. While school can teach you technical skills, the only way to learn how to function in an office is to actually work in one.

When I first walked through the building I was intimidated by the idea of being in an office, having never worked in that type of environment before. Nevertheless, these three weeks have flown by. Everybody I met has been extremely nice and welcoming, always saying hello or good morning with a smile. My manager and the other members of the marketing team answered any questions I had, and went in depth about their daily tasks and what it’s like to work in marketing and communications. I was given a wide range of projects so I could fully experience all aspects of marketing like market research, planning and filming videos, interviewing, and writing (check out my previous blog post here). The area of marketing that I like the most is the creative input that you are able to add to your work. As a creative guy it was cool to flex those muscles and make the work feel more personal.

Additionally, as a future college student, it was very interesting to draw back the curtain on all of the small details and tools that are used to target prospective students. From the font on the title of a poster to the music in the background of a video, there are so many factors that can influence someone to click on your website or like a social media post.

Barely a high school senior in an adult’s world, I expected to be isolated in a cubicle to work on my projects with the occasional walk down the hall for a question here and there. However as I would come to find out this was not the case. From taking part in meetings, I was able to feel included in the team which really helped me feel more comfortable around the office. Through giving a presentation, I was able to practice my public speaking. While I was nervous the entire time, I noticed that the ‘fake it till you make it’ mantra is actually real. Even if you’re nervous, speaking with confidence will change your mindset, and sell your idea better as well. To my surprise, I had the amazing chance during my second week to tour the new BSE building still under construction (scheduled to open the fall). With modern classrooms, advanced science labs, and a full dental clinic, it made me wonder what college may be like for my kids, or grandkids.

All in all, I had an amazing experience interning at USG, and would recommend every high school junior or senior to apply for Summer RISE. This type of program over the summer can be really influential for college, in that if you think you’ve already decided your major it can really cement that decision for you. In my case, this has cemented my decision to major in marketing as I really enjoyed all of the projects I worked on. Before this summer, I only knew USG as the place where I took my AP exams. But after this memorable episode I will remember it for much more.

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Have You Heard the Buzz about Patti Wong’s Interesting Hob-bee?!

By: Ian Wolfe, Summer RISE student intern, Wootton High School

Patti with beesPatti Wong puts on a suit everyday to prepare financial reports, assist with budgeting, and manage scholarship funds. But during her lunch break, the senior accountant at the Universities at Shady Grove puts on a different suit — a beekeeping suit. When she worked at the University of Maryland, College Park, she took advantage of tuition remission and took agricultural classes. She decided to take a class about bees because she thought it was an easy “A” and because her grandfather had colonies as well. As a result, her natural interest grew and she immersed herself in the world of bees. This has caused her to become more environmentally conscious, as over the past several years the bee population has declined rapidly. More specifically, a report by the Bee Informed Partnership reveals that from April 1, 2018, to April 1, 2019, the managed bee population decreased by 40.7%.

Bee colonyThis unfortunate situation has been made even worse as the U.S. Department of Agriculture has temporarily suspended data collection for its honeybee colony report due to federal budget cuts. Critics of the move contend that it was motivated by the Trump administration’s plan to lift the ban on certain pesticides that was implemented under the Obama administration.

Extracting honeyWhile necessary for pollination, as their name suggests, honey bees, are also required for producing honey. Under ideal conditions, a good hive can make 200-250 pounds of honey according to Ms. Wong. Nectar, a sugary fluid, is secreted by flowers. Bees sense the negative electric signal created by the flower which tells them if the flower is worth visiting. Once bee scouts find the source of nectar, they go back to the hive and communicate to the others where it is, in a unique method called the Waggle Dance. The direction the bee moves in relation to the hive indicates the direction, while the duration of the waggle signifies the distance. The nectar is taken by bees back to the hive, injected with enzymes, and dehydrated before being stored into wax-like cells until they are less than 18% moisture. As a result of its low moisture level, honey will never ferment or expire unless more moisture is added.

There are many other jobs in the hive other than a scout notes Ms. Wong, like housekeeping bees that make sure the hive is organized, the queen’s attendants which groom the queen, and guard bees which are the ones that sting you if you come too close to the hive.

flower candleIn addition to harvesting honey, Ms. Wong then uses the beeswax to make all kinds of other products like candles, lip balm, hand lotion, and tiger balm, a medical ointment. This year the Universities at Shady Grove hosted the Montgomery County Beekeeping Association for their extraction day. They used the Marriott Teaching kitchen as a space for new beekeepers to come and harvest their honey and honeycombs. Approximately 20 members attended and together they extracted more than 760 bottles of honey!

Bees are a necessary factor for commercial agriculture. Without their presence, the strain on the agricultural industry would be immense due to the need for commercial pollination, in which companies use trucks to haul in thousands of hives of bees to pollinate their crops. In Bee truckFebruary, 60% of colonies go to California to start pollinating almonds, then to Florida and the South for citrus and berries, before finally moving up to the northeast for apples and lowbush blueberries. Their importance may seem obvious to some, but many Americans are still afraid of bees and believe they wouldn’t lose any sleep if bees disappeared. Ms. Wong counters that everybody needs to be properly educated, as most people don’t like bees because they think they’re allergic from the swelling after a sting. However, bee stings are actually highly beneficial, as the venom Patti sweeping beesboosts your immune system. Ms. Wong claims she hasn’t been sick in over 10 years because of regularly being stung while handling her bees. Sting therapy has also been created to help with arthritis, MS (Multiple Sclerosis), and other medical conditions. Although honey bees get most of the press, there are plenty of wild bees that pollinate and need to be protected the same way honey bees are.

When asked her favorite part about keeping bees, Ms. Wong answered that while at first it was the goods that are reaped, now it is the humility of constantly learning new aspects of beekeeping. She recounted that this past year she had 10 hives, some Russian, some Italian, and some Canadian, and learned a lot about how to be a better beekeeper. The EAS (Eastern Apicultural Society) educates the public on bees and hosts many meetings and seminars about bees and beekeeping. They will even certify you to become a ‘master beekeeper’ after you have passed a test and completed all other prerequisites. As 40% of colonies were lost this past year, Ms. Wong hopes for a future with better, more natural practices, and an educated public that is actively aware of the impact that bees have on the environment. This will allow us to preserve these ecosystems so future generations can appreciate the tasty benefits of nature at work.

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Students & Alumni: The Priddy Library is Here to Help You! Guest Post: Franklin Ofsthun, Library Services Specialist

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Franklin Ofsthun

Congratulations grads! As you transition between your life as a student and your life as a graduate, you will be saying many goodbyes. There will be some relieving goodbyes–goodbye to cramming for exams, agonizing over papers, and organizing group projects. There will be more difficult goodbyes as well–to good professors, to helpful staff, and to friendships forged through challenging classes. You are facing big changes in your day to day activities and lifestyle, but the end of your coursework does not have to be the end of your relationship with Priddy Library!

The utility of a library extends beyond the close of gradebooks. We hope that you continue to feel welcomed here as you journey into the professional world. Consider the following resources that will still be available after you walk off stage with your diploma in hand:

  • Use our space. Priddy Library is open to the public. You are always welcome to come and spend time here during our open hours.
  • Browse our collection. All of our print collection is available for public browsing. Feel free to browse our stacks and read any books you find in-house.
  • Scan and send digital copies. Use our Bookeye scanner on any of our books or your own documents free of charge.
  • Use our desktop computers. Show any photo ID to the student at the service desk and receive a temporary guest login to access our computers and all the resources available on them.
  • Access specialized computer programs. Your guest login will allow you to use all the programs on our dual-monitor col-lab computers including ArcGIS, Microsoft Visual C++, SPSS, Microsoft Office products (Word, Excel, etc), and Adobe Suite products (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc)
  • Print. If you still have money left on your student account, you will be able to transfer any leftover money to a new guest printing account with help from OIT.
  • Attend workshops & events. Everyone in the USG community is welcome to attend our informational workshops on subjects such as Zotero, Research Posters, PowerPoint presentations, and Microsoft Excel. To learn about upcoming events each semester, feel free to like or follow Priddy Library on one of our various social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

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