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.
Rosa Bangura provides case management and crisis intervention services for the SAFE Center. She is dedicated to trauma-informed collaboration with survivors. Prior to this position, Ms. Bangura worked as a human trafficking case management coordinator at a local anti-trafficking organization and also gained experience liaising with numerous agencies on issues surrounding child victimization through her position at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Ms. Bangura has previous experience providing crisis support to the military community on the Safe Helpline at the Rape, Abuse & Incest Network (RAINN). She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at De Montfort University in the United Kingdom and is currently working on her Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work at The Catholic University of America. Ms. Bangura is a Credentialed Advocate licensed by the National Organization for Victims Assistance.
Jacqueline Bradley-Chacon, Esq. is an experienced public interest immigrant and refugee rights’ advocate. As the SAFE Center’s immigration attorney, Ms. Bradley-Chacon provides bilingual legal representation for the foreign national human trafficking survivors at the SAFE Center. Before joining the SAFE Center’s team, Ms. Bradley-Chacon served as a staff attorney for Kids in Need of Defense, was instrumental in the launch of the United Methodist Justice for Our Neighbors’ immigration legal service program, and worked in private immigration law practice and as an asylum officer. Ms. Bradley-Chacon has also served as a city council member for her community in University Park, Maryland. Born in El Salvador and raised in the U.S., Ms. Bradley-Chacon is fluent in Spanish and English. She received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, where she was a Public Interest Law Scholar.
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 develop capacity building for the SAFE Center’s economic empowerment and volunteer programs. As an economic empowerment coordinator, she focuses on developing services that support clients in career readiness. As a volunteer program coordinator, she focuses on strengthening community involvement in the SAFE Center’s donation, language, job development, and crisis intervention programs. Ms. Chowdhury graduated in May 2018 from the University of Maryland, College Park with a B.A. in Public Policy and a double minor in Spanish Business and Sustainability.
Rebeca García Gil is an Equal Justice Works Crime Victims Justice Corps Fellow at the SAFE Center. During her two-year fellowship, she will represent survivors of sex and labor trafficking in all immigration matters and in crime victims’ rights advocacy and enforcement, as well as connect survivors with pro bono organizations and low bono attorneys for other legal matters arising from victimization. Ms. García Gil is bilingual and strives to give clients a culturally competent legal representation. She obtained her law degree in 2018 from the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, where she was editor-in-chief of the Maryland Journal of International Law and a student attorney at the Immigration Clinic.
Haley Hale, M.A., provides case management and crisis intervention services to survivors of human trafficking at the SAFE Center. She is also actively involved with community outreach and developing partnerships with other local organizations. Ms. Hale gained relevant experience in the anti-human trafficking and victim advocacy fields through her previous positions at Polaris and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Ms. Hale received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Criminology, Law and Society from George Mason University and her Master’s degree in Forensic and Legal Psychology from Marymount University.
Amal Hammad is the Business Manager at the University of Maryland SAFE Center. Prior to joining the SAFE Center team, she spent nearly a decade working within the University of Maryland financial systems performing a variety of grant management functions, including processing and monitoring awards and overseeing cash management accounting activities. Ms. Hammad has a thorough knowledge of the research-related rules and regulations established by both the Federal Government and the State of Maryland. In addition to her previous position within the University, Ms. Hammad is a licensed Acupuncturist. She founded her own private practice of acupuncture to serve the Washington metropolitan area. Ms. Hammad graduated from Maryland University of Integrative Health in 2013, earning a Master’s degree in Chinese Medicine.
Ellie Lewis coordinates all communications projects and services at the SAFE Center. Her role at the Center includes managing the SAFE Center’s online platforms and developing organizational reports, newsletters, outreach and training presentations, and speeches for professional engagements. Prior to this position, Ms. Lewis completed one year as a Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic AmeriCorps VISTA member developing the SAFE Center’s economic empowerment and volunteer programs. She also worked as a Teaching Assistant for the University of Maryland’s Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice course on human trafficking and served with an international anti-trafficking organization in Phnom Penh, Cambodia to equip trafficking survivors and vulnerable populations with the resources necessary to revitalize their local community. Ms. Lewis received her Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2017, where she graduated with honors and earned the Sandy Mack Honors Award for her senior honors thesis.
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.
Elisabet Martinez, LCSW-C is a clinical social worker and holds over ten years of experience working with survivors of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, child abuse and human trafficking. Ms. Martinez is experienced in solution-focused therapy, cognitive behavioral theory, child-centered play therapy and other treatment modalities. At the SAFE Center, Ms. Martinez provides bilingual individual counseling to survivors. She is also the field instructor for undergraduate and graduate social work students. Ms. Martinez earned her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Houston and her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of North Texas.