Monthly Archives: November 2015

Amnesty International conference draws 25+ UB students

Written by Latrina Bowman, GAHSSA president and Global Affairs and Human Security graduate student

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UB’s Global Affairs and Human Security Student Association (GAHSSA) served as host committee at the 2015 Amnesty International Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference. Pictured l. to r.: Latrina Bowman (GAHSSA president), Kevin Lassiter (GAHSSA External Affairs Officer), Sunjeev Bery (Advocacy Director, Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International) and Nat Abu-Bonsrah (GAHSSA Secretary).

On November 14 and 15, Amnesty International USA held its Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference right here in Baltimore. Titled “From Moment to Movement,” the conference brought together activists and organizations from around the region, and featured plenaries, keynote speakers, interactive workshops, and networking opportunities all focused on human rights issues in the United States and around the world.

The College of Public Affairs was well represented at the conference with over 25 students from the Global Affairs and Human Security, Negotiations and Conflict Management, and Master of Public Administration programs in attendance. Executive board members from UB’s Global Affairs and Human Security Student Association (GAHSSA) volunteered at the conference in exchange for free registration, while other UB students were able to fund their attendance through the Center for Student Involvement and the College of Public Affairs Dean’s Student Development Fund.

GAHSSA served as host committee at the conference which provided GAHSSA members with an ideal opportunity to connect with Amnesty International leaders and other organizations in the hopes of bringing more opportunities like this to all UB students. To that end, GAHSSA will host an Amnesty International Interest Meeting here on campus on Wednesday, Dec. 2 to discuss plans for forming a Baltimore chapter. For more information on the meeting, contact Latrina Bowman at or visit

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CPA students attended the 2015 Amnesty International Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference. Pictured l. to r.: Nat Abu-Bonsrah (GAHSSA Secretary), Kevin Lassiter (GAHSSA External Affairs Officer), Amrita Minhas (GAHSSA Vice President), and Sakiera Malone (GAHS student).

Freshman profiled in The Baltimore Sun for reaching teen audience through her social justice magazine

University of Baltimore freshman Evelyn Atieno was recently profiled in The Baltimore Sun for her startup magazine, Affinity, designed for the socially conscious teen. Evelyn Atieno

Affinity, published online and in print (through a printed-on-demand service), presents itself as a magazine ‘for the social teen,’” the Sun writes. “Articles from young contributors cover issues such as intersectional feminism, white privilege, LGBT rights, school shootings and mental illness.”

“I don’t want it to be a Time magazine. I don’t want it to be a Seventeen magazine. I just want it to be authentic,” Atieno, an international studies major, tells the Sun. “I want teenagers to be able to say what they’re thinking about the world.”

Read the Baltimore Sun article.

Learn more about Affinity Magazine.

School of Criminal Justice honors society goes all out to support the community

Nu Omicron drop off

Pictured l to r: Kate Kafonek (Nu Omicron member), Vickie Sneed (Nu Omicron treasurer), Chris Brees-Rostveit (Nu Omicron president), Cahrylene Phyall (FOC president) and Louise Gibson (FOC office manager)

Nu Omicron, the honors society of the School of Criminal Justice, has been very busy supporting the local community this fall. Their first endeavor was organizing a clothing drive to benefit the Friendship Outreach Center (FOC), which provides food and clothing to families in need in the Baltimore metropolitan area. Criminal Justice Associate Professor Renita Seabrook, who sits on the FOC board of directors, helped to connect Nu Omicron with the center, and within a few short months the honors society has collected and donated over 9,000 items of clothing to FOC!

(If you’d like to donate clothing to FOC, Nu Omicron will be accepting donations Monday through Friday from 12-5 p.m. in LAP, Room 538 until Dec. 14.)

Nu Omicron is also coordinating the School of Criminal Justice’s contributions to UB’s annual holiday food drive. The UB Food Drive, benefitting the Maryland Food Bank and the Lawyers’ Campaign Against Hunger, asks members of the UB community to drop off canned and/or nonperishable food items in the boxes found in the University’s main buildings. Nu Omicron has already collected nearly 400 nonperishable items to be donated to the drive, and will continue to collect donations throughout the remainder of the fall semester. The UB Food Drive is happening now and will continue through Dec. 18.

Learn more about Nu Omicron.

Learn more about the UB Food Drive.

College of Public Affairs and Merrick School of Business to lead USA Sustainable Cities Initiative in Baltimore

glass globe in the grassUB’s College of Public Affairs and Jacob France Institute in the Merrick School of Business will serve as lead university partner on a new USA Sustainable Cities Initiative (USA-SCI) led by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and Climate Nexus. Baltimore has been selected as a model city for the project, which supports the UN’s newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals, a series of global aspirations and priorities designed to take on major sustainable development challenges. The University’s role, as established by SDSN, will be to provide support and guidance as the city expands its capabilities regarding sustainable development.

UB’s efforts in the USA-SCI initiative in Baltimore will be led by Ivan Sascha Sheehan, associate professor and director of the M.S. in Negotiations and Conflict Management program in the College of Public Affairs, and Seema Iyer, associate director of the Jacob France Institute and research assistant professor in the Merrick School of Business. UB will collaborate with University of Maryland National Center for Smart Growth and Communities Without Boundaries International.

Learn more:

Global Affairs and Human Security student to present at upcoming international studies conference

Lauren SamuelsenLauren Samuelsen, a student in the M.S. in Global Affairs and Human Security (GAHS) program, has been accepted to present her paper “Domestic Peace and Homeland Security Structures” at the 2016 International Studies Association (ISA) Conference. The ISA represents over 100 countries, has more than 6,500 members worldwide, and is the most respected and widely known scholarly association in international studies. The ISA conference, one of the largest conferences in the field, attracts scholars and students from around the world.

“The faculty in the Global Affairs and Human Security program could not be more proud of Lauren for having a paper accepted for presentation at the ISA Conference,” said Associate Professor Sascha Sheehan, who is co-director of the GAHS graduate program. “This is an extraordinary accomplishment for a graduate student since ISA is among the largest and most distinguished international meetings for political scientists held annually. Lauren has worked as a graduate assistant, secured a competitive internship with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, and maintained a near perfect GPA, and she will be a fine ambassador for the GAHS program and the College of Public Affairs at the spring 2016 conference.”

The ISA Conference will be held March 16-19 in Atlanta, Georgia.

College of Public Affairs pilots new program for student professional development

Opportunities to present research at conferences or attend professional meetings or trainings provide students with important learning experiences as well as a way to network and explore careers. To help support these types of opportunities for students in the College of Public Affairs, Dean Roger Hartley has launched a new Student Professional Development Grant Program.

“The Student Professional Development Grant Program is my way of encouraging an engaged learning experience and helping students build networks in their intended career field,” Hartley said. “By taking advantage of professional development opportunities, our students will not only develop complementary career skills and make valuable connections, but they will also help raise the visibility of the college.”

This pilot program will support airfare, car mileage, overnight stay, or a registration or fee for a banquet. Applications must demonstrate the value of the proposed opportunity to the student’s education and professional development, as well as the benefits to the college. Additionally, students must provide a short letter or email of support from a faculty member. And upon completion of the experience, students must also submit a one- to two-page summary and reflection paper to the dean.

Several students have already taken advantage of the new program, including M.P.A. student and Schaefer Center for Public Policy graduate fellow, Ken Weaver. Ken accompanied School of Public and International Affairs Assistant Professor Aaron Wachhaus to the Southeastern Conference for Public Administration held in Charleston, South Carolina in early October. Aaron and Ken gave a presentation entitled, “Building Healthy Communities,” which was the culmination of a project they’d been working on together on behalf of the Schaefer Center.

“I made lots of contacts with both academics and practitioners in public administration, and just had a great time,” said Ken in his reflection paper. “I learned even more by attending lots of panels and participating in many discussions. This was not only a big help to my professional development, but also my personal development.”

Students are eligible for a single grant for up to $500 in the 2015-16 academic year. For more information or to apply for a Student Professional Development Grant, contact Stephen Shirley, senior budget analyst at or 410-837-6209.