Amelia Rubenstein, MSW, LCSW-C, Director
Amelia Rubenstein, MSW, LCSW-C is the Director of the Prevention of Adolescent Risks Initiative (PARI) at the University of Maryland School of Social Work where she leads programs to improve the health and safety of Maryland youth. As a clinical social worker, researcher, and nonprofit leader, Ms. Rubenstein has worked with survivors of violence and trauma for over a decade. She is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work.
Ms. Rubenstein is a passionate advocate for youth impacted by human trafficking, sexual assault, child maltreatment, and other forms of interpersonal and institutional trauma. She is committed to helping child-serving agencies do better in helping young people grow and thrive. Ms. Rubenstein is a highly sought-after trainer and expert witness, having testified in numerous criminal and civil cases. Ms. Rubenstein began her career as a foster care social worker and went on to found the Anti-Trafficking Program at TurnAround, Inc. in Baltimore. Ms. Rubenstein received her Bachelor of Social Work degree from Skidmore College and a Master of Social Work degree from Columbia University in 2010. Ms. Rubenstein received the Outstanding Contribution to the Fight against Human Trafficking award from the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2015 as well as formal citations from Senator Barbara Mikulski, Baltimore Mayor Pugh, and Governor Hogan for her work with survivors of sexual violence.
Dr. Nadine Finigan-Carr, PhD, Principal Investigator
Dr. Finigan-Carr is the principal investigator of several PARI research projects and is also the Executive Director of the UMB Center for Violence Prevention. Dr. Finigan-Carr is a prevention research scientist focused on the application of behavioral and social science perspectives to research contemporary health problems, especially those that disproportionately affect people of color. Her scholarship is grounded in theories and methods found primarily in the field of health behavior change among individuals and the environments that support or impede chronic disease prevention or management, injury, and violence. She is an internationally recognized expert on human trafficking and sexual exploitation of minors. Dr. Finigan-Carr is the author of “Linking Health and Education for African American Students’ Success” (Routledge Press). She has served as special guest editor for the Journal of Negro Education (2015), the Journal of Violence and Victims (2020), and Children Youth Services’ Review (2021). She also serves as a commissioner of community relations in the Baltimore City Office of Equity and Civil Rights.
Neil Mallon, LCSW, Senior Research Specialist
Neil Mallon, LCSW-C is a Senior Research Specialist with the Prevention of Adolescent Risks Initiative (PARI) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore School of Social Work (UMB SSW). Mr. Mallon is an alumni of UMB SSW and began his career working in clinical roles within child welfare and behavioral health settings. In 2013, Mr. Mallon joined UMB SSW’s Institute for Innovation & Implementation as a Lead Training Specialist providing training, technical assistance, and data analysis to support the implementation of the Child and Adolescent Needs & Strengths (CANS) Assessment across Maryland’s public and private child welfare systems. In 2020, Mr. Mallon joined PARI as a Research Specialist for the Maryland Human Trafficking Initiative. He has managed several projects and research studies designed to improve outcomes for child victims of human trafficking. Most notably, he has worked extensively with Maryland’s Child Trafficking Regional Navigator Programs and has led research efforts on the issue of child labor trafficking which contributed to changes in policy for how child welfare systems and Regional Navigators respond to those reports and meet the needs of those youth. Mr. Mallon is also an Advisor to the University of Maryland SAFE Center; a multidisciplinary service center for survivors of human trafficking and initiative of the University of Maryland Strategic Partnership: MPowering the State (a collaboration between UMB and the University of Maryland, College Park).
Briana McNemar, MS, Clinical Research Specialis
Briana McNemar (She/ Her) is a PClinical Research Specialist
for the Prevention of Adolescent Risks Initiative (PARI) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore School of Social Work. She possesses over ten years of experience working with vulnerable and at-risk youth and families. Briana currently coordinates the Maryland Human Trafficking Initiative where she supports statewide efforts to improve outcomes for children and youth victims of human trafficking. Prior to her role at PARI, she served as a Program Manager for the Howard County Office of Human Trafficking Prevention where she focused on local system improvements, providing training and public awareness, protocol development and fostering a coordinated response between law enforcement, service providers and community stakeholders to address human trafficking at the local level. Briana holds a Master's degree in Forensic and Legal Psychology from Marymount University, with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Criminology from Drury University.