Community Engagement

As an anchor institution in West Baltimore, UMB is committed to serving the community. Our experts in this area provide services and research and help develop important policies related to community and public health, pediatric health and development, patient-centered research, and a broad range of community-based social work outreach.

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Laura Allen, MA, MS, RN

Community and Public Health Nursing

Laura Allen oversees the Community and Public Health Environmental Initiative (CPHEI), a collaborative effort with the Maryland Family Network that provides health and environmental oversight for children from birth through age 5 and their families who are served by Baltimore City Early Head Start (EHS) and Head Start (HS) centers. Each semester, more than 25 students from the School of Nursing’s (SON) Bachelor of Science in Nursing, RN-to-BSN, entry Master of Science in Nursing, and Community/Public Health Nursing master’s specialty programs participate in CPHEI under her guidance. Allen also leads CPHEI’s growth, including overseeing the facilitation of health screenings and well-child exams for children in EHS and HS centers by SON advanced practice nursing students and clinical faculty.

C. Daniel Mullins, PhD

Pharmacoeconomics

Comparative Effectiveness Research

Health Disparities

Dr. Mullins’ research and teaching focus on community-engaged, patient-centered comparative effectiveness research to advance health equity. He has received funding as principal investigator from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Food and Drug Administration (through its CERSI initiative), the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), various pharmaceutical manufacturers, patient advocacy organizations, and the insurance industry. In addition to his faculty appointment, Dr. Mullins is executive director of The PATIENTS Program at the School of Pharmacy and director of the Community & Collaboration Core for the UMB Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, as well as editor-in-chief for the journal Value in Health.

Julia Scott, BA

Diversity

Equity

Ant-Racist Frameworks

Julia Scott develops diversity and inclusion-focused education, programs, and events for the School of Social Work’s faculty, staff, and students and the local community. She also works with Baltimore Racial Justice Action (BRJA), which collaborates with individuals and organizations to fight racism and other forms of institutional oppression. With BRJA, she serves as an Advisory Board member, primary trainer, and “13th of the Month” event co-coordinator. Her interest revolves around using anti-racist and anti-oppression frameworks to approach community building and leadership programming. Scott earned her bachelor’s degree in English literature from Morgan State University.

Wendy Shaia, MSW, EdD

Positive School Climate

Community Outreach

Wendy Shaia, Clinical Associate Professor and Executive Director of the Center for Restorative Change, is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Social Work. Wendy obtained her Doctor of Education in Human and Organizational Learning from The George Washington University. She has more than 20 years of experience developing, implementing, and leading organizations and programs. In New York, she developed and operated a shelter for homeless pregnant and parenting young women in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, and built transitional and affordable housing in East New York, Brooklyn. She provided technical assistance to community organizations for the Enterprise Foundation, and conducted the summative evaluation of the Red Cross’ long-term recovery effort after hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. Most recently, Wendy worked as a strategic planner for the Department of Defense, where she led change management efforts, and developed strategies around Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity. Wendy is also the co-founder of the Positive Schools Center at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. Her work focuses on creating positive school climate and reducing the disproportionate suspensions and expulsions of children of color and children with disabilities from Maryland schools, particularly where children, families and school staff have experienced, complex, secondary and vicarious trauma. Wendy has been trained in restorative practices by the International Institute for Restorative Practices and in mindfulness by the Center for Mindful Awareness. She is passionate about issues related to poverty, social justice and oppression. Wendy is on the Board of Directors of the Community Law Center.