SOP Faculty Member Receives University Diversity Award
Outstanding Faculty Award presented during Black History Month event in recognition of volunteer work performed by pharmacy practice and science faculty member.
By Becky Ceraul
February 12, 2015
Charmaine Rochester, PharmD, CDE, BCPS, BCACP, associate professor of pharmacy practice and science at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, has received the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Martin Luther King, Jr. Diversity Recognition Award for Outstanding Faculty for her volunteer work with two organizations that help female victims of human trafficking. Rochester received the award during UMB’s Black History Month celebration on Feb. 4.
Rochester was recognized for her volunteer efforts through her church as director of its Women’s Missionary Union (WMU), a group that works with orphans, widows, and underserved female communities to help meet their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. One of the group’s activities involved volunteering with The Samaritan Women (TSW), a national Christian organization based in Baltimore that works to end human trafficking and provides supportive care to survivors. From 2012 to 2014, Rochester and WMU partnered with TSW on a variety of projects. One of the collaborations was a mentoring program for women rescued from human trafficking. They also provided the women with toiletries, meals, clothing, one-on-one mentoring, prayer, life skills education, and aid in spiritual recovery.
“Women in human trafficking are viewed by some cultures as the ‘dregs’ of society, and there are very few programs in Maryland working with these women,” says Rochester. “Our ministry taught these women that they are special and encouraged them to gain skills and to seek viable careers and employment. The women we’ve worked with are eventually able to walk confidently as they sought to reintegrate into society on a different level. As a leader, I have encouraged and inspired other women from a variety of churches to get involved in this ministry as a means of providing equality, justice, and opportunity for all. Women from other churches joined us on several occasions praying for and meeting the needs of the women.”
According to the Global Financial Integrity report from 2011, human trafficking represents an estimated $31.6 billion in international trade per year and is thought to be one of the fastest growing activities of international criminal organizations.
“Some of the women in our program are minorities, underserved, or from other countries and have no means of providing for themselves without the faithful support of a ministry like The Samaritan Women,” says Rochester. “The women we have helped were excited about the innovative programs that increase their skills, knowledge, and self-worth. Most of all, they are excited to find peace, joy, and love. I thank UMB for recognizing the hard work of the TSW and our organization and the difference we have made in the lives of these women.”