Regional human services conference comes to AACC


Photo by Roxanne Ready

Human services students from AACC volunteered to help the college host the Mid-Atlantic Consortium for Human Services’ 2018 conference.

Roxanne Ready, Editor-in-Chief

AACC students and faculty hosted an annual three-day human services conference over the weekend.

Friday through Sunday, students attended the Mid-Atlantic Consortium for Human Services. Attendees engaged in workshops and discussions about the field of human services, which includes a broad range of counseling and social work.

“This conference is designed for students to get a taste of what it’s like to go to a [professional] conference,” human services professor Sara Meinsler, who helped organize the event, said.

AACC—which co-hosted this year’s event alongside Stevenson University and Community College of Baltimore County, Essex—last hosted the conference on college grounds in 2010.

“[Volunteering for this is] something that I’ve been wanting to do for probably the last two years,” Kenyatta Cully, a second-year human services and addiction counseling student, said while helping set up one of the event rooms. “So this year when I saw that it was going to be here at the college, I was like, ‘Oh, well here’s my opportunity.’”

“I am very excited to hear all the speakers [and] to meet more fellow human services students,” Alix Kinsey, a second-year human services student and event volunteer, said before the conference.

About 23 student volunteers, most studying the fields of human services or addiction counseling, helped prepare the college for the conference, according to Meinsler.

“We could not have done this conference without them,” Meinsler said. “The ‘troops’ from our students are just fabulous.”

Saturday morning featured keynote speaker, Tonier Cain, the author of “Healing Neen” and subject of a 2010 documentary by the same name. Both the book and movie tell her story of working through abuse and drug addiction to become an author, speaker and educator.

“Her story is just absolutely really cool, so we were very fortunate to get her,” Meinsler said.

After the keynote, attendees chose from 15 workshops in three sessions, covering topics ranging from addiction counseling to issues of sexual orientation and race.

Following breakfast on Sunday, the conference closed with a speech by art curator and social commentator Lindsay Howard.

About 60 people attended the conference, according to Meinsler.