February 26, 2015
Communications and Marketing
A Dana Center lecture hall was packed on February 23 when alumnus Michael Posanka, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security official, spoke about human trafficking. It is a serious problem globally, nationally, and locally, the 1997 criminal justice grad told more than 100 students, professors and college staff.
Every three minutes, a minor is sexually exploited in the United States. The average age a teen enters the sex trade in the U.S. is 12-14 years old.
He supplemented his presentation with a few short videos that show how easy it is to become trapped in a seemingly never-ending cycle.
"I'm really proud of the work we've done so far and the progress we've made with human trafficking," said Posanka, a supervisor for Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Psychology major Meagan DiDonato '15, said, "Human Trafficking is an issue in New England, especially Manchester, so I believe it is important to spread the word and educate our community. I hope by bringing this event to our campus, we can all come together to begin ending trafficking."
"Respecting human dignity for all is a huge part of our Catholic identity," said Joycelin Raho, Assistant Director of Campus Ministry. "Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery and is a current issue that isn't talked about. It really takes away the basic human dignity that everyone deserves and institutions of higher education should be talking about it."
The event was co-sponsored by Campus Ministry and the Criminal Justice Club. Following Posanka's presentation, students watched a PBS documentary, "A Path Appears." The documentary illuminates the problems in our own backyard as it examines the lives of women who escaped sex trafficking and have rebuilt their lives.
Aside from working on human trafficking cases, Posanka works closely with local law enforcement on eradicating child pornography, drugs, and more.
During his time as a student, Posanka interned with the Hillsborough County Attorney's office in Manchester. His current office is located across the street. "Everything has come full circle," he said.
Since graduating from Saint Anselm College, Posanka has worked in San Francisco, Washington D.C. and Boston.
- St. Anselm students told heroin epidemic, rise in prostitution linked (The Union Leader)
by Dominique Del Prete '15