Community / June 10, 2024

Serving the Community Beyond Campus

Students, Faculty Use Business Expertise to Fight Fraud, Educate Local High Schoolers

Having an impact in the community is an important part of the Smith School’s mission—and Smith faculty and students are striving to make an impact in their work, both in and out of the classroom. Together they are assisting vulnerable communities, helping small businesses in the region, and bringing business education to high school students.

Justice for Fraud Victims

In this collaboration between the Smith School, the Prince George’s County Financial Crimes Unit and the county State’s Attorney’s Office, Smith students provide pro bono forensic accounting and analytics to investigate financial fraud, often involving vulnerable underserved populations. The program also hosted a free fraud prevention seminar for businesses in November 2023. Recently the program started offering free risk assessments for small businesses and nonprofits, which Samuel Handwerger, accounting lecturer and program director, says are most vulnerable because of their size. “We can help find and institute easy mitigating controls without increasing the organization’s budget,” he says.

JA Entrepreneurship Summit

Last summer, a group of Maryland high school students from Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties participated in this 12-week program to build new ventures, hosted by Smith’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship with Junior Achievement of Greater Washington. The program culminated with the Entrepreneurship Summit Final Pitch Competition. “The students launched and ran two businesses, pitching to investors for funds and selling to customers at Union Market in Washington, D.C.,” says Dingman Managing Director Michael Hoffmeyer.

Business Institute Program

In fall 2024, the Smith School will kick off the Business Institute Program. The program offers rigorous sessions on leadership, corporate management and entrepreneurship for students from Crossland and Potomac High Schools in Prince George’s County, Md.

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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