June 2020




As a winner of the 2020 Fulbright U.S. Student Program Fellowship, John Jay alumna Shanell D. Bailey ’18 will head to the University of the West Indies at Mona, in Jamaica, to follow the development of the university’s Prison-to-College Pipeline Program and examine its impact on the social and economic mobility of those leaving the prison system. “I’m focused on the reentry and reintegration of system-impacted individuals because they are some of the most marginalized people in our society,” says Bailey. 





In the race to flatten the curve, EMS professionals such as John Jay alumnus and Adjunct Professor in the Security, Fire, and Emergency Management department Richard Sposa ’01, worked around the clock to acquire life-saving equipment for hospitals and expeditiously increase the number of beds and intensive care units for Covid-19 patients. Working in Bergen County, New Jersey, one of the hardest hit counties in the state, Sposa, Director of Englewood Health’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS), runs the hospital command center, where he ensures staff have enough personal protective equipment (PPE), and patients are cared for properly and safely. We spoke with Sposa to learn more about the Covid-19 response and how his John Jay education helped him handle the crisis. Read More





Alumna Reachelle Ramirez ’19 has always dreamed of becoming a lawyer, and after being accepted to 15 law schools, she’s about to make that dream come true. This past April, amid the statewide coronavirus lockdown, Ramirez took to social media to announce her choice to the John Jay community. “I’ve chosen to go to CUNY School of Law. I’m going to be a CUNY girl for life,” declared Ramirez, who lives in Flushing, New York. “I’m interested in working in Family Law and with the Queens County District Attorney’s office. I’m really passionate about juvenile rights. That comes from my time working with underserved kids and teenagers.” Read More





With over 30 years of experience as a paramedic, George Contreras, an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Master of Science in Emergency Management program at John Jay, knows the mental toll working on the front lines of the Covid-19 health crisis can take on EMS practitioners. “In my entire career, I’ve never seen anything like what we’re seeing now with Covid-19,” says Contreras. “As paramedics and EMTs, we’re seeing so many people die day after day. With our new protocols, when we respond to an incident, after 20 minutes of CPR, if there’s been no change in the patient, we have to declare the person dead. Everything in you wants to keep working and keep fighting to bring this person back because you know that this is someone’s mom, dad, brother, sister, or grandparent, but sadly, this is our new reality, and after 20 minutes, we have to stop trying to resuscitate.” Read More





At John Jay, we’re fostering an environment that promotes inclusivity, celebrates our differences, and believes in justice for all. In honor of Pride month, we’re commemorating and acknowledging the resiliency, strength, dignity, and beauty of John Jay’s LGBTQ+ community. The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to uphold the rights of the LGBTQ+ community and protect them from workplace discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity was a victory for fairness, for all. Sam Ascencio ’22, an English major and Vice President of John Jay’s LGBTQ+ Allies Club, shares his feelings about the landmark decision. Read More





Yuliya Zabyelina, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Political Science at John Jay College, has spent the vast majority of her career researching and examining transnational organized crime, including its increased involvement in mining activities since the 1990s. In the forthcoming book Illegal Mining: Organized Crime, Corruption, and Ecocide in a Resource-Scarce World, Zabyelina, and co-editor Daan von Uhm, help shine a light on some of these criminal acts. Read More





DeCarlos Hines, President of John Jay’s Black Student Union (BSU), knows that when it comes to fighting institutionalized racism, the process for finding solutions has to be bold, strategic, and collaborative. After witnessing multiple Black people being unjustifiably killed in our country, the BSU Executive Board put together a powerful town hall called “What’s Next: Leading the Way in Police Reform” and they wrote a letter to President Karol V. Mason detailing a very specific set of suggestions that could make our curriculum and campus community more inclusive and racially sensitive. Read More





Michelle Nairne ’21, a Law and Society major from Queens, New York, has seen too many acts of violence committed against Black people in her short 19 years of life. As a Black woman, Nairne has learned to process the fear and trauma she’s feeling, while also educating those around her about the Black experience in America. Nairne examines how she handles that education process, and how she’s learned to appreciate true allies. Read More





Professor José Luis Morín, Chairperson of the Department of Latin American and Latinx Studies (LLS), has created the Elisa Morín Scholarship to honor his mother, Mrs. Elisa Morín (1930-2020), and all mothers of Latin American origin who work hard and make great sacrifices so that their children will know a better life. The scholarship will support a first-generation student, regardless of immigration status, who is majoring or minoring in Latin American and Latinx Studies and who is committed to public service and social justice. To donate to the scholarship, click here.


A proposal by Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness, Allison Pease, Ph.D., to retrain Humanities faculty in creating effective online courses, was funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities NEH CARES Act. 


Biology Professor Angelique Corthals, Ph.D., was part of two separate teams that were each awarded a rapid response grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study different aspects of Covid-19. In an effort to explain why bats carry coronavirus but don't seem affected by it, Corthals will study how genes not directly involved in the immune response could still impact the performance of the immune system when it’s under stress.


Professor Aftab Ahmad, Ph.D., and Professor Muath Obaidat guided John Jay’s ISACA Cybersecurity Club to a third place victory at the Cybersecurity Case Competition hosted by the ISACA NY-Metropolitan Chapter. 



Class Notes

Craig Trainor ’01 was appointed to the New York Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. As a member of the committee he will advise the Commission on civil rights matters, such as criminal justice issues, police practices, voting rights, and fair housing matters in the State of New York.


Natoya L. McGhie ’06 has been named President of the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association. She’s the second Black President in the Association’s 100+ year history. 




In Memoriam 

Ret. Lt. James H. Gebhardt ’69 passed away last month after a brief illness. A proud graduate of John Jay, Gebhardt served in the U.S. Navy and was a celebrated member of the NYPD. John Jay College offers its condolences to Gebhardt’s daughters Lori and Lee, his sisters, his grandchildren, and the rest of his adoring family. 


Donald Hoffman, Ph.D., an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Sciences passed away due to Covid-19. He came to John Jay 44 years ago to teach a graduate course in Toxicology and over the years taught more than 3,000 students. The Donald B. Hoffman Memorial Scholarship in Toxicology has been established in his honor and will support an outstanding undergraduate student majoring in Toxicology or Forensic Science with a concentration in Forensic Toxicology. To donate to the scholarship, click here.


We are saddened to report that Thomas Reppetto, Ph.D., a faculty member in the Department of Law and Police Science, has passed away from congestive heart failure. Reppetto was a former Chicago police officer, who authored several books on the history of policing, and was appointed the first president of the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City. Our hearts go out to his friends and family at this time.


Raymond Pitt, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Sociology, has passed away. Throughout his career, Pitt was committed to the development of sensitive, humane policies and practices in the treatment of mental illness. At John Jay, he led a team of faculty in developing and implementing training programs for police officers, who are often the first to respond to crisis situations involving mentally ill persons. We send our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends on their loss.





Wednesday, July 1

1:45-2:45 p.m. | Zoom

Participate in this workshop if you are looking to build your professional network during these virtual times. We’ll discuss how to build a LinkedIn profile, how to use LinkedIn to connect with professionals, how to search for positions, and how to use other social media platforms to connect with companies. Click here to register.


Thursday, July 2

8:00 a.m. | Zoom

The CUNY Dispute Resolution Center at John Jay College and the Association for Conflict Resolution of Greater New York present The Ubiquitous Work of Conflict Resolution: Finding Applications in Every Field. In this talk, David J. Smith will share his ideas on the range of disciplines and applications for careers for those interested in resolving and managing conflict and building peace. RSVP: mvolpe@jjay.cuny.edu


Wednesday, August 26

4:00-5:00 p.m.

You must register in advance for this workshop. Click here to register.














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