March 2021




In honor of Women’s History Month, we were excited to feature Patricia MacDonald ’20, Deputy Inspector, Intelligence Bureau, and a graduate of the New York Police Department Executive Master’s Program, in our “Behind the Badge” article series. Read More





Letitia “Tish” James, the 67th Attorney General for the State of New York, is no stranger to John Jay, she’s visited often, and positively impacted members of our community. James, the first woman to be elected Attorney General, joined us on March 22 for a conversation with President Karol V. Mason, where she spoke about the power of women, her journey in public service, and her goals for the future. Read More





In celebration of Women’s History Month, members of our community have taken the time to recognize some very special “John Jay Heroines” among us. These talented women inspire us every day through their innovative thinking, strength, good humor, resiliency, determination, and empathy. Read More





Science Professor Elise Champeil, Ph.D., a bio-organic chemist, has been teaching at John Jay for over 15 years, and for much of that time, as she has guided our students through challenging organic chemistry classes, she’s also been researching ways to make chemotherapeutics more effective at killing cancer cells. Read More





NYC Votes has announced the broadcast sponsors and schedule for the 2021 citywide Debate Program. Spectrum News NY1, WABC-TV, and WNBC-TV will each air live mayoral and comptroller debates ahead of the primary election on June 22. Each debate will be co-hosted by partner media outlets and leading civic and higher education organizations in New York City, including John Jay. Read More





When Benjamin Bierman, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Music and Chair of the Art & Music Department, saw his Fall 2020 student evaluation comments, he was particularly proud of what the students had to say. “Great professor! Course material was organized and Professor Bierman was enthusiastic about teaching." Page after page of glowing reviews told Bierman one very critical thing, his students—even in a remote-learning environment—were connecting with him, the material, and the way the curriculum was presented. Read More





Political Science major and Macaulay Honors student, Elisa Mateo-Saja’s ’21 dream of working in a political office came true last spring when she interned for New York State Senator Robert Jackson. “I’ve always wanted to help uplift our underserved and underrepresented communities, so interning with someone like New York State Senator Robert Jackson was a wonderful, in-the-field opportunity,” says Mateo-Saja, who was able to witness firsthand the important role public officials play in the communities they represent. Read More





When Anthropology Professor Alisse Waterston, Ph.D., one of the founders of the Vera Fellows Program, was the President of the American Anthropological Association, she was tasked with the assignment of addressing her peers at the end of her tenure. “A thousand anthropologists were in the audience and I titled my talk ‘Four Stories: A Lament and An Affirmation,’” Waterston recalls. She didn’t know it then, but that speech would be the blueprint for her graphic narrative Light in Dark Times: The Human Search for Meaning. Read More





Michael Pfeifer, Ph.D., Professor of History, has published The Making of American Catholicism: Regional Culture and the Catholic Experience (New York University Press, 2021), which analyzes the role of region and transnational relationships in U.S. Catholic history and the experiences of African-American, Latinx, and European-descended Catholics in the U.S.


Janice Johnson Dias, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Sociology, has written Parent Like It Matters: How to Raise Joyful Changemaking Girls, published by Ballantine Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House. The book provides parents with tools and tips to raise optimistic, driven, and resilient girls who can change the world. 


Adjunct lecturer Vernice P. Miller directed “Bee Trapped Inside the Window,” a new play about human trafficking, written by Saviana Stanescu. The show, which explores the effects of this modern-day slavery and its impact on domestic workers and immigrants, was co-produced by HartBeat Ensemble and the Romanian Cultural Institute.


Professor of Sociology Amy Adamczyk, Ph.D., and the University of Norte Dame’s Christian Smith, Ph.D., have co-authored Handing Down the Faith: How Parents Pass Their Religion on to the Next Generation (Oxford University Press). The book, out April 2021, draws on interviews with parents from different religions and explores the reasons parents choose to pass on their religious beliefs to their children; the role of religion in immigrant communities; and how religion has transformed in America over the last 100 years.


An international comparative research study conducted by Irina Zakirova, Ph.D., Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Law, Police Science and Criminal Justice Administration, in collaboration with professors from Split University, Croatia, and Bournemouth University, UK, was recently published by the Scientific Research Publishing peer-reviewed journal, Beijing Law Review. “Utilizing Human Remains for Science: Ethical, Legal, and Scientific Issues in Croatia, United Kingdom, and the United States” examines the existing legal and ethical frameworks regarding human remains in the three countries. The data obtained from the study will serve as a basis for the creation of international guidelines for handling human skeletal remains.


Class Notes

Jasmin N. Morillo (B.A. ’18) was named the Special Education Coordinator and Department Chair at an all-girls middle school in Brooklyn, New York.


James W. Essig (B.A. ’98) has been promoted to Chief of Detectives for the NYPD.

A 38-year veteran of the force, Essig was most recently commanding officer of the Office of the Police Commissioner and had previously led the NYPD's Gun Violence Suppression Division.





Monday, April 5

6:00 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. | Zoom

Inspired Entrepreneurs

Join us for a discussion with John Jay’s graduate alumni entrepreneurs to learn from their experiences. Contact the Office of Alumni Relations ( for more information.


Tuesday, April 6

4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. | Zoom

Richard Haw, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at John Jay, will speak on his recent book, Engineering America: The Life and Times of John A. Roebling. The book is the most comprehensive biography of John Roebling, one of the 19th century's most brilliant engineers, inventors, and manufacturers, and the designer of the Brooklyn Bridge.


6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Human Rights and International Criminal Justice: A Panel Discussion

Join us for a discussion about careers in human rights and international criminal justice. Contact the Office of Alumni Relations ( for more information.


Wednesday, April 7

6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Learn about the biases that members of the LGBTQ+ community face in the workforce and how to become a better ally. Contact the Office of Alumni Relations ( for more information.


Thursday, April 8

8:30 p.m. | Eventbrite

The play, written by Gloria Browne-Marshall, Professor of Constitutional Law, takes the Emmett Till murder into the 21st century when elderly Carolyn Bryant must confront the lie that led to 14-year-old Emmett’s murder. Immediately following the play, the play’s producer, The Law and Policy Group, Inc., will host a panel discussion focused on Emmett Till’s story and the aftermath of his murder.


Friday, April 9

3:00 p.m.

Jason Blazakis from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey will present his ongoing research on QAnon, conspiracy theories, and disinformation. 


Wednesday, April 14

1:40 p.m. | Zoom

This webinar will focus on CUNY’s role in facilitating solar energy, and energy storage in New York, and how CUNY Campuses have achieved large reductions in energy use.


Saturday, April 17 to Monday, April 19

The Condor and the Eagle follows the journey of four Indigenous leaders in their visits to the Eagle’s North and to the Condor’s South, to unite Indigenous peoples to end the ecocide driven by the extraction and burning of fossil fuels.


Tuesday, April 20

4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. | Zoom

Professor of Sociology Lila Kazemian, Ph.D., will speak about her recent book, Positive Growth and Redemption in Prison: Finding Light Behind Bars and Beyond. She will be joined by Jeremy Travis, Executive Vice President of Criminal Justice of Arnold Ventures and former President of John Jay College. The book draws on empirical research with long-term prisoners to explore the intricacies of positive transformation and desistance from crime behind bars and after release from prison.


Wednesday, April 21

3:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. | Zoom

The Office of Academic Affairs’ Racial Justice Research and Practice Dialogues series will continue with the final panel discussion of Spring 2021 on Racism in the Criminal Legal System. The event will feature esteemed guests Professor Jasmine Syedullah, Ph.D., Vassar College; Professor César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, University of Denver; and John Jay Latin American and Latinx Studies Chairperson José Luis Morín as moderator.


5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. | Zoom

Join us for an exciting discussion led by Danielle Officer, Senior Director of the JJC Center for Student Involvement & Leadership, on the seminal leadership text by authors Lee Bolman and Terrence Deal, that explains the powerful tool of “reframing.”


Thursday, April 22

1:40 p.m. to 2:55 p.m. | Zoom

This series of TLC Open Conversations, co-sponsored by John Jay’s Environmental Justice and Sustainability Program and the John Jay Teaching and Learning Center, will offer ideas, resources, and tools from experienced faculty, as well as perspectives from our students, for anybody interested in incorporating the topics into their courses.


Friday, April 23

3:00 p.m.

Fabien Carrié of Paris-Est Créteil University, and Laurent Bonelli of Paris Nanterre University, will join us for a discussion of extremism and counter-extremism in France.


Wednesday, April 28 to Thursday, May 6

Every year, John Jay College undergraduate and graduate students participate in the Research & Creativity Expo, displaying works that cover a multitude of disciplines and led by dedicated faculty. Projects range from one to two semester-long capstone projects, to long-term student-faculty collaborative work leading to publications, theses, or other proposals.


Thursday, April 29

5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. | Zoom

Learn more about the wide array of graduate programs at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY. The Office of Graduate Studies invites you to envision your goals through our renowned M.A., M.S., M.P.A., and Ph.D. programs. This virtual event will focus on the value of a John Jay graduate degree, advising on programs, and information on the admissions process.












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