May 2021




Class of 2021 Valedictorian Alyssa Marie Nunziato came to John Jay in part because of her mother’s late-stage cancer diagnosis. “I wanted to make sure I went to college locally so I could be with her. In the beginning, I had some difficulty finding my own community on campus, but that changed when I received an email saying I was eligible to be a Peer Academic Advisor in the Academic Advisement Center. After my mother passed away, I was surrounded by the greatest of people. They were willing to sit with me, have long conversations, comfort me, and support my family and I during a very difficult time; it was a testament to the relationships we built together in the Center.” Read More





When graduating senior and salutatorian Mia Anderton ’21 found out that she wouldn’t be able to study abroad due to the pandemic, she buckled down and set the ultimate challenge for herself: graduate a year early, earn a perfect 4.0 GPA, and double major in Forensic Psychology and Criminology. “My next goal is to get my Ph.D. in Psychology. I’m interested in working with the inmate population as an expert witness in their trials and possibly working for the defense team when it comes to sentencing.” Read More





John Anthony François ’21 is about to embark on a new chapter in his academic life, attending Stanford University School of Medicine to earn a Ph.D. in Immunology. “My goal is to find less-invasive, more tolerable alternatives to the standard chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery that we use today,” he says. His desire to make a positive change in the field of cancer research comes from his own lived experience. “I had Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma when I was 17 years old and I had to get chemo.” Read More





Jasmine Jackson ’21 is the first in her family to get into grad school. She’s already enrolled in a master’s degree program at Fordham University and has a job lined up at their Student Association for Mental Health. Jackson attributes much of her success to CUSP (Completion for Upper-division Student Program). “Without CUSP, I definitely wouldn’t be where I am right now,” she says. “CUSP made sure that I was prepared and ready for life after graduation, and I couldn’t be more thankful for it.”





Keiann Simon ’21, a Forensic Science major, PRISM graduating senior, and self-described “science nerd” is preparing to transform the forensic science practices of an entire nation. “My plan is to go back home to Guyana and have an impact on the forensic science industry there and across the Caribbean by building on the forensic science systems they currently have in place. It’s important that these countries have access to testing facilities, adequate equipment, and continuing education to ensure that those impacted by the criminal justice system are being treated fair and just.” Read More





At 41 years old, Jannkarlos Vargas ’21 is accomplishing something no one in his family has ever accomplished—he’s earning his bachelor’s degree. “In middle school and high school, I thought I was like all the other students. When I approached my parents about getting my license, they sat me down and said, ‘No, you can’t do that because you’re undocumented and we don’t have a social security number for you.’ I understood what they were saying, but I didn’t realize the full impact that my status would have on my life. It took me 15 years to finish what students normally complete in four to six years because there were so many obstacles with my immigration status.” Read More





When the Covid-19 health crisis led to shutting down schools and businesses across New York City, SEEK graduating senior Sarah M. Dorismond ’21 lost her job and found herself homeless. “The pandemic was beyond challenging, but I didn’t come this far just to quit, especially during my final year. I was motivated to keep going. I slept on friends’ couches, found myself a full-time job, and continued my five classes at the College. It wasn’t easy, but I was determined to graduate.” Read More





Growing up in Panama City, Panama, Estefania Solis ’21 never foresaw herself working at a vaccination site during a global pandemic, but she did envision herself working for a federal agency or possibly going to law school. Once she found John Jay, she knew it was the gateway to her future. “I heard about this school being one of the best in the field, and I’ve always loved New York City and saw myself ending up here in the future. I wanted to do something different and decided to take this journey by myself and start from scratch—of course, with the support of my family.” Read More





During the American Psychological Association’s Spring governance meeting earlier this month, Susan Opotow, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology at John Jay, was awarded an APA Presidential Citation for her commitment to identifying and eliminating all forms of social injustice. The Presidential Citation from the APA is awarded to outstanding APA psychologists, organizations, and programs.


Maria Victoria Pérez-Ríos, Ph.D., Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, helped guide John Jay’s United Nations Student Association to several wins at the 2021 National Model United Nations Conference last month. John Jay’s United Nations Student Association won the Outstanding Delegation award, as well as two peer awards and three position paper awards.


The Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study has named Alisse Waterston, Ph.D., Presidential Scholar and Professor of Anthropology at John Jay, a Fellow for the 2021-2022 academic year. Waterston is also a non-resident long-term Fellow for Programmes in Transnational Processes, Structural Violence and Inequality, SCAS.


Professor of Psychology Kevin Nadal, Ph.D., has launched a new column with Psychology Today, called “Psychology for the People,” where he discusses “psychology, social justice, and everything in between.”


Associate Professor of History Itai Sneh, Ph.D., has published a review article for Shalom Goldman’s, Starstruck in the Promised Land: How the Arts Shaped American Passions about Israel. He’s also been busy on the conference circuit presenting at the Annual Meeting of the New England Political Science Association and CUNY’s Conference on Climate Change Education. Next month, he’ll present “Studying Cold War as a Transnational History: Eastern Europe as a Case Study for Human Rights Advocates” at the International Studies Association Joint Human Rights 2021 Conference.


Class Notes

Sean Quinn (M.S. ’06) has been appointed the next Chief of Police for the Glen Ridge Police Department (GRPD) in New Jersey. Quinn has been a captain in the GRPD since 2016 and has worked with the department since 2007.


Craig Trainor (B.A. ’01) recently had his academic article on reforming the cash bail system published in The Federalist Society Review. He also submitted written testimony on the same subject for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights’ public hearing: “The Civil Rights Implication of Cash Bail” earlier this year. 


In Memoriam

John Jay has lost a beloved member of our community with the passing of Dr. Rubie Smith Malone, Professor Emeritus and former Assistant Vice President for Strategic Planning and Outcomes Assessment. Starting her career in CUNY in 1973, she made her way to John Jay in 1978 where she dedicated every effort to her students and the John Jay College community. In any role she took on, whether it was SEEK counselor, faculty advisor, mentor, professor, or member of the College’s executive staff, her devotion to John Jay College, its students, and its mission of educating for justice was undeniable. We send our heartfelt condolences to Dr. Malone’s family and friends. In lieu of flowers, the Malone family is asking for contributions to be made to the James and Rubie Malone Scholarship. The scholarship was established by Dr. Malone and her husband, Dr. James Malone, the College’s first Vice President for Administrative Affairs.


We are saddened to announce the passing of Marcia Yarmus, Associate Professor Emeritus of Foreign Languages at John Jay College. She had a long and outstanding career at John Jay, beginning her time at the College in 1965 until her retirement in 2009. We send our heartfelt condolences to Professor Yarmus’ family, friends, and colleagues during this difficult time.


We regret to announce the passing of Timothy Stroup, Professor of Philosophy at John Jay College. A moral philosopher and world expert on Edward Westermarck, Professor Stroup developed an ethical theory inspired by Westermarck, and his search for justice manifested through his teaching. In honor of Stroup’s memory and his commitment to serving people with limited access to health care, you can donate to Partners in Health. We offer our sincere condolences to Professor Stroup’s family and friends. You can also share condolences with the family on Professor Stroup’s tribute wall, at





Tuesday, June 1 to Friday, July 30

Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery Viewing Room

Modern art has always stood against social injustice, communal exploitation and political corruption—from the Dadaists to feminist art of the ’70s, and from the early 20th century Russian avant-garde to the Situationists of the ’60s. Today, active and political art is vital for the well-being of the social continuum during a fluctuating age of cultural delirium. For more information on this virtual exhibition, contact:


Wednesday, June 2

5:00 p.m. | Zoom

Join John Jay College’s Institute for Justice and Opportunity for a training on ranked choice voting in New York City. The training will answer several questions including: Who is eligible to vote? Can you vote while on parole? What is ranked choice voting and how does it work? Register for the training in advance.


Thursday, June 3

8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

How can we loosen the grip of toxic polarization and start working on our most pressing problems? “The Way Out” offers an escape from this morass and explores how conflict resolution and complexity science provide guidance for dealing with seemingly intractable political differences. Special guest: Dr. Peter T. Coleman, Professor of Psychology and Education at Columbia University, and renowned expert on constructive conflict resolution and sustainable peace. To RVSP contact:


Wednesday, June 9

5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Information Session: COOP Careers

Interested in starting a career in digital marketing or data analytics? The COOP journey begins with an intense evening apprenticeship. Cohorts meet for four months (200 hours) to learn technical skills, build community, and pursue full-time positions in digital marketing and data analytics. Register in advance.


Thursday, June 10

1:30 p.m. to 2:35 p.m. | Microsoft Teams

Career Services and Microsoft have teamed up to provide John Jay students with career readiness skills. This four-session series will provide you with skills that you can add to your resume to increase your value to employers. Contact Stacia Maynard or Jessica Lawes at for more information.










Please keep us informed of your whereabouts by sending us your updated contact information.

This helps us keep you informed about events and opportunities in your area.

New baby?

Just married?

Career updates?

Share your good news to include

in our class notes.






Send your faculty and staff updates to:



John Jay College | 524 West 59th Street, New York, NY 10019

Trusted Email from Constant Contact - Try it FREE today.