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Professor Jana Arsovska Awarded W.E.B Dubois Fellowship from the National Institute of Justice

Assistant Professor Jana Arsovska of the John Jay Department of Sociology has been awarded a prestigious W.E.B. DuBois Fellowship from the National Institute of Justice. The two-year, $100,000 award will allow her to expand her exploration of what she says is an understudied area: Albanian organized crime.

Professor Arsovska, who teaches criminology and international criminal justice, will investigate “Culture, Migration and Transnational Crime: Ethnic Albanian Organized Crime in New York." In particular, she will focus on two New York City neighborhoods that are home to large Albanian immigrant populations – the Belmont section of the Bronx, and Ridgewood, Queens.

“The research project seeks to answer how organized crime groups operate across territories,” she explained. “Ethnic Albanian organized crime in New York City is identified as a serious problem by law enforcement agencies, and this is a highly understudied topic.”

Albanian organized-crime groups dominate some criminal markets on five continents, Professor Arsovska noted, and Sicilians mobsters will often hire ethnic Albanians as hitmen because of their penchant for extreme violence.

Through her research, Professor Arsovska hopes to provide policy makers and law enforcement officials with knowledge that can be used to develop balanced, effective and human rights-centered policies for fighting organized crime.

Professor Arsovska is a native of Macedonia who earned her PhD in Criminology from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium in 2009 and joined the sociology department at John Jay that same year. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Standing Group on Organised Crime and co-editor of the SGOC Newsletter.

The DuBois Fellowship provides talented researchers early in their professional careers with the opportunity to elevate independently generated research and ideas to the level of national discussion, according to the NIJ. The Fellowship places particular emphasis on crime, violence and the administration of justice in diverse social and cultural contexts.

The award marks the second time a John Jay faculty member has won a DuBois Fellowship. Professor Hung-en Sung of the Department of Criminal Justice won the award in 2010.The fellowship program was created under former NIJ Director Jeremy Travis, who is now the President of John Jay.

About John Jay College of Criminal Justice: An international leader in educating for justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit