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July/August 2021
Throughout his career New York City Fire Department (FDNY) Fire Marshal Ronald P. Bucca dedicated his life to helping others and serving his country. He was in the Army as a helicopter mechanic. After Vietnam he went into the Army Reserves, and then he got into the FDNY full time, says his son, also named Ronald “Ron” Bucca. “As he progressed within the fire department, he wanted to learn more about fire science and being a better professional. Read More
“I remember it being so surreal. People were jumping to their death from such a high place. I remember seeing one body bounce against a building and just break into pieces.” Amidst absolute pandemonium, Chong knew he had to get civilians away from the scene. “As I made my way to the North Tower, I was screaming at people to run. I was yelling, ‘Run north! Run away from the Towers!’” Read More
Back in March 2020, when Covid-19 was starting to deeply impact our city, there was a critical need for professional online training as our community quickly moved to a remote-learning environment. Fortunately for John Jay, our Department of Online Education & Support (DOES) stepped up to the challenge and created the Effective Practices for Online Teaching Workshop that successfully prepared over 340 faculty members. Read More
The newest book by Distinguished Professor of English, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, John Matteson, Ph.D., pulls a page right out of U.S. history. In A Worse Place Than Hell: How the Civil War Battle of Fredericksburg Changed a Nation, Matteson encapsulates the lives of five historical figures—Louisa May Alcott, Walt Whitman, Arthur Fuller, John Pelham, and Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.—detailing how their fateful encounters with the battle of Fredericksburg shaped their lives and the landscape of American history, literature, and politics. Read More
New York Police Department (NYPD) Crime Analyst Joanna Baranello ’20 proves that a passion for math and data can be quite helpful when fighting and preventing crime. “When I was in high school I loved watching TV shows like NCISCSI, and Law & Order. That was what really sparked my interest in law enforcement. Read More
Many of us know that the Port Authority Police Department (PAPD) keeps the major airports in New York and New Jersey safe, but what most of us don’t know is that they have their own Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighter (ARFF) Unit—of which alumnus Nigel Thompson ’98 is a proud member. “When people think of the Port Authority, they just think of the bus terminal, but there’s the seaports, the piers, the bridges, the tunnels, the World Trade Center, and airports. There’s a lot of different spaces that the Port Authority manages and has to keep safe,” says Thompson. Read More
Yareli Perez ’21, a Forensic Psychology major from Queens, New York, has her mind set on going to grad school to earn her doctorate in Psychology. This fall semester, she’s going to do something no one in her family has ever done—earn her bachelor’s degree—and she’s determined to keep that academic momentum going throughout grad school. Read More
U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Enforcement Specialist and former President of the John Jay Veterans Association, Michael Matos ’23 was just six years old when the tragic events of September 11 unfolded, yet he remembers how the selfless acts of heroism demonstrated that day inspired him to pursue a military career. “Joining the U.S. Coast Guard always felt like my calling,” says Matos. Read More
Dmitriy Shakhnevich, Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Law, Police Science and Criminal Justice Administration, has published A Discussion with F. Lee Bailey: An Interview with One of the Most Prolific Trial Lawyers of the 20th Century. The e-book is a transcription of Shakhnevich’s interview with high-profile criminal defense lawyer F. Lee Bailey, the most recognizable criminal defense lawyer of his era. 

Class Notes
Samantha Villazan (B.A. ’21) was recently named to the Board of Directors of the Open Door Family Medical Center, a health center that provides health care and mental-health wellness programs to individuals and families in Westchester, Putnam, and Ulster counties in New York. Villazan, who graduated with a degree in Forensic Psychology and is back at John Jay this fall to begin graduate studies, hopes to work as a mental health provider specifically helping children.
In July, Shari Ann Madho (B.A. ’07) was named Woman of the Month by the Professional Organization of Women of Excellence Recognized (P.O.W.E.R.) for her outstanding contributions and achievements in law. Madho is the co-owner and managing attorney of Legal Advocates, LLC, and is one of three women who run the Empower Women’s Networking Group, which helps women grow their businesses. 
John Mullin (B.S. ’97) was appointed Director of Code Compliance and Animal Services for the Forsyth County Government in Georgia. Mullin, who began his law enforcement career in 1997 with the Fulton County Police Department, brings with him over 20 years of law enforcement experience.
Earlier this summer, Jason Love (B.S. ’93) was sworn in as Chief of Detectives for the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, making history as the first Black man to hold the position. A 27-year veteran of the agency, Love will oversee about 110 officers, 100 civilian workers, and several hundred part-time officers, as he drives the department’s counterterrorism, community engagement, and intelligence initiatives. Love will also lead high-profile investigations and supervise the office’s internal affairs department. 

In Memoriam

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our student, Steven Acevedo, a senior at John Jay, majoring in Emergency Services Administration. He also worked as an EMT with the Fire Department of New York City.

We mourn the passing of a beloved John Jay student, Nayalith Vargas. She was a junior majoring in Criminal Justice.

With deep sadness we announce the passing of New Jersey State Police Lieutenant and John Jay alumnus Matthew Razukas (B.S. ’93). He proudly served the department and protected his community for more than 20 years.
U.S. Army Veteran, John Jay alumnus, and retired Deputy Inspector of the NYPD’s Patrol Borough Manhattan South, Pasquale Cama passed away in July. A devoted husband, father, grandfather, officer, and friend, he will be remembered for his service to the City of New York and for the deep love he had for his family.
John Jay College has suffered a great loss with the passing of Darryl Westcott-Marshall, a highly respected, valued, and much-loved member of our community. For over three decades Westcott-Marshall called John Jay home, sharing her warmth and wisdom with our students, faculty, and staff, and professionally taking on many roles including Administrative Officer in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, the role she was in when she retired in 2009.
Thursday, September 2
8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. | Zoom
John Wood, Jr., Ambassador of Braver Angels—America’s largest grassroots, bipartisan organization focused on political depolarization—will discuss the organization’s philosophy and techniques for brokering trust across the political divide, from kitchen tables to the halls of Congress, while also surveying the landscape of American political and racial polarization and the history that lies behind them.

Thursday, September 9
5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. | Zoom
Join John Jay College President Karol V. Mason and Ayman El-Mohandes, Dean of the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy, to hear the latest information from Pfizer experts—including John Jay alumnus Markus Green ’95, Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, Pfizer—about the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.
For more information, contact
Thursday, September 9
12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. | Jay Walk
Members of the John Jay College community will plant flags on the Jay Walk in honor of the souls lost on September 11, 2001.
Friday, September 10
12:00 p.m. | YouTube
Recall. Reflect. Reaffirm. 9/11 20th Anniversary Tribute Premier
On the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, John Jay College pays tribute to our fallen heroes in a special virtual YouTube ceremony.
Saturday, September 11 and Sunday, September 12
8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
In tribute to the victims of 9/11, join the John Jay Community at the Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Museum as they help pack a million meals for people in need.
For more information, contact
Tuesday, September 21
2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. | Zoom
Join us for an intriguing chat with alumnus Devin Carthan ’10, a Community Coordinator at the Department of Education and the Nightlife Manager for the Marcus Samuelsson Group’s flagship restaurant “The Red Rooster” in Harlem, New York.
Thursday, September 23
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. | Zoom
All are welcome to join this webinar featuring Mark Desire, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, New York City. During the event, we’ll learn about the deep commitment to 9/11 families, as the effort to identify the missing victims using forensic science continues. For more information, contact Professor Mechthild Prinz at
Tuesday, September 28
1:40 p.m. to 2:40 p.m. | Zoom
Seeing gaps, needs, opportunities, and challenges for the LGBTQ+ community in all stages of their careers, Dennis Velco launched as a professional networking platform for global LGBTQ+ professionals and entrepreneurs. Join our group discussion to learn how to put your best foot forward when seeking employment and gain tips on what to be aware of so that you can find an employer that values you for who you are. Register for the event.
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