November 2021




Growing up in the San Francisco Bay area, Psychology Professor Kevin Nadal, Ph.D., never envisioned himself becoming a college professor. Nevertheless, on October 25, 2021, it was announced that Nadal, the proud son of Filipino immigrants, was named a Distinguished Professor—making him the first Asian-American to hold the prestigious title at John Jay College. Read More





Christina Gonzalez ’21, a Cell and Molecular Biology major from Long Island, New York, has always been fascinated by scientific research. “When I was a teenager, one of my absolute favorite gifts was actually a microscope,” says Gonzalez, a Program for Research Initiatives in Science and Math (PRISM) student. Throughout her journey at John Jay College, Gonzalez has put that love of science to good use. Recently, she was awarded the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Undergraduate Presentation Award for using a bioinformatics approach while examining the interactions between green tea catechins (compounds) and microRNA molecules in breast carcinogenesis. Read More





Communication has always been at the center of U.S. Air Force veteran and graduate student Adrian Stone’s ’20, ’23 life. Growing up with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Stone, who is pursuing a master’s degree in Forensic Psychology, found it difficult to communicate with others, but he learned that by immersing himself in different cultures and learning new languages, a world of opportunities opened up for him. “Communicating was a struggle for me, so in many ways learning other languages is kind of a proxy for me to better communicate and learn how to think in different ways,” says Stone, who speaks English, Spanish, Japanese, German, Farsi, Dari, and a little bit of Russian. Read More





John Jay College of Criminal Justice is proud to be named a 2021 Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) Leader by the Fulbright Program in recognition of the College’s engagement with the Fulbright exchange and its dedication to providing Latinx students with opportunities that enrich their educational experience. “As one of the most diverse senior colleges in the City University of New York system, we are committed to helping our students develop a global perspective about issues of justice,” says John Jay College President Karol V. Mason. “We are proud that Fulbright sees our commitment to engaging more Latinx students in international study.” Read More





When alumna DeNora Getachew ’01, a Legal Studies major, attended John Jay, she was juggling a lot. The Bronx native was raising her son while earning her degree, but she always stayed focused on her ultimate goal: She was going to become a lawyer. “I knew that I wanted a school that was going to give me more exposure to the law in a meaningful way, and all of those roads led me to John Jay,” says Getachew. Read More





When the Black Lives Matter protests were at their height in 2020, international student Britania Walters ’22 noticed a disturbing trend among the crowd control methods being used by law enforcement. “They were using what’s called ‘less-lethal ammunition’ to keep the crowd under control. But protestors that were hit by this ammunition were emerging from the scene with real injuries,” explains Walters, a Program for Research Initiatives in Science and Math (PRISM) student. Read More





On September 11, 2001, both of Cassandra Rodriguez’s ’19, ’21 parents were police officers in the New York City Police Department (NYPD). It was their bravery—and the heroism of all the first responders that day—that led to her decision to join the military. “The NYPD was like family and when I was 18 years old, I enlisted in the United States Coast Guard,” says Rodriguez, a U.S. Coast Guard veteran and a winner of the T-Mobile Supplementary Scholarship for Veterans award. “I truly believe there is no greater calling in life than to serve your country. I was the first female from my high school to join the military and I did that because I truly wanted to be part of something larger than myself. Joining the Coast Guard felt like destiny.” Read More





When the Covid-19 pandemic forced the shutdown of all international travel, Laura Rodriguez ’23, a Criminology major from the Dominican Republic, thought her dream of having an experiential learning opportunity in South America was over. Luckily, she learned about international virtual internships—through John Jay’s International Studies & Study Abroad Programs—that would provide students like her with an engaging international learning experience without the travel. Read More





Retired NYPD Detective and Adjunct Assistant Professor Alfred S. Titus, Jr., Ph.D., has written a new children’s book The Police are Part of Our Community. The book aims to improve community-police relations and reduce children’s fear of the police.


Catherine “Cat” Alves has been named the new Athletics Director at John Jay College. Over the past nine years, Alves has worked with our Athletics Department in several different roles, including Deputy Director, Senior Associate Director, and Associate Director.


Professor of Constitutional Law Gloria J. Browne-Marshall recently participated in several prestigious panels. The first was at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, where she took part in a discussion on qualified immunity for police officers and whether it should be reformed or abolished. Next, the National Archives invited her to a panel discussion on “Slavery and the Constitutional Convention.” Most recently, she was invited to speak on racial bias at the 2021 Appellate Judges Education Institute Summit in Austin, Texas.


Legado a la Humanidad en Tiempos de la Pandemia, a book co-authored by Dean of Graduate Studies Elsa-Sofia Morote, Ed.D, Ph.D., was recently named the winner of Premio Iberoamericano de Literatura Hispana (International Award of Hispanic Literature) and Latino Book of the Year 2021, New York.


Stephen C. Russell, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History, has published an article “‘Slavery Dies Hard’: A Radical Perspective on the Morant Bay Rebellion in Jamaica” in Slavery & Abolition: A Journal of Slave and Post-Slave Studies. The article examines the journalism of Robert Johnson, a mixed-race Jamaican who migrated to New York in July 1865 and joined the staff of the New York Tribune. From New York, Johnson covered the Morant Bay Rebellion that broke out in Jamaica in October 1865, in which over 400 Black Jamaicans were brutally killed in a violent government suppression. Writing for American readers about to enter the Reconstruction Era, Johnson laid bare the legal mechanisms of white power still operating in Jamaica three decades after emancipation.



Class Notes


Rachel Love (M.P.A. ’20) was hired as a Project Development Coordinator for Personnel at the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.


Eric Adams (B.A. ’98) has been elected New York City’s new mayor. Adams, who will take office on January 1, 2022, previously had a 22-year career with the New York City Police Department (NYPD), was a New York State Senator, and most recently served as Brooklyn Borough President.


Roger J. Ward, Ed.D. (M.P.A. ’97) has been named Provost and Executive Vice President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Since 2020, he served in the roles in an interim capacity before the appointment. He was also named Dean of the Graduate School at the University in 2020. 



In Memoriam


We’re saddened by the passing of Marianne Giordani, Adjunct Assistant Professor of English. A much-loved member of our community since she came to John Jay in August 1992, Professor Giordani’s commitment to the College and her students was palpable. She will be greatly missed.





Wednesday, December 1

1:45 p.m. | Zoom

Join Professor Jodie Roure, Ph.D., Founder, Director, and Project Investigator of the Rising Scholars of Justice Pipeline Program, for “Defending and Advancing Latinx Rights” part of the Access to Justice Series. Special guest: Lourdes M. Rosado, President and General Counsel LatinoJustice PRLDEF. Register for the event at:


Thursday, December 2

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

The focus of this presentation is reflective practice, a process of learning from and through experience. During this discussion, guest speaker Michael Lang will share his 40-year experience in mediation and will address what is reflective practice; what are the benefits of the practice; what reflective practice groups (RPG) are and what practitioners gain from RPG. Learn more at:


Thursday, December 2

1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. | Zoom

Hear from those directly engaged in the battle for legislative oversight and documenting lessons from disasters. We will discuss the post-9/11 push for federal engagement in learning from the World Trade Center, post-Hurricane Katrina FEMA reforms, and proposed legislation to establish a National Disaster Safety Board. Speakers include advocates and current and past congressional staffers. Register in advance at:


Friday, December 3

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

These teach-ins are an opportunity to showcase specific departmental approaches to teaching social justice, and to share knowledge and experience that may benefit our teaching and learning community. RSVP here.


Thursday, December 9

4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. | Zoom

This virtual Forensic Science Graduate seminar will be led by Professor Mechthild Prinz, Ph.D., who will discuss DNA-led disaster victim identification and how forensic genetics solved challenges during the 9/11 effort. For the Zoom link, please email Professor Mechthild at


Monday, December 13

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

Join Professor Maria D’Agostino, Ph.D., and Director Yvonne Purdie as they chat with John Jay alumna Shauna-Kay Gooden ’04, Associate General Counsel for PVH Corp. 










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