Research Assistants

Richard Balkissoon Richard Balkissoon

Before joining John Jay College, Richard Balkissoon received an Associate’s degree in Computer Science in his native country, Guyana. He is currently the Center’s webmaster and also an upper junior pursuing a Bachelor’s of Arts in Computer Science in the Criminal Justice field. Richard’s web related skills include the following: web development, graphic designing, building and repairing computers, and surveillance systems installation. In the future, he hopes to pursue a career in Computer Forensics.
Projects Areas 2014-2015: Website



IMG_1524Steff Chavez

Steff graduated from the Ethical Culture Fieldston School here in New York City in 2013 and is currently a student at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME. For the previous two summers Steff was an intern at Bloomberg, LP where she worked in the core product news department. At Fieldston Steff helped organize multiple day-long events involving workshops and guest speakers in which the entire school participated. One event, for example, centered around the experience of war and Steff led a panel of veterans who shared their various experiences as soldiers. At Bowdoin Steff is a features writer for the student newspaper The Orient and has helped organize campus-wide academic and social events as a College House member.



cihr picture Caitlin Fung 

Caitlin Fung is a senior at John Jay College majoring in international criminal justice and minoring in psychology. She is also a student in the John Jay Honors Program and was a 2012 New York Needs You fellow. As part of the New York Needs You Fellowship program, Caitlin completed two internships with the New York County District Attorney’s Office and Morgan Stanley. Caitlin hopes to attend law school and pursue a career practicing criminal law. 



ChavelChavel Guzman

Chavel Guzman is a senior majoring in Forensic Psychology and minoring in Human Services. She is the current president of National Alliance of Mental Illness Club. Chavel has been a research assistant in Dr. Demis Glasford’s Social Psychology Lab and Dr. Sylvia Mazzula’s Racial and Cultural Psychology Laboratory. Chavel is also a McNair Scholar. As a McNair scholar, she is conducting her independent research study on mental health disparities between Hispanics and Whites. Chavel has presented her research in conferences in Atlanta and Wiscosin. Chavel was also part of the Peer Counseling Program.  As part of the peer-counseling program, she provided peer adjustment services for students at John Jay and prepared outreach events for the Counseling Department. In the future, Chavel plans to attend graduate school to obtain a PhD in Counseling Psychology. For now, she is going to complete her masters in Mental Health Counseling at Boston College. 


Brenda Gonzalez

Brenda Gonzalez

Brenda Gonzalez is currently a senior at John Jay College, majoring in International Criminal Justice and minoring in Political Science and Human Rights. She is a transfer student from Pace University with an intended major in Acting. During her freshman and sophmore year she interned with the Legal Aid Society in Queen and Brooklyn, at the Brooklyn’s District Attorney’s Office and under Judge Ingrid Joseph at Brooklyn’s Supreme Court. During the upcoming school year she will participate in the United Nations Student Association as the secretary of thr John Jay College team. She has also been awarded  as a Vera Fellow for the upcoming school year to intern at Fedcap focusing on the reintegration of newly released inmates. In the future, she hopes to pursue a legal career in human trafficking and immigration law.


 Marina Kumskova

Before joining John Jay College, Marina Kumskova received a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics with a minor in German in her native country of Russia, where she was working as a translator. She is fluent in German, English and Russian, familiar in basic Spanish. Marina is currently getting a second degree in International Criminal Justice with minors in Art and Human Rights at John Jay College. Her interests in human rights began in her own country, when she became a witness of human rights violations. Last year, Marina volunteered for the United Nations as a Content Creator for Seeds Theater Group located in Papua New Guinea. She is particularly interested in exploring the following issues: quality of education in developing countries, women’s rights, religious freedom, violence against children, developing art as a part of the educational process. In the future, Marina plans to attend graduate school in the areas of Human Rights and International Relations.

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Kortney Mazzante

Kortney Mazzante graduated from The Pennsylvania State University and is in her last semester of the Forensic Psychology Master’s Program at John Jay. She has made the graduate dean’s list each semester, is conducting research on mental health training received by correctional officers, and externing as a Forensic Case Manager at EAC Brooklyn Link. Kortney is secretary of NAMI on campus at John Jay, a member of the Psi Chi Honor Society, as well as a member of APA, SPSSI, and IACFO. Last summer, she was a mentor for both previously incarcerated men and young girls living in underdeveloped areas. Kortney intends to work in the area of re-entry and possibly pursue a Ph.D. 





CIHR picture-1Dan Minervini

Dan Minervini is a senior in Honors Program  at John Jay College majoring in International Criminal Justice. He completed an internship with the Long Island regional office for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in the Fall of 2014 and is a director for both the American Theatre Organ Society and its local chapter, the New York Theatre Organ Society. Dan hopes to pursue a career in law enforcement after graduation.





KehindeKehinde Oladele

Kehinde Oladele is currently an Upper Junior majoring in Forensic Psychology and minoring in Human Services (Counseling). In the Summer of 2014, she was accepted into the McNair Post baccalaureate Achievement Research Program. As a first year McNair Scholar, she is interested in researching interracial couples and is currently working on her proposal and submitting her IRB. Additionally to her own research, Kehinde works in a Social and Clinical Psychology research labs and has worked on other research projects in the past. Kehinde is interested in obtaining her PhD. in Counseling Psychology. As a way of gaining experience for her future endeavors, Kehinde is training to become a Peer counselor at John Jay. In her spare time, she interns at a Psychiatric Out Patient Provider that caters to people with Schizophrenia. As a mental health advocate, Kehinde has found it her duty to educate and promote awareness for mental disorders on John Jay’s Campus, which is also why she has taken the position of Vice President for National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Lastly, Kehinde has contributed to the award winning Model United Nations team  at John Jay in 2014 as researcher and is returning  this year as a delegate. 

Nikolaos Petropoulos

Nikolaos Petropoulos is a PhD student in the Criminal Justice Doctoral Program at the CUNY Graduate Center. He holds a MA in Criminal Justice from John Jay College/CUNY. He also holds a second MA from the University of Athens in European Law, a third MA from Panteion University of Athens in Criminal Law, a fourth MsC from the University of Athens in Crisis Management and a fifth MA from the Panteion University of Athens in Public Administration. His research interests include crime and illegal immigration, terrorism and human rights, homeland security. He speaks Greek, English, Spanish and Italian.
Projects Areas 2013-2014: Migration and Security, UN Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights, Human Rights Seminar Series

Tricia Ramcharit
Tricia Ramcharit

Tricia Ramcharit is currently a junior majoring in Law & Society and minoring in both English and Human Rights. As a CUNY Service Corp alumni, she interned at Midtown Community Court with the Dad’s United for Parenting program and actively participates in community service projects throughout the year. During her sophomore year, she joined the Peer Ambassador Leadership Program, National Model United Nations club, Women’s Empowerment Society, and became a Ronald H. Brown Law Prep fellow. She has also interned with Honorable Judge Ramseur at the Bronx County Criminal Court and interned at Queens Law Associates. Tricia plans to attend law school and is interested in achieving a JD/PhD focusing on Human Rights.