Research Assistants

Katherine Azcona

Katherine Azcona is currently a junior at John Jay College, majoring in Political Science and minoring in History. She is fluent in Spanish and intermediate in French. During her freshman and sophomore years, Katherine was a fellow for Organizing for America (aka Organizing for Obama) president Obama’s campaign organization for the NYC-metro area. She also had the opportunity to intern for Councilman Eirk Martin Dilan at the New York City Council office. She is very actively engaged in the activities at the college, such as being a member of the Democrats Club, Students for Justice in Palestine, Dominican Students Association. Recently, she became the secretary of the Middle Eastern Club, treasure of the United Nations Club and joined the peer ambassador program. Katherine intends on going to law school to study international law or attend grad school and study international relations. 

Richard BalkissoonRichard 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.


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.


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.