Research Assistants

Research Assistants



Joya Ferrell

Joya Ferrell is a PhD student at the Department of Law of the Free University of Berlin. Her thesis combines the theory of criminal law and constitutional law by investigating the prerequisites and limits of the protection of constitutional rights and principles through criminal law, with particular attention to the principles of democracy and the rule of law. This also includes questions of the criminal liability of government agents in regards to constitutional violations. Prior to her PhD, she completed her law studies at the University of Heidelberg and the Free University of Berlin. Her research interests include the interplay between criminal law and constitutional rights, criminal procedural law, legal theory and legal philosophy.

Elisa Voltarelli languas

Elisa Voltarelli-Languas

Elisa Voltarelli Ianguas is a graduate student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice – CUNY working towards her MA in Human Rights, as well as a Research Assistant at the Center for International Human Rights and a Graduate Fellow at the Initiative for Gender Equity in the Public Sector. Brazilian attorney, born and raised in the State of São Paulo, Brazil, Elisa obtained her law degree from Faculdade de Direito de Franca (Franca School of Law – Franca, Brazil) in 2015. When in law school, she worked as a legal intern at Franca Law School’s Legal Aid Department and thereafter at the Court of Justice of the State of São Paulo. Upon graduating and earning her license to practice law, Elisa began her career as an autonomous attorney, focusing her practice on torts and family law counseling and litigation. She also worked as a Legal Aid attorney, enrolled in the agreement between the Brazilian Bar Association and the Public Defender’s Office of the State of São Paulo. Currently residing in New York, Elisa graduated from Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in 2020 with an LLM degree in Comparative Legal Studies with a specialization in US Legal Practice. Subsequently, she worked as a legal assistant at Schulman Trial, PLLC, a civil rights and criminal law firm. She aspires to be a human rights attorney and intends to pursue a career in Academia as well. Her research interests include how legislation and public policies could address reproductive rights, human trafficking, violence against women in politics, and gender inequality in general.

Marizen Santos

Marizen Santos is a human rights advocate, with over 15 years of experience working on human rights advocacy in the Philippines, in South East Asia and internationally, and with focus on international human rights mechanisms and collaboration with civil society, governments, national human rights institutions and the UN system. Marizen currently is the Chief of the International Obligations Monitoring Division under the Policy Advisory Office of the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines, the independent national human rights institution in the Philippines. 

Marizen has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from the University of the Philippines, Diliman, an M.A. in Urban Affairs from Queens College, City University of New York and a Master’s degree in International Affairs from The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. In the summer of 2022, she finished her Advanced Certificate on Transnational Organized Crime Studies at John Jay College, CUNY.

Joseph Shiovitz

Joseph Shiovitz is a graduate student earning an MPA in Public Policy at CUNY's John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where he also serves as a Research Assistant in the Department of Public Management. He holds a BA in Philosophy with a specialization in social and political issues, including perspectives from both eastern and western traditions. Together, these areas of study have shaped his interest in the influence of public policy on social conditions and norms, particularly in the pursuit of economic justice, equitable urban planning, and the preservation of human rights amid the emergence of new technologies. Joseph has also been an avid traveler abroad, and has a great interest in international affairs.

Malak Harb

 Malak Harb (she/her) is a first year PhD student in Political Science at the Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY). She currently holds a Master’s degree in Human Rights from the Central European University (CEU) in Hungary and an LL.M. in European and International Law from Saarland University in Germany. In addition, she has over four years work experience in the humanitarian sector where she monitored the accountability mechanism in several missions across the Middle East and Africa. She aspires to focus during her PhD on the interplay between international relations and international law, particularly in customary law development. Her research interests include but not limited to international human rights law, refugee law and regional asylum policies, decolonial thought and resistance movements under international law.