Senior Spotlight: Bosco Villavicencio ’19 Looks Forward To Teaching

Senior Spotlight: Bosco Villavicencio ’19 Looks Forward To Teaching

Senior Spotlight: Bosco Villavicencio ’19 Looks Forward To Teaching

Our 2019 Commencement Ceremony is right around the corner. To mark the occasion, and celebrate the incredible achievements of our seniors, we spoke with several students that will be graduating on May 29. Our hope is that their stories inspire the entire John Jay community—alumni, faculty, staff, current and prospective students—to strive for excellence. Our next Senior Spotlight is Bosco Villavicencio ’19, an ACE student [Accelerate Complete Engage] turned adjunct professor, who will be teaching in the College Now program.  

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
My major as an undergrad was Criminology, and, my current major as a graduate student is Criminal Justice. I live with both my parents and my two younger brothers. My parents came here as immigrants from Ecuador, and while I do have family members who have bachelor’s degrees from Ecuador, I’m the first in my family to receive one here in the United States. I’m also the first to pursue a master’s degree.

Can you tell us a bit about your experience with ACE?
With ACE, I have participated in many community service events, been a student leader, and helped with workshops and professional seminars on career building and academic success. The ACE program is really about networking. I was able to network with many faculty members here, like Professor Amy Adamczyk from the Department of Sociology, and Jason Silva a doctoral student who works at the Center on Race, Crime and Justice. I did my first internship at the United States Attorney's Office, where I was a paralegal/federal records associate working on criminal cases, like terrorism and fraud, trying to evaluate them and see which would be useful for attorneys. This was the best experience I had as an intern. ACE gave me a family and a second home that I could rely on, and an advisor that gave me academic advice to reach towards success. 

Let's go back a bit, to when you were selecting a college. What made you want to come to John Jay?
John Jay was always my first choice. I chose John Jay because it was like a calling. From the ACE program to the tours, I felt that the John Jay community was very open to students from every background. The faculty and the staff were welcoming to me, and this showed me that I could come to this school and pursue something that I believe I would never have completed without the help of the community. It all said to me “Come to John Jay, you are welcome here.”

“ACE gave me a family and a second home that I could rely on, and an advisor that gave me academic advice to reach towards success.”—Bosco Villavicencio

You conducted research on mass shootings in the U.S. Can you tell us a little bit about this research?
The research that I did on mass incarceration was in collaboration with Professor Jason Silva. With this research, I worked on a code book where we used FBI and police databases and articles to try to understand the variables that are associated with youth crime between 1996 and 2018. We tried to get information on the schools they went to, their age, ethnicity, and if it was left wing or right wing. We wanted to get all this information to see what influences mass shootings and try to understand how media is portraying these mass shootings. Our goal is to fix these biases towards youths who commit a mass shooting. 

You mentioned that this was a collaboration with Professor Jason Silva. What did this experience teach you about yourself and about research?
Professor Jason Silva is my mentor. He has given me the motivation to not only go to a Ph.D. program, but to improve my research experience and participate in things that would make me stand out. For example, he has encouraged me to publish a policy article in December with the Vera Institute of Justice. With this article I am surveying county jails nationwide. In those county jails, we focus on restrictive housing on inmates and the wellness of officers. This shows how we approach restrictive housing, and how we try to better manage solitary confinement which is similar to restrictive housing. In this way we can create solutions and innovations for reducing the likelihood that solitary confinement will affect the mental illness of inmates who reenter society directly after being in solitary confinement. This policy article, will allow us to dive into the research and decide what policies to impose as a society to better reduce the effects of solitary confinement, on the inmates and officers. Silva has been incredibly supportive of me and an example for what I want to do and what I want to be.

You’re currently enrolled in the Criminal Justice master’s program here, and will be teaching College Now in the fall. Why did you decide to teach?
Teaching was something I looked forward to after I graduated high school. And, I thought I would go into teaching at a high school. But after I met Professor Adamczyk and I was a teacher's assistant, I realized that I wanted to be a college professor. In college, I see a lot of dedicated students who want to learn and want advice. And, that's what I want to be, an adviser, an instructor and a researcher. I would like to help students throughout their academic journey. 

If you could give incoming freshman any advice, what would it be?
Network, get involved, and meet people. Find that one professor that you know is going to help guide you throughout your College years and, do as much as you can. At first, I came here as just a student who wanted to get his B.A. and then be done with College. But then, I started interning and participating in the John Jay community and realized that coming to class for a grade wasn’t enough. I met Professor Adamczyk and she introduced me to other professors. The more people I got to meet taught me that learning wasn’t just about grades; it was about meeting new people and learning from their experiences. And remember, don’t limit yourself. We have a CUNY ePermit where you can study at other CUNY colleges. I went to Lehman College in the last semester of my undergrad. I went to the Sociology Department, told them I was from John Jay and asked them for resources they could provide me as a temporary Lehman student. Not many students know about this, but it’s a great experience. 

“It’s because of this College that I see myself walking across the stage with my Ph.D., applying for a tenure track position at John Jay, doing research on youth crime and trying to help the youth.” —Bosco Villavicencio

Finish this sentence for me: Without John Jay...
Without John Jay, I wouldn’t have the dedication, motivation, and confidence to succeed. I would probably be in a different school, with different people and not understand what John Jay would have given to me. It’s because of this College that I see myself walking across the stage with my Ph.D., applying for a tenure track position at John Jay, doing research on youth crime and trying to help the youth.