Womxn’s History Month: Honoring Our 2023 Heroines

Womxn’s History Month: Honoring Our 2023 Heroines

Womxn’s History Month: Honoring Our 2023 Heroines

In celebration of Womxn’s History Month 2023, members of our community are recognizing the many exceptional women within our Bloodhound family. These “John Jay Heroines” lead by example, promoting excellence, innovative thinking, and the importance of service. We hope that their moving tributes uplift our community and encourage others to applaud the dedicated womxn in their lives.

(left to right) Jerylle Kemp and Charles R. Davidson
(left to right) Jerylle Kemp and Charles R. Davidson

Heroine: Jerylle Kemp, Associate Director for Outreach and Engagement, Pre-Law Institute and Center for Post-Graduate Opportunities

Nominator: Charles R. Davidson, Ph.D., Interim Assistant Dean, Student Professional Advancement

Jerylle brings insight, wisdom, and compassion to everything she does. Her gentle but incisive approach to advising has made her a favorite of students interested in law or graduate school, and she has a genuine way of making everyone in her presence feel special. Jerylle gives generously of her time, intellect, and heart, and always stands ready to be of service. With her academic and professional credentials, Jerylle could work anywhere, yet she has chosen our students, programs, and office as the place where she shares her talents and expertise. She is a treasure to our office and the entire College.

(left to right) Sabel Vega ’24 and Denise Vivar
(left to right) Sabel Vega ’24 and Denise Vivar 

Heroine: Sabel Vega ’24

Nominator: Denise Vivar, Specialist, Immigrant Student Success Center

Sabel is a courageous, non-traditional, undocumented student who is an inspiration to our entire community. After completing her GED and working for years in the cleaning industry, she decided to go to college and earn her degree. She’s a Human Services and Community Justice major and minoring in Latin American and Latinx Studies. She’s balanced her course work while supporting her children who are also in college, and she’s now just a year away from graduating. Sabel’s resiliency and determination to succeed is admirable. Everyone at the ImSSC is incredibly proud of her.

(left to right) Nhu Phan ’19, ’23 and Richard Pusateri
(left to right) Nhu Phan ’19, ’23 and Richard Pusateri

Heroine: Nhu Phan,’19, ’23, CUNY Army ROTC Administrative Office and Treasurer, John Jay Veterans Association

Nominator: Richard Pusateri, CAPT, CHC USN retired, Manager, Military and Veteran Services

Nhu has built a remarkable record of accomplishment and service. She came to the U.S. in 2014 and graduated from John Jay with her bachelor’s degree in 2019. After graduation, she enlisted in the Army Reserve and upon her return enrolled in the College’s Criminal Justice MA program. She also became a U.S. citizen and enrolled in the CUNY Army ROTC. Currently, she serves as a peer mentor and assists hundreds of veteran students. This June, Nhu will be commissioned as an active-duty officer in the U.S. Army. Nhu does it all, and undoubtedly, will continue to do great things in the future.  

Adrienne Fitzgerald and Alana Philip
(left to right) Adrienne Fitzgerald and Alana Philip

Heroine: Adrienne Fitzgerald, Macaulay Student Support Manager

Nominator: Alana Philip, Honors Program Manager 

Two words that I would use to describe Adrienne are: dedicated and tenacious. Her credo is “students first” and she continually demonstrates her passion for student success. Adrienne is always interested in the students as individuals—asking about their hobbies, academic pursuits, and day-to-day lives. She constantly looks for transformational connections that can uplift our students’ experiences—be it with faculty, program leaders, or external organizations. Students who have the benefit of Adrienne’s coaching always tap into their own leadership potential and become confident graduates with clear pathways to fulfilling careers.

 (left to right) Lissette Delgado-Cruzata and Anthony Carpi
 (left to right) Lissette Delgado-Cruzata and Anthony Carpi

Heroine: Lissette Delgado-Cruzata, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Molecular Biology; Co-Director of Female Empowerment through Mentoring Minorities in STEM (FEMMS)

Nominator: Anthony Carpi, Ph.D., Vice Provost for Research and Student Professional Advancement

Lissette’s unwavering commitment to see our students succeed is palpable. She supports their passion for science; promotes collaboration by engaging them in enriching and award-winning research opportunities; and creates educational spaces where students feel seen, uplifted, and encouraged, like the Female Empowerment through Mentoring Minorities in STEM (FEMMS) program she co-directs. Whether it’s her research on health disparities, breast cancer in Black and brown communities, or rheumatoid arthritis in Latinx communities, she’s driven to empower women in science, find solutions, and create a better society. Through her mentorship, Lissette is helping shape the next generation of STEM professionals.

(left to right) Rosemarin Belliard ’13 and Adjoa Nyarko
(left to right) Rosemarin Belliard ’13 and Adjoa Nyarko

Heroine: Rosemarin Belliard ’13

Nominator: Adjoa Nyarko, Leadership Gifts Officer, Institutional Advancement and Alumni Relations

I was introduced to Rosemarin in 2020 when she spoke about the creation of her scholarship at our Champions of Justice event. Since then, she’s been an invaluable resource to the alumni relations team, proudly representing John Jay wherever she goes. Rosemarin engages with our students, attends our events, and is here for the College whenever we need her. She continues to pursue a meaningful justice-focused career as an immigration attorney, while rising the ranks of leadership as the 2024 President-elect of the Dominican Bar Association. Rosemarin is a shining example of what it means to be a John Jay Heroine.

(left to right) Alexandra Dombroski ’23 and Ana Pego
(left to right) Alexandra Dombroski ’23 and Ana Pego

Heroine: Alexandra Dombroski ’23

Nominator: Ana Pego, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Sciences

Alexandra is an exemplary hard-working student and a very intelligent and dedicated researcher. She’s currently pursuing a master’s in forensic science with a specialization in toxicology. Her mind is super sharp and analytical, making her a stand out in our field of toxicology. Recently, Alexandra was chosen to act as an official “Rapporteur” during the eighth International Day of Women and Girls in Science Assembly, at the United Nations. Outside the field, Alexandra is uplifting others through her love of dance, teaching children and young adults tap, jazz, ballet and hip-hop. 

(left to right) Yuk-Ting (Joyce) Lau and Edgardo Sanabria-Valentín
(left to right) Yuk-Ting (Joyce) Lau and Edgardo Sanabria-Valentín

Heroine: Yuk-Ting (Joyce) Lau, Ph.D., Lecturer, Biology, and Co-Director of FEMMS

Nominator: Edgardo Sanabria-Valentín, Ph.D., Associate Program Director, PRISM

I have been inspired by Dr. Lau’s dedication to creating mentorship opportunities for female science students at John Jay. She’s a new professor who has hit the ground running. Together with Dr. Delgado-Cruzata, she developed the FEMMS program, which pairs first-year students with more senior peer mentors to provide advice and guidance. The program ensures first-year students have someone on their side through the first-year curriculum, promoting collaboration, academic success, and engagement with the myriad of growth opportunities a college education offers. We at PRISM are very proud to support this effort.

Katherine Munet-Pabon and Sumaya Villanueva
(left to right) Katherine Munet-Pabon and Sumaya Villanueva

Heroine: Katherine Munet-Pabon, Director, Academic Advisement Center

Nominator: Sumaya Villanueva, Ph.D., Assistant Provost for Academic Engagement 

It has been inspiring to see how dedicated Kathy and her team are to the needs of the students, College, and community at large. The Academic Advising Center provided almost 20,000 advising sessions to undergraduate students in the 2021-2022 academic year alone. This, of course, is not surprising given who Kathy is as a leader. She gives a 110 percent and her team knows that and respond in kind. Kathy is productive, conscientious, thorough, joyful, and the ultimate rockstar.

(left to right) Demy Spadideas and Judith Cahn
(left to right) Demy Spadideas and Judith Cahn

Heroine: Demy Spadideas, Administrative Manager/Compliance Officer, Department of Online Education and Support

Nominator: Judith Cahn, Ed.D., Director of the Department of Online Education and Support

Demy has an ongoing positive impact on the Department of Online Education and Support and the John Jay College community. Her work during the height of the pandemic, a time of tremendous growth and demand for online classes and support, exhibited her strength in organization and interpersonal skills. She is a master at problem-solving and offering creative approaches to challenges we encounter. Demy promotes teamwork and steps up whenever and wherever the department or College needs her. And, as if she wasn’t busy enough, Demy is also pursuing a doctorate in education – online.