John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Commencement Speakers Across the University Urge Graduates To Fight Injustice

June 20, 2011 | John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Newsmakers, William Macaulay Honors College at CUNY

CUNY’s class of 2011 celebrated their achievements at commencement events held across the City. Playwright Tony Kushner, attorney and activist Lynn Paltrow, essayist and The New Yorker staff writer Adam Gopnik, educator Geoffrey Canada and former New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein were among the distinguished speakers who challenged this year’s graduates to achieve and challenge wrong despite overwhelming resistance.
Listen Now >>

On the Internet Road to Revolution

March 22, 2011 | CUNY Lecture Series, Graduate Center, Hunter College, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, William Macaulay Honors College at CUNY

A junior at Macaulay Honors College at Hunter and eyewitness to the massive demonstrations in Egypt, watched firsthand as social media platforms like Facebook were used to help mobilize the political protests. “People who normally would use the Internet as a distraction, now used it as a tool to organize,” says Alex Schindler, who was studying Arabic at the American University in Cairo during the weeks-long uprising. Schindler and Norhan Basuni, a senior at the CUNY Baccalaureate program at John Jay College, who was also in Cairo, shared their experiences at the CUNY Study Abroad Re-entry Conference at the Graduate Center. “The day after the government started messing with the Internet, Tahrir Square went from a few thousand protesters to 100,000 people,” says Schindler.
Listen Now >>

White House Honors for John Jay Professor

March 18, 2011 | John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Newsmakers

In a White House ceremony earlier this year, Anthony Carpi, professor of Environmental Toxicology at John Jay College, was recognized with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring — the most prestigious honor in his field. “It was an absolute thrill to see the program that we had initiated become so effective and to be recognized on a national level,” says Carpi, who was nominated by the college and selected by the National Science Foundation for his work in creating PRISM. The undergraduate research initiative creates opportunities for forensic science students to engage in faculty-mentored research projects. It was also gratifying, Capri says, “to meet the president, who has been so involved with science and education.”
Listen Now >>

Judges in Robes … and Lab Coats

November 16, 2010 | CUNY Lecture Series, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

For more than 70 years the court opinion in Frye v. United States set the standard for scientific evidence: It would be admissible in court if it was based on science generally accepted as reliable in the scientific community. But in 1993, a landmark decision by the Supreme Court in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, ruled the decision on scientific evidence would rest with the trial judge. In a lecture entitled, “Judge and Jury: Psychology in the Courtroom,” part of the Serving Science Cafe Series, Margaret Bull-Kovera argues that the Daubert ruling was too broad and judges are ill-suited gatekeepers of admissible scientific expert testimony. “Guess how many judges have training in science?” asks Bull-Kovera, professor of psychology at John Jay College of Criminial Justice. The answer: “Not many.”
Listen Now >>

Downside of “Stop and Frisk”

July 13, 2010 | John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Newsmakers

Since 2003 the number of “stop and frisk” encounters by the New York City Police Department has more than tripled, from roughly 161,000 to 576,000 in 2009, but only about 12 percent of those people were charged with criminal activity, according to a report by the Center on Race, Crime and Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Opponents of this practice call it racist–the majority of those stopped are black and Hispanic–as well as ineffective. “The return rate on these stops is minuscule,” says Delores Jones-Brown, director of the center and the lead author of the report, “Stop, Question & Frisk Policing Practices in New York City: A Primer.” “We would not accept that kind of return in any other profession.” Jones-Brown discusses how the policy has impacted the relationship between the NYPD and the public and what could be done to improve the communication between the two. “There needs to be a survey of police officers,” says Jones-Brown, “to determine what’s motivating them to engage in stopping.”
Listen Now >>

Climbing the FDNY Ladders to the Top

June 29, 2010 | John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Newsmakers

For Salvatore Cassano, nothing compares to the rush he would get from fighting fires. “The excitement of being able to help people never goes away,” says Cassano, who was appointed the 32nd commissioner of the New York City Fire Department in January 2010. “I hear a siren now and I figure I should be responding some place–I miss it every day.” In his forty-year career, Cassano has held every job in the department including chief, the highest-ranking uniformed position in the FDNY. In an interview in his Brooklyn office, Commissioner Cassano talked about his years of service, starting as a firefighter in 1969, as well as his experience at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in fire science in 1976. “My professors understood if I was late for class,” recalls Cassano. “They could smell the smoke.”
Listen Now >>

Resistance and Hope

May 21, 2010 | CUNY Lecture Series, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Arguably no other historian alive has researched the legendary civil rights leader and scholar W. E. B. DuBois more thoroughly than David Levering Lewis. His two volumes on the life of DuBois won him the Pulitzer Prize twice, in 1994 and 2001; he is the only author to win two awards for biography for back-to-back volumes. A history professor at New York University, Lewis gave a lecture entitled “Two Giants of Resistance,” part of the “Justice and Injustice in 1950s America,” series at John Jay College. “Without DuBois’ militant ideals, mobilizing language and persistent demands for change,” said Prof. Lewis, referring to the first African-American to graduate from Harvard University, “President Obama’s audacious hopes would never have made him such a visionary.”
Listen Now >>

The Unfinished War

April 9, 2010 | CUNY Lecture Series, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Marilyn Young believes the Korean War was the Cold War era’s most significant conflict, even though it’s called “The Forgotten War” and historically has been overshadowed by World War II and the Vietnam War. “The conflict, where more than 30,000 U.S. soldiers lost their lives, ended with an armistice, but officially Korea still is at war,” said Young, a professor of history at New York University. In her lecture “From the Korean War to Vietnam-American Foreign Policy in the 1950’s,” Young noted there are now 39,000 troops stationed in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. As part of the “Justice and Injustice in 1950s America” series at John Jay College, Prof. Young, author of “The Vietnam Wars, 1945-1990,” discussed how actions by the U.S. and the Soviet Union to divide the country in 1945, without consulting the Koreans themselves, led to years of civil and international conflict. Listen Now >>

McCarthyism’s Lessons

March 19, 2010 | CUNY Lecture Series, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

According to Victor Navasky, author of the National Book Award-winning book “Naming Names,” the Cold War really consisted of three simultaneous conflicts: “the confrontation between the U.S. and the Soviet Union; internally in the U.S. between what I called the hunted and the hunters, led by Sen. Joseph McCarthy; and a civil war in the liberal left between the anti-communists and the so-called progressives.” Currently a Columbia Graduate School of Journalism professor and chairman of the Columbia Journalism Review, Navasky participated in the “Justice and Injustice in 1950s America” lecture series at John Jay College. In his talk, “The Lessons of McCarthyism,” he discussed the first wave of hearings by the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1947, which led to the “Hollywood Ten” blacklist. “There are many lessons we can take from that period,” said Navasky, publisher emeritus of The Nation, “and resistance to an unjust authority is one.”
Listen Now >>

Presidential Secrets

March 16, 2010 | CUNY Lecture Series, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

As chair of the Fund for Open Information and Accountability, Blanche Wiesen Cook helped draft the Presidential Records Act of 1978, which permitted public access to presidential records through the Freedom of Information Act, but also allowed Presidents to invoke restrictions. “When Ronald Reagan became President, he reclassified most of the controversial documents,” said Prof. Cook, a distinguished professor of history and women’s studies at John Jay College and the Graduate Center. “Some of that secret insanity remains today, a legacy of the George W. Bush era, under which no presidential papers will ever be released.” The author of the New York Times best-seller “Eleanor Roosevelt: A Biography,” and “The Declassified Eisenhower,” Prof. Cook spoke about the importance of transparency in government, as part of the “Justice and Injustice in 1950s America” lecture series at John Jay College.
Listen Now >>