About WPS

About WPS


Women in the Public Sector at John Jay College began in the Fall of 2013 when co-founders, Nicole M. Rishel Elias and Maria J. D’Agostino, recognized a need for students and faculty to focus on the role of women in the public sector, both within and beyond the John Jay community. To address this need, Professors Elias and D’Agostino created the 2014 Women in the Public Sector Workshop Series. This Workshop Series is intended to be the first step in a concerted effort to make women in public service a scholarly and practitioner focus, with the long-term goal of establishing the formal presence of Women in the Public Sector at John Jay College. 



Nicole M. Rishel Elias is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Management at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY and Research Fellow at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Office. She earned her MPA and Ph.D. in Public Administration and Affairs from the Center for Public Administration and Policy at Virginia Tech. While at Virginia Tech, she also received the Women’s and Gender Studies Graduate Certificate and served as managing editor of Administration & Society for three years. Her recent work appears in Administrative Theory & Praxis, Public Administration Quarterly, and The American Review of Public Administration



Maria J. D'Agostino is an associate professor in the Department of Public Management at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Dr. D’Agostino’s recent research has focused on women in public service including a co-edited book, Women and Public Administration: Theory and Practice. Maria D’Agostino is a recipient of the Section for Women in Public Administration Rita Mae Kelly Distinguished Research Award. She is also a member of the UNDP roster of experts in Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Public Administration and co-founder of Women in the Public Sector at John Jay College.

Maria D’Agostino is currently working on a solo authored book that aims to understand the difference women make in New York City Public Administration and a co-edited volume that examines the role of women in public administration from a global perspective.  She is also co-editor for the forthcoming Administration & Society Women and Public Administration symposium and a recipient of the Faculty Mid-Career Research Award.


Natalie R. Wenzler is a Master of Public Administration-Inspection and Oversight candidate at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, dual specializing in Organizational Assessment and Monitoring as well as Investigative and Operational Oversight. Ms. Wenzler is the President of the Master of Public Administration Student Association at John Jay and a member of the Leadership Board for the NY Metro Chapter of ASPA. Natalie coordinates logistics for workshops, correspond with participants, and brainstorm opportunities for Women in the Public Sector. She is also a graduate assistant in the Center for Career and Professional Development at John Jay assisting in careers services with a focus on M.P.A. students.