WPS Team

WPS Team

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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.




Lilian Calix is a Master of Public Administration candidate at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, dual specializing in Human Resources Management and Criminal Justice Policy and Administration. She graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Criminal Justice and a minor in Criminology from John Jay College. Ms. Calix prepares surveys, presentations, and performs outreach for Women in the Public Sector. In addition to working with WPS, Ms. Calix currently works for the New York Public Library. Ms. Calix's goal is to become a Human Resources Manager.





Ashley Marrero is a third year Master of Public Administration candidate at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, dual specializing in Criminal Justice Policy and Management and Operations. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a minor in Public Administration at John Jay College. She comes to Women in the Public Sector having previously interned at Bronx Community Solutions, a non-profit organization.  Her goal after graduation in Spring 2016, is to become a Policy Analyst for the federal government. During her internship at WPS, Ashley performs the day to day maintenance of the organization's website, in addition to working alongside other team members organizing WPS events.





Natalie Venegas is currently a senior at John Jay majoring in Forensic Psychology and minoring in Human Services. After she graduates, she aspires to continue her education by pursuing her MA in Forensic Mental Health Counseling.  In the future, Natalie hopes to work with juveniles because she believes that if we can prevent our youth from offending and ending up in juvenile detention then we can diminish crime and the amount of adult offenders in prison. Ms. Venegas ultimately hopes to create innovative programs to prevent our youth from committing crimes.  In addition to being a WPS intern, Natalie is currently a College Assistant for John Jay’s Wellness Center and she is one of The Princeton Review’s Campus Ambassadors.  Through all of her current and past positions she welcomes didactic experiences that will increase her personal and professional growth.



​Zoe is a first year Masters of Public Administration candidate at John Jay College, specializing in Criminal Justice Policy and Administration. Zoe earned her B.S. cum laude in Psychology from Tulane University. Prior to interning with WPS, Zoe interned with Women's Prison Association and Federal Defenders of New York. From these roles she gained experience in research and advocacy, as well as direct service, assisting criminal justice-involved indivudals during and after their legal cases. Zoe aspires to establish a career in criminal and justice reform and advocacy - specifically focusing on reentry challenges and bail and sentencing reform.