WPS Team

WPS Team


Founding Co-Directors


Nicole M. Elias is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Management at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, and Founding Co-Director of Women in the Public Sector at John Jay College. Dr. Elias 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 research focuses on social equity in public administration and policy, with an emphasis on the ethics of administration, management of human resources in public organizations, and public policy impacts on different populations. She regularly collaborates with practitioners in government agencies and nonprofit organizations. She is a Research Fellow with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) and Research Partner with the New York City Commission on Gender Equity. Dr. Elias held a Research Fellowship at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Office and served as the Lead Faculty Advisor to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management on the 2016 Government-wide Inclusive Diversity Strategic Plan. She is the winner of the 2019 Audre Lorde Award for Social Justice and co-recipient of the 2018-19 Inaugural Presidential Student-Faculty Research Collaboration Award for her work examining gender equity in municipalities. Dr. Elias is the author of numerous journal articles, book chapters, government reports, and practitioner training modules on sexual orientation, gender identity, and means of fostering greater representation and inclusion in public service. Her recent work appears in Administrative Theory & Praxis and Teaching Public Administration. Dr. Elias is the co-editor of a special issue symposium on the future of women in public administration appearing in Administration & Society. Her current research projects include two co-edited books: Ethics for Contemporary Bureaucrats: Navigating Constitutional Crossroads, to be published in 2020 and Handbook of Gender and Public Administration, to be published in 2021.




Maria J. D’Agostino is an Associate professor in the Department of Public Management at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY and Founding Co-director of Women in the Public Sector at John Jay College.

Dr. D’Agostino’s recent research has focused on women in public administration including two co-edited books, Governing in A Global World (2018) and Women and Public Administration: Theory and Practice (2011). Her work appears in Review of Public Personnel Administration and American Review of Public Administration. She received the 2019 American Society of Public Administration LGBT Advocacy Action Section Award for her co-authored publication, Inclusive Work Practices: Turnover Intensions Among LGBT Employees of the U.S Federal Government.  She has collaborated as a guest editor for the Women and Public Administration symposium published in Administration and Society and is the co-editor of a forthcoming symposium, #MeToo in Academia: Understanding and Addressing Pervasive Problems, Public Administration Review. Most recently she initiated a partnership with the New York City Gender Equity Commission.

Maria J. D’Agostino is the co-recipient of the 2018-19 Inaugural Presidential Student-Faculty Research Collaboration Award examining gender equity in municipalities.  She is also the recipient of the Section for Women in Public Administration Rita Mae Kelly Distinguished Research Award, the Faculty Mid-Career Research Award. She serves as the American Society of Public Administration District II National Representative and the John Jay College Campus Delegate for the Italian American Faculty and Staff Advisory Council.


Graduate Assistants

 Evana Alam

Evana Alam is a graduate student in the Masters of Public Administration Program (Public Policy and Administration), with a dual specialization in Human Resource Management and Management & Operations. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from East West University from Dhaka, Bangladesh and is certified by the International Supply Chain Education Alliance (ISCEA) as a Supply Chain Analyst.  As a member of the American Society of Public Administration (ASPA), she participated and assisted Women in the Public Sector in the 2018 ASPA Annual Conference at Denver, Colorado. Currently, Evana also works as an administrative assistant in the Teaching and Learning Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.  Her hobbies are photography, traveling, painting and learning about different cultures.  After graduating, she plans to launch an organization that will empower the economic and social development of Bangladeshi women.




Kaelah Blanchette

Kaelah Blanchette is an undergraduate student in the Macaulay Honors program majoring in Criminology and working towards her certification in dispute resolution. Throughout her time at
John Jay, she has learned about the behavior of people, the best ways to deal with potential conflict, and about the penal system, which is what she hopes to change in the future.
After graduating, she hopes to work for the Vera Organization whose main focus is rehabilitation and reentry of inmates and eventually create her own non-profit with a similar mission. She
believes that rehabilitation and support, rather than punishment, will be better off for both inmates and society as a whole. Through organizations such as Vera, and the organization she wants to create, Kaelah believes that everyone, including inmates, deserve to be treated fairly and given equal chances to succeed.


Karina Gopeesingh

Karina Gopeesingh is an undergraduate student in the major of Forensic Psychology. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Spring of 2020, Karina plans to attend graduate school to pursue a Masters of Arts in Forensic Mental Health Counseling. As she continues with her education, she is looking for internships and research opportunities in different fields that could give her insight and experience to different ways she can use her degree. Upon completing her education and obtaining her degree, Karina intends to become a licensed counselor and work with young children and adolescents.



Marline Gomes

Marline Gomes is a graduate student in the Masters of Public Administration Program (Public Policy and Administration), with a specialization in Human Resource Management. She has completed undergraduate studies from John Jay College (CUNY), majoring in Law & Society and certification on Dispute Resolution. Also, she has an Associate in Science majoring in Criminal Justice from LaGuardia CC and Diploma-in- Law from the UK.  Marline, works as an interpreter in an Immigration Lawyers Office. After Masters Graduation, she aspires to works for the United Nations (UN) on their projects on International Disputes such as Rohinga tension in Bangladesh. In the future, she also plans to work for rape & domestic violence victims and rise against hunger in vulnerable, and immobile societies. Throughout the academic career, she gets interested in researches on LGBTQ employment injustices, Juvenile hearing procedures in the USA, Legal Consciousness on gun violence, Human Resource Management Paradoxes. Her mission is to advocate and impact in the phases of equality challenges of social injustices. 


Ishu Kumar

Ishu Kumar is a graduate student in the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He has completed his undergraduate studies at Stony Brook University (SUNY) with a BA in History with a concentration in American history. Ishu is specifically interested in gender and racial inequality from colonial America to the present. He has participated in a number of diversity conferences at Stony Brook University. Ishu Kumar intends to graduate and utilize his MPA education in the public sector. He aspires to work as a policy analyst for the city of New York with a focus on the economics of municipal social service programs. Ishu Kumar’s interests include international travel, music and cooking. He performs in live music bands at religious programs throughout the New York metro area and also enjoys participating in community service events at a local temple.