John Jay Research TeamTHE PROGRAM FOR RESEARCH INITIATIVES IN SCIENCE AND MATH (PRISM) brings together various initiatives that support science and math students at John Jay College. The PRISM Undergraduate Research Program provides students with the opportunity to engage in long-term, close mentoring relationships with faculty who provide training, personal and career advisement, and professional encouragement. Our newest initiative, The Junior Scholars Program, offers academic advisement, tutoring, and professional development activities to an additional 60+ science and math students per year. In addition, we support the CUNY Justice Academy (CJA), a partnership between John Jay and various CUNY Community Colleges that helps community college students transition to a baccalaureate degree.  We do so by providing academic advisement and outreach activities to students transitioning to our forensic science major through CJA.

John Jay Research teamSince its founding in 2006, 91 of the 231 (39%) Undergraduate Researchers that have participated in mentored research experiences through PRISM have gained admissions to post-graduate programs in STEM and health. Forty of these students (44%) come from underrepresented minorities and 28 (31%) identify as Latinx. The National Science Foundation, the National Academy of Sciences and CUNY have all recognized PRISM as a model of excellence for improving the number of underrepresented students in the STEM pipeline. PRISM is funded by various grants from the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Education, and the New York State Education Department.

Mission Statement

The Program for Research Initiatives in Science and Math (PRISM) at John Jay College supports our diverse undergraduate student body in their quest to become leading scientists and professionals in science, technology, math and engineering (STEM), health, education, and related fields. We are dedicated to educating students from traditionally underserved and underrepresented groups and committed to increasing the diversity of the national STEM workforce. Our various initiatives build relationships between our students, faculty mentors, and PRISM’s staff to engage students in the process of science. This is accomplished by peer cohort building, academic support, and professional development to prepare students for success in their future careers. Importantly, PRISM does this by embracing the unique backgrounds of the underserved populations that attend John Jay College. We are fierce advocates for science, and for diversity, inclusion, and justice in STEM. 


Our Founders

PRISM was founded in 2006 as a way to centralize the efforts taken by individual faculty members and John Jay College’s administration as a way to improve the retention and graduation rates of students majoring in forensic science at John Jay.

Anthony CarpiAnthony Carpi, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for Research, International Partnerships, & Student Professional  Advancement.
Dr. Carpi is Associate Provost and Dean of Research at John Jay College. He has been at the institution since 1997, working as a professor, Deputy Chair, and Chair of the Department of Sciences, and has served on numerous committees focused on institutional effectiveness, student retention, and technological innovation in addition to founding PRISM. He maintains an active research portfolio, investigating the transport of mercury in the environment, and strategies for teaching science as a process of discovery.

Nathan LentsNathan Lents, Ph.D.
Former Co-Director, Professor of Biology, and Director of the Honors College 
Dr. Lents completed a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Physiology from Saint Louis University and postdoctoral training in computational genomics from New York University. He joined the faculty of John Jay College in 2006 and has published research in the areas of cell biology, gene expression control, toxicology, and forensic microbiology. He also writes popular science articles and books focusing on the evolution of human biology and behavior. To learn more about his work, please visit his website.

Lawrence Kobilinsky, Ph.D.
Former Co-Director, Professor of Forensic Sciences, and former Chairperson of the Department of Science.
Dr. Kobilinsky received his B.S. and M.A. degrees from The City College of The City University of New York in 1969 and 1971 respectively and his Ph.D. degree from The City University of New York.  His doctoral work was performed at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in the Department of Biochemistry.  At John Jay College he was promoted to the positions of assistant, associate, and full Professor and served in an administrative capacity as Acting Dean of Graduate Studies and subsequently as Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Provost. He has also served as Science Advisor to the College President and as Chair of the Department of Sciences.  He is currently Deputy Chair of the Department of Sciences.