About Us

About Us

History and Background

In August 2010, the Office of Undergraduate Studies created the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) aimed at serving as a centralized, college-wide program designed to facilitate and promote undergraduate research by providing information, opportunities, and support for faculty and students. The experiences earned from undergraduate research provide students with skills and experiences that prepare them to successfully enter graduate and professional schools and be competitive in the global economy. While the office was successful in fulfilling its mission, it quickly became clear that student and faculty needs for the OUR services were much broader than anticipated, resulting in a temporary suspension of the office in 2015 to reevaluate its purpose. Realizing the immense importance and benefits of research experience for undergraduate and graduate students in all fields of study, the Office of the Provost in consultation with President Mason and the Office for the Advancement of Research (OAR), decided to invest in the foundation of the Office for Student Research and Creativity (OSRC) under the purview of OAR.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Office for Student Research & Creativity is to fund, support, and recognize high-quality student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship in all disciplines, representing the diversity of John Jay College of Criminal Justice (JJC).

Vision

OSRC strives to create and sustain a robust, inclusive, and competitive research support program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice that maximizes cutting-edge research opportunities, raises student and faculty profiles, and represents a nationally acclaimed and globally recognized research institution for criminal and social justice.

Strategic Plan

Goal 1A (internal - infrastructure building):

Build the office foundation under new leadership to create a sustainable research support base for students at the College.

Strategy 1: Under the management of the Office for the Advancement of Research (OAR), appoint new leadership and staff for the relocated Office to maintain administrative oversight.

Strategy 2: Create a representative body of oversight, a Research Advisory Board, comprising faculty and student representatives from different disciplines and with various research expertise.

Strategy 3: Manage the Office budget startup funds, overseeing administrative, personnel, OTPS costs, as well as integrated funding sources from other offices or departments.

Goal 1B (internal - capacity building):

Establish an information clearinghouse to identify and utilize College-wide research opportunities while providing comprehensive support to students at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Strategy 1: Collaborate closely with JJC offices and departments, with a particular focus on freshmen programs, to identify and reconcile student support efforts, assuring continuous communication and information sharing, and build research learning pipelines accessible to students from the time of entry until graduation.

Strategy 2: Create permanent channels of communication with individual faculty as point persons at each academic department, as well as JJC Centers & Institutes, to ensure continuous exchange of relevant information on past, current, and future research projects, gauging and improving access to resources, mentorship, and funding, and showcasing student-faculty research projects/publications and other noteworthy accomplishments.

Strategy 3: Work with faculty to, ultimately, coordinate research programs across campus and develop ways to more effectively integrate existing and new student research programs to assure efficiencies and effectiveness.

Goal 2 (internal - services & resources):

Provide comprehensive services to students, specifically targeting underrepresented communities and minorities, to increase the diversity of participants, including essential mentoring, as well as resources needed to conduct successful research projects and expertly represent the institution at conferences, intern-/fellowships, and in the work environment.

Strategy 1: Coordinate research mentorship opportunities between students and faculty through various mechanisms, such as, expanding existing faculty profiles to include a search engine aimed at efficiently matching students with faculty; during Meet & Greet occasions; and through personal meetings and introductions at events; and create an archival database documenting, publicizing and disseminating resulting student-faculty research projects .

Strategy 2: Connect students to existing resources and services at the College, such as workshops, seminars, tutoring, and other mentorship opportunities regularly offered by academics departments and various offices, such as the Library, the Writing Center, and the Pre Law Institute, among others.

Strategy 3: Organize workshops, meetings, seminars, and mentoring sessions as needed and in collaboration with appropriate departments around research training ideas to prepare students for internships, conference attendance and presentations, and future academic and professional careers. 

Strategy 4: Organize the annual multidisciplinary Research & Creativity Week at the college, showcasing student research and creativity projects, conducted throughout one or several semesters under faculty guidance and publicized to a wide audience of JJC community members and selected external guests.

Goal 3 (internal & external - funding opportunities):

Seek out funding opportunities at the internal and external level, engage new partners, and cultivate and strengthen existing relationships with funders and stakeholders in private, public, and community-based sectors, beneficial to current and graduating students entering the workforce.

Strategy 1: Under advisement of the Advisory Board, manage the office budget, conduct extensive research into future funding opportunities, and seek external funding to help sustain current and build new programmatic activities and associated resources.

Strategy 2: Engage in internal and external fundraising for the annual UG/G Research/Creativity Assistant Scholarship, the annual Research and Creativity Week, as well as the Research Support Fund offered through OSRC.

Strategy 3: Establish research networks with leading nonprofit organizations, public agencies and entrepreneurs to create opportunities, including in the arts and humanities, to increase placement in research-related settings.

Strategy 4: Consistently catalog and share information with students to expand opportunities for research exchanges, research collaboration, and field research in national and international settings funded through federal or private grants.

Goal 4 (internal & external - promotion/publicity & image/reputation):

Develop a comprehensive communication strategy to increase the visibility and accessibility of student research, promote accomplishments and awards through various media channels, and publicize JJC’s reputation as a premier research institution for criminal and social justice issues.

Strategy 1: In close collaboration with the Communications Offices at JJC and OAR, maximize the use of internal promotional tools and branding to publicize services and resources offered by OSRC.

Strategy 2: Build an online infrastructure, including an interactive webpage and an OSRC e-portfolio page to create a permanent clearinghouse of information, data hub, and product databases, including the above mentioned searchable archive of student-faculty research projects.

Strategy 3: Use social and conventional media to promulgate and showcase current research products and upcoming student research events.

Strategy 4: Elevate long-term high quality student/faculty research projects and publications by expanding the promotion and outreach of products beyond JJC/CUNY through established networks with academic institutions, research and think tanks, and the JJC Alumni Association, among others.

Goal 5 (internal - evaluation/effectiveness/improvement):

Produce comprehensive annual evaluation and end-of-year report reflecting findings and progress, articulating concrete programmatic improvements and producing broad recommendations for adjustment/improvement of the strategic plan.

Strategy 1: Assess program impact and efficiency vis-a-vis costs/budget using established qualitative and quantitative metrics, including attendance lists, surveys, feedback forms, placement evaluations, and individual student and faculty essays/reports.

Strategy 2: Create logic model to examine the value of inputs, activities, outputs, and outcomes of student research for students, faculty, course curricula and the institution as a whole, informing the annual report and revised timeline.

Strategy 3: In close collaboration with the Advisory Board, evaluate strategic goals and their underlying objectives reflecting the mission, vision, and rationale.

Strategy 4: In close collaboration with the Advisory Board, outline, define, and document improved measures and resultant recommendations for future strategies.

OSRC Board Members

Faculty members:

Marcia Esparza, Criminal Justice
Demis Glasford, Psychology
Helen Kapstein, English
Nathan Lents, Science
Maria Rossi, Modern Languages & Literature
Deryn Strange, Psychology

Student members:

Ashmeen Bindra, Political Science & Philosophy (undergraduate student)
Priya Reji, Forensic Psychology (MSRG graduate student)
Celines Rodriguez, Forensic Psychology (McNair Program undergraduate student)

Administrative members:

Gina Foster, Teaching & Learning Center
Edgardo Sanabria-Valentin, Program for Research Initiative in Science & Math

Daniel Stageman, Office for the Advancement of Research

Staff members:

Nicole Campodonico, Forensic Psychology (BA/MA student)
Anthony Carpi, Office for Student Research & Creativity
Kyle Goetz, Forensic Psychology (graduate student)
Bettina Muenster, Office for Student Research & Creativity
Christian Vasquez, Security Management (graduate student)