Senior Spotlight: Salutatorian Kendall Cubicciotti ’19 Plans A Career in Law Enforcement

Senior Spotlight: Salutatorian Kendall Cubicciotti ’19 Plans A Career in Law Enforcement

Senior Spotlight: Salutatorian Kendall Cubicciotti ’19 Plans A Career in Law Enforcement

Our 2019 Commencement Ceremony is right around the corner. To mark the occasion, and celebrate the incredible achievements of our seniors, we spoke with several students that will be graduating on May 29. Our hope is that their stories inspire the entire John Jay community—alumni, faculty, staff, current and prospective students—to strive for excellence. Our next Senior Spotlight is this year’s Salutatorian Kendall Cubicciotti ’19, a Forensic Psychology major and winner of the Robert S. Morrow Prize, who has aspirations to be a detective in the NYPD’s Homicide Squad.

What was it about John Jay that made you want to come here?
This is going to sound really cheesy, but I really love the TV show Criminal Minds. I remember watching it when I was 12 and being fascinated by what they did on the show. I researched what profession these characters had and the kind of profiling they did and Forensic Psychology kept coming up. When it came time to choose a college, I realized John Jay had that as a major and that the school was perfect for me. It was in the City, it wasn’t too far from my home in Long Island, and it offered Forensic Psychology. Plus you get a great education, and because I won the Excelsior Scholarship, I’ve been able to come to John Jay for free. 

“One thing that has always stood out to me is how the John Jay community comes together to stand up for the rights and issues they really believe in.” — Kendall Cubicciotti

What was your experience like here at John Jay?
I have really enjoyed it. The time flew by. I’m actually graduating in three years as opposed to four because I came in with 23 credits and took winter classes. I’ve had some wonderful professors who bring real-life experiences to the classroom and really care about what they are teaching, which makes learning easier.

Is there a moment at John Jay that stands out to you as the most memorable?
One thing that has always stood out to me is how the John Jay community comes together to stand up for the rights and issues they really believe in. I remember one day in class, one of my classmates announced that she worked with immigration attorneys, so if anyone had any questions she would be happy to answer them. It’s nice to see people from different backgrounds and different sides of the political aisle come together and say, “Hey, we can work together and help each other.” 

“I’ll be taking the NYPD and the Suffolk County Police Exam after graduation.” —Kendall Cubicciotti

You are this year’s Salutatorian. How did you hear the news?
I was actually on the LIRR on my hour and a half train ride home to Long Island. I picked up the phone and the person on the other end says, “We just wanted to let you know you’ve been named this year’s salutatorian.” And of course, I wanted to scream from excitement but I couldn’t because I was on the train, so I was just sitting there screaming internally, “Yes, I got it.” I also kept thinking about how excited my parents were going to be.

Speaking of your parents, what does being named Salutatorian mean to your family?
My parents were proud and happy my hard work was recognized. They both went to college and have successful careers—my dad is Assistant Vice President for an insurance company, and my mom is an occupational therapist—but they each said they could have never achieved the type of academic success I have. And for me, it reaffirmed that all the work I did was worth it. It shows that all my efforts paid off.

What comes next for you, after graduation?
I’ll be entering law enforcement—the first to do so in my family. I’ll be taking the NYPD and the Suffolk County Police Exam after graduation. The whole thing is a bit of a process because results take a while, but the plan is to work with a police force in New York State.

“Without John Jay I would not be in the position I am in now, sure of my career choice and confident in my abilities. I wouldn’t be ready to work and become a police officer.” —Kendall Cubicciotti

Where do you see yourself in five to 10 years?
I see myself as a Detective in the NYPD’s Homicide Squad, in the interrogation room, talking to people about the crime scene, questioning their whereabouts and examining key details in a case.

Finish this sentence for me: Without John Jay…
Without John Jay I would not be in the position I am in now, sure of my career choice and confident in my abilities. I wouldn’t be ready to work and become a police officer. If I had gone elsewhere, I think I would be struggling to figure out what I want to actually do with my life. John Jay has allowed me to really pinpoint what I want do with my life and in law enforcement.

Listen to the full interview with Kendall Cubicciotti.