Research Assistants

Research Assistants

 

Jelena Pia-Comella

Jelena Pia-Comella

Ms. Pia-Comella is an Adjunct lecturer at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She is also consulting with the Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes (GAAMAC), faculty member of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research. Starting her career in 1996 as a diplomat representing Andorra at the United Nations, Canada and the United States, she was part of the team that created the foreign policy of her country. From January to July 2018, she served in different capacities for civil society organizations and from June 2019 to August 2021, she served as adviser on gender, peace and security issues for the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie. Ms. Pia-Comella is the President of the Board of Directors of SOS-Torture/Burundi and board member and treasurer of Global Justice Center. Additionally, she is a member of the African Coordination of Human Rights for the Armed Forces (CADHA) and the Women Network on the Responsibility to Protect, Peace and Security of the British Academy for the humanities and social sciences of Leeds University. Ms. Pia-Comella holds a Master’s Degree in International Political Economy and Development from Fordham University, New York and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Fribourg University, Switzerland.

Joya Ferrell

Joya Ferrell is a PhD student at the Department of Law of the Free University of Berlin. Her thesis combines the theory of criminal law and constitutional law by investigating the prerequisites and limits of the protection of constitutional rights and principles through criminal law, with particular attention to the principles of democracy and the rule of law. This also includes questions of the criminal liability of government agents in regards to constitutional violations. Prior to her PhD, she completed her law studies at the University of Heidelberg and the Free University of Berlin. Her research interests include the interplay between criminal law and constitutional rights, criminal procedural law, legal theory and legal philosophy.

Elisa Voltarelli languas

Elisa Voltarelli-Languas

Elisa Voltarelli Ianguas is a graduate student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice – CUNY working towards her MA in Human Rights, as well as a Research Assistant at the Center for International Human Rights and a Graduate Fellow at the Initiative for Gender Equity in the Public Sector. Brazilian attorney, born and raised in the State of São Paulo, Brazil, Elisa obtained her law degree from Faculdade de Direito de Franca (Franca School of Law – Franca, Brazil) in 2015. When in law school, she worked as a legal intern at Franca Law School’s Legal Aid Department and thereafter at the Court of Justice of the State of São Paulo. Upon graduating and earning her license to practice law, Elisa began her career as an autonomous attorney, focusing her practice on torts and family law counseling and litigation. She also worked as a Legal Aid attorney, enrolled in the agreement between the Brazilian Bar Association and the Public Defender’s Office of the State of São Paulo. Currently residing in New York, Elisa graduated from Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in 2020 with an LLM degree in Comparative Legal Studies with a specialization in US Legal Practice. Subsequently, she worked as a legal assistant at Schulman Trial, PLLC, a civil rights and criminal law firm. She aspires to be a human rights attorney and intends to pursue a career in Academia as well. Her research interests include how legislation and public policies could address reproductive rights, human trafficking, violence against women in politics, and gender inequality in general.

Marizen Santos

Marizen Santos is a human rights advocate, with over 15 years of experience working on human rights advocacy in the Philippines, in South East Asia and internationally, and with focus on international human rights mechanisms and collaboration with civil society, governments, national human rights institutions and the UN system. Marizen currently is the Chief of the

International Obligations Monitoring Division under the Policy Advisory Office of the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines, the independent national human rights institution in the Philippines.

Marizen has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from the University of the Philippines, Diliman, an M.A. in Urban Affairs from Queens College, City University of New York and a Master’s degree in International Affairs from The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. In the summer of 2022, she finished her Advanced Certificate on Transnational Organized Crime Studies at John Jay College, CUNY.

Joseph Shiovitz

Joseph Shiovitz is a graduate student earning an MPA in Public Policy at CUNY's John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where he also serves as a Research Assistant in the Department of Public Management. He holds a BA in Philosophy with a specialization in social and political issues, including perspectives from both eastern and western traditions. Together, these areas of study have shaped his interest in the influence of public policy on social conditions and norms, particularly in the pursuit of economic justice, equitable urban planning, and the preservation of human rights amid the emergence of new technologies. Joseph has also been an avid traveler abroad, and has a great interest in international affairs.

Anna Thompson

Anna Thompson

Anna Thompson earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and minor in Asian Studies from Belmont University. During her undergraduate career, Anna completed in-depth upper-level academic research on immigration issues. Anna has held positions in various legal, nonprofit, and research organizations, providing services to individuals in need. In her spare time, Anna volunteers as a pen pal with a nonprofit that helps detained individuals. Anna’s interests include women’s rights and international law and policy. Her long-term goal is to work as a human rights lawyer for an NGO to promote equal justice.