Danielle M. Officer, Director
Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, Danielle’s energy and enthusiasm can be felt throughout the Center. She has always had a passion and dedication to student leadership and has worked in higher education and the nonprofit sector for 20 years. Majoring in psychology she earned her Bachelor’s from the University of Rhode Island. While at URI, in her junior year she received the prestigious A. Robert Rainville Leadership Award for her Outstanding Student Leadership to the Campus Community. She earned her Master’s in Public Administration from Bernard Baruch College and is pursuing her Doctorate in Education with a concentration in Higher Education Administration from Northeastern University. She is passionate about helping students find the right engagement opportunity that connects them to John Jay. Danielle lives in New Rochelle with her husband and children.
Fun Fact: Danielle has an obsession with sharks and one day plans to swim with them. She is an avid watcher of Shark Week.
Makeda Jordan, Associate Director
Makeda is a believer in the African proverb “it takes a village” approach in developing young people. Makeda has been an employee at John Jay since 2006. She has a particular interest in the wellness, fitness and readiness of young people. In fact, she has her own camp – M.A.D. Sports – that is dedicated to providing athletic experiences for campers in the summer. Makeda is an alum of John Jay where she earned her Bachelor’s in forensic psychology. She earned her Master’s from Queens College in Urban Planning. She has a wealth of leadership and community organizing experience. She has spent over ten years working in the field of youth services and now has dedicated her profession to higher education.
Fun Fact: I enjoy participating in bike tours in the NYC metro area and when weather permits I love commuting to work on my bike.
John Leebens, CSIL Coordinator
From southern Illinois, John grew to love student involvement while an undergrad at Denison University as a resident assistant in Residential Life, participating in greek life, and being active in many clubs. After getting his Master’s at Southern Illinois University, he moved to New York City! He has worked at John Jay College since August 2009 in Student Affairs, and is now the Student Government Advisor and club coordinator. He loves his wife, Liz, dog Molly, and loves connecting with students online through social media.
Fun Fact: He played club rugby and ultimate Frisbee in college.
Iris Martinez, Assitant to Director & Budget Manager
Iris grew up in the Dominican Republic and came to the US in 1989. She attended Lehman College in the Bronx and obtained a BS in Accounting. She has exceptional skills in budgeting and managing the budgets for the Center and the student organizations at John Jay College. Iris is always on top of her budgeting game. She brings her passion and love for accounting to both students and staff. After 17 years in the Bronx, she moved to New Jersey where she lives with her husband and only daughter.
Fun Fact: Iris loves to spend all free time with her sisters and her entire family. Also she loves Reggae music.
Dominique Mendez-Rose, Office Manager
She was born in Queens and raised in Long Island. She has been working for John Jay College for 3 years. The students have given her the name “Space Queen” in relationship to her job ethic. She has an open door policy that helps make them feel like this is a home away from home. She always has a great spirit no matter the time of day. She is currently obtaining her associate degree in Human Services Mental Health at LaGuardia Community College and will be coming to John Jay in the Fall. She is also a member of John Jay College’s LGBT taskforce.
Fun Fact: She is learning American Sign Language and likes 30 second dance parties.
Michael Littlejohn, CSIL Specialist
Michael comes to us after working in Residence Life and Housing for 6 years. He was born and raised in New Jersey but he has been recently adopted by New York City. He is passionate about mentoring & empowering students to reach their goals and turn their dreams, (no matter big or small) into reality. Michael is an alum of Centenary College of New Jersey where he earned his Bachelors in Political Science. He is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree in Student Services Administration at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Fun Fact: Michael was in Marching Band in High School.
Jon Salamak, CSIL Evening Coordinator
Jon Salamak, originally from the outskirts of Philadelphia PA, is a New York City transplant and has been living the big city life for the past three years. His decision to pursue a career in higher education came after being heavily involved in student clubs and organizations during his tenure at his undergraduate college. He has his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Holy Family University, and is currently finishing up his Master’s degree in Urban & Multicultural Education from the College of Mount Saint Vincent. He prides himself on being accessible, patient, and empathetic to all students that he encounters – and they all think he’s awesome. Those are totally not his words. Currently he resides in Harlem with his girlfriend and puppy daughter.
Fun fact: Jon is a cast member at the Rocky Horror Picture Show in New York City – they perform every Friday and Saturday at midnight!