Derek Tyler Attico

Derek Tyler Attico ‘18 is a science fiction author, essayist, and photographer. He won the Excellence in Playwriting Award from the Dramatist Guild of America. Derek is also a two-time winner of the Star Trek Strange New Worlds short story contest ("Alpha & Omega," "The Dreamer and the Dream") published by Simon and Schuster. He is also the author of the upcoming Star Trek Autobiography of Benjamin Sisko from Titan Books.

What does Derek have to say about his experience at John Jay?

While John Jay is renowned for its focus on criminal justice and law enforcement, the English Department played a crucial role in helping to shape my intellectual and creative development. When I started at John Jay, my major was focused on the theory of law and justice. The English courses I took offered an opportunity to stay in touch with a talent deep within me that I didn’t see viable for an occupation. These courses challenged me to analyze, synthesize, and articulate my thoughts effectively—skills invaluable for anyone, especially authors, when addressing complex societal and ethical dilemmas in their work. When I realized my pursuit of justice didn’t lie in the field of law but in writing, the English Department was instrumental in helping me acquire the tools I would need for success. The English Department nurtured a diverse and inclusive environment that encouraged the exploration of various literary forms and cultural perspectives. This exposure broadened my storytelling perspectives and gave me insight into a wide range of voices and experiences. For anyone with a passion for both writing and justice, John Jay's English Department offers a valuable and intellectually stimulating journey that I wholeheartedly recommend.