Director, Writing Program and English Lecturer
Phone number
Room number
7.63.05 NB

Winner of the 2017 Faculty Service to Students Award and the 2016 Distinguished Teaching Award  Christen Madrazo is an English lecturer and the Director of the Writing Program at John Jay College. During her five years at the college, she's taught for the Prison-to-College Pipeline Program at Otisville Correctional Facility; the Pre-Law Institute; SASP’s Adelante and Learning Community programs; the Interdisciplinary Studies department; and the International Studies Program through which she recently led a Study Abroad travel writing storytelling course through six locations in Tanzania. While in Tanzania, her students co-taught storytelling workshops at two orphanages; helped local young people produce a showcase of their original stories for their community; and then performed their own original travel stories for a live audience at IATI Theatre back in New York City.

Christen is also the director and founder of Life Out Loud, a literary nonfiction podcast series at John Jay that aims to diversify the perspectives typically shared in the contemporary storytelling landscape. The podcast currently showcases 50 true stories as well as interviews with each storyteller in 16 episodes--all available on SoundCloud and iTunes.  With funding recently received from a CUNY wide Experiential Learning Grant, this year, the Life Out Loud team aims to add at least 35 more stories and continue working with the Bronx Freedom Fund. 

Off campus, Christen serves as the Program Director for all Community Storytelling Projects for DAT, an international service arts organization and theater company with whom she has designed and facilitated workshops in more than 32 communities on 4 continents. Some of her favorite projects with DAT involved devising theater in Roma settlement camps across Eastern Slovakia—projects funded in part by grants awarded by the United States Embassy in Bratislava. She's also greatly enjoyed her time running storytelling workshops with indigenous groups in the Amazon Jungle and in the Andean High Sierra regions of Ecuador. Back home, she trains DAT volunteers and professionals to lead workshops abroad, and she also curates the organization's ongoing travel storytelling series, Travelogue. Featuring a mix of pre-curated and "hat-pulled" stories, this series has featured several of John Jay’s best creatives (both students and professors) as well as other well-known storytellers and writers such as Erika Anderson (Salon, Vanity Fair, New York Times), and Katie Halper (MSNBC, Jezabel, New York Times, LA Times, Comedy Central) among others.

Christen’s original work has appeared at the Renegade Readings Series, the Cornelia Street Café; Projective Spaces; New World Stages; and in the The Shakespeare Bulletin, a performance studies journal published by Johns Hopkins University Press. In 2015, she delivered the keynote address at Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s English Graduate Organization’s national conference on ways to fuse storytelling and research iniatives in the classroom and beyond.