Celestina Anino graduated from Rutgers-Camden in 2017 with a MA in Criminal Justice. During her time at WRI, she worked on the following projects: Live Healthy Bridgeton Coalition, Planning study for ending food insecurity in Bridgeton City, and the Youth for Success Evaluation.
Jasmine received her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice at Rutgers–Camden. While earning her degree, she was the Administrative Assistant at WRI.
Michelle graduated from Rutgers-Camden with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. She worked on the Juvenile Justice Commission Re-entry Project from its beginning in June 2011 until April 2013.
Tom Beaver, former graduate assistant at WRI, received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Rutgers-Camden and graduated from the Master of Public Administration program in the Public Management track (May 2008). At the WRI he worked on the Regional Planning and Project Safe Neighborhoods projects.
Jessica is currently a resident of Riverton, NJ. She graduated with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Rutgers University-Camden. Jessica was a project assistant at WRI and worked on the PRI-CORP initiative among other projects.
Caitlin Boehmcke holds an MA in Criminal Justice from Rutgers–Camden. She served as a facilitator to the Greater Bridgeton Area Breakout Group for the Cumberland County Prevention Project. With an academic background in sociology and work background in education, her areas of interest include alternatives to incarceration for juvenile offenders and the efficacy of various re-entry and job training programs for ex-offenders. She hopes to pursue a career in research informing public policy after graduation.
Sean Brown is the founder of Young Urban Leaders, which is devoted to serving the next generation of leaders. Sean served in AmeriCorps VISTA in New Orleans and in Camden. In Camden, he worked at CamConnect doing community outreach, sharing the data and statistics with community organizations and the residents of the city. After his AmericCorps term, he worked at Camden Community Connections, where he was responsible for database management, training students in the after school program, and assisting with intake and training for the STRIVE program. Sean has served on the CamConnect board of trustees since 2006. Sean lived in Camden until he was 8 and moved back when he was 20 to serve the city. Young Urban Leaders was founded while Sean was an undergraduate student at Rutgers University. He received his BA is Urban Studies in 2010. Sean is working on a master’s degree in Public Policy with a concentration on Community Development. Sean served on the Camden school board 2010-2013. He served as the chairman of the policy committee. Sean has been featured in the Courier Post’s Top 35 leaders under 35 years of age. In 2010, Next American City included him as of the “Best and Brightest.”
Graduate Research Assistant
Carla Villacis is a first year student in the MA Experimental Psychology Program at Rutgers University–Camden. She obtained a B.A. in Romance Languages from Bowdoin College, where she also studied Psychology. Carla has applied her language skills through experiences teaching abroad and in translation services, including clinical evaluations. Most recently, Carla worked in behavioral health implementing clinical interventions in schools and clients homes. She supports the strengthening family Initiative by studying its impact on involved families.
Sharmy Chowdhury graduated from the University of Maryland College Park with a BA in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Afterwards, she was hired as a Program Management Specialist at the Center for Public Policy and Private Enterprise, University of Maryland College Park. She has completed her master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Rutgers-Camden. Her research interests include rehabilitation, domestic violence, juvenile delinquency and national security. Sharmy’s future goal is to work in a national security field.
Spencer T. Clayton is a third year doctoral student in the Public Affairs program at Rutgers-Camden. His research focuses on the impact of local-level redistricting on community development organizations with a special emphasis on the Philadelphia area. At the Walter Rand Institute, he works on statistical and spatial analysis for various projects and researches topics related to South Jersey including the socioeconomic and policy-related factors inhibiting and encouraging voter turnout.
Isabella D’Anella-Mercanti graduated with a BA in Sociology with a dual minor in Urban and Childhood Studies at Rutgers University. Graduating in Spring of 2014, Isabella sought to advance her studies in educational policy and focus on improving education within the Philadelphia region. At WRI, Isabella worked on a counseling grant project within the Camden School District.
Michael R. DeLeon, has earned 3 Associates Degrees, a Baccalaureate in Business Management, with a minor in Criminal Justice and a CADC Certificate, and has now obtained his master’s degree in Social Work from Rutgers University School of Social Work as well as his LCADC. Michael is the founder of Steered Straight, Inc. A non-profit organization formed in 2000 designed with the intention of carrying a message to youth and young adults regarding the extreme dangers of drugs, gang-involvement and criminal activity. Michael spends his time developing Steered Straight by stressing the importance of young men and women making sound, rational decisions in their day-to-day lives. Michael has spoken to over one million students and young adults as a motivational speaker in many facilities around the state of New Jersey.
Josue earned his undergraduate degree in Psychology and his Master in Public Administration with a concentration in Public Management from Rutgers–Camden. Josue was the Graduate Assistant at WRI and worked directly with the Institute’s Associate Director on finances and grants management.
Elijah is a senior at Rutgers studying Political Science with a double minor in Africana Studies and Writing. In the Summer of 2017 he helped develop an educational nonprofit based in Trenton called HomeWorks, an after school boarding program for underserved girls in the city and currently serves as Director of Community Outreach. He enjoys helping others, soccer, and writing.
Matt Galey completed his undergraduate studies at Rutgers-Camden and majored in Political Science, Criminal Justice, and Philosophy. He worked with the Cumberland County Prevention Project, facilitating the Vineland Breakout Group, during his tenure at WRI. Following graduation, Matt has since begun law school in Maryland.
Pierce Hacking is a graduate of the Honors College at Rutgers–Camden and was enrolled in the BA/MA dual degree program in Criminal Justice. He also completed a minor in Sociology and was an active member of the campus’s Criminal Justice Organization. He was a Project Assistant primarily working on Municipal Juvenile Delinquency Prevention.
Joseph Harris earned a BA with honors in Economics, with a minor in Finance from Rutgers University–Camden. Joseph is pursuing a Master in Public Administration with a concentration in Public Management at Rutgers University–Camden. Prior working for the Walter Rand Institute, he worked as a research assistant for the Economics Department focusing on topics related to Health Economics. Joseph was an intern for the Supervision, Regulation, and Credit Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, where he conducted economic research for the Partnership for Progress, a Federal Reserve System program to help promote and preserve minority-owned depository institutions. He also volunteers assisting the Woodbury Economic Restructuring Committee, an economic community development program that supports local businesses located in Woodbury, New Jersey.
Reid graduated from Rutgers-Camden with a psychology degree. He worked as a project assistant with the South Jersey Strengthening Families Initiative. Outside of the Walter Rand Institute, he completed a project under the direction of Dr. Kristin August examining the psychosocial factors related to successful diabetes management. Reid plans to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology with an emphasis in health.
Jocelyn is a law student at Rutgers University–Camden. Originally from Texas, she moved to the north to originally purse her Bachelor’s degree at Mount Holyoke College in English and Politics. She plans to pursue a career in international human rights and immigration law. She hopes to one day work as an advocate for refugees in Europe. In her spare time, she enjoys writing and performing poetry.
Graduate Research Assistant
John Pinsky (Jack to his friends) is a graduate student pursuing his Master of Arts in Psychology at Rutgers University – Camden. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Franklin and Marshall College where he mentored undeserved youth at the local high school throughout his four years there. He also has experience working with and conducting research regarding adolescents with special needs. At the Walter Rand Institute, he works as a Research Assistant concentrating on data collection and analysis as part of the FAMCO team. In the future, he hopes to apply his skills as a researcher and clinician to his own practice as a psychologist.
Katie Johnston graduated from Saint Louis University in 2011 with her bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Spanish. She earned her master’s degree in Public Administration at Rutgers University-Camden, and enjoyed the opportunity to put into practice the skills she has developed in the classroom to address the management and policy challenges of her work on the Prevention Project. She plans to continue to work as a consultant in the public sector.
Jorge Carvalho Pereira
Jorge Carvalho Pereira is a Rutgers graduate with an MA in Psychology. His research interests focus on understanding the developmental influence and contributions of protective and promotive factors (such as early parent-child relationships and individual biological processes existing within early childhood experiences) and how they relate to developmental sequelae. During his time at WRI, Jorge collaborated with Dr. James Morgante on several efforts aimed at supporting family strengthening efforts in South Jersey, including the Pascale Sykes Foundation’s Strengthening Families Initiative.
Anneliese Khalil, a native of Medford Lakes, NJ, was enrolled in the Master of Public Administration program in the Public Management track. Anneliese has been working on internship program development for the International Public Service and Development track of the Public Administration master’s degree program.
Alex received his undergraduate degree in Political Science and his Master in Public Administration from Rutgers–Camden. Alex’s work experience consisted of past internships at the state and federal level. At WRI he worked on an economic indicators analysis for Camden City.
Mitchell Larson was a work study student at WRI, majoring in History. He hopes to continue on to graduate school at Rutgers and then Law School.
Nicole McCann graduated from Rutgers-Camden in May 2015 with a major in History and a minor in Political Science. She then entered the Rutgers School of Law. At the Walter Rand Institute, Nicole worked on the Cumberland County Prevention Project, in which she facilitated the Cumberland County Breakout Group.
Michael was a criminal justice major and worked on papers regarding social networking sites and adolescent marijuana use, police traffic stops and race, and one on adolescent marijuana use and peer groups. He graduated in May 2016.
Kaitlyn Muller lives in Philadelphia, where she received her undergraduate degree in Spanish and Leadership and Global Understanding from La Salle University. While at Rutgers-Camden, she was enrolled in the Master of Public Administration program in the Public Management track Kaitlyn worked on the Project Safe Neighborhoods and other public safety projects at WRI.
Brandon Pfister lives in Moorestown, NJ. He received his undergraduate degree in Finance at The University of Alabama.
He completed his Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Public Management at Rutgers-Camden. He performed research assistant duties at WRI.
Rachelle Rankin was enrolled at Rutgers-Camden in the dual degree Political Science BA/Public Administration MPA program, earning credit towards both degrees concurrently. Rachelle is a 2013 recipient of the Jack Marvin Weiner Memorial Award for outstanding performance and leadership in the field of Political Science. She was a member of the Rutgers Honors College, the Political Science Honors Department and Pi Sigma Alpha. Rachelle assisted on a project aimed to help prevent juvenile delinquency in Cumberland County.
Alex Ruiz graduated in 2016 from the MFA in Creative Writing program at Rutgers University-Camden. He holds a BA in English with a minor in Theatre Arts from Rollins College. In addition to maintaining the WRI website and newsletter, he also teaches writing at Camden County College and is at work on a novel.
Anthony See graduated at Rutgers University–Camden pursuing a degree in Computer Science. He is experienced in multiple programming languages (Python, C, and HTML) and works with multiple digital arts programs for Graphic Design and Video Editing. Currently he is working at Lockheed Martin as an Associate Software Engineer.
Brian Slusarz was a project assistant for WRI who worked on the Burlington County Juvenile Prevention Project. He holds a Master’s in Public Policy and Administration from Rutgers-Camden.
Corynn Smith is a fourth year undergraduate working towards a degree in East Asian Languages and Area Studies. Her fields of interest — which include socio-linguistics, cultural and linguistic anthropology, and cross-cultural communication — stem from an academic background in Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, and Linguistics. At the Walter Rand Institute, Corynn gathered and aggregated data from statewide reports and localized them to South Jersey for the benefit of various WRI projects.
Lauren Snow graduated with a BA in Political Science and a Master in Public Administration from Rutgers-Camden in 2016. Her research interests include drug and sex education, criminal justice reform and women’s issues. Lauren hopes to work for a policy advocacy organization or do program evaluation in the future. During her time with WRI, she worked on the Cumberland County Prevention Project.
Caitlee Stanton earned her degree in Criminal Justice and minored in Childhood Studies. She graduated in May 2014. Caitlee was working at WRI as a Project Assistant since September 2013 and plans to pursue a career in the criminal justice field.
Tina Danielle Swenor graduated from Chestnut Hill College with a degree in Political Science in May of 2010 and from Rutgers School of Law—Camden in December of 2015. Tina hopes to work as a prosecutor in New Jersey after passing the NJ and PA bar exam.
Abigail Todhunter-Reid was a PhD student in the Department of Childhood Studies. Her research interests include exploring the differential predictive validity of IQ and emotional competencies, particularly in the context of high-stakes testing. Abigail worked with the South Jersey Strengthening Families Initiative team and loved every minute!
Shelby Tucker graduated from Rutgers-Camden with a Master in Criminal Justice. Her interests are the mentoring of at-risk youths and victimization and plans to pursue her PhD in Criminology. Outside of school, she is an EMT, volunteer firefighter, and councilwoman in her hometown.
Curtis Williams was a doctoral student in Public Affairs and Community Development. He earned a BA in History and African-American Studies from Rutgers-Camden in 2007 and MA in Humanities and Social Thought from New York University in 2009. Prior to coming back to Rutgers, he worked on Joint Base McGuire Dix Lakehurst with Child and Youth Programs. He was also an adjunct history instructor at Burlington County College. His master’s thesis at NYU was entitled “Voices of Protest: Analyzing Controversial Speech in the Black Public Sphere.” He has a wide variety of research interests, including black political discourse, education, and community development.
Marcus Woods is a graduate of the department of Childhood Studies. Marcus’s research focuses on the spiritual identity formation of youth in an urban context. Marcus was a Civic Engagement Fellow and a David K. Sengstack award recipient for the 2013-2014 academic school year and represented his department at the 2014 Childhood Studies Pedagogy Workshop in Milton Keynes, UK. Marcus works on the Center for Family Services Peer Recovery Center Evaluation and enjoys the opportunity to utilize mixed methods approaches to program evaluations.