Education Partners

Carlton Jama Adams, PhD is the lead professor in the Institute's Navigator Certificate and Chair of the Department of Africana Studies at John Jay College. Jama received a B.S. in Psychology from John Jay and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology from the Graduate Center of CUNY. His research interests include masculinities, fatherhood, and black identity in the age of cultural ambiguity. His expertise lies in organizational issues in social service agencies, parenting, and black thought in an era of cultural ambiguity.
Carla Barrett has served as the Academic Director of the Prison-to-College Pipeline (P2CP) program since August 2019 and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at John Jay. Carla’s early interests in the challenges faced by urban youth led her to investigate the ways in which urban young people encounter structures of social control, namely juvenile and criminal justice systems. Her early research focused on the criminal prosecution of adolescents in New York City. This lead to an exploration of the efficacy of Alternative to Incarceration programs and problem-solving courts. Carla continues to be interested in the ways youth are criminalized and the impact of criminal justice policies on court-involved youth, particularly young men of color. Carla is a fierce advocate for reform of juvenile and criminal justice policies and practices, and for practices that help 'humanize' justice systems. Carla has always been interested in the "law in action" and in how court workers go about the day to day application of law within criminal court case processing and how they explain what they do. Recently, Carla has been focusing her case processing research on mass misdemeanors, specifically misdemeanor adjudication and plea bargaining.
Charlene Floyd is a history and political science instructor in the Prison-to-College Pipeline. Charlene completed her Ph.D. in Political Science at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her research interest in religion and politics has taken her to the mountains of Chiapas, Mexico, where she studied the role of the Catholic Church in the process of democratization, and closer to home including the suburbs of Charlotte, North Carolina, and Dallas, Texas, and the streets of Brooklyn, New York, where she considered the connection between faith and politics in contemporary American Protestantism. Charlene taught in the doctoral program at New York Theological Seminary, has been privileged to teach political science at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, and in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at Baruch College.
Anissa Hélie is an history instructor in the Prison-to-College Pipeline. Raised in Algiers, Algeria, Anissa holds two M.A.s, from France and the Netherlands, and obtained her doctorate from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris (E.H.E.S.S), with a research focusing on the history of female educational staff in Algeria during French colonization (1874-1949).

Before joining the faculty at John Jay in 2008, Anissa held both research and teaching positions at Amherst College (M.A.), Mount Holyoke College and other surrounding colleges from 2005 to 2008. Prior to that, Anissa focused primarily on human rights work, notably serving in various capacities in the International Network Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML), including as the Executive Director of its International Coordination Office in London, U.K., from 2000 to 2005; as well as: Program Coordinator at the Center for Women's Global Leadership, Rutgers University (N.J., 1997-2000); legal researcher for the International Women's Human Rights Law Clinic (CUNY, New York, 1998-1999); Deputy Director for the Women's Research and Action Group, (Bombay, India, 1996).
Richard Hoehler is a communications and theatre arts professor in the Prison-to-College Pipeline. Richard has created four solo shows (Working Class, Human Resources, New Jersey/New York and I of the Storm) and received the OOBR Award for Best Solo Performance. In 2009 his play, Fathers & Sons, premiered Off Broadway. Other stage appearances include Rounding Third, K2, Kalighat, True West, Cries for Peace, The Rubber Room, Inadmissible, Day of the Dad and HAIR (55+). Television: NYPD Blue, Law and Order, Criminal Intent, As The World Turns, One Life to Live, Third Watch, and The Black Box. His newest piece, “E,” described as a live memoir, was featured at the Cornelia Street Café, Delaware Valley Arts Alliance, and The Commons in Brooklyn. Two new plays, MARS and REGULAR, NO SUGAR are in development and he recently directed I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER at the Chain Theatre in New York. Richard leads writing workshops all over New York City and is the founder of Acting Out, an acting class designed for at-risk youth and the incarcerated.

For nine years Richard has led the Theatre Workshop at Otisville State Prison. His play, FATHERS AND SONS was staged at the prison last July and will be performed at HB Studio in December 2020 cast with formerly incarcerated actors now studying with Richard at HB. Richard is a member of National Alliance of Acting Teachers, a member of the Dramatists Guild and an adjunct professor of Theatre at John Jay College.
Dr. Bukky Kolawole is an instructor in the Institute's Navigator Certificate in Human Services and Community Justice. Dr. Bukky is a licensed clinical psychologist and completed her doctoral internship in clinical psychology at New York City’s renowned Bellevue Hospital. She received her doctoral degree (PsyD) in clinical psychology from Long Island University, Post Campus. She specializes in providing couple’s therapy and pre-marital counseling for all couples, including those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) community.

Dr. Bukky’s clinical and research interests include the development and assessment of experiential learning events for the enhancement of intimate relationships; the application of Motivational Interviewing approaches in teacher consultation; and the application of Emotionally Focused Therapy with same-sex couples and polyamorous partners. She is a current member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT), International Center of Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT), New York Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy (NYCEFT) and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Dr. Bukky also maintains a voluntary faculty appointment at New York University Langone Medical Center’s Department of Population Health. Dr. Bukky is the founder of Dr. Bukky & Associates (now known as Relationship HQ).
Dr. Laurie Leitch is an instructor in the Institute's Navigator Certificate in Human Services and Community Justice. Laurie has been a practicing psychotherapist, clinical trainer, consultant, social entrepreneur, and researcher for over 25 years. She co-founded and co-directed Threshold GlobalWorks, LLC (TGW) with Brigadier General (Ret.) Loree Sutton, MD. until September 2, 2014 at which point she assumed the sole Directorship as Sutton was appointed Commissioner in the Mayor's Office of Veteran's Affairs in New York City by Mayor Bill DeBlasio.

Laurie currently serves on Advisory Boards for Fountain House/VetClub NYC, Homeward Bound Adirondacks, the Resource Innovation Group Climate Change Initiative, Second Response, and Shining Service Worldwide. Her work has been reported in a variety of US and international newspapers, she has numerous radio and podcast interviews, and appears in the documentary film “Justice Denied,” a film on male military sexual abuse that was nominated for several awards.
David Mensah is an instructor in the Institute's Navigator Certificate and the Collective Leadership Supervisor Training. His 21-year career has included 13 years in Executive Director positions, as well as 10 years as a youth and family counselor. Mr. Mensah has two BS degrees from Oregon State University, a Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Bridgeport and a M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. He has held faculty positions at Sacred Heart University, in Leadership Studies; at the University of Bridgeport, in Trauma Counseling; and currently holds an adjunct faculty position at Baruch College, in the School of Public Affairs.
Jessica Gordon Nembhard is an Africana studies professor with the Prison-to-College Pipeline. Jessica is a professor of Community Justice and Social Economic Development in the Department of Africana Studies at John Jay College, where she is also Director of the McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program. She is an affiliate scholar at the Centre for the Study of Co-operatives at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, where she is co-investigator for the “Measuring the Impact of Credit Unions,” Community and University Research Partnerships (CURA) project; and an affiliate scholar with the Economics Department’s Center on Race and Wealth at Howard University.

Jessica earned a Ph.D. and an M.A. in economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1992 and 1989, respectively). She earned her B.A. degree, magna cum laude, in Literature and African American Studies from Yale University (1978); and an M.A.T. in Elementary Curriculum and Teaching from Howard University (1982).
Yetunde Oshodi, LMSW, SIFI is an instructor in the Pinkerton Undergraduate Fellowship and an adjunct professor at John Jay College. She is also currently the Director of the Training Institute at the Center for Court Innovation. Previously, she worked as a Child Protective Specialist in the Divisions of Child Protection and Youth and Family Justice with New York City's Administration for Children's Services, as a Forensic Social Worker with Juvenile Justice Initiative, a Program Manager with Easter Seals Southern California, and a Research Staff Associate at Columbia University. She has experience with Applied Behavioral Analysis and Behavior management and is passionate about youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

Yetunde graduated with a B.A. in Psychology / Law and Society from the University of California, Riverside and received her Masters of Science in Social Work, with a concentration in Social Enterprise Administration and Not for Profit Management from Columbia University.
Henry Smart III is an instructor in the Tow Policy Advocacy Fellowship and is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Management at John Jay College. He is a military veteran with over 15 years of service in the U.S. Marine Corps and the National Guard. Throughout his professional career, he has acquired additional knowledge and experience in contract management, nonprofit management, public policy, and social and public administration. He holds his Master of Science in Social Administration from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Morgan State University. After completing his studies at Columbia, he provided program management at various non-profit organizations in the New York City metropolitan area. In May of 2018, he completed his Ph.D. in Public Administration and Public Affairs at Virginia Tech. At John Jay College, Henry teaches undergraduate courses in the Criminal Justice Management program and graduate courses in the Master of Public Administration program. His teaching portfolio covers topics related to the policy process, policy analysis, the evaluation of criminal justice programs and the foundations of public administration. His current research examines colorism’s influence on administrative decisions, narratives related to state and local policy agreement and the intersection of presidential pork and disaster preparedness.
Elizabeth Speck provides career development instruction and coaching in the Institute's Pinkerton, Tow, and DRF Fellowships and the Navigator Certificate program. She is the founder and principal of MindOpen Learning Strategies, a training, consulting, and coaching firm that helps people and organizations learn new ways to work in order to better serve social justice. A Licensed Creative Arts Therapist, Elizabeth has worked within and across New York City’s complex public service systems in direct service, management, and capacity building for three decades. Prior to founding MindOpen, Elizabeth led large-scale organizational and systemic change efforts as the Chief Learning Officer for the Workforce Professionals Training Institute in New York City, and as Senior Training Director for Safe Horizon, the nation’s largest victim assistance organization. Her own experience with vicarious trauma and burnout ignited a passion for building health and equity in the workplace, leading to earning a Ph.D. in Organizational Development from Fielding Graduate University, where her research looked at entering and advancing in the human services field for professionals who have been formerly incarcerated. As a community member, scholar-practitioner, and entrepreneur, Elizabeth is active in multiple networks working towards racial justice and equity in education, health, employment, and economic opportunity.
Leigh Sugar is a writing instructor in the Navigator Certificate in Human Services and Community Justice. Leigh holds an MFA in poetry from New York University, where she facilitated free creative writing workshops for war veterans as a 2017/2018 Veteran Writers Fellow. She is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree with specializations in Criminal Justice Policy/Administration and Organizational Management and Operation at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She completed undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan, from which she graduated with high honors and earned a Hopwood Writing Award for a nonfiction manuscript.