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My 2022-2023 IGEPS Experience

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By Nicole DiMaria:

During the 2022-2023 academic year with IGEPS, I have been working on a plethora of academic manuscripts, partnerships, and conferences.

During the 2022-2023 academic year with IGEPS, I have been working on a plethora of academic manuscripts, partnerships, and conferences. My focus has been primarily on a manuscript exploring legislation passed under the DeBlasio administration to assess the presence of gender equity and protection for one’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression (SOGIE). I also had the exciting opportunity to assist my supervisors and coworkers on a UN project. Days, weeks, and months were dedicated to provide the UN with a quick turnaround on a report that assessed policies, legislation, initiatives, and laws internationally to understand how countries were working towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and specifically, SDG 5. With that project finishing in December, this spring semester has entailed continuing on the gender equity scholarship from the DeBlasio administration, along with assisting on a project focusing on Gender Inclusion in the Workplace. This work, and specifically my focus on the work-life balance and family friendly policies, has been evident in local scholarship from New York City, and internationally and from countries across the world from us, such as Australia. This reiterated gender disparities is not an isolated problem, and must be addressed on all levels. I have also recently been able to present findings related to the UN project and New York City legislation at the American Society for Public Administration Conference and the  Northeastern Conference on Public Administration, and was connected with an extremely talented group of individuals passionate about similar issues. Just recently, I was also given the opportunity and support to write an Op-ed. The first thought that came to mind was a personal, yet common, experience: being the victim of a sex crime while on the subway. The piece explored current initiatives and steps taken to address this issue, along with reiterating this is not a new problem. By being vulnerable, I hoped to humanize myself beyond my name under an article.

My experiences with IGEPS have greatly contributed to my future career success and have prepared me for whatever avenue I decide to pursue. As a woman, this is an issue that greatly affects my opportunities and myself due to the stereotypes surrounding my gender identity and my capabilities. Our research has backed up the fact that gender inequities are narrowing, but are still visible. In the meantime, I constantly worry I may be looked over for jobs I know I am qualified for because of my gender. In addition, as I am currently working in New York City, I understand legislation that protects those in the SOGIE community from discrimination. It has been eye opening to learn how things I think of as common courtesy or decency, such as providing feminine products to inmates in prison, was not discussed in legislation until DeBlasio. 

I recently graduated with my Master’s in Forensic Psychology, and have been on the hunt for jobs since earlier this year. I knew my psychology background provided me with the quantitative and statistical skills needed for research, but I was lacking in terms of qualitative data collection and analysis. IGEPS has exposed me to qualitative research and new programs used for research that I know will give me leverage for job opportunities, as some of my colleagues seem to have experience only in one or the other. I will also admit I was pretty unfamiliar with legislation, policies, and the workings of the public sector. After a year of working with IGEPS, I now feel comfortable searching for literature surrounding the public sector and legislation, explaining gender equity initiatives, and analyzing their impacts on certain communities. While on the hunt for work, I noticed many jobs within the psychology, investigative, legal, and criminal justice fields involve data analysis specific to policies in order to address what’s working and what isn’t, in order to provide suggestions to the government and write up policy briefs.

IGEPS has been, and will continue to be, an invaluable experience. From public speaking and gaining professional experience presenting at conferences and working with the UN, to understanding where my own City stands in protecting minorities, I learn and grow every day.


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About the author:

Nicole DiMaria is a graduate student at John Jay College currently working towards her M.A. in Forensic Psychology. She graduated with a B.S in Psychology from Fordham University and has conducted her own research relating to the challenges to and malleability of eyewitness testimony. She hopes to continue research involving policies and legislation of the criminal justice and legal system, specific to the inequalities in sentencing, treatment, and methods and modes of crimes between majorities and minorities, whether it be gender, race, sexuality, or age. When she’s not studying, she’s likely to be found walking dogs in the streets of NYC, or in the studio dancing.