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2019 Global Citizenship Honorees

T.J. English

New York Times best-selling author and journalist Global Impact Award

T.J. English is a journalist and author of eight non-fiction crime books, including Havana Nocturne, The Corporation, The Savage Cityand The Westies. Four of his books have been New York Times best-sellers, and four have been nominated for an Edgar Award in the category of Best Fact Crime. His books are known for the thoroughness of the research and intimacy of detail, with many first-hand accounts from the point-of-view of underworld sources interviewed by the author. His journalism has taken him around the world to Cuba, Jamaica, Hong Kong, Mexico, and other countries.

In 2010, after investigating and writing about the Narco War in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, English formulated the Irish Mexican Alliance, an initiative designed to raise money for a legal fund in support of Mexican journalists whose work covering the Narco War had caused them to flee Mexico seeking asylum in the U.S. The Irish Mexican Alliance held events in NYC and El Paso, Texas that showcased Irish and Mexican musicians, poets, dancers, and writers in solidarity with the Committee to Protect Journalists. The initiative is ongoing.

Raised in a large Irish Catholic family of ten siblings, English, at the age of 21, moved to NYC, where he drove a taxi at night while working as a freelance journalist during the day. Today, having now lived in NYC his entire adult life, English is a fixture in the city, especially his home neighborhood of Greenwich Village, where he curates and hosts a popular Latin Jazz concert series known as Dangerous Rhythms.

Marie Marianetti & Yuri Gorokhovich

Associate Professor/Chair of History Department Faculty Award for Excellence in Study Abroad

Dr. Marie Marianetti
Associate Professor/Chair of History Department
Faculty Award for Excellence in Study Abroad

Dr. Marie Marianetti was born in Athens, Greece and she came to the United States to pursue higher education. She is an educator trained in Classics and the History of the Ancient World and she has been teaching in the Department of History at Lehman College for the last 25 years. She is passionate about teaching and student success and transforming students’ lives has been her ultimate goal in academia.

Since Classical education is becoming obsolete and students are attracted more to subjects that warrant a future with financial stability, Dr. Marianetti has made a tremendous effort to keep students interested in subjects like Classical Mythology, Archaeology and Ancient History. One of the most successful programs that she ever created, in collaboration with Dr. Yuri Gorohkovich of EEGS, is a Study Abroad in Crete, Greece, where students experience Bronze Age settlements of the Minoan Civilization and its consequent defeat and occupation by the Mycenaean Greeks, by their actual, physical participation.

Dr. Marianetti exposes the students to monumental remnants and sites of the Minoan Civilization such as Knossos, Phaestos, Malia, Gournia, Zakros, Acharnes, Gortys, Hagia Triada, Kritsa, Toplou, Spinalonga and Herakleion Museum, and she focuses on a composite examination of history, archaeology, religion and mythology, society and culture, politics, trade routes and thalassocracy, art and architecture.

Dr. Marianetti has been awarded for excellence in teaching twice in the past: In 2010 she received a Teaching Award from the School of Arts and Humanities, and in 2014 she received the Teacher of the Year Award in Teaching Excellence. At Lehman College, Dr. Marianetti has been the Chair of the Department of History since 2009.

Dr. Yuri Gorokhovich
Associate Professor
Department of Earth, Environmental, and Geospatial Sciences
Faculty Award for Excellence in Study Abroad

Dr. Yuri Gorokhovich is a geologist with broad interests in natural hazards, data analysis with Geographic Information Systems and applications of X-ray fluorometry in archaeology and geology. Yuri graduated from Odessa University (Ukraine) and worked as coastal geologist on the Black Sea coast of Ukraine before immigrating to US in 1989. Since that time he worked with Department of Environmental Protection of New York City as a manager of Geographic Information Systems group and later pursued academic and research career with Purchase College (SUNY), Columbia University (Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering and Center for International Earth Science Information Network) and Lehman College (CUNY). Yuri authors 33 peer-reviewed publications in international journals and conducted grant supported research in all continents excluding Australia and Antarctica.

Dr. Gorokhovich studies natural hazards and disasters by bridging physical and social sciences to model and identify vulnerabilities and risks; help estimating affected population and resources at risk using spatial multi-criteria modeling. His current research is focused on investigating long-term scale hazards (e.g. sea-level rise and its consequences on coastal vulnerability, deglaciation processes affecting climate change, etc.) and short-term scale disasters (earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, etc.) by understanding vulnerability and risk components, finding and quantifying physical and other related conditions; expanding applications of new data and methods in studying and modeling contemporary and historical environments turning hazards into disasters. Looking at modern hazards he also tries to bridge modern knowledge with historical events; for example he developed a new theory on abandonment and destruction of Minoan (Late Bronze Age) palaces on Crete. This research lead to creating a study abroad course on Crete in collaboration with Dr. Marie Marianetti (Department of History).

Jaci Maurer

Director of Lehman College Child Care Center, Lehman L.I.F.E. Advisor since 2009
Lehman L.I.F.E. Distinguished Administrator Award

Jaci Maurer is the Director of the Lehman College Child Care/ Imagine Advisory Board President hoald from Bassett, Nebraska and grew up in Montana. She moved to NYC in 1998. Jaci earned her B.A. in Elementary Education and an M.S. in Education from Pace University. She joined Imagine Early Learning Centers (formerly Innovative Learning Centers) in 1993, as Head Preschool Teacher at our Mt. Sinai location. She was promoted to Assistant Director and served at our Mt. Sinai location until 2002 when she was appointed Associate Director at Lehman College where she now serves as Director. Jaci is a member and serves as the secretary of the CUNY Child Care Council. She is an active fundraiser for Kids for Kids, the nonprofit arm of Imagine. Actively involved since 2007, Jaci has been a driving force in bringing the Lehman L.I.F.E program to Kenya and has participated as the advisor in multiple trips to Nairobi, Kenya and Apopka, Florida. She is an avid camper, golfer and hiker. Recently, Jaci climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, the largest summit in all of Africa, to raise money to educate children of the Kibera slums in Kenya with Crossing Thresholds.

Cyrille Njikeng

Executive Director of CUNY University Student Senate, Lehman College Class of 2015
Alumni Humanitarian of the Year

Cyrille Njikeng migrated from Cameroon in 2007 to pursue the American dream. Like any other undocumented immigrant, Cyrille worked several odd jobs such as gas station attendant, bathroom attendant, and bag boy at a supermarket. This experience fuelled him with the zeal to find his true passion and career. He discovered that his American dream will be achieved through education and decided to register for a GED class and passed the exam after three months. In 2011, he registered to Westchester Community College as an adult learner. Two years later, he graduated with an Associates of Art in Communications and Media Arts. His journey continued through Lehman College, where he graduated with a Bachelors of Art in Multimedia and TV studies. Lehman College significantly shaped Cyrille’s journey by instilling in him the love of leadership and community engagement, this lead him to serve as the class student government president, he was a member of the Lehman LIFE group that traveled to Honduras in 2014. Cyrille also created a non-profit organization to help orphans in Cameroon called My Sister Cares Foundation in memory of his late sister Sheila. In June 2018, Cyrille graduated with a Master's Degree in Film from the City College of New York where he also served as a Graduate student government President.

Cyrille shares a great passion for filmmaking and leadership. For the past four years, Cyrille travels to Cameroon to visit various orphanages, he donates computers, food, and toys to the kids in need. Cyrille volunteers every November with the New York City marathon, He also serve food to the homeless every Thanksgiving and Christmas in his community.

He has worked as a Director of Photography on several film projects such as the web series “Boughetto”, he directed the documentary “The water I shall give them” (2013), “The Rebirth” (2018). He acted in the second season of the Netflix series “Master of None”, and serves as the Executive Director of the CUNY University Student Senate.Cyrille hopes to inspire more young leaders and change many lives around the world through his public speaking engagement and motivational speeches.