Meet the Faculty

Molly Makris, Assistant Professor, Urban Studies

Dr. Molly Vollman Makris

Email: Molly.Makris@guttman.cuny.edu
Location: Guttman North

Dr. Molly Vollman Makris, Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of Urban Studies, holds a Ph.D. in Urban Systems, with concentrations in Urban Educational Policy and the Urban Environment, from Rutgers University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. She received her M.A.L.S. in Urban Education from the CUNY Graduate Center and a B.S. in Secondary Education from NYU. Dr. Makris began her career as a social studies teacher in a public high school in New York City, later working for a nonprofit youth development organization. Her current areas of research are urban education reform, charter schools, school segregation, privatization of public space, and gentrification.

Dr. Makris won the American Educational Studies Association (AESA) Critics’ Choice Book Award and the New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance Book Award in 2016 for authoring Public Housing and School Choice in a Gentrified City: Youth Experiences of Uneven Opportunity (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). Her next book, Gentrification Down the Shore  (Rutgers University Press) co-authored with Dr. Mary Gatta will come out in 2020. Her articles have been featured in the Peabody Journal of Education, Journal of Urban Affairs, and Journal of Education Policy. Dr. Makris’ research and teaching have been covered by The Takeaway, The 74 Million, and Chalkbeat, to name a few. She enjoys presenting her work at the conferences of the AESA, the American Educational Research Association, and the21 Urban Affairs Association.

Professor Marcus Allen

Dr. Marcus Allen

Email: Marcus.Allen@guttman.cuny.edu
Location: Guttman North

Professor of Urban Studies Dr. Marcus Allen joined the Guttman faculty in 2013, serving as Urban Studies Program Coordinator from 2014 to 2016, administering program operations, and representing its interests to internal and external partners. Since 2015, Dr. Allen has been the committed Program Director of Guttman’s United Men of Color (UMOC), part of the CUNY Black Male Initiative funded by the New York City Council.

Prior to Guttman, Dr. Allen was the Program Coordinator of both the African, African American, Diaspora Studies Program and the South Africa and Botswana Study Abroad Program at Wheaton College. A prolific scholar in his field, Dr. Allen’s publications have appeared in the Journal of Race and Policy, Journal of Black Studies, and The American Review of Politics, among others, and he has presented at numerous conferences in his areas of expertise. Dr. Allen earned his B.A. as a double major in Political Science and Philosophy, and his Ph.D. in Political Science from Binghamton University, State University of New York (SUNY).

Andrea Morrell

Dr. Andrea Morrell

Email: Andrea.Morrell@guttman.cuny.edu
Location: Guttman North

Dr. Andrea Morrell is Assistant Professor of Urban Studies and Anthropology at Guttman, where she teaches courses on urban inequality, labor, sex and gender, and immigration in the First Year Experience as well as courses in the Urban Studies program. Her research focuses on prisons, race and class, and deindustrialization in the United States. Dr. Morrell is completing a book on race, class, the carceral state, and prison expansion in Elmira, New York. Her writing has been published in the journals Transforming Anthropology and North American Dialogue.

Karen G. Williams

Dr. Karen G. Williams

Email: Karen.Williams@guttman.cuny.edu
Location: Guttman North

Dr. Karen G. Williams is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Guttman Community College. Her scholarship focuses on the carceral state and the aftermath of mass incarceration and reflects a deep concern for the socioeconomic and racial inequalities that underlie the criminal justice system as well as current social justice movements. Dr. Williams has conducted ethnographic research in men’s and women’s prisons in the Midwest, examining the way that staff deliver services and adopt evidence-based practices and policies to facilitate reentry for individuals leaving prisons. Her research is relevant to social policy, providing insights into the lived experiences of marginalized communities in the United States. In addition to her work on the criminal justice system, Dr. Williams has studied mindfulness and Buddhist philosophy at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California and at Insight Meditation Society in Massachusetts. She brings mindfulness and meditative practices to her research and teaching in order to build compassionate engagement and to recognize the interconnectedness of all things.

Douglas Medina

Douglas A. Medina

Email: Douglas.Medina@guttman.cuny.edu
Location: Guttman North

Douglas A. Medina joins Guttman as Instructor of Political Science. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Political Science Program at the CUNY Graduate Center. Prof. Medina holds an M.A. in Liberal Studies from The New School and an M.Phil. in Political Science from the CUNY Graduate Center. His research is focused on the political economy of higher education and the influence of race and class politics – as well as mental health – on approaches to solving poverty and inequality. Prof. Medina has over 20 years of experience in higher education, ranging from adjunct instructor of political science to his most recent administrative position as Associate Director of the Undergraduate Honors Program at Baruch College, CUNY. Prof. Medina has also trained over 600 people in Mental Health First Aid, both at CUNY colleges and in communities throughout New York City.

Dr. Samuel Finesurrey

Dr. Samuel Finesurrey

Email: Samuel.Finesurrey@guttman.cuny.edu
Location: Guttman North

Dr. Samuel Finesurrey serves as an Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Guttman Community College, City University of New York. He received his Ph.D. in Cuban History at the University of North Carolina in 2018. In 2020, Finesurrey was awarded an American Council of Learned Societies Mellon Community College Fellowship to develop, with undergraduates, an archive titled “Voices from the Heart of Gotham: The Undergraduate Scholars Oral History Collection at Guttman Community College.” This is a collection of student-conducted oral histories producing and preserving contemporary immigrant and activist narratives in New York City. Finesurrey also is the director of the CUNY-School in the Square Intergenerational Participatory Research Collective.

At Guttman, Finesurrey teaches a range of courses in history, political science and the first-year experience. He founded an educational initiative titled “A People’s History of New York City” and co-authored a textbook with Guttman professor Gary Greaves, titled U.S. Government and Politics in Principle and Practice: Democracy, Rights, Freedoms and Empire. Further, Finesurrey serves as the Academic Technology Coordinator, the Faculty Advisor to Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society, and as Guttman’s PI for the Global Scholars Achieving Career Success initiative. Finesurrey won the 2021-22 Award for Excellence for Part-Time Faculty at Guttman Community College.