In December 2011, Dr. Silvia L. Mazzula, Assistant Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, received a grant award by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to design and implement the Latina Researchers Conference: Increasing the Pipeline for Future Scholars. The inaugural Conference, which took place April 27-28th, 2012 in New York City, brought together internationally and nationally renowned scholars and researchers to discuss pressing topics related to the state of underrepresented scholars and to research with vulnerable populations. The meeting was attended by researchers and aspiring investigators from every academic background and from all over the United States.
The inaugural Conference was also supported by the American Psychological Association Office of Minority Affairs, the Latino Psychological Association of New Jersey, the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame, the National Latino/a Psychological Association and several John Jay College of Criminal Justice departments and centers, including the Department of Psychology, the Center on Race, Crime and Justice, the Department of Counseling, the Urban Male Initiative, and the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute and CUNY Chancellor’s Initiative for Faculty Diversity.
The Latina Researchers Network was founded shortly after the inaugural Conference as a multidisciplinary and supportive community of scholars, researchers, academic leaders and professional allies to ensure the next generation of investigators has access to role models and networking opportunities to succeed in academia and research activities. In 2013, Dr. Mazzula received further support by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Annie E. Casey Foundation to continue and expand the Network’s efforts to support under-represented scholars and graduate students in the pipeline.