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CIE Researcher of Distinction, May 2015

Vanessa LynnVanessa Lynn

Each month, the Center for Inclusive Education showcases the outstanding research being conducted by one of our talented scholars in our Research Café series. In addition, we recognize this scholar as a Researcher of Distinction and share the details of his/her journey to becoming an accomplished scholar. This month's Researcher of Distinction is Vanessa Lynn, PhD student in Sociology. Vanessa presented her talk, ‘Collective memories of the War on Drugs in New York City: Towards a discourse of responsibility and victimhood’ on Wednesday, May 13, 2015.


Vanessa's Path Into Research

Vanessa received a dual BA in Sociology and Journalism from CUNY Brooklyn College. As an undergraduate, Vanessa was on the Dean’s List every semester and received a scholarship to study abroad in India. Her passion for research was sparked by her experiences in journalism and conducting investigative interviews, which led her to receive a MS in Applied Social Research from CUNY Hunter College. 

Currently a Turner Fellow and third-year PhD student in the sociology program at Stony Brook, Vanessa’s research interests are on the issues of race and the criminal justice system, and the implication on policies and practices. She performed preliminary research in France and New York on the use of art and art programs in the rehabilitation of incarcerated individuals. Her research overall bridges the literature on collective memory and reentry practices. 

Vanessa's Current Research

Describe the work you will be presenting for your Research Café.

The work I will present is based on a three-part study I conducted from May to September 2014. I will share the preliminary findings of interviews with 17 men and three women, all African Americans and formerly incarcerated for a drug-related crime. I will investigate the convergence of the private and public memories of the War on Drugs and the dominant narrative of the New Jim Crow.