An Interview with Ms. Kelisha Layne!

October 17, 2017


What is your official job title?

Assistant Director of MA Program Administration


Where did you go to school/what did you get your degree in?

University of Connecticut (Go Huskies!) for my Bachelors in Sociology


What lead you to working this job at John Jay?

I was attracted to the opportunity because it was a new role. I knew it would allow me to make my mark professionally without any preceding method of doing things. I could set the bar high and, more closely measure my contribution.



What services do you provide?

“I am the Walmart of academic advising” – Kelisha Layne. My services are all encompassing, for all administrative matters for the MA program in the department of psychology. What I mean by that is that I offer services that assist students with degree planning, graduation planning, course selection, class permissions, summer or winter session course selection, program or degree change, transfer credits, e-permit semester credit limit, course substitutions, academic probation issues, and therapy (I’m kidding). I prefer if students see me beyond there being a problem or setback, I like for students to be proactive in their academic career here and have one or two scheduled appointments throughout the semester, as well as scheduling regular meetings throughout their academic plan.


How do students make an appointment with you and what should they say in their email?

Send me a direct email, with their program of study.


Should students bring anything to meetings with you?

Those prepared with questions or some idea of what they would like to get out of an appointment is helpful, but sometimes students don’t know and that's fine too. That is what I’m here for, to assist students in uncovering what they really want


Is there anything else you want students to know?

The one thing I continually say to students in advising is that their career begins now, it doesn’t start after they graduate from John Jay. With keeping that mindset, it repositions students’ attitude to be proactive while they are here, to take full advantage of resources, make connections with faculty, approach their studies with something in mind to contribute to the industry, field, or research, and they can come see me to help them do that.


What are some of your hobbies/what do you like to do in your spare time?

In my free time I like to write, I love time with my son, dancing, reading self-help books (I’m addicted), cooking, and vacationing.


What are some of your pet peeves?

Disorganization and negativity.


What is your favorite part of your work at John Jay?

My favorite part is the students and the overarching theme of working in the pursuit of justice. I’m inspired by being able to participate in the actualization of students’ aspirations and the progression and development of programs and the institution.  


Did you have a career or advising mentor at some point in your schooling who inspired you?

Yes, Dr. Joanne Rolle, who is now the Dean of the School of Business at Medgar-Evers College-CUNY. She was an example of someone who remained composed and purposeful even though she had a very high-pressured, stressful job. I was able to learn a good amount from her like people management skills, leadership and how to establish connectedness among academia and administrators. I believe it is powerful when the value and contribution of both sides are acknowledged and supported. 

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