Selected Bios of Current Students


Alexis Jemal, JD, graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Douglass College, Rutgers University. To pursue her passion for social justice, Alexis received her Juris Doctor degree from Rutgers University School of Law - Newark. In 2009, Alexis worked as a research assistant with the Rutgers' Center for Behavioral Health Services and Criminal Justice Research studying programs and services offenders with mental illness. Currently, she is one of two students in the first Rutgers MSW/PhD joint degree program.  Alexis' field of interest is Clinical Forensic Social Work in which she plans to do research, direct practice, and program/policy development and evaluation, working with populations who have histories of trauma, substance abuse, and victimization, specifically at-risk youth, victim-offenders, veterans, and law enforcement populations. Some of her research interests include civil rights and the criminal justice system with a primary focus on trauma, justice and punishment.



Jamey J. Lister III, MSW, is a pre-doctoral research fellow at the Center for Gambling Studies within the Rutgers University School of Social Work. He is also a recipient of a Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarship to Canada. As part of the Fulbright experience, Lister will collect data for his dissertation within a larger grant funded project examining decision making during slot machine play at the Carleton University Gambling Lab in Ottawa. Prior to attending Rutgers, he received his MSW from the University of Michigan and subsequently functioned as a clinical research coordinator at the University of Michigan’s Department of Psychiatry on neuroimaging studies investigating decision making and brain behavior among clients with OCD. His research interests include the role of motivation and behavioral decision making among recreational and problem gamblers, philosophical issues pertinent to social work practice and research, and the relationship between positive psychological characteristics and mental health.


Sheila McMahon, M.Div., is a Graduate Assistant at the Center on Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC). Her research interests include community-level interventions to prevent sexual assault, primary prevention of sexual assault, and spirituality and social work. She holds a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University, where she studied liberation theology and feminist ethics. Prior to returning to school to pursue her doctorate, she worked on social justice causes in a variety of settings, including government, public interest law, non-profit, and higher education. Most recently, she was the director of the Women's Resource Center at Boston College, where she was introduced to bystander education, an innovative approach to sexual assault prevention. In her free time, Sheila enjoys salsa dancing, movie watching, and making trips to New England to visit her nieces.




Anasuya Ray, MSW, graduated from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India in 2006 with a BA in Political Science and Film Studies. She received her M.A in Social Work in 2008 from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India with a focus on Community Organization and Development Practices and Social Policy and Planning. She has a background in play therapy program development for children and adolescents with learning disabilities and participated as a UNICEF intern where she worked in rural Maharastra evaluating micro-planning projects and conducted research in several states in India on issues of gender, health care, and food security.  Currently, she is a graduate assistant for the Intensive Weekend Program for the Rutgers School of Social Work, where her responsibilities include designing surveys, data analysis and supervising an online field support group for students. Her research interests include the effects of violence in Afghanistan; development interventions in conflict areas; religion and conflict; construction of memory; language, identity and spatiality in conflict; and gendering violence.