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Honoring the Legacy of Dr. Maureen Allwood















John Jay College staff in the Office for the Advancement of Research join the college community in mourning the passing of Dr. Maureen Allwood, a distinguished researcher, educator, advocate, and friend. Dr. Allwood’s sudden departure on Monday, March 4, in Providence, Rhode Island, has left a profound void in the hearts of those who knew her. Yet, her legacy of warmth, inspiration, and tireless dedication to marginalized communities will endure for generations.

A valued scholar in the field of psychology, Dr. Allwood’s work focused on understanding the developmental effects of trauma and violence, particularly emphasizing their disproportionate impacts on different sociodemographic groups. At John Jay College, she was a beacon of academic excellence and served as a professor of psychology since 2007. She also co-directed the department’s mentorship program for underrepresented and first-generation undergraduate students, leaving an indelible mark on the community with her passion and expertise. Her commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion within academia was unwavering, and her impact extended far beyond the classroom.

While grieving, her profound impact on the John Jay College community resonates deeply. Reflecting on her legacy, Dr. Angela Crossman, the Interim Dean of Faculty and Professor in the Department of Psychology where Dr. Allwood worked, aptly captured the sentiments of many, stating:

“Dr. Allwood’s passing was an incredible shock that is still difficult to fathom and is a tremendous loss to us all. She was a brilliant scholar, a passionate mentor and teacher, a dedicated and thoughtful colleague, and a warm and kind friend. I admired her greatly, appreciated the important work she was doing on the impact of trauma and violence exposure on youth development, and was always incredibly grateful that she chose to make John Jay her academic home. The world is a better place for her having been a part of it, and she will be deeply missed by her friends, family, colleagues, and students – students who will carry on her legacy of impactful and important scholarship conducted with integrity, rigor, and care.” said Dr. Crossman.

Beyond her scholarly pursuits, Dr. Allwood’s impact was deeply personal, touching the lives of students, colleagues, and friends alike. Professor Daryl Wout, Chair of the Psychology Department and Associate Professor of Psychology, emphasized her brilliance and passion to spearhead efforts to cultivate a more inclusive environment within our College and at the CUNY university level.

“Dr. Allwood was a beloved member of the John Jay community. She was an active department member and contributed to our students’ development and our clinical program’s growth. She fiercely advocated for an increased focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and spearheaded various DEI efforts at the college and university levels. Her research on the developmental effects of trauma and violence and their disproportionate impacts on different sociodemographic groups has significantly impacted our understanding of this important area. As a mentor, she was extremely supportive and nurturing of her students. She always prioritized her students and their success, even while on sabbatical. Beyond her impact at the College, she was a loyal friend, an exceptional mother, and a committed wife. As a community, we have been blessed by her presence and are deeply mourning her sudden death. She will forever be in our hearts and minds.” said Daryl Wout.

Reflecting on Dr. Allwood’s profound influence, Distinguished Professor Kevin Nadal wrote in his Instagram post, “She was a no-nonsense educator and mentor—someone who wanted her students to succeed while always encouraging them to work their hardest and never make excuses. She was an extraordinary colleague—one of the few humans who made an oppressive place like academia feel welcoming. SHE is what a professor looks like.”

Dr. Maureen Allwood received the 2023 OAR Scholarly Excellence Award winner, exemplifying a commitment to excellence, and has won several accolades and grants for the College. Her most recent groundbreaking study, “Youth Exposure to Gun, Knife, and Physical Assaults,” which examined PTSD symptoms across various demographic groups, was notably featured in Impact Magazine 2023 of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Her legacy, as showcased in Impact Magazine, serves as a testament to her enduring influence in shaping our understanding of critical societal issues.

As we honor Dr. Maureen Allwood’s memory, let us carry forward her excellence, compassion, and advocacy legacy. Though she may no longer be with us, her spirit will continue to inspire us to strive for a more just and equitable world.

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