St. Vincent Stain Glass

Faculty Research Consortium

The Vincentian Institute for Social Action was created to provide faculty and students with an academic platform to address issues of social injustice. Responsible for the academic integrity of the Institute is the Faculty Research Consortium (FRC). The FRC is a select group of interdisciplinary faculty members who have demonstrated teaching, research and scholarly expertise in areas related to community service, civic engagement and social responsibility. Guided by a Chair, the Consortium provides leadership for initiatives which impact impoverished communities through research and service.  The FRC exemplifies the Vincentian Mission through scholarship and research.  As a strategic planning group for the institute, the FRC is dedicated to ensuring the highest quality experiences for students, faculty, and community partners by evaluating outcomes of all programs.

John Conry

John Conry, Pharm.D., Chair, FRC
Clinical Professor
Chair of the Clinical Health Professions Department
College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences



Elissa Brown

Elissa J. Brown, Ph.,D.
Professor of Psychology
Founder and Executive Director, Child HELP Partnership
St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences



Profile photo for Aleksandr V. Gevorkyan, Ph.D.

Aleksandr V. Gevorkyan, Ph.D.
Henry George Chair in Economics and Associate Professor of Economics at the Department of Economics and Finance
The Peter J. Tobin College of Business



Profile photo for Howard Abadinsky

Howard Abadinsky, MSW Ph.D.
Professor of Criminal Justice 
College of Professional Studies


Roberta Hayes

Roberta L. Hayes, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Coordinator, Scientific Inquiry Core
Institute for Core Studies
St John's College of Liberal Arts and Science 



Profile photo for Robert K. Eschenauer, Ph.D.

Robert Eschenauer, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Chair of the Counselor Education Department
School of Education


Journal of Vincentian Social Action

The Journal of Vincentian Social Action (JoVSA) is a biannual peer reviewed scholarly publication engaging the local, national and global community on issues of poverty and social injustice. As a community, St. John’s is engaged in research and direct service to those in need. We seek insight into the causes and consequences of poverty to help alleviate suffering. The journal focuses on studies evaluating solutions to social injustice, with implications for public discourse and policy, and macro-program development. We welcome position papers on contemporary topics.

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Marc Gillespie
St.Albert Hall, B18B
[email protected]

Anthony Marziliano
Assistant Editor
St.Albert Hall, 150D
[email protected]

Request Submissions for Future Issues to Marc Gillespie at [email protected].

Richard and Camille Sinatra Endowment Grant

The Vincentian Institute for Social Action is proud to partner with the Sinatra family to strengthen its mission of providing an academic platform where faculty and students can explore issues of poverty and social injustice, as well as provide potential recommendations through research.The goal of the endowment is to promote outcomes-based research in the community. For almost 40 years, Dr. Richard Sinatra served as an associate dean, chair, faculty member, and program director in the School of Education.  He also served as the Chair of the Faculty Research Consortium for the Vincentian Institute for Social Action from 2008 - 2015. Dr. Sinatra has long been an advocate for systemic change. This endowment is an example of his continued commitment to education and the development of research at the University.

The Richard and Camille Sinatra Endowment Grant ($2,500)

This grant supports community-based outcomes research for full-time junior (tenure-track) faculty at St. John’s University. Through outcomes research, quantitative methods are used to evaluate community-based interventions. These interventions may be from any discipline, with the specific aim of improving the areas of poverty and social justice.  

Richard and Camille Grant Reception Participants posing for photo with award winning hold plaque
Recipient NameYear AwardedResearch TopicCollegeCampus

Max Freeman, PhD, Assistant Professor

2020Language Outcomes for Children’s Use of Creativity through Open-Ended Materials during Language StimulationSt. John’s College of Liberal Arts and SciencesQueens
Gary E. Martin, PhD, Assistant Professor2018Girls with Intellectual Disability: Communication Skills in an Underrepresented Research PopulationSt. John’s College of Liberal Arts and SciencesStaten Island
Shruti Deshpande, PhD,  Assistant Professor2017A Sustainable Hearing Conversation Project for Liberty Partnership’s Program’s High School Students Implemented by Audiologists and Audiology Students Through Academic Service-Learning: A Symbiotic ImpactSt. John’s College of Liberal Arts and SciencesQueens
Elizabeth Brandolo, PhD, Professor2017Discrimination and Depression: Testing a Social Cognitive ModelSt. John’s College of Liberal Arts and SciencesQueens
William Reisel, PhD, Professor2016Developing a Pilot Study for Expanding an Ongoing AS-L Community Partnership with Central Family Life Center of Staten Island. The Peter J. Tobin College of BusinessStaten Island
Christine Chim, PharmD,                        Clinical Assistant Professor2016The Impact of a Pharmacist and Pharmacy Students Engaging with Northwell Health’s Communities via Home VisitsCollege of Pharmacy and Health SciencesQueens
John W. McKenna, PhD, Assistant Professor2015Qualitative Study of Teacher Preparation and Provision of Special Education ServicesSchool of EducationQueens
Michael Downton, PhD, Assistant Professor (with Judy Chen, EdD, SOE)2015A community of reflective teachers: Cultivating reflective practice to impact student teacher’s self-efficacySchool of EducationQueens



Richard and Camille Sinatra Endowment Grant Application

Faculty Research Consortium Grant

Vincentian Institute for Social Action – Faculty Research Consortium

In 2008, St. John's University established the Vincentian Institute for Social Action (VISA) to increase the visibility of the St. John’s mission to enhance the educational experience of its students. VISA provides an organizational focus for a variety of programs where faculty and students can explore issues of poverty and social justice. As a Catholic and Vincentian institution, St. John’s seeks to provide a distinctive, values-based education. VISA fosters the development of a worldview that recognizes the importance of global interdependence and encourages collaboration throughout the University in activities designed to advance its commitment to systemic change.  

The Faculty Research Consortium (FRC) of VISA is responsible for outcomes research conducted across all elements of the Institute. The FRC is comprised of a select group of interdisciplinary St. John’s University faculty who have demonstrated teaching, research, and scholarly expertise in areas related to community service, civic engagement, and social responsibility. The FRC promotes research by supporting the recruitment of qualified University professors who serve as research mentors for students. The FRC also develops research initiatives through VISA’s programs and community partnerships.  

Guided by the FRC, the FRC Grant supports community-based outcomes research for full-time tenured faculty at St. John’s University. This research may be from any discipline, with the specific aim of improving the areas of poverty and social justice.

Faculty Research Consortium (FRC) Grant ($5,000)

Faculty Research Grant Recipient holding plaque with other participants
Recipient NameYear AwardedResearch TopicCollegeCampus
Elizabeth Brandolo, PhD, Professor2020Evaluating Strategies for Disseminating Scientific Information about the Mental Health Effects of DiscriminationSt. John’s College of Liberal Arts and SciencesQueens

Robert Fanuzzi, PhD and William Reisel, PhD


Academic Service Learning as a College Readiness Strategy: Creating an Assessment Dashboard for  St. John's University SI Campus "Difference Makers Program"

St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Staten Island

Smita Guha, PhD


Health and Nutrition for Homeless Mothers and Children

School of Education




For more information on the FRC, please contact Kara James at 718-990-5947.

Faculty Research Consortium (FRC) Grant Application

VISA Reception and Research Forum

The Faculty Research Consortium is proud to host a Vincentian Institute for Social Action (VISA) Faculty Reception and Research Forum every fall and spring semester.

This event provides a platform to promote faculty dialogue across disciplines that have participated in, or are interested in, VISA programs. St. John’s faculty members have participated in VISA programs which include Academic Service-Learning, the Ozanam Scholars Program, faculty research/service at community partner sites, and VISA-funded research projects.  These meetings provide an opportunity to showcase faculty research and scholarly accomplishments.

April 14, 2021

1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Our event will be held virtually - please join us via Webex -


The Faculty Excellence Award in Community-Based Outcomes and Poverty Research

Faculty Excellence Award recipient with two members posing for photo

The Faculty Excellence Awardin Community-Based Outcomes and Poverty Research has been developed by the Faculty Research Consortium (FRC) in an effort to annually identify an exemplar from the full-time faculty at St. John’s who best exhibits excellence in community-based outcomes and poverty research. Nominations will be solicited from the deans and chairs of various schools/colleges of the University. The FRC will review all nominations from the University community and select one award.  The recipient will be recognized at an upcoming event which is TBD.  The award recipient will also receive a plaque commemorating this award.

The nomination deadline for 2021 is TBD.  All nomination forms (Parts I and II) and supporting materials should be submitted to Kara A. James, Senior Department Assistant at [email protected]