Alumna Grateful for St. John’s and Queens Experiences
"It’s all about a sense of belonging and I belong here. St. John’s welcomes students from all over the world and, conversely, encourages its students to travel the world and experience the homes of so many of the cultures found in Queens."
- MS in International Communication
- The Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies
“In Queens you experience different cultures, religions, foods, and languages,” she recently said. “We have about 2.4 million people here and over 120 different languages spoken. This really is ‘The World’s Borough,’ and I don’t see myself anywhere else.”
Ms. Eason wanted to stay close to home for college, and St. John’s was the natural choice, she recalled. Most importantly, she appreciated the faculty-to-student ratio.
“I know that I learn better in a smaller environment,” she said. “I wanted to have relationships with my fellow students and professors.”
One teacher in particular, Basilio G. Monteiro, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Mass Communication, and Director, Master of Science degree program in International Communication in The Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies, means a great deal to Ms. Eason. “He is such a gift to this campus,” she stressed, adding, “He is a teacher and advisor—and so much more.”
While studying at St. John’s, Ms. Eason worked, kept a full course load, was actively involved in campus life, and held down two internships. “I’ve worked since I was 14, and there were moments when I struggled,” she admitted.
Ms. Eason believes Dr. Monteiro’s compassion helped her graduate and inspired her to further her studies by earning a master’s degree in International Communication. “I still have such a great relationship with him,” she said. “He really cares about the relationship that he has with his students. He opened my eyes to being able to travel and broaden my horizons. He introduced this concept to me that I could travel the world, have an impact, and serve others.”
While at St. John’s, Ms. Eason participated in the Study Abroad program, studying in Rome and Paris.
She interned at Brooks Brothers and the Haitian American Caucus, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide
“Dr. Monteiro taught me how nonprofit organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and even corporate businesses and government can all work together for the greater good. All that actually set me up for the role that I’m in now. Before taking this course and others at St. John’s, I didn’t think about working in government.”
Ms. Eason also served as Public Relations Chair for the
Ms. Eason was also a mentor for the R.I.S.E. Network, a scholar’s empowerment network that provides Black and Latinx first-year students with skill-based development, support, and opportunities to enhance their overall academic career at St. John’s. “Not only was I helping first-year students and sophomores, but it created a relationship between me and these students by holding me responsible and accountable for them.” She is still in close contact with her mentees.
Immediately upon graduation, Ms. Eason set about a career in city government. One of her first jobs was in the office of then-City Council Member Donovan Richards Jr., who represented District 31 in Queens, covering Springfield Gardens, Rosedale, and parts of Far Rockaway. She started as a Community Liaison and quickly transitioned to Director of External Affairs.
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Eason was promoted to Director of Communication and Legislation—an experience she considers a baptism by fire. “It was a very intense time for anyone in government because when something like that happens everyone just wants answers and they want to know they’ll be safe. There was no roadmap.”
She added that there were crises within the larger crisis she had to navigate. “The communities we serve were suffering disproportionately.” Ms. Eason had to mobilize all the resources available to her and work collaboratively with every
Eventually, Mr. Richards was elected Queens Borough President, and Ms. Eason transitioned with him to Borough Hall in Queens as Event Coordinator and Emergency Response Liaison. One issue very close to her heart has been food insecurity, and she has made it her mission to put resources in place for struggling families to have access to healthy food. She ran a “Mask and Meal” program so families in need could receive healthy meals during the pandemic.
One reason Ms. Eason is so passionate about issues related to healthy food is that her father, Dale E. Robinson, whom she described as the “world’s proudest St. John’s dad,” was diagnosed with acute kidney failure last year. She was tested for her suitability as a donor and donated a kidney to him last October.
“I want to create access for anyone with whom I come into contact to help them gain access to nutritional food,” she explained. “If I can’t physically, then at least I can educate them through conversation or connect them to where they can get what they need.”
Ms. Eason is proud of her lifelong association with Queens. She is drawn to Queens “because there are so many opportunities to be what you want in any industry. You can come from anywhere in the world and find a home and community here. It’s all about a sense of belonging and I belong here. St. John’s welcomes students from all over the world and, conversely, encourages its students to travel the world and experience the homes of so many of the cultures found in Queens.”
This fall, Ms. Eason returns to St. John’s as an adjunct professor. “It’s really a privilege to give something back to St. John’s for everything it did for me.”