Meet The UMI Team!

Meet The UMI Team!


The Image of the UMI Team. From Left to right, Yuleisy Audain, Dillon Epperson, Maria E.Vidal, Jasmine Gayle and Manuel Castillo

Maria E. Vidal
Room L.73.01 NB

Maria E. Vidal oversees the Peer Advocates mentoring program, advisory board, and the daily functions of the office and all program activities. Her professional experience includes coordinating the first two cohorts of the Peer Ambassador Program under the Division of Student Affairs. She has earned both her Master's Degree in Public Administration and Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY). Maria has presented at the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) and NASPA Region II. Maria has been recognized for her work with the Urban Male Initiative, as she was named one of El Diario La Prensa's Mujeres Destacadas in 2015. Maria is also a proud "fur-mom" of a rescue German Shepherd/Chow named Beba! Maria can be contacted at for any questions/concerns.


Yuleisy M. Audain

Marketing & Communications and Peer Advocates Assistant

Room L.74.02 NB  

Yuleisy Michel Audain is a senior at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, originally from San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic. In the spring of 2016, she received  Bachelors in English with a minor in both Film Studies and Theater Arts at John Jay College. During her time at John Jay, she worked with Lloyd Sealy Library as a Lab technician, Peer Advocate mentor with the Urban Male Initiative and has been part of many clubs on campus such as Campus Activity Board. She has interned for the Broadway League in the Education and Engagement Department, which creates and supports Broadway industry education and community engagement programs for live theater. She has also interned with John Jay's Office of Video Production Services. She Co-Facilitates Sistah Circle where young women of color to express their thoughts and feelings about prominent topics in a safe environment. Yuleisy is passionate about film with the goal becoming a film director and owning her own production company, where she would like to help underrepresented students become more involved in the arts/film. Yuleisy can be contacted at for any questions or concerns.


Manuel Castillo

Social Media Assistant 

L.74.02 NB

Manuel Castillo is a Junior at John Jay College. He is a sociology major with a minor in Theater Arts. From the Bronx, he is an advocate of education, especially in areas where education is not promoted. His passion is to work with his community and provide and better the advances in education. Manuel can be contacted at  for any other questions/concerns.

Jasmine J. Gayle
Peer Tutoring Assistant
Room L.73.01 NB

In Summer 2016, Jasmine graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Sociology from Queens College (CUNY). She is now a first-year graduate school student at John Jay who is majoring in forensic science. Her passion is to become a ballistics expert and use forensic science to help promote a safer society. As an undergraduate student at Queens College, Jasmine was a part of the Black Male Initiative Program at a mentee, then a peer mentor at her campus. She has recruited many students to join the program and now she is at John Jay continuing to impact lives through the Urban Male Initiative program. Jasmine can be contacted at for additional questions/concerns.

Dillon Epperson
Men's Group Co-Facilitator
Room L.73.01 NB

Dillon Michael James Epperson is a junior at John Jay College. He studies International Criminal Justice (ICJ) with a minor in criminology and a Dispute Resolution certificate. Born in Manhattan, raised in Jersey City, he wishes to foster that same diversity to the rest of the world and begins so with this global studies major. His focus as a McNair Fellow is to research restorative justice, truth, indoctrination and its deconstruction to the most heinous of crimes. He is an advocate for gender and LGBTQ justice, rehabilitation and reintegration, and education. He co-facilitates Guy Code, where men of color express their thoughts and feelings in a brave and safe environment while deconstructing unhealthy masculinities and exploring their intersectionalities. Dillon seeks to one day provide critical research that not only documents atrocities but strategies that involve identification of their root causes and their resolutions. He later wishes to pass that same passion to the next generation as a professor in global affairs. He lives in Bed-Stuy with his twin sister, and feline love, Velma.Dillon can be contacted at for additional questions/concerns.