This is Who I Am

A writer and sto­ry­teller at the core, Heri­na Ayot holds a BA in Psy­chol­o­gy, a minor in Jour­nal­ism and Mass Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, and an MFA in Cre­ative Writ­ing from NYU, craft­ing nar­ra­tives that reframe trau­ma, pain, and redemp­tion from an expe­ri­en­tial and exis­ten­tial approach. Find her work in the Huff­in­g­ton Post,, and The Root. Tak­ing an inter­dis­ci­pli­nary approach, Heri­na is active­ly explor­ing what it means to be human, and has joined her curios­i­ty for research with nar­ra­tive sto­ry­telling in an aim to improve and impact lives of mar­gin­al­ized people.

Cur­rent­ly serv­ing as the Assis­tant Direc­tor of the PhD pro­gram in Nurs­ing Research and The­o­ry at NYU Mey­ers, she col­lab­o­rates close­ly with doc­tor­al stu­dents and PhD Fac­ul­ty, pro­mot­ing smooth oper­a­tion of the program.

Fur­ther, as a Master’s stu­dent at NYU Stein­hardt, Heri­na is pur­su­ing a Mas­ters in Coun­sel­ing degree in Psy­chol­o­gy with a focus on male trau­ma, crim­i­nal jus­tice involve­ment, and mas­cu­line ide­ol­o­gy. She also coun­sels sex offend­ers at Shiloh Con­sult­ing, a unique behav­ioral health out­pa­tient clin­ic cer­ti­fied through the New York State Office of Men­tal Health. With future plans to pur­sue doc­tor­al work in crim­i­nol­o­gy, she is devel­op­ing a research pro­pos­al on the role of self love in persistence/desistance from crime that may have impli­ca­tions for psy­chother­a­py approach­es such as cre­ative art ther­a­py and mind­ful­ness. In pre­vi­ous roles, she has inter­faced with at-risk young adult men and ex-offend­ers, first in a prison reen­try orga­ni­za­tion called Project Renew­al, and lat­er at a New York City based prison advo­ca­cy orga­ni­za­tion called The Cor­rec­tion­al Asso­ci­a­tion of New York.

Mitchell Ugwuezi

“Ever since I learned how to hold a pen­cil, I’ve cre­at­ed art on can­vas.  If my words and expe­ri­ences can be inspi­ra­tion, encour­age­ment or com­fort for anoth­er, I’ve lived my life well. I am not so naïve to believe my writ­ing can change the world, but at the very least, it may change my read­er. I am for­ev­er a work in progress. Life is a jour­ney. I like to take the scenic route.”