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[gallery, video] “Above and Beyond” honors two distinguished faculty members

December 16, 2013

Marilyn Caselli, Fred Naider, Christine Cea, Sylvia Kahan, Thoms Tellefsen, William Fritz at the Above Rooftop.

College of Staten Island faculty, staff, and students were joined by business and community leaders at the College’s “An Evening Above and Beyond with CSI” gala event last week at Above Rooftop at the Hilton Garden Inn, where CSI Interim President Dr. William J. Fritz presented two of the College’s distinguished faculty with the President’s Medal for their tireless commitment to CSI’s students and faculty.

View the CSI Today Photo Gallery>

This year’s recipients of the President’s Medal include Dr. Sylvia Kahan, Professor of Music, Department of Performing and Creative Arts at CSI and The Graduate Center, CUNY; and Dr. Thomas Tellefsen, Professor of Marketing and Chair of the Department of Marketing in the School of Business.

Dr. Kahan teaches historical musicology, piano, and a wide variety of theory, literature, and performance-related courses. As a pianist, she has performed throughout North America and Europe as concert soloist, recitalist, and collaborative musician. A sought-after speaker, Dr. Kahan has presented her research at scholarly conferences and in pre-concert lectures throughout the world.

Dr. Tellefsen has pursued his interest in business for the past 35 years as a manager, researcher, and teacher. His research interests include business-to-business marketing, sales management, and international marketing. Dr. Tellefsen’s research has appeared in a variety of journals throughout the world and he has presented his work at numerous academic conferences and served as a reviewer for several journals. Dr. Tellefsen currently serves as a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing. In 2011, he received the CSI Dolphin Award for Outstanding Service by a member of the full-time faculty.

YouTube Preview Image Attendees at the event met some of the students living in Dolphin Cove through special video profiles that included footage from NY1 New.

The goal of “An Evening Above and Beyond,” an event organized by the CSI Foundation, the Friends of CSI, the CSI Alumni Association, and the Academy of Retired Professors, was to raise much-needed funds to benefit all aspects of the College—from student and faculty support through infrastructure and everyday needs. Although CSI is publicly funded, the need for private support has never been greater. As a result, the evening also served as the official public launch of the College’s first-ever campaign, The Campaign for CSI: For College and Community. The initiative is a comprehensive fundraising campaign with a $20 million target in support of faculty research, student support, capital and construction projects, and increased endowment growth by the year 2016.

So far, CSI has raised approximately $7 million during the silent phase of the campaign, which began in 2008-2009. Twenty-five percent of the funds will be targeted for faculty support, 33 percent for student support, 25 percent for capital needs, and 17 percent for endowment growth.

During the event, Dr. Fritz addressed the importance of an initiative as encompassing as The Campaign for CSI. “The funds raised this evening will be used to address the College’s greatest needs, and augment the shrinking support that the College receives from the public sector. Your generosity will fuel the academic studies and future careers of our students, drive the cutting-edge research that our faculty members are conducting, help to expand our already state-of-the-art campus to offer more opportunities to more people, and perpetuate our stellar track record of success and achievement.”

Dr. Fritz also highlighted “some of our more recent successes including the opening of Dolphin Cove, our first-ever student residence halls, which provides not only convenience and comfort for its residents, but also transforms the campus into an even more vibrant community with students from as close as Staten Island and as far away as Australia.”

In addition, Dr. Fritz looked to the future and announced plans to “transform the academic landscape at CSI” with the inauguration of the new schools of Business and Education, which will “better prepare students to make positive contributions to our nation’s economy and the nation’s classrooms. We have also received doctoral-granting status from CUNY, beginning with the Doctoral Program in Physical Therapy.”

By Ken Bach


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