“Wall Street Journal” Recognizes CSI for Excellence, Diversity, and Affordability

The College of Staten Island has been named to The Wall Street Journal’s Best Colleges 2021 list. The publication recognized the exemplary education that CSI offers, ranking the College Number 49 of 83 schools in the Northeast. WSJ also gave CSI high marks for affordability, placing it in the Top 15 institutions, based on average net tuition. In addition, CSI also made WSJ’s most diverse college’s list, coming in Number 57.

By Terry Mares

Senemeht Olatunji Receives Inaugural First Star Brilliance Award

Senemeht Olatunji, First Star CSI Academy Director, has been awarded the national office’s inaugural First Star Brilliance Award, honoring those who have gone above and beyond to serve our scholars.

First Star has worked, since 2011, to ensure that the foster students in their programs are involved in higher education, with the goal of mitigating the jarring statistic that fewer than three percent of foster youth receive a bachelor’s degree. It also collaborates with colleges and universities to create programs and curricula for foster children to familiarize them with the college environment to strengthen their social, academic, and life skills.

Some of Olatunji’s latest achievements include:

-A 100-percent graduation rate among their seniors in 2020 (22 students). 

-First Star CSI alumni have been accepted to more than 50 colleges and universities, the Marines, and National Guard. Some colleges included CSI, NYU, Delaware State University, FIT, UAlbany, RIT, and many more. 

-Three scholars were accepted as nsoro Scholars and were awarded four-year fully funded scholarships. The mission of the nsoro Educational Foundation is to provide access to and attainment of post-secondary education for all youth aging out of foster care.

According to Vice President for Student Affairs Jennifer Borrero, “Participating in this [First Star]program, being afforded the opportunity to get outside of their comfort zones, including living in Dolphin Cove during the summer, has changed lives. First Star National recognizes the work, passion, and compassion Senemeht put into this program, which is why she was selected for this award.”

Olatunji will receive the award at the virtual First Star Celebration on Sunday, October 11 at 7:00pm EST.

By Terry Mares

Faculty Center Info Hub (CSI): Faculty Center Workshop and Drop-in Session Schedule for Week of Sept. 21

Please see the online schedule for our virtual training and/or drop-in sessions being offered this week.

  • Using and Taking Attendance with Bb Collaborate: Similar to Zoom, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra allows instructors to hold synchronous class sessions or office hours fully online. Bb Collaborate affords you the ability to communicate with students live or allow the students to watch recorded sessions all from the security of your Bb online classroom. This workshop will go over how to set-up, launch, moderate, and record sessions using Collaborate, track attendance both internally and within the LMS, as well as, answer any questions you may have about it.
  • Adding Multimedia to Bb Courses: This workshop will go over the three main ways you can add video and audio files to your course on Blackboard, including main course page areas, as well as, tool areas such as discussion boards, blogs, and wikis. 
  • Setting Bb “Test Options”: When you deploy a test or survey in a content area in Bb, you can set options for aspects such as due date, duration, access attempts, presentation, etc. This workshop will examine the different parameters available and how to utilize them effectively. 

In addition to this week’s workshops, the Drop-in Center will be open from 1:00pm to 3:00pm, and 6:00pm to 7:30pm, Monday – Friday. As with the workshops, Drop-in Sessions can be accessed via the direct links below, or by using the Virtual Drop-in Center button located on the main page of the Faculty Center Info Hub (CSI) Bb Organization, available to all teaching faculty at CSI. 

There is no sign-up needed to participate in any of the sessions. To attend, simply click on the access link provided next to the session date/time you want to attend anytime within 15 minutes of the start of the workshop. Once clicked, Blackboard Collaborate will appear at the top of the screen. It will show the specific training session you are joining and offer a place for you to type your name (please enter both your first and last name to ensure you receive credit for having attended). Select Join Session after typing your full name.

For more information or questions about any of the trainings listed above, please feel free to contact me directly at kristen.lindtvedt@csi.cuny.edu.

By Kristen Lindtvedt, MATLT

Employer Events for Week of 09/21

Please join us for Employer Presentations the week of Sept. 21-25, hosted by the Center for Career and Professional Development:

 -Tuesday, Sept. 22, 3:00pm: Insight into the Publishing Industry and Future Careers, Hachette Book Group: Are you interested in the publishing industry? Learn about Hachette Book Group and future career opportunities during this presentation.

-Thursday, Sept. 24, 2:30pm: ​Your Successful Interview, Bottomless Closet: COVID 19 has changed the interviewing process. Pam Kulnis from Bottomless Closet will share her years of Human Resources experience to  guide you through the changes to help you feel more confident when interviewing. Register.

By Caryl Watkins

Technology Training Sessions for the Week of Sept. 21

In lieu of our monthly Lunch and Learn Series, Technology Training will continue to offer weekly training sessions on the applications that will assist you with your telecommuting efforts. 

If there is a topic that you would like to have covered in the future, please contact us and we will do our best to assist you.

Please use our Registration page to sign up for this week’s sessions. Please note that this schedule is fluid and we may add or cancel training sessions as needed to better serve the College community.

We look forward to working with you.

Be well.

By Doriann Pieve-Hyland

Access to Required Readings in Print Reserves

As you know, the Library facility in the 1L Building, like most of campus, remains closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the majority of our resources have been electronic and accessible through a SLAS/FLAS log in, we recognize that this presents a real challenge for students and faculty seeking access to print material.

We have had some questions regarding eReserves, which provides controlled access to required readings in digital formats that are restricted to students enrolled in a specific course. The CSI Library has never had an eReserve system, which involves complicated copyright and licensing issues, special software, and password protection. Not surprisingly, this service also requires dedicated library faculty and staff to manage requests, scan materials, and ensure their online access does not violate Fair Use guidelines.

This August, CUNY successfully completed a multi-year-long migration to a new Library Services Platform (LSP), involving millions of data assets and records, system-wide. Learn more online. The promising news is that the new LSP has an eReserves module. Unfortunately, however, it has not yet been implemented. So, we hope that there will be developments in this area as things progress and we return to the Library building. 

The textbook/reserve issue is one impacting all academic libraries. Library faculty across CUNY have been trying to resolve this issue since the Spring semester when we realized our libraries were unlikely to reopen and we would not be able to circulate materials for two hour loan periods. We know that student access to required readings is directly tied to both equity and student success. During these unprecedented times, in addition to adopting Open Educational Resources (OER) and assigning older/cheaper editions of required readings, we recommend scanning and uploading material into Blackboard using the guidance outlined by the CUNY Copyright Committee. In many ways, Blackboard functions as an eReserve because it provides access to required readings that are password-protected and restricted to students in your course, thereby helping to avoid many copyright violations.   

Please continue to use the Reserves Request Form so we can try to identify and purchase your readings as ebooks. However, I must add the caveat that while we are trying to purchase electronic versions of print material, unfortunately, e-textbooks are not readily available to libraries for institutional licenses. See our statement online.

As always, we are here to help, and working to provide the most efficient service possible during theseunusual and trying times. 

All the best, and stay well.

By Amy F. Stempler

Pride Kamp Next Week

The Office of Student Life – LGBTQ Resource Center invites all LGBTQ+ and Ally students to attend our 7th annual Pride Kamp.

Pride Kamp is CSI’s annual conference to welcome LGBTQ+ and Ally students to campus. This year, we are going virtual and splitting the conference into two days. You can attend one day or both. Each has a separate registration link.

Pride Kamp provides a way for students to connect and celebrate their identities. CSI wants you to know that you are welcome as you are.

Day 1 – Tuesday, September 22, 6:00pm to 8:00pm (CC CLUE): Day 1 includes an icebreaking exercise, welcome from administration, and keynote speaker (see below).

Register online.

Day 2 – Friday, September 25, 2:00pm to 4:00pm (PG CLUE): Day 2 includes a welcome from various departments, workshops exploring LGBTQ+ issues, and a chance to meet some of our LGBTQ+ faculty/staff.

Register online.

Pride Kamp is made possible by funding from Student Government and the LGBTQ Resource Center. This event is partially supported by Student Activity Fees.

Keynote Speaker: Andrea Dalzell

Andrea Dalzell is the first registered nurse to get through nursing school in New York City as well as a pioneering activist for people with disabilities. She has emerged victorious against all the obstacles in her path including being diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis at a young age. She did not allow her disability to become or define her. Andrea completed an undergraduate degree at the College of Staten Island majoring in Biology and Nursing. She was the first to complete the Nursing program using a wheelchair in any CUNY school. As an advocate and activist for the rights of people with disabilities, she’s garnered various awards. She was awarded CUNY’s Emerging Leader of The Year Award and also received the Cindy Loo Disability Rights Advocate Award in 2015. Aside from juggling her career as a school nurse, she finds the time to travel and spread awareness for issues that affect people with disabilities such as health, transportation, accessibility, and gender disparities affecting the LGBTQ community within the disability community,- among many more.

Andrea was crowned Ms. Wheelchair New York 2015, and used her title and platform “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Access” to promote her message and belief that people with disabilities can live a fulling life. She has recently been featured on Good Morning America, Access Hollywood, Forbes magazine, and previously in O Magazine, Apple, and other publications and media outlets. In her commercial with Apple, she inspired the innovative addition to the Apple Watch to track pushes instead of steps for everyone who uses a wheelchair as a part of tech inclusion. Andrea is becoming a household name and we​ are proud to welcome her back to CSI to speak with our students.

If you have any questions please contact jeremiah.jurkiewicz@csi.cuny.edu​

By Jeremiah Jurkiewicz