CSI’s Macaulay Honors College incoming class had an opportunity to get to know their new campus better this week, as they participated in an orientation session that showed them the lay of the land.

Commenting on his impressions of the campus, Nicholas Gonzalez said, “I think the campus is beautiful and bigger than I expected, and, so far, I really like it.” Christina Vicidomini stated that she was very pleased with the orientation and that she was “impressed with everything [that the event organizers] have done, everybody they’ve introduced us to, and getting us acquainted with a very big campus.” Meagan Derbyshire, who is a Biomedical Engineering major who has been to campus before, noted, “I definitely like being welcomed by each of the departments and finding out a little bit more about them, where they are, and how they can help us out.”

As for the students’ feelings on being a part of MHC, Vicidomini said, “I’m excited about it because [MHC] is very prestigious and I’m looking forward to studying abroad.” Derbyshire added “I am honored that I am in this prestigious program. Originally, I wanted to go away to school, but I’m getting used to the idea [of staying on Staten Island], and having a nice campus and a welcoming staff and teachers is helpful.”

The students began their day in the Honors College Suite in Building 1A, which was the launch pad for their tour of the campus. Stops included the Career and Scholarship Center, the Counseling Center, the Library, and the Center for the Arts. In addition, the students went to Building 2A to visit the Center for International Service (as most MHC students spend some time studying abroad). After a tour of the Campus Center, participants enjoyed a brunch in the Park Café, followed by an information session that covered everything from course requirements to parking passes.

Dr. Deborah Popper, Director of the Macaulay Honors College at CSI, said that this orientation was one of two that the MHC students will receive. The other, planned for late August, is a three-day MHC-wide event where students will receive their free laptop computers (one of the many perks of enrollment in MHC), see a Broadway musical, and participate in Outward Bound events in Manhattan. At this week’s orientation, Dr. Popper explains that “we want to let them know about the resources available to them, but even more we want to set a tone for their experience here.” Beyond imparting to the students information about what is available academically, and the services that are there to help them, Popper continues that “we want them to think of challenging themselves—not just getting high GPAs, but we want them to think of participating in undergraduate research as well as contributing to the campus and the community at large.”

Dr. Popper pointed out that the entering class is the largest Macaulay class ever at CSI—40, up from 24 for the Class of 2012. One of the people at CSI who shares some of the responsibility for the size of this group is Mary Beth Reilly, CSI’s Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management. Reilly states that she is “very excited by the expansion of the Macaulay Honors program here at CSI. This program enriches our campus in so many ways and its growth is a reflection of the wonderful strides we continue to make as an institution. The Macaulay students bring a tremendous energy and passion to our community and I am thrilled that we had the opportunity to increase its enrollment.”

[L-R] Christina Vicidomini, Nicholas Gonzalez, and Meagan Derbyshire enjoy brunch in the Park Café.