Today’s Commencement will include 20 graduates of The Verrazano School, the first students to graduate from the prestigious program.

[View the CSI Today Video short.]

According to Katie Geschwendt, Coordinator of The Verrazano School and the FIRST Program at CSI, “nearly every member of the first graduating class from The Verrazano School entered in the spring of 2007 at the inception of the program.”

Charles Liu, the Director of The Verrazano School, praised the graduating class. “I am so proud to be the Director of such a fine program here at CSI. It is a tremendous privilege to be associated with these superb students whose accomplishments and excellence have brought the college such distinction.”

At a recent gathering of Verrazano graduates, many of the students expressed their satisfaction with their experience over the last four years.

Christina Rossi, a History major, underscored the individual attention that Verrazano students receive, stating that the Verrazano experience “was a really great feeling to me. I loved every minute of it. [The staff] was very helpful in accomodating me and getting me on the right track here at CSI.”

Vlad Klym, a Computer Science major, said, “The Verrazano School gave me a lot of opportunities to meet faculty for research. It was absolutely terrific for early registration; you never had to worry about classes. At the same time, it gave me a one-on-one [relationship] with the professors, so they’re not just faculty members, they’re more like mentors.”

Science, Letters, and Society major Nora Rahman seemed to agree. “Being in The Verrazano School was a great opportunity. I had priority registration, small class sizes, and I always had a mentor to help me, and I also had the opportunity to improve my leadership skills because I was a mentor for The Verrazano School for one semester.”

On the subject of leadership, Geschwendt noted that CSI “Student Government Class President, Nick Imbornone, is a Verrazano graduate and other graduates were also involved in Student Government during their time at CSI. Also, several of the graduates served as peer mentors for The Verrazano School.”

What does the future hold for some of the grads after The Verrazano School? Geschwendt said that “several of these elite graduates of CSI are going on to law school and graduate programs within CUNY and elsewhere. There is also a student attending a school of naturopathic medicine and one graduate is already working full-time in wealth management at a major financial firm in Manhattan.”

The Verrazano School is a selective, four-year baccalaureate honors program that offers students a unique undergraduate education at CSI. According to its mission statement, the School “seeks to provide motivated and talented students with the highest quality undergraduate experience possible at the College of Staten Island, through an integrated program of courses and learning communities; constructive contact with full-time faculty; forward-thinking academic advisement and career preparation; and academic, social,
and cultural learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom.”

For more information on The Verrazano School, call 718.982.4219 or visit the School’s Website.