President Morales and Christine Cea

College of Staten Island (CSI) President Dr. Tomás D. Morales received the Distinguished Leader in Education award from the Education Update newspaper at the Harvard Club in New York City this week.

He was recognized by the newspaper’s publishers, Dr. Pola Rosen and Adam Sugerman, for his five years of transformative leadership at The City University of New York’s College of Staten Island, the only institution of public higher education in the borough, serving more than 14,000 students. Morales’s award from Education Update comes on the heels of successfully guiding the College through the Middle States reaccreditation process, with CSI earning commendations in 12 out of 14 assessment areas.

Dr. Christine Cea, President of the CSI Foundation Board, presented him with the award. “In his continued quest for excellence, Dr. Morales created a scholarship program to attract valedictorians and salutatorians from high schools in our area … and these numbers have also grown, as has participation in the Macaulay Honors College,” commented Cea in her opening remarks. “The student population has grown in diversity, and I am told the College has one of the best support programs for students with disabilities in the entire in CUNY system. In all, the student college experience has grown to include a robust undergraduate research program, participation at professional conferences, and expanded opportunities for community service and study abroad.”

Dr. Morales also succeeded in inaugurating four new honor societies and developing and implementing a new Strategic Plan.  Additionally, construction began on the College’s first-ever residence halls, the design phase for the building that will house the CUNY Interdisciplinary High-Performance Computational Center (one of the most powerful in the region)  has been initiated; and a new transit hub is being investigated to ensure greater access to the campus for faculty and students.

Dr. Morales has served as President of the College of Staten Island, a senior college in the CUNY system, for the past five years. In August, he will assume a new role as President of the California State University at San Bernardino.

“As Dr. Morales takes his leave in August, he can do so knowing that he has accomplished what he set out to do – make the College of Staten Island a center for excellence in scholarship and civic mindedness,” added Dr. Cea. “Thank you for your passionate leadership and the vision that you brought to the College and to our Staten Island community.”

When accepting the award, Dr. Morales was quick to note that “these accomplishments come about due to the hard work and dedication of our faculty and staff, and their invaluable contributions to the process.”

Education Update has been honoring outstanding educators and their contributions to the students of New York City for the past nine years. This year, Dr. Morales was joined by fellow honorees:  Jay Hershenson, Senior Vice Chancellor, CUNY; Jennifer Raab, JD, President, Hunter College; and Dr. Charlotte K. Frank, Senior Vice President, McGraw-Hill.