Several members of the CSI faculty, staff, and their friends and families were in attendance as the College of Staten Island Alumni Association (CSIAA) honored three of its members at the annual Alumni Hall of Fame Luncheon on Saturday, October 5 in the Atrium of Building 1A.

After CSIAA President Dr. Arthur Merola welcomed all of the attendees, CSI Interim President Dr. William J. Fritz offered several remarks about the 30-year existence of the CSIAA and its important role in the College community.

The CSIAA has represented more than 60,000 alumni from Staten Island Community College, Richmond College, and CSI, and Dr. Fritz noted, “the dynamic life-changing experience the College was for these students.” The CSIAA Hall of Fame was established in the early 1980s to honor alumni for their outstanding achievements to CSI and the community.

The 2013 CSIAA Hall of Fame honorees are:

Donna Gerstle ’84, Director of the Center for Environmental Science, a 1986 Hall of Fame inductee who was honored with the 2013 Outstanding Alumni Service Award for her contribution to CSI and the community through her work with the Staten Island Breast Cancer Research Initiative (SIBCRI).

According to Gerstle, who, earlier in the day, coordinated the Third Annual CSI Breast Cancer Walkathon, the SIBCRI is examining breast cancer on three fronts: “The first is an epidemiological case-control study, which looks at female mortality due to breast cancer on Staten Island from 1980 to 2006. Researchers will examine lifestyle and risk factors. The second is to evaluate how environmental factors actually influence breast tissue development. Mammary tissue will be exposed to a set of known environmental carcinogens that exist in the Staten Island air. Finally, we are doing a community-based outreach breast cancer educational program that will work with health care providers, community-based organizations, elected officials, and schools.”

Manuel Gonzalez ’05, Coordinator of Special Events, was honored for his tireless dedication, commitment, and contribution to CSI. He is known for his exceptional ability to pull together disparate elements to create and conduct events that make the College proud.

Elena Solitario ’83, an Italian native who, while working toward a degree in economics, opened “Pilo Arts,” a full service salon and day spa in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

Elena’s desire is to bring harmony and love to her colleagues and staff.  Achieving this has enabled her to have satisfied clients and a successful staff, which she believes are the building blocks for continuous growth.