The Core 100 program invites students and faculty from the College to join us for our weekly lecture series. Each week, all of the first-year students participate in lecture-discussions in groups of about 400 of their classmates. We have space in the Center for the Arts (Building 1P) Williamson Theatre to accommodate individual guests (no permission needed) and can have as many as two additional classes at each of the lectures. No permission is necessary for classes to attend, but please notify Donna Scimeca (718.982.3405) if you plan to bring a class.

The weekday lectures are 50 minutes and are all in the Williamson Theatre. They meet on the following days/times: Wednesdays at 1:25pm and 3:35pm; on Thursdays at 9:05am, 11:15am, 5:30pm, and 6:30pm; and on Saturdays at 10:10am in the Center for the Arts Lecture Hall.

The Lecture Series Schedule for the Week of Monday, Oct. 20, 2014

Wednesday, Oct. 22:

-1:25pm: “Lynching in America” presented by Deborah DeSimone

This lecture explores why regular citizens of the United States felt justified in publicly torturing and then killing another human being. Through the use of photographs and newspaper articles from the late 1800s and early 1900s, the power of the noose as a symbol is explored as is the significance of the spectacle and barefacedness of lynching.

Deborah DeSimone is an Associate Professor of Education in the School of Education at CSI. She has been on the CSI faculty since 1993 and was a member of the cadre of professors who designed and first implemented Core 100. Her specialty areas are social studies education and U.S. history. Her undergraduate degree is from Brown University and her graduate degrees are from Columbia University Teachers’ College.

-3:35pm: “Civil Rights: Plessy vs. Ferguson to Brown vs. Board of Education” presented by Robert Grosso

This lecture will look at look at the lineage of “separate but equal” with the court cases of Plessy vs. Ferguson and Brown vs. The Board of Education, and how it pertains to Civil Rights.

Robert Grosso has been teaching at the college level since March 2014, and this is his first year teaching Core. He holds a Master’s degree in History from CSl and a Bachelor in Education from Iona College in New Rochelle, NY. Before he started teaching with the Core program, he worked as a substitute teacher and a paraprofessional for the NYC Board of Education for nearly ten years, beginning in 2005.


Thursday, Oct. 23:

-9:05am: “Racial Segregation in the U.S. Military” presented by Niles French

This lecture explores the history of segregation in the United States through examining the experiences of African American soldiers and the legal changes that our nation has faced in the military.

Niles French earned his MA degree in History from CSl. He is an Adjunct Professor, teaching in both the Core and American Studies programs at CSI, and is also the head of development at the Staten Island Historical Society at Historic Richmond Town.

-11:15am: “Citizenship and Race from the Golden Age until the New Deal” presented by Bruce Abrams

This lecture will focus on the end of Reconstruction in 1877. National leaders abandoned African Americans in the Southern states and at the same time, elite Whites used racist concepts to restrict immigration by the 1920s. African Americans survived by embracing challenging segregation laws and self-development.  Only gradually, some White intellectuals began to advocate acceptance of ethnic diversity.

Bruce Abrams has been a Reference Librarian at CSI since 2001. He recently retired after working 30 years as an archivist in a New York State Court agency. His PhD dissertation was on the opposition to the movement for the exclusion of Japanese immigration in the 1910s and 1920s.

-5:30pm and 6:30pm  “Reconstruction Period” presented by Anthony Casella

This lecture will focus on the Reconstruction period.  Reconstruction, in U.S. history, is the period (1865–1877) that followed the U.S. Civil War and during which attempts were made to redress the inequities of slavery and its political, social, and economic legacy, and to solve the problems arising from the readmission to the Union of the 11 states that had seceded at or before the outbreak of war.

Anthony Casella earned both his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees from St. John’s University. In addition, Professor Casella earned a Sixth-Year Professional Certificate in Supervision and Administration from CSI/CUNY. Professor Casella has been a member of the CORE faculty since 2009.


Saturday, Oct. 25:

10:10am: “The Impending Crisis: As the Country Approached War, 1848-1861” presented by Debbie-Ann Paige

This lecture will cover the main events (as well as a few local) that led to the U.S. Civil War.  It will encompass key polarizing events and people leading up to the war and finish when the first shots are fired at Fort Sumter, SC.

Debbie-Ann Paige earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Human Resource Management from Southern New Hampshire University and both her Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in History from CSI, CUNY. She became a member of the CORE faculty in 2013. Professor Paige’s research focuses on antebellum African American history, antislavery politics and abolitionism, local history, and the Underground Railroad.  She is a charter member of the local Alpha-Xi-Theta Chapter of the National History Honor Society, Phi Alpha Theta, here at the College of Staten Island. In 2012, she appeared on the Emmy Award-winning show Secrets of New York as a historical interpreter. One of her recent projects included the successful application for designation of the “Louis Napoleon House” as the first Underground Railroad site with the National Park Service’s Network to Freedom here on Staten Island.