Abeer Husein, shown here in front of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, while teaching abroad during the summer of 2014, is a featured student speaker at the 2015 Verrazano School Honors Program Senior Convocation.

Abeer Husein is earning a History major with a concentration in Adolescent Education, and a minor in English Literature at the College of Staten Island. Abeer has interned with Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art, served as an Art Assistant at Staten Island Museum through CUNY Service Corps, and has tutored at the YMCA after-school program and with CSI. She has conducted research with Dr. Brian Averbuch with the History Department on Oman and the term Indo-Pacific in historiography, and is completing a capstone research project on Gender Relations in Early Modern Witchcraft Cases, under the guidance of Dr. Catherine Lavender with the History Department and faculty director of the American Studies Program at CSI.

Her scholarship and achievement has been recognized by being named to the Dean’s list since 2011, being inducted into the Phi Alpha Theta Historical Honor Society, and receiving the United States Senate Award for Academic Achievement and the College of Staten Island Scholarship.

Abeer is the Historian for the Phi Alpha Theta Chapter at CSI, and was Vice President of Students for Justice in Palestine. She was able to travel to Turkey to teach English as part of the Arab American Leadership Initiative Foundation, and volunteers her Saturday nights to help serve over 1,000 homeless people at Penn Station through Muslims Giving Back. Abeer plans to teach social studies while completing a Master’s Degree in History at the College of Staten Island, and will pursue a doctoral degree in the future.

A finalist for the CSI Valedictorian title, she is graduating Summa Cum Laude.

Stephen Hongach is a featured student speaker at the 2015 Verrazano School Honors Program Senior Convocation.

Stephen Hongach is earning a Biology major and a Philosophy minor at the College of Staten Island. Stephen has been a research assistant with the New York Methodist Hospital Emergency Department, with the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine at NYU, and volunteered with Richmond University Medical Center.

His independent study work in the biology department led to collaborating with Dr. Charles Kramer with the Biology Department on a capstone research project examining whether rodlet cells are reliable biomarkers in Fundulus heteroclitus (a small fish).

Stephen has provided guidance to other students by serving as a Peer Mentor in the Biology department, and is a member of the Emerging Leaders Program and of the Pre-Med Society at CSI.

In addition to being on the Dean’s list since 2011, Stephen has been awarded the Student Government Academic Departmental Scholarship in Philosophy, the College of Staten Island Scholarship, and the Science & Technology, Expansion Via Applied Mathematics Scholarship. Stephen has worked as an EMT in Brooklyn, an experience which has informed his decision to pursue a master’s degree at the Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University before applying for a seat in medical school.