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 with about 400 of their classmates. We have space in the Center for the Arts (Building 1P) Williamson Theatre to accommodate individual guests and can have as many as two additional classes at each of the lectures. No permission is needed for classes to attend, but please notify Donna Scimeca (718.982.3405) if you plan to bring a class.

The lectures are 50 minutes and are all in the Williamson Theatre. They meet on the following days/times: Wednesdays at 11:15am and 1:25pm; on Thursdays at 8:00am, 10:10am, 4:40pm, and 6:30pm; and on Saturdays at 10:10am. The focus of the Core Lecture Series this semester will be to directly link the program’s curriculum to current events.

The Lecture Series Schedule for the

Week of Oct. 15, 2018

Wednesday, Oct. 17:

-11:15am and 1:25pm: “America and the Gun,” presented by Robert Grosso

Professor Robert Grosso will examine the complex relationship that the United States has with firearms. More than just the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution, both State and Federal level laws have dealt with gun rights and control in the past and present.  How it all relates to gun violence and how the United States treats guns is both a psychological and personal issue that is rarely explored. This lecture hopes to examine those issues, taking on the political, economic, and social aspects of guns and gun ownership.

Robert Grosso has been teaching with the Core Program since 2014. He also teaches at Union County College in New Jersey, mostly on the subject of Western civilization.

Thursday, Oct. 18:

-8:00am: “Political Labels and Ideologies,” presented by James Smith

Left Wing, Right Wing, Moderate, Populist, Nationalist, Democratic, Republican, Neo-Conservative, Socialist, Libertarian, Social Conservative, Never-Trump Conservatives, Alt-Right. These are just some of the myriad political labels circulating in U.S. political discourse that tend to obfuscate as much as they reveal about political ideology. The temptation to tune-out amid this confusion is great. It may be helpful to follow Voltaire’s advice to define our terms first if we wish to understand each other. In that spirit, this lecture will summarily examine the first principles of the underlying ideologies of modern liberalism and conservatism, as well as how those concepts evolved over time and continue to shape contemporary politics. Students will be asked to contribute their ideas about these concepts, the role of “good government,” and the future of political compromise.

James Smith earned a BA in Economics and Political Science, as well as an MA in Modern History from Fordham University. He received a JD from Fordham’s School of Law and an LLM degree from New York University, School of Law. He is currently a PhD candidate in American History at Fordham.

-10:10am: “The Immigration Question,” presented by Annette Marks-Ellis

U.S. immigration is a tale of diverse peoples who travel from far and near to begin a new life. Dubbed the “land of opportunity,” the United States has, for centuries, attracted millions of individuals from all parts of the globe. Yet, the nation has had periods when many were not welcomed or accepted as eagerly as we have been led to believe. The current debate on immigration—legal and illegal—is not a new conversation. This lecture will engage students in discussing the reasons why immigrants migrate to the U.S., the current controversy over certain immigrant groups and the complexity of welcoming, assimilating, tolerating, and appreciating the plethora of cultures arriving on U.S. shores.

Annette Marks-Ellis earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Columbia University. She has been at CSI and teaching Core 100 since 1999. She is one of the authors of the Core textbook and has published several articles on African American history, women’s issues, and Caribbean culture.

-4:40pm: “The Impact of How History Is Taught and Voter Apathy,” presented by Christopher Basso

This lecture will explore the connection of voter apathy among millennials, and how history is taught and education issues today, with a focus on the Civil Rights Movement. Does the way most students learn history help to contribute to a feeling that voting is pointless?

Christopher Basso currently teaches at Curtis High School, and has for the past nine years. He was born and raised in upstate NY and attended SUNY Geneseo, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in History, and later earned a Master’s Degree in Education at CSI. He currently lives on the Lower East Side.

-6:30pm: “Militarism and Legal Segregation,” presented by Niles French

This lecture will look at the origins of legal segregation and integration in regard to its impact on private and military life. It will also explore the various ideologies on the Civil Rights Movement.

Niles French is the Senior Project Manager and New Dorp Business Improvement District Director for the SIEDC, supervising neighborhood development in the projects division. Niles is also an adjunct professor for the Core Program at the College of Staten Island. He is a graduate of the CSI, and holds an MA in History, and a BA in History and Political Science. He is a native and resident of Staten Island.

Saturday, Oct. 20:

-10:10am: “The Immigration Question,” presented by Annette Marks-Ellis [see Oct. 18, 10:10am]