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. 22, 2018


Wednesday, Oct. 24:

-11:15am and 1:25pm: “Social Justice Enters a New Arena,” presented by Arthur Cacace

This lecture will discuss the concept of social justice – what is it, and how has the United States historically addressed it?  The lecture will focus on the history of the social justice movement in this country including F.D.R’s Economic Bill of Rights, Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, and social justice in U.S. race relations. Finally, there will be a discussion of the various episodes of racial violence leading to the formation of the Black Lives Matter movement, and whether  sporting events, including the NFL National Anthem controversy, is an appropriate method of protest to call attention to social injustice.

Arthur Cacace earned his MS in Social Studies Secondary Education from the College of Staten Island. He has taught history in the NYC Public School System and has been an Adjunct Professor for Core 100 at CSI since 2008.


Thursday, Oct. 25:

-8:00am: “LGBTQ Rights Today,” presented by Jeremiah Jurkiewicz

There is much more to LGBTQ rights than marriage equality. This lecture will explore the current rights for which the community is advocating, the barriers they face, and the successes made in the United States.

Jeremiah Jurkiewicz, is the LGBTQ Resource Center/Pluralism & Diversity Coordinator, part of the Office of Student Life. Jeremiah is a graduate of the College of Staten Island (2012) with a degree in Dramatic Arts and a minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. He has been in his current position at the College for four years and received a Dolphin Award for his commitment to the campus and its students.

-10:10am: “Fifty Years after Stonewall: Civil Rights and the LGBTQ Community,” presented by Francisco Soto

This coming June 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising by members of what was then called the gay liberation movement (today’s LGBTQ community) against a police raid in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village. Considered the most important event of the gay liberation movement and the struggle for equal rights in the United States, this lecture will identify and trace this historic event as well as other key moments in the ongoing struggle of the LGBTQ community. Like the civil rights and women’s movements of the 1960s, the gay liberation movement in the United States was a product of the changing U.S. society in which assumptions of conformity and consensus were challenged and questioned. LGBTQ history enriches the American national story and continues to be dominant in current news.

Francisco Soto is Professor of Spanish and Latin American literature in the Department of World Languages and Literatures and The Graduate Center, CUNY. Currently, he directs the Science, Letters, & Society major at the College.

-4:40pm: “Illegal Immigration,” presented by Natalia Brennan

This lecture will focus on the problem of illegal immigration in the United States, and how politicians are addressing it as we are fast approaching the mid-term elections. Questions to be discussed include:  How do we repair our “broken” immigration system?  How should we deal with the issue of illegal immigration?  How does President Trump attempt to resolve this problem? The lecture will discuss attitudes about immigration and the changing face of immigrants coming to the U.S., and will include political debates about sanctuary cities and law enforcement along the southwest border. The goal of this lecture is to help students form their own opinions as they sort through some of the complexities and emotions that this very important topic brings up.

Natalia Brennan earned a BA in History from Moscow University and an MA in History from the College of Staten Island. She has been teaching history at St. John Villa Academy High School since 2004. Professor Brennan became a member of the Core faculty in 2011.

-6:30pm: “Solid South and the Changing 21st Century,” presented by Niles French

This presentation will explore the changing Southern political parties during the Civil Rights movement and how it affected presidential politics. Additionally, it will examine the current political climate as it pertains to 21st Century issues and political parties as we approach the mid-term elections.

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. 27:

-10:10am: “#MeToo,” presented by John Lentine

The #MeToo movement can be described as the next wave of feminism and the start of the ultimate conversation for all civil rights movements. From Cosby to Kavanaugh and #MeToo to #TimesUp, this lecture discusses the movement in a historical, social, and economic context.

John Lentine graduated from the Pennsylvania State University – Capital College, with a BS in Public Policy and an MPA in Public Administration. Studying just outside the State Capitol, he had the distinct honor of working for two of Pennsylvania’s State Representatives. Upon his return to Staten Island, he worked on a City Council campaign management team. He currently works in the Center for Advising and Academic Success and teaches CORE 100 at the College of Staten Island.