From left to right, Provost Gary Reichard, Dr. Michael Kress, and President William J. Fritz

This year’s Convocation, held in the Center for the Arts Williamson Theatre, had a lot to celebrate—from achievements during the first year of the College’s Strategic Plan, Opportunity to Ascend, to the service of faculty and staff who are celebrating anniversaries in increments of five years. [View the event gallery.]

As in years past, Vice President for Student and Enrollment Services Jennifer Borrero introduced CSI President William J. Fritz who outlined some of CSI’s accomplishments over the past year thanks to the guidance of the new Strategic Plan, which contains six Strategic Priorities: Student Success, Global Engagement, Borough Stewardship, Destination Campus, Scholarship-Driven Education, and Resource Management.

Touching briefly on each Strategic Priority, Dr. Fritz noted some of the year’s high points. Under “Student Success, for example, was CSI Student Peter Scasny, who had trouble balancing intensive physical therapy that he needed after an injury with a full class load and almost dropped out until an academic advisor in the College’s Office of Student Accessibility provided him with the support he needed, and re-enrolled him, part-time. He is now a Fulbright Scholar.

In his discussion of “Borough Stewardship,” the President highlighted the Congressional debates that were held at the College’s Center for the Arts, as well as the new Tech Incubator, which is driving entrepreneurship on the Island.

Following review of the other Strategic Priorities achievements, Dr. Fritz concluded his remarks by featuring video excerpts from speeches at the previous weekend’s Celestial Ball from Mental Health Counseling Master’s student Elissa Tavarez and Interim CUNY Chancellor and native Staten Islander, Vita Rabinowitz, by stating, “So why with all of these accomplishments do we, as the song says, “try just a little bit harder, try just a little bit more?” It’s because we do change lives here at CSI and we’re the best institution on the Island to do so. We have the best people and best programs to help others bring their dreams to fruition – which is really humbling work.”

CSI Assistant Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Information Technology Services and High-Performance Computing Center Patricia Kahn took the stage following Dr. Fritz to emcee the traditional lighthearted recognition ceremony for full-time employees who were celebrating service anniversaries. She also introduced CSI Provost/Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Gary Reichard, who joined her on stage.

The recognition ceremony concluded with a celebration of this year’s 50-Year employee, Dr. Michael Kress, an alumnus of Richmond College, who began his college career as a Student Aide. He has held numerous faculty titles and administrative positions including Vice President for Information Technology and Economic Development, and Executive Director of the CUNY Interdisciplinary High-Performance Computing Center. Dr. Kress is retiring as Professor Emeritus at the end of the semester.

Prior to Dr. Kress’s honors, Dr. Fred Naider, a 45-year honoree, Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry, and former CSI Provost, and his wife Anita celebrated with an impromptu dance that captivated the audience.

Convocation 2018 concluded with the College’s annual holiday celebration in the Center for the Arts Atrium, providing the entire College community with the opportunity to socialize and enjoy some delicious food.