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; 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. 28, 2019 

Wednesday, Oct. 30:

-11:15am: “A Frank Discussion on Race in America,” presented by Deborah DeSimone and Annette Marks-Ellis

On Wednesday, Oct. 30, the Core Program will host one of the most highly anticipated lectures of the semester – a frank discussion on race in America. 

Professors Annette Marks-Ellis and Deborah De Simone will be discussing race and race relations from each of their perspectives, as an opportunity for people of different races to learn about each other and to explore the similarities and differences in their own respective cultures. Their hope and intention is that through modeling civil discourse, students will gain a deeper understanding of the impact of the words we use, the images we portray, and the actions we take and their impact on others.

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. Professor DeSimone’s undergraduate degree is from Brown University and her graduate degrees are from Columbia University Teachers’ College.

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.

-1:25pm: “The Right to Choose: State’s Rights vs. Women’s Rights,” presented by William Fallon

In 1973, The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that abortion was considered legal in very many circumstances here in the United States. However, recently several states have enacted legislation to curtail abortions, abortion services, and to allow doctors who perform abortions to face serious prison sentences. The lecture will contextualize the Roe decision and then turn its attention to recent cases brought to the Supreme Court concerning the admissions privileges of abortion doctors at hospitals.

William Fallon has been an Adjunct Lecturer in CSI’s Core Program since 2015. He was awarded his MA in History from CSI in 2013. Additionally, in January 2018, Professor Fallon became the first student ever at CSI to be awarded a Certificate in Public History.

Thursday, Oct. 31:

-8:00am: “The Legacy of SCOTUS:  Cases that Have Altered the Fabric of the United States,” presented by Annette Marks-Ellis

The Supreme Court has impacted American society since 1803. Its decisions have influenced race relations, women’s rights, and civil rights in general. This presentation will discuss the ramifications of Supreme Court decisions over the decades.

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.

-10:10am: “The Stonewall Uprising: Civil Rights and the LGBTQ Community,” presented by Francisco Soto

This past June 2019 marked 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, NY. Considered an important tipping point 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 American society in which assumptions of conformity and consensus were challenged and questioned. This fall 2019, there are three important Supreme Court cases concerning the LGBTQ community that are being argued, the outcomes of which could turn out to be landmark decisions for the community

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: “The Trump Administration and Changes to Legal Immigration,” presented by Natalia Brennan

The lecture will focus on the efforts of the Trump administration to shape the legal immigration system in the United States. The lecture will summarize some of the most recent key initiatives and indicate how they are impacting those who have been targeted. These initiatives are:

  • Termination of DACA and a possibility of deportation of nearly 700, 000 young and vulnerable to deportation
  • Ending Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure, and creating a new population of unauthorized immigrants
  • Elimination of the Diversity Visa Lottery
  • Elimination if Birthright citizenship

Natalia Brennan earned a BA degree in History from Moscow University and MA degree in History from the College of Staten Island.  She has been teaching history at St John Villa Academy High School since 2004 until it closed in 2018.  She is currently teaching at St. Joseph Hill Academy High School. Professor Brennan became a member of the Core Program faculty in 2011.

-6:30pm: “Worker’s Rights in the 21st Century,” presented by Vincent DePaolo

Since the late 1970s, the rights and protections of union workers and union members in the public and private sectors have been under attack. This lecture will exam what many states and the Federal government have done through regulation or law to decrease the number of unions and union members in the United States. In particular, we will examine the decision the Supreme Court made in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31. This decision may have already had an overwhelmingly negative effect on you, your family, and your community as a whole.

Vincent DePaolo previously was an Adjunct Instructor at Long Island University-Brooklyn Campus in the History Department teaching introductory World History Survey courses. He received his BA in History and MS in Social Science with a concentration in History and Advanced Graduate Certificate in United Nation Studies at Long Island University-Brooklyn Campus. He has also received his MSeD in Secondary Social Studies from the College of Staten Island/CUNY.

Saturday, Nov. 2:

-10:10am: “Impeachment,” presented by Peter Ronalds

This lecture will examine the origins of impeachment in The United States Constitution, Article Two, Section Four and how it functions to balance liberty with order. It will compare and contrast the impeachments of Presidents Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton, and the current climate and movement to impeach President Donald Trump. The lecture will conclude with an assessment of the significance and implications of removing a sitting United States President by impeachment on the balance of power between its three branches of government designed by James Madison.

Peter Ronalds earned his Doctor of Arts in Modern World History from St. John’s University in 1998. He has been teaching Core 100 and history classes since 1998.