This Week in Core 100

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 Nov. 18, 2019 

Wednesday, Nov. 20:
-11:15am: “The Role of Government in the U.S. Economy: Regulation and Deregulation,” presented by Richard Kotula


This lecture will highlight recent actions taken by government through trade and tax policies, and the actions of the Federal Reserve that provide examples of the role that government can play in our economy. Using current economic-related events and providing a cursory analysis of them, the lecture will seek to engage students by asking them to form an opinion on what they believe should be the role of government in the economy.

Richard Kotula has been a member of the CSI community since 2002. From that time to the present, he has completed a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Bachelor of Arts in History, and a Master of Arts in History. He joined the Core 100 family in 2014. Since then, Richard has also joined the Political Science and Global Affairs Department and teaches Regional Geography. In addition to teaching, Richard assists in coordinating the Remedial Math program for the Mathematics Department. He has also worked as a licensed stockbroker, commodities broker, and a financial advisor.

-1:25pm: “The Age of Reparation,” presented by Annette Marks-Ellis


In the 20th Century, the United States began to publicly apologize and provide restitution to people of color for ill-treatment and the usurpation of lands. Native Americans, African Americans, and Japanese Americans are three key groups whose victimization has been exposed and a sentiment of “mea culpa” began. This presentation will discuss several issues including two key points: Is financial reparation enough for the wrongdoing of the past, and why should the descendants of the perpetrators be tasked with the monetary burden of atoning for the actions of their ancestors?

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.

Thursday, Nov. 21:
-8:00am: “The Age of Reparation,” presented by Annette Marks-Ellis
Please see Wednesday, 1:25pm.

-10:10am: “A Frank Discussion on Race in America,” presented by Deborah DeSimone and Annette Marks-Ellis


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.

-4:40pm: “Fiscal Policy of the United States,” presented by Joseph Frusci


This lecture will focus on the fiscal policy of the United States, both in terms of spending and taxation, since the 2008 Recession. To what extent has the U.S. economy recovered and grown? After careful consideration and analysis, students will be better able to understand the direct impact of these policies.

Joseph Frusci, EdD is a prior-service Army National Guardsman who earned a BA and MA in History, as well as the Doctor of Education degree at Northeastern University  He has been teaching with the Core Program since 2012, and is the author of the “2008 Bailout,” a Reacting to the Past game, which engages students in the complexities of the economic crisis of 2007-2008. He also teaches American History, Government, Economics, and Computer Science for the New York City Department of Education at Staten Island Technical High School.

-6:30pm: “United States Labor and Trade Policy under the Trump Administration,” presented by Vincent DePaolo

By the Division of Academic Affairs


One of the most important domestic policy issues in the United States is trade. This lecture will explore how free trade has been a force for good in the United States economy and how it also has negatively affected the industrial blue-collar workforce in the U.S. We will also examine how President Trump is implementing and crafting trade policy. Specifically, we will analyze the newly signed, but not ratified, United Stated-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), also known as the new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and compare how it can positively or negatively impact the United States economy.

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. 23
-10:10am: “Student Feedback Panel,” moderated by Donna Scimeca


To mark the end of the Fall 2019 semester, student representatives from each of the Core 100 sections will take the stage to share with the Core faculty and the program’s coordinator, what worked and what didn’t this semester, and offer suggestions on how the program can be strengthened.