What a wonderful way to start the Fall semester! Last week, I was able to engage with a number of community organizations (including our neighbors from the NYS Office for Persons with Developmental Disabilities) and sat in on the capstone from our NYC Tech Talent Pipeline (TTP). The TTP, under the leadership of Sabine Salandy, prepares students for employment in software engineering roles and provides intensive coaching to help in that process. The capstone showcased the work that teams of students produced as a result of their residency and highlighted ways in which our Computer Science students applied their classroom experiences to the real world. The merging of theoretical and applied knowledge is a cornerstone of experiential learning: it was a fun and impressive event!

 This week brought a spate of activity as we welcomed new students and faculty, while welcoming back those returning to Willowbrook and CSI-St. George. I had the great pleasure of meeting many of our students (and their families) at Move-in Day at Dolphin Cove (and thank you to the CSI student-athletes for their assistance in helping with that process, and to our dedicated resident advisers, too) and again at the CLASS 100 event (orchestrated by Sean Walsh and attended by over 400 students!) on Thursday. It is clear from this level of engagement that students are excited about being at CSI and they are looking forward to the college experience.

 I also had the opportunity to meet our new faculty colleagues at this week’s Orientation, expertly orchestrated by the Office of Academic Affairs (thank you, Nina Del Gatto!). New members were onboarded with information related to instructional technology, human resources, ODEI initiatives, and a variety of other important activities. We were able to get to know each other at Wednesday’s Welcome Back BBQ, with food expertly prepared by Jodi Merendino and her staff. It was a wonderful way to kick off the academic year and reminded me of just how important communal activities such as these are important for the morale of faculty, staff, and students.

 To that end, I am looking forward to having more informal conversations with various stakeholders throughout the academic year in an effort to get to know each other more and to hear any concerns one might have about the College. Vice President Michel Hodge and I hold monthly “Pizza with the President” sessions with various student affinity groups, where we get first-hand information about matters that are important to our students (parking, food services, and class schedules seem to be paramount). This year, I would like to add regular “Tea with Tim” conversations with employees to similarly engage with our faculty and staff. Don’t be afraid, or shy to share your thoughts. These conversations are the equivalent of listening tours where we can identify issues before they become problems, and where we can collaborate on solutions. I look forward to these conversations and all that the new academic year holds for us, individually and collectively. I hope to see many of you at this evening’s “CSI Night” at the Staten Island FerryHawks game, where the team will be recognizing our own Head Baseball Coach (and FerryHawks Assistant Coach), Mike Mauro. The 2023 CSI Valedictorian, David Checchi, is also scheduled to be honored as a “Hometown Hero.” Go Hawks, and Go Dolphins!

Until next time, 

Timothy G. Lynch, Ph.D. (he/him/his)