Media Advisory for planning purposes only CSI inaugurates full-color, animated signs at main entrance

The College of Staten Island (CSI) will host a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, September 21 for two recently installed full-color animated display signs at its Victory Boulevard entrance. The signs were made possible by $100,000 in funding from New York State Senator John J. Marchi (R-C, Staten Island).

“This is more than a beautiful display sign,” said Marlene Springer, president of CSI, “it is another way we can inform the community of the many public events that are held every day on campus. CSI is an integral part of the Island, not only by being a major economic engine, but by being a public institution and having the resources to extend the recreational, educational and cultural programming to our community. I want to thank Senator Marchi for helping us create another way for CSI to say ‘Welcome’ to our friends and neighbors.”

WHO:
NY State Senator John J. Marchi (R-C, Staten Island).
Marlene Springer, President, CSI
Angelo Aponte, VP for Finance and Administration, CSI

WHAT:
Press Event and Photo Op. Visuals include participants posing beneath a full-color display slide displaying an American Flag and “Thank You State Senator Marchi.” There will be a short presentation and animated “virtual” ribbon cutting. Participants will be available for comment.

WHEN:
Tuesday, September 21, 2004 – 3 p.m.

WHERE:
College of Staten Island Main Entrance
2800 Victory Blvd., Staten Island, NY 10314
(Parking available immediately inside main gate)

Senator Marchi sponsored the grant from the Community Capital Assistance Program (CCAP) for the Arts, Cultural, Recreational Communication and Accessibility Project, which was reviewed and approved by the Empire State Development (ESD) Corporation.

The CSI display signs are Galaxy-class RGB displays by Daktronics, capable of medium-resolution animated text and graphical displays in 32,000 colors. The signs will be utilized for the display of upcoming event information, CSI news headlines, promotional messages, and important college information.

Touring the Met Local art expert leads tour of the Met

On Friday, October 1 at 6:30 p.m., acclaimed artist and art historian, Frances D’atria-Romano will discuss the Egyptian Tomb of Perneb exhibit, part of the Egyptian collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art at 82nd Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

D’atria-Romano is a native Staten Island artist and educator whose artwork is based on Staten Island history and New York themes. Currently, she is teaching a painting class for the Retired Teachers Chapter of the Staten Island United Federation of Teachers (UFT), and planning trips for them to the many art clubs in Manhattan, such as the National Arts Club, Salmagundi Club, and The Pen and Brush Society. She works two evenings a week as a New Teacher Consultant and Salary Specialist with the UFT.

The 34-year veteran teacher/coordinator retired as Art Coordinator from New Dorp high school in June 2003, and finds that “retirement has been incredibly busy and fulfilling.” She also notes how important it is for retirees to learn while enjoying their retirements through the arts.

For more information on the artist, visit her Web site at: www.ferryart.com.

Ms. D’atria-Romano is a graduate of the former Richmond College, one of CSI’s predecessor colleges and currently serves as a board member of the CSI Alumni Association. Her event at the Metropolitan Museum is sponsored by the CSI Alumni Association and is open to the public; donations are requested at $12 per person. Please call Francine Raggi at (718) 982-2290 by September 22 to reserve your place in the Egyptian Tombs.

Field of dreams New $800G sports field will benefit CSI teams and community

The College of Staten Island (CSI) began resurfacing its soccer field today with $800,000 in funding from New York City Council Member James S. Oddo (R-Mid-Island).

Oddo’s funding, secured in Fiscal Year 2003, will allow the Willowbrook campus to join the ranks of many professional and college sports stadiums that are using a new type of maintenance-free artificial playing surface called “Field Turf.”

During the groundbreaking ceremony, held in the shadow of the college’s Astrophysical Observatory, Oddo announced “this is more than building a field… it’s about building a relationship.”

“Clearly, the construction of this sports field will fill a real need for our community,” Oddo continued. “It will give CSI’s athletic program a state of the art new field for its athletes to utilize. In addition, it will also provide the community with a first-class facility. I look forward to seeing the entire community enjoy this field when it is completed.”

With mounds of soil and earth-moving machinery as a backdrop, Marlene Springer, president of CSI, said “CSI is committed to providing a superior experience for all our student athletes, and we thank Council Member Oddo for his dedication not only to CSI, but to Staten Island.”

Collegiate sporting activities will receive priority use of the new field, while community members and organizations will have access at all other times.

“Drainage issues on the field had left it mostly unused since the construction of the campus in the early 1990s,” Springer noted. “The new field, designed to duplicate the playing conditions of real grass and engineered to allow maximum drainage, is expected to see its first game before November.”

The field is being installed by the LandTek Group of Amityville, Long Island. Marty Lyons, a former NY Jet, is the sales and marketing director of the company. Recent projects by LandTek include an NCAA Division 1 baseball field at Hofstra University, and the NY Jets Training Facility.

Fundraisers announce memorial scholarship for FDNY probies

riends and family members of Frank Walter and John Esposito gathered in Nansen Park on Staten Island on Saturday, August 28, for the inaugural memorial picnic for the two deceased firefighters. More than 300 attended for a day of family fun in the hot sun, and by the end of the day, the event raised over $8,000.

The event organizer, Melissa Esposito, who is married to Dennis, son of John Esposito, announced that the money they raised would be used to begin a John Esposito and Frank Walter Memorial Scholarship for FDNY probies attending the College of Staten Island. The scholarship is expected to provide $1,000 to each of two students every year.

WHO:
Melissa Esposito
Richard Truitt, vice president for college advancement, CSI
Family members and representatives from CSI’s student affairs office
Participants will be available for comment

WHAT:
Check presentation event to announce the funding of the
John Esposito and Frank Walter Memorial Scholarship

WHEN:
Tuesday, September 7 – 5:30 p.m.

WHERE:
College of Staten Island Advancement Office
Building 1A, Room 401
2800 Victory Blvd., Staten Island, NY 10314

SI Bank & Trust funds the future of Stapleton students

The SI Bank & Trust Foundation today announced a $70,000 grant to the College of Staten Island’s Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge (SEEK) Program in expanded support of the Willowbrook college’s successful Strategies for Success program.

Strategies for Success was founded in 2001 to specially train SEEK students at CSI to perform as mentors at the Dreyfus Intermediate School in Stapleton, on the north shore of Staten Island. The goal was to improve the academic performance of the IS 49 students through tutoring, counseling, and general academic skill building sessions.

The result was that the Intermediate School children and the CSI tutors both showed dramatic improvements in their grades.

“The college students learn study skills in the workshops they attend and gain a sense of accomplishment by aiding in the education of the children,” noted Betsy Dubovsky, executive director of the SI Bank & Trust Foundation, during a press conference at the college. “The IS 49 pupils benefit from the increased attention which not only builds confidence but also improves their academic strategies and skills.”

Funded since its inception by the SI Bank & Trust Foundation, this year’s additional funding for the Strategies for Success program will allow the program to include PS 57, giving grammar school students there the same benefits of working with CSI mentors.

“The one-on-one attention that Strategies for Success provides is critical to its success, and we are proud that our funding will expand the programs’ reach into the grammar schools,” Dubovsky noted.

Since the inception of Strategies for Success, 42 CSI students have worked as mentors in IS 49, helping nearly 200 intermediary school students raise their academic performance. This year’s $70,000 grant announcement will fund the program for the 2004-2005 academic, with $40,000 for support of the program at IS 49 and $30,000 to expand the program into PS 57.

Yin Fan Pong Li, a CSI business major who participated in the program as a mentor, noted that “Strategies for Success is a very successful program which brings people of different race, nationalities and characters to work together for academic success. For the tutors, it is a valuable opportunity to gain tutoring experience and caring for the young, while the tutees benefit from getting help, guidance and love from their tutors.”

IS 49 seventh graders all had positive reports on the program. One noted “it has helped me in all my homework and still does. The tutors in this program are very helpful. No matter who you are, they help you to understand all your work;” while another said “the tutors are friendly and smart. The club helped me in math, reading and English.”

During the screening of a video made during the program’s most recent semester, one student told of his grade average jumping from 82 to 89 after a semester with the program, and another proudly displayed his report card which compared a previous semester’s grades of 60 in Science and 65 in Robotics with current grades of 90 and 80 respectively.

The children’s excitement about participation in the program was evident, and all expressed their desire for the program to return again next year.

The SI Bank & Trust Foundation has supported the College of Staten Island’s SEEK Program with $125,000 since 1999, and has supported the college with more than $300,000 in grants since the late 1990s.

“SI Bank & Trust Foundation is crucial to the quality of life on Staten Island, and their generosity makes Staten Island a better place to live,” said Richard Truitt, vice president for college advancement at CSI, “and we are proud to have them as our partner.”

Georgia Landrum, the Strategies for Success program coordinator at CSI, noted that “learning is a social process, and I am very thankful and very excited to be part of a program that helps develop leadership skills in our public school pupils.”

“The SI Bank & Trust Foundation is helping CSI transform the lives of students on Staten Island,” Truitt continued, “and we thank Betsy Dubovsky and the SI Bank & Trust Foundation Board for their continued dedication and commitment.”

MEDIA ADVISORY for planning purposes SI Bank & Trust funds the future of Stapleton students

The SI Bank & Trust Foundation will announce a $70,000 grant to the College of Staten Island’s Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge (SEEK) Program in expanded support of the Willowbrook college’s successful Strategies for Success program.

WHO:
Betsy Dubovsky, Executive Director, SI Bank & Trust Foundation
Marlene Springer, President, College of Staten Island
Georgia Landrum, Program Coordinator, Strategies for Success
IS 49 Students
CSI Mentors

WHAT:
A press conference that will feature a ten-minute video of the Strategies for Success program at work in the classroom.

WHEN:
Tuesday, August 24, 2004 – 3 p.m.

WHERE:
College of Staten Island Library Screening Room (1L-103)
2800 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island NY 10314

Strategies for Success was founded in 2001 to specially train CSI students to perform as mentors at the Dreyfus Intermediate School in Stapleton, on the north shore of Staten Island. The goal was to improve the academic performance of the IS 49 students through tutoring, counseling, and general academic skill building sessions.

Funded since its inception by the SI Bank & Trust Foundation, this year’s funding increase for the Strategies for Success will allow the successful program to expand into PS 57, giving grammar school students the same benefits of working with CSI mentors.

Mayor appoint CSI president to Women's Issues commission

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg recently announced the appointment of Marlene Springer, President of the College of Staten Island, to the New York City Commission on Women’s Issues. Dr. Springer’s appointment is effective immediately.

The Commission on Women’s Issues (formerly the Commission on the Status of Women) was established by Mayoral Executive Order in 1975 as an advisory body to the Mayor on matters impacting the lives of women in New York City. The Commission also oversees the agenda and activities of the Women’s Advisors Program, established in 1975 to promote equal rights and opportunities for women in city government.

“It is critical in the rebuilding and revitalizing of New York City to focus on the needs of women. We have the responsibility to set standards of excellence with the quality of support we give to the women of New York City,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The Commission is composed of a unique group of individuals dedicated to bringing about positive change for women in our great City. This Commission will work to positively impact women in many aspects of their lives.”

“The Commission on Women’s Issues is an important component of the City, its history, and its future,” commented CSI’s President Springer, “and I look forward to collaborating with my fellow members on the Commission. As a lifelong educator and proponent of women’s rights, I am proud to serve on this Commission and deeply believe in its mission to develop and promote initiatives that expand career choices and other opportunities for women. Commissions such as this serve as an important catalyst for change by making recommendations to the Mayor for implementing public policy designed to improve the lives of women.”

In his appointment letter, Mayor Bloomberg extended his thanks and appreciation to Dr. Springer for sharing her talents with the Commission, saying “I am certain the Commission will benefit from your participation, and I hope you will find your experience to be personally rewarding.”

BACKGROUND:
Dr. Springer is the President of the College of Staten Island of the City University of New York. She is the recent author of “Dollars and Degrees: Who Should Pay for Higher Education?” in The New York Times, September 2003. Prior to her appointment, she was Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at East Carolina University. A specialist in nineteenth-century British and American literature and women’s literature, Dr. Springer earned her PhD in English Literature and her MA in American Literature from Indiana University in Bloomington. Dr. Springer is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Council on Education and numerous other professional and civic organizations. She resides in Staten Island.

College of Staten Island students named 2004 Jeannette K. Watson Fellows Distinguished Fellowship Program Grooms Freshmen and Sophomores for Professional and Personal Growth

Three College of Staten Island students have earned Jeannette K. Watson Fellowships this year, a sought-after paid summer internship program offering mentoring and lifetime contacts to talented freshmen and sophomores at CUNY and independent city colleges who demonstrate exceptional academic promise and outstanding leadership skills.

The recipients of this year’s Jeannette K. Watson Fellowships at the College of Staten Island are April Boland, Melody Messina, and Khadijah Rentas.

April Boland is a sophomore at the College of Staten Island where she majors in English and history. She currently volunteers at Lighthouse International and has been an active youth group leader for several churches in her community. Upon graduating from high school, Ms. Boland took a year off before attending college to provide fulltime childcare for her newborn siblings. Ms. Boland will intern at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation this summer.

Melody Messina majors in Early Childhood Education at CSl with the intent of pursuing a career in Applied Behavioral Analysis Therapy. Also participating in the CUNY Honors College Program, she is the recipient of a number of scholarships including the Peter Vallone Scholarship. Ms. Messina’s extracurricular activities include co-facilitating the CUNY Honors College Provisional Student Council and chartering the CSI Community Service Club. She has worked as a tutor for the school’s Writing Center and is currently a teaching assistant for On Your Mark, a program providing tutoring and assistance to special needs children. This summer, Ms. Messina will intern at the Association to Benefit Children.

Khadijah Rentas, a rising junior at CSI, is the Student Publication Board Representative of All Ways a Woman literary magazine, in addition to being one of its contributing editors. She has demonstrated her commitment to the campus community, serving as a member of Educated Volunteers In Life and the Community Service Club, and acting as an Admissions Ambassador to the college. Ms. Rentas majors in communications and hopes to pursue a career in journalism. She participates in the CUNY Honors College Program. Ms. Rentas will intern at the Gotham Gazette this summer.

Previous College of Staten Island recipients include 2000 Fellowship recipients Kenyatta Carter, Yekaterina Lushpenko and Tara Lynch, 2001 recipient Kristine Gansico, and 2002 recipient Elie Jarrouge.

Established by The Thomas J. Watson Foundation in 1999, the fellowship operates on the principle that “talent is broadly distributed but only selectively developed.” Watson Fellows have their pick of coveted job placements (“work they can learn from”) over three consecutive summers in non-profit agencies, business organizations and in government service that give them a chance to grow and develop interpersonal skills, and gain self-confidence in a variety of professional settings. In the third summer, Watson Fellows can apply for an international assignment through partnerships with Save the Children, the Institute of International Education, and The Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.

A series of weekly seminars further enhances the learning experience by encouraging debate and interaction, and also provides an opportunity for Watson Fellows to share stories about their work experiences. Visits to cultural institutions like Shakespeare in the Park and the Metropolitan Museum of Art enable students to discover New York’s free summer offerings. Every Watson Fellow receives a generous stipend as well as a laptop computer to complete their assignments.

Eight colleges in all, including the College of Staten Island, compete annually for 15 Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship openings; at least one college from each borough is included in the pool of eligible colleges. Each school may nominate up to five candidates, many of whom are selected from honors programs.

For more than 40 years The Thomas J. Watson Foundation has provided opportunities for graduating seniors at 50 selective liberal arts colleges to travel abroad for a year of work and study through The Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. In 1999 The Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship was launched to provide a set of unparalleled workplace and seminar experiences to ignite the professional and personal growth of students at eight urban colleges in New York: City College, College of Staten Island, Hunter, Lehman, Long Island University (Brooklyn), Marymount Manhattan, Pace University (Manhattan), and Queens College.

For more information about The Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship or to receive an application packet, contact Caryl Watkins at (718) 982-2302.