NHL.com – Lou Lamoriello knows a thing or two about hockey talent. He’s apparently a pretty good musical talent scout, too.
The then-president and general manager of the New Jersey Devils was walking down Second Avenue in Manhattan in 1998 when he was drawn into a restaurant where he discovered Arlette, a Trinidad-born singer who was performing in perfect Italian.
Marco Costanza ’19, a first-generation and former Macaulay Honors College student, has been making quite an impact at the University of Michigan Medical School, after earning a BS in Psychology and Spanish at CSI, where he conducted research on income inequality and both cardiac and mental health.
At U-M Medical School, Costanza has been awarded a Dean’s Scholarship, which provides him with the full cost of attendance for his MD and prospective MBA. Similar to his time at CSI, Marco has been heavily involved in many mentorship, DEI (diversity/equity/inclusion), and human rights endeavors.
He currently sits on the executive board of LANAMA (Latin American Native American Medical Association) as the chapter’s Admission’s Ambassador and Co-social chair with goals of increasing Latinx representation among the student body, mentoring Latinx undergraduate students at U-M, and fostering community among his classmates and undertaking community action campaigns.
Additionally, Costanza has been heavily involved in the University of Michigan Asylum Collaborative, a joint endeavor with the U-M Law School and Physicians for Human Rights. He serves as the executive board’s Evaluations Coordinator where he assists in conducting free forensic medical evaluations and medical affidavits to survivors of persecution seeking asylum in the U.S.
Costanza also sits on the executive board for OutMD (U-M’s LGBTQIA+ and straight ally identity group) as the Social Chair where he works on endeavors to create a safe space and fostering community for LGBTQIA+-identifying medical students.
Similar to some of the many mentorship programs in which he participated at CSI (CSTEP/ANY Fellowship) Marco is dedicated to giving back—he serves as a mentor for the Doctors of Tomorrow Program where he mentors underrepresented students interested in healthcare from the Detroit Metro Area.
Looking back on his CSI and Macaulay days, Costanza has many words of praise. In regard to Macaulay, he says that the honors college “provided me with an interdisciplinary education grounded in art, science, diversity, and social justice, which has influenced my outlook on the future of healthcare delivery and policy.”
As for CSI, he adds, “CSI provided me with a world-class education, research, and opportunities at the national and international level, which helped me cultivate a diversity of thought and passion for healthcare equity that I yearn to share with my future patients and medicine at large.”
After he receives his MD/MBA from U-M, Costanza says that he hopes to continue his work in DEI, human rights, and health disparities at the intersection of medicine and policy.
Hina Naveed, who graduated from CSI with a BS in Nursing in Fall 2016, and also recently graduated from the CUNY School of Law in Fall 2020 with a Juris Doctor, was praised by Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, in his remarks from the floor of the Senate, for being “an immigrant healthcare hero, a DACA healthcare hero,” noting that “she should not have to worry about being deported.”
A video of Senator Durbin’s statement is available online.
CSI Alumna Sabrina Vayner has been accepted to the prestigious New England College of Optometry in Boston with a recurring Dean’s scholarship for all four years. She will begin her program of study this fall.
CSI Alumna Kandace Rodriguez, who graduated from the College of Staten Island last January with a BS in Electrical Engineering, is featured on the Department of Education/p.s. alumni Website #Celebrate 18, which spotlights 18 New York City public school graduates who are overcoming their challenges and making a difference. More information is available online.
Dan O’Leary has come a long way from his days as a forward on the 1999 Men’s Basketball team that won the CUNY Conference Tournament Championship and played in the NCAA Division III Tournament. He earned a BS in Communications/Journalism and a minor in Media Studies from CSI, which helped to propel him from the basketball court to the newsroom, giving him the opportunity to be a sports writer for the Staten Island Advance for seven years, the Daily News for six years, and now, the National Hockey League (NHL). Currently, he writes for a new section of NHL.com called “Short Shifts,” which focuses on potentially viral stories from around the league.
Looking back on it all, O’Leary seems quite content, “I’m lucky enough to feel like I have reached my major career goal, which was to get paid to write about sports. I had incredible experiences at the Staten Island Advance and New York Daily News and now, working for the National Hockey League is more than I could have ever imagined for myself. I owe many thanks to many people for how my career has played out so far.”
O’Leary also is enthusiastic about his CSI experience as he shares his philosophy on education and how it relates to life. “I have a singular belief about education. And that is, no matter what school you choose, you get out of it what you put into it. I’ve been out in the professional world for 15 years now and I have worked with people who went to Syracuse, NYU, Columbia, and plenty of others—schools that are pretty much the gold standard for journalism degrees. And here I was working right alongside them with my degree from the College of Staten Island. And I wasn’t the only CSI grad, or CUNY product, for that matter, in these offices. If you take your education seriously and allow yourself to be taught and learn from people more experienced than you are, you can get a top-notch education at a place that will not put you in student loan debt until you are a grandparent. But it’s on you, the student, to take it seriously, find what speaks to you and figure out what you really want to do with your life – because adulthood is coming whether you like it or not – and then find people who have done that with theirs and try to learn from their experience.”
As for the future, O’Leary says that he might write a book someday, but he explains that he and his wife Melissa are currently raising “two incredible kids (Jenna, a three-year old girl and Jake, a one-year old boy) that don’t leave us much down time as you can imagine. My main immediate goal right now is just to be a good dad.”
He also proudly retains his ties to CSI Athletics, stating that he still participates “in the Matty White Memorial Basketball Alumni Game every year and it’s always great to see my old teammates, who are now lifelong friends. CSI is part of who I am. I’m proud to say that I was a Dolphin and that I always will be.”