Back from Asia, Sussman Begins U.S. Leg of Book Tour

Associate Professor Nan Sussman is embarking on the U.S. leg of her book tour.

Nan Sussman, Associate Professor of Psychology at CSI, and two-time Fulbright award recipient, has recently returned from a tour of Asia, where she discussed her book Return Migration and Identity: A Global Phenomenon, a Hong Kong Case. Prof. Sussman, who has gained international recognition for her research regarding the psychological impact of Chinese return migration,has received enthusiastic media attention in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing for her book, which has also been nominated for an Asia Society Book Award.

Now that she has returned to the States, Sussman will discuss her book at a number of venues in the region, including The Leonard Lopate Show on WYNC (820 AM and 93.9 FM) on March 16 at noon; the Asia Society in Washington, DC on March 22 at 8:00pm; The Strand Book Store in Manhattan on April 11 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm, where she will read passages from the book; and the CUNY Asian American/Asian Research Institute on April 29 at 6:30pm.

Katie Cumisky, Chairperson of the CSI Psychology Department commented,”The Psychology Department is so excited about the reception that her current book is getting and we plan to attend her reading/signing at The Strand.”

Sussman received a Fulbright grant in 2004 to interview 50 “re-emigrants,” people who moved from Hong Kong to Western countries and then returned, in order to gauge how they coped with the transition. “As a research psychologist, I am interested in understanding the process of cultural transitions and developing solutions to minimizing the distress associated with these transitions,” Sussman said in an earlier interview. “I am particularly interested in reverse culture shock, the process of returning to your home country, either by sojourners (teachers, students, business personnel, missionaries, etc) or immigrants, and the subsequent changes in identity.”

Sussman also taught Psychology 217: Psychology and Chinese Culture at Shanghai University in China last year, where she joined CUNY students to teach an intensive four-week Winter Session course on Chinese culture with a focus on psychological research.

Conference to Address Staten Island’s Past, Present, and Future

L-R: NY State Assemblyman Matthew Titone and City Councilwoman Debi Rose will be among the featured speakers at the conference.

Everyone is invited to participate in this weekend’s groundbreaking conference, Staten Island in American History and 21-Century Education, a two-day event with 80 presentations, including panels on various themes from Dutch architecture to contemporary politics, from war memorials to the history of local parks, including the tenth anniversary of the closing of Fresh Kills. Other special panels will examine transportation history, Miller Field, Catholic and Jewish history, Dorothy Day, and immigration. The conference will take place on Saturday and Sunday, March 19 and 20 in the College of Staten Island Center for the Arts from 9:00am to 6:00pm.

View the full schedule of activities.

On Sunday at 10:30am, City Councilwoman Debi Rose will make opening remarks at the roundtable on civil rights, exploring her role in the naming of the Martin Luther King Expressway and other turning points in borough history, while at the same time Assemblyman Matthew Titone will make introductory remarks at a roundtable on the history of the LGBTQ movement on Staten Island since the 1950s.

In addition, the preeminent historian of New York City, Prof. Kenneth T. Jackson, author of the newly released The Encyclopedia of New York City will speak and do a book signing on Sunday from 12:30pm to 1:45pm. His topic “Emerging from the Shadow: Staten Island and the Challenge of the 21st Century” will explore the transformation of the borough since the opening in 1964 of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and the ways in which Staten Island differs from the other four counties in New York. Prof. Jackson argues that “this borough has many advantages that could become critical in the next half century.”  Borough President James Molinaro is expected to make opening remarks and dozens of local historians and speakers from across the country will participate in discussing local sites and topics.

The fee is $15 for one or both days and can be paid at the door. Please RSVP to if you plan to attend lunch on Saturday or Sunday or if you’d like to participate in the full program. Additional information is available on the conference Website.

The conference is co-sponsored by si350, the Staten Island Foundation, and the College of Staten Island, Wagner College, and St. John’s University. Event Co-Chairs are Prof. Phillip Papas and Margaret Berci.

Event Details:

Saturday, March 19:

-9:00am to 10:15am: Five sessions including:

“Monuments and Memories: World War I, 9/11, and Beyond”

Gravestones at Moravian Cemetery, Richard Simpson, Historian, Moravian Cemetery

“Doughboys in Marble and Stone: The ‘Great War’ in Staten Island Memory,” Phillip Papas, Union County College

“Staten Island’s 9/11 Memorial: The Architecture of Memory,” Jenny Pachucki, National 9/11 Memorial and Museum, and Wagner College

-10:30am to 11:45am:  Five sessions including:

“Staten Island Politics since the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge” (Roundtable). Participants: Tom Wrobleski, Staten Island Advance; Richard Flanagan, College of Staten Island/CUNY; Jeffrey A. Kroessler, John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY; Thomas LaManna, College of Staten Island/CUNY.

-11:45am: Lunch

-1:00pm to 2:15pm: Five sessions and 15 papers, including:

“The Archaeology of Sailors’ Snug Harbor,” Sherene Baugher, Cornell University

-2:30pm to 3:45pm, Fve sessions including:

Contextualizing the Willowbrook School Site:

“A History of Land Use of the Willowbrook School Site,” James A. Kaser, College of Staten Island/CUNY

“Halloran General Hospital,” Henry J. Kennedy, Esq., Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

“An Institutional History and Sociological Analysis of the Willowbrook State School,” David Goode, College of Staten Island/CUNY


The Spirit of Place and Legend:

“The Neighborhood Games: Coaching Legends, Community, and Thanksgiving Day Football,” Jay Price, Staten Island Sports Historian, former Staten Island Advance reporter

“Genius of Genius Loci: An Exploration of Sense of Place in the Works of Paul Zindel,” Jessica R. Kratz, Greenbelt Nature Center, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation

-4:oopm to 5:15pm: Keynote Address:

Carmen Fariña, former NYC Deputy schools chancellor, “Making Connections: Social Studies as a Vehicle for Understanding Ourselves and the World”

Sunday, March 20:

-9:00am to 10:15pm: Five sessions including:

The Legacy and Promise of Fresh Kills:

“The History of Fresh Kills Operations,” Ted Nabavi, NYC Department of Sanitation

“Interpretations of Made Land,” Robin Nagle, New York University and the NYC Department of Sanitation

“The Transformation of Freshkills,” Eloise Hirsh, Freshkills Park Administrator

-10:30am to 11:45am:

Trains, Bridges and Highways: The Politics of  New York City Transportation and Its Impact on Staten Island: Chair/Commentator: Charles L. Sachs, Historian and former Senior Curator, New York Transit Museum

“Missing the Train: New York City Subways, the Dual Contracts, and the Failed Effort to Tunnel to Staten Island, 1898-1913,” Kenneth M. Gold, College of Staten Island/CUNY

“Beyond the Bridge: Robert Moses and the Parkways on Staten Island,” Jeffrey A. Kroessler, John Jay College of Criminal Justice/(CUNY

-11:45am-12:30pm: Lunch

-12:30-1:45: Keynote Address:

Prof. Kenneth T. Jackson, “Emerging from the Shadow: Staten Island and the Challenge of the 21st Century”

-2:00pm to 3:15pm: Borough Historians’ Plenary Session:

“1898: New York City’s Consolidation and Its Ramifications” (Roundtable Discussion),  Chair: Robert Weible, New York State Historian. Participants: Thomas W. Matteo, Staten Island Borough Historian; Michael Miscione, Manhattan Borough Historian; Ron Schweiger, Brooklyn Borough Historian; Jack Eichenbaum, Queens Borough Historian; Lloyd Ultan, Bronx Borough Historian

Music Students Get Virtuoso Instruction at Master Class

Virtuoso violinist Yevgeny Kutik recently conducted a master class for students at the College of Staten Island.

Recently, four aspiring violinists from Staten Island had the rare opportunity of working with the Russian American virtuoso violinist Yevgeny Kutik, who was at CSI to perform a program of classical music later that day.

The 24 year-old musician, who has rapidly gained international acclaim since his 2003 concerto debut with the Boston Pops Orchestra, gave the students inspiring criticism of their performances of challenging compositions from the violin repertoire, including movements from violin concertos by Felix Mendelssohn and Samuel Barber. Details about tone production and expression received microscopic attention from the violinist as he probed each student’s approach to the instrument and to the works they presented.

The students included two current CSI Music majors, Stephanie Geraci and Melissa Folzenlogan; Gerri Galardo, a Music alumnus who is currently pursuing a Master’s degree at Hunter College;  and Jefferson Dixon, a Tottenville High School student. The four participants were selected by their violin teacher, Olivier Fluchaire, who serves on the faculties of the College of Staten Island and Hunter College.

Weighing in on her experience in the class, Geraci said, “Yevgeny Kutik helped me further understand the basics of using the bow. He also gave me great ideas for how to improve my piece, like how to phrase certain passages, and how vibrato will bring out certain notes.”

For his part, Dixon noted that he appreciates the exceptional caliber of instruction that he received in this master class. “As a violinist, you spend hours in the practice room perfecting technical issues and repeating passages countless times. However, this is all in vain if you cannot translate a message to your audience. At CSI, we as musicians were given the opportunity to learn the art of performance, which is vital to any musician. Having the resources of an excellent, professional faculty supplemented with master classes by such maestros as Yevgeny Kutik truly teaches us more than any amount of practice alone could. Working with these individuals, you realize that playing the violin is much more than a skill, but an art. I’d like to personally thank Yevgeny Kutik for inspiring me, and I thank CSI and Prof. Olivier Fluchaire for allowing this opportunity.”

CSI Music Professor Dr. William Bauer offered his insights into the class from a faculty perspective. “The student performers amazed me in the way they each responded to Mr. Kutik’s insights. Despite differences in style and level of development, these young musicians made noticeable leaps in the approach each took to the music. Mr. Kutik challenged them all to grow and expand their vision of what is possible, both in terms of sound production and in terms of expression and interpretation.”

This unique educational experience was made possible by Professor Emeritus the late Dr. Michael Shugrue, who sponsored the evening concert, which was part of a series of classical events that he promoted in collaboration with the Division of College Advancement and External Affairs and the Center for the Arts.

Past master classes have exposed students to the artistry of the jazz singers Jean Rohe, Gretchen Parlato, and Marguerite Jeunemann as part of the Music program’s mission to broaden Music majors’ horizons by bringing them together with actively touring concert artists.

Chamber Music Collective of CSI Faculty Present Works Spanning Four Centuries

The Chamber Music Collective of CSI performs this Monday at the Center for the Arts under the directorship of CSI faculty pianist Dr. Sylvia Kahan.

The Center for the Arts at the College of Staten Island presents The Chamber Music Collective (CMC) of CSI on Monday, March 14, 2011 at 7:30pm.

The Chamber Music Collective of the College of Staten Island is a group of faculty musicians who teach in the Music Program of the Department of Performing and Creative Arts. All of these artist-teachers have performed in New York’s major concert halls (Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, etc.) and many have distinguished themselves nationally and internationally, to audience and critical acclaim. Under the directorship of CSI faculty pianist Dr. Sylvia Kahan, the Chamber Music Collective brings together this esteemed group of faculty artists to present diverse small-ensemble works spanning four centuries.

The core members of the Collective are: Elena Heimur, soprano; Edward Brown, guitar; David Wechsler, flute; David Keberle, clarinet; Olivier Fluchaire, violin; Renee Briggs, Sylvia Kahan, and Yoojin Oh, piano; and David Clive, percussion.

For the inaugural concert, the CMC, joined by guest artists Kurt Briggs (violin), William Frampton (viola), and Matthew Goeke (cello), will present works by Poulenc’s Flute Sonata, Hummel Grande Serenade for guitar, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano; four songs on Russian poems by Rachmaninoff; and an arrangement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto in F major, K. 413, for piano and string quartet. The program will also feature the Staten Island premiere of a work by CSI faculty composer David Keberle, Percorsi d’anima, for clarinet, violin, cello, and piano.

The creation of a resident faculty chamber music group at CSI has been a long-time dream of Sylvia Kahan, who has taught at CSI since 1996. “The Music Program tried to launch a faculty series several times before, but various difficulties made the idea hard to realize. In recent years, our beloved and recently deceased music benefactor, Dr. Michael Shugrue, filled the need for classical music concerts with his enlightened patronage. Thanks to Dr. Shugrue, the New York Philharmonic Ensembles and various other eminent groups brought their talents to the Center for the Arts, enriching immeasurably the lives of the campus community. It is hoped that, now, the Chamber Music Collective can fill the need for chamber music on campus left by Dr. Shugrue’s passing. Our goal is to offer programs that balance beloved, well-known works with rarities from the classical-music repertoire. These programs will also include 20th- and 21st-century works by established modern composers, including our own outstanding faculty composers.”

The Center for the Arts will offer only one program by the Chamber Music Collective this Spring 2011 semester. It is hoped, however, that, as interest in the group grows and as audiences develop, more frequent performances will be scheduled.

Tickets for this performance are $10 and can be reserved in person in Building 1P, Room 113; by phone at 718.982.ARTS (2787); by mail at 2800 Victory Boulevard, 1P-113, Staten Island, NY 10314; or via the CFA Website.  The Box Office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 4:00pm, and Saturday from noon to 3:00pm.

Students Urged to Participate in This Year’s Undergraduate Conference

Students are encouraged to participate in this year's Undergraduate Conference on Research, Scholarship, and Performance.

CSI students from all disciplines are encouraged to participate in the Tenth Annual Undergraduate Conference on Research, Scholarship, and Performance (URC). The event will be held on Thursday, April 14 in the Center for the Arts from 1:30pm to 4:00pm.

Every year, the goal of the event is to celebrate the student-faculty collaborations that have become a hallmark of the College of Staten Island.

Discussing the importance and wide range of scholarship at the Conference, Dr. Ann Lubrano, Acting Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies and Academic Programs, says, “The URC is an outstanding opportunity for CSI students to showcase the work they have been engaged in under the guidance of faculty mentors. The conference represents the breadth of experiences and disciplines at the College presented in a manner that prepares the students for professional participation. There are poster presentations of scientific research, dramatic presentations, musical and dance performances, conference-style paper presentations, and art and sculpture exhibits. The Conference is a wonderful occasion for personal and professional development for CSI students.

Dr. Eun Park, CSI Dean of Research and Graduate Studies, sums up the many benefits for participating students. “The URC provides a valuable educational experience for undergraduate students through participation in various forms of projects and research. The research projects feature the high-quality interaction and work of students with faculty mentors. Those students who are exposed to the URC with research projects are in a better position, and are prepared and equipped for graduate study and research work if they decide to pursue graduate studies and degrees. The experience will be greatly beneficial for them.”

Ben Silfen, a senior Psychology major will be one of the students taking part in the Conference this year. He will present the findings of research that he conducted for his Honor’s Thesis, with the guidance of Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Florette Cohen, which examines different stereotypes that exist among students who are majoring in the social sciences, natural sciences, the arts, and business.

“I feel that presenting at this Conference is important on a professional level because it allows researchers to teach other new things, things that can be applied from one researcher to another, things that can be applied to everyday life,” he explains. “I feel that it is important for researchers to be informed and understand what else is going on in the world around them. I also feel that it is important for me on a personal level to be allowed to present because for the past several years every Psychology major who has conducted an Honors Thesis has been invited to present at this conference. I feel that the URC is a symbolic initiation ceremony to researchers who have been able to finish their research projects after more than a year, sometimes two years, of hard work and dedication. All I know is that ever since the first research conference I was allowed to attend two years ago, I have been anticipating this moment ever since, and I am very honored and excited to be a part of such an important academic endeavor.”

Kristina Toropova, a senior Psychology major who will present the breast cancer research that she conducted under Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Jimmie Fata, is also very enthusiastic about the URC. “I am looking forward to seeing how my poster will bring together almost a year full of research, as well as being able to look at what other undergraduate students of all majors will present. The scientific community at the CSI campus is thriving, and everyone should experience it.”

Students who wish to participate should submit their abstracts electronically via the Undergraduate Research Conference Website  no later than Friday, March 4, 2011.
In addition, special conference preparation sessions (PowerPoint skills, large poster production) will be available to student presenters on Thursday, March 24 and Thursday, April 7 from 1:30pm to 3:30pm. Both training sessions will be held in the Media Services Lab located in the Library (Building 1L), Room 201. Please contact  to reserve a seat.
Students or faculty mentors who wish to receive more information about the conference are encouraged to contact Jessica Stein, the event coordinator, at 718.982.2341.

New Language Testing Software a Win-Win for Students and Faculty

OWL Testing Software is augmenting instruction and learning in CSI's language labs.

The Department of Modern Languages at the College of Staten Island recently implemented new oral OWL Testing Software. The platform is now being used by more than 800 CSI students for all proficiency levels of French, Spanish, and Italian. There are also plans for the Department to employ the software for the assessment of Mandarin Chinese and Basic Arabic later this semester.

Commenting on the choice of the new platform, Valeria Belmonti, Director of CSI’s Modern Languages Media Center, says, “The Media Center was looking for a user-friendly application to provide enough flexibility for faculty to customize oral exams according to languages and levels. Another important criterion was to find software that includes a built-in assessment module that would allow faculty to grade oral exams on the same platform used by students to record oral exams. Training efficiencies are quickly realized by having students and professors using the same software. We also needed an online application that would allow faculty to grade exams on and off campus.”

What does this platform have that old evaluation methods didn’t? According to Belmonti, “OWL allows us to integrate multimedia into the questions, time students’ answers, randomize questions in various ways, and apply different grading rubrics and/or points systems to different sections of an oral exam. OWL’s ability to generate reports also makes it easy for the Department to record and analyze the results of oral exams. [In addition] the OWL built-in audio recorder has particularly streamlined the process of oral exams, since students now access the questions and record their answers using the same interface.

Gerry Milligan, Acting Chair of the Modern Languages Department, Assistant Professor of Italian, and Italian Studies Coordinator, states, “The software is useful for faculty because it allows for swift oral exams [which is particularly useful when a large number of students require an oral exam at any given time]…Also, the software allows faculty to create an electronic portfolio of students’ verbal skills at critical moments in their training. This is particularly useful for outcomes assessment because the portfolios allow faculty to determine students’ performance at each level of our language sequence. Finally, the possibility of giving the students oral feedback is fundamental to error correction of pronunciation, a central issue in second language acquisition.”

As for the benefits to students, Milligan points out that “the software, unlike the online activities provided by the students’ workbooks, allows students to create a portfolio of verbal recordings. They can practice their verbal skills and even receive recorded oral feedback from the instructor. They can also listen to their previous recordings in order to practice their speech as well as monitor their own progress. Ultimately, we are creating superior language learners and, in particular, better second language speakers.”

Professor of French and French Program Coordinator Kathryn Talarico notes that her students “seem to like the ability to see immediate results and get oral feedback from their instructor. Some students have said that they like the pressure of being timed in their answers since it forces them to think on their feet and to respond quickly. Since language study is all about communication, a serious program that tests oral skills (listening and speaking) makes learning a language more authentic.”

Regarding her opinion as an educator, Talarico states that, beyond the platform’s ease of use, “I have found that we can do more intensive oral testing and training of students, something that really isn’t done with any regularity or consistency at other colleges around the country. In French, we use the software for both testing and for systematic training of students’ pronunciation. The software allows instructors to leave oral feedback from students, so, for instance, if they mispronounce something or make a mechanical error, the instructor can record the correct answer. Students can get their grades with both oral and written feedback a few days after the test or exercise is over.

Another faculty user, Sarah Pollack, Assistant Professor of Spanish and the Coordinator of the Spanish Program, says that when it comes to her students “Listening and speaking are probably the hardest language skills to acquire in the classroom. By incorporating this software into the curriculum, students will be afforded more opportunities to practice and be evaluated on these fundamental areas of communication. I also agree with Professor Talarico that the ability to leave oral feedback for students is incredibly beneficial, as they can get immediate, individualized feedback on their speaking–something that is difficult to do effectively in the classroom setting.”

Pollack also appreciates the flexibility of the software and notes that “the OWL platform allows us to create oral exercises that are close to real-life situations, and [this allows] students to practice language in a more authentic setting.” In addition, she says, “We can now efficiently create exercises and exams that evaluate all of our students in a creative and systematic fashion. My hope is that we can slowly increase our use of OWL in the Spanish Program until we are able to give as much weight to oral work as to written work.”

Historians and Educators to Gather at CSI to Celebrate Staten Island in American History and 21st Century Education

CSI will host “Staten Island in American History and 21st Century Education,” a special event to celebrate Staten Island’s 350th anniversary.

Public School teachers, principals, pre-service teachers, educators, scholars in all academic fields, and the general public are invited to a special event to celebrate Staten Island’s 350th anniversary.

The College of Staten Island will host a two-day Academic Conference and Education Symposium entitled “Staten Island in American History and 21st Century Education” to take place at the Center for the Arts on March 19 and 20, 2011. The conference is a culmination of SI350’s recent “Call for Papers” and “Call for Teacher’s Guides.”

Three Colleges Award 18 Teacher’s Guides

A panel of judges, consisting of educational faculty from CSI, Wagner College, and St. John’s University, will choose 18 of the best submissions and  the developers will be invited to present their work during the first day of the Symposium. The six of the chosen guides will align with the curriculum of the elementary grades, another six will align with middle school, and the remaining six will align with secondary school.The best submission in each category will receive a prize of $1,000, and the runner-up will receive $250.

Submissions have been received, mostly from undergraduate and graduate students of education, many of whom are teaching in K-12 grades in Staten Island schools during the day, and who continue to further their formal teacher education during the evening. Examples of sites for which guides have been developed vary from well known historic sites, such as the Conference House, 9/11 Monument, Alice Austen House, or Sandy Ground, to less well-known sites, such as St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, Mount Loretto, or Clay Pit Pond. Also represented are guides that highlight the teaching and learning opportunities found in the study of important ethnic sites such as Killmeyer’s Old Bavaria Inn.

Two Keynotes: Six City and State Historians

The Conference will feature two keynote speakers: Carmen Farina, who has served for more than 40 years in public education, most recently as Deputy Chancellor for New York City Public Schools, and is the author of Making Connections, a multicultural/ interdisciplinary program focusing on Social Studies education; and Kenneth T. Jackson, the Jacques Barzun Professor of History and Social Sciences at Columbia University.

In addition the plenary session of the conference will bring together the five NYC borough historians and the New York State historian to discuss the topic: “1898: New York City’s Consolidation and its Ramifications.”

Community as Classroom

The call to develop teacher guides to any one of the 350 sites identified as sites of historical and cultural importance on Staten Island is founded on the theory of Place-based Education (PBL).  “The theory promotes learning that is rooted in what is local – the unique history, environment, culture, economy, literature, and art of a particular place–that is the students’ own place,” explained Dr. Margaret Bérci, Associate Professor of Education at CSI and co-chair of SI350 Academic Conference/Symposium.

Bérci noted that “although PBL is a great way to teach and learn, it takes a concentrated effort and extensive time commitment on the part of the teacher to develop effective PBL lesson plans.”  To that end, Bérci has incorporated the Teacher Guide Contest, as a case of PBL, into curriculum/pedagogy courses at CSI. As a result, many of the CSI Education students entered the contest with original guides containing extended lesson plans.

Curriculum-based Guides Available to Educators

“Development of these teacher guides has proved to be a great learning activity for pre-service teachers. Rather than simply working through a classroom exercise, the contest provided heightened incentive and interest in the alignment of PBL with the curriculum and the pedagogy of social studies,” Bérci noted. “The guides, representing the best of those submitted to the contest, include lesson plans for the pre-visit, site visit, and post-visit activities that align with national and NY State education curriculum standards; they are comprehensive in scope, and include extensive resource lists and background information in the content knowledge imbedded in the site, in which teachers need to be fluent.”

“Staten Island teachers who attend the symposium will take home great ideas that will help them to infuse their teaching with the benefits of PBL, knowledge of the immediate community and its place in the history of NY, USA, and beyond,” stressed Bérci. “The presentation of the guides, by those who developed them, will provide an opportunity for those attending to question and engage their colleagues in curriculum and pedagogy discussion.”

Bérci encourages “all K-12 teachers and principals to attend the event, as the scholarly papers will shed light on many aspects of Staten Island’s rich history and will also prove to be an invaluable resource for all educators on Staten Island.”  Bérci added that “by using the guides, teachers can easily incorporate significant sites into their teaching, and pre-service teachers can use the format of the guides as a learning tool and model as they begin to create their own lesson plans. Aside from being introduced to ideas from respected researchers and educators, the conference, as a whole, gives area teachers an opportunity to learn facts about Staten Island that they may not have known, to be introduced to a variety of perspectives on their community, and to gather ready-made teaching resources and methodology with which to engage their students in the knowledge they gleaned.”

The “Call for Papers” invited scholars from around the world to submit a research paper highlighting Staten Island’s place in history and in education. A large number of papers were submitted from inside and outside of the U.S., which shows that Staten Island’s impact is rich and long reaching.  All submissions were peer reviewed; 57 individual papers and three roundtable symposiums were accepted for presentation.

The “Call for Teacher’s Guides” is a contest inviting in-service and pre-service teachers to develop comprehensive curriculum-based teaching guides for use by public school teachers. The education symposium and contest is supported by a $10,000 matching grant from the Staten Island Foundation in order to promote learning and teaching about “our shared and diverse past.”

The “Staten Island in American History and 21st Century Education” event is co-chaired by Dr. Margaret Bérci and Dr. Philip Papas, Professor of History at Union County College. It is part of an ongoing effort by the Staten Island Foundation, CSI, St. John’s University, and Wagner College to foster a better understanding of Staten Island’s influential history by aiding the Island’s teachers in gathering the information and incorporating it into their lessons.

The College of Staten Island Center for the Arts is located at 2800 Victory Boulevard in Willowbrook. For more information about the event please contact: Dr. M. E. Bérci, Associate Professor of Education, CSI, Co-chair of the Conference on Staten Island in American History and 21st Century Education at or Dr. Philip Papas, Associate Professor of History, UCC, Co-chair of the Conference on Staten Island in American History and 21st Century Education at

Como Named Clinical Nurse Specialist of the Year by the NACNS

CSI's June M. Como has received the Clinical Nurse Specialist of the Year award from the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists.

June M. Como, Lecturer of Nursing at the College of Staten Island, has received the Clinical Nurse Specialist of the Year award from the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS).

The award recognizes NACNS members for their outstanding professional achievements as Clinical Nurse Specialist Educators. Professor Como will be officially recognized at the NACNS annual awards luncheon on Friday, March 11 in Baltimore. 

Professor Como, who began her nursing career at CSI (she was a member of the final class of Staten Island Community College) said that she was “extremely excited and very humbled,” when she was nominated by Dr. Margaret Lunney of CSI’s Nursing Department. 

“Teaching is an important component of my life,” commented Como. “Being able to guide my graduate students toward their practice as CNSs in Advanced-Practice Nursing, assisting them in providing the highest level of evidenced-based patient-focused care, and implementing system-level changes in their respective health care settings is wonderfully fulfilling.”

Professor Como’s list of accomplishments is long and impressive, but perhaps none is more impressive than her work during 9/11 setting up a nurses’ health care and first aid center at the Staten Island Homeport. She spent nearly three months organizing health care coverage for personnel at Ground Zero. 

Professor Como is also the co-director of the CSI High-Fidelity Simulation Center where her students use mannequins to simulate real clinical circumstances. The mannequins have heart rates, blood pressure, and working lungs. “It is important that students experience a level of patient care in a safe environment where mistakes are not as costly,” she said. 

“Como’s dedication to the Staten Island community and to the development of CNS students through technology and leadership training is what helps set her apart from other members of her field. Como is a true leader in her field and the members of the CSI community are proud to call her their own,” CSI Provost and SeniorVice President for Academic Affairs Dr. William Fritz commented.

Como began her teaching career as a Critical Care Instructor at Methodist Hospital and has been teaching at CSI since 1992. She is the recipient of a number of awards and grants, earning tens of thousands of dollars as the Principal Investigator (PI) for several projects that use different aspects of technology to assist students in acquiring the critical thinking traits and skills in the nursing diagnosis, care, and evaluation of patients, families, and communities. She has published several articles in health care journals such as the International Journal of Human Caring and Holistic Nursing Practice. Her doctoral focus is on health literacy, medication adherence, and health outcomes in patients with heart failure. 

The NACNS was founded in 1995 to enhance and promote the valuable contributions of clinical nurse specialists to the health care industry. Members are highly influential in the nursing industry. They aid in the development of CNS education standards and support state-specific legislative initiatives. 

The Nursing program at CSI is one of the College’s longest-running programs, dating back to the 1960s when CSI was known as Staten Island Community College. Today, the Department has grown into one of CSI’s flagship programs, offering Master’s and Nurse Specialist degrees. CSI nursing graduates are employed in a variety of institutions throughout the city.