[gallery] Seventh Annual Honors Convocation

The College of Staten Island honored its top students at the Seventh Annual Honors Convocation at the Center of the Arts Springer Concert Hall.

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Elizabeth Krawczun, the CSI Class of 2014 Salutatorian and graduate from the Verrazano School Honors Program, was the student speaker at the event which also featured remarks by Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. A. Ramona Brown, Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Fred Naider and CSI President Dr. William J. Fritz.

Before the 2014 CSI Salutatorian spoke to those in attendance, President Fritz offered his remarks.

President Fritz first asked the honorees to take a moment to recognize all of the individuals who “have so positively touched and influenced your lives.” He then discussed the reasons for which the students were being honored—that the College was proudly celebrating “your intellect, your drive to succeed, and your dedication to service.”

Continuing a trend that he began at last year’s Honors Convocation, President Fritz quoted last year’s class of 2013 Salutatorian, Christina Terracino, because “after all, I realized there is no greater source of inspiration than the words coming from our own students.” President Fritz chose a quote that he felt best expressed a deep appreciation of interdisciplinary education.

“The way in which literature can capture the human condition and lead us to understand multiple perspectives is truly remarkable. Literature allows us to relate to things previously unimaginable. Perhaps I can now better imagine the feeling of a Nursing student nervously lifting a syringe for the first time, the joy of a Biology major experiencing the results of an experiment that has just come to fruition, or a student of music who has just found the perfect song lyric. Music, like literature, tells a story. I learned the power of words, and heard the many interpretations expressed by fellow students during class discussions. I learned that everyone has a story to tell.”

Dr. Fritz ended his remarks by telling the honorees that “we celebrate your stories tonight,” and that “we stand in awe of all the things you have already achieved and all that you have contributed to the continuing success and evolution of this great institution.”

College of Staten Island Class of 2014 Salutatorian Elizabeth Krawczun

Krawczun, who graduated with a CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies in Epidemiology, then discussed a recent Facebook post she read about a professor using a jar filled with golf balls, pebbles, and sand as a way to provide his students with a metaphor for life. “Now,” she said, quoting the professor, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the most important things—your family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions—and if everything else was lost, your life would still be full.”

“The message of this story is a simple one but one that we need to reminded of every once in a while.” Krawczun concluded, remarking on the message of the post.

She then quoted writer Neil Gaiman when, during a commencement speech in 2012 told the attendees to “make good art.”

“As we go forward,” she explained, “we must take our scholarship, ambition, character, heart, and spirit to make good art. Programming software, pumping gas, preparing a good meal, telling a funny joke. Make good art. Graduating is art, and hopefully there are other, better, pieces to come. You are art. Life is art.”

Krawczun also referenced her study abroad trip to India and how it “truly changed me and changed how I viewed myself and the world.”

She also talked about how, if on May 30th, the day after graduation, “your gown is hanging in your closet or rolled into a ball in the trunk of your car, if you are working early or sleeping late, you should be proud. Remember to be proud.”

Following the ceremony, the honored students, their families and friends, faculty, and staff attended a dessert reception in the Center for the Arts Atrium where they were able to celebrate their accomplishments at CSI but, like Krawczun urged her fellow honorees, to remember to be proud.

[gallery] Verrazano School honors 34 grads, including CSI’s Valedictorian and Salutatorian

The Verrazano School Honors Program at the College of Staten Island held its fourth annual Verrazano Senior with 34 graduates in the Class of 2014 representing 18 different majors.

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Verrazano graduates include Blaze Fraser, the 2014 CSI Valedictorian, and Elizabeth Krawczun, the 2014 CSI Salutatorian.   Six students are graduating summa cum laude, the highest Latin honor awarded to students based on cumulative GPA, and twenty-three students overall are graduating with Latin honors, indicating a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.

As has become a Verrazano tradition, Professor Charles Liu, the multitalented Director of The Verrazano School, provided a live piano prelude before welcoming the graduates and guests at the start of the ceremony.  Dr. Fred Naider, Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, brought greetings on behalf of President William J. Fritz and congratulated the graduates on their many accomplishments while wishing them continued success in their future endeavors.

Salutatorian Elizabeth Krawczun, the graduate selected as this year’s Class Speaker through an application process, reflected on the role of The Verrazano School in the lives of its students and encouraged her fellow graduates as they move into the next phase of their lives.

“We came to CSI to master a body of knowledge, “ Krawczun remarked, “whether to learn the physiology of the human limbic system, interpret the poems of Tennyson, or study electromagnetic principles of a Faraday device, we entered college because we wanted to glimpse the possibilities of what we could achieve, and to imagine a life of successes and contentment. The Verrazano School helped us to do just that. Studying abroad allowed us to grow and experience new places and cultures, volunteering strengthened our sense of community and service and purpose, Verrazano Extracurricular Learning Activities (VELA) events taught us how to highlight our accomplishments and seek out new and exciting opportunities through interview and internship sessions, personal statement writing, and resume building workshops . . .

“Moving forward, we accept the responsibility to keep our minds open, to reflect on the possibilities of how we might live and understand ourselves, others, and the world. In translation, the Greek author Plutarch wrote, “What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.” This expresses our inescapable connection with the outside world, and the fact that we touch other people’s lives simply by existing. Graduates, your intelligence, your capacity for hard work and the education you have earned and received, give you unique status, and great possibilities.  Recognize the great potential you hold in this competitive world. Success is never an accident.”

The Verrazano School Honors Program strives to create a culture in which students not only achieve academic excellence in their courses of study but are well-prepared for graduate studies and professional success, and are connected to their local and global community through service and leadership.  The Verrazano Class of 2014 embodies these goals, and indeed their success is not accidental.  Over the past four years, more than two-thirds of the graduates participated in undergraduate research and scholarship.  Verrazano graduates have presented their research at venues including the CSI Undergraduate Conference on Research, Scholarship, and Performance, the CSTEP conference at Lake George, the CUNY Summer Undergraduate Research Conference (CSURP) in Manhattan, and the International Student Computer Cluster Competition in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Due to their academic excellence, Verrazano graduates have been inducted into the Phi Beta Delta International Honors Society, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society, Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society, and Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society for Business, Management, and Administration.   Students also participated in internships at organizations and companies including SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Staten Island Mental Health Society, YMCA, Staten Island University Hospital, Integrated Financial Services, and Clear Channel Media & Entertainment.

The connection to the local and global community through service and leadership was exemplified in the Verrazano Class of 2014.  Verrazano graduates explored the world through study abroad programs, conferences, and volunteerism in countries including China, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, England, India, Italy, and Morocco.  The national average of college students studying abroad is approximately 2%, but nearly 30% of the Verrazano graduates had an international educational experience.  In addition, two students presented research at the International Taurine Conference in Marrakesh, Morocco in Spring 2012 and one student spent several weeks every year volunteering at an orphanage and school in the Dominican Republic.

Collectively, the Verrazano graduates completed more than 3300 hours of community service at organizations including public schools, Staten Island University Hospital, Eden II, Families Helping Families, Richmond University Hospital, Lenox Hill Hospital, the Staten Island Zoo, and numerous Verrazano and other campus activities.  Seven of the graduates were honored for their exemplary service to the community, and Angela Dauge, a Science, Letters and Society major, was specially recognized for completing over 650 hours of service at Project Homefront.

Many graduates were also involved in campus activities and served in leadership roles including Student-Athlete Advisory Committee President, officer board of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, members of the Emerging Leaders Program, Men’s and Women’s Soccer teams, Swim and Diving Team, WSIA radio station, President of the Pre-Dental Association, Psychology Club, Accounting Club, and the Senior Class Gift Committee.

The broad reach of Verrazano students in the world was evident in an anecdote that Professor Liu shared during the ceremony.   Just a day before the Convocation, he was driving on a desolate Arizona highway on his way to a scientific conference.  While listening to the radio, he heard a familiar voice come over the airwaves.  Lauren Hornek, a Media Studies major in the Class of 2014, was live on the air on the “60s on 6” channel on SiriusXM Satellite Radio.  Lauren’s tenacity and hard work landed her several internships at SiriusXM which ultimately led to her being offered a full-time position this spring.  Professor Liu shared that this is just one example of the impact that Verrazano students have outside the borders of the campus.

Many Verrazano graduates will continue their education next year, both locally and internationally.  Blaze Fraser, the 2014 CSI Valedictorian, will be attending Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, and Elizabeth Krawczun, the 2014 CSI Salutatorian, will be attending the University of Edinburgh to pursue a MSc in Medical Anthropology.   In addition, Verrazano graduates have been accepted to Doctoral programs in Physical Therapy at the College of Staten Island and Nazareth College; graduate programs in Accounting, Computer Science, Special Education, and TESOL at the College of Staten Island; and a Master’s program in School Counseling at St. John’s University.  Other graduates are taking the year off to study for the MCAT and LSAT before applying to medical school and law school for the fall of 2015.

The Verrazano Senior Convocation ceremony concluded with the awarding of Verrazano certificates and honor cords to each graduate.  Verrazano graduates wear the blue and gold honor cords at Honors Convocation and Commencement to signify that they have successfully fulfilled the requirements of The Verrazano School Honors Program.

After the ceremony,  graduates and their guests made their way over to the Green Dolphin Lounge for a dessert reception to cap off the evening.  The reception, catered by Jodi Merendino and her staff, kept with the Verrazano tradition of including an assortment of homemade miniature pies with the Verrazano “V” on top. The reception offered an opportunity for students to celebrate with their families and friends, professors, CSI administrators, and Verrazano alumni.

[video] Meet Blaze Fraser: 2014 Valedictorian and Commencement Speaker

Blaze presented his research findings at the 18th International Taurine Conference in Marrakech, Morocco, April 2012.

Blaze Fraser is graduating Summa Cum Laude with a 3.9 GPA from College of Staten Island’s Verrazano School Honors Program. While studying at CSI, he conducted undergraduate research under the supervision of Dr. William L’Amoreaux, director of the Imaging Facility.

Blaze’s research is focused on taurine, an effective osmolyte in the body, and its physiological effects on different tissues. This upcoming fall semester, he will begin attending the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine in pursuit of his long-term goal of becoming a dentist.

Blaze is the middle of five children, all born and raised in Staten Island. After Commencement, he will be the fourth College of Staten Island graduate of his family with the others including his mother Bernadette, brother Jerry, and sister Lauren.

He takes great joy in his family and faith and their influence on his personality, work ethic, and outlook on life. He is thankful to the College of Staten Island for allowing him to achieve through all of the exceptional opportunities presented to him.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgJpEHOCLSM[/youtube]More about Blaze:

• Member and Treasurer, CSI Pre-Dental Association (2011-2013)
• Department of Biology/Imaging Facility – researched the effects of Taurine on RPE tissues under the supervision of Dr. William L’Amoreaux (Spring 2012, Spring 2014); created experimental set-ups; grew cell cultures and treated and examined them; trained to use various lab equipment
• Presented preliminary research findings at the 18th International Taurine Conference in Marrakech, Morocco (April 2012)
• Recipient, STEAM Scholarship (2011-2013)
• Recipient, Student Government Academic and Curricular Affairs Departmental Scholarship, 2012
• Part-time manager at Body Tan (2011-2013)
• Post-graduation Plans: Has been accepted to Rutgers School of Dental Medicine and will attend starting in Fall 2014.

Meet Elizabeth Krawczun; 2014 Salutatorian and Honors Convocation Speaker

College of Staten Island Class of 2014 Salutatorian Elizabeth Krawczun

Elizabeth Krawczun  is a Verrazano School student who will receive a Bachelor’s degree in Epidemiology. She has served as a volunteer at the South Beach Psychiatric Center and performed independent research, working on data collection within the infection control department.  In January 2013, she studied abroad through Brooklyn College in a global health program in rural India, and last January, she traveled through the Macaulay Honors College to the Dominican Republic to study health and water sustainability. In Summer 2013, she participated in the CUNY Summer Undergraduate Research Program working under Prof. Heidi Jones, Hunter School of Public Health, studying clinical abortion methods and treatment of female patients across the U.S. and Canada. She has served as President of the CSI Chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and was a member of the Emerging Leaders program.

Elizabeth has been accepted into two graduate programs in the UK this fall, and will make her final decision to study Epidemiology at Imperial College London or Medical Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh.

More about Elizabeth:

• CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies: Epidemiology
• B.A. anticipated June 2014
• CUNY Baccalaureate Thomas W. Smith Academic Fellowship (Fall 2012–)
• CSI-2014 Verrazano Senior Convocation Class Speaker (May 2014)
• CSI- Eta Lambda Chapter of Phi Beta Delta (May 2014)
• CUNY-Japan Kakehashi Program (May 2013)
• President, National Society of Collegiate Scholars,CSI Chapter (May 2013–)
• CSI-Verrazano Honors Program (Fall 2011–)
• CSI-Verrazano Study Abroad Scholarship (January 2013)
• CSI-Emerging Leaders Program (Fall 2012–Spring 2013)
• CSI-STEAM Scholarship (Fall 2011)
• Dean’s List (2011-2013)

[video] CSI’s Stoyko Honored as CUNYAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQ1r44VXfTM[/youtube]College of Staten Island women’s tennis star senior Ilona Stoyko was honored last night by the City University of New York Athletic Conference, taking home the conference’s Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor at the Michael Steuerman Scholar-Athlete Dinner held last night at John Jay College. Stoyko was on hand to celebrate with her family, friends, and CSI Provost Dr. Fred Naider. The rousing evening had Stoyko deliver words to the members in attendance, where a short video was shown, honoring her achievements. Baruch’s College men’s volleyball star Steven Coniglio was named Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, while Oshae Miller and Katarzyna Urena, both from Bronx Community College won distinctions on the Community College level.

To say that Ilona Stoyko has come to define the term “student-athlete” would be an understatement. The CSI Chemistry major who doubles on the Women’s Tennis team, Stoyko has been the flag-bearer for the program over the last four years, a career that culminated with CUNYAC supremacy, complete with a Postseason Championship for the first time since 1999 and first-ever trip to the NCAA Division III National Championship.

Stoyko’s collegiate story starts five years ago, when she made the trek to the United States from her hometown of Ivano-Frankivsk in the Ukraine. Armed with only a few words of English and a pair of wide eyes, Stoyko began to traverse the landscape, quickly picking up the language and embracing the U.S. education system. Her exploits landed her at the College of Staten Island, where admittedly, she felt the culture shock. She began to look for comfort and a place to call home on the sprawling campus, and quickly found herself on the tennis courts. It only took a handful of swings before she was approached by the team’s coaching staff. A few days later, she was a member of the Dolphins’ tennis squad. Stoyko posted an 11-5 singles record her first season, a mark that included a dominating run in CUNYAC play, all at the No. 2 Singles position. Perhaps even more impressive, is that according to Stoyko, her work on the tennis team provided her with the necessary framework for her to excel in the classroom, keeping her organized, focused, and committed.

“The tennis courts are like my second home,” said Stoyko. “I quickly leaned on tennis to help me manage my time properly, be diligent, and keep my eyes on the prize, no matter what my goal is. It helped me assimilate to my time in the United States.”

What followed from there is a story of a true champion. Stoyko went from a timid first-year student to a CUNYAC All-Star on the field of play and an engaging and dynamic player in the classroom. She immediately gravitated to the sciences, where her love of chemistry began to take flight. While taking introductory courses she lent herself to the College of Staten Island Chemistry Department’s most prestigious research project on the “Synthesis of Ordered Nonporous Materials” led by Dr. Michal Kruk, a Top 100 High-Impact Chemist according to Thomson Reuters. Stoyko’s work with the program has grown through the years, and she became such a pivotal backbone to the project that she was asked to present findings at both the 2012 and 2013 CSI Undergraduate Research Conference. The work has been laborious but invigorating, and has given her passion to follow internal medicine beyond graduation.

“I absolutely love it,” she said “I love to explore new ideas and apply them to my love for chemistry and to new technologies. I have a passion for helping people, and it starts with this type of research. I truly enjoy it.”

By her sophomore season, Stoyko was fully invested in both arenas. On the court, the sophomore netter with the powerful cross-court forehand was boasting CSI’s best singles record at 10-5 (6-1 in CUNYAC) at both the Nos. 1 and 2 positions in the lineup and the team advanced to the CUNYAC Semifinals. Another 1st-team CUNYAC All-Star nod followed and she was named the squad’s most valuable player at CSI’s annual Awards Banquet. Her academic exploits began to take center stage as well. Stoyko was awarded the College’s Friends of CSI and Alumni Legacy Scholarships and was named the CUNYAC/Hospital for Special Surgery Scholar-Athlete of the Month in October of 2011. More than anything, Stoyko became immersed in the world of higher education, and she couldn’t be happier.

“I learned quickly that it has always been about managing your time and making sure you keep your priorities in order,” Stoyko explained. “Getting into medical school and playing tennis have always been priorities to me. For me, it’s always been a challenge but that’s part of what makes it enjoyable, especially when you can look back and recognize that the hard work paid off.”

Stoyko’s comfort level was obviously blossoming. The CSI standout led the Dolphins to their finest year in memory in 2012, advancing all the way to the CUNYAC Final, and Stoyko again posted a 6-1 record within the CUNYAC. Again, a 1st-team CUNYAC All-Star selection followed and another round of academic honors followed. Of course, the added laurels went hand-in-hand with added responsibility. Stoyko assumed captain duties for the intercollegiate squad and it came with added responsibilities in the classroom. Stoyko also began to progress in her experiences away from campus. In 2012, she began a volunteer position at the Newborn Department of the Richmond University Medical Center, and she expanded her undergraduate research work by researching at the CUNY Research Center. Stoyko admits that although the course work at times was overwhelming, it allowed her to appreciate her down time with tennis, and the rigors that are supposed to come with being good at what you do.

“We all get overwhelmed at times and we all have our bad days, but we all have goals, and if we work hard and stay focused on them, it’s always worth it,” she said. “I learned that no matter what I want to make sure I achieve my goals and I knew it could not happen unless I struggled sometimes too.”

Alas, Stoyko’s endeavors led her into an amazing 2013 season. The Dolphins finished with a program-best 17-3 campaign that landed them on the front porch of a NCAA National Championship Tournament appearance in mid-May. Stoyko was stellar the entire way, posting a 5-1 CUNYAC mark that culminated with a 5-4 win over Brooklyn College in the 2013 CUNYAC Championship. It was CSI’s first CUNYAC crown since 1999, and broke a string of 13-straight conference titles for Hunter College, who CSI defeated in the semifinal round, and where Stoyko led CSI to one of its five clinching points. Stoyko enjoyed a Player of the Week selection in 2013, and another 1st-team all-conference selection. But of course, on the cusp of graduation, her athletic endeavors only tell half the story. Stoyko was the recipient of the Dr. Elise T. Marcus Scholarship, the Dr. Mario J. Merlino Scholarship, and the Dr. Gladys Johnson Memorial Scholarship in 2013, and as recently as this spring, Stoyko was afforded the Rosemary O’Halloran Scholarship to Support Women in Chemistry. Now, in a fitting close to her academic career, Stoyko was named the City University of New York Athletic Conference’s Female Student-Athlete of the Year, the College’s first female recipient since 1999. For Stoyko, the showering of academic honors has been extraordinary humbling.

“I came to the United States five years ago and I realized this country is full of opportunities, and it always made me want to work and study harder,” Stoyko noted. “It’s an honor to be recognized by the CUNYAC and the other agencies that have given me awards and scholarship. They all make me want to push harder, because it’s so humbling to know that what you’re doing is being recognized by others.”

From a Ukrainian immigrant a half-decade ago to an overwhelmingly accomplished Scholar-Athlete today, Ilona Stoyko has truly epitomized the essence of a distinguished CUNY student, one who has never lost sight of what a quality education could afford her, who has lent herself to numerous activities and scholastic-based initiatives aimed at progressing herself to the leader she is today. Stoyko’s education will come to a close soon, as will her amateur tennis career, but Stoyko plans to continue both through graduate studies and by continuing to instruct tennis to youths while playing recreationally.

“I love tennis, and this year could not have ended any better,” Stoyko commented. “So many of my tennis goals have been accomplished and I couldn’t be happier. Academically I still have goals to reach. I want to get into medical school and am preparing for the MCATS. Tennis has kept me moving in that direction, and I’m looking forward to that coming to fruition soon.”


Verrazano student heads down right track to student success

The American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association (AREMA) Education Foundation recently named Anthony Shalagin a 2014 Scholarship winner.

Each year, the AREMA Education Foundation awards scholarships to engineering students who are specializing in the railway industry and supports other educational and training endeavors that help to ensure the future of the profession.

Shalagin was awarded the Committee 27 – Maintenance of Way Work Equipment–Hougen Manufacturing Scholarship due to his already impressive work experience in the industry and his academic success.

Anthony, a graduate from Brooklyn Tech High School in 2013, says he has always had a fascination with civil engineering, especially with the transportation sector, noting “The railway system is essential to New York City, with over four million passengers relying on it daily to get around the city.”

Anthony has plenty of experience working as an assistant project manager and engineering intern for AECOM, a leading global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, water, and government since this past June.

With AECOM, Anthony has worked on important subway lines that run through New York City such as the “F” and #3 lines, to name a few. He also worked on the Jamaica Wastewater Treatment Plant, and the World Trade Center Transportation Hub. Additionally, he has assisted AECOM Capital and AECOM Vertical Transportation with business development and the procurement of large-scale projects. Recently, Anthony has been spending his afternoons gathering information for structural analysis on subway lines, checking for spalls and cracked elements that need to be replaced.

Anthony is also part of the ACE (Architecture, Construction, and Engineering) Mentor Program, an after-school program for high school students interested in pursuing careers in architecture, construction, and engineering. Students are mentored by architects, construction managers, and engineers and learn what it is like to work in the design and construction industries.

Anthony helps prepare his students for any challenges they may encounter as engineering students. A recent group was tasked with attempting to renovate the Hudson Yards: What was the students’ solution? Turn it into an amusement park.  Anthony, who was also a mentee with the program, notes “I will always be in great debt to the ACE Program for all of the dedicated mentors, resources, and opportunities it has provided for me.”

John Daza, Program Manager for AECOM, met Anthony through the ACE Mentoring Program. He and several other professionals volunteer their time and develop a mock project with students who are interested in careers in architecture, construction and engineering. He took note of Anthony’s “preparedness and maturity,” Daza said, discussing the reasons why AECOM offered Anthony a position.

“We offered Anthony a position as an Intern with AECOM in our Transportation business line and he has performed beyond our expectations and on par with Interns in their senior college year.” While at AECOM, Anthony has performed duties such as structural inspections, CAD, permitting, research for our capital investment group, construction support services for our Water business line and assisted me on project management-related tasks. “I look forward to working with Anthony as he further develops his skill set as an engineer. He is already part of my team and I hope to have him one day lead some of my teams.”

Anthony credits The Verrazano School Honors Program at CSI for helping pursue his dreams.

“The career development opportunities, small class sizes, great contact with the professors, and unconventional open-ended class discussions that promote critical thinking,” Anthony says, are the biggest advantages to being part of the Verrazano School.

While he is not entirely sure what his future will hold, Anthony is thinking about pursuing an MS in Civil Engineering and maybe even an MBA. Due to his dedication, passion, and the support structure that The Verrazano School affords him, his future is on the right track.

DPT Student Takes Women’s Health Issues into Her Own Hands


Ann Mackey, a doctoral student in Physical Therapy at CSI.

Ann Mackey, a doctoral student in the College of Staten Island’s Department of Physical Therapy program, was recently elected to serve on the Board of Directors as one of two Northeast Regional Representatives of the Section on Women’s Health (SoWH) Student Special Interest Group.

Mackey,  a 2012 graduate from the Verrazano School Honors Program at CSI, recently attended the Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association in her first official capacity as a board member, believes that not enough people are aware that women’s health issues are being addressed within the physical therapy field.

“A lot of women have serious issues and don’t know how to treat them,” notes Mackey, and as a physical therapist and SoWH board member, she wants to change that misconception.

“We really want to start strengthening our networking power,” she says.  To that end, Mackey is in the process of updating the information for all other schools in the northeast, as well as building awareness for other students who may be interested in women’s health issues.

Mackey begun studying physical therapy “later in life.”

As a former ballet dancer, Mackey dealt with many injuries and she knew that “dancing wasn’t going to last forever.” When she decided to attend CSI she knew that she “wanted to help dancers in the same way I was helped by physical therapists when I danced.”

During the recent National Student Conclave, a once-a-year meeting for DPT students, Mackey saw a booth dedicated to the SoWH and completed an application and a written statement of interest when she returned to New York.

Mackey, who is graduating next spring and plans on taking board exams in July 2015, wants to make an impact as a physical therapist immediately and plans on incorporating her women’s health specialty into her methodology.

“I am going to go out there and start working,” she said of her plans after school and she intends on incorporating yoga and Pilates into physical therapy sessions.

Dr. Jeffery Rothman, a chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at CSI, emphasized what Ann’s board membership means for the CSI DPT program as a whole.

“Ann’s leadership position on the Board of Directors in a national office will provide national exposure of the College of Staten Island, CUNY, and the college’s Department of Physical Therapy,” says Rothman.  “She will be an outstanding contact person for students and practicing clinicians interested in the important area of women’s health.”

“Women’s health is an issue that is very underrepresented,” Mackey adds, “not enough people know to get involved.” Due to her leadership and contributions however, that may very well change.


[update] Students Finish 4th in Global Competition

A group of students from the College of Staten Island’s School of Business advanced to the final round of the MikesBikes business simulation World Championship. The team, Luxury Bertels, is comprised of Mohammad Chugtai, Javad Ali, Usman Ahmed, and Catherine Jeanbart who, over the course of last semester, have competed not only against classmates but against thousands of other student teams across the globe.

UPDATE: CSI slipped past Loyola College in Ontario during the last few minutes of competition to edge Loyola out for fourth place in global competition.  “Our team completed in the finals agains institutions from Australia, India, Canada, and the US,” noted Dr. Susan Holak, Founding Dean of the School of Business, adding “This is a fantastic finish for the School of Business team and a real credit to Professor Bertels!  Through creative pedagogy, she has sparked excitement and learning by doing in this class.”

The students, part of Professor Heidi Bertels’ Management 416 call “Decision Making in Business” is a capstone management course which tasks senior business students with analyzing the problems that face all business managers. The students run a simulated bicycle manufacturing company and deal with everything from sales forecasting to marketing, production planning, personnel, pricing, and finance.

Smartsims, the company that runs MikesBikes, keeps track of all the data from all of the teams worldwide. They invite those teams that were top performers while playing against their classmates to compete for a spot in the world championship. 85 of the best teams from universities and colleges around the world competed in the qualifying round. The top eight teams of the qualifying round, including a team composed of CSI students, and then advanced to the actual world championship. Cash prizes are awarded to the first and second place winners and the championship players will also be featured on the Smartsims’ website and awarded a Championship Certificate.

The reason Professor Bertels uses MikesBikes for her class business simulation is fairly straight forward. The manufacturing industry is, according to Professor Bertels, “fairly typical and as general as possible.” So business management students of all stripes can learn from working with the simulation. She is also a big believer in getting students’ “noses out of the books” and actually having them apply the business concepts they have learned throughout their careers as CSI business students.

“The competencies required to perform well in MikesBikes are an understanding of all areas of business on the one hand and persistence and dedication on the other,” said Professor Bertels of the challenges her MGT 416 students face. “The simulation is involved as the students need to make decisions based on financial statements and reports that take into consideration manufacturing efficiency, market sensitivities to advertising and delivery performance, competitor performance and shareholder value. Every time the simulation advances a year, the students need to study the updated reports and make informed decisions based on the changing market and competitive situation. Students that do not work diligently on doing this every week will not perform well in the simulation.”

Dr. Susan Holak, Founding Dean of the School of Business (Interim) and Professor of Marketing at CSI, is very proud of Professor Bertels’ students. “This is a tremendous accomplishment for our students under Professor Bertels’ terrific leadership and guidance.”

“MikesBikes! A name that normally scares students in MGT 416,” exclaimed Javad Ali, one of Luxury Bertels’ team members. “Through hours and hours of trial and error, online, offline this game just doesn’t stop.”

Another member of Luxury Bertels had this to say about the MikesBikes simulation, “This simulation game is perhaps the greatest and most effective tools in learning how to run and manage a full scale business.”