Elisa Csorba, Business Management and Marketing Major

The Macaulay Honors at the College at the College of Staten Island has provided me with numerous opportunities to advance my academic career and prepare to pursue my post-college goals and dreams.  My career goal is to work for the Walt Disney Company in Orlando, Florida, in their Marketing department.  A great way to work towards a career in Disney is to participate in the Disney College Program, an undergraduate college internship that provides interns with the knowledge and experience needed to successfully work as a Cast Member for Disney.  Participating in this Program has been a dream of mine since I was in high school and Macaulay has helped me to achieve it.
I spent the fall semester of my junior year in Orlando, Florida as a Disney College Program Intern. This experience was made possible through the Opportunities Fund provided by Macaulay and the academic flexibility given to me as a Macaulay Honors student. The internship allowed me to gain valuable interpersonal communication, leadership, time management and networking skills. I was also able to form many personal and business connections with people who want to help me advance in the company. In addition to broadening my skill set, the internship was an extremely fulfilling personal experience that allowed me to grow as an individual.
I was recently accepted to participate in another Disney opportunity, the Alumni Internship Summer program. My role will be in Merchandise, with a greater number of guest interactions and more opportunities to gain Marketing experience. I am so grateful to Macaulay for giving me the opportunity to achieve my goals. Walt Disney once said, “Get a good idea and stay with it. Dog it and work at it until it’s done, and done right.” I plan to use my creativity and strong work ethic to make this Disney dream come true.

David Brady, Computer Science and Mathematics Major

David advanced his academic career thanks to the access Macaulay has to numerous internship opportunities. Through the help of Gianina Chrisman, Macaulay’s Assistant Director of Internships and Undergraduate Research, David obtained an internship with the Tri-Institutional Training Program in Computational Biology and Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College during the summer of his sophomore year.

David focused primarily on computational simulations of the Integrate-and-Fire neuron model at the Tri-Institutional Training Program. During his time here he conducted research under Professor Emre Akasay in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics and helped develop a modular script that was used for their research through the computer-based program MATLAB.

The overall goal of this research project was to become familiar with modeling in neuroscience. Looking back on his time spent interning and performing research at Weill Cornell, Brady states, “It enhanced my programming skills and allowed me to connect my study of Computer Science and Mathematics, which I can use in any field involving modeling, ranging from medicine and biology in a research laboratory to quantitative analytics in a bank or corporation.”

Studying Abroad in Italy!

Tayla Lugo

Tayla Lugo ’17 received a Verrazano School Study Abroad Scholarship to take a class on the Medieval Renaissance in Florence, Italy. She spent a month extracting everything she could out of her experience, including traveling well beyond Florence.


My name is Tayla Lugo and I am a Verrazano Student and a double major in English Writing and Literature at the College of Staten Island. This summer I had the privilege to study abroad in one of the most amazing cities in the world: Florence, Italy. I went on a one month long Faculty-led program to learn about the Medieval Renaissance.

I learned about the Medici’s, who were one of the wealthiest families during the Renaissance period, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Donatello, Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, Savonarola, Brunelleschi, and many other prominent figures. My class and I went on many site visits, which included the Academia, the Uffizi, Palazzo Vecchio, a city walk around Florence, the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, the Horne Museum, and a visit to a Preschool in Florence. At the Academia I was able to view Michelangelo’s masterpiece, the David. The Uffizi, which is one of the oldest and most famous museum in the world, showcased Sandro Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus and The Primavera, as well as many other works by Raphael and Giotto. My favorite museum that we visited as a class was the Horne Museum because it is a secret treasure that is extremely undervalued. This museum once belonged to the Alberti and Corsi families and contains antique furniture and famous artworks.

While in Italy I visited Pisa, Siena, Capri, Ana Capri, Sorrento, Positano, Cinque Terre, Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, Venice, Murano, Burano, Rome, and Paris. Every city was different in its own way, which allowed me to have a greater appreciation for Italy. Studying abroad not only opened my eyes to the endless possibilities in the world, but has also allowed me to escape my comfort zone. I can honestly say that I have matured during this unique experience and my passion for traveling has awakened. I have made true, genuine friendships that will last a lifetime. Florence became my home in an instant and I cannot wait to someday return and maybe even study there again! I am forever grateful to the College of Staten Island for this amazing opportunity and for everyone who contributed to my dream of studying abroad. I hope that my experience will allow other students to inquire about studying abroad and open their minds to the many possibilities that are out there!

To read more exciting news, visit the Verrazano Voyager website.



21-year-old launches Staten Island cell phone repair business

Adam Mohamed launched the Meiers Corners-based Fast Fix Wireless Inc., which offers cell phone/tablet repair, pre-paid smartphone services and cell phone and tablet accessories. (Photo courtesy of Adam Mohamed)

STATEN ISLAND ADVANCE — Growing up in the digital age, Adam Mohamed, 21, was always fascinated with technology.

“I always liked to keep up on the latest cell phones and devices that were coming out,” he said.

As the son of an electronics store business owner, he’s been taught from a young age that hard work and dedication pay off. So when he saw how smart phones were rocketing in price, he came up with the idea for a niche business.

“I realized the potential of a cell phone repair business when I saw how cell phones were increasing in price,” said Mohamed, who is currently pursuing a business degree at the College of Staten Island.

“My first repair was actually on my own phone. I had cracked the screen on my iPhone and when I went to my cell phone carrier to get it replaced they told me to replace the phone through my insurance was more than the phone was worth, so I decided to fix it myself,” he added.

This was the catalyst for launching the Meiers Corners-based Fast Fix Wireless Inc., which offers cell phone/tablet repair, pre-paid smartphone services and cell phone and tablet accessories, in April.

“I saw the benefits of owning your own business through my father, who owned a store in Brooklyn for 22 years,” he said.

“The way I feel is you’re better to start a business when you’re young and have the time you need to put into the business. It’s now or never. The longer you wait, the harder and more unlikely it is that you will do what you want,” said Mohamed.


Since we now live in a high-tech society, Mohamed believes his business is one that will always be in demand.

“Cell phones are used everyday by mostly everyone — young and old. If your phone breaks and you are not properly covered for it, purchasing a new phone will cost a lot more than it would to get it repaired. And the prices that we give our customers come out to be even less than going through insurance,” he said.

Working more than 16 hours per day and taking college classes at the same time, Mohamed is determined to succeed in his first business venture.

“In this business it takes patience and hard work to be successful. Like any business, it takes time for it to grow, and get it to the place where I know it has the potential to be,” said Mohamed.

“By doing this I feel I’m giving inspiration to other young business entrepreneurs who can realize if you want to do something you can, as long as you put your mind to it,” he added.

And Mohamed has learned from a young age that good customer service is integral to running a successful business.

“Seeing my customers leaving happy with service my business provided them is something that makes me feel great. But what I love most about my job is that it’s something I wanted to do, and I made it happen,” he said.

This article by Tracey Porpora first appeared in the Staten Island Advance and on SILive.com July 30, 2015. It is reprinted here with permission.

Ms. Wheelchair NY: ‘Life, liberty and the pursuit of access’

At the Pridefest at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanic Garden, are Andrea Dalzell, Ms. Wheelchair New York. and standing from left, Jamie Lynn Macchia, Miss New York and Katelynn Smith, Miss Central New York. Photo Courtesy of the Staten Island Advance.

STATEN ISLAND ADVANCE — Maya Angelou put it best: “Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

Meet Andrea Dalzell, who lives by those words each and every day of her life.

The 27-year-old College of Staten Island student holds the title of Ms. Wheelchair New York 2015 and will be among 27 women from across the nation to vie for the Ms. America Wheelchair title slated for later this month in Des Moines, Iowa. The winner will represent more than 50 million Americans with disabilities.

The new winner will be crowned by Samantha Schroth of Wisconsin, Ms. Wheelchair America 2015.

So, as Staten Islanders root for Eltingville’s Jamie Lynn Macchia, who holds the title of Miss New York and is on the road that leads to to Miss America, we retrace the journey of another inspiring young women.

Andrea garnered her state title last September at a pageant held in the Albany Marriott Hotel.

Unlike most competitions, Ms. Wheelchair doesn’t judge or base its winners on outward appearance. And while the women still dress up for the formal interviews and speeches, the pageant is an advocacy program in which the winner is chosen on who can be the best advocate for those with any type of disability challenge.

The only requirement to enter: Contestants must be dependent on the use of a wheel chair every day of her life — but that doesn’t mean Andrea didn’t include the “art of sky diving” as part of her resume.

At the age of 6, Andrea was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis (TM) and used a wheelchair since the age 12.

Born under the zodiac sign of a Taurus, this strong woman was determined not to let a disability curtail her life. She drives four times a week from her home in the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn to the College of Staten Island.

“Andrea is a dynamic member of the CSI community; she is always pushing fellow students, faculty and staff to do their best,” said Jeremiah Jurkiewicz of Stapleton, coordinator, LGBTQ Resources Center, Office of Student Life on the Willowbrook campus. “You always see her racing around the campus in her chair. She is constantly speaking up on behalf of students needs and refuses to let herself be ignored.”

Andrea’s advocacy includes meeting with Assemblyman Matt Titone (D-North Shore) to promote the universal and affordable housing law for the disabled and all.

Also, she attended the PrideFest celebration at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden on July 11 and the next day she participated at the First annual Disability Pride Parade & Festival at Union Square Park, Manhattan.

What’s more, she continues to travel the city promoting her pageant platform: “Life, liberty and the pursuit of access.”

Andrea leaves Sunday, July 26, and will be in Iowa till August 2 for Ms. America Wheelchair.

Angela Wrigglesworth, the Texas State coordinator sums up the pageant: “Real beauty is not measured by the number of heads you turn but by the number of hearts you touch.”

Jim Smith, executive director of the Miss Staten Island Pageant, adds, “Andrea has touched many hearts of Staten Islanders with her courage and determination. She will do Staten Island proud.”

This article by Carol Ann Benanti first appeared in the Staten Island Advance and on SILive.com July 20, 2015. It is reprinted here with permission.

Jenna Jankowski, Dramatic English Literature and Corporate Communications Major

Jenna Jankowski has accomplished a great deal during her Macaulay career, but developing and leading the college’s first athletic organization is one of her most influential achievements. The Macaulay Marauders quidditch team includes 40 students from all 5 boroughs who have traveled extensively together to compete, and has twice advanced to the World Cup.

Jenna’s studies focus on Dramatic English Literature and Corporate Communications and have taken her abroad several times. In London she studied contemporary British drama and in Amsterdam she gained a comparative understanding of how liberal policies effect everyday life.

Jenna’s excellent performance in the CUNY New York State Model Senate Session Project led to her being selected to speak on the floor of the State Senate. Jenna credits her internships with teaching critical professional skills. She wrote grant proposals, speeches and press releases at Staten Island Borough Hall; helped the reelection campaign of Congressman Michael E. McMahon and currently serves the Empire State Development’s New York City Regional Office.

A Dean’s List scholar for all four years at Macaulay, Jenna is also the recipient of the Macaulay Legacy Award. The Staten Island native has been selected to take part in the Edward T. Rogowsky CUNY Washington D.C. internship program and will be interning for Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.

[video] Jane Saunders strikes a chord with graduation

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkmQ-TQmmnY[/youtube]Jane Saunders graduates from the College of Staten Island Magna Cum Laude with Honors, earning a Bachelor of Science in Music with a Concentration in Music Technology.

A veteran heavy metal performer, flutist, aspiring composer/arranger, and resident of Staten Island, her senior project, “Symbiotic Explorations” for amplified flute, voices, percussion, and dance, with live computer interaction (attach link of excerpt) was recently premiered as a part of the Plenary Session at the 14th Annual CSI Undergraduate Conference on Research, Scholarship, and Performance.

Speaking of the the “amazing” Music Technology program, Jane notes “when I first started college at the University of Nevada, universities didn’t offer this type of program. After being in the music business for years and deciding to return to school,  I couldn’t be happier with CSI. This is a very special college with many wonderful programs, and the Music Technology Program is outstanding! Thank you Dr. Keberle for your years of guidance, expertise, and support.”

Dr. Keberle notes that Jane was “voted the #1 graduate this year in our Performing and Creative Arts Department, and will will receive the PCA Department’s “2015 CSI Auxiliary Services Corp Award for Academic Excellence in Performing and Creative Arts.”

Jane will be attending SUNY Purchase this Fall, pursuing a Master’s in Music: Studio Composition degree.

In 2005, her indie project, “The Greatest Fear,” exploded on the Los Angeles metal scene with their debut CD,  “The Coronation of the Locust Queen,” selling over 10,000 copies worldwide.  The CD won “Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Album Of The Year” from The Independent Music Awards and Rock City’s “Gothic Band of The Year” title.