CUNY EDGE Fellowship Program

Too often, our students have trouble finding a career after college. Unfortunately, despite students’ academic success, their lack of relevant work experience puts them at a disadvantage. The CUNY EDGE Fellowship Program is an ideal opportunity for our campus to remedy this situation by offering our students a chance to work in an appropriate office based on their majors. Students can work up to 19 hours per week each semester continuing through the summer and winter intersessions.

I urge your office to consider participating in this program by referencing the online flyer and by reviewing the online program request form. Allowing our students to benefit from the experience of serving in your office will give them the edge they need to succeed after college, and since the city is paying their salaries, there is no financial cost to you.

Thank you for your consideration.

By Ralf Peetz

Eta Lambda Chapter of Phi Beta Delta Inducts New Members, Announces Upcoming Conference

The Eta Lambda Chapter of Phi Beta delta inducted its latest members last fall.

The Eta Lambda Chapter of the Phi Beta Delta (PBD) Honor Society for International Scholars at CSI recently inducted 33 faculty, staff, and students, and alumni, last fall, into the prestigious society. [View Gallery.] The goals of the organization include the recognition of individual achievement in the area of international understanding; the advancement of international programming, research, and scholarly exchange; and the creation of a campus network linked to a network of members in chapters worldwide.

The Eta Lambda chapter at CSI held its first induction ceremony in 2011. It is the first chapter within The City University of New York system. CSI currently boasts 200+ members. The chapter is housed at the Center for Global Engagement, which supports comprehensive internationalization. The Center also organizes events and special programming throughout the year for the CSI community, as well as specialized customized short- and long-term programs for international guests. The Center also administers countless student/faculty exchange and study-abroad opportunities, provides services to international students and scholars, and offers English-language programs for non-native speakers.

In other Society-related news, the PBD is pleased to announce that its 2020 Conference will be offered via Zoom on Thursday and Friday: May 14 and 15, 2020 from 11:00am to 5:00pm. This year’s theme is International Education in Our Changing World. Visit the national Website for more information.

By Winnie Brophy

CSI Reaches High School Students with Math Start™ Program

The Math Start cohort from New Dorp High School on a visit to CSI’s Willowbrook campus.

The College of Staten Island/CUNY (CSI) has created new opportunities for area students to ascend academically as it partners with Staten Island high schools through The City University of New York’s (CUNY) Math Start™ program. Math Start™ is a math proficiency and college readiness model that fosters students’ full math potential, study habits, and self-advocacy skills in order to be successful in college.

This unique collaboration was part of the 30,000 Degrees initiative, which strives to address the national crises of college access and completion. Created by the College of Staten Island/CUNY, St. John’s University/Staten Island Campus, Wagner College, and four local public high schools, 30,000 Degrees adopts an anchor mission to increase the number of college graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher from Staten Island by 30,000 by the year 2025.

The first Math Start™ collaboration under this framework was launched in 2017 between CSI and New Dorp High School (NDHS). The implementation of the program at NDHS marks the first time this nationally recognized model was used in a high school, versus a college setting.

Dr. Deirdre DeAngelis, Principal of New Dorp High School, sees this partnership as an opportunity to bridge a systemic divide between college and high school, so that students don’t fall into what she calls “The Moat.” “This proactive approach allows students to be better prepared and more qualified to take on the challenges of college-level work. Students who enter college in a remedial status are less likely to remain in an atmosphere where they are experiencing defeat from the beginning. In order to strengthen the transition, or walk over the draw bridge, we have utilized the strength of the CSI Math Start™ program, especially the curriculum, training and support staff, to provide our students a more successful experience and start to college life.”

Dr. DeAngelis is the longest-serving female principal in the City of New York, winner of the Sloan Public Service Award, and was honored by Education Update at its 2019 ceremony at the Harvard Club in Manhattan, along with CUNY’s new Chancellor, Dr. Felix Matos Rodriguez, and Interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Dr. Vita Rabinowitz.

Student participants in Math Start™ each receive dedicated support through college matriculation, financial aid, and a first-year course selection process, which includes an opportunity to enroll in CUNY’s Accelerated Study in Associate’s Program (ASAP). ASAP provides financial incentives and dedicated support for full-time associate’s-degree students. CSI’s ASAP offers a bachelor’s degree track: the only one of its kind in CUNY. Rather than waiting for students to waste financial aid and invest time in remedial courses at the point of college enrollment, this historic collaboration starts with at-risk, college-bound high school seniors; saving students’ time, money, and grief.

In the collaboration’s pilot year, one hundred percent of students passed the seminar class, earning college-credit. Eighty-nine percent (25 out of 28) of participants enrolled in college, both within and outside of the CUNY system. Eighty-two percent (23 out of 28) of participants addressed their college math remedial needs, before graduating high school. Due to the success of this first-year pilot, an additional CUNY Math Start™ cohort ran in New Dorp High School last academic year. In Year 2, 89 percent (24 out of 27) students passed the seminar class once more, earning a college credit. Approximately 85 percent (23 out of 27) of participants had self-identified as intending to enroll in CUNY and non-CUNY colleges in fall 2019. Another 70 percent (19 out of 27) of participants addressed their college math remedial needs, before graduating high school.

“CSI’s most successful community partnerships involve organizations with great leaders who have vision in addressing the most pressing issues faced by our borough. Principal Deirdre DeAngelis, our 30,000 Degrees partner, is such a leader in helping us to create this completely novel implementation of Math Start™, one of CUNY’s signature programs. Together we will continue to develop innovative ways to ensure New Dorp students succeed in college and beyond,” said Ken Iwama, Vice President of Economic Development, Continuing Studies, and Government Relations at CSI.

Considering the impressive results of the program, University officials made this model more accessible to the community, specifically in St. George, at Curtis High School, and for adults with high school equivalency diplomas, who intended to enroll in college in fall 2019. CSI recruited candidates for an Adult Learner-Math Start™ cohort to experience the program at CSI’s St. George Campus. The launch provided the same academic and advisement support to returning adult learners who have not yet applied to CUNY, much like the partnership model which ran at New Dorp High School. CSI has also made significant improvements to the experiences that high school students can access when visiting campus and CSI’s Technology Incubator; particularly in the STEAM fields.

All of these activities under 30,000 Degrees reflect CSI’ strategic priority as borough steward, and its anchor mission to “intentionally apply an institution’s long-term, place-based economic power and human capital in partnership with community to mutually benefit the long-term well-being of both” (The Democracy Collaborative). Articulated by institutional leadership, and in alignment with New York City’s College Access for All initiative, the vision of 30,000 Degrees is to direct the public purpose of each institution toward confronting social inequities that inhibit educational aspirations and economic prosperity on Staten Island.

By Crystal Montalvo and Terry Mares

CUNY Career Innovation Summit

The third CUNY Career Innovation Summit will be held on Friday, Nov. 22 from 8:30am to 2:00pm at The Graduate Center, CUNY. The CUNY Career Innovation Summit is a half-day event that brings together business leaders and 300 students from across the CUNY system to discuss industry trends, learn about career opportunities, and build professional networks. This year, organizations including Accenture, Brookfield, Con Edison, Google, JLL, New York State Energy Research & Development Authority, and WeWork, will  have representatives speak about careers in real estate, sustainability, technology, and digital marketing. Students will also participate in workshops on topics such as Salary Negotiation and Facebook Ad Targeting Learn more online.

Faculty, please spread the word about the CUNY Career Innovation Summit. The event is open to students from across the CUNY system. Students, please RSVP online, and use Ticket Code: CUNY2019.

By Caryl Watkins

This Week in Core 100

The Core 100 program invites students and faculty from the College to join us for our weekly lecture series. Each week, all of the first-year students participate in lecture-discussions with about 400 of their classmates. We have space in the Center for the Arts (Building 1P) Williamson Theatre to accommodate individual guests, and can have as many as two additional classes at each of the lectures. No permission is needed for classes to attend, but please notify Donna Scimeca (718.982.3405) if you plan to bring a class.

The lectures are 50 minutes and are all in the Williamson Theatre. They meet on the following days/times: Wednesdays at 11:15am and 1:25pm; on Thursdays at 8:00am, 10:10am, 4:40pm, and 6:30pm; on Saturdays at 10:10am.

The focus of the Core Lecture Series this semester will be to directly link the program’s curriculum to current events.

The Lecture Series Schedule for the Week of Nov. 4, 2019 

Wednesday, Nov. 6:

– 11:15am and 1:25pm: “Immigration: Crisis at the Border,” presented by Arthur Cacace

This lecture will focus on the history of the U.S. southern border with Mexico, how and why the actual border line was created, early attempts to smuggle drugs across, and the current efforts to build barriers to prevent illegal border crossings. The lecture will also discuss the currently increasing number of migrants seeking entry, and how the changing makeup of these groups which include more migrant families with children has complicated the problem. Lastly, possible solutions to help resolve this situation will be offered for student discussion.

Arthur Cacace earned his MS in Social Studies Secondary Education from the College of Staten Island. He has taught history in the NYC Public School System and has been an Adjunct Professor for Core 100 at CSI since 2008.

Thursday, Nov. 7:

-8:00am: “The Boston Tea Party: An Economic Perspective,” presented by John Lentine

The story of the Boston Tea Party has ever been told as a story of a tax on tea by Great Britain. However, there was much more to the story. This lesson will discuss the contemporary economic similarities to the circumstances the colonists found themselves in before this famous event.

John Lentine graduated from the Pennsylvania State University – Capital College, with a BS in Public Policy and an MPA in Public Administration. Studying just outside the State Capitol, he had the distinct honor of working for two of Pennsylvania’s State Representatives. Upon his return to Staten Island, he worked on a City Council campaign management team. He is currently working on his MS in Education at the College of Staten Island and is teaching at New Ventures High School.

-10:10am: “DACA in the Supreme Court,” presented by James Smith

In the context of congressional failure to enact immigration reform, President Obama reluctantly issued a directive in 2012 which ordered the Department of Homeland Security to defer deportation of young, undocumented immigrants who met specified qualifications related to age and background. In 2017, President Trump ordered the DHS to end this program on the ground that it was illegal. The President then called upon Congress to act on broader immigration reform. On November 12, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in three combined cases challenging President Trump’s order. This lecture will review the history of DACA, the constitutional and other legal issues before the Supreme Court, and the prospects for the program. The Court is likely to issue a ruling in June 2020, just in time to place the issue at the center of the Presidential election regardless of the Court’s decision.

James Smith earned a BA in Economics and Political Science, as well as an MA in Modern History from Fordham University. He received a JD from Fordham’s School of Law and an LLM degree from New York University, School of Law. He is currently a PhD candidate in American History at Fordham.

-4:40pm: “Racial Segregation in the U.S. Military,” presented by Niles French

This lecture will explore the history of segregation in the United States through an examination of the experiences of African American soldiers and the legal changes that our nation has faced in the military.

Niles French is the Senior Project Manager and New Dorp Business Improvement District Director for the SIEDC, supervising neighborhood development in the projects division. Niles is also an adjunct professor for the Core Program at the College of Staten Island. He is a graduate of the CSI, and holds an MA in History, and a BA in History and Political Science. He is a native and resident of Staten Island.

-6:30pm: “The U.S. – China Trade War,” presented by Michael Matthews

The trade war between the world’s two largest national economies, China and the United States has been ongoing since 2018, when President Donald Trump began setting tariffs and other trade barriers on China with the goal of forcing the country to make changes to what the U.S. says are “unfair trade practices.” Recently, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross commented that he was confident that the U.S. would soon reach the first part of a trade agreement with China. This lecture will provide an update on this trade dispute and the impact it has had on the U.S. economy.

Michael Matthews earned both his BA and MA degrees at Brooklyn College/CUNY. He also has an MBA from Fordham University.

Saturday, Nov. 9:

-10:10am: “The Boston Tea Party: An Economic Perspective,” presented by John Lentine

The story of the Boston Tea Party has ever been told as a story of a tax on tea by Great Britain. However, there was much more to the story. This lesson will discuss the contemporary economic similarities to the circumstances the colonists found themselves in before this famous event.

John Lentine graduated from the Pennsylvania State University – Capital College, with a BS in Public Policy and an MPA in Public Administration. Studying just outside the State Capitol, he had the distinct honor of working for two of Pennsylvania’s State Representatives. Upon his return to Staten Island, he worked on a City Council campaign management team. He is currently working on his MS in Education at the College of Staten Island and is teaching at New Ventures High School.

By the Division of Academic Affairs

Yolanda Rudich Receives Legal Studies Institute’s Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award

Yolanda Rudich is the recipient of the CSI Legal Studies Institute’s Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award.

Former colleagues, members of the Staten Island Women’s Bar Association, CSI faculty and students, and friends gathered in the Center for the Arts Recital Hall on October 24 to honor Yolanda Rudich, CSI alumna and former Director of the Richmond County District Attorney’s Special Victims Bureau, as she received the CSI Legal Studies Institute’s Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award.

Among those who provided laudatory remarks at the event were Richmond County DA Michael E. McMahon; Richmond County Assistant DA, CSI Adjunct Lecturer, and CSI alumnus Adam Silberlight, whom Rudich mentored as a student; and Chairperson and Associate Professor of Political Science and Global Affairs, Pre-Law Advisor, and Director of the Legal Studies Institute Michael Paris.

After an introduction and presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Ms. Rudich came to the lectern to present her remarks.

During her presentation, she discussed her humble, working-class beginnings. She moved with her family from Brooklyn to Staten Island as a teenager when her family finally saved up enough to buy a house. Noting that she grew up in a different time, she explained that whatever money her parents had saved for their kids to go to college would go to her brother, because he would have a family to support. Rudich saw this as a challenge. “It made me realize that women had more of a struggle in our society in a time when girls aspired to careers as nurses and teachers. When people asked me what I wanted to be, I told them, ‘President of the United States.’”

She continued, stating that her formative years were marked by the Civil Rights Movement, a time of upheaval in the U.S. “It just seemed to me that being a lawyer was the right path for me to fight for justice for our society.”

After explaining that her goal to receive a college education was sidetracked, temporarily, when she became a mother of two at a young age, Rudich discussed the role that public education played in helping her to realize that dream. Calling herself “the proud recipient of public education,” she mentioned that CSI allowed her to reignite her education, part-time, when her kids were in pre-school and added, “From Erasmus Hall, the inner-city high school from which I graduated, to the College of Staten Island to Rutgers University School of Law in Newark, New Jersey, at each stage of my public education, my intellect and my quest for knowledge was nurtured and challenged by the wonderful teachers, professors, and mentors I had. I got a first-rate education at each of those institutions.”

Rudich then underscored her philosophy as Director of the Special Victims Bureau. “I wanted to make sure that every person who came through the door was treated with dignity, compassion, and professionalism. I have never forgotten the struggles I faced or the troubles I’d seen and I knew that there were many others who faced similar situations. And although I retired from that job in the District Attorney’s Office, I never retired from the issues I’ve cared about all my life: the opportunities that we always need to have for public education so people can live that American dream. We need and we have to commit ourselves to celebrating the diversity in our communities. We are rich by our differences; we should not be divided by them.”

Speaking to the students in the audience, Rudich also emphasized the importance of networking. She mentioned the impact of her participation in the Staten Island Women’s Bar Association as one example, and said that presently, “I’m glad that through my connections, I was able to facilitate what’s now going to be a partnership of mentoring College of Staten Island students and members of the Staten Island Women’s Bar Association.”

The event concluded with a reception where attendees were able to ask Rudich questions about her distinguished and impactful career.