Senator Lanza Breathes Life into New Nursing Simulation Lab

The College of Staten Island has a new state-of-the-art, high-fidelity nursing simulation lab, thanks to a $150,000 endowment secured by New York State Senator Andrew Lanza. The Senator officially opened the lab at a ribbon-cutting ceremony this afternoon on the College’s Willowbrook campus.

Saying that “nurses are really the backbone of the health care delivery system,” Senator Lanza added that it’s “just so nice to see that right here on Staten Island we have this center for nursing education excellence.” Nursing Department faculty and students also treated the Senator to a demonstration of some of the lab’s equipment.

CSI President Tomás Morales called Senator Lanza a “real champion of the College…and someone who is dedicated 24/7 to the people of Staten Island.”

Mary O’Donnell, Chairperson of CSI’s Department of Nursing, said that the new facility “is an approach to experiential learning that is learner-centered, integrated, [and promotes] cognitive, psychomotor, and affective domains of learning through the use of high-fidelity simulation mannequins.”

In the past, O’Donnell explained, simulation mannequins were motionless. These new models actually talk, breathe, and have vital signs. “For the most part,” O’Donnell noted, “this is done primarily to create a safe and effective learning opportunity based on active learning techniques in a high-tech, high-fidelity environment with state-of-the art equipment. What we’re really looking at is providing for patient safety and medical errors that are embedded within simulation clinical experiences so students will be able to pick out what could have happened and correct what they need to correct in a very safe environment.”

Beyond providing for the new mannequins, O’Donnell said that the endowment is also making it possible for a videotaping system that records students as they interact with the mannequins. She points out that “we can now videotape the students as they are performing and we have a debriefing session in which the students and the instructors can evaluate what was good, what needs to be improved, how things could be done better…which is important in adult learning.”

Currently, the new lab is geared more toward helping students in the Nursing Associate’s degree program, but O’Donnell adds that the department will also seek ways to engage Bachelor’s and Master’s students.

As for her feelings on the new facility, O’Donnell explained, “I’m very pleased at [the lab] we have because I think that it is much more updated and complete. I think that it’s exciting because it’s a really great opportunity for both the students and the instructors to promote teaching and learning. It will definitely make patients feel much better when they are being cared for because there will be a new degree of confidence after students have had the opportunity to play out various scenarios and have to do critical thinking on their feet in a very safe environment—that’s the critical piece. We want to be sure that it’s a safe environment and they have a comfortable feeling of testing their wings.”

CSI has a new state-of-the-art nursing simulation lab, thanks to NYS Senator Andrew Lanza

Partnering for Change Can Make a Difference for CSI and the Island

The City University of New York’s Campaign for voluntary Charitable Giving celebrates 25 years of collecting contributions from faculty and staff to help people in need both locally and worldwide. This year’s theme is “Partnering for Change to Make a Difference.”

College employees recently received a package about the CUNY campaign that includes a pledge form to benefit more than 1,000 organizations on either a one-time basis or through a payroll deduction plan.

Participants can contribute to the CSI Foundation Scholarship Fund by noting the code “1618” on their pledge form.

“I am hopeful that CSI faculty and staff will do as much as they can for the Campaign, especially in light of the fact there are more people in need this year, due to the economic downturn,” said College of Staten Island President Tomás Morales.

CSI raised $25,000 during last year’s campaign. The majority of the funds directly benefited the College and charitable organizations on the Island.

In recognition of the current economic difficulties, the College hopes to raise the same amount this year, instead of setting a more ambitious goal.

For more information on the CUNY Campaign for Charitable Giving and how to make a donation, call the Office of Institutional Advancement at 718.982.2365.

Celebrating 25 Years of Students Studying in Italy

The College of Staten Island’s Center for International Service hosted a reception on November 20, during International Education Week, to celebrate a quarter-century of offering study abroad programs in Italy.

Together with institutional partners, The American University of Rome, the Istituto Venezia, and Lorenzo de’Medici in Florence and Tuscania, the College has enabled hundreds of students to discover the delights of Italy and to experience the life-changing effects of studying abroad.

At the event, CSI President Tomás Morales and Robert Marino, President of The American University of Rome, spoke of the strength of the partnerships and toasted to the bright future for international understanding through educational exchange.

They were joined by study abroad alumnae Margaret Ricciardi, a 94-year-old adult student and artist, who is preparing for a Manhattan exhibit.

This semester marks 27 continuous years of courses at CSI for Mrs. Ricciardi. She is currently enrolled in oil painting and sculpture.

Mrs. Ricciardi earned a Bachelor’s degree in Art in 1985, studied in Italy twice, and established the Frank and Margaret Ricciardi Scholarship in 2006. “I was fortunate and wanted to share with others everything that the College has to offer. It’s a wonderful experience, a wonderful College,” said Mrs. Ricciardi. “It’s not a tremendous amount, but it is what I could afford, and it will help students study in Italy and study Italian. It is a tribute to my husband, who came to America from Italy when he was 16 years old.”

The programs, which are offered to CSI and CUNY students and nationally through the College Consortium for International Studies (CCIS), have been growing in popularity. During the calendar year of 1994, there were 90 students in the program; at present there are 90 students studying in Italy under the auspices of the College of Staten Island, and a total of 415 students will have participated in the CSI-sponsored programs during 2008.

All students have the opportunity to study Italian language while learning about Italy in a wide range of courses taught in English. Students earn college credit while studying topics that they would be unable to study on their home campus. Whether walking the streets of Florence with a noted art historian, debating issues with students from the European Union in a political science classroom in Rome, learning Italian language and culture in Venice, or studying in one of the new courses in opera and song literature or guitar and mandolin studies in Tuscania, students have “the experience of a lifetime” in Italy.

CSI celebrated a quarter-century of offering study abroad programs in Italy.

Making the Island a Better Place, One Person at a Time: Idea-Gathering Sessions Scheduled for Dec. 1-8

A Vision for Staten Island has been convening a diverse group of public and private leaders to address the many problems and issues that this borough faces and will continue to encounter as its population grows.

Now, in an effort to gain input from as many sources as possible, this visioning project is seeking to bring the Staten Island community together with Island leaders to create an inclusive and comprehensive vision for the future. The process begins with public Idea-Gathering Sessions, scheduled to be held in various locations throughout the Borough, from December 1, 2008 through December 8, 2008.

“Staten Island stands at a crossroads today. Its growing and diversifying population and gentrification during the past 30 years has changed the borough’s landscape, and continues to challenge its already stressed infrastructure, insufficient amenities and Staten Islanders’ overall sense of community,” Patrick McDermott, Chairman of the Vision for Staten Island Board of Directors, notes.

The process will result in a comprehensive vision that will identify shared goals for all aspects of the Island’s life, and specific steps to implement each goal.

Participants in the Idea-Gathering Sessions will be assigned to small groups; brainstorm ideas for the Island’s future with a trained facilitator, and then clarify and prioritize their ideas.

Adena Long, Executive Director of Vision for Staten Island, says “the Idea-Gathering is geared so that you can speak your mind, there is no pre-set agenda. The public decides what is critical.”

The ideas gathered from all of the meetings will form the foundation of the vision, and help frame the topics investigated over the remainder of the visioning effort, which will continue throughout the spring of 2009.

The schedule of public meetings is as follows:

Idea Gathering Sessions for Adults:

Monday, December 1, 2008 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Brighton Heights Reformed Church, 320 St. Mark’s Place

Tuesday, December 2, 2008 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
P.S. 58, S.S. Columbia School, 77 Marsh Avenue

Wednesday, December 3, 2008 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
I.S. 34 Tottenville, 528 Academy Avenue

Thursday, December 4, 2008 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Port Richmond High School, 85 St. Joseph’s Avenue

Saturday, December 6, 2008 from 8:30am to 10:30am
Staten Island Academy, 715 Todt Hill Road

Monday, December 8, 2008 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
New Dorp High School, 465 New Dorp Lane

Idea Gathering Session for Youth (16 and over):
Thursday, December 4, 2008 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Cromwell Recreation Center @ Pier 6, Murray Hulbert Avenue (off of Bay and Hannah Streets)

Tomás D. Morales, President of the College of Staten Island states, “It is important that all Staten Islanders share their vision for our community. Come to the session that is most convenient for you, and spread the word to encourage your family, friends, and colleagues to participate. Remember, when it comes to your future, the most important voice is yours!”

For more information on how to participate in an Idea-Gathering Session, call Vision for Staten Island at 718.568.3561.

A diverse group of public and private leaders address the many problems and issues of this borough.

Nursing Program Receives $200K for Geriatric Care

The Brooklyn Home For Aged Men presented CSI with $100,000 in scholarship support today. The creation of this endowment will support Nursing students pursuing a career with a focus in geriatric care, and will provide support in perpetuity. In addition, this $100,000 gift will be matched through a U.S. Department of Education challenge endowment as part of the College’s Title 3 grant, making the total endowment size $200,000.

Noting that the Brooklyn Home For Aged Men has been serving senior citizens since 1878, CSI President Tomás D. Morales said, “Today, we at CSI can continue their mission of serving the elderly by providing future nurses with the tools they need to provide important geriatric care.”

Nancy K. Munson, Board President of the Brooklyn Home For Aged Men commented, “We would like to see that young people go in the direction of taking care of the elderly. Since [CSI has] a very good [Nursing] program, we wanted to help finance it.”

Mary O’Donnell, chairperson of CSI’s Department of Nursing, underscored the importance of this endowment for the College’s Nursing students and the community. “The endowment…is going to educate many nurses in the field of gerontology. There’s a great need for geriatric nurses right now, the geriatric population is growing by leaps and bounds. The students are enthused. They’re working right now in various areas of community health and nursing homes and they can use the assistance that this is going to give them.”

CSI offers many diverse degrees in Nursing. Offerings include a Master of Science (MS) in Gerontological Nursing, an Advanced Certificate in Cultural Competence, and a Doctor of Nursing Science in association with the CUNY Graduate Center. Nurses who successfully complete programs at CSI are prepared to meet the needs of culturally diverse individuals, families, and communities, and will have a competitive edge in the changing environment of health care.

CSI recently completed the construction of a new on-campus facility, where Nursing students will experience simulated hospital scenarios in a controlled environment, featuring a new Laerdal SimMan Patient Simulator, a life-sized mannequin on which students can perform medical procedures. Funds for this project were generously granted by New York State Senator Andrew J. Lanza.

“CSI houses superb laboratories, studios, and classrooms, and is home to a world-class team of dedicated faculty,” said President Morales. “We are dedicated to the art of teaching and the science of research by promoting discovery, disseminating knowledge, cultivating minds, and nurturing the human spirit. We are very grateful to the Brooklyn Home For Aged Men. Their wonderful gift, and the challenge endowment match from the U.S. Department of Education, will help us further fulfill our mission.”

The College of Staten Island, one of the 11 senior colleges of The City University of New York (CUNY), is committed to both affordable access and excellence. This double commitment is especially critical given CSI’s status as the only public college on Staten Island. While the college’s tuition is very reasonable at $2,000 for an undergraduate semester, many full- and part-time CSI students are working in their fields and/or raising families. Seventy-eight percent of CSI students work to put themselves through college. Forty percent are working 20 hours per week or more.

The Brooklyn Home For Aged Men presented CSI with $100,000 in scholarship support today.

Panel to Address Housing Problem in NYC and New Orleans

As the economic crisis deepens across the country, millions of people are losing their jobs, compounding the housing crisis caused by banks and landlords dispossessing millions of families from their homes over the last couple of years. However, people have not simply been victims, but have been organizing for a socially just resolution to the jobs and housing crisis.

The College of Staten Island will host “New Orleans to New York: Race, Class, Gender, and the Struggle for Affordable Housing,” a panel discussion featuring residents of affordable housing and activists from Staten Island and New Orleans on Tuesday, November 18 in the Center for the Arts-Recital Hall (1P-120) from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.

Panelists will discuss their efforts to defend public and affordable housing in the midst of privatization efforts in post-Katrina New Orleans, and galloping gentrification in New York over the last decade. They will also discuss how solutions to the housing crisis can provide the basis for a popular resolution to the growing and deepening national and global economic downturn.

Speakers will include Mike Howells, PhD, writer and community activist with C3/Hands Off Iberville, New Orleans; Sharon Jasper, New Orleans public housing resident; Angela Jaster, C3/Hands Off Iberville, New Orleans; Amy Chan, tenant organizer, Staten Island, Tenants and Neighbors; and Sharon Valentin, Castleton Park Tenants Association (Staten Island).

The event is sponsored by CSI’s Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work Department; the Women’s Studies program; the American Studies program; the Center for the Study of Staten Island; the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG); the Peace Club; and the Pluralism and Diversity program.

For more information contact Jay Arena in the Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work Department at 718.982.3779 or 504.520.9521 or

People have  been organizing for a socially just resolution to the jobs and housing crisis.

MALS Program Celebrates Silver Anniversary

The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) Program at the College of Staten Island will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a reunion and conference on Saturday, November 15. The event will be held in the Center for the Arts (Building 1P), Room 120 from 2:00pm to 5:15pm.

The MALS Program provides college graduates the opportunity to engage in an intensive study of Western society, culture, and thought. The curriculum consists of interdisciplinary courses (seven required courses and two electives) in the social sciences and humanities that have been specifically created for the Program. Successful degree candidates must also submit a Master’s thesis.

CSI Professor of History David Traboulay, who is the coordinator of the MALS program, says that the Program, which stresses close advisement and a cohort approach to learning, “has helped students to grow in their jobs and become public citizens.”

Alumni of the program agree with Traboulay’s assessment. Philippe Marius, Director of the Office of Student Financial Aid at CSI, and a MALS Program alumnus, comments, “A Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, in the best tradition of a liberal-arts education, would indicate an educated member of a modern polity, which is not necessarily the same as an individual trained—even to the highest proficiency—in a modern occupation. My completion of the CSI MALS program indeed greatly enhanced my civic character by immensely augmenting my appreciation of the poetics as well as the mechanics of modern life, moving me closer—by however much—to the ideal constituent of a civil society.”

Another alumnus, Tony Gallego, Assistant Director of Media Services at CSI, adds, “Not only do you learn new and exciting things, you learn to question and think. It has also helped me to advance in my career. Because of the MALS program, I’m thinking of pursuing a second Master’s in Cinema and Media Studies next spring.”

Sharing his own experiences, alumnus Lou Bruschi shed light on how MALS affected his life, “I have always been an eager student, if not a good one; part of the difficulty for me was being pigeon-holed into a single discipline. MALS removed the constraints of looking at a topic from one perspective. I am a social studies teacher for grades three through five and nine through 11; to be able to support the curriculum through literature, philosophy, mythology, and the broader humanities has been an invaluable resource to me as a teacher. Currently,” Bruschi continues, “I am a student in the Educational Leadership program at Wagner College. In the courses I have taken at Wagner I have come to appreciate the deeper lessons imparted through the coursework in the MALS program. Understanding comes through metaphor. MALS provided a foundation of understanding through texts that have applications in so many disciplines…To become an effective steward of an institution, there are two factors that contribute more than any others, experience and knowledge. Without providing specific vocational or professional training the MALS program has given me a wealth of both.”

Noting that “the curriculum is essentially about the classic texts of Western Civilization in the Modern Period, the 19th and 20th centuries,” with one non-Western class and another regarding ancient Roman and Greek civilizations, Traboulay hopes that the anniversary event will give MALS alumni a chance to offer suggestions on how to change the curriculum for the better.

The event will feature remarks from Traboulay and founding coordinator Fred Binder, an alumni panel discussion, and a keynote address from Professor Alfred Levine, Interim Dean of Research and Graduate Programs at CSI, entitled, “Culture, Consciousness, and Nature: The Context on Global Warming.”

The MALS Program at CSI will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a reunion and conference.

CSI Students Represent USA on French TV

Three students in CSI Professor Kathryn Talarico’s French 313 Advanced Communications class had a unique experience on Election Night. They had the chance to participate in a studio audience in the Manhattan studios of French cable station TV5, an international channel that broadcasts to all Francophone countries around the world.

The station’s coverage, which was dubbed “The American Night,” featured live coverage from Paris; New York; Washington, DC; and Dakar, Senegal.

Prof. Talarico explains that this was “a live broadcast with guests, politicians, and journalists from around the world talking about the elections is the United States, which [the station and the French media] have been following exceedingly closely….”

Talarico, who is a subscriber to TV5, received an invitation from her cable provider, Time Warner Cable, to join the studio audience and to bring a few guests. Talarico explains, “One of the activities that the French 313 students have been doing is to follow the elections on the Internet, looking at the French media. How is the French media covering the American elections?” In an effort to add a new dimension to this research, she drew lots to see which of her students would enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

The students got the chance to meet their favorite TV5 host, Philippe Dessaint, and had pictures taken with him. They are working on creating a Webpage describing their experience.

Shaimaa Mobarak, a French 313 student who attended the broadcast says that the experience “was very interesting. Not only was it a monumental day in American history but it also affects people around the world. My understanding…[of] the French people has changed drastically after speaking to some of the people who were in the audience. They were so receptive to the change in this country and were very eager to see how this election would change our country and subsequently theirs.”

Commenting on the meaning of this experience for her students, Talarico notes that “this is very important. I think we’ve had it driven home for a long time now, and especially with the recent economic collapse, how important it is to understand global situations and the interconnectedness of everything–the importance of studying foreign languages is one part of this. I was pleased to see how excited the students were,” Talarico adds, “and how they paid close attention to what was going on. And since this was a French event, we were treated to a lovely buffet with wine! The students stayed in Manhattan after the broadcast and enjoyed the rest of the Election Night festivities in Times Square.”

Three CSI students had the chance to participate in a studio audience of French cable station.