The world on a wire CSI joins classes from China, South Africa and Turkey in one virtual classroom

As part of a nationwide initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the College of Staten Island (CSI) announces the World Cultures Project, a new course that uses regular internet technologies to bring students and faculty from CSI, China, South Africa, and Turkey into the same virtual classroom.

World Cultures Project partner colleges engage in global video conferencing classroom demonstration

Kadir Has University, Turkey
University of Port Elizabeth, South Africa
College of Staten Island/CUNY, USA

Monday, October 4, 2004 – 8:00 a.m. EDT

College of Staten Island Library (1L)
Video Conferencing Room 220A
2800 Victory Blvd., Staten Island NY 10314

CSI, a senior college of The City University of New York, is the lead institution bringing students together worldwide via 2-way video classroom interaction, live Internet Relay Chat (IRC), e-mail discussions, and an internet based classroom and curriculum software known as the Blackboard Academic Suite.

By using the Global Experience Through Technology (GETT) model developed by East Carolina University, the course will provide students with an international experience while broadening their intellectual horizons by exposing them to worldwide cultures.

The fall semester at CSI has students discussing the theme of globalization with students at Shanghai TV University in China and Kadir Has University in Turkey. The spring semester at CSI will add the University of Port Elizabeth in South Africa as a course partner.

Claiming that complex relations are governing our world today and that cultural interactions are useful to the future of the country, François Ngolet, associate professor of history at CSI teaching the virtual classroom course says that “we are all dependent on the relationships we have with others, and [in this project] student partnership is key to the success, because it is only through frequent contact that students get to know and understand each other, to develop trust, and to establish a close bond.”

This course curriculum includes a round-robin approach between the partner institutions, with classes at each university “linking” with classes at another to discuss different aspects of globalization such as its economic, socio-political and cultural dimensions. After a month to six weeks, the partner-links rotate. By the end of the semester, each university will have “linked” with each of the others.

Students taking the course at CSI are all members of the CUNY Honors College. They meet from 8 to 9:50 a.m. every Monday and Wednesday. A typical classroom session includes a 45 minute lecture presented live in one classroom and via video to the other. Classroom instructors from each country present their interpretations or approaches to the classes on the same topic every week. Lectures are followed by a video-based group discussion, with students then collaborating individually with their counterparts via IRC. When not in the classroom, e-mail correspondence connects the students while working on assignments, and the Blackboard Academic Suite continues as the virtual classroom.

Student collaborative works may include weekly assignments, end-of-link assignments, and end of semester assignments. They will exchange drafts until they agree on the final form which will be submitted to their local instructors before a grade will be given.

CSI is one of eight colleges participating in this nationwide initiative by the U.S. Department of State, and the only college linking with three global universities.

EDITOR’S NOTE: For more information, to schedule an interview, or if you plan to attend, contact Ken Bach at 718-982-2328.

Recycled Percussion to rock CSI

You’ve heard the noise, you’ve witnessed the commotion. Now it’s your chance to experience what people everywhere are talking about.

According to their Web site, “Recycled Percussion [offers] is the most energetic, heart pounding, chaotic performance on the market today. Recycled tools, recycled barrels, recycled basement garbage, building site leftovers and yo mamma’s pots and pans. We’re a group that makes music from trash. We build our instruments out of junk and then we rock the house!”

Recycled Percussion

Wednesday, October 6
8:00 p.m.

College of Staten Island, Center for the Arts
Williamson Theater
2800 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island, NY 10314

Comprised of four men with drumsticks and power tools, Recycled Percussion assaults the stage with a rhythmic fashion described best as “pandemonium, musical mayhem.” Touring the country exclusively in the last two years, Recycled Percussion has played over 300 college shows in 45 states, has performed at half-time shows for both the NBA and NFL and has wowed audiences at casinos, theme parks, fairs and festivals alike.

Recently voted “Best Musical Performance of the Year” by Campus Activities magazine, Recycled Percussion is the full throttle. Put your tray tables in the locked and upright position, sit back, relax and prepare to be thoroughly funked by this spectacular trash orchestra.

The concert is free and open to the public. Tickets are available at the Center for the Arts box office. The performance is sponsored by the CSI Program Development Committee (PDC).

Does Zero Tolerance Make Us Safer? Crime and Punishment in America

Does a “zero tolerance” approach to crime and criminals actually make our city safer? Or is it rhetoric designed to make us “feel” safer?

College of Staten Island (CSI) alumni, who are experts in the legal system, will address this question with moderator Jeffrey Kroessler, oral historian at the college, on Monday, September 27, at 7 p.m. in the Center for the Arts Recital Hall (1P-120) at 2800 Victory Boulevard in Willowbrook.

The 90 minute program will include targeted questions for each panelist, general discussion, and an audience question and answer session. After the program, the panelists will be available to talk to individuals contemplating a career in criminal justice or law.

Panelists include:
• The Honorable Barbara Irolla Panepinto ‘76; Justice, Supreme Court of Kings County
• Eugene Lamb, Esq., ‘70; Defense Attorney
• Louis Diamond, Esq., ‘69; Defense Attorney
• John Castelli, ‘91; Director, Citizens Action Center, King’s County DA’s Office
• Yolanda Rudich, ‘79; Chief, Sex Crimes/Special Victims Bureau, Richmond County DA’s Office

The event is free and open to the public. The program is jointly sponsored by the College of Staten Island’s Staten Island Project; Political Science Club; American Democracy Project; Alumni Association; and Career Placement office.

For more information contact Francine Raggi in the CSI alumni office at (718) 982-2290.

Media Advisory for planning purposes only CSI inaugurates full-color, animated signs at main entrance

The College of Staten Island (CSI) will host a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, September 21 for two recently installed full-color animated display signs at its Victory Boulevard entrance. The signs were made possible by $100,000 in funding from New York State Senator John J. Marchi (R-C, Staten Island).

“This is more than a beautiful display sign,” said Marlene Springer, president of CSI, “it is another way we can inform the community of the many public events that are held every day on campus. CSI is an integral part of the Island, not only by being a major economic engine, but by being a public institution and having the resources to extend the recreational, educational and cultural programming to our community. I want to thank Senator Marchi for helping us create another way for CSI to say ‘Welcome’ to our friends and neighbors.”

NY State Senator John J. Marchi (R-C, Staten Island).
Marlene Springer, President, CSI
Angelo Aponte, VP for Finance and Administration, CSI

Press Event and Photo Op. Visuals include participants posing beneath a full-color display slide displaying an American Flag and “Thank You State Senator Marchi.” There will be a short presentation and animated “virtual” ribbon cutting. Participants will be available for comment.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004 – 3 p.m.

College of Staten Island Main Entrance
2800 Victory Blvd., Staten Island, NY 10314
(Parking available immediately inside main gate)

Senator Marchi sponsored the grant from the Community Capital Assistance Program (CCAP) for the Arts, Cultural, Recreational Communication and Accessibility Project, which was reviewed and approved by the Empire State Development (ESD) Corporation.

The CSI display signs are Galaxy-class RGB displays by Daktronics, capable of medium-resolution animated text and graphical displays in 32,000 colors. The signs will be utilized for the display of upcoming event information, CSI news headlines, promotional messages, and important college information.

Touring the Met Local art expert leads tour of the Met

On Friday, October 1 at 6:30 p.m., acclaimed artist and art historian, Frances D’atria-Romano will discuss the Egyptian Tomb of Perneb exhibit, part of the Egyptian collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art at 82nd Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

D’atria-Romano is a native Staten Island artist and educator whose artwork is based on Staten Island history and New York themes. Currently, she is teaching a painting class for the Retired Teachers Chapter of the Staten Island United Federation of Teachers (UFT), and planning trips for them to the many art clubs in Manhattan, such as the National Arts Club, Salmagundi Club, and The Pen and Brush Society. She works two evenings a week as a New Teacher Consultant and Salary Specialist with the UFT.

The 34-year veteran teacher/coordinator retired as Art Coordinator from New Dorp high school in June 2003, and finds that “retirement has been incredibly busy and fulfilling.” She also notes how important it is for retirees to learn while enjoying their retirements through the arts.

For more information on the artist, visit her Web site at:

Ms. D’atria-Romano is a graduate of the former Richmond College, one of CSI’s predecessor colleges and currently serves as a board member of the CSI Alumni Association. Her event at the Metropolitan Museum is sponsored by the CSI Alumni Association and is open to the public; donations are requested at $12 per person. Please call Francine Raggi at (718) 982-2290 by September 22 to reserve your place in the Egyptian Tombs.

Field of dreams New $800G sports field will benefit CSI teams and community

The College of Staten Island (CSI) began resurfacing its soccer field today with $800,000 in funding from New York City Council Member James S. Oddo (R-Mid-Island).

Oddo’s funding, secured in Fiscal Year 2003, will allow the Willowbrook campus to join the ranks of many professional and college sports stadiums that are using a new type of maintenance-free artificial playing surface called “Field Turf.”

During the groundbreaking ceremony, held in the shadow of the college’s Astrophysical Observatory, Oddo announced “this is more than building a field… it’s about building a relationship.”

“Clearly, the construction of this sports field will fill a real need for our community,” Oddo continued. “It will give CSI’s athletic program a state of the art new field for its athletes to utilize. In addition, it will also provide the community with a first-class facility. I look forward to seeing the entire community enjoy this field when it is completed.”

With mounds of soil and earth-moving machinery as a backdrop, Marlene Springer, president of CSI, said “CSI is committed to providing a superior experience for all our student athletes, and we thank Council Member Oddo for his dedication not only to CSI, but to Staten Island.”

Collegiate sporting activities will receive priority use of the new field, while community members and organizations will have access at all other times.

“Drainage issues on the field had left it mostly unused since the construction of the campus in the early 1990s,” Springer noted. “The new field, designed to duplicate the playing conditions of real grass and engineered to allow maximum drainage, is expected to see its first game before November.”

The field is being installed by the LandTek Group of Amityville, Long Island. Marty Lyons, a former NY Jet, is the sales and marketing director of the company. Recent projects by LandTek include an NCAA Division 1 baseball field at Hofstra University, and the NY Jets Training Facility.

Fundraisers announce memorial scholarship for FDNY probies

riends and family members of Frank Walter and John Esposito gathered in Nansen Park on Staten Island on Saturday, August 28, for the inaugural memorial picnic for the two deceased firefighters. More than 300 attended for a day of family fun in the hot sun, and by the end of the day, the event raised over $8,000.

The event organizer, Melissa Esposito, who is married to Dennis, son of John Esposito, announced that the money they raised would be used to begin a John Esposito and Frank Walter Memorial Scholarship for FDNY probies attending the College of Staten Island. The scholarship is expected to provide $1,000 to each of two students every year.

Melissa Esposito
Richard Truitt, vice president for college advancement, CSI
Family members and representatives from CSI’s student affairs office
Participants will be available for comment

Check presentation event to announce the funding of the
John Esposito and Frank Walter Memorial Scholarship

Tuesday, September 7 – 5:30 p.m.

College of Staten Island Advancement Office
Building 1A, Room 401
2800 Victory Blvd., Staten Island, NY 10314

SI Bank & Trust funds the future of Stapleton students

The SI Bank & Trust Foundation today announced a $70,000 grant to the College of Staten Island’s Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge (SEEK) Program in expanded support of the Willowbrook college’s successful Strategies for Success program.

Strategies for Success was founded in 2001 to specially train SEEK students at CSI to perform as mentors at the Dreyfus Intermediate School in Stapleton, on the north shore of Staten Island. The goal was to improve the academic performance of the IS 49 students through tutoring, counseling, and general academic skill building sessions.

The result was that the Intermediate School children and the CSI tutors both showed dramatic improvements in their grades.

“The college students learn study skills in the workshops they attend and gain a sense of accomplishment by aiding in the education of the children,” noted Betsy Dubovsky, executive director of the SI Bank & Trust Foundation, during a press conference at the college. “The IS 49 pupils benefit from the increased attention which not only builds confidence but also improves their academic strategies and skills.”

Funded since its inception by the SI Bank & Trust Foundation, this year’s additional funding for the Strategies for Success program will allow the program to include PS 57, giving grammar school students there the same benefits of working with CSI mentors.

“The one-on-one attention that Strategies for Success provides is critical to its success, and we are proud that our funding will expand the programs’ reach into the grammar schools,” Dubovsky noted.

Since the inception of Strategies for Success, 42 CSI students have worked as mentors in IS 49, helping nearly 200 intermediary school students raise their academic performance. This year’s $70,000 grant announcement will fund the program for the 2004-2005 academic, with $40,000 for support of the program at IS 49 and $30,000 to expand the program into PS 57.

Yin Fan Pong Li, a CSI business major who participated in the program as a mentor, noted that “Strategies for Success is a very successful program which brings people of different race, nationalities and characters to work together for academic success. For the tutors, it is a valuable opportunity to gain tutoring experience and caring for the young, while the tutees benefit from getting help, guidance and love from their tutors.”

IS 49 seventh graders all had positive reports on the program. One noted “it has helped me in all my homework and still does. The tutors in this program are very helpful. No matter who you are, they help you to understand all your work;” while another said “the tutors are friendly and smart. The club helped me in math, reading and English.”

During the screening of a video made during the program’s most recent semester, one student told of his grade average jumping from 82 to 89 after a semester with the program, and another proudly displayed his report card which compared a previous semester’s grades of 60 in Science and 65 in Robotics with current grades of 90 and 80 respectively.

The children’s excitement about participation in the program was evident, and all expressed their desire for the program to return again next year.

The SI Bank & Trust Foundation has supported the College of Staten Island’s SEEK Program with $125,000 since 1999, and has supported the college with more than $300,000 in grants since the late 1990s.

“SI Bank & Trust Foundation is crucial to the quality of life on Staten Island, and their generosity makes Staten Island a better place to live,” said Richard Truitt, vice president for college advancement at CSI, “and we are proud to have them as our partner.”

Georgia Landrum, the Strategies for Success program coordinator at CSI, noted that “learning is a social process, and I am very thankful and very excited to be part of a program that helps develop leadership skills in our public school pupils.”

“The SI Bank & Trust Foundation is helping CSI transform the lives of students on Staten Island,” Truitt continued, “and we thank Betsy Dubovsky and the SI Bank & Trust Foundation Board for their continued dedication and commitment.”