Alexander and Prinzi Elected to CSI Foundation Board

The College of Staten Island (CSI) Foundation board of directors last night elected John Alexander and Richard Prinzi to one-year terms at their annual meeting.

John Alexander, Chairman and CEO of Northfield Bank, also serves on the board of directors of Staten Island University Hospital and Staten Island Economic Development Commission (SIEDC). He earned his BS in accounting (with honors) from the University of North Carolina in 1975; was awarded a Bronze Star from the U.S. military for his service in Vietnam; and received the Richard Addeo Excellence in Business award from the SIEDC in 2003. He resides on Emerson Hill with his wife Janet. His children are Meredith, Ryan, and Kelly.

Richard Prinzi consolidated his business entities in 2005 to form Integrated Financial Services, with offices on Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. Together with his three partners, two of whom are also CSI alumni, and 12 employees, eight of whom are alumni and current students, Prinzi oversees his practice that serves 4,000 clients a year. Prinzi is a 1993 graduate of CSI with a BS degree in accounting (with the highest honors) and became a CPA in 1995. He has been the president of the CSI Alumni Association for eight years. His leadership has strengthened that organization, and has helped it effectively reach out and involve many of the more than 50,000 college alumni. In addition, he is an active member of the community, and a leader with the South Shore Kiwanis. He resides in Egbertville with his wife and two daughters, Julia and Amanda.

“The Foundation always looks for leadership in the community and through its alumni,” said Richard Truitt executive director of the Foundation.

“John has been a business and community leader on Staten Island for many years. His commitment to the college through Northfield Bank is something that we value greatly. His farsightedness, his understanding of the community, and his belief in the mission of the College is something that will be very valuable to us all,” he added.

“Richard’s leadership as president of the alumni association has been stellar. In his own right, he is a very successful businessperson with strong ties to Staten Island. We welcome him to the board and know that his dedication and commitment to CSI will serve education at the college well,” Truitt continued.

As the fundraising arm for CSI, the Foundation supports many educational initiatives at CSI. For more information about the CSI Foundation, call 718-982-2365 or visit them online at

The reelected officers for the CSI Foundation include James Easley, president; Robert Cutrona, vice president; Christine Cea, secretary; and Joseph Franzese, treasurer. Board members reelected to a fourth term include Marilyn Caselli, James Easley, and Carmine Morano; members reelected to a fifth term include Harry Doherty and Richard Nicotra; and member reelected to a sixth term include Peter Salvatore and Sally Williams.

CSI's Seshadri Continues to Earn Scholar Honors

College of Staten Island senior tennis ace Soumitri Seshadri, recently named the CSI Scholar-Athlete of the Year and noted as an honorable mention scholar-athlete with The City University of New York Athletic Conference, has now been named a CoSIDA ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American for the Men’s At-Large District II College Division. One of the most respected and distinguished scholar-athlete awards in collegiate athletics, this is the first CoSIDA ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American honor for a CSI student-athlete since 1999.

A member of The City University of New York Honors Program, Seshadri is a four-year Dean’s List student at CSI, majoring in both Engineering Science and Physics while minoring in Mathematics, boasting a 3.827 grade point average. He was recently given a first place award for best poster presentation for his engineering research in the Northeast Region I, District A of the Student Professional Development Conference and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He has represented the CSI Engineering department in numerous expos and conventions and has served as President of the campus’ American Society of Mechanical Engineering.

A member of the men’s tennis team for the past three years, Seshadri capped his career as the team’s No. 1 singles and doubles performer. His “team-first” attitude and spirited leadership were prevalent in every match in which he appeared over the past three years. In his spare time, Seshadri would often give free lessons to local youths at the CSI Tennis Center, and he served as a volunteer for the Raganatha Temple in Pomona, New York, serving as an event organizer.

On Wednesday, May 16, Seshadri earned a Scholar-Athlete Honorable Mention with the CUNY Athletic Conference, and on Friday, May 18, he was named CSI’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year at the school’s annual student-athlete awards gala in a presentation delivered by Dr. David M. Podell, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.

The College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) selects Academic All-America teams in 12 programs: football, women’s volleyball, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball, softball, men’s track & field/cross country, women’s track & field/cross country, men’s at-large, and women’s at-large. A first team, second team, and third team are selected in both the University (Division I and I-AA) and College (Division II, III, and NAIA) Divisions. To be nominated, the student-athlete must be a starter or important reserve with at least a 3.20 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) for his/her career, and must be of sophomore status or greater.

Selected among hundreds of nominations, Seshadri was happy to receive the honor, the first for CSI since women’s tennis star Gabrielle Nagy received similar honors in 1999.
“The awards and achievements show how hard work pays off,” said Seshadri. “I’m going to use this as motivation to keep working hard in the future and looking onward.”
Seshadri feels that his roles as both a dedicated student and athlete with the men’s tennis squad are a credit to his development at CSI.

“I’ve obtained so many experiences in terms of personal growth in college. Through being involved in sports and working hard in the classroom, CSI has prepared me to go out and present myself professionally and with a positive attitude.”

Graduating on May 31, Seshadri has already obtained employment with Lockheed Martin, a global leader in systems integration and information technology that works primarily with the U.S. Department of Defense and many other U.S. federal government agencies.

First-year Head Coach Paul Ricciardi, who spent the previous two seasons with Seshadri as an assistant, was excited for his pupil.

“I’m extremely proud of what Soumitri has achieved in the classroom. He’s been the rock of our team in many ways than one,” he said. “Judging by his performance on our campus, we know he will be successful in any endeavor he chooses.”

Staten Islander Hits a High Note with Entrepreneur Award

Ed Singer, a UPS Store franchisee, was honored with a Phoenix Award from the New York State Small Business Development Center, at its annual ceremony held May 1, 2007 at the Hotel Utica in Utica, NY.

Singer, a 30-year veteran of Wall Street, was one of the thousands of employees who lost their jobs as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. As he considered his options, he discovered the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the College of Staten Island (CSI). Ed met with John Blohm a business adviser at the SBDC and an organization called VetFran through a Veterans’ Outreach Seminar hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the SBDC.

Singer then decided to become a retail franchise owner with UPS and establish a store on Staten Island. After a slow start in 2004, business steadily improved, with revenues nearly doubling by 2006. Five years after the loss of his job on Wall Street, Singer has successfully made the transformation from employee to owner. Singer’s emphasis on personal service is resonating in the community and helping him to develop many loyal customers.

The SBDC’s Phoenix Award, rarely presented, is given in recognition of a business owner’s recovery from a devastating loss. Since 2001, the organization has recognized five other business owners with this award, all with businesses that were nearly destroyed as a result of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in September 2001.

Since it was established in 1984, the NYS SBDC has worked directly with 264,334 businesses, helping them to invest more than $3.2 billion in the state’s economy, and creating or saving over 124,000 jobs.

Since its inception in 1993 at CSI, the local SBDC has helped over 4,000 clients and created and saved over 3,000 jobs that have generated over $100 million in economic impact to the Island. Dean l. Balsamini, Director of the SBDC at CSI says “We help people understand and create a business strategy that fits their unique situation and our services are free. It’s gratifying to see a business we worked with grow and succeed.”

For an appointment, contact the SBDC at the College of Staten Island at 718-982-2560, or

For additional information, go to the NYS Small Business Development Center Website ““ and click on Success Stories.

CSI Commencement Features NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg as Speaker

The College of Staten Island (CSI) will recognize 2,277 degree candidates at the college’s 31st annual commencement exercise on Thursday, May 31 at 10:00am, rain or shine, on the Great Lawn of the Willowbrook campus. The graduating class includes master’s, baccalaureate, and associate’s degree candidates, as well as Graduate Advanced Certificates.

This year’s speaker is New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the 108th Mayor of the City of New York. Mayor Bloomberg graduated from Johns Hopkins University, earned an MBA from Harvard, and in the summer of 1966, was hired by Salomon Brothers to work on Wall Street.

He quickly advanced through the ranks, and became a partner in 1972. Soon after, he was supervising all of Salomon’s stock trading, sales, and later, its information systems.

In 1982 he created a financial information computer that would collect and analyze different combinations of past and present securities data and deliver it immediately to the user. That year, Bloomberg L.P. sold 20 subscriptions to its service; 20 years later, Bloomberg LP has over 165,000 subscribers worldwide.

As the business proved its viability, the company branched out and in 1990 Bloomberg LP entered the media business, launching a news service, and then radio, television, Internet, and publishing operations.

As the company enjoyed tremendous growth, the Mayor dedicated more of his time and energy to philanthropy and civic affairs. His desire to improve education, advance medical research, and increase access to the arts has provided the motivation for much of his philanthropy.

In 1997, Michael Bloomberg published his autobiography, “Bloomberg by Bloomberg.” All of the royalties from sales of the book are donated to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

“We are honored that Mayor Bloomberg, a highly accomplished, self-made businessman, and a visionary leader of our city, who has set new benchmarks and implemented numerous reforms, will bring commencement greetings to our graduating class this year,” commented Marlene Springer, president of CSI.

President Springer will also present President’s Medals to Staten Island Borough President James P. Molinaro and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

The student speaker is Carliann Costanzo. Graduating with a double major in biochemistry and mathematics, her research on campus has included synthesizing a molecular chaperone to deliver a natural anti-cancer agent into cancer cells. She is the founder and president of Colleges Against Cancer, chartered with CSI, and nationally with the American Cancer Society. Upon graduation, she will enter a one-year research fellowship at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) before beginning her MD/PhD program at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Representing an alumni association with more than 52,000 members and several regional councils, Richard Prinzi, class of 1993 and president of the alumni association board of directors, will also address the gathering.

La Shon Stockton is receiving the CSI Alumni Association’s Outstanding Student Leadership Award. She was also recognized by the Mayor’s office as the March recipient of Snapple’s “Best People in NYC” award. She has earned these awards by organizing gift drives at CSI and as a volunteer at Safe Horizon, the nation’s leading victim assistance organization that serves over 350,000 people each year who have been touched by violence.

“I am always proud to hear about the lives and accomplishments of our students and alumni,” said President Springer. “Commencement is yet another important step forward in their continuing journeys.”

The commencement’s invocation will be by the Reverend Terry Troia.

Honorary Degrees recipients include: Alison R. Bernstein, vice president for the Education, Media, Arts and Culture Program at the Ford Foundation, Doctor of Humane Letters; Amy Goodman, host of “Democracy Now!” a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program airing on over 450 stations in North America, Doctor of Humane Letters; and Frances Hesselbein, chairman of the board of governors of the Leader to Leader Institute (formerly the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management), and former CEO, the Girl Scouts of the USA, Doctor of Humane Letters.

Departmental exercises begin immediately after the college-wide commencement. A reception in the Campus Center for graduates, their guests, and the college community will follow the departmental exercises.

For more information visit:

The College of Staten Island is a senior college of The City University of New York, the nation’s leading urban university. CSI offers 36 academic programs, 20 graduate degree programs, and challenging doctoral programs to 12,500 students. The 204-acre landscaped campus of CSI, the largest in NYC, is fully accessible and contains an advanced, networked infrastructure to support technology-based teaching, learning, and research. For more information, visit

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EDITOR’S NOTE: If you plan to attend or send a representative, you must contact Ken Bach at 718-982-2328 to arrange access and parking.

CSI Grad Debuts Award-Winning Multimedia Electronic-Acoustic Work that Features the Sights and Sounds of NYC

Isidore (Izzi) Ramkissoon, musician, composer, and 2007 graduate of the College of Staten Island (CSI) will be presented in concert at the Robert Miller Gallery, 524 W. 26th Street, Manhattan on Friday, May 4, 2007 at 8:00pm. Ramkissoon’s composition, Sub-ter-ain Frequencies 5.1, is a multimedia electronic-acoustic work, and is the first-prize winner of the prestigious 2007 Look & Listen Competition, which features new modernist works by emerging composers.

His work will be performed as part of a three-day festival that includes music by major composers such as Philip Glass, John Zorn, Paul Lansky, and Steven Mackey, and performances by Zorn’s Sappho Ensemble, the Flux Quartet, So Percussion, and the avant-garde string quartet Ethel. Samples of his work can be found at:

Ramkissoon holds degrees from CSI in both Electrical Engineering and Music with a Concentration in Electronics. He has performed as a bassist and experimental music artist in jazz, rock, and new music venues including New York City’s Webster Hall, Studio 54, and CBGB. As a composer, he draws upon many traditional influences and combines these with modern technology. He works at CSI’s Electronic Music Lab, where he instructs undergraduates in electronic music techniques, and is currently composing music for various media including television and film, and freelancing as a live sound engineer. He plans to pursue graduate studies in Music Technology.

Sub-ter-ain Frequencies 5.1 is a tone poem about New York City. Inspired by musique concrete, the composition tells a story of a harrowing expedition through the NYC subway system. The performance combines synthesized and sampled music with live performances by Izzi Ramkisson (bass), CSI composition professor David Keberle (bass clarinet), CSI music major Kushaiah Hooper (pots, pans, and buckets), and DJ Brak (turntables). The live music is accompanied by ambient sounds of the NYC subway, and is ideally presented electronically in 5.1-surround sound technology in conjunction with video and lighting effects by Ramkissoon.

The Robert Miller Gallery, the host venue for the Look & Listen Festival, is located at 524 W. 26th Street (between 10th and 11th Avenues), in Chelsea’s Gallery District. Tickets are $10 for each of the three concerts (May 3, 4, and 5, 2007). For advanced purchase or reservations, please call 718-622-3005 or visit the Website Tickets may also be purchased at the door.

Dom Irrera and Bobby Collins to Close the Spring 2007 CFA Season

The Laughter Arts Festival, featuring Dom Irrera and Bobby Collins, will close the Spring 2007 season of the Center for the Arts (CFA) at the College of Staten Island (CSI) on Saturday, May 19, 2007 at 8:00pm. Tickets are on sale at $45, $42, and $39. Contact: 718-982-ARTS (2787),, or The CFA is located at 2800 Victory Boulevard on Staten Island, and is easily reached by car from I-278; campus parking is available.

Dom Irrera’s stand-up material was honed in a multigenerational Italian household in South Philadelphia with a mother, sister, grandmother, uncles, cousins, and even a great grandmother who lived across the street. Together he has three floors and four generations of comical stories and characters. Irrera got his start on the HBO comedy special, Rodney Dangerfield’s Nothing Goes Right. Since then he has gone on to be a six-time American Comedy Award nominee and appeared on popular late-night talk shows, such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with David Letterman, and Late Night with Conan O’ Brien. Irrera has also made guest appearances on popular CBS comedies like, Becker, Everybody Loves Raymond, and The King of Queens. He also made a cameo appearance in the 1998 cult-comedy The Big Lebowski.

Bobby Collins is a New York native and a 15-year comedy veteran who has gained critical praise from top newspaper publications such as, The New York Times and USA Today, among others. This has created tremendous word of mouth for Collins who has sellout shows, three comedy CDs, and is earning himself an enthusiastic fan base. With his brand of humor, Collins is a storyteller. Unlike many comedians who rely solely upon the clever use of words and ideas to entertain an audience, Collins’s heartfelt humor engages audiences with a hilarious blend of characterizations and spot-on observations to which everyone can relate. His new DVD, Bobby Collins: Live From New York City, was released this month.

The CSI Center for the Arts is supported in part by the Richmond County Savings Foundation, a gift by the Carnegie Corporation made possible by an anonymous donor, Con Edison, New York State through the efforts of the Staten Island Delegation to the State Legislature, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Northfield Savings Bank, the Nicotra Group, the SI Bank & Trust Foundation, Time Warner Cable, and by our many business and individual patrons.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Please contact Michele Maglio at 718-982-2690 for interview requests.

CSI Discovery Institute to Host Academic Olympics

This year’s brightest public and parochial high schoolers will meet in a hotly contested academic competition on Saturday, April 28 at 9:30am at the College of Staten Island (CSI).

Last year’s winner, St. Joseph by the Sea, will be seeking to retain their first place overall standing. Two hundred students from 17 schools will participate in categories such as English, Literature, and Advanced Placement English; Social Studies—Global History 1st Year, Global History 2nd Year, American Studies, and Advanced Placement American Studies; Mathematics—Math A, Math B, Pre-Calculus, Calculus; and Science—Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Advanced Placement Biology.

No student may take more than one test because the exams are given simultaneously. It is therefore necessary for schools to select their best students in each subject area.

There will be three individual winners in each category as well as an overall school winner for the subject area. In addition, there will be an award for first, second, and third place school for total points accumulated in all subjects.

“I always look forward to wholesome academic competition among our best and brightest high school students,” said Dr. James Sanders, Discovery Institute Co-director, “and I am amazed and impressed to see so many talented, motivated Staten Island high school students willing to spend a spring Saturday pursuing academics when most of their peers are otherwise engaged.”

For further information, please contact Lenore Vazquez at 718-982-2325 or contact her at

CSI Hosts Conference on Global Ethics and Student Leadership

The College of Staten Island (CSI) hosts a “One-Day Conference on Global Ethics and Leadership for Student Leaders” on Friday, April 27, in cooperation with Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia.

“The goal of this conference is to give student leaders an edge in dealing with people from other cultures, in understanding them, and treating them with respect,” said Charlene Morgan, a senator on CSI’s student government and a primary organizer of the event.

As student leaders, the conference will “give us a global perspective, and empower us to make ethical and moral decisions,” she continued.

Morgan was one of the CSI student representatives who joined CSI President Marlene Springer for “The Oxford Conclave on Global Ethics and the Changing University Presidency,” a four-day conference in Oxford’s historic Balliol College in September 2005.

The Oxford Conclave was the catalyst for a movement to renew higher education’s commitment to producing ethical leaders for the 21st century.

Friday’s conference at CSI is cosponsored by CSI’s Center for International Service and the Center for Student Leadership at Kennesaw State University, and consists of a full day of exercises and workshops.

After opening remarks at 9:00am by President Springer, the 80 conference attendees will participate in a “moral imagination” exercise followed by “Simulation: Starpower,” which is a real-time, face-to-face, non-computer-based simulation of an organization in which leaders are given unlimited powers to make and change the rules of the simulation.

The keynote address begins at 12:45pm. The speaker is Dr. Beheruz Sethna, president and CEO of The University of West Georgia, and professor of business administration. He is the first known person of Indian origin ever to become president of a university anywhere in the United States.

The address is followed by breakout sessions, a wrap-up discussion, and closing remarks at 4:40pm by Dr. Daniel Papp, president of Kennesaw State University.