New Student Conference

The Office of Recruitment and Admissions will be holding a New Student Conference for newly admitted undergraduate students on Sunday, Mar. 28from 10:30am to 2:00pm in the Center for the Arts (Building 1P).

This event is designed to inform students about the many opportunities available to them at CSI with the goal that they will accept our offer of admission and enroll at the College. At past events, students and their families have been particularly eager to hear directly from faculty members and staff about specific academic programs and student services. I strongly encourage you to send a representative to this program so that you can begin developing partnerships with our class of 2014.

I ask that you please confirm your department’s attendance at this event by contacting Julia Zerato in the Office of Recruitment and Admissions by Friday, Mar. 12. Ms. Zerato may be reached by phone at 718.982.2012, or by email at zerato@mail.csi.cuny.edu.

We are also interested in providing some program/department-specific tours as part of the conference. It would be a great opportunity for students to see some of the state-of-the-art facilities on campus. Please contact me if you are interested in hosting some students.

For your information, our Spring Undergraduate Open House will be held on Sunday, Apr. 18 in the Center for the Arts. There will be more details to follow in the upcoming weeks.

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

CSI Professor Is up for an Oscar: Ming Xia served as translator and guide for documentary about the 2008 Chinese earthquake

SI Live – Ming Xia, a political science professor at the College of Staten Island, still remembers his feelings while visiting his home town in the rural Sichuan Province of China after the 2008 earthquake that killed 70,000 people, including 10,000 children, for a documentary.

“It was heartbreaking seeing all the devastation,” said Xia, who’s been living in Willowbrook since 1997, said. “It was a heartbreaking experience.”

Last Monday, the documentary that Xia worked on as a producer and translator, HBO’s “China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province,” was one of five films nominated for an Oscar in the short documentary category.

Xia got involved with the project after his friend, Peter Kwan, saw pictures of China on Xia’s Web site and asked him to join the four man team to China. The team set out 10 days after the earthquake to try to document the devastation afterwards. He worked as a translator — speaking the local dialect — and cultural guide for the crew.

“We went through two days and did not get any human stories,” said Xia, instead only finding rubble. On the third day, they asked villagers for stories and were told by one of a school that collapsed, killing 120 students — mostly fourth and fifth graders.

The crew then followed the parents of the children, who created a memorial at the school and began marches and protests for their children.

“We saw marches of parents who lost their children,” Xia said. “That’s how we got (our footage) for the week.”

However, documenting the struggles of these parents wasn’t easy for the team.

“The government didn’t want us to be there,” said Xia. “(They) threatened to arrest us (so we) tried to avoid them.”

The team returned to America with 58 hours of footage that Xia began to translate and subtitle while working with the editors.

“The whole movie doesn’t have commentary,” Xia said. “(We) only use their stories.”

Originally, they planned to make a two-hour documentary, but during editing, Sheila Nevins, the executive producer for the movie and President for HBO Documentary, said it was Oscar material, so they started working on making the film fit Oscar guidelines.

“(It’s) very exciting,” Xia said about the nomination. “I’m not a filmmaker, I’m a professor.”

By Nicholas Rizzi, Staten Island Advance Staff Writer. This story appeared first on SILive.com and and the Staten Island Advance on February 8, 2010, and is reprinted here with permission.

Campus Events Celebrate Black History Month

From lectures to films to concerts, the College of Staten Island is celebrating Black History Month during February.

Commenting on the events, CSI Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Jerald Jones-Woolfolk said, “The College of Staten Island has planned a wide array of educational and entertaining programs to celebrate the contributions made by African American to this country. Among the programs planned is the College’s first Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation to be held on Wednesday, February 17 in the Center for the Arts Recital Hall. The keynote speaker will be the first African American to hold elected office from Staten Island, the Honorable Councilwoman Debi Rose.”

Other highlights include 1960s pop sensation Ronnie Spector at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall on February 13 at 8:00pm, a Jazz Dinner featuring Keith Marks on February 18 in the Campus Center Green Dolphin Lounge, and poet Samantha Thornhill on February 25 in the Green Dolphin Lounge.

“The Division of Student Affairs encourages everyone to participate in these events as we celebrate diversity. These programs raise awareness and provide our students, staff, and faculty unique opportunities to embrace diversity and further create a campus climate that is accepting of and attentive to the cultural heritage of our entire community. At CSI, no one is invisible” Dr. Jones-Woolfolk added.

The full list of events includes:

Wednesday, February 10

20th-Century African American Female Jazz Singers
Vocalist: Carol Randazzo Orito
2:30pm, 1P-120
Sponsored by the Pluralism and Diversity Program

Thursday, February 11

Cultural Competency Workshop
1:30pm, 1C-211
Sponsored by the Office of Student Life

Heritage Speaker Series: Nigeria
CSI Student Speaker: Philip Ageh
2:30pm, 1P-116
Sponsored by the Pluralism and Diversity Program

Saturday, February 13

Ronnie Spector in Concert
8:00pm 1P-Concert Hall
Tickets $35, $40 (ask about Student Rush)
www.cfashows.com

Wednesday, February 17

MLK Convocation
Speaker: NYC Councilwoman Debi Rose
2:30pm, 1P-Recital Hall

Thursday, February 18

Harriet Tubman Herself
1:30pm, 1C-Green Dolphin Lounge
Performed by CSI Alumna Christine Dixon
Sponsored by the Campus Activities Board

Jazz Dinner Featuring Keith Marks
6:00pm, 1C-Green Dolphin Lounge
Sponsored by Student Government

Tuesday, February 23

Black History Trivia
1:00pm – 3:00pm, 1C-West Dining Room
Sponsored by the Campus Activities Board

Thursday, February 25

African Puppet Making Workshop
1:30pm – 3:30pm, 1P-West Lounge
Sponsored by CSI African Heritage Studies Club and the
Pluralism and Diversity Program

Poet: Samantha Thornhill
6:30pm, 1C-Green Dolphin Lounge
Sponsored by the Campus Activities Board, African
American Studies, and the Pluralism and Diversity Program

Monday, March 1

Photographer Terry Boddie
2:30pm, 1P-208
Sponsored by the Performing and Creative Arts Department

Throughout the Month of February

Film Showings
Various films, dates and times (watch for campus postings)
Campus Center and the Library

Poster Displays
Campus Center and around campus

CSI Is Flu-Ready

It’s a new semester at CSI, but, unfortunately, it’s still cold and flu season, including the possibility of an outbreak of H1N1 virus, better known as Swine Flu. However, members of the College community can rest assured that College officials are on the case to prevent widespread illness on campus, and have been since last spring.

The College’s plan to deal with an H1N1 outbreak is based upon the CUNY plan, which follows the guidelines set by the New York State Department of Health and the national Centers for Disease Control (CDC), according to Linda Conte, director of the Health and Wellness Services.

During the Fall 2009 semester, CSI launched a comprehensive Website regarding the illness and how they can protect their students from the virus. Brochures and posters, as well as more than 200 hand sanitizer pumps were installed in central locations in all buildings. The Website also includes a self-reporting form for College students, staff, and faculty members to tell CSI if they have flu-like symptoms, in an effort to collect data on the level of those affected. Peer Educators and College Ambassadors also distributed flu fighter kits, including hand sanitizer, cough drops, and single-use thermometers, to students.

Conte reports that, fortunately, CSI was not hit hard by the flu last fall, but that has not stopped the College from remaining prepared for a potential future outbreak. “When you don’t know what to expect, you have an obligation to prepare as a group,” Conte said, noting that the College-wide preparedness group is still meeting on a regular basis to assess the health situation at CSI.

Terianne Darragh, RN, MSN at the CSI Health Center affirmed that “We are definitely prepared in the event that there is another wave [of the flu].”

What can members of the College community do to protect themselves and others this winter? First of all, stay home if you have a fever of 100.4 F, cough, sore throat, runny nose, rash, nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting. Also, wash hands thoroughly; use hand sanitizer, especially after contact with door knobs, railings, or any other public surfaces; avoid touching your mouth or eyes; and sneeze and cough into your elbow, not your hand.

By Terry Mares

President Morales Hosts Legislative Breakfast

Area legislators and their representatives were updated on the state of the College of Staten Island, its future plans, and the CUNY budget last week at a breakfast hosted by CSI President Dr. Tomás Morales.

Underscoring the fact that CSI “is one of the very few institutions in American higher education that enjoys an extraordinary level of support from both sides of the aisle from our city, state, and federal legislators,” Morales began the meeting, which included a PowerPoint presentation that not only provided news of the College’s latest achievements, such as a steady increase in enrollment, a 48% increase in the number of entering baccalaureate students over the past three years, and a doubled enrollment in the prestigious Macaulay Honors College, but a look ahead at CSI’s Master Plan. Outlining the plan, Morales focused on the anticipated growth of the campus, including new residence halls, a dedicated building for the new state-of-the-art High-Performance Computing Facility, expansion of the Campus Center and Library, renovation of Building 2M, a new Welcome Center/Transportation Center, and plans to make the campus more bicycle-friendly by adding bike paths.

City University of New York Senior Vice Chancellor for University Relations and Secretary of the Board of Trustees Jay Hershenson discussed the University’s budgetary situation. On the positive side, he noted that CUNY’s mandatory costs would be covered for the coming year, but added, on the negative side, that the University also faces an $84.4 million state aid reduction. Hershenson also mentioned that CUNY enrollment is up in the current hard economic climate, most likely as a result of people attempting to acquire the skills that they need to compete in the today’s tight job market. Another increase, Hershenson reported, is a 120% boost in transfer applications to the University.

After the two presentations, Dr. Morales opened the floor to the guests for questions and comments. Meaghan Devereaux, Chief of Staff for Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro, and a CSI alumna, shared her feelings about the wonderful education that she received at CSI, and she credited Dr. Morales for making CSI the quality institution that it is today, commenting that he is very engaged with the Borough.

The meeting concluded with remarks from CUNY Trustee and CSI alumna Kay Pesile, who noted that she has taught Finance classes as an adjunct at the College since 1978 and mentioned that initially, it was difficult for CSI grads to find job placements in Wall Street firms, but today she is writing letters of recommendation to these firms on behalf of students “who are on an equal footing with [students] at NYU, Pace, St. John’s.” Trustee Pesile then called on the legislators to work to expand CSI students’ opportunities.

Other attendees at the breakfast were: NYS Assemblyman Michael Cusick, Meaghan Devereaux (representing SI Borough President James Molinaro), NYS Assemblywoman Janele Hyer-Spencer, Joe Borelli (representing NYC Councilman Vincent Ignizio), Kim Marsell (representing NYS Assemblyman Andrew Lanza), Patrick Hyland (representing U.S. Representative Michael McMahon), NYC Councilwoman Deborah Rose, Anthony Basile (representing NYC Councilman James Oddo), NYS Assemblywoman Diane Savino, NYS Assemblyman Matthew Titone, Michael Capottelli (representing NYS Assemblyman Lou Tobacco), CSI VP for Institutional Advancement and External Relations Barbara Eshoo, CSI Provost and Senior VP for Academic Affairs Dr. William Fritz, CSI VP for Finance and Administration Milton Santiago, CSI VP for Student Affairs Dr. Jerald Jones-Woolfolk, CSI VP for Technology Systems Dr. Michael Kress, President Morales’s Chief of Staff Dr. Ann Lubrano, CSI Student Government President Nick Iambrone, CSI Foundation Board President Robert Cutrona, CSI Finance Professor Dr. Jonathan Peters, and CSI Political Science Professor Dr. Richard Flanagan.

[L-R] Dr. Tomás Morales, Nick Iambrone, and Deborah Rose at last week’s legislative breakfast

MTA Metro Card Sales Van on Campus

The MTA metro card sales van will be on campus on Tuesday, Feb. 23 from 1:00pm to 6:00pm. The van will be parked at the Victory Boulevard entrance near the campus loop bus stop.

Although I requested that the van be scheduled for additional days and for a longer time on Feb. 23, it was not possible for the MTA to accommodate the request. Marilyn Ramos, from the MTA said that we can work on additional dates in the future.

It is important that sales are high on this date so the expenditures will motivate the MTA to increase the number of days and hours that the van will be on campus, so please spread the word that the van will be here.

President Morales Hosts Legislative Breakfast

Area legislators and their representatives were updated on the state of the College of Staten Island, its future plans, and the CUNY budget last week at a breakfast hosted by CSI President Dr. Tomás Morales.

Underscoring the fact that CSI “is one of the very few institutions in American higher education that enjoys an extraordinary level of support from both sides of the aisle from our city, state, and federal legislators,” Morales began the meeting, which included a PowerPoint presentation that not only provided news of the College’s latest achievements, such as a steady increase in enrollment, a 48% increase in the number of entering baccalaureate students over the past three years, and a doubled enrollment in the prestigious Macaulay Honors College, but a look ahead at CSI’s Master Plan. Outlining the plan, Morales focused on the anticipated growth of the campus, including new residence halls, a dedicated building for the new state-of-the-art High-Performance Computing Facility, expansion of the Campus Center and Library, renovation of Building 2M, a new Welcome Center/Transportation Center, and plans to make the campus more bicycle-friendly by adding bike paths.

City University of New York Senior Vice Chancellor for University Relations and Secretary of the Board of Trustees Jay Hershenson discussed the University’s budgetary situation. On the positive side, he noted that CUNY’s mandatory costs would be covered for the coming year, but added, on the negative side, that the University also faces an $84.4 million state aid reduction. Hershenson also mentioned that CUNY enrollment is up in the current hard economic climate, most likely as a result of people attempting to acquire the skills that they need to compete in the today’s tight job market. Another increase, Hershenson reported, is a 120% boost in transfer applications to the University.

After the two presentations, Dr. Morales opened the floor to the guests for questions and comments. Meaghan Devereaux, Chief of Staff for Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro, and a CSI alumna, shared her feelings about the wonderful education that she received at CSI, and she credited Dr. Morales for making CSI the quality institution that it is today, commenting that he is very engaged with the Borough.

The meeting concluded with remarks from CUNY Trustee and CSI alumna Kay Pesile, who noted that she has taught Finance classes as an adjunct at the College since 1978 and mentioned that initially, it was difficult for CSI grads to find job placements in Wall Street firms, but today she is writing letters of recommendation to these firms on behalf of students “who are on an equal footing with [students] at NYU, Pace, St. John’s.” Trustee Pesile then called on the legislators to work to expand CSI students’ opportunities.

Other attendees at the breakfast were: NYS Assemblyman Michael Cusick, Meaghan Devereaux (representing SI Borough President James Molinaro), NYS Assemblywoman Janele Hyer-Spencer, Joe Borelli (representing NYC Councilman Vincent Ignizio), Kim Marsell (representing NYS Senator Andrew Lanza), Patrick Hyland (representing U.S. Representative Michael McMahon), NYC Councilwoman Deborah Rose, Anthony Basile (representing NYC Councilman James Oddo), NYS Senator Diane Savino, NYS Assemblyman Matthew Titone, Michael Capottelli (representing NYS Assemblyman Lou Tobacco), CSI VP for Institutional Advancement and External Relations Barbara Eshoo, CSI Provost and Senior VP for Academic Affairs Dr. William Fritz, CSI VP for Finance and Administration Milton Santiago, CSI VP for Student Affairs Dr. Jerald Jones-Woolfolk, CSI VP for Technology Systems Dr. Michael Kress, President Morales’s Chief of Staff Dr. Ann Lubrano, CSI Student Government President Nick Iambrone, CSI Foundation Board President Robert Cutrona, CSI Finance Professor Dr. Jonathan Peters, and CSI Political Science Professor Dr. Richard Flanagan.

“A Little Love on Campus” Valentine Fundraiser Being Held for the People of Haiti

Members of the student organization, Organization of Unique Individuals (OUI Club), spent part of their winter break emailing and phoning each other in an effort to organize an event on campus to help the people of Haiti after their devastating earthquake. An emergency meeting of the organization’s officers was convened, where the concept of spreading “A Little Love on Campus” was born.

“The first question we asked when we all met during our emergency meeting was ‘How fast can we do this’?” said Marybeth Melendez, president of the organization. “We knew we wanted to do something, and with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it all came together,” continued Melendez.

The “A Little Love on Campus” Valentine relief for Haiti fundraiser will be held on Thursday, February 11 in Buildings 1P and 1C from 1:30pm to 3:30pm. A raffle prize consisting of a Valentine lunch for two at Li Greci’s Staaten, two movie tickets to the United Artists Theater, and Valentine’s Day accessories such as sparkling cider and wine glasses, will be the feature item at the fundraiser. “Although this raffle prize can truly serve as an emergency Valentine’s Day kit for the person who wins, raffle purchasers beware–a date is not included,” mused Melendez. In addition to the raffle prize, club members will be selling fresh roses, heart-shaped balloons, chocolate candies, and baked goods. Many of the items for the fundraiser were donated by local businesses such as ShopRite, Chuck Full o’ Nuts, Party City, Li Greci’s Staaten, United Artists, Walgreen’s, Renato’s Bakery, and Jembro.

Sara Gaither, the OUI Club’s advisor, commented, “I’m so honored and proud to be a part of OUI, and our Valentine’s Day Haiti Relief Fundraiser is just another testament to this club’s dedication to service and community. We are all looking forward to working together on many exciting future projects.”

When he learned of the Haiti fundraiser, Christopher Cruz Cullari, Interm Director of the Office of Disability Services, was immediately proud of the group’s instant reaction to the Haitian disaster. “I am so thrilled that the Organization of Unique Individuals is taking a leadership role for the people of Haiti by sponsoring a very special fundraiser for the College community. It is a fitting example and testament to their contributions to not only our College community, but to the world.”

All proceeds raised at the fundraiser will be donated to the American Red Cross for their Haiti relief efforts.