“Social and Cultural Crisis in Chinese Tuva Society”: An Exhibit in the Library Gallery

Please visit our current exhibit, Social and Cultural Crisis in Chinese Tuva Society, on display in the Library (Building 1L) Gallery. The exhibit curated by Prof. Yuxin Hou (Department of Sociology and Anthropology) consists of photos, a documentary, and papers documenting the cultural life of the Tuva Society in China. Learn more on our News and Events blog.

Stay tuned for an event with Prof. Hou early next Spring semester.

By Amy F. Stempler

Chazanoff School Students Take First Place in National Case Competition

From left to right – Mohamed Hussein, Richard Pallarino, and Kristina Manganaro

In their first year of participating in the annual Government Finance Case Challenge from the Association of Government Accountants (AGA), a team of students from the Lucille and Jay Chazanoff School of Business at the College of Staten Island (CSI) recently took first prize in the graduate level of this national competition.

“This is an astounding achievement on the part of our students and their mentor, Professor Patricia Galletta. Reaching this level of success, particularly as a first attempt, helps to highlight the strength of our students, our faculty, our academic programs, and the Chazanoff School of Business in general,” noted Susan Holak, PhD, Founding Dean of the School.

According to the AGA Website, the Government Finance Case Challenge began in 2015, although this was the first year that the Challenge was open to both graduate and undergraduate students.

Team members Mohamed Hussein, Kristina Manganaro, and Richard Pallarino are all students in ACC 760 (Government and Not-For-Profit Accounting) this semester. In all, the College fielded three teams – one undergraduate and two at the graduate level. All teams received a substantial packet of material and supporting data related to a city chosen by the AGA, from which the students had to prepare a summary document that followed Citizen-Centric Reporting (CCR) guidelines. The CCR aims to lay out in a clear, simple document exactly how governmental agencies are utilizing public resources. Pallarino spoke about the process of producing the CCR, saying that the challenge “was a great way to analyze not only a balance sheet, but performance data from a different perspective.”

Professor Galletta noted that the case challenge allowed students “to apply the basic knowledge they have received in their governmental accounting course to a real city.” The city chosen by the AGA to be the subject of this year’s Challenge was Oklahoma City, OK.

After being selected as finalists at the end of October, the team of Pallarino, Hussein, and Manganaro was faced with the last stage of the Challenge, requiring them to submit a 25-minute video presentation of their findings by mid-November. The video was staged as a public meeting in which the students played the role of city council members discussing the accomplishments and challenges that the city had faced over the previous year, and the anticipated plans for the future. The “council members” also took questions from a public audience.

Kristina Manganaro reflected on the overall experience, remarking that the team worked collectively “to create our idea of a City Council meeting, and used our accounting skills to be able to share our knowledge and help our constituents understand some complicated issues.”

As the Chazanoff School of Business continues to develop its emphasis on experiential learning, more instructors are utilizing national and international case competitions as ways of creating intensive, immersive learning experiences that place classroom knowledge in real-world scenarios.

With CCR guidelines being used in the field to make decisions in the public sphere, this Challenge competition placed CSI students in precisely the type of situation that they could face after graduation. Mohamed Hussein summed up the underlying purpose of the CCR concept, saying that the assignment “tested our moral reasoning and highlighted the importance of accountability.”

All three team members remarked that they would consider careers in public service as a result of participating in the competition. As Hussein noted, “although it is a huge responsibility … I would have the opportunity to suggest and implement ideas that will benefit our society.”

By Warrick Bell

Melissa Riggio Student Studies in Italy

James Devine

CSI’s Office of Community Educational Engagement partnered with the School of Business and the Center for Global Engagement to send one of our students, James Devine, in the Melissa Riggio Higher Education Program (MRHEP), to study abroad in Italy during the summer of 2019. This unique and historic collaboration draws from our legacy of place, as an access institution, housed on the former grounds of the Willowbrook State School.

The MRHEP is a fully inclusive five-year college and alumni experience, and non-degree program for young adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities, offering intensive and comprehensive support for academic, civic, and professional growth. Under the umbrella of AHRC New York City, and housed in four CUNY campuses, MRHEP’s mission is to support these individuals to build full lives. Students in the program participate in college courses, and engage in community service and co-curricular activities, and gain practical work experience through internships.

This past June, James Devine; Esteban Gonzalez, a MRHEP support mentor and CSI student; and 13 business students spent nine days in Florence, Italy learning about international corporate business practices, experiencing European culture, and visiting historic attractions. This trip was the first its kind for The City University of New York.  Former program Director Ife Okoh said that the long-term dream was for “our student and his companion (to) have returned from a trip that will last with them forever. This trip marks a space in the history of the program and is a true testimonial for our partnership with CSI.” The School of Business often organizes similar trips abroad, this one based with Florence’s Lorenzo de Medici Institute, so students can experience a broad range of courses and get the most out of this enriching occasion. 

While in Florence, James and the other students visited various businesses in the city to see how they are managed and function in the international market. Tours of manufacturers such as Ruffino and Ferragamo allowed the students to understand the complex works of global businesses in regard to production, management, and cultural practices. Among visits to restaurants and art galleries, there was a culinary class and an exploration of the area featuring the infamous Leaning Tower of Pisa.

James found the trip to be very influential, saying “I enjoyed the lifestyle of Italy and its great scenery. My experience in Florence was an interesting one. It was the most amazing place in the country of Italy and the culture of Christianity was very interesting.”

We are hoping this successful trip leads to more partnerships with this program in the future. To learn more about AHRC, and the Melissa Riggio Higher Education program, please visit https://www.ahrcnyc.org/services/school/college/, and follow @CSIEngagement on Twitter for more on this and other student highlights.

By Noel Businelli

Edited by Crystal Montalvo

Convocation 2019 Spotlights CSI’s Achievements and Those Who Make the College Exceptional

CSI President William J. Fritz addresses attendees at Convocation 2019.

A near-capacity crowd gathered last Thursday in the Center for the Arts Williamson Theatre for Convocation 2019, an opportunity to learn about the state of the College over the past year, and to celebrate faculty and staff members who are celebrating service anniversaries in five-year increments. [View gallery]

College President William J. Fritz took to the stage after an introduction by Vice President for Student Affairs and Alumni Engagement Jennifer Borrero.

Near the beginning of his remarks, Dr. Fritz stated, “One of the reasons why I enjoy being President at the College of Staten Island is because we give people from all walks of life an opportunity to fulfill their dreams. Whether you are searching for a certificate, associate’s, baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral degree, you can do it here. For the people we honor here today, ones who have demonstrated their commitment to the College through their years of service, I believe you also have a love for helping others achieve their dreams.”

The President also waxed nostalgic, briefly touching on the themes of past Convocations, such as polar explorers who demonstrated how to embark on a new voyage, the teamsmanship of his favorite band, the Grateful Dead; the College’s legacy trilogy (institution, place, and mission), and the institution’s current Strategic Plan, Opportunity to Ascend. He then added, “Today, I want us to celebrate ourselves. Through modest resources we have done the impossible, we have functioned as a team, we have reached the poles, we have put on the equivalent of an amazing concert, we have honored our mission. We have earned the right to dream.”

As a part of this celebration, Dr. Fritz reviewed some of the highlights of the past year, including the $7.5M gift from Staten Island Community College alumni Lucille ’65 and Jay Chazanoff ’65 to name the School of Business; CSI’s selection for participation in CUNY 2x Tech, an initiative to provide valuable resources and support to meet the ambitious goal of doubling the number of graduates with tech degrees; the recently announced plans to develop the CSI Genomic Research Facility, which will allow faculty and students to conduct critical research on genetic variations in DNA that may cause the development or progression of diseases or conditions such as cancer, drug addiction, and autism; the NCAA’s decision to accept CSI Athletics into its Division II; and Governor Andrew Cuomo’s approval of a new Doctorate of Education in Community-based Leadership.

Dr. Fritz concluded his presentation with two videos that underscored the excellence of CSI students: a promotional piece for the College entitled “CSI: We Bring the World to You” from Media Culture students Cadem Francis, Rheana Galloway, Larentiy Sorokin, and Annie Tenantitla, under the guidance of Professor David Gerstner, Mitchell Lovell, and Lava Sorokin; and portions of the moving speech that Student Government President Fatu Amara delivered at the 2019 Celestial Ball.

In keeping with tradition, the President’s speech was followed by another energetic and entertaining presentation by Assistant Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Information Technology Services Patricia Kahn in celebration of CSI faculty and staff members who were celebrating anniversaries of service in five-year increments.

The event concluded with a Holiday Reception in the Center for the Arts Atrium.

Library Services Intermittently Available this Weekend

All centrally hosted library services will be intermittently unavailable while the CUNY Office of Computing and Information Services migrates applications and services from the 57th Street data center to the new Hudson Street data center this weekend, Dec. 14 and 15. You can read the full details on our blog.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

Thank you for your understanding, and good luck with finals.

By Amy F. Stempler

Convocation – A Celebration of Accomplishments

I am pleased to remind you that the College’s 2019 Convocation will be taking place today at 2:30pm in the Williamson Theatre, Center for the Arts (Building 1P).

In commemoration of this event, I am also pleased to provide you with the online Celebration of Accomplishments, which presents some of our major institutional achievements over the past year.

Convocation is defined as the action of calling people together. All of our accomplishments are the result of the “coming together” of our College community–our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends. Because of your efforts, we have much to celebrate this year.

Thank you and I look forward to seeing you at Convocation.

By William J. Fritz

Discontinuation of Video Repository Illumira (NJVid)

Information Technology Services has recently been informed by our current video storage provider, Illumira (formerly NJVid), that they will no longer be providing a media repository service as of Tuesday, June 30, 2020.

In order to accommodate your video repository requirements, we are looking into alternatives. We are in the process of creating resources in order to assist you with making the transition to a different platform. During the Spring semester, we will be communicating additional information regarding alternatives that the College will be supporting. In the interim, if you would like to use an alternative platform, it is recommended that you use Dropbox. We will be offering Dropbox training sessions in January.  In addition, CUNY resources containing documentation and video tutorials are available.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

By Patricia Kahn, PhD

Tenth Annual Celestial Ball Gathers Community for Celebration and Support

Standing, L-R, William J. Fritz, Anthony Como, J. Michael Parrish, Patrick McDermott, and Frank Lombardo
Seated, L-R, Marilyn Caselli; Carol Desina; June Como, EdD, RN; Denise Cherenfant ; and Cheryl Adolph

Supporters of the College of Staten Island gathered at the Richmond County Country Club, last Saturday, for the College of Staten Island Foundation’s Tenth Annual Celestial Ball “Sowing the Seeds for Student Success.” View photo gallery.

The event provided attendees with an opportunity to socialize and enjoy a wonderful meal and dancing, participate in an exciting silent auction; purchase a chance to win a trip to Disney World, courtesy of Casale Jewelers; and take part in the annual $1,000 Pot of Gold drawing.

The Celestial Ball also raises much-needed funds for the College’s greatest needs, and honors individuals and organizations that continue to make a positive impact on CSI and our borough.

After introductory remarks by Executive Director of Institutional Advancement and External Affairs Cheryl Adolph and CSI Foundation Board President Patrick McDermott, CSI President William J. Fritz discussed some of the high points for the College over the past year, including the $7.5M gift from Lucille ’65 and Jay ’65 Chazanoff to name the School of Business; CSI’s participation in CUNY 2X Tech with the goal of doubling the number of graduates with tech degrees; the recent announcement of the intention for CSI to develop the CSI Genomic Research Facility; and CSI Athletics’ acceptance into NCAA Division II.

Dr. Fritz also introduced a promotional video for the College, which was produced by Cinema Studies students in the Department of Media Culture. Entitled “CSI: We Bring the World to You” the team of Cadem Francis, Rheana Galloway, Larentiy Sorokin, and Annie Tenantitla worked over the Spring and Summer 2019 semesters with Professor David Gerstner, Mitchell Lovell, and Lava Sorokin.

Student Speaker Fatu Amara followed Dr. Fritz. Amara is a senior in the Verrazano School honors program; a Jeannette K. Watson Fellow; a Collegiate, Science, and Technology Entry Program student; and President of the Student Government. In 2015, she immigrated to Staten Island from Sierra Leone, and she is a graduate of Curtis High School. During her time as a Watson Fellow, she had the opportunity to intern at the NYC Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Affairs by facilitating language learning programs, and in Rwanda, where she worked on development projects by conducting outreach to rural communities.

In her remarks, Amara comments on her time as a Watson Fellow. “As I embarked on my final year as an undergraduate student, these diverse experiences have shaped my global perspective, challenged me professionally to put forth my best work, and supported my personal growth from that shy girl that entered the campus to a strong and thoughtful leader.”

The next part of the program spotlighted this year’s recipients of the President’s Medal. Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs J. Michael Parrish joined Dr. Fritz on stage to honor 1199SEIU Training and Employment Funds (represented by Denise Cherenfant, Director, TEF Nursing Programs); June M. Como, EdD, RN and Anthony Como; and National Grid (represented by Frank Lombardo, NY Business Planning and Performance, and Carol Decina, NY Community and Customer Management).

Following Dr. Fritz’s concluding comments and dinner, guests at the Ball danced to the music of Crossing Midnight.

This year’s Ball Committee Chair was Marilyn Caselli, Senior Vice President for Customer Operations, Consolidated Edison, Inc., and a member of the CSI Foundation Board of Directors.