CSI Marketing Research Students Provide Valuable Insights to the Chamber of Commerce

Bill Dubovsky - Adjunct Lecturer, Business Department, College of Staten Island Lisa Conlon - Synergy Student Researcher (front) Sallyann Bartels - Membership Director, SI Chamber (behind) Ryan Gleason - Communications Coordinator, SI Chamber Victoria Sakkal - Synergy Student Researcher Tony Mulholland - Classified Manager, SI Advance, Marketing Committee Stephanie Rizzo - Synergy Student Researcher Kevin Ng - Synergy Student Researcher Thomas Tellefsen - Chairperson, Business Department, College of Staten Island

Synergy Marketing Research, a team of upper class marketing research students from the College of Staten Island, presented the results of their semester’s research project to the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, May 22, at the Chamber’s St. George office.

Synergy Marketing Research members Lisa Conlon, Kevin Ng, Stephanie Rizzo, and Victoria Sakkal gave a half-hour presentation and discussion of their findings to Linda Baran, President and CEO of the Chamber, Sallyann Bartels, Membership Director, Ryan Gleason, Communications Coordinator, Tony Mulhulland, Classified Manager – SI Advance, and Chamber marketing committee member and Professor Thomas Tellefsen, Chairperson of the Business Department of the College of Staten Island.

The marketing research was conducted upon request from the Chamber’s marketing committee. The student team met with the committee to define the research objectives, constructs and measurements, and questionnaire development. The students provided secondary research into competitors and primary research including questionnaires that were completed electronically to a convenience sample of mostly Staten Island consumers. The data were analyzed via SPSS, an industry-standard statistical software application, and then refined and crafted into a final report and PowerPoint presentation providing insight into consumers’ perception of the Chamber, as well as other popular consumer-based organizations and websites, and provided fresh ideas for development of that market.

Professor Tellefsen outlined some potential next steps that could be implemented by the Chamber to take advantage of  of the information gleaned from the study, including attracting opinion leaders to give reviews of their experiences with local businesses. Other ideas included more web-based consumer information, a mobile app and an expanded consumer complaint resolution mechanism.

Bill Dubovsky, adjunct lecturer in business, welcomed the group and videoed the presentation for members who were not able to attend and for future marketing research classes. “Our community client-sponsors always come away with useful, and often surprising, quantitative information. It’s gratifying to see our students excited about doing real research that matters,” stated Dubovsky, and thanked the Chamber folks for their time and support of the students.

At the close of the presentation-discussion, the Chamber received a copy of the research report detail, the PowerPoint presentation, and a CD containing the raw data for additional analysis or to use as a starting point for future research.

Past research projects from CSI marketing research students have included: a study for a St. John’s University continuing education program, for SCORE – Staten Island branch, the American Cancer Society – Staten Island Division, COAHSI – Council on the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island, Historic Richmondtown, the Staten Island Children’s Museum, the Staten Island Mental Health Association’s resale stores, and NYCID – New York Center for Interpersonal Development.

CSI Student Service Learning Marketing Research Projects Provide Valuable Insights to Local Organizations

CSI students recently presented their marketing research results in an effort to help local non-profit organizations.

Four teams of former Student Service Learning marketing research students recently presented the results of last semester’s marketing research projects to Historic Richmondtown, the New York Center for Interpersonal Development (NYCID), the Staten Island Children’s Museum, and the Staten Island Mental Health Association (thrift shops) at the Center for the Arts. The presentations were postponed from last semester because of schedule changes due to the fall hurricane.

Innovative Research Specialists members Anibal Soto, Francesca Ojeh, and Laura Stancarone answered questions on their video presentation from Dr. Kenneth Popler, President and CEO, and Ms. Fran Hogan-Meyers, Director of Community Relations and Volunteer Services, of the Staten Island Mental Health Society. Student Researchers from The Prestige Initiative, John Giampiccolo and Marie DiTrapani, answered questions on their video presentation from Marjorie Waxman, Director of External Affairs for the Staten Island Children’s Museum and filled in for student researchers Joseph Pirulli and Michelle Grigoli. Sarah Moddel, Development and Marketing Specialist for Historic Richmondtown, reviewed the video presentation on the project completed by now alumni Jena Luppowitz, Samantha Scardino, John Prestigiacomo, and Bridgette Johnston of the JBS Research Group. Mr. Dominick Brancato, Executive Director of the New York Center for Interpersonal Development (NYCID), reviewed the video research presentation by alumni Philly Mok, John Figuly, and Gianluca Ingravallo. It appeared that all learned something from the other research projects in this close-knit and collaborative community.

The Student Service Learning presentations were executive summaries of information gleaned from their market research projects. Each team met with their client to determine the areas for research; define the research objectives, constructs, and measurements; and develop a questionnaire. The questionnaires were completed electronically to a convenience sample of both organization supporters as well as Staten Island Chamber of Commerce members who agreed to participate via Facebook. The students then analyzed their data via a statistical software application, and  crafted a final report and PowerPoint presentation. Each team was able to present useful insights to each organization, to confirm the direction toward which that organization was working, and provide suggestions for future “next steps.”

“Thanks for the presentation,” said Waxman. “I am even more grateful for the project itself. The students we worked with were great: bright and collegial. I would do it again. Without knowing the conclusions of the project, we were moving in the direction that the data points to, so I’m glad that our gut instinct was confirmed by solid research.”

Professor Thomas Tellefsen, Chairperson of the Business Department at CSI acknowledged, “The feedback has been great. It’s particularly gratifying when real managers speak well of our students.”

Bill Dubovsky, Adjunct Lecturer in Business, welcomed the audience with a brief presentation on how market research has been used by local non-profit organizations to build capacity or help confirm or dispute the direction in which the organization is going. “Our community client-sponsors all came away with useful information and learned from each other’s presentations. It’s gratifying to see students excited about doing real research and then see their results put to practical use by real organizations,” stated Dubovsky, who thanked all for their time and support of the students.

Each attending client-sponsor received a CD containing the research report, the raw survey data, the PowerPoint presentation, and a DVD of the actual video presentation, as well as a PDF copy of “Non-Profit Marketing – Capacity Building Workshop Participant Workbook” to act as a guide in developing marketing strategy from the data.

Past Student Service Learning marketing research projects from CSI students have included a study for a St. John’s University continuing education program, and for SCORE, Staten Island branch; The American Cancer Society, Staten Island Division; the Council on the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island; Sundog Theatre; Richmond County Orchestra; Riverside Opera Company, and the Little Cupcake Bake Shop. A number of on-campus projects have also been completed on new products and services for the expanding number and diversity of CSI students.

[video] CSI Students in Dublin Learn You Cannot “Find Culture in a Classroom”

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The Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) and the College of Staten Island have been involved in cooperative efforts for over four years and the results have been better than expected. CSI business students looking for a study-abroad opportunity are beginning to choose Ireland as the “gateway” country to studying in Europe. DIT and CSI offer a full-semester program as well as a short-term summer program in Dublin.

CSI business students studying at DIT were able to receive the full range of educational opportunities available as well as witness the unique history that Dublin, one of Europe’s oldest cities, has to offer. Because of its unique location, Dublin is considered a gateway to mainland Europe. In addition, although the culture is different the common language makes it easier for English-speaking students to acclimate themselves to a new country.

CSI students attended lectures at DIT and also visited important literary sites such as the home of James Joyce, traveled to Belfast in Northern Ireland to see how the peace is working, and made company visits to firms like Intel and O-2. The Intel visit was especially significant since the company carefully guards its proprietary information and  does not often entertain guests. “We were exposed to the inner workings of a company we otherwise never would have been exposed to,” said Mary Beth Reilly, Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management at CSI, who accompanied the students last summer program.

Recently returning CSI students all commented that they had a “once in a lifetime” experience and they stressed the importance of learning cultural diversity as business students.

“As a manager, you may have a wide employee base,” said Naushad Mohammed, who has a BS and MS from the College. “You find people from all walks of life and as a manager you have to understand every single one of these employees. Studying abroad gives future business managers the opportunity to not only experience another country’s culture and practices but to meet new people and broaden personal horizons.”

Aside from being a practical learning experience and a good way to strengthen a résumé, the experience elicited the same response from all of the students who have returned from studying at DIT. They echoed the sentiment shared by Jared Desposito, a 2009 graduate from CSI’s MS in Management program, “I learned so much about what I don’t know about the world.”

CSI offers full-semester programs to DIT as well a summer ten-day program worth three credits. There are scholarship and grant opportunities for all students planning on studying abroad.

Registration for this summer’s program will open on April 6. Students who are interested in applying need to visit Camille Lazar or Alan Zimmerman in the Business Department office.

Business Alumni Reunite at Residence of Dr. Morales

L-R: Crystal Deosaran ’04, Prof. Cynthia Scarinci, Prof. Eugene Garaventa, Christina Bosco ’08, Prof. Daniel Gagliardi ’70, Prof. Rosane Gertner

An enthusiastic group of nearly 100 Business alumni and faculty gathered at the residence of President Tomás D. and Mrs. Evy Morales last week for a networking evening. Alumni, spanning from the 1970s to our most recent grads, the class of 2010,

L-R: Crystal Deosaran ’04, Prof. Cynthia Scarinci, Prof. Eugene Garaventa, Christina Bosco ’08, Prof. Daniel Gagliardi ’70, Prof. Rosane Gertner
L-R: Crystal Deosaran ’04, Prof. Cynthia Scarinci, Prof. Eugene Garaventa, Christina Bosco ’08, Prof. Daniel Gagliardi ’70, Prof. Rosane Gertner

and representing the fields of accounting, finance, management, international business, and information systems, had the opportunity to catch up with their favorite faculty members and fellow grads.

View the CSI Today Photo Gallery.

President Morales highlighted the College’s record enrollment and discussed plans to advance the College further with the strategic planning process currently underway.

In addition, the President spoke about the importance of alumni remaining in touch with the College and our students, underscoring the strides that the College is making in fundraising efforts, including major gift development. On a related note, he discussed the importance of supporting the upcoming Celestial Ball on December 4, which provides much-needed funding for student scholarships.

CUNY Trustee, the Honorable Kathleen (Kay) Pesile ’73, reflected on how far the College, the CSI Alumni Association, and Business Department have come since her days as a student, and the challenges ahead, given significant budget cuts to the CUNY system.

Vullnet Kollari, Esq. ‘98, Alumni Board President, brought greetings from the Alumni Association and discussed the important contributions that Business faculty members have made in the lives and career paths of alumni.

Professor Thomas Tellefsen ’77, Chairperson, Business Dept., brought alumni up to date on the Master’s in Business Management program and the proposed plan to transform the department into a School of Business.

Richard Prinzi, CPA ’93, past Alumni Board President and current Treasurer of the CSI Foundation, spoke of his strong ties to the College, borne of his positive undergraduate experience, and the value he has found through the years in recruiting more than 60 accounting students for internships and employment. He concluded by encouraging his fellow alumni to get involved with their alma mater in whatever way they can, whether it be offering a job, an internship, or being a mentor for our students. He assured them they would not be disappointed.

Throughout the evening, the attendees enjoyed each other’s company, sharing career and personal updates with friends and faculty while mingling and exchanging business cards. Faculty in attendance included: Deborah Brickman, Daniel Gagliardi ’70, Eugene Garaventa, Susan Holak, Rosane Gertner, Cynthia Scarinci, George Stern, Thomas Tellefsen ’77, and Alan Zimmerman.