Win-Win for CSI and Staten Island University Hospital: CSI Students Participate in Bell Hop Program

Alan Wood '15 volunteering at SIUH

Over the course of the past year, College of Staten Island (CSI) graduate student Alan Wood ‘15 has donated almost 200 hours of his time to Staten Island University Hospital (SIUH) North. Recognized among college volunteers for “going above and beyond in his volunteer duties,” the Master of Science in Neuroscience and Developmental Disorders candidate is a participant in the CSI Bell Hop/Patient Liaison Program at the Hospital’s Neurology unit.

“I am participating in this program because it opens up a  door to reach out to others in need, explore potentials, and be introduced to the practical realities of the medical field and hospital life,” said Wood, noting that it is “an excellent way to give back to the community.”

Through the volunteer program, sponsored by CSI, under the supervision of the Patient Care Unit Manager or Nurse Manager of each unit, the volunteer acts as a liaison between the patient, family members, and staff.  The liaison reinforces the strategies of the SIUH Service Excellence Program as well as the Culture of Care program and serves as a conduit through which patients, family members, visitors, and other customers are able to seek assistance by communicating unmet needs.

Bell Hops work closely with staff, managers, and physicians in order to improve customer satisfaction. Other duties include preparing patients for meals, assisting with feeding under the supervision of primary nurse, and assisting in transporting or escorting patients who are being discharged to the lobby.

“The Bell Hop/Patient Liaison program was created to provide college students, who are interested in healthcare, with access and exposure to the healthcare setting, to healthcare professionals, as well as to patients. It’s the best of both worlds and it’s a win-win for SIUH, the students, and our patients,” commented SIUH Manager of Volunteer Services Toni Arcamone.

CSI’s Career Center has been an integral part in this successful partnership between the College and SIUH. Director Caryl Watkins is impressed with the interest that the Program has generated among CSI students, noting that more than 65% of program participants are enrolled CSI students. Other participants include students from other CUNY schools and Wagner College.

“This volunteer internship program provides a wonderful opportunity for our students who are interested in the healthcare field, allowing them to work alongside medical professionals in a hospital setting,” commented Watkins.

Kristi Nielson, Career Assistant at the Center, added that the Program “provides students with a professional experience that links academic coursework to the disciplines that a student may want to pursue for a career.”

According to Arcamone, in 2014, SIUH welcomed 83 total Bell Hops, with 58 being CSI students. In 2015, SIUH welcomed 91 bell hops, with 63 being CSI students. An additional 35 CSI students have started the application process.

The initiative is a rotational program that allows volunteers to work with doctors, nurses, patients, and families in many units including Outpatient Care, Oncology, Critical Care, and Medical/Surgical units. Junior- and senior-level students in the sciences are encouraged to participate, particularly those seeking résumé-building skills that will make their medical and dental school applications more competitive and for those seeking fellowships or scholarships that require previous volunteer work or experience in the health field.

Wood, who received his undergraduate degree at CSI, majoring in Biology and minoring in Italian, expects to graduate from the Master’s program in May 2017. Wood reflects, “Throughout my involvement in this program, I am learning how to be actively engaged in making a difference in the lives of many people, networking skills, and how to exercise personal responsibility in what I have to do. There are many avenues where this program may lead depending on availability, location of service, personal talents, and more; and freedom to lend a hand increases as personal responsibility is demonstrated.”


“Welcome Spring” International Coffee Hour

The Center for International Service will hold a “Welcome Spring” International Coffee Hour on Thursday, Apr. 16 in Building 2A, Room 206 from 4:00pm to 5:30pm.

The International Coffee Hour at the Center for International Service is a time for social interaction and is also an ideal environment for the expression of ideas. The monthly event also enables students to meet new friends out of a classroom setting. Moreover, students who are interested in studying abroad are encouraged to join this gathering so that they can begin to understand more about the world through discussions with people from different countries. Everyone is welcome to bring their own music and pictures from their own countries to share. Refreshments will be served.

This is a PG CLUE event. Call the Center for International Service at 718.982.2100 for more information.


[video] Women’s History Week: Staten Island Businesswomen Become Mentors to Young Females

More than 50 College of Staten Island (CSI) students recently took part in the school’s annual “speed networking” event last week. For three minutes at a time, each student was able to network with some of Staten Island’s most successful women.

The speed networking event is a partnership between CSI’s Career and Scholarship Center and the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation’s Women’s Leadership Council (WLC).

Back in 2005, the WLC was known as the “Women in Business Group,” and over the years it has expanded its cause from simply helping women to include networking, mentoring, and giving back to the community.

“The best way to find out information is to deal with a woman who basically has the same outlook on life and has the same challenges that I would face and has already accomplished them,” said CSI junior Ruth Arsenec, one of the young women who attended the event.

“I think we have more of a mission now than we did in 2005. When we started in 2005, we were everywhere, we didn’t know where we wanted to go, we didn’t know who we wanted to help,” noted WLC member Chrissy Mazzola. “We wanted to help women; we wanted to do something for women.”

For CSI’s part, the event was a perfect way to finish Women’s History Month as well as Career and Scholarship Month. “It was a success,” said Nina Long, a Career Development Assistant at CSI, who spearheaded the event along with Joanne Hollan, the Career and Scholarship Center’s Associate Director. Although this is the second year of the event, this year, Long decided to add the small wrinkle of giving the “networkees” only three minutes with each professional woman. “We wanted to make sure everyone was able to see everyone,” said Long.  The main reason for the program shift was logistics, with 23 networkers and 50 “networkees,” there just wouldn’t be enough time for niceties. “It worked,” said Long.

All of the networkers offered contact information and several of the students have already been asked to send in résumés. City University of New York Trustee and CSI adjunct Kathleen Pesile was also on hand and gave remarks at the event, as well her own contact information. She even went so far as to agree to meet with one of the students to set up a mock interview.

“All of the networkers really want to do their part in helping these young women,” said Hollan.

The CSI Career and Scholarship Center, under the Direction of Caryl Watkins, has been a boon for CSI students, male and female, looking to make a mark in their chosen professions after graduation. According to Long, who has run a similar program with the Alumni Association, events such as “speed networking” really keep “the realm of possibility open” for CSI students.

Northfield Bank Foundation Provides $25K to Continue Its Internship Program

The Northfield Bank Foundation recently presented the College of Staten Island with $25,000 to renew its support for the Northfield Student Internship Stipend Program.

The Northfield Bank Foundation recently renewed its support of the Northfield Student Internship Stipend Program, which gives students the opportunity to receive funding for school while receiving hands-on experience, and benefiting the community, as interns in local not-for-profit organizations.

Diane Senerchia, Executive Director of the Northfield Bank Foundation, and Foundation Board member and CSI Alumna Lucille Chazanoff presented a check for $25,000 to CSI President Dr. Tomás D. Morales last week. The funding will provide 25 internship stipends of $1,000 each to students in need.

Caryl Watkins, Director of CSI’s Career and Scholarship Center, which oversees the program at the College, explained that the “Internships assist students in clarifying their career goals and help them determine whether they have made the right career choice.  In addition, it builds their skills and marketability, and fosters connections in their field that they can draw upon when they begin their job search after graduation.

The Internship Program was developed specifically for students with some financial need. The stipend eliminates the difficult choice of obtaining paid part-time employment not related to their major of study or participating in a career-related educational experience that will benefit them long after the internship is over.”

At the presentation event, students who have participated in the program discussed how their experiences have affected them.

Bianca Cardaci, an English major with a Marketing minor, who was a Marketing Intern  at the Council on Arts & Humanities for Staten Island (COAHSI), commenting that she previously had had little exposure to the cultural side of Staten Island, said, “It was a great experience because it opened me up to that whole other world. Also, I got to see how well this organization gives back to the entire community of Staten Island.”

Francesco Cirillo a Business/Management major, who served as a Deputy Executive Director Assistant at Northfield Community LDC, appreciated the work that his organization did for the community. “It was a great experience because they offered an economic opportunity to the people in the Port Richmond area, helping them with personal financing, how to do their taxes or trying to find affordable housing for their residents, and helping small businesses around the area.” He also had a hand in helping  the organization to improve its Website and providing tech support.

Social Work major Laura Mendez, who was a Family Outreach Intern at the Alzheimer’s Foundation of Staten Island, also found her experience enlightening, noting that she was able “to better my communication skills to be able to make better assessments of clients, and to learn about the different programs that the community offers, and also help in facilitating support groups for them.”

Noting that “this is one of the Foundation’s favorite programs that we support because  so many people benefit, not just the nonprofits and their participants, but the students who really need the internship experience to get their foot in the door,” Diane Senerchia, Executive Director of the Northfield Bank Foundation, explained the importance of the program for CSI’s students. “There’s such a need for the students to gain experience and explore their field of interest in addition to receiving the stipend…So, this allows them not only to grow outside of school, but it also allows them to stay in school and do even better with their classes, and be able to manage their time better.”

I think this is indeed a win-win-win for the College, for the students, for the not-for-profits,” commented President Morales. “The Northfield Foundation Internship Program,” he continued really provides a learning opportunity for our students, because learning takes place in and outside of the classroom…This is more important than just giving the student the $1,000 scholarship, because this provides an opportunity for our students to learn and develop relationships with the not-for-profit community. So, we are really indebted to Northfield.”

It appears that the local not-for-profit organizations appreciate the help that CSI students lend, thanks to the program. Dorothy Reilly, Director of Public Relations at the Greenbelt Conservancy, spoke very highly of the CSI interns. “The interns who come from the College of Staten Island, they stand apart. I say that because there is a sense of humility and they seem to be a very sincere group of students, and they come prepared to transition from the college classroom to [the] workplace. I’m sure they’re aware that their internship is an entree of sorts into the working world, yet they remain eager students while they are with us…and I appreciate that.”

Some of the organizations that have participated in the program include Eden II School, Sky Light Center, the Staten Island Children’s Museum, Guild for Exceptional Children, Alzheimer’s Foundation of Staten Island, COAHSI, American Cancer Society, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Northfield Community LDC, Greenbelt Conservancy, Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, Staten Island University Hospital, Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art, The Grace Foundation, and Art Lab.

[gallery] Scholars and Donors Recognized and United at Scholarship Awards Ceremony

Katherine Patawaran (center) with George and Annette Schaefer of The Brooklyn Home For Aged Men

The Annual Scholarship Awards Ceremony, held on October 19 in the Williamson Theatre in CSI’s Center for the Arts, was an opportunity to recognize the academic success and hard work of scholarship recipients, but also an opportunity for the College community, and particularly these students, to thank the scholarship supporters for their generosity.

View the CSI Today Photo Gallery.

Prior to the ceremony, Katherine Patawaran, a graduate Nursing student in the Dual Nursing Master’s Program-Clinical Nurse Specialist/Geriatric Nurse Practitioner and recipient of  the Dorothy C. Beckman Scholarship/Brooklyn Home For Aged Men and the Eleanor M. Kaufman Scholarship/Brooklyn Home For Aged Men, said, “I’m very grateful. It is a great opportunity. I’m a nurse and, of course, I’m in school. It definitely gives me a chance to grow and advance.”

Regarding the Brooklyn Home’s support of scholarships at the College, the Home’s Vice President and Treasurer George Schaefer remarked, “The Brooklyn Home For Aged Men is pleased to support students at the College of Staten Island who will eventually be in the forefront of combating diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer that are affecting older members of our community. In addition, our support of the College’s exemplary Nursing department ensures that the elderly will continue to have access to quality geriatric care.”

Another scholarship awardee,  Irvin Ibarguen, a senior History major who received the Adelante Scholarship and the Aramis Gonzalo Rios Memorial Scholarship, noted, “”I’m very grateful to CSI for making a scholarship available to me, and Mr. [Edgar] Rios, who is the person who founded this particular scholarship. Usually, I had to pay for my books, my transportation, so it’s a great help for me and also my parents, who help support me.”

Mr. Rios, commenting on why he supports a scholarship at CSI, said, “I am a graduate of Princeton University and Columbia Law School. My wife Lillian graduated from Mannhattanville College and Teacher’s College at Columbia University. We both grew up in the South Bronx and came from economically challenged family backgrounds. But for financial assistance, we would not have been successful academically. We value education and we value public institutions like CSI that provide a high quality of education that is affordable. The scholarship is intended to help those that are also “economically challenged” avail themselves of the excellent educational opportunities at CSI. It is our way of expressing our appreciation for the assistance we received.”

After thanking all of the donors and everyone who helped to make the ceremony possible, College President Dr. Tomás D. Morales stated that “This Scholarship Awards Ceremony represents an important nexus between student success and the members of our community who have donated funds to support our students.”

Regarding student success at CSI, he continued, “The academic excellence reflected in your scholarship awards is just one example of all that we have already accomplished, arising from the cornerstone of student success. Every year, the academic profile of our baccalaureate students, their college admission averages and SAT scores, increase to unprecedented levels and our honors programs, theMacaulay Honors College, The Verrazano School, and the Teacher Education Honors Academy, continue to thrive. More of the best and brightest students are making the choice to come to this institution and you are leading the way to a new era of innovation, creativity, and collaboration at the College of Staten Island.”

Following further comments from Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. A. Ramona Brown and Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Internal Affairs Barbara Eshoo, Caryl Watkins, Director of the Career and Scholarship Center, which sponsored the event, called the individual scholarship awardees up to the stage to receive a pin from Dr. Brown and have their picture taken with Dr. Morales. Students and scholarship donors then had more of a chance to meet each other at an informal reception after the ceremony.

Individuals who are interested in helping to further the education of deserving students by supporting a scholarship at the College of Staten Island can contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at 718.982.2365.

CSI Accounting Fair Connects Students with Local Businesses

The CSI Career and Scholarship Center recently held its annual Accounting Fair in Building 1A.

CSI’s 2011 Accounting Fair was held recently in the Atrium of Building 1A.  The event, sponsored by the Career and Scholarship Center and the Business Department, was designed to introduce CSI accounting students to many nearby accounting firms in the area.

The event is held every year in late September to coincide with the accounting industry’s need for recruiting prior to the busy tax season.

In all, nine firms were in attendance, including the Internal Revenue Service, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Integrated Financial Services as well as DeSantis, Keifer, Shall, & Sarcone, and Cicero & LaVerde from Staten Island. Joining the firms were 65 CSI accounting students seeking internships and full-time career positions.

The fair was hosted for a small, targeted group to ensure that all of the students in attendance received equal time with the firms. Professor Cynthia Scarinci of the Business Department was instrumental in enlisting all faculty in identifying potential student candidates for the fair and then collaborated with the Career and Scholarship Center to prepare them for the event.

“We helped them develop the skills they need,” said Joanne Hollan. Most of the help involved the Career and Scholarship Center assisting the students with résumé writing but it also extended to professional dress and business etiquette. In all, this assistance from the Center was extremely helpful. “We received some very good feedback from the companies,” said Hollan. Six students were invited for interviews as of this writing with more being offered mentoring opportunities as well as informational interviews and even the chance to shadow employees for a day. “The firms were very generous with their time,” said Hollan.

One of the recruiters from PricewaterhouseCoopers was a CSI alum who attended this very event three years ago. Some of the firms have committed to performing on campus recruitment interviews where they will personally interview potential employees here at CSI.

The collaboration between CSI’s Business Department and the Career and Scholarship Center ensures that CSI business students will have every opportunity to succeed in the business world long after graduating from CSI. “CSI students are hard working and intelligent,” said Hollan. “With a little help, there is no reason they can’t pursue their careers.”

“Clothes the Deal” Helps Students Dress for Success

Clothes the Deal gave students pointers on proper business attire.

The Career and Scholarship Center  recently hosted “Clothes the Deal: Your Fashion Runway to Success.”  The event, held in the Center for the Arts Atrium, involved both students and faculty “dressing for success.”

The fashion show, coordinated by Chris Carbone and Cheryl Barzey of the Career and Scholarship Center, demonstrated for students how they should dress for that all-important job interview or first job. “The purpose is to bridge the gap between student and professional,” Carbone said.  “Most students,” he continued, “do not come from white-collar backgrounds…they don’t know that they need to know these things.” Jeanine Sledge, a junior Business Management major at CSI and one of the event’s many student volunteers, reiterated that statement saying, “most students out of high school don’t know this part.”

The runway show, which had diverse models, consisting of both students and faculty members, showcasing a variety of business outfits, was the highlight of the event, but it was the post show that may have had the biggest impact.
After the show, the students in attendance were able to speak with representatives from the Small Business Development Center, Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, and the Women’s Leadership Council. The professionals advised students on their career wardrobe by helping them pick out clothing from the “career closet,” a veritable department store of business clothing donated by the CSI community and many local clothing stores. They also provided invaluable advice on preparing for job interviews and the upcoming CUNY Big Apple Job Fair.

Carbone mentioned that the event’s purpose was two-fold: to hold a relaxing, fun event where the students learn something about the world outside the classroom, as well as “help educate the community about the young professionals attending and graduating from CSI.”

This was the second runway show that the Career and Scholarship Center has held, generating a lot of community attention from local retailers. Some of those who were in attendance were MYM Suits, Sears, Ann Taylor, and Men’s Wearhouse. The retailers offered discounts for all in attendance and had tables where attendees could browse through clothing and get fashion advice from the representatives. Jeanine Sledge called the show “liberating.” She went on to explain that she had “always wanted to do this,” referring to organizing a large, multi-layered event.  “College is about molding.”

Overall, the event played to its dual purpose perfectly, offering students a chance to learn about real-world situations in a more casual, energetic atmosphere, as well as showing the professionals in attendance that CSI’s students are serious about entering the workforce and becoming effective and dynamic members of the community.

Goldwater Scholarship Awarded to CSI Undergrad for Research and Development of 3D Robotic Printer that Simulates Surface of a Butterfly’s Wing

Mark Barahman is the College's first Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship winner.

Mark Barahman, a junior with the Macaulay Honors College at the College of Staten Island (CSI) and a Goldsmith Scholar, was named a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship winner, a first in the history of CSI.

The Goldwater Scholarship was established by the United States Congress in 1986 and is the premiere federally funded undergraduate award of its type.  It is designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers and PhDs in the sciences, engineering, mathematics, computer science, and related fields. Only 300 students nationwide earn this prestigious distinction.

Dan Feldman, also a junior in Macaulay Honors College at CSI, is majoring in Physics with a concentration in Astronomy. He has received an Honorable Mention for the Goldwater Scholarship. Only 150 students receive an honorable mention award.

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A Biochemistry major at CSI, Mark has worked in two prestigious laboratories—the neuroscience lab of Professor Abdeslem El Idrissi and the chemistry lab of Professor Alan Lyons.  He currently works with Dr. Lyons on research related to super-hydrophobic surfaces.

Mark’s most notable accomplishment during the summer of 2009 was the construction and programming of a robotic printer that prints in three dimensions (3D) on a microscopic scale.

“Commercial 3D printers are available, but they are often extremely expensive, fragile, and very limited with respect to the building material,” notes Barahman. “We needed to build something that would allow us broad applicability and flexibility, while also being inexpensive and scalable to industrial-size processes.”

“He programmed the robot early that summer and quickly developed two printing methods to produce ‘super-hydrophobic surfaces’,” commented Dr. Lyons.  “One method used highly viscous materials that deposited drops similar to a chocolate kiss, and the other method used a lower viscosity material that printed thinner, pancake-shaped layers.”

Both of these methods created super-hydrophobic surfaces, three-dimensional surfaces that hold droplets of water on multiple microscopic “spikes.” This surface prevents the water droplet from strongly adhering to the surface, allowing it to roll rather effortlessly, while maintaining the integrity of its spherical shape.

When these surfaces are used, the fluids are able to effortlessly move along the surface with minimal force. These surfaces can be applied to facilitate transportation of fluids in the medical profession.

The next challenge was controlling direction of the water droplet flow on these super-hydrophobic surfaces.

Looking to nature, Mark became inspired by the water-shedding properties of the butterfly’s wing.  When a butterfly lowers its wings, the water rolls off onto the ground. When the wing is raised, the water is pinned and does not roll down the wing onto the body of the butterfly.  This adaptation keeps the butterfly’s body dryer and lighter.

Mark experimented with multiple concepts, and learned that by programming the robotic printer to deposit the 3D “kisses” and “pancakes” at an angle, the water droplet would flow easily in one direction, and with great difficulty in the other direction.

On the microscale, Mark had developed a synthetic material that emulated the water shedding effects of the butterfly wing.  This new biomemetic surface containing angled “spikes” acted as a “one-way” sign or “liquid ratchet” controlling the directional flow of water using only the interactive properties of the fluid with the solid.

Whereas super-hydrophobic devices allow for the easy transportation of fluids within many applications in the medical field, these new directional-devices may transport cooling fluid in micro-electronic devices without back flow.  This could minimize the size and heat-producing pressure often needed for the transportation of fluid, and allow for a 360-degree application environment without the chance of backflow.

“I am exceedingly proud of Mark’s important research at CSI,” said Dr. Lyons. “He is a serious scientist who works very hard and thinks deeply about problems.  I expect that when he enters graduate school he will rank amongst the top echelon of all graduate students.”

“I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Mark Barahman for his well-deserved distinction,” said CSI President Dr. Tomás D. Morales. “He has forged a place for himself in the history of the College by being the first Goldwater Scholar at CSI, and has earned himself great honor and national recognition.  I offer my thanks to his faculty mentors for supporting Mr. Barahman’s academic goals, and challenging him to succeed. Together we are bolstering CSI’s national and world-class reputation.”

“Winning the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship would not have been more than a dream without the guidance and teaching of my mentors and professors at CSI,” Barahman states.  “The scientific training and opportunities at CUNY are first class. I am truly grateful to have the opportunity to work with experienced and distinguished scientists like Dr. Alan Lyons, and to be taught and guided by Dr. Fred Naider, Dr. Charles Kramer, and Dr. Abdeslem El Idrissi. I am excited about winning this award as it reveals the terrific opportunities CSI offers and the world-class science taking place at the labs.”

Mark’s professional aspirations include obtaining an MD/PhD in the field of Biomedical Engineering.

Mark grew up in Israel, working as a teenager as a first responder for MDA (Magen David Adom, or Red Star of David), an emergency medical organization, which is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.  He immigrated to Brooklyn in August of 2006. During the summer of 2010, Mark participated in NYU/Bellevue Hospital’s prestigious Project HealthCare summer program, in which he was able to work in the emergency room and operating room, where he interacted closely with patients and the hospital staff, as well as assisted with clinical research projects and work on the annual Bellevue health fair.

Mark was the only undergraduate invited to give an oral presentation at the Young Chemists Committee ACS Symposium at The Cooper Union in March 2011.  The presentation was entitled “Printed Super-hydrophobic Surfaces Exhibiting Slip-Angle Anisotropy.”

His research has also been presented by Dr. Lyons in a variety of prestigious forums, including the 2010 SPIE Optics and Photonics Conference in San Diego.

Learn more about the valuable services of the Career and Scholarship Center at CSI.