The 34th Annual Conference of Phi Beta Delta, the Honor Society for International Scholars will be held on Thursday and Friday, May 14-15, 2020 as an Online Web Conference. This year’s theme is “International Education in Our Changing World.”
While the events of this term have required that we move away from our traditional campus-based formats and engage in more remote forms of learning and sharing, we should not turn away from the pressing global issues that remain present. Our World on Wednesday lecture series was designed to bring a glimpse of the larger global environment to all of us at CSI. The spring 2020 series continued as planned but were delivered via recordings in an online format. Many of you have had the opportunity to watch these lectures already but we wanted to ensure that you still had the chance to see them again, or for the first time.
As such, we are delighted to announce the Spring 2020 World on Wednesday (WOW) Lecture Series featuring faculty and staff from across the campus are now all archived online and you can view these at your leisure until the end of August 2020.
Speaker: Michele Callahan, Fellowship and Scholarship Opportunities
Summary: Michele Callahan, Scholarship Advisor from the Fellowship and Scholarship Office speaks about the Fulbright U.S. Student Program opportunity for the CSI community. Come and learn about this prestigious program.
Summary: Women’s Equal Pay Day in the U.S. for 2020 was Tuesday, Mar. 31. To highlight this occasion, Dr. Alyson Bardsley, Associate Professor in the English Department and the Program in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies, and co-Director of the Bertha Harris Women’s Center, presented on the causes and effects of gender-based pay inequality in several international contexts.
Speaker: Amy Posner, Hillel Multifaith Center and Mr. Arthur Spielman, a holocaust survivor
Summary: Amy Posner, Multifaith Center, Hillel at the College of Staten Island will give an introduction to antisemitism from a historical perspective and how it is manifested today. Mr. Arthur Spielman, who lived through those times, will share his early life experience. Come and listen to a first-hand and personal experience of a holocaust survivor’s story.
Two alumnae from the College of Staten Island and the Center for Global Engagement, one near San Jose, CA and the other on Staten Island, connected to achieve something very special during these difficult times—providing area medical facilities with much-needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis.
when Qimei Luo ’11, Head of Marketing and PR at Lino Network in Cupertino, CA,
took it upon herself to fundraise among her friends and connections on social
media to secure the equipment from Asia, which includes N95 masks, so that it
could be redirected to medical facilities in the U.S. that desperately needed
Winnie Brophy of CSI’s Center for Global Engagement learned of Luo’s initiative via social media and connected Luo with Phuong Nguyen ’04, ’08, a nurse at Staten Island University Hospital (SIUH) North Division-Northwell Health. Nguyen then contacted her supervisors who okayed receipt of 3,000 PPE. If there is continued need at SIUH, Luo will continue to work with Nguyen to forward additional supplies.
thanks to Luo’s efforts, South Beach Psychiatric Center gained 900 masks and
the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in Manhattan received 1,000 masks. Luo
also secured masks for Montefiore Medical Center ICU in the Bronx and the Lehigh
Valley Health Network in PA.
One of the
professionals to directly benefit from these efforts is Robert Miller ‘11, a
social worker aide at South Beach Psychiatric who is also a Center for Global
Engagement alumnus. He commented that “It’s been a tremendous help to have the
support of CSI alumni. Qimei has been running around getting thousands of masks
donated across the country! I’m so thankful for her and all of her donors
coming together at a time like now to make sure hospital workers have the
protection they need to do their jobs. Its inspiring to see so many examples of
compassion right now!
on the efforts of Luo and Nguyen, Brophy said, “I am very proud of our CSI
alumni, Phuong and Qimei helping each other over 3,000 miles away. I am proud
of their initiatives of helping each other, especially since I knew them since
they were freshmen. It always makes you feel good when you know you’re helping.
It is wonderful to find how ordinary people are working together to do
extraordinary things. It doesn’t matter how big or how small!”
Luo has raised more than $40,000 toward this effort and has supplied PPE not only to medical institutions in NYC, but also in Los Angeles and MA. She continues to raise funds to keep this effort going.
Beginning on Monday, the Center for Global Engagement will be open by appointment only.
Advisors are available for teleconferencing Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm.
Our Website and voicemail announce this as well.
The voicemail will be monitored from 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday, as well the email account. All voicemails and emails will be routed to the appropriate advisor who will quickly return the email or phone call.
Advisors are available from 9:00am to 5:00pm for online meetings.
Face-to-face appointments are being used for only two vital activities that require face-to-face verification. We expect these incidences to be rare.
Email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone is 718.982.2100
Monitor/Contact in AM is Terry Degeata
Monitor/Contact in PM is Laura Medina
Our voice mail and Websites also indicate an emergency contact after hours to contact Public Safety, who will reach me.
There will be a staff member who comes in three times per week to check mail and make important deposits, and complete other campus-only related activities, but isn’t expected to open the door for business.
We are delighted to announce the Spring 2020 World on Wednesday (WOW) Lecture Series featuring faculty and staff from across the campus. WOW lectures bring the world to CSI students and faculty and are designed to teach our community more about the world, culture, politics, and human rights. This term we’re bringing the world to CSI through these lectures:
Title: Fulbright U.S. Student Program Opportunity
Summary: Michele Callahan, Scholarship Advisor from the Fellowship and Scholarship Office will speak about the Fulbright U.S. Student Program opportunity to the CSI community. Come and learn about this prestigious program.
Title: The Gender Pay Gap Around the World
Summary: Women’s Equal Pay Day in the U.S. for 2020 is Tuesday, Mar. 31. To highlight this occasion, Dr. Alyson Bardsley, Associate Professor in the English Department and the Program in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Co-Director of the Bertha Harris Women’s Center, will present on the causes and effects of gender-based pay inequality in several international contexts.
Title: Culture of Argentina/Argentina in Language, Culture, and Customs/Argentinian Traditions
Summary: Leonardo Pignataro from Student Success will share his heritage as an Argentine, as well as the country’s culture and its soccer, food, and elegant architecture.
Title: Antisemitism – A History of Hate
Summary: Amy Posner, Multifaith Center, Hillel at the College of Staten Island, will give an introduction to antisemitism from an historical perspective and how it is manifested today. Mr. Arthur Spielman who lived through those times, will share his early life experience. Come and listen to a first-hand and personal experience of a Holocaust survivor’s story.
Title: Bulgaria-The Land of Roses
Summary: Join us for a special presentation from four overseas scientists from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and former Bulgarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Solomon Passy. Our special guests will share with you the beauty of Bulgaria, a Balkan nation with its natural variety of mountains, plains, lakes, and rivers. The scientists are Bela Yonkova Vasileva, Dessislava Nikolaeva Staneva, George Angelov Miloshev, and Milena Georgieva Vasileva.
Please encourage your students and colleagues to attend these terrific lectures on campus. Each lecture will take place either at the Campus Center (Building 1C) Green Dolphin Lounge or Room 211 from 12:20pm to 1:10pm on Wednesday’s during the term.
The World on Wednesday lecture series is sponsored by the Center for Global Engagement. It is a CC CLUE event. If you wish to present, please contact Winnie Brophy at 718.982.2100 or email@example.com.
Online, you will find a printable flyer for you to post on your door or forward to others who may be interested.
As a non-native English speaker, RinZhi Go Larocque ’16 began her college experience at the College of Staten Island (CSI) by entering the CUNY Language Immersion Program (CLIP). The Program, administered through CSI’s Office of Continuing Education and Professional Development, allows students the opportunity to study English for an intensive period of time before enrolling in formal college courses.
Now, named as Valedictorian of the Class of 2016, Larocque reflects on how CSI helped her achieve her goals.
“Think of the Dolphin, our school mascot. Like dolphins that nurture their young, CSI has nurtured me,” said Larocque, who is also a Verrazano School student.
Born in Malaysia, Larocque moved to the United States in 2012. She attributes her success in academics, research and even perfecting her English, to the faculty at the College. “CSI has helped me to completely immerse myself in English, as well as American society and culture,” she said.
The Brooklyn resident has volunteered in Indonesia, Singapore, Ecuador, and her home country, Malaysia, where she was Valedictorian of the Pontian Government High School class. In 2010, Larocque was a visiting scholar and programmer for the Labyrinth Project: Jewish Homegrown History, Immigration, Identity and Intermarriage.
At CSI, Larocque has taken advantage of research opportunities in biology and computer science with CSI professors and has collaborated with scientists and engineers from The City University of New York (CUNY) Advanced Research Center to develop software and publications on algorithms for the analysis of scientific data. As a multi-disciplinary student of computer programming, biology, and business, she has learned to present her research findings to people in different fields at multiple conferences.
The determined and passionate student has also been invited to give motivational speeches at more than five College events, including the CSI Celestial Ball and the scholarship receptions at the residence of CSI President Dr. William J. Fritz. She is also a member of the CUNY Service Corps and a research assistant at the Healthy CUNY Initiative.
“Being an active college student, I am able to broaden my network of connections, locally and globally, which have helped me tremendously to serve in leadership roles on campus,” she commented, adding that being a student in The Verrazano School Honors Program has “given me a badge of prestige and pride as an honor student.”
The Biology major with a minor in Business is a recipient of almost a dozen awards and scholarships, including the National Grid Scholarship (August 2015), Ernesto Malave Merit Scholarship (August 2015), Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges Honor Recipient (May 2015), The CUNY Summer Undergraduate Research Program at Advanced Science Research Center (May 2015), CSI Honors Undergraduate Research Stipend (2014-2016), Clara and Arleigh B Williamson Scholarship (2014-2015), CSI Student Government Scholarship (2014-2015), Aloha Mind Math USA Teacher Award (2013), CSI Foundation Scholarship (2013-2014), Dean’s List (2012-2015), and Winner of the CUNY Intercollegiate ESL Essay Writing Competition (2013).
While an impressive and accomplished individual in her college endeavors and beyond, Larocque says she does not forget her “humble beginnings,” which motivate her to volunteer. “My own perseverance has been indelibly instilled in me by my father, a fisherman and my principle role model. Despite rampant piracy and the destructive typhoon seasons on the Straits of Melaka, he continued to go fishing to support a family of six,” explained Larocque, adding that her mother, father, two sisters and brother all currently live in Malaysia.
The busy student just returned from volunteering in the Amazon rainforest over spring break to help forest conservation and minimize hunger “by helping the local communities to truly advance in agriculture and stand on their own feet.”
“I have learned to scrutinize how health issues intertwine with diverse cultures through many of my volunteer experiences. For instance, volunteering in Indonesia, I found out that their natives chew on raw sugarcane to whiten teeth,” said Larocque, who also works as a hospice volunteer as well as with the CUNY Language Immersion Program, helping prospective CSI students from other countries assimilate in their new society.
Adding even more breadth to the young woman’s repertoire, Larocque’s artistic training includes many years of playing the violin and piano as well as watercolor painting. She is the winner of multiple competitions in Calligraphy Writing, and has a yellow belt in Taekwando. Larocque currently serves as a tutor in the CSI Office of Academic Support, assisting students in calculus, biology, and inorganic and organic chemistry.
Already a dental assistant, medical biller, and coder with Boss Dental PC, in Brooklyn, Larocque has been accepted to several dental schools, including New York University, and will be attending the Doctor of Dental Surgery program at the University at Buffalo this summer. She plans to become an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and also a lifelong supporter of the College. “I would like to invest my faith, trust, and money in the younger generations at CSI, for the pursuit of knowledge and education, just as my scholarships donors, such as Mr. [Frank] Lombardo [Executive Advisor to the President] from National Grid, have done,” she said, adding that she would also like to continue volunteering locally and globally.
“My educational endeavors at CSI have taught me that life’s obstacles can be turned into assets if one is diligent, clever, and able to recognize opportunity,” Larocque promises.
When meeting Lucinda Zawadzki ‘15 for the first time, one may assume that the young College of Staten Island (CSI) graduate has her head in the clouds, and, in fact, that’s exactly where it is. The Macaulay Honors College (MHC) alumna, who graduated as Salutatorian with a Bachelor of Science in Biology with Honors, divides her time between research, publishing manuscripts, interning, and feverishly completing graduate school applications. The Staten Island Technical High School graduate plans to pursue a PhD in Ecology beginning in fall 2017.
Zawadzki, who also holds a double minor in Biochemistry and Chemistry, is a recent recipient of the impressive National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program Honorable Mention Award. She is also a University Scholar and received a full-tuition Merit Scholarship through the Macaulay Honors College, which covered tuition for her entire four years CSI. In addition, while at CSI, she was awarded a CSI Foundation Scholarship (2014), a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Honorable Mention (2014), a CSI Honors Undergraduate Research Stipend (2014 and 2015), and the New York Community Trust Grant (2015).
“Being at CSI has allowed me to flourish, and I do not think I would be the person I am today had I attended a different college. I owe this College a lot, and I am proud to say that I graduated from such an amazing place,” exclaimed Zawadzki.
The Great Kills resident also commended the support of the MHC staff as well as several notable CSI professors such as Dr. William Wallace, Dr. Shaibal Mitra, Dr. Richard Veit, and Professor Tom Brown, all of whom had “a very strong impact” on her future. She noted that MHC Director Dr. Charles Liu, Associate Director and Advisor Lisa French, and Program Coordinator Anita Romano have “provided continued support, encouragement, and advice” during her college career, as well as during the transitional period between college and graduate school.
Adding even more breadth to the young researcher’s undergraduate experience at CSI, Zawadzki studied abroad three times: London, England through a Hunter College program in the summer of 2013, studying contemporary British drama; Rousay, Scotland in the summer of 2014, participating in the Orkney: Gateway to the Atlantic Program; and finally St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands in January 2015, taking a course in tropical ecology.
The scholar and world traveler has only one bit of advice: “In order to succeed in college, try new things.” she urges. “While many of us think we have our careers planned out before we set foot in college, the reality of it is that college is a life-changing experience. You will be exposed to new ideas, new opinions, and new people, all of which will force you to view the world in an entirely new light. You will find new things that you love, and those passions may lead you to a career that you had never envisioned for yourself before.”
Zawadzki plans to continue her focus on aspects of avian migration, in particular the study of “vagrants”–birds that are known to fly out their “normal” range–and uncover reasons as to why they engage in this exploratory behavior. Upon receiving her PhD, she would like to continue to study avian migration, become a college professor, and “serve as a role model for women who do not believe they can make it in a science career.”
Since graduation, the budding ecologist continues to spend her time researching bird habits. This summer, she traveled to Tuckernuck Island, MA with Dr. Veit to study herring gull and great black-backed gull diets. Alongside Central Connecticut State University Master’s Degree candidate Allison Black, she helped band gull chicks and assess diet samples to understand what parents were feeding their chicks. She also assists Professor Brown at his bird-banding sites in Sandy Hook, NJ during both fall and spring migration.
In her leisure, Zawadzki frequents the parks of Staten Island to watch birds and learn more about the species present in the area, as well as their behaviors. “I’ve noticed that being outside is also the best way for me to gain research ideas. What better way to ask questions about the world around us than being in it and observing it for yourself?” she pondered.
Being in nature a great deal also inspired the outdoorswoman to invest time in a new-found passion: painting. After taking an introductory painting class at CSI, Zawadzki says that she realized she was quite a capable artist.
“So, take that art class that doesn’t fit in with your major, or that biology class that you think sounds like fun, or even go on that study abroad trip where you don’t know any of the other students. You may discover something you had never thought of before, and it could change your life,” she said.
Ever since she was a young girl, Ledys Janett Perez ’13 knew that she had a passion for helping others. Now, after graduating from the College of Staten Island with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, Miss Perez is finally living her dream. This February, the young CSI alumna traveled to Ghana, Africa as a member of the Peace Corps.
“I always had an admiration for people who would go to other countries to selflessly volunteer and immerse themselves in a different culture,” recalls the 25 year old, who was raised in Puerto Rico.
After graduating from CSI in May 2013, Perez accepted a full-time position at Maimonides Medical Center in Borough Park, Brooklyn as an intensive care surgical nurse. She started her Peace Corps application process in January 2015 and was accepted in March of the same year to travel to Ghana. Her two-year appointment as a health extension volunteer in there begins in February 2016, and she couldn’t be more thrilled.
“My goal is to connect with the people there, immerse myself culturally, and build relationships with the people I’ll be serving,” commented Perez, adding that she attributes much of her inspiration to the programs and faculty at CSI.
Having studied abroad three times with the CSI Study Abroad Program, Perez confirms how these trips helped shape and prepare her for her exciting current endeavor. In 2013, she spent a month in Costa Rica with a now popular program at CSI, although she was part of this first group to go. There, she studied nursing and Spanish.
“This one of a kind experience gave me an introduction to what it would be like to serve other cultures around the world using the skill set I already had,” she said, stressing that she visited hospitals and clinics, and conducted home health visits there, similar to the work she will be doing in Africa. “This prepared me way in advance for this life-changing decision that I am making now,” Perez said before leaving for her trip.
She also studied Italian in Venice, Italy in 2009 and then Mandarin and Chinese business in China in 2011, both through CSI-sponsored study abroad programs.
Perhaps the biggest impression that CSI left on this young nurse, though, were the academics and student life that she found so inspiring.
“At CSI, many professors were so incredibly amazing and influential. I am honesty and truly in debt to them for life for opening my eyes to new experiences,” she said, commenting, in particular, on two professors: Dr. Marianne Jeffreys, Professor of Nursing, School of Health Sciences, and Dr. Phil S. Sigler, Associate Professor of Sociology.
Dr. Jeffreys was key in the young Nursing student’s academic career.
“She inspired me because she taught with so much passion. It fascinated me because she taught me a whole other side to nursing, which would bring me to where I am now,” said Perez. “I think she saw something in me and she guided me a lot from the time I took her class to this very day.”
The student also fondly remembers Dr. Sigler, her Marriage and the Family course instructor. Perez merely took the Sociology class because she needed to and had also heard positive feedback about the instructor. Her expectations for the class quickly changed, however, as Professor Sigler became another key player in her journey.
“People come out of nowhere and change your life completely,” she reflected, recalling her shock when she learned that her professor had walked across the United States and written a book about his experiences. “I said to myself, ‘that is crazy! Why would anybody do something like that?’ Then I got to talking to him and he said he learned about himself and what he was capable of more than in his whole life.”
In addition to study abroad and notable professors and mentors, Perez also stressed the importance of her student life affiliations. An active member and 2012 President of the Chi Alpha Christian Club, the student noted the importance of campus involvement.
“I really believe CSI is an amazing college, and if you take advantage of what is there, your options in life are limitless,” she said, adding that the Christian Club continues to support her efforts, even after graduation.
Her parting advice to CSI students is simple: “When you feel that calling in life, go for it. Don’t be afraid!”
“There are so many people to meet and encounter at CSI, and it was so rewarding to be involved while managing classes, responsibilities, and a personal life,” said Perez, stressing that she never lived on campus, as the Brooklyn resident graduated before the CSI dormitories were completed.
Perez will land in Ghana’s main city, Accra, and spend her first three months there in an intensive training program, engaging in such things as language and cultural training. After three months, her strengths and specialties will be assessed and she will be assigned to a particular village; then she will find out where she is living, a hut or a house.
After the two-year appointment, Perez looks forward to possibly writing a book about her experiences in Ghana and returning to school for a Master’s in Nursing.
A few days prior to leaving for Africa, Perez chuckled, “I now get the same questions I asked Sigler years ago. ‘Are you crazy?’ I respond that life is a lot about taking chances and following your heart and your gut. Why am I doing it? My response is that it would be crazy not to do it!”