Young Virtuoso Violinist to Perform Free Concert at CSI’s Center for the Arts

Virtuoso violinist Yevgeny Kutik will perform this Valentine's Day at the CSI Center for the Arts.

Celebrate this Valentine’s Day with a classical musical performance by Yevgeny Kutik, a dynamic 24-year-old Russian American violinist whose virtuoso performances have drawn worldwide critical acclaim. Along with international prizewinner pianist Timothy Bozarth, this one-night-only event will feature selections from Johannes Brahms, Dmitri Shostakovich, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Claude Debussy, Kati Agocs, Maurice Ravel, and Henryk Wieniawski. Presented in the Springer Concert Hall on Monday, February 14, 2011 at 7:30pm.

At age 24 Kutik is rapidly gaining attention as a highly acclaimed and sought-after artist on the concert stage today. He recently made his New York City orchestral debut with the Riverside Symphony. The New York Times said that his violin projected “an old-fashioned rhapsodic style, which was magnified by Yevgeny Kutik’s rich, sweet tone.” Kutik’s violin was crafted in Italy in 1915 by Stefano Scarampella, one of the finest 20th-Century instrument makers.

Yevgeny Kutik made his first debut with the Boston Pops Orchestra and Maestro Keith Lockhart in 2003. Since then he has been unstoppable. Aside from being extremely talented, he is also generous. Kutik works closely with the United Jewish Communities (UJC), performing in programs across the country to raise awareness and promote the assistance of refugees from around the world, a cause which he holds very close. For more information on Yevgeny Kutik please visit his Website .

This free concert requires advanced reservations. Tickets can be reserved in person, by phone, by mail, and online through the CFA Box Office, 2800 Victory Boulevard, Building 1P, Room 113, Staten Island. Box Office hours are Mondays through Fridays from 9:00am to 4:00pm, and Saturdays from noon to 3:00pm. You may also contact the Box Office at 718.982.ARTS (2787), or visit the CFA Website.

This presentation is funded by the Shugrue Cultural Development Fund, created by the late Dr. Michael Shugrue.

CSI Men’s Basketball Alumni Game to Be Held January 29

The CSI Men's Basketball program will hold its first alumni game this Saturday at 11:00am.

It has been a long time coming, but the College of Staten Island Men’s Basketball program will be holding its Inaugural Men’s Basketball Alumni Game on Saturday, January 29, at 11:00am at the Sports and Recreation Center. Designed to welcome back alumni who played for CSI both when it was a two- and four-year institution, the event will be used as a fund- and friend-raiser for the program, with all proceeds generated supporting the program in the name of late Assistant Coach Matty White.

CSI alumnus Craig Sleap ’01, a member of the Basketball program from 1996 to 2000, while doubling on the Baseball team, crafted the idea to host the inaugural event along with CSI Head Coach Tony Petosa ’86, ’93.

“Craig and I spoke a few times about an alumni game, and when Matty passed away, a collection of alumni really wanted to do something fitting in his honor,” explained Petosa. “I think this alumni game is a great way of preserving his memory. Having a group that he admired and that looked up to him assembled in one place to celebrate what once brought them together is overwhelming. We are very excited about it.”

Approximately 40 to 50 former alumni have already committed to participate, as CSI sent invitations to hundreds of former alumni, in coordination with the Office of Alumni Relations. Associate Director of Alumni Relations Jennifer Lynch was excited about the concept from the start.

“The inaugural Alumni Men’s Basketball game will recognize the legacy of Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach Matty White. At the same time, we also recognize the amazing contributions of our alumni athletes through the years. We look forward to welcoming them back to campus for a historic game and encourage our alumni and campus community to come cheer them on.”

The event will feature a full game played before CSI Men’s and Women’s doubleheader tip-off versus CUNYAC-rival Hunter College, beginning with the Men’s game at 1:00pm. Alumni will be provided with complimentary game jerseys and a full luncheon at the conclusion of the event. Registration is $30 for alumni who wish to play or those wishing to contribute and get a t-shirt with all proceeds generated assisting the Men’s Basketball program. The games are free for spectators.

An assistant coach for the Dolphins for 17 years, Coach White lost his battle with kidney cancer this past May. He was 74. In a dedication ceremony prior to tip-off, members of the alumni will present the White family with a commemorative plaque officially renaming the event the Matty White Men’s Basketball Alumni Game.

“Coach White never played a minute of basketball at CSI, and you won’t find his name in the wins and losses annals of coaches here either, but what he meant to our program is immeasurable,” said Associate Athletic Director David Pizzuto, who has helped organize the event. “For the alumni to dedicate this day to him is a strong indication of just how valued he was and how he was embraced by the CSI family. There is no one more truly deserving.”

Alumni who want to register early for the event can contact Petosa or Pizzuto at 718.982.3169/3166. Late registration will take place beginning at 9:30am at the Sports and Recreation Center on the day of the game.

Recyclemania at CSI

Recyclemania is a friendly competition among college campuses to reduce greenhouse gases through increased recycling.

The newest phase in the College of Staten Island’s growing commitment to “go green” began last Monday with the arrival of “Recyclemania,” a ten-week competition with more than 600 colleges and universities across the country vying for top recycling honors.

Students, faculty, and staff are invited to join the nationwide campaign to improve resource conservation by expanding recycling volume throughout the campus. “Recyclemania is a friendly competition among college campuses to reduce greenhouse gases through increased recycling,” said James Pepe, AVP for Facilities Management (Campus Planning/Buildings and Grounds). “In a spirit of friendly competition, CSI can contribute toward huge environmental gains.”

The primary goal of the ten-week competition, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection, is to increase student awareness of campus recycling and waste minimization efforts.

CSI has entered a competition division that will track targeted materials such as paper, corrugated cardboard, bottles, and cans. A formula, based on the number of full-time equivalent students, staff, and faculty, is used to calculate pounds collected per person of recycling occurring on campus.

How does CSI stack up?

Visit CSI’s Sustainability Website to view the number of pounds collected during the previous week.  CSI’s weekly goal will be to collect 1,000 pounds per week with a total of 10,000 pounds collected during the ten-week period.

Mr. Pepe indicated that recycling efforts are being supported by two separate groups,  the NYC Department of Sanitation, which is recycling plastic and glass bottles, tin cans, and aluminum, and Flag Trucking, which is accepting paper, cardboard, magazines, catalogues, and mail in the green 30-yard containers placed throughout the campus. These containers are used by the Facilities Management staff to place these items, collected from buildings by the custodial staff, for pick-up by Flag Trucking.

“There are recycle bins throughout the campus, and everyone’s help in using them would be greatly appreciated,” Mr. Pepe said. “This is our first year in the contest. It would be quite an accomplishment if we were to win or place among the top campuses. If our past performances are any indication, we should do well; however, we will need everyone’s participation to succeed. The equipment is in place; the vendors are ready to respond and our staff is trained.”

Collection bins — each with separate slots for waste, aluminum, glass and plastic bottles, and mixed paper/newspaper – have been strategically located in lobbies, café areas, and other high-trafficked areas in virtually every campus building. Another 46 bins are located outdoors.

Tossing an empty can of Coke or yesterday’s Staten Island Advance in the proper bin assures that the item will enter a recycling stream, and not simply be buried in a landfill.

Recycling success at the College of Staten Island has grown exponentially in recent years. CSI collected 48.25 tons in 2008 and 60.20 tons in 2010 and the number of schools competing in Recyclemania, which began with just two in 2001, was at more than 600 in 2010.

CSI’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to Be Performed at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival

CSI students will perform A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, this weekend.

The Drama Program at the College of Staten Island has been invited to perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF), Region II, at Towson University in Baltimore this weekend.

“We have been given the honor of having been invited to bring an entire show, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Lee Papa, to be performed in this competition, as well as being invited to bring a scene from this fall’s student production of Machinal, directed by Christine Zahra-DeVito,” noted Maurya Wickstrom, Associate Professor with CSI’s Performing and Creative Arts Department and Chair of the Drama Program.

Additionally, CSI will showcase six actors (along with their scene partners) in the Irene Ryan Scholarship Auditions competition.

The festival is a five-day event, comprised of competitions, as well as acting classes, workshops, and staged readings. All totaled, about 25 CSI students will be showing their work in this national competition.

“It’s quite an honor to be invited, especially to bring a full production, and also a great honor that our student director, Christine, made it into the festival,” added Wickstrom.

Several CSI faculty members, including Lee Papa, Kevin Judge, and Maurya Wickstrom, will be attending in support of CSI’s unprecedented participation in the event.

Step Up Speak Out Family Summit

Everyone is invited to the Fourth Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Step Up Speak Out Family Summit on January 15.

The College of Staten Island presents the Fourth Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Step Up Speak Out Family Summit on Saturday, January 15, 2011.

The event is part of “I am SI,” a Borough-wide effort to combat violence and hatred on Staten Island.

View the event program and the calendar of event.

The purpose of the event is “to educate, empower, enrich, and entertain our youth, families, and communities while teaching the importance of being involved in their community and promoting global citizenship. The Summit will provide an opportunity for youth and families to discuss and create solutions to critical and relevant topics that are plaguing our community, such as violence, self-esteem, family structure, and positive community engagement,” according to the Summit press release.

The event will feature a guest speaker, to be announced; entertainment; a fashion show; giveaways; and workshops for attendees of all ages, including “If You Like It Put a Ring on It,” “From Gs To Gents,” “Love the Skin You’re In,” “Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover,” and more. Entertainment will include a “Celebrating Diversity” concert with performances by Princess Kelly, Karyn’s Little Angels Dancers, The Pink Diamonds Step Team, Cauz N 3fek, 12-28 Da Great, Kayla Ferguson, Luke, Brittani Gravely, Jada, Leylanie Rodriguez, and others.

The Summit will also be featured in the “Journey to Manhood” documentary directed by Young Talented & Gifted Productions and Moodswing Multimedia.

The event is open to the public and free with a non-perishable food item donation. It will be held at the CSI Center for the Arts at 2800 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island from 8:00am to 4:00pm, with registration beginning at 8:00am.

“I am Staten Island” was launched in August 2010 by Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Council Member Debi Rose to combat the hate crime incidents. Their plan unites neighborhood associations, citizens groups, and community leaders, as well as elected and law officials, with the goal of ending bias-related crimes.

The MLK Family Summit is made possible through the collaborative efforts of the College’s Liberty Partnership Program, CUNY Black Male Initiative, SEEK, Office of Access and Success, Young Talented & Gifted, The NY Urban League: Project Ready, and The Pink Diamonds Steppers Association Inc., and other local community businesses and organizations.

The Fourth Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Step Up Speak Out Family Summit is sponsored, in part, by CSI’s Liberty Partnership Program, CUNY Black Male Initiative, Office of Access and Support, and the College’s SEEK Program, with funding from State Senator Diane Savino, Health Plus, Seamen’s Society for Youth and Families, Staples, TD Bank, Young Talented & Gifted, The Pink Diamonds Steppers Association, Inc., and the NY Urban League: Project Ready.

For more information, please contact Shawn D. Landry at CSI Liberty Partnership Program at 718.982.2157 or via email at

CSI Winter Blood Drive

CSI is sponsoring a Winter Blood Drive on Monday, Jan. 10 from 11:00am to 5:00pm in The Campus Center (Building 1C) Green Dolphin Lounge.

The New York Blood Center has advised that blood donations are typically low in January due to the cold weather.  As an incentive, all donors will receive a voucher for a free pair of Mets tickets.

Please eat before donating and bring a picture ID. No appointment is necessary. For more information, please contact the Wellness/Drop-in Center at 718.982.3113.

Dragon Set to Devour Moon in Total Lunar Eclipse

The phases of a total lunar eclipse

The full moon will enter the shadow of the Earth on the evening of Monday December 20 into Tuesday December 21 leading to a total lunar eclipse.

Centuries ago, such an event was thought to be caused by a dragon eating the moon.

The eclipse begins at 1:33am, which is the partial phase. The moon then slowly enters the shadow and is completely engulfed at 2:41am and stays in the shadow till 3:53am.

“You do not need anything special to see the eclipse, which is visible even if you are surrounded by lights,” according to Irving Robbins, Director of the Astrophysical Observatory at the College of Staten Island. He adds that “the weather looks like it will be cool and skies partly cloudy so the event should be visible. One would have to dress extremely warm to view the full eclipse since temperatures are expected to be below 32 and the CSI Astrophysical Observatory will not be open.”

According to Professor Robbins, an easy way to enjoy a short and impressive viewing is to set the alarm and go outside at approximately 2:25am on Tuesday. This will allow for viewing of the final phases of the full moon entering the shadow.

“It is best to have binoculars to see the full eclipse that starts at 2:41am. When the moon turns from orange to blood red, which scared the hell out of ancient people who would then beat their drums to scare away the dragon,” commented Robbins. He added that “the reddish color is due to sunrise and sunset light entering the shadow at the same time,” and that this event is usually very visible with binoculars in city environments.

Tunnel of Oppression promotes respect and celebrates diversity

The College of Staten Island presents its fifth annual Tunnel of Oppression on Thursday, November 4 in the Campus Center.

The Tunnel of Oppression, part of the “I am SI” initiative, is a multi-sensory experience that is free and open to the public. It is designed to increase awareness and sensitivity of various types of oppression and create an understanding of the effect and organization of oppression, as well as promote respect, diversity, critical thinking, and civic engagement.

During the 45-minute walkthrough, attendees will have an opportunity to get a glimpse of what life is like for people who are experiencing some form of oppression in their lives. Participants make their way through a “tunnel” where they are confronted with images related to oppression, hate words, and realistic depictions of social injustice.

The purpose of the event is to elicit dialogue and promote positive social change throughout the community. The participants are able to “see what it’s like to walk in the oppressed person’s shoes,” explains Brian DeLong, Director of New Student Orientation and CLUE at CSI.

After experiencing the visual and auditory representations of hate in the tunnel, attendees join interactive workshops where they will be able to participate in interactive skits and discuss their experiences with professional staff members.

Tunnel of Oppression participants are welcome to arrive between Noon and 3p.m. during which they will walk through the tunnel and be involved in interactive skits and workshops. The event ends at 4:00 p.m. so attendees should be sure to arrive by 3:00 p.m. to ensure they will receive the complete experience. Each participant receives a diversity booklet.

The program takes place in the West Dining Room and Green Dolphin Lounge of the CSI Campus Center (1C) and is sponsored by the Pluralism and Diversity Program.

The walk-thru is free and open to the public and is Double-CLUE certified for CSI students.

By Carlo Alaimo