SI SBDC Awarded for Excellence and Innovation

The Staten Island SBDC was presented with the Excellence and Innovation award at a ceremony at the US SBA headquarters.

SI SBDC Receives 2017 Small Business Development Center for Excellence and Innovation Award for the New York District and Region II by the U.S. SBA

The Staten Island Small Business Development Center  (SBDC) has been selected as the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2017 Small Business Development Center for Excellence and Innovation Award Winner for both the New York District as well as SBA’s Region II, which includes all districts in New York State, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The award was presented to the College of Staten Island (CSI) team at a ceremony in the US SBA headquarters in Manhattan.

The award honors an SBDC service center for excellence in providing value to small businesses and advancing program delivery and management through innovation. New York SBDC State Director James King congratulated the Staten Island SBDC staff by commenting, “Since there are only 10 nationwide regional winners, this signifies that your team is one of the 10 best among 1,000 centers throughout the country”. SBA Regional Administrator (Region II) Alfred Titone congratulated the Staten Island SBDC by stating, “I commend you and your staff for the outstanding support and services that your center provides entrepreneurs throughout the region. This is a remarkable accomplishment and I would like to acknowledge the great contributions you are making on behalf of small businesses and entrepreneurs in your community, as well as to the economic development of New York.”

“We are honored to receive this recognition on not only a state level but a regional level as well,” stated Director Dean L. Balsamini. “The staff consists of a talented group of professionals who deliver extensive services to our clients and have a strong passion for serving the community.”

The Staten Island SBDC is one of 24 centers in the New York State Network of America’s SBDCs. Team members include Director Dean L. Balsamini; Office Manager Megan Ernst; Certified Senior Business Advisors, Edward Piszko and George Telmany; Business Advisors, Christine Purelis, Joseph Bottega, and Joseph Muller; and Student Intern, Cecilia Alva.

New York SBA District Director Beth Goldberg pointed out that more than half of all Americans either own or work for a small business. “Small businesses are economic engines that create nearly two out of every three new jobs each year. Small businesses support our neighborhoods and strengthen our communities.”

Nearing their 25th anniversary, the Staten Island SBDC has assisted more than 8,100 businesses, helping them invest more than $174 M in the area’s economy, and creating or saving more than 5,400 jobs.

Dean L. Balsamini accepts the Excellence and Innovation Award.

With the state-wide adaptation of an “it’s all about the client” mantra, the Staten Island SBDC assesses and determines the needs of the community by keeping open relationships with resource partners and clients. The center has an excellent campus partner at the College of Staten Island that supports the SBDC mission to provide education, entrepreneurship, and economic development. The Staten Island SBDC contributes towards enhancing the College footprint. The team is highly involved with the newly launched CSI Technology Incubator, which fosters the innovative drive for high tech entrepreneurs in NYC.

“The Staten Island SBDC consistently drives forward and enhances the knowledge base to the small business community, especially through marketing and social media activities”, stated Director Balsamini. The advisors provide opportunities to established businesses and start-ups who need support such as marketing, financial projections, staffing, and sustainability. Different types of services include MWBE certifications and BidLinx, which certifies eligible businesses to apply for federal, state, and city contracts.

The awards will be presented to the Staten Island SBDC and other award winners at the U.S. SBA New York Headquarters on May 1st 2017 during National Small Business Week.

The New York SBDC provides customized solutions through advisement, education, research and advocacy for Entrepreneurs, Innovators and the Small & Medium Enterprise community.

If you are looking to start a business or need assistance with your existing business, contact the Staten Island SBDC to make an appointment with a business advisor. Visit their website or join their e-mail list to stay up to date with the latest news and local events.



CSI 3rd in Nation, Military Friendly Spouse School

The College of Staten Island (CSI) is nationally ranked as a military friendly school for the past eight years. This year, CSI is has been awarded as one of the top ten for being an elite Military Friendly Institution in the Public Universities with more than 10,000 students. Along with that accolade, CSI has now placed in the top three as a Military Spouse Friendly School.

“CSI faculty and staff will continue to strive to provide the best assistance to our brave heroes and their spouses. It is our duty and our pleasure, and this latest distinction is a welcome acknowledgment that we are extremely committed to delivering the best and most comprehensive assistance possible in academia and beyond,” said Laura Scazzafavo, Director of Veterans Support Services, who is also a United States Navy combat veteran, adding that “Veteran Support Services at CSI is dedicated to providing the support needed to help servicemen and women adjust to college life. Our mission is to facilitate a smooth transition from military life to the college experience by providing veterans a strong support system and centralized “vet-friendly” services. We thank you for your service and would like to make your college experience a memorable one.”

“Military spouses are expert problem-solvers. They thrive under pressure, and are highly educated and mobile,” said Daniel Nichols, Chief Product Officer at Victory Media’s Military Friendly® division. “Colleges and companies recognize these attributes and want to bring them on board. And, companies that employ both veterans and their spouses see even stronger retention and employee loyalty. Who better to train military spouses for successful careers than a Military Spouse Friendly School®?”

View the full listings on the Military Friendly Web site:

CSI Ranks Second on Fulbright Scholars Top-Producing List for Master’s Institutions

CSI has ranked 2nd on Fulbright Scholars Top-Producing List for Master's Institutions

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs recently announced the U.S. colleges and universities that produced the most 2016-2017 Fulbright U.S. Scholars. The College of Staten Island (CSI) is a top-producing Fulbright Scholar institution, receiving the second most Fulbright awards in a ranking of Master’s Institutions.

With fifteen Fulbright awards since 2000, CSI received three awards just this past academic year. Ava Chin, PhD, and Ying Zhu, PhD, received 2016-2017 Fulbright Awards, and CSI administrator Monika Wojciechowski was also selected for the 2016 Fulbright International Education Administrator (IEA) Program in Japan.

Dr. Chin is currently lecturing on U.S. journalism, focusing on food and popular culture in China, and Dr. Zhu, who has been awarded a Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship, is conducting research in China, primarily based in the Shanghai Film Academy.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. Top-producing institutions are highlighted annually in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 370,000 participants—chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential — with the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. More than 1,100 U.S. college and university faculty and administrators, professionals, artists, journalists, scientists, lawyers, and independent scholars are awarded Fulbright grants to teach and/or conduct research annually. The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program operates in more than 125 countries throughout the world. Lists of Fulbright Scholar recipients are available on their Web site.


History of Fulbright Scholars


Ava Chin, PhD

Monika Wojciechowski

Ying Zhu, PhD



Irina Sekerina, PhD



Sarah Berger, PhD

Prosper Bernard



Barbara Clark



Jane Marcus-Delgado, PhD



Susan Smith-Peter, PhD

Cindy Wong, PhD



Alan Zimmerman, DPS



Nan Sussman, PhD



Daniel Fuchs

Peter Simpson, PhD



Stefano Harney




CSI Named 2016-17 STEM Jobs Approved College

CSI has been named a STEM Jobs Approved College

The College of Staten Island (CSI)  has been designated a 2016-17 STEM JobsSM Approved College by Victory Media, the leader in connecting young professionals with education and career opportunities, and creator of STEM JobsSM media and resources for students interested in science, technology, engineering and math. The 2016-17 STEM JobsSM Approved Colleges survey rates universities, colleges, community colleges and trade schools on their ability and responsiveness to connecting programs and students with high-demand, high-growth STEM occupations.

For additional information, visit the STEM JobsSM Web site.

CSI ranks No. 118 for Most Affordable Colleges

CSI has ranked No. 118 for Most Affordable Colleges

The College of Staten Island (CSI) is No. 118 in the Student Loan Report’s Most Affordable Colleges for Incoming Freshmen with Financial Need Report.

Schools are ranked based on data from Peterson’s Financial Aid Data, which includes percentage of students with financial need, and average amount given to students in financial need.

Read the full story, and view the complete listing in the Student Loan Report online.

CSI Ranks No.16 in U.S. for Providing Social Mobility For Students

The College of Staten Island (CSI) has ranked 16th out of more than 900 colleges nationally in CollegeNET’s annual Social Mobility Index (SMI).

This is the second consecutive year that CSI has placed in the top 20 colleges.

The index was created by CollegeNET, a company that provides Web-based services to some 1,300 higher education and nonprofit institutions around the world. For the past three years, CollegeNET has been ranking four-year higher education institutions throughout the U.S. according to how effectively they enroll students with low-income backgrounds and graduate them into promising careers.

According to CollegeNET, a high SMI rankings means that “a college is contributing in a responsible want to solving the dangerous problem of economic immobility in our country.”

The CollegeNET ranking adds to the impressive list of honors that CSI has received.

CSI recently received the following accolades:

#11 “Top Collegiate Vocational & Trade Education Programs in New York” (Community for Accredited Online Schools)

#27 “Top Salaries for Graduates” (U.S. Department of Education)

#4 “Most Affordable Four-Year Online Colleges in New York” (Online

#18 “Best-Bang-for-Buck College in the Northeast” (Washington Monthly)

Designated “Top Military Friendly School” (G.I. Jobs Magazine)


View the entire list of CSI’s recognitions.


CSI Named to Top Military Friendly Schools List for 2017

It has been announced that The College of Staten Island (CSI) is a Top 10 Military Friendly Gold Award Recipient for 2017.  The designation comes from Victory Media, the leader in successfully connecting the military and civilian worlds, and publisher of G.I. Jobs®, STEM Jobs and Military Spouse.

“I am honored that the College of Staten Island has been awarded the Gold Award, an elite Military Friendly designation for 2017. CSI continues to pursue innovative and collaborative ways to ensure that the veterans in our community have access to the best possible resources and services,” commented William J. Fritz, Ph.D., President of the College of Staten Island.

The mission of CSI’s Veterans Support Services is to facilitate a smooth transition from military life to the college experience by providing veteran students with centralized “vet-friendly” services and a strong support system.  Veterans Support Services collaborates with veteran organizations within the community in order to identify additional resources and foster a sense of community between CSI student veterans and the veteran population on Staten Island. This relationship ensures that Veterans Support Services stays current on all new legislation and initiatives that will affect our student veteran population.

“The College of Staten Island is dedicated to helping our student veterans have a stress-free transition into the world of academia; from admissions to graduation, we will guide our veterans through every step of their journey. We are proud to serve our nation’s heroes and their families,” said Laura Scazzafavo, Director of Veterans Support Services, who is also a United States Navy combat veteran.


CSI Ranked No. 11 in Top Collegiate Vocational, Trade Education Programs in New York

In a listing of the top collegiate Vocational & Trade Education Programs in New York, the College of Staten Island (CSI) was ranked number 11 for four year schools by the Community for Accredited Online Schools for 2016-2017.

Comparing data on student success and support services, program variety and nearly a dozen other qualitative and quantitative measures, the site highlighted a total of 64 colleges and universities for excellence in trade and vocational education in the state. CSI received a score of 98.15.

Read the full story and view the complete listings at>