Alumni Souad Outarid Has Formula for Success

Souad Outarid is a teacher at Lavelle Prep.

Teacher, multi-scholarship recipient, Dean’s List member, community volunteer, immigrant, mother. These titles belong to one woman who has seemingly transcended any limitations an international student may impose. Teachers Education Honors Academy (TEHA) alumna Souad Outarid is passionate about all of the hats she wears in life. The Moroccan-born Mathematics major currently teaches at John W. Lavelle Preparatory Charter School, in addition to volunteering locally at the Staten Island Mental Health Department (where she assists elementary students with reading and math). Outarid also lends her time to the Distance Learning program at the College of Staten Island’s (CSI) Continuing Education Program where she tutors GED students and teaches Arabic to non-native Arabic students at the Al-Noor Islamic Society Sunday School.

As an undergraduate student, Outarid earned Dean’s List placement for consecutive years from 2007 to 2012, and was the recipient of the National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, The Alfred Harcourt Foundation Scholarship, and the TEHA Scholarship. While all hold a high level of prestige, the Noyce Scholarship was particularly transformative for Outarid as it allowed her to participate in an international teaching internship in Vladimir, Russia. The scholarship program seeks to encourage talented science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors and professionals to become K-12 mathematics and science (including engineering and computer science) teachers. During the 2017 Spring Break, Outarid joined a group of Noyce alumni, led by Dr. Irina Lyublinskaya, to visit Vladimir State University (VlSU). The opportunity supports developing collaboration between the Pedagogical Institute of the Russian university and the Noyce Teacher Honors Academy at CSI. During this time, Outarid co-taught calculus lessons with another Noyce alum to tenth grade students and co-presented a master class to VlSU graduate students.

Outarid exhibited an eagerness to learn about Russian STEM education, which stood out to Dr. Lyublinskaya. However, her own personal story also resonated with the group leader. Dr. Lyublinskaya states, “While traveling together, I learned about her difficult childhood. She shared how much she values education and she is now giving the same opportunities to children she works with. Souad selected to work in a school where over 30% of students are students with special needs. This is a challenging environment for any teacher, especially new teachers. She has a passion to help all children to learn math…Souad is a teacher who puts her students’ needs first. She would spend hours trying to find a way to engage her students in learning mathematics and to build their confidence. She is a life-long learner who searches for new ways of teaching math.”

Souad Outarid sailing with her two sons in Marsa Matrouh, Egypt.

The Richmond native’s various mentors have also noted her dedication to academia as CSI Professor of Mathematics and TEHA Director Dr. Jane Coffee states, “Souad Outarid exemplifies the very best characteristics of a graduate of the Teacher Education Honors Academy. She was well-prepared in her undergraduate Mathematics major and graduated cum laude. Her grades in her education courses are evidence that she adapted well to the U. S. mathematics adolescence education program—something that was new to her.”

Professor Dr. Nelly Tournaki, Coordinator of the CSI Department of Educational Studies, as well as Urban Education at The Graduate Center, CUNY, also noted Outarid’s exemplary teaching as she adds, “As a CSI faculty and a Board member of the Lavelle school, I often visit classes at the school. Souad’s is a model class. I can attest to her excellent pedagogical skills, depth of content knowledge, and most of all, her professional disposition—she has a strong presence, is sincere, warm, compassionate, respectful, and therefore respected.”

While Outarid’s academic life has certainly been filled with major accomplishments, her story goes far beyond the classroom. After losing her mother at an early age, Outarid was raised by her grandfather and sister who instilled in her the importance of education, especially for a woman in the Middle East. This inspired the Mathematics major to pursue higher education, graduating in 2012 with her Bachelor’s degree and subsequently earning her Master’s degree in Adolescence Education, 7- 12 (Mathematics) in 2014. With this dedication to academia, it may not come as a surprise that Outarid was awarded “Outstanding Teacher of the Year” in 2017. With her eyes set on a Doctoral degree, one might wonder what the aspiring professor views as her biggest responsibility. Perhaps the answer sits directly in the classroom, as she remarks, “As an educator, I take my job very seriously, I love what I do, and I take pride in my work. My students and I have a mutual respect.”

This respect and dedication is what makes teachers like Souad Outarid life changers.

 

 

CSI Alumni Excelling in Careers and Research

CSI Alumnus Omri Shick '16 has accomplished much after graduating.

Two alumni from the College of Staten Island (CSI) are celebrating their accomplishments in graduate school, work, and research.

Omri Shick ’16 is a graduate student in MSEd in science education. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Chemistry and Teaching in May 2016 and is a full time science teacher at the Lavelle Prep Charter School.

Stephanie Sheehan ’16 is a graduate student in MSEd in mathematics education. She graduated with a BS in Mathematics as a Noyce Scholar and is also a full time math teacher at the Lavelle Prep Charter School.

Shick is the first author of the paper “The Effect of Short Mathematics Instruction in High School Chemistry Course on Student Chemistry Achievement,” which has been accepted as a full paper at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) annual meeting. This paper represents results of his research completed as an undergraduate student at CSI with Irina Lyublinskaya, PhD, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction as his advisor and co-author on the paper. He was also a recipient of a CSI Undergraduate Research Award to complete this study.

The AERA, founded in 1916, is concerned with improving the educational process by encouraging scholarly inquiry related to education and evaluation and by promoting the dissemination and practical application of research results.  AERA’s more than 25,000 members are faculty, researchers, graduate students, and other distinguished professionals with rich and diverse expertise in education research. AERA is international in scope.  Nearly 5% of members, representing over 85 countries, reside outside the United States. Over 28% of AERA members are students—approximately 6,500 graduate students and 600 undergraduate students.

Sheehan completed two research projects in her senior year at CSI. Her first project was completed in the fall 2015 in collaboration with Dr. Lyublinskaya and Mikhail Epshtein, PhD, of St. Petersburg State University in Russia, and focused on the effects of short-term international programs for pre-service STEM teachers on their professional growth as teachers. The paper was accepted as an oral presentation at the 13th International Congress of Mathematics Education and was presented in Hamburg in July 2016. The Congress is held every four years and is under the auspices of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction. Over 3,000 mathematics educators from all over the world attended the Congress last summer. It is considered one of the most important international events in mathematics education.

In spring 2016, Sheehan received a CSI Undergraduate Research Award to conduct research on effects of virtual and physical manipulatives on retention of mathematics knowledge for students with disabilities. As part of this research, Sheehan developed geometry activities for her students. Based on this work, her group submitted a proposal and have been accepted to present a workshop at the Long Island Mathematics Conference (LIMACON) on March 17, 2017 at SUNY Old Westbury, NY.

Richard Schwartz Featured in The Jerusalem Post

Former College of Staten Island (CSI) Mathematics professor Richard Schwartz was featured in The Jerusalem Post online. The article, “Aliya Stories: Making social activism spiritual,” detailed his move from Staten Island to Israel so that “he could not only continue his longtime environmental, social-justice and vegan advocacy work in Israel but also perhaps make an even greater impact,” according the article.

While at CSI, Schwartz created a unique course, “Mathematics and the Environment,” and also wrote a textbook, Mathematics and Global Survival.

Read the full article in The Jerusalem Post online.

CSI Honors Student Achievements Adding Up

Tim Sweeney '17

The following equation sums up Tim Sweeney’s experience at the College of Staten Island (CSI): Macaulay Honors College Student + Captain of the CSI Men’s Swimming and Diving Team + Mathematics Major = One Amazing Student. Leading his team to three CUNYAC Championships in a row, Sweeney ’17, who is also member of the Student Athletics Advisory Committee (SAAC), advises his peers not to let school work add up.

“Stay on top of your work. College is a great opportunity to have fun but the amount of work can pile up quickly. Complete your work piece by piece, without letting it get out of hand,” urges Sweeney, a 20-year-old graduate of St. Peter’s High School.

Sweeney and his team recently traveled to Stuart, FL for a week-long training trip of two-a-day swim practices and dry-land workouts, where the athletes could focus on training without any distractions. Sweeney hopes to represent CSI at the 2017 NCAA Division III Swimming Championships this March.

“We are extremely proud of Tim. He is an excellent leader to his teammates and a very hard worker. It’s been a pleasure to see him grow as a student and excel as an athlete,” lauded Charles Gomes, CSI Director of Athletics.

“Swimming has been such a big part of my life for about 15 years. Because of this, I’m around the pool so much. I give swim lessons at CSI and I’m one of the head coaches of Hillside Swim Club, a team that I swam on for 13 years, until I graduated high school,” noted Sweeney, a West Brighton resident who also carries minors in Geography and Finance.

In a brief hiatus from aquatics and academics here at CSI, Sweeney also had the opportunity to travel to Copenhagen, Denmark where he studied Danish Greenspace, a class that allowed him to “see and experience so many new things from a culture that is so different than ours here.”

With an impressive 3.865 GPA, Sweeney is also a research assistant under Professor Jonathan Peters of the Finance Department at CSI and recently presented at the 2016 CSI Undergraduate Research Conference. His project, titled “Geospatial Analysis of New For-Hire Vehicle Services in New York City,” was an analysis of four different taxicab services throughout the five boroughs.  Sweeney also participated in the Macaulay Big Data Boot Camp, part of the Data Science Program at Macaulay Honors College and is taking part in a data analytics project this summer at the CUNY HPCC.​

Sweeney is grateful to many CSI faculty and staff members, particularly his swim coach, Mike Ackalitis, who has been “a key factor in my swimming successes and is always available to help outside of the pool as well, whether it is with school or work.”

Sweeney also appreciates his Macaulay advisors, Anita Romano and Lisa French, who “have offered guidance in all of my academic endeavors dealing with classes and outside internships,” as well as his mentors Professor Peters and Nora Santiago.

“Tim’s devotion to his studies as well as his training is admirable. He is a terrific student, and the Macaulay Honors College is proud to have him in the program,” said Dr. Charles Liu, Director of the Macaulay Honors College and The Verrazano School at CSI.

After graduation, Sweeney plans to attend graduate school for actuarial science, which would incorporate his math and my finance backgrounds and “allow me to enjoy the best of what each has to offer.”

 

 

 

 

Rising Stars: Bree Silverman ’16

Bree Silverman

Bree Silverman ’16: Major: Mathematics with a concentration in Secondary Education A Teacher Education Honors Academy and Dean’s List student, she is also a NOYCE scholar and an Alfred Harcourt recipient. A favorite aspect of CSI: “I am having a wonderful experience at CSI and I attribute that to the Teacher Education Honors Academy. Through this program, I received mentoring, a great education, and built wonderful friendships.” Future plans: After she receives her bachelor’s degree, she plans to pursue her Master’s in Math Education. To read more about CSI Alumni, check out Eye on CSI.