Nuria Morgado Inducted to the North American Academy of the Spanish Language

Dr. Morgado inducted to ANLE

College of Staten Island (CSI) professor Nuria Morgado, PhD, Associate Professor of Spanish was officially welcomed to the American Academy of the Spanish Language (ANLE).

Morgado was inducted after a thorough dissection of the philosophical foundations in the poetry of Antonio Machado and a clear description of the contributions of Emmanuel Kant, Johann Fichte and Emmanuel Lévinas to the poet’s thinking.

“From his first book Soledades (1903) to Nuevas canciones (1924) through Campos de Castilla (1912), the first edition of Poesías completas (1917) and the writings of his apocryphal Abel Martín and Juan de Mairena, the theme of Otherness has occupied to a great extent the thought of Antonio Machado, “said Dr. Morgado, who earned a PhD in Spanish literature from the University of Arizona and a journalism degree from the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

She ​​defined the otherness “as the experience of difference, investigating how this difference can challenge the systems of classification, interpretation and social categorization.”

“For Machado,” said the new inductee, during the event held in the auditorium of the King Juan Carlos I Center at New York University, “the concept of otherness is almost always conceived through a poetic-philosophical praxis that tries to understand how the Self interacts with the world, and how the experienced Self learns from this complex interaction. Machado asks ‘how can one establish meaningful communication with the Other in the world?’”

After pointing out that Antonio Machado emphasizes the importance of the Other in the Self, surpassing in this way the rationalistic solipsism of both Leibniz (windowless monads) and that of Kant (categorical imperative), Morgado declared that for the Spanish poet “one must transcend the totalizing thought and adhere to the infinite inquiries about unity and difference.”

Precisely in the presentation of the new inductee, the information coordinator of the ANLE, Daniel Fernández, highlighted the fruitful work of Morgado as editor and reviewer. “I find admirable her task of opening spaces for others to publish,” he said of his new colleague whom he defined as “Catalan from Barcelona, ​​Andalusian, Hispanic and Trans-Hispanic.”

Finally he praised the persistent commitment of Dr. Morgado for “building bridges of communication between literature and philosophy.”

Macaulay Honors College Student Ana Hayes ’17 Interns at U.S. Embassy in Berlin

Ana Hayes '17 interned at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, Germany.

World travel has taught College of Staten Island (CSI) student Ana Hayes ’17 many things. The most important lesson she shares, though, is to always “keep an open mind.”

After the 20-year-old Macaulay Honors College student traveled to Berlin, Germany this past summer, that lesson became a true reality.

“I met with quite a bit of culture shock upon my arrival in Berlin. The Germans are a wonderful people and, to some extent, the values and norms Americans share with them outweigh the differences between the two groups,” said Hayes about her two-month internship at the American Citizen Services department in the U.S. Embassy.

The Queens, NY-born CSI student is no stranger to travel, venturing to Europe as early as nine years old. These early experiences, coupled with her geographical coursework at CSI, according to Hayes, “proved very valuable as I developed some sense of European politics at large that I leaned on throughout my trip.”

“During the course of my internship, I came into contact with Embassy employees who better fleshed out my understanding of the types of people drawn to government service. I was struck by how diverse a group they are; indeed, I feel that in some ways I learned just as much about the United States as I did about Germany. For the first time, I found myself interacting daily with people from well outside the New York orbit. Their perspectives were often worlds apart from my own, yet we all shared a passion for cultural plurality. It made the office a pretty exciting atmosphere,” said Hayes, who will graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Italian language, Culture and Politics, and Political Geography of the United States. She currently holds a 3.9 GPA.

Hayes has been inspired by many individuals in her life: Peter Kabachnik, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Global Affairs; Gerry Milligan, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of World Languages and Literatures; and, of course, her mother.

“My mother and I have traveled together since I was young. Travel has always been a major part of my life, and I want to continue that,” said Hayes, noting that her mother, as a Professor of History at Montclair State University, would receive research stipends and take Ana with her on trips.

After graduating from the International Baccalaureate Program at Curtis High School in 2013, Hayes began at CSI with many of her courses focused on Russia. Her dual Italian American citizenship also encouraged an active interest in Italian culture and language. Sicily is of especial interest to her, due to her Sicilian heritage.

Ana Hayes (right) and her sister, Maddie, also an MHC student at CSI, on the Italian island of Pantelleria.

Her advisor and mentor, Dr. Kabachnik, has also been a positive influence in her academic career. “He encouraged me to do research on Chechnya and that got me interested in doing some very serious research,” commented Hayes, not forgetting the support she has received at Macaulay Honors. “All the people at Macaulay are wonderful and so helpful. They encouraged me to apply for many opportunities.”

A CUNY BA student, Hayes also received the prestigious Thomas W. Smith fellowship. Her mentors for the CUNY BA are Dr. Kabachnik and Dr. Milligan.

Director of the Macaulay and Verrazano School programs Dr. Charles Liu commented, “Ana is a tremendously talented scholar and communicator whose view of our world is truly global. She represents the College of Staten Island and the Macaulay Honors College with eloquence and distinction wherever she goes—in our local community and across the globe too.”

When asked how she balances school, travel, and other responsibilities, the Dean’s List student noted how her family dynamics help her to stay focused. “I’m the second eldest of seven children. Learning how to best use my time, flexibility, etc. were all ingrained in me from an early age as a result,” commented Hayes.

Professor Makes Tweeting a Course Requirement

Giancarlo Lombardi Profile picture from his Twitter account @gianclm

While some teachers might forbid social media in their classrooms, one professor at The City University of New York (CUNY) embraces the digital tool.  Not only does Dr. Giancarlo Lombardi appreciate the use of applications like Twitter, he has made “tweeting” a mandatory activity in his Television Without Borders graduate seminar.

The seminar requires students to watch an entire season of a television drama outside of class and Tweet about the show as they watch it, at least five times a week. Dr. Lombardi is extremely pleased with the level of engagement as well as the insightful observations students are making on Twitter.

Dr. Lombardi's Twitter posts for his course

“The students are actually quite sophisticated in their analysis of these shows.  Twitter lends itself to a very economic form of writing. Every word weighs a ton because you only have so many characters to write a strong, solid, reaction piece. That’s what my students have been able to do,” said Dr. Lombardi who teaches the course at The CUNY Graduate Center.

Using the hashtag “#tvwithoutborders,” students have not only been engaging with each other, but also with the actual actors on the series. Dr. Lombardi noted that two actors were involved in a discussion on Twitter with students, “creating a much larger audience for this intellectual conversation. This also creates a strong sense of community outside of the class, which only meets once a week,” noted the professor, adding that the 20 enrolled students are tweeting well beyond the requirements of the course.

Dr. Lombardi, Executive Officer of the PhD Program in Comparative Literature at The Graduate Center and also a professor at the College of Staten Island since 1999, said this is his first time using Twitter and first time using it in the classroom.  He intends to continue using the tool in future courses as he finds it “a very productive use of social media.”

To check out the television drama online conversation go to #tvwithoutborders on Twitter.

Mahwish Razi: China, guys, China!

Mahwish Razi ’18, a Verrazano student, is a Computer Science major with minors in Chinese and Political Science. Not only does she study broadly, she travels broadly! Here she shares here experiences on a winter study abroad in China (and elsewhere!).

Three countries, one month, and I am officially back and labeled, “Miss traveled the world”.  I spent three weeks living and studying in Shanghai, China, four days touring Tokyo, and one week on vacation in Dubai this past winter break. I came back Sunday night and in only a few hours was back on the CSI campus. Jetlagged? Like never before. Culture shocked? Well, only the fourth time in four weeks.

Both China and Japan were at the top of my bucket list, Japan above China even. Studying abroad for me was my lifelong dream; however, when I began college, it was almost a joke. As soon as I entered the Verrazano program, there was all this talk about studying abroad and I was constantly asked if it was in my plans, and I’d respond each time saying, “Yes!” while thinking to myself, “If only.”  It’s almost funny when I figured it out; the only thing holding me back really was myself. I’d always find myself wandering into the international center whether it was for an event or to inquire about one, when I finally decided to just get that application and go.
And so I went… It was the best decision I’ve ever made. On the way to Shanghai, we stopped in Japan as it was a connection flight, and although we didn’t leave the airport, I was fascinated beyond imagination. Those Japanese toilets were something, and I remember telling my friends how I wished we came to study abroad in Japan instead of China. However, it wasn’t long before I’d be whining about not leaving Shanghai and coming up with plans to live my life out there.

Shanghai became, in just three weeks, home. My friends became my family and although my tones were off and half the time I was speaking in Chinglish, I came to a point where all I wanted to do was speak Chinese. I find myself nostalgic about everything there. There is not a single thing that I don’t miss. My friends hated being pushed into the trains, but I, for one, loved it. Yes, ask me anything about China and I will say I loved it. It was nothing like what I imagined going there. I thought I’d be going to a bigger Chinatown; I couldn’t have been more wrong. This was a place with the most amazing infrastructure; I almost thought I was in the future. With such advanced technology and architecture, this was also a place rich in culture and cuisine. Although most shops were closed for breakfast, watching the early groups enjoy tai chi and the calligraphy being painted on the park tiles filled me up right to the brim.

I still can’t believe I went to China and I couldn’t believe it there either. I’d probably say it five times a day, if not more, “Guys can you believe we’re in China? China guys, China!” and towards the end I changed it up a bit: “Guys can you believe we’re leaving? We’re leaving China guys, China, aren’t you super duper sad?” Travelling to China was definitely an experience that changed my life for the better and gave me clarity as to where I need to be headed with my future goals. I think if anything, I have been blessed for this opportunity and for the friends that became so dear to me. Xièxiè for everything China and to everyone that helped me reach such an amazing place.


To read more about exciting exploration, visit The Verrazano Voyager homepage.