Commenting on the Middle States reaccreditation process, CSI President Dr. Tomás D. Morales, says, “As the College’s Chief Executive Officer, I share in the enthusiasm, pride, and dedication that my colleagues across our campus have for this important milestone in the life of our institution.”
The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is a non-governmental association that is dedicated to quality assurance and improvement through the process of accreditation via peer evaluation. To achieve this, Middle States requires that of each of its more than 520 member institutions periodically undertakes an intensive self-study and review by an external review team.
More than 130 members of CSI’s broad campus community are directly involved in the College’s reaccreditation process–an opportunity for retrospection, introspection, analysis, and renewal. With its special emphasis, entitled “Developing and Strengthening Assessment and Evidence-Based Decision Making to Continue Building Institutional Effectiveness,” the self-study design has already resulted in substantial discussion about student learning, integrity, transparency, processes, and planning.
CSI’s self-study design is also pluralistic, inclusive, and innovative, with its seven Working Groups, a matrix structure, advocate groups, and a Special Resource Committee.
“The timeline is ambitious,” Dr. Morales noted, “but we are well on our way and are prepared for the task. Our campus looks forward to hosting our Visiting Team in the spring of 2012.”
The President added, “I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to our self-study Co-Chairs, Dr. Susan L. Holak, Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness and Professor of Marketing, and Dr. Richard Gid Powers, Professor of History, for their leadership in this multi-year effort. I would also like to convey my gratitude to all our colleagues who are directly involved in working groups or committees, and to our extended campus community for supporting this important effort on the life of the College.”
An enthusiastic group of nearly 100 Business alumni and faculty gathered at the residence of President Tomás D. and Mrs. Evy Morales last week for a networking evening. Alumni, spanning from the 1970s to our most recent grads, the class of 2010,
and representing the fields of accounting, finance, management, international business, and information systems, had the opportunity to catch up with their favorite faculty members and fellow grads.
President Morales highlighted the College’s record enrollment and discussed plans to advance the College further with the strategic planning process currently underway.
In addition, the President spoke about the importance of alumni remaining in touch with the College and our students, underscoring the strides that the College is making in fundraising efforts, including major gift development. On a related note, he discussed the importance of supporting the upcoming Celestial Ball on December 4, which provides much-needed funding for student scholarships.
Vullnet Kollari, Esq. ‘98, Alumni Board President, brought greetings from the Alumni Association and discussed the important contributions that Business faculty members have made in the lives and career paths of alumni.
Professor Thomas Tellefsen ’77, Chairperson, Business Dept., brought alumni up to date on the Master’s in Business Management program and the proposed plan to transform the department into a School of Business.
Richard Prinzi, CPA ’93, past Alumni Board President and current Treasurer of the CSI Foundation, spoke of his strong ties to the College, borne of his positive undergraduate experience, and the value he has found through the years in recruiting more than 60 accounting students for internships and employment. He concluded by encouraging his fellow alumni to get involved with their alma mater in whatever way they can, whether it be offering a job, an internship, or being a mentor for our students. He assured them they would not be disappointed.
Last Tuesday, more than 35 members of the College community, who contributed $100 or more over the past two years to the College, were honored during a breakfast that celebrated the inaugural Faculty/Staff Giving Circle, which is chaired by CSI Professor and CSI Foundation Ex-Officio Member Roberta Vogel, PhD. At the event, CSI President Dr. Tomás D. Morales presented faculty/staff donors with Giving Society pins.
“There are several ways to give and all of you came forward to do so,” noted Erika Hellstrom, Director of Development in her opening remarks.
President Morales presented the assembled faculty/staff donors with Giving Society pins and told them that their giving represents an outstanding example to encourage potential donors who are outside of the College community to make contributions. “By giving to the College, you directly impact our students, whether giving through the Annual Fund, establishing student scholarships, or designating gifts to the College through the United Way,” said the President.
During the event, Dr. Vogel also presented President Morales with a Giving Society pin, noting his own personal contributions to the College.
The Staten Island Branch of the New York Urban League honored College of Staten Island President Dr. Tomás Morales with its Education Award last Friday at its annual Mills G. Skinner Awards Luncheon.
Dr. Morales commented, “I am proud to receive this honor from the New York Urban League and to support the League’s important contributions toward ensuring that all students have the equal opportunity to receive a quality education.”
Other honorees included Fran Reali (Health and Social Welfare Award), Betsy Dubovski and Mark Irving (Charles Langere Community Service Award), Serena Brothers-Mohamed (Clarence “Butch” Mangin Award), and Asia Tyi McCleary-Gaddy (Chancellor Richard R. Greene Award).
According to a press release, the Staten Island Branch of the New York Urban League was established in 1964 and since then “has grown and developed into a program which teaches youth how to become agents for change in their home and community… The New York Urban League serves all residents of Staten Island, with a special focus on those underserved and underrepresented…Each year over 200 high school students participate in leadership workshops on such topics as effective conflict resolution, global citizenship, and educational and career options. We continue to look to these young leaders to be the catalyst of change for their community.”
There were many accomplishments for CSI President Tomás D. Morales to discuss at this year’s Convocation last week, but the President reminded the nearly 400 people in attendance that none of it would have been possible without the dedication and commitment of the College’s faculty and staff.
Dr. Morales began his remarks by commenting that although there are many definitions of the word “convocation,” the central idea is “a group of people assembled for a special purpose. Today,” Dr. Morales continued, “that group of people is you–our faculty and staff. And the special purpose for which we assemble today is to celebrate you.”
The President underscored the contribution of CSI’s faculty, 18 of whom recently joined the College, who, through their, “excellence in research, scholarship, and service, bring ever-increasing academic prestige and honor to the College of Staten Island.”
He also detailed the dedication and hard work of the College’s professional administrative staff, support staff, campus peace officers, and custodial assistants who are all ensure that the College runs smoothly on a day-to-day basis.
Following Dr. Morales’s remarks, CSI Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. William Fritz concluded this year’s Convocation by recognizing the contributions of faculty and staff members who have reached milestone anniversaries of service. As Dr. Fritz called the honorees to the stage to receive gifts of appreciation, he lightened the atmosphere by reading historical and amusing facts from each anniversary year. Music from artists as disperate as B.J. Thomas, Captain & Tennille, Seal, and Kelly Clarkson also helped take people back in time.
Faculty and staff who were honored this year included:
Rebecca Adler Schiff
The College of Staten Island (CSI) has launched a new Bachelor of Arts degree program in Italian Studies. The new undergraduate program was created to address the needs of the students and the Staten Island community. The degree has two distinct tracks: Italian Studies and a second track that includes NY State adolescence education certification.
Why Italian Studies at CSI?
Dr. Jane Marcus-Delgado, chair of Modern Languages at CSI states, “A major in Italian Studies is an important addition to the College’s curriculum, both for its academic significance and for its recognition of the importance of Italy and the Italian American community in our globalized society. This exciting new program goes beyond the study of Italian language and literature, providing an interdisciplinary approach that encompasses such areas as the history of Italy, its philosophy, architecture, art, culture, and politics.”
Most importantly, stresses Marcus-Delgado, Staten Island (Richmond County) is the county with the highest concentration of residents of Italian heritage in New York. Italy and Italian Americans are not only important globally, but have also played a critical role in creating the rich, unique, and vibrant culture of Staten Island. “Our Italian Studies major clearly recognizes the valuable relationships that have always existed among the community, the College, and CUNY and serves as an intellectual home for strengthening these ties,” she notes.
What can an Italian Studies student do after graduation?Many students will pursue a career in teaching Italian at the middle to high school level [GU1] . Others will benefit from taking Italian Studies as a second major, as it works particularly well in tandem with fields such as International Business, International Studies, Social Work, and Psychology, as well as other disciplines in the liberal arts.
“There are a lot of relevant jobs available for a graduate with this degree, ranging from teacher to museum curator to businessperson in imports and exports — from cars to food and wine and fashion,” comments Marcus-Delgado. She adds that some Italian language students have already completed internships, through other majors, in businesses that are either based in or do business with Italy.
The new Italian Studies major complements the Modern Languages Department’s dedication to providing a rich portfolio of courses and programs that embrace a multicultural world, having recently added Chinese and Arabic to its offerings in French, Spanish, and American Sign Language.
Two events celebrate Italian Heritage and the launch of the Italian Studies major
One event is a party and celebration on October 7 sponsored by the Campus Activities Board. It includes a WSIA DJ playing Italian and English language music, free gelato, and information tables hosted by the Department of Modern Languages, The Center for International Service, and the Career and Scholarship Center, and a raffle of Italian gifts. Students wishing to get CLUE credit can take a quiz on Italy after reviewing the informational posters made by the 400 CSI students currently enrolled in Italian.
The second celebratory event is “Celebrating Italian Culture” at the Tuscan Garden at Snug Harbor Cultural Center, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, on October 16, 2010.
Other events include a performance by DisCanto, a presentation by Distinguished Professor Dr. Fred Gardaphe of English and Italian American Studies at Queens College entitled “Is Moustache Pete Dead? The Power of Italian American Oral Tradition,” and a “Meet the Professors” information session. View the Italian Heritage Events calendar on CSI Today for a complete list of activities and event details.
Under the theme, “Plan to Be Healthy,” the Expo featured classes and seminars on healthy eating, the latest exercise regimens, men’s and women’s health issues, living fully with disabilities, and other opportunities for increasing one’s well-being and health. The event was sponsored by Councilman James Oddo and the Northfield Bank Foundation, and hosted, in part, by CSI.
CSI President Dr. Tomás Morales, who served as Expo Ambassador, underscored the crucial importance of the event and the College’s participation in it. “Health care and wellness are some of the major challenges on Staten Island. The Commissioner of Health for New York City this morning gave us a very startling statistic. While Staten Island has the highest per capita income, we also have the highest mortality rate, the highest rate of diabetes, the highest rate of smoking of any borough in New York City. Given that the College of Staten Island is the only public institution on Staten Island, we serve the public good, and so to be involved, myself as Ambassador, and of course our Nursing and Physical Therapy departments and our students and faculty, it really demonstrates that we are indeed committed to health and wellness here on Staten Island.”
Commenting on the latter seminar, Dr. Jeffrey Rothman, Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy, noted that “The second leading cause of death in people over the age of 65 is falls. So what we’re trying to do today, between [the] Physical Therapy and Nursing [departments] is to present some strategies and some things for people to do to maintain their fitness level so that their balance and coordination are improved or are not in a situation that will allow them to fall and suffer an injury.”
Students from CSI and other colleges were well-represented at the Expo and some of them were appreciative of the efforts to address college-age wellness issues, such as the “College Health” seminar.
Gloria Lopez, a senior Nursing major, said, “This was a great interactive fair for all college students and for Staten Island [residents]. I think that it touched a lot of topics that college students need to be exposed to.”
Jessica Ng, a senior Psychology major, also valued what she learned at the event. “I think the Expo today is a great and interactive way to promote wellness throughout the entire borough.”
Beyond the informative aspects of the Expo, Alexis Garcia, a junior Psychology major, enjoyed the social dimension of the event. “You make a lot of connections, you network, and interact with other college students and figure out how to get the whole community together [regarding health issues].
Other CSI representatives agreed that the Expo was a success, as it brought the community together to address important health issues.
Dr. Mary O’Donnell, Chair of the Department of Nursing, commented, “Health is the major concern of all of nursing, and health and wellness are among our target goals…I think that anything that exposes the public to healthy lifestyles is going to be a plus for all of us.”
Maureen Becker, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, drew attention to CSI’s role in the community. “I think the College has a great influence on Staten Island because of the number of students [who attend CSI] and that so many of our students are going into the health care profession. So if we all can be role models, we can help our patients and the community more.”
Linda Conte, Director of the CSI Health and Wellness Services, focused on the importance of student health as a key ingredient to success. “College students are so much a part of the culture on Staten Island and if we expect our students to succeed, there is no way that they’re going to do that without attending to their health and wellness. Health and wellness is intrinsic to anything anyone does. So, if they want to do anything well, they need to be in a good place physically, as well as emotionally.”
Finally, Donna Garambone, Alumni Affairs Coordinator, emphasized the social connections that the Expo fostered, especially among alumni. “The CSI Alumni Association needs to connect with our alumni. Over half of our alumni live locally on Staten Island and many of them are in the health care professions.”
Connections were certainly made at the Expo, as attendees had the opportunity to hear celebrity guests Lisa Oz and Joseph T. Bonanno, who shared their knowledge on healthy living. Other aspects of the Expo included demonstrations and classes taught by fitness experts from the JCC, YMCA, and other organizations; health screenings for glaucoma, hearing, and brain tumors, and more; onsite mammograms; raffles; free massage therapy; a blood drive; more than 100 vendor tables; healthcare counseling; and even a farmers’ market.
Area legislators and their representatives were updated on the state of the College of Staten Island, its future plans, and the CUNY budget last week at a breakfast hosted by CSI President Dr. Tomás Morales.
Underscoring the fact that CSI “is one of the very few institutions in American higher education that enjoys an extraordinary level of support from both sides of the aisle from our city, state, and federal legislators,” Morales began the meeting, which included a PowerPoint presentation that not only provided news of the College’s latest achievements, such as a steady increase in enrollment, a 48% increase in the number of entering baccalaureate students over the past three years, and a doubled enrollment in the prestigious Macaulay Honors College, but a look ahead at CSI’s Master Plan. Outlining the plan, Morales focused on the anticipated growth of the campus, including new residence halls, a dedicated building for the new state-of-the-art High-Performance Computing Facility, expansion of the Campus Center and Library, renovation of Building 2M, a new Welcome Center/Transportation Center, and plans to make the campus more bicycle-friendly by adding bike paths.
City University of New York Senior Vice Chancellor for University Relations and Secretary of the Board of Trustees Jay Hershenson discussed the University’s budgetary situation. On the positive side, he noted that CUNY’s mandatory costs would be covered for the coming year, but added, on the negative side, that the University also faces an $84.4 million state aid reduction. Hershenson also mentioned that CUNY enrollment is up in the current hard economic climate, most likely as a result of people attempting to acquire the skills that they need to compete in the today’s tight job market. Another increase, Hershenson reported, is a 120% boost in transfer applications to the University.
After the two presentations, Dr. Morales opened the floor to the guests for questions and comments. Meaghan Devereaux, Chief of Staff for Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro, and a CSI alumna, shared her feelings about the wonderful education that she received at CSI, and she credited Dr. Morales for making CSI the quality institution that it is today, commenting that he is very engaged with the Borough.
The meeting concluded with remarks from CUNY Trustee and CSI alumna Kay Pesile, who noted that she has taught Finance classes as an adjunct at the College since 1978 and mentioned that initially, it was difficult for CSI grads to find job placements in Wall Street firms, but today she is writing letters of recommendation to these firms on behalf of students “who are on an equal footing with [students] at NYU, Pace, St. John’s.” Trustee Pesile then called on the legislators to work to expand CSI students’ opportunities.
Other attendees at the breakfast were: NYS Assemblyman Michael Cusick, Meaghan Devereaux (representing SI Borough President James Molinaro), NYS Assemblywoman Janele Hyer-Spencer, Joe Borelli (representing NYC Councilman Vincent Ignizio), Kim Marsell (representing NYS Assemblyman Andrew Lanza), Patrick Hyland (representing U.S. Representative Michael McMahon), NYC Councilwoman Deborah Rose, Anthony Basile (representing NYC Councilman James Oddo), NYS Assemblywoman Diane Savino, NYS Assemblyman Matthew Titone, Michael Capottelli (representing NYS Assemblyman Lou Tobacco), CSI VP for Institutional Advancement and External Relations Barbara Eshoo, CSI Provost and Senior VP for Academic Affairs Dr. William Fritz, CSI VP for Finance and Administration Milton Santiago, CSI VP for Student Affairs Dr. Jerald Jones-Woolfolk, CSI VP for Technology Systems Dr. Michael Kress, President Morales’s Chief of Staff Dr. Ann Lubrano, CSI Student Government President Nick Iambrone, CSI Foundation Board President Robert Cutrona, CSI Finance Professor Dr. Jonathan Peters, and CSI Political Science Professor Dr. Richard Flanagan.