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

2016-2017

Ava Chin, PhD

Monika Wojciechowski

Ying Zhu, PhD

 

2015-2016

Irina Sekerina, PhD

 

2010-2011

Sarah Berger, PhD

Prosper Bernard

 

2009-2010

Barbara Clark

 

2007-2008

Jane Marcus-Delgado, PhD

 

2006-2007

Susan Smith-Peter, PhD

Cindy Wong, PhD

 

2004-2005

Alan Zimmerman, DPS

 

2003-2004

Nan Sussman, PhD

 

2001-2002

Daniel Fuchs

Peter Simpson, PhD

 

2000-2001

Stefano Harney

 

 

 

Shantel Rowe ’17: Embracing Academics and The Arts

Shantel Rowe '17 has been playing the guitar since age 15.

“Writing is an extension of oneself. When I write, I can show the parts of my soul, and heart that aren’t visible to the naked eye. Writing allows one to bring another layer of themselves into the world, and it can be a truly beautiful process.”

These are the illuminating and introspective words from College of Staten Island (CSI) English major Shantel Rowe ‘17. The Verrazano School student has written for The Banner and the Verrazano Voyager as well as for her own music blog, “Call It What It Is.” Also a performing artist, Rowe has played the guitar since she was 15.

With a wide range of influences including Amy Winehouse, Rupi Kaur, and Sylvia Plath, Rowe also attributes her passion for the pen to her mother. “I had always enjoyed writing, as my mother is a writer herself; however, I began taking it more seriously once I entered high school. I was challenged to write poetry, journalism, and creatively—and writing every day essentially helped me connect more with the craft,” commented Rowe, who carries a 3.9 GPA, with a concentration in Writing and a minor in Journalism and American Studies.

Some of her favorite pieces for The Banner include her commentary on Rihanna’s Anti album titled “Rihanna Takes on New Tone with Confidence” and also “Nina Brings the Drama Onscreen and Off,” an article about the controversy surrounding the Nina Simone film, Nina, which largely spoke to colorism in Hollywood.

Rowe is an English major and Verrazano School student.

Balancing life as a busy artist and devoted student, the recipient of a CSI Foundation Scholarship has also worked closely with Ava Chin, PhD, researching Chinese immigration into America. “We primarily focused on Dr. Chin’s family’s immigration, predominantly in New York City in the 18 and 19 hundreds; however, our research also speaks to Chinese immigration as a whole. I feel as if this work deepened my knowledge of immigration but more importantly of New York geography and how history plays its role in that. Of course, we know about certain neighborhoods living in New York; however to truly understand the history and dynamics behind Chinatown is something that is truly culturally enriching. To walk along Mott Street or Bayard and look at buildings that aren’t just structures, but artifacts/stories, is truly fascinating,” noted the 21-year-old Grasmere resident and Brooklyn native.

Dr. Chin was equally pleased to work with the student. “Shantel is a rare combination of old-soul maturity mixed with quirky brilliance. She has a keen and intuitive writing voice, a sharp eye for detail, and a great sense of musical styles—it’s been a pleasure to watch her grow from being a talented freshman to an outstanding senior. I could not be more proud of her,” Dr. Chin commented.

The graduate of the College of Staten Island High School for International Studies says she is “humbled” by her experiences at CSI and by professors who “have assisted with both my academic and personal growth.”

“Once you enter college, you learn more than you ever could anticipate, not just academically, but socially, culturally.  As an individual, I’ve significantly grown because of my experience here; I’ve experienced so many opportunities where I stepped outside of my comfort zone in the classroom and around campus, and because of that, I feel as if I’ve been very humbled,” said Rowe, who plans to pursue a doctorate and become a music journalist and college professor.

Charles Liu, PhD, Director of MHC and the Verrazano School, praised that, “In this increasingly media-blanketed world, we are fortunate to have Shantel and her brilliant, thoughtful voice to help us make sense of what we see and hear.  It’s great to have Shantel as a member of the Verrazano School and the larger CSI community.”

Rowe’s advice to her peers involves both mental and physical commitment in order to achieve success. “Mentally, you have to focus on your goals and set forth the steps to achieve them. This means networking, going the extra mile, and staying organized. Physically, these steps can be made by remaining an active voice and participant on campus,” she said.

Hakima Bahri Receives Fulbright Scholarship: Visiting Professor to Conduct Research at CSI

Hakima Bahri will conduct research at CSI in summer 2017.

This summer, Hakima Bahri, PhD, will take leave from her research post at L’Ecole Nationale d’Agriculture de Meknès in Morocco to conduct her research at the College of Staten Island (CSI). A well-respected professor and researcher in the field of botany and a recipient of the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship, Dr. Bahri will spend summer 2017 working with Abdeslem El Idrissi, PhD, in his laboratory.

Dr. El Idrissi, Professor of Biology at CSI, met Bahri in Morocco while traveling with his students in the LSAMP/ CSTEP-Morocco summer research initiative.

“Clearly this project is going to add value to both research efforts here at CSI in my lab and will also provide more international visibility for the College. This will strengthen future collaboration with research institutes in Morocco and also add interest to this research program,” noted Dr. El Idrissi.

CSI students visiting L’Ecole Nationale d'Agriculture de Meknès in Morocco.

Dr. Bahri’s objectives are to “conduct a thorough chemical profiling of the two selected species using adapted extraction methods and advanced analytical techniques… perform bioassays to test for the effect of the extracted phyto-chemicals on some of the health ailments… [and] develop a linkage with the laboratory of Neurobiology of the CSI of The City University of New York to build institutional collaboration…,” according to her Fulbright application.

“I am glad that this effort has come to fruition. I thank Khatmeh Osseiran-Hanna, the CSI Foundation, Dr. Claude Brathwaite and Vivian Incera for their continuous support,” commented Dr. El Idrissi.

The LSAMP/ CSTEP-Morocco summer research initiative has been running for three years and allows ten CSI students to conduct ethnobotany and biomedical research in Morocco for eight weeks in the summer.

“I am very pleased with the international links Dr. El Idrissi’s group has developed and the opportunities these collaborations bring for CSI students. We are honored to host Fulbright scholar Dr. Hakima Bahri in our college,” noted Dean of Science and Technology Vivian Incera, Ph.D.

 

 

 

 

 

Joseph Gyasi ‘18 On Scholarship and Giving Back

Joseph Gyasi mentoring children in the Broadway Housing Communities program.

The prestigious Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship is a highly selective, competitive award, in which only 15 students from 12 New York City colleges are selected each year.

Being a recipient of this impressive scholarship has in no way changed Joseph Gyasi’s ‘18 humble pursuits.

The College of Staten Island (CSI) Pre-Med Biology major tirelessly volunteers at the Emergency Department of the Montefiore Medical Center as well as the New York City Department of Homeless Services in their annual Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE).

“You never realize how blessed you are to have a home until the winter hits. Homeless people tend to marginalized in our communities and I believe as a society we are obliged to support each other. It’s always a blessing to know that through our efforts, people are able to receive the help they deserve… Volunteering in the Emergency Room, you get to see life-and-death cases and this pushes you to have a different perspective on life. So much so that you are inspired to take life more seriously and encourage others to live healthy,” Gyasi said.

While in his home country, the Ghana native also headed a team of 30 students traveling to five villages and small towns in the Ashanti region of Ghana to educate locals about various laws regarding tenure systems and the need to register land. Back in the U.S., he interned at Broadway Housing Communities, a non profit organization that offers affordable housing to formerly homeless people.

“It was exciting to interact with the locals to find out about the various problems facing their communities and then present their plights to the Members of Parliament for their constituencies,” commented Gyasi, who is spending the winter break at the University of Michigan Health System co-authoring an article with John Greden, PhD, on the state of affairs of personalized precise treatments for mental health disorders.

(From left to right): Dr. Valadakis, Joseph Gyasi, and Michele Callahan at the Watson Fellowship reception.

Also minoring in Psychology, Gyasi is a member of the Pre-Med Club, the African Club, and the CSI Emerging Leaders Program, and he is a CSI Student Mentor. Under the Watson Fellowship, he will take advantage of the three-year program that provides funded summer internships and other academic and co-curricular opportunities.

Gyasi is grateful to Michele Callahan, CSI Fellowship & Scholarship Advisor, who “coached me for the Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship and helped put me on track to starting my career in Health even as an undergraduate student.”

Gyasi attended high school at the Presbyterian Boys’ Senior High School in Accra, Ghana, and then began college in Ghana for a year before immigrating to the United States in 2014 and transferring to CSI that fall.

“CSI became my second home, rather quickly. I entered a diverse student body who were nothing like I had ever experienced. My friends became family and my professors were leaders I aspired to be like. In no time, I knew I had made the right decision by transferring to CSI,” Gyasi remembers.

Gyasi extended his gratitude to Professor of English Kalliope Valadakis, PhD, who he said was “the first teacher to ever motivate me to reach my highest potential. She helped me become a writer and pushed me out of my comfort zone to be a better person for both my community and my school.”

Gyasi plans to pursue a dual MD/MPH degree specializing in Psychiatry for Medicine and Health Management and Policy for Public Health, and eventually hopes to establish a medical hospital in Ghana that would provide quality healthcare that is affordable and accessible to all Ghanaians and West Africans broadly.

Working hard from the very beginning of college is, according to Gyasi, the key to student success.

“Students should understand the college journey begins truly from their freshman years and they should take those years very seriously as they can make or break one’s whole academic career. Also, CSI has many opportunities to offer and students should tap into those resources,” he noted.

 

Saada Amadu ’16 Forges Ahead to Study Sustainability

Saada Amadu visiting Château de Chambord in France.

As a sustainable environmental continues to be a global concern for many, one College of Staten Island (CSI) graduate is taking action.

Saada Amadu ’16 has received a full scholarship to attend graduate school at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary to study Environmental Sciences and Policy.

“I hope to work at the intersection of environmental science and policy because I believe for us to be able to find methods to sustain ourselves without endangering the environment and livelihood and well-being of future generations to come, international policy must find a way to bridge the gap with the scientific community,” said Amadu, who was an International Studies major with minors in Geography and French.

The Port Richmond High School graduate credits much of her motivation and inspiration for graduate studies to her experiences with research, under the advisement of Associate Professor Roshen Hendrickson, and study abroad opportunities at CSI.

“Saada is a very bright and ambitious woman who has gained access to stimulating opportunities, such as study abroad and graduate school in Europe, through sheer hard work. She has been a great pleasure to work with because she’s intellectually curious and motivated to contribute to her global community,” commented Professor Hendrickson.

Saada Amadu visiting temples in Hong Kong.

For her honors thesis, Amadu wrote about, “policies that led to Senegal importing over 70% of its food and also organizations and individuals working to revive the sector. The interesting part of the research was discovering that structural adjustment programs imposed by the IMF and World Bank were part of the reason for the decline in the Senegal agricultural sector.”

Currently crafting her Master’s thesis, Amadu is studying “the nexus of food, energy, and water security issues. The need for new energy sources and climate change have led some countries to seek alternative sources of energy through biofuels, which are basically energy derived from biomass. First generation biofuels can be derived from crops such as soy or corn while second generation biofuels are derived from by-products such as wood or crops such as jatropha [a flowering plant]. My research is focusing on the fact that biofuels affect both energy and water security of certain communities, in particular rural Ghanaian communities.”

For a truly rich college experience, Amadu strongly urges college students to take advantage of study abroad opportunities as well as the financial support available for those courses.

“Programs can be expensive but with the help of scholarships and grants, the costs might not be too much. I went on two semester-long programs and was still able to graduate in three and a half years. The Center for International Service is particularly helpful when it comes to applying for programs and scholarships,” said Amadu, who traveled to Paris, France in Spring 2015 and Hong Kong in Spring 2016.

The 21-year-old native of Tamale, Ghana was also the recipient of the Gilman Scholarship, Benjamin Franklin Travel Grant, CUNY SIROCS, and CSI Study Abroad Scholarship.

“Saada is an outstanding, dedicated student with a plan to utilize sustainability initiatives to make a difference for underserved communities around the world,” praised Michele Callahan, Fellowship & Scholarship Advisor.

To succeed in college, Amadu urges students to, “Take advantage of opportunities if and when you are presented with them. Also, try to have a faculty mentor because they can be of help when you least expect.”

 

 

Ana Hayes ’17 Receives Thomas W. Smith Fellowship

Ana Hayes with Dr. Gerry Milligan

Adding to her long list of impressive accomplishments, Ana Hayes ’17 is the recipient of the Thomas W. Smith fellowship. A CUNY BA and Macaulay Honors College student, Hayes also recently traveled to Berlin, Germany for a two-month internship at the American Citizen Services department in the U.S. Embassy.

Hayes is grateful to, among others, her mentors for the CUNY BA: Peter Kabachnik, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Global Affairs, and Gerry Milligan, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of World Languages and Literatures.

 

 

CSI Alumnus Omri Shick ’16 Showcasing Research

College of Staten Island (CSI) graduate student and alumnus Omri Shick ’16 is the first author of the paper The Effect of Short Mathematics Instruction in High School Chemistry Course on Student Chemistry Achievement. The work  has been accepted as a full paper at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) annual meeting. Shick began his research as an undergraduate student at CSI with Irina Lyublinskaya, PhD as his advisor, completing the study through a CSI Undergraduate Research Award. Dr. Lyublinskaya co-authored the paper as well.

Currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Science Education at CSI, Shick received a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry and Teaching, and is a full time science teacher at the Lavelle Prep Charter School.

To learn more about AERA, visit the AERA Web site.

CSI Alumna Stephanie Sheehan ’16 Celebrates Accomplishments

College of Staten Island (CSI) alumna Stephanie Sheehan ’16 has not rested since Commencement. Graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics and a two year Noyce Scholar recipient, Sheehan is a full time math teacher at the Lavelle Prep Charter School and is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Mathematics Education at CSI.

During her senior year at CSI, Sheehan completed two research projects. One was completed in Fall 2015 in collaboration with Irina Lyublinskaya, PhD and Mikhail Epshtein, PhD of St. Petersburg State University in Russia and focused on effect of short-term international program 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 considered one of the most important international events in mathematics education.

Also, in Spring 2016, Sheehan received a CSI Undergraduate Research Award to conduct research on the effects of virtual and physical manipulatives on the retention of mathematics knowledge for students with disabilities. Sheehan and Dr. Lyublinskaya will be co-presenting this work at a workshop at the Long Island Mathematics Conference on March 17, 2017 at SUNY Old Westbury, NY.