CSI Ranks in Top 15% Nationwide for Alumni Salary Potential

PayScale’s 2015-2016 College Salary Report has ranked more than 1,000 colleges and universities by the median salaries of their alumni, placing the College of Staten Island in the top 15% nationwide.

The report sets out to rank the best universities and colleges by salary potential. According to Payscale.com, “By knowing how much you can expect to earn after getting your bachelor’s degree, you can choose a school wisely and set yourself up for future financial security.”

From the 1,034 colleges ranked, CSI tied for 132nd place, with an early career pay of $47,100 and mid-career pay of $90,800. Of those surveyed, 47% of respondents attached a “high meaning” to their post-CSI employment, saying their work helps make the world a better place, and 12% received their CSI degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM). When looking at the data for business majors, CSI ranks 248 out of 592 institutions.

For complete details of the 2015-2016 College Salary Report visit payscale.com>


From Intern, to Employee, to Mentor: CSI’s School of Business Sets Sail for Student Success

On-the-job training in conjunction with classroom instruction is a critical component of the College of Staten Island’s School of Business in preparing today’s college students for a rewarding future.  With that in mind, faculty are always striving to find new, exciting internship opportunities at businesses throughout the tri-state area. One such internship, created from a partnership cultivated by Professor Alan Zimmerman with the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) Inc., is already paying dividends for students in only its second year.

Ewelina Kolakowska, who participated in the internship program in 2014, was hired by MSC to work in the company’s Logistics unit where she tracks cargo once it arrives to the U.S. and serves as the lead planner for charity events that the company organizes.  This year she also served as the mentor for the Summer 2015 cohort of CSI interns, assigning them tasks to complete, leading office projects, and aggregating feedback from the students about their internship experience.

The classroom is important for theoretical knowledge notes Ms. Kolakowska, adding “internships help students get a more practical POV of the workplace environment,” adding “The internship teaches students how to act, what to wear and even how to interact with supervisors.”

CSI’s internship program with MSC came about as a result of Professor Zimmerman’s desire to take his students beyond the walls of his classroom and in this case, on a tour to MSC, a global leader in international shipping with nearly 500 offices in over 150 countries. Gianpiero Pagliaro, Vice President of MSC was impressed by the CSI student visitors and offered to take a few students on as interns during the summer. Without hesitation, Professor Zimmerman set up competitive application process and formed a committee with fellow business school faculty and chose five students to take part in the inaugural MSC internship last summer.

A student of Professor Zimmerman, Ms. Kolakowska  encourages students in all fields to take advantage of as many internship experience as they can, saying that “I never had any experience with shipping but through the internship, I learned that the shipping industry takes people from many fields of expertise for the company to be as successful as it is.” She also cites all of the effort MSC and Mr. Pagliaro puts into making sure the interns get the most out of the experience. “This is not your average internship,” admitted Ms. Kolakowska. “MSC really puts their interns to work but in the end it is all worth it as it is such a great opportunity to learn.”

During the three month internship, the students work for 29 hours a week and are introduced to specific areas within MSC. They train in many fields such as Imports, Logistics, and Customer Service.

CSI interns “don’t just go running around getting coffee. They work,” notes Professor Zimmerman on the substance of their training with MSC.

“The interns work just like real employees,” added Mr. Pagliaro. “It is important for us to transmit the philosophy of the company and give them a solid picture of the industry as a whole.” The CSI interns receive training in the respective areas at MSC plus training in time management as well as the “do’s and don’ts” of the job interview process.

Mr. Pagliaro also tasks the students with working on a project during the duration of the internship. The CSI interns create a proposal and present on topics related to shipping and/or improvement of the overall office environment. “We ask them to come up with a proactive approach and practice public speaking which is very important in a corporate environment.”

The internship has been such a success that by the end of last summer MSC hired two CSI students as full-time employees.

MSC is responsible for U.S. importing and exporting with an established fleet of 465 container vessels covering 200 routes and calling at 315 ports. For more information about MSC Inc. visit: www.msc.com/usa 

For more information about CSI’s internship opportunities with MSC, contact the School of Business>


Michael Stillitano ’90 Elected President of the Monmouth/Ocean Chapter of the NJCPA

Michael A. Stillitano ’90, CPA and adjunct professor of accounting at the College of Staten Island, School of Business, has been elected President of the Monmouth/Ocean Chapter of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA) for a one-year term beginning June 1, 2015.

Stillitano earned his B.S. in accounting from The City University of New York’s College of Staten Island, and M.S. in taxation from Pace University, Lubin School of Business.

Endowment Establishes Lorraine and Gordon DiPaolo Board Room


Gordon and Lorraine DiPaolo

Since the Willowbrook Campus opened in 1976, the conference room in Building 1A, Room 406 has been home to thousands of meetings, conferences, and events. It has hosted world-renowned academics and public figures. Now, thanks to the generosity of Lorraine and Gordon DiPaolo, PhD, a popular Associate Professor of Management who has taught at the College of Staten Island since 1971 (starting at Staten Island Community College), the room will receive much-needed renovations and a new name, The Lorraine and Gordon DiPaolo Board Room.

The new fund will provide for upgrades to the microphone system for large meetings, replace aging furniture, and update the kitchen. Once the renovations are completed, the remaining funds will go to the Lorraine and Gordon DiPaolo Endowment for the School of Business.

The DiPaolos have been major financial supporters of the College and its students for years, having established a number of scholarships and funds for the School of Business; disabled students; the College, in general; and other critical initiatives.

For their generosity and support, they were honored in 2009 at the First Annual Celestial Ball with President’s Medals. Dr. DiPaolo also received a Dolphin Award this year for Outstanding Service and Contribution to the College by a Member of the Full-Time Faculty.

To read more about CSI News, check out Eye on CSI.



21-year-old launches Staten Island cell phone repair business

Adam Mohamed launched the Meiers Corners-based Fast Fix Wireless Inc., which offers cell phone/tablet repair, pre-paid smartphone services and cell phone and tablet accessories. (Photo courtesy of Adam Mohamed)

STATEN ISLAND ADVANCE — Growing up in the digital age, Adam Mohamed, 21, was always fascinated with technology.

“I always liked to keep up on the latest cell phones and devices that were coming out,” he said.

As the son of an electronics store business owner, he’s been taught from a young age that hard work and dedication pay off. So when he saw how smart phones were rocketing in price, he came up with the idea for a niche business.

“I realized the potential of a cell phone repair business when I saw how cell phones were increasing in price,” said Mohamed, who is currently pursuing a business degree at the College of Staten Island.

“My first repair was actually on my own phone. I had cracked the screen on my iPhone and when I went to my cell phone carrier to get it replaced they told me to replace the phone through my insurance was more than the phone was worth, so I decided to fix it myself,” he added.

This was the catalyst for launching the Meiers Corners-based Fast Fix Wireless Inc., which offers cell phone/tablet repair, pre-paid smartphone services and cell phone and tablet accessories, in April.

“I saw the benefits of owning your own business through my father, who owned a store in Brooklyn for 22 years,” he said.

“The way I feel is you’re better to start a business when you’re young and have the time you need to put into the business. It’s now or never. The longer you wait, the harder and more unlikely it is that you will do what you want,” said Mohamed.


Since we now live in a high-tech society, Mohamed believes his business is one that will always be in demand.

“Cell phones are used everyday by mostly everyone — young and old. If your phone breaks and you are not properly covered for it, purchasing a new phone will cost a lot more than it would to get it repaired. And the prices that we give our customers come out to be even less than going through insurance,” he said.

Working more than 16 hours per day and taking college classes at the same time, Mohamed is determined to succeed in his first business venture.

“In this business it takes patience and hard work to be successful. Like any business, it takes time for it to grow, and get it to the place where I know it has the potential to be,” said Mohamed.

“By doing this I feel I’m giving inspiration to other young business entrepreneurs who can realize if you want to do something you can, as long as you put your mind to it,” he added.

And Mohamed has learned from a young age that good customer service is integral to running a successful business.

“Seeing my customers leaving happy with service my business provided them is something that makes me feel great. But what I love most about my job is that it’s something I wanted to do, and I made it happen,” he said.

This article by Tracey Porpora first appeared in the Staten Island Advance and on SILive.com July 30, 2015. It is reprinted here with permission.

May the Road Rise Up to Meet You: CSI Students go to Ireland and Back Again

CSI faculty and students pose at Glendalough in County Wicklow. Glendalough, home to one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland, is an early Christian monastic settlement founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century.

For more than ten years, the College of Staten Island has partnered with the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) to give students from both schools the opportunity to study overseas and take advantage of a significant cultural exchange that effects students long after they graduate and pursue their careers.

This year, 23 students, 21 from the School of Business, recently returned from a 10-day-trip to Ireland as a part of the short-term summer program in Dublin. The number of students on the trip is a great example of the rising popularity and success of CSI’s partnership with DIT which balances studying with cultural activities and touring the Irish countryside.

The importance of studying overseas has grown as the world has shrunk, thanks in part to inexpensive travel costs and the internet.  With the DIT study abroad program, CSI students can stay one step ahead in their respective and very competitive fields of study.

The condensed, 10-day-session aims to pack as much in as possible combining several tours of Ireland such as a visit to Belfast and a tour of the Glendalough Monastery with lectures from DIT professors and the CEO of Adlens, Michael C. Ferrara. They took part in a tour of Intel’s large Irish facility and also visited the European corporate headquarters of Oracle where they spoke with key corporate representatives who shared candid insights about worldwide operations, career paths, and corporate culture. While staying at Trinity College in Dublin, the students were able to experience the history of the campus and visit the impressive library that houses the Book of Kells.

The CSI students prepared for the experience by studying the business climate in Ireland and selecting a topic for a research project. They were then able to continue and finalize their research through first-hand opportunities to engage with DIT faculty, businesses and a wealth of resources in Ireland.

“There is no substitute for this type of immersive learning experience,” said Dr. Susan Holak, Founding Dean of the School of Business at CSI, who accompanied the CSI students to Dublin—her first trip to Ireland—and was delighted by the level of immersion the students experienced, adding, “The students were exposed to information about Irish society, history, literature, and economic trends. Student accommodations were on the campus of Trinity College, Dublin—what an experience to live in a setting established in 1592!”

Professor Alan Zimmerman, who helped create this three credit summer session course, is encouraged by not only the rising number of students taking advantage of the partnership but by the diversity of the students. The 23 students were made up of 15 undergraduates and eight graduates, a number of whom were Professor Zimmerman’s students as undergraduates–Some as long as 12 years ago.

It is not just International Business majors who attended the trip, but business majors from several focuses were represented, as well as Engineering and Political Science.

Professor Zimmerman emphasized this diversity, saying, “It is important that we spread this experience to as many students as possible.” He went on to discuss the convenience of having a shorter, summer session to Dublin since “most CSI students are too busy to spend a full semester away; this trip allows students from all backgrounds to have the experience of studying overseas.”

CSI President Dr. William J. Fritz agrees that travelling overseas is an important  component of a student’s growth. “Every time you go overseas,” said President Fritz, “it changes you forever.”





Sally Mach ’15, School of Business

Sally Mach, School of Business Class of 2015

A recent and proud cum laude graduate of the School of Business and the Verrazano School at the College of Staten Island, Sally Mach stepped directly from CSI into a full-time position as a Financial Analyst on the Disaster Recovery Team at the Langone Medical Center of New York University.

Although she began her undergraduate studies studying Accounting and Computer Science, Ms. Mach realized that her interests lay in slightly different areas when she took an introductory Economics class.  After changing to a double major in Accounting and Economics she added a minor in Finance and, in a final additional semester, a second minor in Legal Studies.  Sally says “my friends all thought I was crazy to stay for another semester, but Warrick Bell [of the Dean’s office] gave me valuable insight that supported the idea that this additional minor would make me all the more diverse and competitive in the job market.”  Confirming the value of a broad educational background, one of Sally’s managers recently suggested to her that adding a graduate degree in a field other than Accounting would make her “a more rounded employee and a better asset to the company.”

Ms. Mach speaks passionately about the importance of her interactions with her instructors, advisors, mentors, and the staff of the College.  She notes that a conversation with Professor Mary Recor about an article they studied in class led directly to her completing an honors thesis in Accounting and presenting a poster at the College’s Undergraduate Conference on Research, Scholarship and Performance, and that a request for a letter of recommendation for an internship with the FBI brought Sally’s name to Dean Susan Holak’s attention – which in turn led to her attending events as a Student Ambassador, as a representative of the School when Governor Cuomo visited, and ultimately the honor of carrying the School of Business banner at Commencement.

Possibly the most critical connection that Ms. Mach made was with the Career and Scholarship Center.  In the Center, Joanne Hollan provides interview training and career coaching as well as résumé development assistance; when she was contacted by NYU Langone for potential candidates – through one of her own CSI connections – Ms. Hollan submitted Sally’s résumé for consideration based on her understanding of Sally’s areas of interest, her preparedness, and her abilities.

Ms. Mach realizes that an important part of her experience at the College of Staten Island was to narrow down what her interests are and how they fit with her ideal job and employment setting.

“I love to help others while disliking a tense and competitive working environment,” Sally says.  While searching for ways to translate her preferences into work that she would find rewarding, she attended one of the School’s Tuesday Business Briefs events hosted by Paul Zammit, an adjunct lecturer in Management, who spoke about considering opportunities outside of the corporate world in places such as government offices.  And, she adds, “Mr. Bell once suggested that I might be interested in working in a non-profit organization.  Little did I know that this small detail would actually have such a huge impact on my future.”

Alan Zimmerman discusses Super Bowl memorabilia on Marketplace Morning Report

As soon as the clock ran down on Super Bowl Sunday, out came the preprinted commemorative T-shirts and hats. Sports memorabilia is a huge industry, but so is counterfeiting. Federal investigators seized nearly $20 million in counterfeit hats, T-shirts and other souvenirs ahead of the Super Bowl, in a yearlong effort they dubbed “Operation Team Player.”

Alan Zimmerman, a professor of international business at the City University of New York, Staten Island, says many consumers view knock-offs as a victimless crime, believing they’re taking money from rich firms and rewarding a local manufacturer instead.

But counterfeiters can often be a part of larger criminal organizations.

“Counterfeit products are just a black market revenue stream for criminal organizations, to fund their large scale activities, everything from guns, drugs, violence, you name it,” says Bryan Cox, a spokesman with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, one of the government agencies involved in Operation Team Player.

Listen to the entire American Public Media segment on marketplace.org>