College of Staten Island President Marlene Springer treated the 375 attendees at the college’s 2003 Convocation in the Center for the Arts Williamson Theatre to a showcase of some of the college’s achievements, and profiles of some members of the CSI community who have gone above and beyond over the past year.
EliotBudDr. Springer began her 10th annual Convocation address on a light note by turning the spotlight on Bud, the College’s goose chasing dog, with a humorous video showing the canine in action, while receiving some “coaching” tips from her own dog, Eliot. The two pups even made a guest appearance on stage.
President Springer highlighted some of the College’s many accomplishments over the past year, such as the approval of the CUNY Institute for Macromolecular Assemblies and the inauguration of the CSI Staten Island Project, as well as some things to come, such as the opening of a small high school on campus, which is scheduled for fall 2004.
The President also profiled the accomplishments of five CSI students, who are examples of dedication to their studies, and to the community: Elie Jarrouge, Vanessa Leigh DeBello, Dana Flores, Kristine Gansico, and Emmanuel Fallah. The Convocation turned sombre, as Fallah, a CSI nursing student and Registered Nurse, who is originally from Liberia, recalled his struggles in his native country during the Liberian civil war, which included the arrest of a nurse who, in her last words to him, urged him to become a nurse so that he might take her place in the profession.
After Fallah’s moving speech, the audience also had the opportunity to preview a CSI video segment that will air on the National College Review program on the E! Entertainment channel.
Summing up the state of the College, President Springer told the story of a people who live in Ladakh in North India. According to Dr. Springer, the Ladakhis live with a high level of co-existence and spiritual enlightenment by experiencing the world through a fusion of ‘heart’ and ‘mind’, focusing on wisdom and compassion as inseparable components of human existence.
Dr. Springer closed on a personal note. While in Cambodia, she told the audience of the cellular phone call she made to her daughter on her birthday, saying that technology let her do that — but it was the heart and mind that made her want to do it.
Before exiting the theater to conversations and refreshments, Dr. Springer urged the attendees to celebrate their “hearts and minds” in this increasingly technological age.