Friday, March 24, 2017

Suki Wong: Nursing and Beyond!

Suki Wong (Class of 2017) is a Nursing Major finishing up this challenging program and looking forward to the next set of adventures in her life.

“Every flower blooms in its own time.”
-- Ken Petti

Hello! My name is Suki Wong, Verrazano Class of 2017. I’m a senior majoring in Nursing. It’s crazy to think that in less than 6 months, I will be graduating at College of Staten Island. I survived nursing school! Time has passed by in a blink of an eye and I am proud to say I am a Registered Nurse.

At the RN Pinning Ceremony 2016
Throughout the years, I have stepped outside of my comfort zone and tried new experiences.  I interned at New York University Langone Medical Center through the HCOP Internship Opportunities Program. My most memorable experience was seeing an autopsy being done and it was pretty cool. I shadowed nurses and attended lectures and conferences. I also had a lot of interactions with the patients. From this experience, I was determined that pursuing a nursing degree was the right choice.

On the Dean's List, with President Fritz, 2016
Now, I am working on my Capstone project “Nursing Practice and Strategies for Responding to Child Abuse”. The objective of my capstone project is to find the most effective strategy for preventing or reducing child abuse. Most importantly, I want to encourage and establish a universal protocol in all professional work places in responding to suspected child abuse cases.

It was a pleasure to be part of the Verrazano family. I have met amazing people and developed close friendships with my nursing classmates.  I want to thank all my professors, mentors, and my friends who have supported me throughout the journey. I will definitely miss going on field trips with Verrazano. Not to mention, on one of my VELA events, I met Park Shin Hye, a South Korean actress!

Exploring the Brooklyn Bridge!
My advice to incoming students is to do at in your own pace. There is no need to compare yourself to others and worry about being behind. And when you are feeling unsure or don’t know what to do anymore, do not give up. Being lost is part of the path and eventually you will find the path that is meant to be.

I am super excited for the adventures ahead. I am looking forward to sharing more about my adventures!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Dina AlSharif: In the Lab from Freshman to Senior Year

Dina AlSharif (Class of 2018) has been conducting research for several years in the biology department.

Dina in the lab
My name is Dina AlSharif and I am a Verrazano Honors Student with a major in Biology and minors in Biochemistry and Chemistry. During the first semester of my freshman year, my biology professor was telling the class about conducting research as an undergrad and how it would help give us a deeper meaning of biology. Being interested in the sciences, especially biology, I chose to do research on breast and cervical cancer. The topic seized my attention since it is a big issue most women are affected by worldwide.

My research project was testing two anti-cancerous drugs Resveratrol and Pterostilbene on cervical cancer cells called HeLa and analyzing the level of the tumor suppressor protein p53. P53 is gene that codes for a protein that is responsible for regulating the cell cycle and suppresses cancer. After many trials, data obtained supports my hypothesis that the level of p53 increases upon treatment of both drugs. Obtaining data that sounds promising gives me a sense of achievement. I was very excited to be awarded the undergraduate research award and to present my findings at the undergraduate research conference last spring. 
Presenting at the Undergraduate Research Conference

Research is not just doing lab work; it is a passion. I have learned so many lab techniques, how to approach a problem from a scientific manner, and made new connections with colleagues that share the same passion. I am thankful for Professor Fata for allowing me to be a part of his research team. I encourage every student to conduct research in their field of interest as it will broaden their horizons and make them a well-rounded individual.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Nancy Che, Verrazano Class of 2018, has diverse interests--biology, art, and. . .Japanese! She had the opportunity to brush up on her Japanes skills on study abroad to Kyoto Japan, in the summer of 2016. 

The summer of 2016 is one I will never forget—one full of adventure, learning, fun, excitement, and meeting new people in the country I have always wanted to visit! It was one full of firsts: first time riding a plane, first time traveling alone, first time living in a dorm, first time studying Japanese again in 3 years… Riding an airplane for the first time was at first nerve wrecking, but then I found myself in awe and amazement at how far human technologies have advanced to permit such a heavy object to fly through the air!

Nancy Che, Class of 2018
Primarily studying and living in Kyoto, I had the opportunity to be surrounded by such traditional Japanese architecture and culture. I got to see the temple of gold (Kinkakuji Temple), tori gates of bright red (like those at Miyajima Island and Fushimi Inari Shrine), mountains full of lush greens (such as Arashiyama), walk through towering bamboo forests (Take no Mori), and see wild deer at Nara. Every day was an adventure to see as much of Japan as my classmates and I could after class, especially since places can close as early as 5pm for the day.

This trip helped me develop stronger perseverance, stamina, and a sense of independence. When it came to food, to me, any restaurant’s food in Japan was amazingly delicious and cheaper than NY! I often had ramen, udon, donburi’s (rice bowl dishes), and green tea desserts. There was always something to do and places to see that there are still so many places I want to visit still.

I have always loved the Japanese culture and language and this study abroad experience allowed me to be immersed in it all. I had classmates from around the world and one thing I found precious was being able to befriend and converse with my Korean classmates using Japanese as our mutual shared language. In addition to studying the language, I got to experience and learn more about the culture. I had the opportunity to learn about and meet geiko-san and maiko-san, also more commonly known as geishas in Eastern Japan and other countries, which an average Japanese person may never get to meet. I got to learn about and make my own sensu (hand fan) and ceramic bowl through the traditional method used centuries ago, and wear a yukata to the Gion Festival, one of the largest festivals in Japan!

Nancy in a kimono at the Gion Festival
Now that I’ve caught the travel bug, my advice to you would be to try studying abroad if they have the chance! To me, it was a college experience I was searching for and something that made me feel more rounded as individual. I am definitely grateful to have shared such an amazing life experience with all the wonderful people I met in Japan! If you’re excited about seeing another country, go open-minded, try new things, and embrace the experience!
A shrine at Uji

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Alum Perspective: Pay Attention to Flyers!

Erica Golin, an alumna from the class of 2015, earned her degree in Psychology with a Sociology/Anthropology minor. But her life changed when she saw a flyer. . .

Erica by the Caloosahatchee River in Fort Myers
On March 31, 2014, the course of my life was changed by watching a documentary in the Green Dolphin Lounge. Sounds dramatic, but this was my experience as an undergraduate student. A flyer caught my attention, an invitation to watch the documentary Paradise or Oblivion, hosted by Professor Harry Cason. The concept presented in the 48-minute video, available on YouTube, is Resource-Based Economy, which means living sustainably and eliminating the root causes of problems. Since watching Paradise or Oblivion for the first time two years ago, I have learned about the values and processes that contribute to a truly sustainable society, and this has influenced my lens of the entire world.

I am grateful for Professor Cason for inviting me to guest lecture about Resource-Based Economy in December for his World Political History classes. Without a passion pushing me, I might not have decided to go on to get my MPA from Columbia University in Environmental Science and Policy (I’m starting in June). I have also met Ja
cque Fresco, the 100-year-old futurist who coined the term “Resource-Based Economy,” twice.

As an alum of the College of Staten Island preparing to go to grad school, I have this advice for you:  If something catches your interest, listen to that voice of excitement and curiosity within you and just go for it

Monday, April 25, 2016

Arlinda Draga enjoys a feast of art and cuisine in Florence

Arlinda Draga, Verrazano Class of 2016, is studying Biology with a Biochemistry minor, but took advantage of a study abroad opportunity to travel abroad to Florence, Italy, in the winter of 2016, to feast on the arts and the cuisine.

Taking an art class in Florence
            I had an amazing experience on my study abroad trip to Florence, Italy this past winter. Florence was defiantly a huge culture shock for me.  I had the opportunity to live with three other students from New York on the top floor of an apartment next to Duomo di Firenze.  Duomo di Firenze is the main church of Florence and is considered to be one of the largest churches in the world.  Everyday my roommates and I would walk past the Duomo and get our cappuccinos before going to class.  I had the privilege of taking an introductory drawing class that was taught by an Italian artist who lived in Florence.  My professor taught us many different ways to draw and made us appreciate all the famous art work of Florence.  During class we would walk to museums and do sketches of famous paintings and sculptures.  We also had the privilege of drawing live nude models to help us practice for our final drawings.  For one of our final projects we were told to go to the top of Piazza Michelangelo and sketch a drawing of the view at the top of the hill.  We were also told to go to three famous areas of Italy and complete a drawing of our view.  My roommates and I went to the leaning tower of Pisa, the Coliseum in Rome and the top of the duomo in Florence and did three separate sketches of these breathtaking views.  This art class not only taught me how to draw, but it gave me the experience to travel Italy and see the real lifestyle of an Italian.


Throughout my trip, I tried some of the most amazing Tuscany dishes which included truffle pasta, T-bone steak, caprese salad, gelato and much more.  Florence is definitely an experience like no other.  Every other store down most of the blocks either sold wine, leather jackets or pizza.  During the night there were secret bakeries at different corners that would sell the freshest pastries.  The people of Florence would tell us to find the bakeries by following the smells in the streets of the pastries being prepared.  I believe that I adapted to the Italian culture very well on this trip.  Im extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to travel to Florence at such a young age.  This humbling experience not only made me more open minded to different cultures but it made me want to travel all over the world.