Friday, December 21, 2012

Verrazano Scholarship Recipients Are Ready To Explore The World

The Verrazano School is pleased to announce the Fall 2012 Verrazano Study Abroad Scholarship recipients.  Shiney David, Angelica Grant, Elizabeth Krawczun, and Kimmy Yu have been awarded scholarships to help support their study abroad experiences during the upcoming winter and spring sessions.  These students will pursue language and cultural studies related to their areas of interest and come back having gained valuable experience and memories to last a lifetime.

Angelica Grant, Kimmy Yu, Elizabeth Krawczun

Shiney David

Elizabeth Krawczun, Verrazano Class of 2014, is a CUNY BA student pursuing a concentration in Epidemiology.  She will be spending the winter intersession traveling to India on a Global Health program through Brooklyn College.  Elizabeth remarked, “ This scholarship is going to give me the opportunity to explore a new country and new cultures. I greatly appreciate the chance I am being given to step outside of my comfort zone and take part in a global education. I would not have had this wonderful opportunity, if not for the generosity of the Verrazano School."

Shiney David, a Psychology major in the Class of 2013, will be spending the winter intersession in Florence, Italy.  Shiney hopes to become a physical therapist and is interested in applying the cross-cultural skills she gains this winter to her future profession.  "Studying abroad has been one of my goals ever since I started college,” Shiney said.  Like many students, Shiney was concerned about the financial burden of a study abroad experience and decided to apply for scholarship funds.  “If it wasn’t for the Verrazano Scholarship,” she said, “ I would have never gotten a chance to have this experience.”

Kimmy Yu is a senior, majoring in Chemistry with minors in Biochemistry and Chinese. He will be traveling to Shanghai for the winter intersession. Kimmy plans to pursue a career in teaching and medicine. He feels that having this financial support will help provide him with the ultimate experience of living on his own while at the same time earning credits toward his minor.

Angelica Grant, Class of 2013, is a Psychology major who will spend her final undergraduate semester in Hong Kong as part of the CSI Exchange Ambassador Program.  After doing research with Dr. Brooks for several semesters and finalizing her honors thesis, Angelica is ready to have the adventure of a lifetime.  In expressing her gratitude for the financial support, Angelica said, “The scholarship will significantly help me to pursue my dream of living and learning abroad while taking courses in the Social Sciences and Humanities at the City University of Hong Kong.”

All four of these scholarship recipients are active members of the Verrazano community and the broader CSI community and will serve as wonderful ambassadors for study abroad while they are away and after they are back on campus.  They will be posting blog entries about their experiences before they leave, while they are abroad, and upon their return.   There will also be a Verrazano student study abroad panel held on February 14, and the scholarship recipients will be participating as panelists at that event.  We look forward to hearing more from these students!

Funds are available through a competitive application process to help support Verrazano student participation in study abroad programs.  Funds are made possible through the Office of the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies and Academic Programs and the Center for International Service.  The deadlines to apply for a Verrazano Study Abroad Scholarship are October 1st for winter and spring study abroad programs and March 1st for summer and fall study abroad programs.  Awards range from $1000-$5000, and through the scholarship application process students are encouraged to clearly identify how the proposed study abroad experience supports the pursuit and achievement of their academic and professional goals and how the program would benefit their academic and personal growth.

For more information about the scholarship opportunity, please visit:

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

History Comes Alive At The Conference House On Staten Island

Earlier this semester, Professor Victor Miller took members of his Verrazano Core 100: U.S. Issues, Ideas, and Institutions section on a field trip to the Conference House.  Below, some of the students in the Verrazano Class of 2016 share their reflections on that experience.

Beating drums echoed through The Conference House in Tottenville in mid-September as Professor Miller’s Verrazano freshman Core 100 class lined up to enjoy the festivities. Ben Franklin, John Adams and Edward Rutledge started off the anticipated debate rowing in from the coast of New Jersey. Once off the boat the men were greeted by Admiral Richard Howe and proceeded to reenact peaceful negotiations that took place on September 11, 1776. As history proves, no peace was accomplished. 

Along with the debate there were other activities to view. The smell of burning wood filled the air as actors portrayed craftworkers making candles, clothes and other various household items. Under one tent, a lady of 1700’s attire demonstrated the process of making tin items such as, tea pots, water basins, and other silverware.  Another workshop available for viewing was a tailor who explained the process of making the clothing as well as the history of it. In the 1700’s the people only had one outfit until they grew out of it, and then it was passed on to other family members. In the summer the people wore sleeveless jackets and then sewed on sleeves for the colder weather.

The reenactment of the Conference House Debate allowed students to have a hands-on learning experience as well as personal enjoyment. This opportunity provided us with knowledge about our own community and how history had taken place in our own backyards. 

- Victoria Sax and Madison Lock

Thanks to my COR 100 professor, Professor Miller, at the College of Staten Island, I had the opportunity to attend a class trip to the Conference House of Staten Island. This class trip greatly bettered my knowledge of the peace conference that attempted to end the Revolutionary War. On this trip there were many things to do and see, such as taste food, hear music, and see dancing that took place during the time of the war. My favorite part of the trip was when they had Rutledge, Howe, Adams, and Franklin re-enact the peace conference. Seeing it with my own eyes helped me better understand the attitudes and the propositions that occurred during the conference. A tour inside the Conference House took place as well, where Prof. Miller readily answered all of my questions that I had about the place. This trip was a great learning experience as well as a fun one.

- Brian Cregg

In September I went on the trip to the conference house. This trip provided a hands-on experience to go along with what we were learning in class. In class we had a conference house debate in which each student was given a part. Visiting the actual conference house brought all of this information together for me. Watching people reenact the conference was not only entertaining but also educational. We were able to talk to the actors and ask them questions. In particular, we talked to some of the actors about the Howe brothers. I hope to go on more trips such as this one.

- Brittany Koerber 

This semester I had the privilege of joining my fellow classmates as well as my professor at the Conference House located at the very end of Hylan Boulevard.  This was a day dedicated to honoring the meeting that Admiral Howe put together to meet with representatives from the northern (John Adams), middle (Benjamin Franklin), and southern (Edward Rutledge) colonies.  This was a learning experience in itself.  Reading exactly what happened that day two hundred and thirty six years ago is one thing.  However, seeing the history acted out before me just made it all come alive.  The whole ambience gave me the feeling that truly was there that day hundreds of years ago.  

Shortly after arriving at the Conference House we saw the reenactment of the the very meeting that Admiral Howe had with the representatives.  This was the highlight of the whole day.  Then we the chance to tour the actual building these historical figures once occupied.  To think I could be standing in the very spot where this meeting took place was such a great pleasure.  The rickety floorboards and colonial furniture showed the true age of the Conference House.  Overall the Conference House trip was such a great experience, and I hope to go again sometime in the future.  I had an awesome time, and I feel honored that I stepped foot on one of the greatest pieces of U.S. history.

- Larry DiAntonio  

Photos taken by Victoria Sax, Madison Lock, and Rachel Torres 

To learn more about the Conference House, please visit 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Study Abroad - The Student Experience: A Panel Discussion

On Thursday, November 15, The Verrazano School co-sponsored a student study abroad panel event in partnership with the Center for International Service as part of International Education Week.  The panel was facilitated by Satoko Fukai, a study abroad advisor in the Center for International Service, and featured Verrazano students and study abroad peer advisors who studied abroad in China, Egypt, France, and Spain.

Student Panelists and Center for International Service Staff Members

The panelists at the event were Lena Abdelhamid (Cairo, Egypt – Spring 2012), Joanna Irizarry-Zaraza (China - Summer 2012), Alicia Jimenez (Paris, France – Summer 2012), Mark Kavanaugh (Santander, Spain – Summer 2012), and Kubra Shirazi (Nice, France – Spring 2011).  To read more about the study abroad experiences of Joanna, Alicia, Mark, and Kubra please visit the archives of The Verrazano Voyager blog.  To read about Lena’s experience, please visit the Dolphins Across the Seven Seas blog.

Satoko Fukai provided an overview of study abroad options for CSI students, and then each of the student panelists shared photos and spoke about his or her experiences overseas.  The panelists also shared suggestions about study abroad and discussed the life-changing effects that a study abroad experience can have on academic plans, professional aspirations, and personal growth.  The event closed with a Q&A session, and attendees had the opportunity to ask more specific questions of the panelists.  Over twenty students attended the event, and we hope that they were inspired to consider studying abroad during their undergraduate experience!

The Verrazano School hosts a returned student study abroad panel each semester to inform students about study abroad options and help encourage students to study abroad.  The next panel is scheduled for Thursday, February 14; please visit the Verrazano website for more details.