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Students First Grants Winners: 2013 - 2014

Click on the name below to access an abstract of the funded project

"Students First Grants" program encourages and supports faculty in the development of active student-centered pedagogies across the curriculum, the use of newer technologies that engage students both in and outside of the classroom, co-curricular activities that include field trips, and creative strategies to assess student learning gains.  This robust initiative is intentionally aimed at incoming first year students so as to launch them effectively in their college experience by engaging them in their learning and building community amongst students. Fourteen faculty and staff were awarded 11 grants in 2013.



Tino Posillico
Associate Professor of Criminal Justice
Email: Tino.Posillico@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-420- 2421

Project Title
Computer Forensics – Making It Real

Project Statement
This course is a specially enhanced version of CRJ 115 Computer Forensics that is designed to not only provide students a foundation in computer forensic procedures and technologies used for criminal investigations but to also provide a view into the real world use of the skills they are learning in the classroom. In this special version of CRJ 115, students will be introduced to the world of C.I.S.S.P. (Certified Information Systems Security Professional), a globally recognized family of information security professionals. Students will be given a preview of the full spectrum of CISSP global resources, industry newsletters, inside informational activities, private forums and peer networking, mentoring and sponsoring, research and teaching, and a wealth of ongoing information security opportunities for students considering career fields in computer forensics and information security . Students will also get to see computer security and computer forensic topics in action through field trips to computer security laboratories showing on-the-job applications of procedures that are discussed in class. Special speakers who are CISSP certified will show real case studies in class of computer forensics and computer security used in actual criminal and terrorist court cases. Finally, students will also be shown how to excel in the 10 domains of knowledge that are the focus of studying to someday becoming a CISSP professional. Students will get an exciting first-hand experience of the real areas they may see when they are entering the job market in their field of Computer Forensics. This will also give students a realistic basis for becoming acquainted with the specialization areas that interest them most. So in this manner, students can get a real "peek" into the many facets of Computer Forensics as Freshmen and grasp a deeper understanding of the field early on.

The CISSP domains are drawn from various information security topics within the CISSP Body of Knowledge:

  • Access Control – a collection of mechanisms that work together to create security architecture to protect the assets of the information system.
  • Telecommunications and Network Security – discusses network structures, transmission methods, transport formats and security measures used to provide availability, integrity and confidentiality.
  • Information Security Governance and Risk Management – the identification of an organization's information assets and the development, documentation and implementation of policies, standards, procedures and guidelines.
  • Software Development Security – refers to the controls that are included within systems and applications software and the steps used in their development.
  • Cryptography – the principles, means and methods of disguising information to ensure its integrity, confidentiality and authenticity.
  • Security Architecture and Design – contains the concepts, principles, structures and standards used to design, implement, monitor, and secure, operating systems, equipment, networks, applications, and those controls used to enforce various levels of confidentiality, integrity and availability.
  • Operations Security – used to identify the controls over hardware, media and the operators with access privileges to any of these.
  • Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning – addresses the preservation of the business in the face of major disruptions to normal business operations.
  • Legal, Regulations, Investigations and Compliance – addresses computer crime laws and regulations; the investigative measures and techniques which can be used to determine if a crime has been committed and methods to gather evidence.
  • Physical (Environmental) Security – addresses the threats, vulnerabilities and countermeasures that can be utilized to physically protect an enterprise's resources and sensitive information.

Note: This course is intended for incoming CRJ students who will be studying either in the Criminal Justice Law Enforcement Technology program or the Security Systems program. It may also be an attractive elective for incoming BCS or Business students, as well as Undeclared Major students who are considering degrees in Criminal Justice or Law Enforcement.


Ilknur Aydin
Assistant Professor of Computer Systems
Email: Ilknur.Aydin@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-420-2304


Sheryl Schoenacher
Associate Professor of Computer Systems
Email: Sheryl.Schoenacher@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-420-2304

Project Title
Establishing a Women in Computing Association

Project Statement
This proposal is (1) a career exploration program achieved by (2) the creation of a student association. Women are statistically missing from the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) professions. The Computer Systems Department at Farmingdale State College is representative of this fact. As of the fall 2010 semester, there were only 4.5% female students as compared with 95.5% male students in our Computer Programming and Information Systems degree program. From fall 2007 to fall 2010, the percent of female students in our department fell from 12.9% to 4.5% respectively. In our 2012 Self Study, the Computer Systems Department recognized the need to reach out to and develop the female students in the Department and established the as Goal #6 under Future Goals and Objectives section. One objective listed to potentially achieve this objective was to form a Women in Computing (WiC) Association. The purpose of this association will be to enhance the academic success of all students, but primarily female students. This includes providing them the opportunity to participate in activities that will enrich their knowledge of career opportunities, techniques for addressing the challenges that face women in computing, information about continuing their education, the latest trends in the field, and practices to handle work and family life.


Assistant Professor of Nursing
Email: Patti.Cantamessa@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-420-2329

Project Title
From rote learning to critical thinking: Preparing freshman nursing students for success.

Project Statement
This project proposes that the level of thinking required on nursing exams necessitates a higher cognitive level than the recent high school graduate is accustomed. Competency in secondary education is based purely on benchmarks based on rote memorization which does little to prepare the student for the challenges of higher education. In order to prepare freshman nursing students for success in the undergraduate nursing program at Farmingdale State College the proposed activity will focus on orienting the student to the process of critical thinking as it applies to successful test-taking techniques and study-skills during a summer orientation workshop prior to the start of their first semester. The workshop will utilize narrative pedagogy and other student-centered active-learning strategies that are implemented across the nursing curriculum to provide students with a foundation of knowledge and skills so that they may be imaginative, critical thinkers and successful problem solvers.


Eric Farina
Director of Veterans Affairs
Email: Eric.Farina@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-794-6168


Farmingdale Student Veterans of America

Susan Sutton
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Email: Susan.Sutton@farmingdale.edu

Project Title
Homecoming: The Veteran Experience in American Culture

Project Statement
We are targeting the cadre of 20-25 US Military veterans who join the Farmingdale student body each semester, rapidly expanding the current population of 170 undergraduate veterans by 40% in 2012. We propose out-of-classroom enrichments for a veteran cohort enrolled in a newly created theme-based section of EGL 102 focusing on the literature of war and depictions of the military in popular culture. Possible enhancements include: a military themed film and speaker series; field trips to city and local galleries or museums for military focused exhibits; and student-organized panel discussions with speakers from the entire FSC veteran community. These activities will create a cohesive peer support network among incoming US Military students; make learning more relevant and personal for returning veterans, contribute to monitoring and advisement, and lead to greater retention and overall success. Once piloted and assessed in Fall 2013, a thematic EGL 102 cohort can be built each Fall for incoming freshman veterans, and co-curricular enrichment activities can be continued through the leadership of the Office of Veterans Affairs with the assistance of the Student Veterans of America club at FSC.

Victor Huang
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Email: Victor.Huang@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-420-2773

Project Title
Faculty-guided Student Research in Biochemistry

Project Statement
We propose a co-curricular activity focused on a biochemistry research experience for an upper-level science student. The student will be trained in techniques, analytical thinking, and presentation skills. The entire project will take place on campus under the tutelage of Drs. Victor Huang and Glen Hinckley. We expect this project to encompass an entire year from initiation in May 2013 to completion the following May. For the student, the skills learned will be immensely marketable for both professional and industrial careers.


Angela Jones
Assistant Professor of Sociology
Email: Angela.Jones@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-420-2669

Project Title
Making Gender Visible: A Lecture by Michael Kimm

Project Statement
This Title III Students First grant will be used to host a campus-wide lecture by Michael Kimmel, entitled Mars, Venus, or Planet Earth?: Men and Women in a New Millennium. The lecture will be held March 2014, during Women's History Month and aims to be part of a future on-going Women's History Month Program. This public lecture on campus given by one of sociology's most preeminent scholars of gender, will enrich our students' learning experience, promote critical thinking, and help promote the growth of our new Women, Gender, and Sexuality Program and student clubs.


Frances Santiago-Schwarz
Professor of Biology
Email: santiaf@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-420-2175

Project Title
Mentoring FSC students in Immunology Research.

Project Statement
Specifically, funding is requested for mentoring students in immunological research at FSC and the Feinstein Institute for Biomedical Research, the key research arm of the North-Shore LIJ Health System. The activity stems from a new academic partnership between FSC and the Feinstein Institute.

The specific activity in this Students First Grant request involves co-curricular activity related to the for-credit student research internship that is part of the FSC bioscience curriculum. The global objective is to provide students with a highly enriched learning experience in a real-world setting that will enhance their ability to succeed in their chosen career path related to a bioscience discipline, such as medical or graduate school. The expected outcomes include: learning hands-on-bench techniques commonly used in immunology research; developing critical/independent thinking skills; familiarity with research advances in biomedical sciences; experience in analyzing, tabulating and presenting scientific data for both oral and written delivery; engaging in teaching their peers; developing a sense of viable career paths from other students/scientists working at the institute.

Based on the successful contribution of the student to the advancement of the research project, the student will be listed as a co-author on an abstract/poster entitled: "Evidence for a tri-molecular immune-inhibitory partnership between CD33, LAIR-1, and C1q"to be presented at a conference on Immunity and Tolerance at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories. This outside the classroom activity will involve preparation/presentation of the poster (see abstract included as supplemental material). The monies requested will cover expenses related to poster preparation and conference registration and allow the PI and student the opportunity to attend lectures at the conference, participate in the presentation of the poster, and engage in social activities aimed at fostering scientific collaborations and other educational/career opportunities.


Sarbjit Singh
Assistant Professor of Sport Management
Email: Sarbjit.Singh@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-420-2786

Project Title
Up Close and Personal - A Content-Rich Career Trip to the Brooklyn Nets

Project Statement
The tools to educate our students to be prepared to succeed in the industry are part of a multi-pronged approach, with interactive opportunities at the forefront of this enriched learning. With that in mind, we are proposing a day-long trip that will bring 35 FSC students face to face with the newest pro sports franchise in New York, the Brooklyn Nets. By touring the $1 billion Barclays Center, meeting with team executives, and taking in a game, the students will bridge the gap between theory and practice and enhance their connection to the sport management industry.


Laura McMullin
Staff Associate & Academic Counselor
Email: Laura.McMullin@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-420-2109


Frank Rampello
Staff Associate & Staff Instructor
Email: Frank.Rampello@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-420-2104

Project Title
Strengthening Student Engagement.

Project Statement
According to the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (2012), the majority of faculty members at Farmingdale State College do not highly regard the value of educational experiences occurring outside of the classroom. This is emblematic of the gap between Student Affairs and Academic Affairs. The aforementioned survey further cites the fact that 69% of students do not spend any time at a college-sponsored activity. It is reasonable to assume, at least in part, that there is a significant correlation that contributes to low student retention. This proposal is designed to allocate resources for assessment tools, both technology-driven and face-to-face. In turn, this will provide data that will inform the discussion of how to remediate this gap and provide for a well-rounded student experience.


Annemarie Rosciano
Assistant Professors of Nursing
Email: Annemarie.Rosciano@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-420-2446


Frances Cherkis
Assistant Professors of Nursing
Email: Frances.Cherkis@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-420-2720

Project Title
Does a Peer Review NCLEX-RN(National Council Licensure Exam) Course Increase the Pass Rate for Associate and Baccalaureate Nursing Student Graduates on the NCLEX-RN Exam?

Project Statement
The objective of this assessment is to identify if a peer review National Council of State Board of Nursing (NCSBN) NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Exam) review course increases the pass rate for associate and baccalaureate nursing student graduates.

The National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) has been the standard by which all undergraduate nursing programs are judged for program effectiveness. Consistent patterns of low pass rates can have serious implications for the academic institution, the nursing program, the nursing faculty, the program graduates, and the community at large. Preparing undergraduate nursing students for licensure is a major concern for undergraduate nursing faculty. To address the issue faculty have identified variables that can predict success on the NCLEC- RN examination. We propose to implement an online peer review NCSBN NCLEX-RN review course in conjunction with face to face workshops provided by faculty for three weeks in a didactic setting to identify if the overall pass rate on the national exam increases. The grant recipients will serve as: the faculty advisors, educators, mentors, resource personnel, assume responsibility for organizing the face to face workshops, access to the NCLEX RN NCSBN online review course, overall coordination and organization of this program.

Assessment of these results will be determined by the NCLEX RN licensure exam the participants will be taking the summer of 2013. The face to face and online review classes will be evaluated using a questionnaire the students will electronically access on Survey Monkey. In the future we will determine if these programs are beneficial to increase the NCLEX RN pass rate for the graduate nursing student.


Christine Sacco-Sanchez
Writing Center Director
Email: saccosc@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-420-2082

Project Title
Supplemental Writing Program.

Project Statement
The objective of this assessment is to identify common areas of writing difficulties amongst students with disabilities. Based on the identification of difficulties, the Writing Center will create academic support through a supplemental writing program which addresses writing difficulties. The supplemental writing program will include a series of five (5) workshops focusing on common areas of difficulties, along with two (2) online peer support discussions, and one-on-one tutoring sessions which implement techniques discussed during the workshops into writing assignments.