Monthly Archives: May, 2009

Can you feel the heat?

By Matt Gibson
The mercury in many thermometers rose dramatically on Sunday April 26 as a preview of summer weather swept the tri-state area with temperatures near 90 degrees.
Temperatures that were more suited for July or August appeared in April and took thousands of tri-state residents by surprise.
According to the Natural Weather Service on April 26, the maximum high temperature at Central Park was 92 degrees, breaking the record of 84 degrees set in 1942. At LaGuardia Airport, the temperature was 91 degrees, shattering the record of 80 degrees in 1957. At John F. Kennedy International Airport, the thermometer reached 86 degrees, breaking the record of 84 degrees set in 1985. At Newark-Liberty International Airport, the temperature reached 93 degrees, up from the record of 83 degrees set in 1985. At Islip-Macarthur Airport, the temperature reached 88 degrees, breaking the record of 78 degrees set in 1985. At Bridgeport Airport in Connecticut, the mercury topped out at 83 degrees, clipping the previous record of 80 degrees set in 1985. The high temperature here at the Ammerman campus reached a balmy figure of 87.3 degrees.
To make themselves more comfortable for the weather, many people traded in their sweatshirts and shoes for t-shirts, shorts, and sandals. Those who are big fans of hot weather enjoyed the heat wave, while those who despise the heat most likely did not enjoy the heat at all. This mini-heat wave was very significant because the unseasonably high temperatures broke records at all of the designated climatological sites in the tri-state area. Records dating as far back as 67 years were shattered as a result of this brief teaser of summer.
Many students here on campus were pleased by the hot weather and took advantage of it. Some ventured out to the local park, some spent the day at Jones Beach and other beaches here on Long Island, and still some simply sat outside in their backyards and soaked in some rays. Those who were not keen on the sudden temperature surge stayed cool by staying inside with the air conditioner on at full blast.
Much to the chagrin of those who enjoy hot weather and to the delight of those who despise it, temperatures in the tri-state area returned to normal, seasonal levels as the week of April 27 progressed.

Longhorns beat BMCC 12-2

By Samantha Lujan

A day after the new Yankee Stadium opened its doors to approximately 50,000 people, the Longhorns (West) of Suffolk County Community College played against Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) at their newly renovated ballpark. With the 59-degree sunny weather on their side, the Longhorns continued their successful season towards their third consecutive Region XV Championship. If everything goes their way, they will take to the road for another trip to the JUCO World Series in Tyler, Texas.

Under the guidance of the Head Coach Bobby Molinaro, the Longhorns have gone a long way. Molinaro has been recognized as District F Coach of the Year in NJCAA College World Series Appearance-2007 and 2008. Under his wings, many new faces have joined the team while others such as right-handed pitcher Eric Stampfl and outstanding players like Vinny Loughlin (P), Erik Puterio (P), and Jonathan Grosse (P) continue to play for the team.

On April 17 the Suffolk West Longhorns played Manhattan CC with an audience of about 30 people, including friends and family who gathered there on such a beautiful day.
In The first Inning, #4 Joe Guido hit a leadoff single which then lead to a double steal by #19 Dan DeVito and #4 Joe Guido . This gave the Longhorns the lead 4-0. In the third inning, Suffolk County hit an RBI and scored a runner, and Manhattan College brought in Pitcher #11. As the Game went on the Longhorns showed their talent all the way. Throughout the game #28 James Perrino, #21 Nick Simonetti and #24, Tom Teleisha continuously practiced. Now even though they did not get to play during the game it shows the dedication they have to the team.

At the top of the fifth inning, #21 of Manhattan College attempted to make a comeback by hitting a double and managing to score one of their only runs in the game.

At the bottom of the fifth inning #15 Chad Ohriner, dove to catch the ball and then threw it to first base and made a double play. As the Manhattan CC. gave it their all, the players began to drift off from the game leaving the last runner stranded. At the bottom on the fifth inning #19, Dan DeVito hit a triple bringing the score to 12-2 and making him the player of the game. After a long and excruciating game for the Manhattan College at the end of the fifth inning due to the presumably large lead between the teams the mercy rule sometimes referred by a not so polite name such as the Slaughter rule was put into effect bringing an end to the game. The ending score for the game was 2-12.

Even though throughout the game there was a big difference in the scores, Manhattan college players knew how to support each other by saying words such as “Vamonos, Vamos” (let’s go”) to encourage their team member to give their all. Moreover, even though they wore blue and gray uniforms very similar if not identical to those of the NY Yankees, they could not pull it through. The Longhorns won the game highlighting the success that they are achieving through their hard work that explains itself into 27 wins out of the 35 games played so far.

Board of Trustees approves new tuition hike

By Liz Capobianco

For the more than 23,000 students attending Suffolk County Community College, the news of a new tuition increase could not have come at a worse time. On Thursday, April 16, the board of trustees unanimously approved a $180.1-million budget that will hike tuition 7.7 percent, or $260 for full-time students.

Under the current tuition plan for the Spring 2009 semester, full-time tuition for students is $1,688 per semester for residents and $3,376 per semester for non-residents. Full-time students entering the college this coming fall will be forced to dig a little deeper into their pockets and under the new budget will be paying $3,636 per semester. The cost per credit will be jumping from $141 for part-time students to $282 for residents and from $152 per credit to $304 for non-residents. Students will also now shoulder 46.2 percent of the school costs, up from 43 percent this year.

As stated in April 16 Board of Trustees minutes, the members of the College Board “recognize the severe financial burdens facing the county of Suffolk and therefore did not request an increase in financial support from the county.” 

“Since the college is a ‘full opportunity’ community college, the state is required to fund up to 40 percent of the annual operating budget, Suffolk County is required to provide 26.66 percent and student tuition and fees are supposed to make up the remaining 33.33 percent. Unfortunately, each year the NYS Legislature includes language in their budget resolutions that exempts the state from the requirement to fund 40 percent. Currently, Suffolk County funds approximately 26 percent of our annual operating budget. Additionally, the county and state each fund 50 percent of the college’s capital projects. These are major facility construction projects and none of these costs are funded by student tuition,” says George Gatta Jr., college interim president.

With a record number of students enrolling in the college every semester, school officials expect the new tuition increase to bring more than $6.5 million more to the college. “The projected 3 percent growth in enrollment, adding 540 students next fall, would generate $2 million,” said Gatta

To decrease the risk of cutting other services supplied by the college to save money and work towards balancing the budget, the Board of Trustees were left with few choices. The decision had to be made to either to raise tuition or reduce the operations of the college, and risk having to potentially turn students away in the future.

Unfortunately, Suffolk isn’t the only college or university on Long Island that is facing a steep tuition increase. The students at other nearby schools like Stony Brook University, Farmingdale State College and Old Westbury College will see their tuition rise nearly 15 percent next fall. Gatta responds to that fact and defends Suffolk’s increase saying that the cost remains less expensive than other four-year state schools. He also noted that the tuition hike is less than half the $640 jump at four-year state schools. The 7.7 percent hike means that tuition will now be more than that at Nassau Community College.

Many students at the Ammerman campus are unaware that the increase will be going into effect next semester. Jeffrey Hoogsteden, who will be completing his second semester at Suffolk this spring, will be taking a year off and instead will be working full-time to help pay his way through school.

“I may or may not be back,” he says. “I’m sure this isn’t the end of these budget changes. I just hope that, when I do decide to come back, that the tuition costs aren’t completely out of reach for those of us who are paying their own way.”

With the ailing economy, many community colleges are seeing an increase in applicants as more and more Americans are returning to school to make themselves more marketable. Many are hoping to increase their chances of entering the struggling job market successfully and hope to do so in an affordable way.

“We continue to do many things to keep this an affordable educational alternative for our students,” Gatta said.

With the projected enrollment growth of 3 percent, or about 540 more students, the Board of Trustees are looking to bring in an additional $2 million in revenue to the college as they head into the new academic year.

The hike in tuition will help to balance the college’s budget and create a surplus by the end of the fiscal year and uphold the current services that the school provides. In addition, under the new budget plan, no new full-time jobs will be created, but students and faculty can expect to see the jump in enrollment and an increase in the number of part-time and adjunct professors in the coming semester.

Theater Review: Caesar Blows Roof off Shea Theater

By Michael Petroski

The theater department’s production of “Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare was re-thought by the director Jo Curtis Lester and featured Sunday, May 3 at the Shea Theatre on the Ammerman Campus.

The play was “modernized,” and Caesar was played by Golda Kelli Ryan a woman. Instead of wearing togas, the players wore suits and ties and “Nightwear.” The first scenes presented the calm before the storm, but Caesar had to watch her back because conspirators were trying to get rid of her.
In Act II Brutus and the others were in a war zone fighting for who was the right person to lead. The people working the stage lights and other backstage projects did their jobs well, by meeting the demands of the lighting changes and timing.

While the first part of the play covered Caesar’s life, the later part of the play brought on the action. One scene which “freaked out” the people in the audience occurred when Brutus’s wife revealed a huge knife wound on her leg. During these first few scenes people were dressed in suits and dresses. But they were still talking as if this were the original play by Shakespeare, including the lines “Beware the ides of march” said by the Soothsayer played by Shannon Gage and “Ei Tu Brutui?” which translates to “You too Brutus.” This was said by Caesar to Brutus after he stabbed Caesar. In this rendition of the play the mastermind behind this was Cassius played by JP Groeniger. After the death of Caesar, Mark Antony, played by Robert Doyle, tried and succeeded in turning the people of Rome against Brutus.

The first part of the play, apart from the stabbing of Caesar, was pretty difficult to follow, but it was possible to understand for those who knew the story. The first part was cool to see unfold up to Caesar’s death.

The 2nd part of the story has the remaining players (Antony,Brutus, Cassius, Lucius (Played by Kevin Berger) and others) fighting in a war, in which there was a lot of blood and death. These scenes showed on one side Brutus and Cassius dressed in commando clothing and fighting with knives. On the other side was Mark Antony dressed in black armor and fighting with nightsticks. These scenes showed a lot of blood (fake blood) and fighting that seemed to come straight out of the Power Rangers TV show. These last few scenes show the “deaths” of many players including Cassius (Via knife) and finally Brutus (being shot by Lucius) the bang from the “gun” was so loud it almost seemed real. Over all, the second part of the play was well performed, but the fighting scenes seemed forced and fake. The fake blood was used a lot from the stabbing of Caesar to the shooting of Brutus. There should not have been that much blood, even for this bloody and violent play.

This showing was one of the best available on campus in a while. This play was different from the traditional play everyone knows and loves, but this rendition of the classic was very creative and smart on the behalf of the director and everyone involved whether on the stage or backstage.

How to Prepare For College as a Freshman

By Cassaundra Mariotti

The end is near for your high school career, and it is time to get ready to go off to college.  Suffolk County Community College is a great school for anyone to join especially if they are looking to transfer. Preparing for college is not always easy, there usually seems to be a lot of last minute decision making. You have to make sure your schedule is set, get to know the campus, you have all the required books, transportation, and make sure that you attend the orientation.  The college can be a great experience for anyone entering the college for the first time.

Suffolk County Community College is a great starter school for most people; students can go for two years and then transfer to a four year school depending on what they are interested in for their future. After registering for school and paying for parking the first step is to schedule your classes. Making your schedule for the first time will probably be difficult so getting help from a guidance counselor would be best. Always make sure you are taking classes that you are suppose to take, taking classes that aren’t needed won’t be necessary, but it will give you extra credit. Scheduling online is easier the second semster and on, because at that time you will know more about your sain report and how to use the proper facilities. Coming to college straight after high school can be very nerve racking for a freshman. The first year the college will be very easy for a freshman.

The second step to take is to walk the grounds of the campus, get to know the buildings a little better. The campus is not that big but sometimes the buildings can become very confusing for a freshman. The campus provides students with a map of the campus to make it easier. Search for the classes and write down the buildings there in. This could help a lot, especially during the first couple of weeks, after that you will become a pro. Most professors will not get mad the first day of classes if the students are late. One of the college’s students, Cassie Ferrera had this to say, “When I first starting attending school here, I found it to be very interesting, I did get lost a couple of times but by the third week I knew where everything was.”

The third step would be to purchase all of the books required. Getting the books before classes start would be best because they fly out of the bookstores the first week of the semester. Most professors will tell a student what book they prefer on the first day of classes, but it’s always good to be prepared for the first day. There are times when a book will be sold out and it takes two to three weeks to get that book. The books will most likely be very expensive at times, but they are worth every penny for the knowledge you are receiving in return. The book stores are open through out the day Monday through Friday, and there are always workers there that will assist anyone when help is needed.

After you purchase your books make sure you have notebooks, pens, pencils, note cards and especially highlighters. Highlighters are very important because note taking is very important, and most professors expect the students to remember everything being written and said. Professors again will tell you what kind of notebooks or binders to get but it’s always good to show up to class with something in your hand.

The fourth step is to make sure you have transportation, whether someone drives you, taking the bus or you have car, which is great. Having a car would be better, because relying on other people isn’t always great, but if you don’t have a car you have to make sure your getting to class on time.

The fifth step is to make sure to attend the orientation for first time students. The orientation helps students to better understand the campus, they explain about the different courses Suffolk has to offer and the transfer opportunities. No freshman will want to miss this opportunity. Jacqui Ranft, a sophomore here at the college had this to say. “I wasn’t going to attend the orientation at first but when I went I got a lot out of it, I was able to talk to someone about internships and different courses. I really enjoyed it.”

For the last and final step, make sure you are fully prepared for your first day of class. Professors do not like when students come unprepared, it can show lack of respect for the class and professor. Make sure your books are ready to go and you are fully supplied with pens and pencils. Getting prepared the night before should happen every night. Organization is very important through out your college experience and most importantly for your future; not being organized can cause someone to become very frustrated.

If you follow these steps you will surely enjoy the experience and be prepared. Just remember don’t be nervous, everything will go perfect if you make it that way. Every freshman just has to remember this is not college anymore, the school is bigger, there’s a lot more people and the expectations are high. Suffolk County Community College is place where students are no longer kids but adults. Just remember to relax and take it easy, because before you know it, the experience will be over.

Korean War Veteran Shares Experience with College Students

By Francesca Prestifilippo

The history club sponsored an event on Wednesday April 29, in which a guest speaker talked to students about his experience as a former marine serving in the Korean War. Former marine and Korean War veteran, Gary Hill described himself as a “mustang,” for he had enlisted in the marine corps and worked his way to becoming a commissioned officer. He had entered the Marine Corps in 1951 where he went through intensive training at Parris Island, S.C.

The Marine Corps has a historical yet interesting background that goes as far back as 1775 when the Continental Congress passed a resolution stating that two battalions of marines would be used along with the other forces. During this time the marines were known as the Continental Marines. In addition, the first commissioned officer in the Continental Marines was Captain Samuel Nicholas who led the first marines into a mission into the Bahamas in March of 1776.

Even though at the close of the Revolutionary War the Continental Marines remained idle until they got involved in a conflict with France in July of 1798. Despite that the marine corps is a small group; they have been present in every American war or conflict right up until our current situation in Iraq and will probably continue to be around for many years to come. Hill explained that the marines were founded mainly because navy ships were being boarded by pirates. So every November 10, there is a ball celebrating the birth of the Marine Corps.

The Korean War began on June 25, 1950 along the 38th parallel that divided north and South Korea. During this time, President Harry S. Truman was in office and did not look to Congress for a formal declaration of war, instead Korea was considered to be more of a “police action.” And it was under Gen. Douglas MacArthur that the U.S. Marines carried out an attack on Inchon on September 15, 1950, that forced the North Koreans to retreat from South Korea. MacArthur wanted to continue pushing the North Koreans further north, even as far as the Yalu River that led to China, however President Truman along with U.N. leaders felt that extending the war to China would be asking for a World War III.

In the following month U.N. forces were faced with Chinese forces all along the front lines, which led to a retreat by the American troops and their allies. It wasn’t until July 27, 1953 that an armistice was signed that ended the fighting and created a no military zone between North and South Korea. The Korean War is thought of as a “stalemate,” a war in which there wasn’t really one force that came out on top even though the U.S. was successful in freeing South Korea from its communist Northern counterparts the country itself remained divided in two.

“Not one marine was left…they brought them all out,” Hill said in reference to the incident known as the “frozen chosin” that took place in North Korea. The frozen chosin were marines that were trapped in a reservoir facing harsh weather conditions that included rain and snow all the while trying to dodge enemy fire. Not only were the marines unprepared as far as clothing was concerned, but the intense weather conditions had even left their weapons frozen. Looking back on the incident Hill said, “You can’t anticipate what can happen until you’re there.”

The Marine Corps are known for working in small groups that are spread out all around the world. In addition, there is a strong sense of brotherhood that is among this tight knit group. “Why? Go back to basic training. You all work together, whether you’re in the same war or not. Whether he was in the corps ten years before or ten years after you, you’re still brothers,” Hill said.

He shared a comical story about how he ended up being his former drill sergeant’s superior when he was assigned company in California. Along with how he still till this day keeps in contact with a young Korean man that he had met while serving in the Korean War. Mr. Hill believes that the phrase, “Once a marine always a marine” holds true for reasons that if a former marine such as himself wears any kind of marine logo they will always receive a response from another marine.

“I’m very proud to be a Marine because they taught me a lot. They’re a good bunch of people. You’ll meet them all over the world and they’ll meet you if you have the logo on.”

Karaoke event features student singers

By Rhyanne Green

A first time of the semester show down of karaoke happened in the cafeteria of the Babylon Student Center Feb 23. The event originally was to start at 11 AM but it didn’t start until 11:40 AM. John Court Executive Administrative Coordinator for cab said, “We have karaoke twice a semester, this was supposed to be the second karaoke but the first one was cancelled because of the snow.” Setting up was taking a long time and the faculty advisor Mary Sieria was making sure everything was in order.

While the members of cab were setting up the equipment, there were students standing around waiting to sign up for performance. One student named Joe Simsuangco (Freshman) was waiting the longest but when it finally started he sang a song called “Hanging by a Moment,” by Life House. Simsuangco was the second act, he had to get the students into the mood of the evening. He screamed and yelled into the microphone, “Woo, yea!!!” The audience really did not respond to well but at the end the audience did applaud to show support.

Simsuangco said, “I play the guitar and I sing. When I first saw the karaoke last semester I enjoyed it.” A person who woke the crowd up with his talent was Johnathan Lopez. Lopez came to the stage with the talent of beat boxing. His act excited the crowd. His first beat box was a trumpet sound, after Lopez went into DJ mixing sounds. Then Lopez started to do actual songs such as, Usher’s “Yeah,” Michael Jackson’s “Billy Jean” and Justin Timberlake’s “I’m Bringing Sexy Back. After his performance the crowd went bananas.

The next act was an act from two students who were just having fun. The two students were Annemarie Shultz and Domenick Sacca. They also performed Usher’s song “Yeah.” They were having a good ole time, they were laughing during their performance skipping words, and changing lyrics. The students in the cafeteria were hysterical.

One act which stood out the most was a student named Michelle Zecchine. Zecchine performed “I Need You Baby,” by Lauryn Hill. Zecchine said, “One of my biggest influences is Lauryn Hill.” Zecchine is a music major and she aspires to be a singer. Zecchine went to American Idol and didn’t make it. Zecchine said, “American Idol is a crock! They do not seek for people with real talent.” The crowd really did love her singing voice and she got a positive, loving response from them.

Students Amanda Bouche, Kenande Jeanite, and Christel Millery all agreed that Zecchine was one of the best performers. “Johnathan Lopez and Michelle Zecchine were the best performers,” said Bouche.

The karaoke could only go on until 12:15 PM. The later it got the more students wanted to perform for real. The more students were interested in being serious with their performances.

Faculty Advisor Mary Sieria explained how the cab is a good activity group to join. “There is good educational experience and professional training for jobs in the real world,” said Sieria. Cab has all types of events going on and different activities going on in the school.

John Court also said, “We go on trips to the city, we have movie nights and Black Violin Concerts.” Black Violin is a concert that starts off with regular violin music, and after it changes into hip hop music. The Black Violin concert’s happen once a semester. Cab also mixes their events with BASIC (Christian group). Cab is not connected with the broadcasting club, but it is a club that you can have a lot fun with and they have many activities which occur on campus.

The karaoke took place for the first time on the campus, since last semester. Members from Cab (the activities group behind karaoke) said there was supposed to be a karaoke in Jan but it was cancelled because of a snow day.

HARE KHRISNA! Anthropology Professor Shares His Unique Life

By Kelly Kuzman

“Just like you guys, I have so much to do. I take four classes, I’m full-time,” says Prof. Robert Gilpin.

Robert Gilpin has been teaching Anthropology at SUNY Stony Brook and Suffolk Community College for about 10 years. He has taught at both Brentwood and Selden campuses for the past three years. Also, he is currently a student at Dowling. He maintains an outstanding 3.9 GPA in the Masters of Science Program for General and Special Education (Grades 1 through 6). His goal is to become a full time Special Education Elementary School teacher because he loves teaching and he has worked with children who have special needs in the past.

Prof. Gilpin is not like the rest, not only is he also a college student that understands juggling of work and a social life, he also has a first hand background on the culture of India.

“I first traveled to India after I graduated from High School. The main purpose of the majority of my trips is to spend time in all the Holy Sites connected with Lord Krishna and the Vaishnava Religion. What I love most about India is its connection to my faith. I am a devotee of Lord Krishna and a disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. …I love to travel to Lord Krishna’s places of pastime. I have traveled throughout all of India. I’ve been to India more times than I can count. I conducted my Graduate School Anthropology research by living in Indian Villages for considerable lengths of time. Another aspect of India that I love is the people and their culture. Connected to my faith are many aspects of the culture of India and Vaishnavism, which includes the ancient Arts (sculpture, dance, music, drama, architecture and religious texts). I’m obviously a complete vegetarian (for thirty years now), and India has the finest vegetarian foods in the entire world!”

Professor Gilpin is an adjunct professor here at SCCC and will probably not be here in the Fall semester due to student teaching, which is part of his Dowling requirements. He has become a friend to students with his witty remarks and his first hand knowledge of the culture of India. His class is always exciting to go to because even when you aren’t feeling like you want to learn anything about anthropology you are guaranteed a smile, laugh, and a life lesson.

“As a graduate and undergraduate, I enjoyed being in anthro classes because that was my major. I didn’t find it fun to be in the other classes, if I wasn’t majoring in it, I didn’t want to be there”, he says. Now how many of us can relate to that? He sure tells it like it is.

“My biggest pet peeve at school, as a teacher, is that I can’t tolerate disrespectful wise-asses. My pet peeve at home; nothing really comes to mind except that neighbor kid blasting his damn car stereo! And the garbage men that throw my empty garbage can into the street”, Gilpin says. A laugh is always promised with him, as well as knowledge of Lord Krishna and India.

Gilpin’s family is very important to him. He says that his mom is his biggest supporter and he has two great younger brothers, one who is even in a band with a page but that is exclusive information only for his beloved students. His interests not only lie in the field of anthropology but he is also a huge fan of superheroes and comics. His students know that and are happy to bring him back “Spiderman” souvenirs from their vacations.

“HARE KRISNA!”, Prof. Gilpin’s goodbye.

2-time Harvard graduate inspires students

Brooke Ellison and her mother visited campus April 20.

Brooke Ellison and her mother visited campus April 20.

By Melissa Maria Jackowski

“Mr. Ellison! Mr. Ellison! Brooke’s hurt on Nicholls Road!”


“Brooke’s hurt…on Nicholls Road!”

–Scene 2 of The “Brooke Ellison Story”

Those were the first words Ed Ellison heard as he and his older daughter Kysten, were walking to the bus stop to wait for his 11- year -old daughter Brooke to come home, something she herself would never (independently) do again.

On that fateful day, Sept. 4 1990, her first day of seventh grade, Brooke and her friends walked home from school. In order to do so, they needed to cross Nicholls Road–and so they did. Her friends had already made it across when a speeding car hit Brooke. Neither Brooke
nor the driver saw each other.

“It was an accident that left me paralyzed from my neck down and on a respirator to breathe,” Brooke said during her speech at Suffolk Community College on April 20.

Determined to go back to school and eventually graduate with her class, Brooke never let her determination cease to waiver. She
graduated with an honors distinction and a 1410 on her SATs. Because of her academic success , Brooke was asked to apply to Harvard University.

Shortly after her graduation, Brooke received a phone call from [Director] Christopher Reeve who was interested in telling her story.

“[The call] was a bit of a shocker, knocked me on my ear a little bit,” Brooke said, smiling.

“The Brooke Ellison Story” which starred John Slattery, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Vanessa Marano, Jenson Goins, Devon Gearheart, Lacey Chabert, Jenson Goins, Ryan Hudson, and Luke Flynn premiered in October 2004 on the A&E Network.

While at Harvard pursuing her bachelor’s degree, Brooke majored in cognitive neuroscience (a mix of biology/psychology). Remaining determined, Brooke graduated in four years, earning the top honor of “Summa Cum Laude” for her senior thesis. She was also among the students chosen to give a commencement speech on the day of graduation:

“Good Afternoon. When I first arrived at Harvard four years ago, I arrived like any other freshman, with my parents. Unlike everyone else though, my father left, but my mother didn’t. A mother’s presence albeit nurturing, has created a whole host of social problems especially those seeking more than just academic enrichment. My mother has been with me every hour of every day and attended all of my classes. My mother and I learned so much from all of you, and what we hope you can learn from us is to take no one in your life for granted. Tomorrow I will graduate from Harvard with my mother, and all of you beautiful people. Miracles happen, they happened to me, and they’re happening to you, you just need to look to the people in your lives to see them,” Brooke said in her commencement address.

Two years later, Brooke returned to Harvard and earned her master’s degree in Public Policy. She is presently finishing up her PhD in Sociology (concentration in Bioethics) at Stony Brook University, then embracing the field of academia.

In 2007, Brooke founded The Brooke Ellison Project ( to educate people on Stem Cell Research. Stem Cell Research holds the promise to cure debilitating
diseases, and developmental disabilities. Although it brings about controversy, Brooke chooses to continue to educate people in hopes that Stem Cell Research will one day allow her, and people like her, to walk again.

Brooke spoke in Suffolk Community College’s Mildred Green Room telling the audience about her life and about how she overcame all of the obstacles she has had to face in her life since her accident. She also took questions from the audience and showed “Hope Deferred”, her documentary on Stem Cell Research.

When someone speaks the name BROOKE ELLISON, the word INSPIRATION immediately follows.

Brooke said it best when she said, “Miracles Happen, they
happened to me and they’re happening to you. You just need to look to the people in your lives to see them.”

Are you listening to US?


By Jessica Reed

A majority of students say that they don’t hear public announcements on a regular basis. It turns out that announcements are only coming through the Student Babylon Center.

Most of the students at the college don’t even know about the announcements and don’t have the time to participate in the events that are being announced. Sad but true. “I just go to school and go home. I don’t really care about anything else,” said one student. Another student commented on the bulletin board and made a remark saying, “The flyers are discrete in the corner on the wall, plus nobody notices it really.” Other students said the same thing as well. Can we solve this lack of getting public announcements out there to students? Are we really aware of them?

A reason that led to students not showing up for school events during common hour is because they are leaving for work after their classes are over. Also, most students prefer socializing in the cafeteria to pass time or talk to whomever they want. Other students don’t have the time to go due to studying for exams in the library.

This is the consequences of being at a Community college; many of the students here have their own responsibilities outside of campus, and really try their best to live their own lives. So students are not really motivated. It is up to them to make it to events.

Sharon Silverstein is the Director of Campus Activities and said many actions lead up to try to build on student activities. She makes sure overall that every event is organized properly. “I talk to whoever needs my guidance on ideas and help the advisor’s to work out their problems if they have difficulty,” Silverstein mentioned.

The other concern is that certain students do not know how to project their voices clear enough into the microphone. Therefore a disadvantage has come into play. If it is not clear we are not going to know what is going on. What Silverstein is trying to do is get the students that work at the information booth and try to train them so future announcements can come alive to students attention.

Eventually through time, the students will pay more attention. “The other concern is over doing the announcements can be irritating to the students as well,” Silverstein said. Now we understand the problem of communication between the colleagues and the announcers. Statistics have shown about 90% of the students and 10% percent of faculty staff make the announcements. So who is ineffective in this? If the staff is doing their job communicating, the students will become more knowledgable about how to use the device and messages will come out clearer.

One bright side is the activities and the treasures that organized the locations and events. About 336 participants showed up in the year of 2007-08 to every club. If no one shows up then the faculty advisors find out new ideas to organize it better. There are over 50 clubs and news events that go on in the evening and night during school hours.

“Our staff and I make a paper calendar of events every two weeks twice a month. It has everything at your advantage. Also it is a great way to socialize with other students here on campus and all the experiences you have will make you a better U.S. citizen,” said Silverstein.

To find more information on student activites, go to the student Babylon Center across from the Ammerman building. You’ll see students wearing green vests. They will be happier to give you the correct information of every event.

For even more information, log onto to look up different types of college athletics, clubs, and theatrical plays, and also to find out what is going on outside of campus. This portal is run by Dr. Bright Associate Vice President of the Student Portal. He is the one that designed the website.

While enjoying the time that you have at the college, utilize the free time by signing up for a club during common hour every Wednesday from 11-12:30pm. It will help with your leadership skills far as working others.

Now, getting the help from faculty staff, as well as Silverstein, will bring out more of Suffolk’s pride. Students will show more respect for our school’s cultural viewpoints. Which is a community blended with different types of cultures and opinions on society. This is what school events are for. If students go to the clubs and outside events they can have a better understanding on how people think as an individual. Well listen up don’t you have to be somewhere?