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Considering majoring in English? Already an English Major? Please visit our comprehensive overview for degree requirements and course offerings.

The Writing Center ( is continuing to offer free online tutoring services.

For full details, including the schedule, click on this link  Writing Center online tutoring schedule.

Black Lives Matter Statement: Our Commitment to Antiracism

In 2020, we found ourselves in the midst of intertwined crises. The Covid-19 pandemic forced us into lockdown. While some of us were inconvenienced by directives to stay at home, Black, Brown, immigrant, working-class, and poor communities, lacking access to health care and social and economic safety nets, were ravaged by the novel coronavirus. As many CUNY students, faculty, and staff struggled to adjust to remote learning and remote work, New York State and CUNY leadership chose to lean into their austerity policies, once again subjecting the university to deep budget cuts. Their persistent refusal to invest in CUNY, the “engine of economic mobility,” has especially burdened our minoritized students, who have to contend with rising tuition fees and course caps, shrinking library and academic support services, and campuses in disrepair.

The nation was also shaken by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Walter Wallace, Jr. and the shooting of Jacob Blake. As Mr. Floyd was being brutalized, he repeatedly uttered, “I can’t breathe.” His words painfully echoed the last words of Eric Garner, who died six years ago from an illegal chokehold in Stapleton, Staten Island. Even while Mr. Garner’s murder inspired national outrage, we have yet to witness substantial police reform. We keep saying the names of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Stephon Clark, Atatiana Jefferson, and many others as our demands for justice and reform remain unheard. We think also of the countless Black Americans targeted by racist policing and police violence whose names we do not know.

As the horrifying assault on the Capitol in early January made clear, the troubling issues of 2020 have not miraculously vanished at the dawn of a new year. To confront and undo the racist, unjust policies and practices that shape our systems of education, health care, employment, housing, and policing, we need to dedicate ourselves to consistent action and engage in critical self-reflection. Through teaching, research, and community work, the faculty of the English Department of the College of Staten Island demonstrate how the humanities can be a tool for social transformation. The study of literature and language and the practices of reading and writing can deepen our understanding of the gaps between our ideals and our realities, can enable us to imagine and create alternatives to inequitable and violent systems. But we also recognize that the humanities and higher education must undergo transformation in order to become more racially just. The English Department recommits itself to an antiracist curriculum and antiracist pedagogies as we continue the hard work ahead.

19 January 2021

English Department Overview

Welcome to the English Department at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York! English is one of the largest and most diverse departments at the College, and also houses the Writing Program, the Writing Center, and the Speech Laboratory. English faculty members contribute to interdisciplinary programs such as American Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and they teach courses on a wide variety of topics - from Coming of Age Narratives, Journalism, and Shakespeare, to syntactic theory, phonetics, sociolinguistics, and more.

View all courses in College Catalog

English / Modern Languages Building
Building 2S, Room 218
Willowbrook Campus

Department Contact

Lee Papa

Chair and Associate Professor

Email Lee Papa

Fredricka Grasso

Administrative Assistant

Email Fredricka Grasso

Kathleen Passantino

Office Assistant

Email Kathleen Passantino

The Writing Center

Basic Services and Goals

The Writing Center, under the direction of the English Department, assists students in improving their reading and writing skills in all subject areas. Our tutors do this by providing students with meaningful feedback and engaging them in discussion aimed at helping the students fulfill their potential through a better understanding of course requirements, assignments and readings.

Primary Modes of Tutoring

To meet these goals, we offer two primary modes of tutoring.

Students with regularly scheduled appointments meet for one 45-minute session per week with a designated tutor.

During designated drop-in hours, students are seen on a first-come, first-served basis.

Other Services Offered

  • Conversation groups for ESL students
  • Workshops in writing fundamentals, during which the focus is on grammar, punctuation, formatting and the like

If you wish to file an application for regularly scheduled weekly tutoring, stop by to see us in 2S-216.

If you have questions or require further information, feel free to call us @ 718.982.3635.

For Students Whose First Language is not English (ESL Students)

The English Department offers writing courses that are tailored especially for students whose first language is not English.  For more information about our ESL courses please click here.