Open menu button Close menu button

About Us

The Center for Global Engagement

The Center of Global Engagement promotes the internationalization of academic life at the College of Staten Island in order to foster an awareness of the interdependence of nations, the value of diversity, and the importance of international understanding. The Center promotes internationalization across the campus through innovative programming in study abroad, specialized programs, international student and scholar support, the English Language Institute, and on-campus programming that brings the larger world to the CSI community.


Contact Information

The Center for Global Engagement

2800 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island, NY 10314
Building 2A, Room 206
Email The Center for Global Engagement

The Center for Global Engagement is available
Monday through Friday
9 am - 5 pm
and virtually.

Director's Office


Stephen FerstDr. Stephen Ferst
Executive Director
Dr. Stephen Ferst serves as the Executive Director and is charged with providing the overall direction for the Center and campus internationalization. He has worked in international education for over 25 years in multiple roles in study abroad, international student and scholar services, and strategic planning.  Dr. Ferst has studied, lived, and worked abroad in Israel and England and has travelled to over 50 countries.  Among his favorite cities in the world are Sydney, Delhi, and small town of Lewes, England - particularly on November 5th. He prefers to spend his spare time riding a bicycle and is recalls fondly riding up the 21 switchbacks of Alpe D’Huez before settling in to watch the Tour de France riders tackle the famed climb.


Winnie BrophyWinnie Brophy
Director of Special Programs and Initiatives
Winnie Brophy is the director of Special Programs and Initiatives in the Center, where she manages arrangements for international visitors, special projects and international programming. She is also a chapter coordinator of the Phi Beta Delta Honors Society for International Scholars at the College. Winnie had served as the coordinator of the Pluralism and Diversity Program simultaneously where she developed and implemented diversity programs for the campus community.  She received her B.S. in Geography and M.A. in Urban Education in Connecticut. Her mission is to broaden our students’ perspectives and increase their understanding and appreciation of diversity here at the College of Staten Island and in the world.


Donna IncorvaiaDonna Incorvaia
College Assistant
Donna Incorvaia has been a College Assistant in the Center since 1998, working for the Executive Director and supporting study abroad programs.  She has also assisted the Center in its many activities and events, including faculty study-tours and the CSI chapter of the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars.


Melanie Thompson, College Assistant


English Language Institute (ELI)

Gonzalo VillenaGonzalo Villena
English Language Institute (ELI) Director
Gonzalo Villena serves as ELI Director and is in charge of the academics and promotion of the English programs at the Center. He has worked in international education for almost 10 years and 17 years dedicated to the field of language teaching and training. Gonzalo has been the Executive Director at another international area in a university with branches in Peru, Paraguay, and the United States, traveling to more than 20 countries around the world. He holds a Master's degree in Education from the TEC de Monterrey (Mexico). His mission is to make teachers and students enjoy ELI with its semester and summer terms and faculty-led and customized programs.


Linda Lewis   linda.lewis@csi.cuny.eduLinda Lewis
College Assistant
Linda Lewis is  working mainly with International Students and Scholar Services.  She also works with students attending the English Language Institute along with other tasks.  Ms. Lewis has been with the Center since 1990.  She was born and raised on Staten Island and worked in Manhattan for 9 years as a secretary for a maritime lawyer.  She enjoys spending time with her two small grandchildren.  She also enjoys walking, shopping, music, crafts, cooking, and movies. Her dream is to visit Italy one day and walk the cobblestone streets and see all the beautiful sights.


David Bridston
ELI teacher
David Bridston holds a Bachelor's degree in English Linguistics from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Japanese studies at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, and a Master's Degree in English from the College of Staten Island. He has taught at CSI and ELI since 2008, and he was also an ESL instructor in Japan.  He enjoys hiking, reading, and playing with his dog.


Robert FaisonRobert Faison
ELI teacher
Robert Faison holds a Bachelor's Degree in International Studies from the City College of New York, a Master's degree in Special Education from Touro College, a TESOL (Teaching English of Speakers of Other Languages) certificate from Teachers College at Columbia University, and various certificates in online content creation. He is a licensed teacher and has taught ESL in the New York City public school system; as well as teaching English online, and overseas in various countries, especially in Thailand and Cambodia. He currently works as ELI teacher at the College of Staten Island and administers and creates content on social media platforms, which blends his skill of teaching English and his enjoyment of video games.


Sean Jacobsen
ELI teacher
Sean Jacobsen holds a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology, a Master's Degree in Social Studies Education from Wagner College, and a certificate in Political Science from the University of Melbourne (Australia). He is currently a Social Studies teacher at Michael J. Petrides School, a college lecturer at Kingsborough Community College, among other schools including the English Language Institute at CSI as an ESL online instructor. In addition to teaching ESL, he has taught high school seniors for 13 years in the New York City Department of Education with topics related to U.S. Government, Geography, U.S. History, International Relations, among others.

International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS)


Danielle CastroDanielle Castro
College Assistant

Danielle Castro is a College Assistant at The Center for Global Engagement. She works mainly with student and scholar services, since 2004. Danielle enjoys working with students from around the world, talking with them and learning about their cultures and traditions. She was born and raised in Staten Island. Her free time is spent creating party favors and invitations, but spending time with her family is what she treasures the most.


Study Abroad

Russell DavisRussell Davis
Senior Study Abroad Advisor

Russell Davis manages programs in Australia, China, Denmark, Greece, Hong Kong and Japan and advises CSI students who study on programs world-wide. Russell lived four years in Asia, has an MA in Asian Studies from the University of Hawaii, and speaks Mandarin. He has helped CSI students study in Iceland, on an archeological program excavating Viking ships, and in many countries including England, Russia, France, Mexico, and Botswana… Russell loves to swim, bike, and travel. He has happily helped a couple of thousand students study abroad! Where do you want to study abroad?


John DunleavyJohn Dunleavy
Study Abroad Advisor

John Dunleavy has worked with the Center for Global Engagement since 2010. He has over thirteen years of experience in international education with four of those years spent teaching and living in Guayaquil, Ecuador, a city he originally fell in love with through a CSI study abroad program. Having helped many of his Ecuadorian students achieve their dreams of studying abroad, he is committed to helping CSI students do the same.


Global Peer Ambassadors

Benedicta GbemuduBenedicta Gbemudu

Benedicta Gbemudu grew up in Nigeria and graduated from university of Lagos with BSC in Zoology. She is currently pursing a graduate program in Biology at C.S.I. She is determined to become a professor and be able to impart knowledge to students. During her time in university she volunteered in schools, organizing lectures for students as they prepare for their examinations. She was very involved in campus activities and participated in many projects. Being a global ambassador will provide her the opportunity to work with students from different cultures and backgrounds as they navigate the school.


Mary Ogunbayo with a smileMary Ogunbayo   

My name is Mary Ogunbayo, and I am a sophomore at CSI studying Nursing. I am an international student from Nigeria. I enjoy reading, listening to music and learning about new cultures. I am also a huge soccer fan.



Faculty Advisory Committee

Jane Marcus Delgado
Andrew Lambert
Barbra Teater
William Bernhardt
Beth Livensperger
Halil Ege Ozen
Peter Kabachnik
Katie Cumiskey
Erlan Feria,
Catherine Lavender
Lisa Manne
Mark Aaron Polger
Emmanuel Mbah
Gerry Milligan
PrabudhRam Misra
Nuria Morgado
George Sanchez
Sarah Pollack
Susan Sullivan
Dan Zhang