Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Student Artwork at YMCA

YMCA of Central and Northern Westchester and The College of Westchester have partnered to display three award-winning artwork pieces, designed by CW students.

Roselle Glick, Career Counselor and Instructor at CW, explains the importance of this partnership, “This partnership means a lot to me. As the Career Counselor for our Digital Media students, I was looking for a way to display our student’s artwork. The YMCA seemed like the perfect place to do this given its commitment to serving the community. I’m excited to work with the staff at the YMCA to help inspire their members and hopefully inspire our students to exhibit their artwork.”

The artists whose work is being permanently displayed at the YMCA in White Plains are former winners of The College of Westchester Charitable Foundation Art Contest Scholarship Award.
The first one is by Mecca Allim, 2013 winner. The second is an illustration by Sharnice Mickens titled “The Path to Success.” The third one is by Michele Cores titled “My Tools Are My Partners Who Guide Me to Success.”

Everybody is invited to visit the exhibition at the White Plains YMCA branch on Mamaroneck Avenue.

For more information visit http://whiteplains.ymca-cnw.org/

NAMI Walks – 2014 Team Award

Congratulations to the CW team who proudly participated in the 2014 NAMI Walks. They received an award for their efforts to fight the stigma against mental illness and their outstanding performance as a walk team raising funds and recruiting walkers to participate in the ‘2014 NAMI Walks.’ Those who walked included Diana Cusumano, Antonia Croghan, Nancy Trim, Mary Beth Del Balzo, Joseph Handibode, Erica Schacht, and Maria Gangi. Congratulations guys!

NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

Please join us for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The walk will take place on Sunday, October 5th at Harbor Park in Mamaroneck. Check in will be at 10:00 am, and the walk will begin at 11:00 am.

The team link to join us walking and/or to donate is:

CW Winner of People’s Priority Award

The College of Westchester has won the People’s Priority Award from Clickatell – an industry leading provider of texting services. The award is in recognition for the development of the CW Communicator, a custom text messaging app that is tied to the CW student information system. The new service has allowed CW to keep in touch with students and work more efficiently and effectively through mobile messaging.

Congratulations to the CW Business Support Analyst Team, applications developer, John Jurgens, Michael Ulanski for working as our beta tester, and to Ethan Kreul for helping to roll it out and support it!

Thank you especially to our students who are productively using the app, and to everyone who voted for us to win on Facebook.


Monecia Samuel Serves on Fulbright Scholar Peer Review Committee

Monecia Samuel, The College of Westchester's director of Library Learning Services to serve on the prestigious Fulbright Scholar Peer Review Committee. Congratulations, Monecia!
More details are posted on APC's Spectrum Blog: http://spectrum.apc-colleges.org/

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Prof. Coffino featured on “Top 101 Industry Experts”

Estelle R. Coffino, MPA, RRT, CPFT, CCMA
Program Director, Chairperson
Allied Health Program
The College of Westchester

Estelle R. Coffino originally pursued a career as a gymnastics teacher, but due to her excellent skills in math and science, she was selected to enroll into a respiratory therapy health care program. Despite her dislike of blood and some of the physically revealing aspects of the profession, Ms. Coffino enrolled in the program and eventually developed an interest in the field. Serving as a clinical specialist, she has gained an immense amount of experience over a span of nearly three decades and has decided to use her knowledge of the field to teach others. She is currently the program director and chairperson of the Allied Health Programs at The College of Westchester, where she handles administrative responsibilities, reviews curriculum, mentors faculty, and interviews students. She reviews publications for several textbooks from various publishing companies that service colleges and universities nationwide.  She also serves as a subject matter expert writing questions for the national certification exams for allied health professionals.

“Transitioning from being a health care provider to working in academia [was a challenge],” says Ms. Coffino. “I spent a lot of time learning the administrative responsibilities of the profession using methodologies, including technology that would result in students’ success.” While with The College of Westchester, she has designed two clinical laboratories and administration classroom settings for the students. A licensed registered respiratory therapist, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Community Health from Mercy College and a Master of Public Administration in Health Care Administration from Long Island University. She also holds certification in medical assisting, certification in Pulmonary Function Technology, and a license in Respiratory Therapy.

Ms. Coffino remains affiliated with The National Healthcareer Association, American Medical Technology, and ECSI, organizations that help keep her updated of new innovations in the health care field. She attributes her success to believing in what she does and having the intention of contributing to something that makes a difference in the lives of others. In the near future, she would like to become the Dean of the School of Allied Health.

Conversation with Estelle R. Coffino, MPA, RRT, CPFT, CCMA
WHO’S WHO PUBLISHERS: On what topics do you consider yourself to be an expert?
Estelle R. Coffino: Health care delivery.

What characteristics help to separate you from your competitors?
I am a person of honorable character very much engaged in the entire process of leadership.  I am a person with strong character that shows drive, energy, determination, self-discipline, willpower, nerve, and a willingness to take risks.  I know what I want, devise a strategic plan to getting everyone on board, and staying committed to seeing the project to completion.  I show confidence in what I do and take charge when necessary.  

What motivates you?
I am passionate about helping others through teaching, training, and coaching and ultimately seeing an individual succeed.  My ability to work hard and deliver results is a great motivator particularly in academia when a student graduates and lands that great job because of all the work you and your team did for that student.  I love having the responsibility for oversight of a growing allied health program, developing new curricula and pursuing new medical programs for the college.

What lessons have you learned as a professional in your field?
Show competence, honesty and integrity, but never be afraid to admit what you do not know.  When your job is to care for the life of another, that is the time when that person’s needs comes first.  If you are the type of person that is not prepared to make that sacrifice, then this is not the profession one should enter into.  I have learned to care for others and how important quality of life means to me.

What short-term and long-term career goals are you currently pursuing?
The goals that I set have a vision of the future and are shared with my faculty and the executive team.
I would like to grow the Allied health programs at the college by developing new programs for both the ground and online college.  Eventually, I would like to see a dedicated school of Allied Health at the college and become the Dean of that school. I have the perseverance to accomplish any goal that I set regardless of the occasional overwhelming obstacles

How do you plan to achieve these goals?
I will need to research how new programs are developed, as I  have seen that new program development is an arduous process developing and submitting to New York State for approval.  A timetable needs to be established for achieving these goals so this way I can pace myself and not become easily discouraged.
I will network seeking input from experts in the field who have already been through this process.

What is the most difficult obstacle or challenge you have faced in pursuit of your goals?
Most difficult obstacle is awaiting approval from the State of New York.  Things seem to take a very long time to get approved.

What is the most significant issue facing your profession today?
Making sure that we keep current with the changes facing healthcare today and incorporating those trends into our curriculum.  Recent legislation regarding health care delivery implores educators in this field to be sure to keep curriculum current, and engaging to promote the best opportunities to our students.

What are some questions that an individual interested in your services can ask to ensure a more productive relationship?
I think a person may ask me how long it takes to reach the success level that I have achieved.  How rewarding is a career in health care?  How many years should a person looking to pursue a career as a health care educator have worked in a health care setting?  What are the physical and mental demands associated with working with people that are ill?  What are the different types of opportunities available to an individual looking to pursue a career in health care?

Did you ever consider pursuing a different career path or another profession? If yes, how did you end up working in your current field?
I have worked in Health care facilities for close to 30 years.  Ironically, my father had always wanted me to be a school teacher but I resisted.  At the time, I did not see that as my career path.  After having worked in hospitals for so many years, I thought it was time to step aside from taking care of people that were ill.  I did, however, look to pursue a teaching position in a college where I could teach prospective medical and nursing students.  It was a way for me to “hold on” to the profession and a way of passing along the love and caring for the job that I loved.

What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of your profession?
There are actually three.  First, to see a student graduate, then, pass their national certification exam, and finally, secure that ideal job in the medical field.

What is your favorite or least favorite work-related task to do and why?
What I find most difficult is counseling faculty when they are not following departmental policy exactly as I would expect them to.  Counseling adults can be more challenging than if you had to counsel young adults.

What advice can you offer fellow members or others aspiring to work in your industry?
Be honest and true to yourself that you are prepared to commit to becoming a health care educator.  Before doing so, I would strongly recommend that an individual spend some time “in the field” so they can bring real world experience into the classroom.

Who have been your mentors or people who have greatly influenced you?
My parents have been an important part of my life.  I am also grateful to teachers, coaches, previous administrators that I admired and respected and most important my partner who has kept me grounded and focused.

What changes have you observed in your industry/field since you started?
Technological advances in healthcare have brought about many changes.  The advancement of electronic health records makes patient records more accessible and following a patient’s history an almost seamless operation.  The provision of healthcare to patients has become more demanding as we have fewer qualified caregivers and less reimbursement for patient services from the various insurance companies. 
Fewer individuals have health insurance, and for those that do have insurance, premiums for coverage continue to rise.  Inpatient length of stay in hospitals continues to decline and you have a greater number of outpatient facilities for services that can now be performed outside of the traditional hospital operating room.

How do you see these changes affecting the future of your industry?
Most importantly, patients need to receive the quality care they deserve.  Technological advances should help bring earlier diagnosis, thereby, facilitating treatment.  Health care should not become a constant political debate.  People should be able to select the insurance that is affordable that will provide them with the care needed.  Here’s a thought.  Why not encourage companies to promote wellness programs    so that affordable health insurance can be offered.  The more an individual can validate their healthy lifestyle, the greater reduction in their premium. 

CW Hosts Grad Career Fair

The Office of Career Services held a Graduate Career Fair with 21 employers looking for local talent. Many of the grads filled out applications and had on the spot interviews.

Some of the companies that attended included Citibank, H&R Block, Montefiore Medical Center, Hertz, Stamford Marriot Hotel and Spa, among others. Peoples United Bank said our students were “dressed for success… We consider many things when we interview students such as body language, the way they’re dressed, and obviously what they have to say.” Other employers were happy to connect with our students, “We would like to thank you for having us at your Graduate Career Fair at The College of Westchester. We greatly appreciate the opportunity to connect and interact with your students. We met some promising candidates; whom we are following up with,” said a NY recruiter of Green Mountain Energy.

Northwestern Mutual, a financial institution with offices in White Plains, New York, was fast in selecting their candidates. Margarida Oliveira, currently enrolled in the BBA Accounting program received a call for a follow up interview. She is pursuing an internship opportunity at Northwestern Mutual and they are interested in her, as well.

Good luck to all attendees!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Congratulations to Adult Student of Semester, Elvis Acosta!

Elvis Acosta is earning his AAS in Computer Networking Administration at CW. He is a 2014 CWCF scholarship recipient, a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and has earned President’s List recognition. He began his education at a community college, and then transferred to The College of Westchester in 2013. He picked CW because it offered a great Computer Network Administration degree program. This is his final term at CW and he will earn his degree in September.

Elvis currently works as a telecommunications manager at Lazard Freres & Co., LLC. His main goal is to further his career in IT and become a highly skilled Cisco Network Engineer. He was born in New York, NY and went to City-As-School High School. He currently lives in White Plains, NY and has two wonderful children.

Congratulations Elvis!!!