For the Fall 2015 semester, students were awarded academic honors in four categories. This week we recognize the 84 students who earned a place on the Trustees’ List based on their academic achievements. To be honored in this category, students must earn a semester GPA between 3.8 and 4.0, carry at least 12 credit hours, and earn no grade below a B. Congratulations to all!
Monday, February 8: Grammar Workshop 5-5:55 p.m. in Room 204
Thursday, February 11: Health & Wellness Event College Hour 11:40-12:30 p.m.
Thursday, February 11: Grammar Workshop 11:40-12:35 p.m. in Room 204
Thursday, February 11: Flower Day (See Dean Howle’s email for details!)
Monday, February 15: President’s Day – No classes
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.” – Ernest Hemingway
Do you feel like there’s no time for exercise or preparing healthy foods? Are your New Year’s resolutions quickly fading away? What better time than now to hit the restart button on those healthy living resolutions? Join Plaza’s Health and Wellness Club this week for a fun, food, and exercise event designed to help busy students make healthy choices.
On Thursday, February 11, the Health and Wellness Club will welcome personal trainers from 24-Hour Fitness to the Commons to teach an exercise session during the College Hour from 11:40-12:30. Students, faculty, and staff are invited to wear sneakers and stretchy or loose clothing to learn exercise moves that can be done at home and to pick up a free pass to 24-hour Fitness.
In addition, the event will feature a nutrition information station that showcases inexpensive, local foods to make healthy lunch options, and participants can enter a raffle for a gift certificate to Sammie’s lunch counter in the Commons.
These will also be an opportunity to support a fundraiser to help female students around the world pay for basic education. Come learn about one easy, free thing you can do to help young women in Guatemala go to school. The event will benefit She’s the First, an organization dedicated to helping girls around the globe become successful scholars in countries where girls typically leave school at a young age due to a lack of financial or community support. Learn more about She’s the First here!
If you would like to help organize this event or join the Health & Wellness Club, please email Professor Charity Burns or speak with her in the library.
The Department of Student Life is proud to announce this week’s Student of the Week: Samantha Vincens! Although she is only in her second semester, she has already made a glowing impression on campus through her kindness, professionalism, top grades, and humanitarian spirit. Read more about her story in the interview below, and then see what her professors have to say!
How did it feel to learn you’d been voted Student of the Week?
It felt amazing! I always looked up to the people I saw being selected as Student of the Week, and it felt surreal to become one of them.
Tell us about your journey to Plaza College.
I was homeschooled prior to attending Plaza College, and spent a lot of time dancing for the Isadora Duncan Dance Company. My mom attended Plaza when she was younger, and she thought it would be a good transition from homeschooling for me. My mom just got her master’s degree in education in 2015, and I am so proud of her. She motivates me to always aim for 110% and to better myself no matter what.
We may have noticed that you spend a great deal of time on campus with Mr. Thomas Morgan… Why did you both decide to come to Plaza together?
Thomas is my best friend and my boyfriend. We became really good friends four years ago, and then he asked me to be his girlfriend a year after we met. We were immediately good friends and soon became inseparable. I’ve never met anyone I clicked with like that, and my family felt the same way. We are all very close and it feels like we’ve known each other forever. If soul mates are real, he is definitely mine.
What’s the secret to your great relationship?
I think being good friends first is really important. You should be able to confide in them, know they’ll celebrate your ups and be there for your downs, and always be able to laugh about anything together. And it is really important to truly listen to the other person to understand, not just hear what they’re saying and decide what you can say in response. I think Thomas and I have a really great bond because we are, as cliché as it sounds, perfect for each other.
You both were involved last semester with the Alzheimer’s Walk and Breast Cancer Walk. Why did you choose to participate in these events?
We chose to participate in those events because they both hold a special place in our hearts. My grandmother passed away after suffering for many years from Alzheimer’s. It was very sad to see, but my family took great care of her and gave her so much love. I remember that whenever she would see my dad (her son), my grandmother would always start dancing, even in her wheelchair. Learning that my grandma had Alzheimer’s actually sparked my interest for the medical field, and I even interned with patients suffering from brain injuries at NYU Medical Langone Center. Thomas has three aunts who all beat breast cancer, so we knew we had to get involved in the walk. We both believe it’s really important to not only spread awareness and raise money for a cure, but also to support the people battling diseases and their families.
Tell us about your “favorite things.”
Favorite way to relax after a long day of classes: Watching I Love Lucy.
Favorite musician: Chopin – I danced to many of his pieces when I was younger, and all of his music transports me to childhood and realms of imagination.
Favorite movie: The Silence of the Lambs. I love watching classics and comedies, but I really love thrillers and horror movies.
Favorite book: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. My first English teacher gave it to me at the end of the school year when I was 14.
Favorite place you have ever visited: Greece! I love the food and culture. It is so beautiful there! I hope I can visit again.
According to her professors…
Dean Jonathan Howle: “Samantha Vicens is the epitome of class, grace, integrity, and professionalism. Since her first week on campus, she has been a constant participant in so many of our Student Life events. I consider her one of our finest students and leaders!”
Prof. Michele Rullo: “Samantha Vicens is a hardworking and motivated individual who does not allow any obstacle to impede her studies. She is a diligent student who always strives to be professional, kind, and courteous. Congratulations on this well-deserved honor!”
Prof. Parvathy Ramachandran: “Samantha was a student in my AH155 Medical Terminology class. She stood out within the class from day 1 by sitting in the first couple of rows and being very well prepared for the class. Aside from obtaining the best grades on all exams, she turned in all assignments for the class on time and answered questions in the classroom. Samantha is a great student and a role model for all of Plaza. I wish her the best in all her endeavors and can’t wait to see her proudly graduate from the program.”
Dean Lin Loffert: “Samantha was a ‘professor’s dream’ inside the classroom and outside. She was always early to class, had a great smile, enthusiasm, and understanding of the subject of the fine and performing arts, always actively participated in classroom discussions, was always prepared with her assignments, and never settled for anything less than an “A” grade. Ms. Vicens was a consistent role model to her fellow students and administration alike. She is a pleasant, caring, professional, and hardworking young woman, who I know will be successful in her chosen field. She has a deep respect and empathy for others and a rare level of sophistication that is apparent in everything she does.”
After a successful kickoff in the fall, Portfolio Power Hour returned this semester to give students insights about the portfolio process in a variety of classes. Dozens of students attended the sessions over two weeks, including an encore session dedicated to LL254 by popular demand.
Panels of English professors and students who have completed the course spoke about LL254 on January 19 and 28, giving tips about everything from choosing a topic to using MLA style. LL290 and LL353 were covered on January 21, offering students in advanced English classes advice for in-depth portfolios.
Allied Health students learned more about key components of AH1000, HT103, and AH1013 on January 21, and Business and IT students were able to learn more about a variety of portfolio courses on January 26. Students currently enrolled in portfolio classes as well as those preparing for portfolios next semester were ready with questions about the process and how to earn an “A”.
Stay tuned later this semester for another portfolio event in which students will gather to support each other and answer questions over coffee and tea sponsored by Sigma Tau Delta!
Monday, February 1: Grammar Workshop 5-5:55 p.m. in Room 204
Monday and Tuesday, February 1-2: Auditions for Artists’ Café
Thursday, February 4: Grammar Workshop 11:40-12:35 p.m. in Room 204
Monday-Friday: Order roses for Flower Day on Feb. 11 in the Student Life Office (See Dean Howle’s email for details!)
Monday-Friday: Campus Store Open for Book Sales
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Revolution beings with the self, in the self.” – Toni Cade Bambara
Grammar Workshops began last week for any students who need extra assistance with English or simply a refresher! These workshops help everyone brush up on writing skills, and students in English classes are particularly encouraged to attend. Workshops take place every week on Monday between 5-6 p.m. and Thursday during College Hour in Room 204. For a schedule of upcoming topics, see below.
Workshop 2: Subject/Verb Agreement
Monday, February 1, 5:00-5:55
Thursday, February 4, 11:40-12:35
Workshop 3: Pronoun Agreement
Monday, February 8, 5:00-5:55
Thursday, February 11, 11:40-12:35
Workshop 4: Coordination
Monday, February 22, 5:00-5:55
Thursday, February 25, 11:40-12:35
Workshop 5: Subordination
Monday, February 29, 5:00-5:55
Thursday, March 3, 11:40-12:35
On January 14, Plaza College held its second day of Dress Code Fashion Shows sponsored by the Departments of Career Services and Student Life. Students were able to see firsthand how to dress for success as students and in their future careers. The fashion show’s first segment covered appropriate attire for campus dress code, job interviews, and the business workplace.
As students sashayed down the red carpet runway, host Director of Career Services Anita Luckett complimented students’ attire and gave campus and career advice. “Career Services works closely with many employers and we may even have your future employer on campus to tour and meet possible candidates,” Luckett explained. “That’s why at Plaza College the Dress code is important… Make sure you are ready to make a good first impression to kick start your new career!”
The fashion show also included an entertaining segment called “What Not to Wear” when Plaza’s student models showed off dress code violations and workplace fashion don’ts!
Why is the way you dress on and off campus so important?
Campus Dress Code Reminders
Campus Dress Code Violations
The Department of Student Life is proud to announce this week’s Student of the Week: Sylvia Dearce. She is known not only for her stellar GPA and leadership in every campus event since May 2015 but also for her beautiful spirit and uncompromising devotion to her family and her classmates. Read more about her story in the interview below, and then see what her professors have to say!
Who was the first person you told that you won Student of the Week? Why?
The first person I told was my daughter. I decided to tell my daughter because she is the one person I knew that would understand my level of excitement, being that she was student of the month at her school.
What does it mean to you to be Student of the Week?
It means a great deal to me because it’s a reminder to me that I can and will succeed at achieving my degree. It also motivates to come to school because getting up and coming is the hardest thing.
Tell a bit about your path to where you are today.
It wasn’t easy getting where I am today. I was expected to fail from the time I found out I was pregnant at the age of fifteen. I could have fallen like most; I could have made excuses for myself. I sure could have, but I didn’t. I decided to have faith in a better tomorrow for my son and myself. Now, fifteen-and-a-half years later, I am proud to say I am a survivor of domestic violence, I am a cancer survivor, I am still here enjoying all that I thought couldn’t be possible.
You are a mother and a student! How do you make this work? What are the secrets to your success?
My #1 secret is time management. Prioritize your schedule. If necessary, create a chart. To be blunt, I made a career path chart for myself two years ago. And it worked! Planning ahead is also one of my tools. It helps when one has children, like myself whose three children attend three different schools.
Whenever there is a fundraiser on campus – you are there! Why are you so involved on campus?
To be honest, I never really was given the opportunity to help or participate in any event while I attended school. It is important to me because it allows me to have knowledge about things that I’m not aware of. For example, there was the Alzheimer’s Walk. I learned a lot about the condition by attending that event with Dean Howle and my fellow students.
Which event has meant the most to you so far?
The breast cancer awareness walk was the event that touched me the most. In the year 2000, I was diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer. Though that doesn’t come close to breast cancer, I had the privilege to meet many survivors suffering from other cancers. I lost my mother to lung cancer in 2011. Attending the breast cancer walk brought joy to my heart, as did hearing the stories of survival from mothers and their daughters.
Given how busy you are, is there anything you love to do to relax and decompress?
I love to watch Law & Order and play spades. I personally think I’m a master player at the card game spades, not to toot my own horn, LOL.
What has been the most rewarding experience at Plaza College for you so far?
The most rewarding experience is being here in college. I never thought or imagined me ever going back to school, let alone excelling at it. My other rewarding experience is meeting my Plaza College family. I have the pleasure being around some of the funniest and coolest people one could ever meet. My professors are the mothers and fathers I never had. I was abandoned by my biological mother and denied by my father, so for me, being here at Plaza means a lot to me.
If you could snap your fingers and make one change to Plaza College, what would you change?
I would change the size. Plaza College is just too much of a wonderful school to be small.
For any student out there struggling – financially, emotionally – struggling with that “balance” of being a parent and a student – what words of wisdom would you like to offer them?
Do not give up! Have faith and believe in yourself. Trust the will that was given to you to achieve all that was meant for you. The sky is the limit!
In which way have you changed most importantly since you’ve been a student at Plaza?
I was the type of person that’s very defensive, hostile, and rude. At Plaza I’ve learned how to express myself with others in an appropriate manner. My way of thinking has changed as well. I now have a positive outlook on school and life. I have struggled with meeting new people for many years, but being at Plaza has helped me a lot.
According to Plaza faculty and administrators…
Dr. Susan Gunther: “This student is one of hardest working individuals that I know. She has overcome adversity in her lifetime, and she just keeps going forward. She is a strong person whom I am proud to write that she is one of ours – a Plaza College Student with so much potential to do great things! Congratulations for much continued success!”
Prof. Laura Butchy: “Sylvia does an amazing job balancing school, work, family, and giving back to the community. She is a dedicated student who always strives to perfect her work, which shows in her outstanding grades. In addition, she is always eager to help others, taking time out from her assignments to aid classmates with questions. Somehow she also manages to find time to participate in school fundraisers and events, making her a true Plaza Renaissance woman!”
Dean Lin Loffert: “I have known Sylvia since her first semester and have found her to be a very professional, self-motivated, and diligent student. Academically and professionally, she is not willing to settle for anything less than her best! Sylvia has a wonderful sense of humor that makes her a fantastic critical thinker and problem-solver! She is very detail-oriented and easily finds solutions to issues at-hand that not everyone can discover or even think of! Off-campus, Sylvia is a fantastic mother and a very caring fundraiser and generous Plaza College Ambassador. Sylvia and was an Ambassador who got very involved in our campus Bake Sale for the American Cancer Society and was a dedicated volunteer at the Strides Walk for Breast Cancer in the early morning hours at Flushing Meadows Park. Sylvia is never opposed to helping others, no matter what the need is and when and where.”
Prof. Mark Ventimiglia: “This is well-deserved! She is hardworking, social, and respectful.”
Dean Jonathan Howle: “Every day – without fail – Sylvia Dearce steps into Plaza College and raises the bar for everyone, including her professors. Her commitment, curiosity, and true love of learning make her a dream student. Her humanitarian spirit and concern for the well-being of everyone around her make her a divine human being.”
Tuesday, January 26: Portfolio Power Hour: IT115, IT142, and MG230 at 11:45 a.m. and MG230, MGT1007, and MG73 at 5:15 p.m. in the Bachelor’s Lounge
Thursday, January 28: Portfolio Power Hour: English LL254 at 11:45 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. in the Bachelor’s Lounge
Monday-Friday: Campus Store Open for Book Sales
Monday-Friday: Auditions for Artists’ Café