July 27: This Week at Plaza

Tuesday, July 28: Typing Competition – Contact Dean Howle to enter Plaza’s first Typing Competition! The first contest will be from 11:45-12:30 and the second contest will be from 5:15-6:00. Both will take place in Room 202, and winners will receive a gift card.

Tuesday, July 28: Academic Assistance Sessions

Wednesday, July 29: No Day Classes

Wednesday, July 29: Academic Assistance Sessions

Thursday, July 30: Mixed Martial Arts Workout – Join the Health and Wellness Club for a mixed martial arts workout and fitness contest. Win gift cards to nearby restaurants and businesses in tests of strength from 11:40-12:35 or 5:00-6:00 in the Commons. Be sure to wear sneakers and comfortable clothing you can move in! Contact Professor Burns with questions.

Friday, July 31: Final Exams for Friday Classes

Daily: Students who were invited to the Graduate Awards Ceremony but did not attend should visit the Student Life office this week to pick up their awards.

Daily: St. Francis Food Pantry Canned Food Drive

Daily: Auditions for Plaza College Music Jazz Festival – If you sing or play an instrument, e-mail Professor Butchy for more information!

Students of the Week: Bibi Seunarine and Natalie Thervil

The Department of Student Life is proud to announce a tie for this week’s Student of the Week: Bibi Seunarine and Natalie Thervil! Between these two of them, these students took home 12 awards from last week’s Graduate Awards Ceremony. They are admired throughout the Plaza community, and both won scholarships to study in the BBA Program at Plaza. Read interviews with both of them below, and see what their professors have to say.

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Interview with Bibi Seunarine:

You won so many awards!! Which awards did you win?

*Summa Cum Laude

*2015 Outstanding Graduate HIT

*HIT Professional Practice Externship Award

*Excellence in Liberal Arts

*Excellence in Coding Skills

*Plaza College Writing Award

*Pastor Frank Rafter Scholarship Award

Tell us – how did it feel being called up there so many times? What was that like?

I was in disbelief. I had tears in my eyes. I knew I was doing well, but never in my wildest dreams did I think that I will be the winner of all these prestigious awards. It was truly an amazing feeling to be called up there so many times. I felt honored, proud and extremely happy to be the recipient of all these awards. Winning these awards made me realize that people do notice my hard work and this makes me want to keep going.

Of all the awards you won, is there one that means the most to you? Why?

The award that means the most to me is the HIT Professional Practice Externship Award. Being the winner of this award gave me a feeling of accomplishment. Knowing that I did an outstanding job at applying what I have learned in school to the professional practice has made me very confident about my future career.

So many students out there hear about your amazing night last week and they want to know, “How can I follow in their footsteps?” What advice would you give them?

Be persistent.  You must persist and keep striving for success in your courses—do not let an obstacle become a wall. Do not lose focus. Always remember that education is the key that will open many doors for you in the future.  Don’t take it for granted.  Take advantage of every opportunity to learn and grow as a student and person. Stay connected with your professors. Never be afraid be seek help. And Study. Study. Study.

What obstacles or challenges did you personally have to face, on your way to Awards Night 2015? How did you overcome them?

I wanted to drop out from Plaza sometime during my first semester. I felt overwhelmed. Managing a family, a job and school was too much for me to handle. Then on top of it all, everything that I was being taught in school was new to me, and I felt like I couldn’t keep up. I lost focus. But every time I looked at my son, I remembered my reason for going back to school in the first place. I wanted to be a role model for him and quitting is not going to make that happen, so I followed my advice given above and here I am today: A graduate and the winner of seven prestigious awards.

What’s next for you? What are the next goals you hope to achieve?

My ultimate goal is earn my PhD in Healthcare Administration. But for now my next step is to successfully complete my Bachelor’s degree in PIM at Plaza College and to land a job in a well-developed organization.

Professor Lynn McCann: “Bibi Seunarine’s serene face smiling at me from the front row of the big lab in Jackson Heights is a memory I cherish. She will bring that sunny determination wherever she goes.”

Professor Maureen O’Connor: “I have known Bibi for some time, having had the pleasure of having her in Law and Ethics class.  She is an outstanding student and young woman.  She is intelligent, poised, mature and generous with her time in helping others who do not grasp the material as quickly as she does.  She also has a very personable, friendly demeanor.  This semester, Bibi has proven invaluable as a lab assistant for the HIT students taking Vlabs.  She is expert at the Vlabs so has been a great source of help to me and Prof. Butler and a great resource to the HIT students taking the Vlabs now.  She has all it takes to go far in whatever career field she chooses.”


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Interview with Natalie Thervil:

You won so many awards!! Which awards did you win?

*Summa Cum Laude Award

*Pastor Frank Rafter Scholarship Award

*Consummate Professional Award

*Medical Assisting Practicum Award

*Excellence in Diagnostic and Procedural Coding Skills Awards.

Tell us – how did it feel being called up there so many times? What was that like?

I was very excited and shocked at the same time. It felt like I was at the Grammys, and I was getting recognized for all my accomplishments.

Of all the awards you won, is there one that means the most to you? Why?

Yes, the Summa Cum Laude Award means the most to me since I made every effort to maintain my grade average at a 3.87 throughout all my semesters. I can definitely say that I am proud of myself.

So many students out there hear about your amazing night last week- and they want to know, “How can I follow in their footsteps?” What advice would you give them?

The advice that I would give other students is always remain focused, be up-to-date with all assignments that are given to you, and balance your personal life and your school life. Also, never give up on yourself when the work gets hard and overwhelming.

What was going through your mind on Awards night?

The challenges that I faced the night of the award was not crying and becoming scared when they called my name. I overcame these challenges by walking up to the stage with my head up high and dancing even though I was nervous.

What’s next for you? What are the next goals you hope to achieve?

My next step is to continue my education by obtaining my Bachelor’s degree at Plaza College, still in the medical field, and also traveling around the world to different countries to help others who are in need of health care.

Professor Lynn McManus: “I am proud to say that Natalie Thervil was one of the winners of the “practicum award” at the event that Plaza hosted last Thursday night.  She is currently on a new site that was developed this semester.  They are extremely pleased with her performance and would like us to continue sending externs to their facility in the future.  Contrary to what students may believe, what they do on their externship really does matter to patients and staff and leaves a lasting impression.  I would like to thank her for her diligence, compassion, professionalism and for living up to Plaza’s standards.”

Professor Denise Zerella: “Natalie is one of my brightest students in the Medical Assisting Practicum class. She always has a smile on her face and presents herself as a true professional. She is always willing to help others and has an outstanding attendance record.  Natalie certainly deserves student of the week.”

Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Habiba Choudhury

On Wednesday, June 25, Professor Butchy’s Modern Drama class attended the Tony-award winning Broadway play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. First semester student Habiba Choudhury reviews the production below.

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Motionless, a scene opens with a woman, Mrs. Shears, screaming in agony, “Get away from my dog!!” Center stage, lights flicker on and off. As the woman continues shouting, 15-year-old Christopher John Francis Boone (Alex Sharp) stands still. A sharp garden fork pierced the dog Wellington to his death. As the audience is in awe, Christopher defends himself: “I did not kill Wellington!”

Shortly after, police arrive at the scene of the crime and begin questioning Christopher. As the officer comes too close, Christopher becomes aggravated. He attacks the officer, groans in fear, and falls to the ground. Little did the officer know that Christopher is a mathematics genius suffering with Asperger’s Syndrome and is socially awkward around people. Within minutes, Christopher’s father Ed Boone (Ian Barford) is called to retrieve his son. Christopher explains to his father that he is not responsible for the murder of his neighbor’s dog. Due to his disability and nature of the crime, Christopher is dismissed from police custody.

Determined, he embarks on a startling on stage journey as a detective to uncover Wellington’s culprit. As Christopher goes out to discover the real perpetrator, neighbors slam their doors, laughing at how trivial he is being over the death of a dog. The conflict he overcomes within himself is far greater than we can imagine. This journey leads to trauma and secrets within his family that he did not expect.

Sharp is a recent graduate of Juilliard School and debuts a jaw dropping performance in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. He lets us into Christopher Boone’s wondrous mind, helped by the narration of his open-hearted school teacher and mentor Siobhan (Francesca Faridany). He perfected his hand and body movements when he explains a question or is afraid. He became his character with a memory to recall everything he studied. The performance he gave captured a true teen with Asperger’s Syndrome. While he was arguing with other characters, he suddenly collapses into a seizure that was unbelievable.

Days after seeing the dazzling, spine tingling, and note-worthy performances of such an ensemble of actors, I still desire to revisit Swindon, England. This scenic world becomes a relatable reality we keep in our minds, where an adolescent with a learning disability is unfortunately ridiculed. Alex Sharp’s impeccable performance becomes an eye opener for us all to realize the beauty of such intellectual minds and to embrace them even though it is out of the ordinary. Ian Barford gave an authentically passionate performance as Christopher’s father and his rage shook the audience even though he continuously reaches out to Christopher.

The set of this imaginary world, presented at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, was created by scenic designer Bunny Christie and had a contemporary and refreshing touch. It was created using cube-shaped boxes to represent objects, walls, and locations throughout the performance. It was visually mesmerizing yet minimalistic with an innovative atmosphere. The one behind it all is none other than director Marianne Elliott, who put the production together beautifully with actors who grasped what each character portrayed. Scene to scene, each actor gave laughter, joyfulness, and consistency while connecting with the hearts of the audience.

This is a production I encourage everyone to go experience because it has an ending you will wonder about beyond the theatre.

Student Writing: Graduate Awards Ceremony Address by Ana Mira

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On Thursday, July 16, Ana Mira delivered the student address for Plaza College’s annual Graduate Awards Ceremony. After greeting the Callahan family, Trustee Thompson, administration, faculty, staff, and award winners, she spoke of how her fellow students inspired her success at Plaza before accepting several prestigious awards, including the Pastor Frank Rafter Scholarship, the Leadership Award, the Performing Arts Award, and the Citizenship Award. Below is an excerpt from her speech.

“At Plaza College, every single student is a VIP; however, tonight’s ceremony is about recognizing the ones who, in the face of great adversity and the many trials of everyday life, have shown and proven that heroes and heroines don’t have to wear a cape or a special suit to be admired.

I am pretty sure that you have heard it said that “Plaza is my home away from home,” a phrase which speaks to all the professors and their patience, and to all the students who motivate each other one way or another.

However, this also speaks to the Callahan family, who works tirelessly to educate us and prepare us for a better future. Therefore, while tonight is about celebrating student accomplishments, it is also about recognizing the sacrifices they have made to open the doors of opportunity to all of us, and for that, I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants to say “thank you very much for everything” to the President of Plaza College, Mr. Charles Callahan, and his family, along with the staff, who have done so much for us in our pursuit of success.

I know that every one of us has an inspiring story to share of how the professors or someone from the staff, or even a fellow student has encouraged us to let us know that we have more potential than we ever believe, and that we can reach the stars if we want. As for me, I walked into Plaza College full of questions and doubts, but I could never forget Dean Lopez’ words of encouragement. She made me understand that I made the right decision.

Like all of you, I have so many stories to share, stories that contributed to my determination to make it to the end of only my first chapter. I can endlessly speak about Dean Loffert as a professor, but what I cherish most about her was when she wiped tears off my face during hard times and let me know how strong I am even though at that time I didn’t believe it. Thank you, Dean Loffert, for being you.

I also have to mention Mr. Edward Purificati, our beloved “Mr. P,” and how he not only taught me math, but also made me realize that praying before a test without studying will not get me an A. Mr. P, thank you for all the fun tutoring that pulled me from a midterm grade of a D to a B+ at the end of the semester. I also want to thank every professor because with all the help we got from all of you, we made it to this special evening.

Tonight, think back to all the nights we spent sitting in front of a computer suffering from writer’s block, or the days we went to the commons to eat breakfast at 4:00 p.m. because we didn’t have time in the morning due to portfolio deadlines. Well, look where we are now! And the greatest prize of all tonight is all the knowledge we have gained, not only about our majors, but especially about ourselves.

For many of us tonight, getting an A or B was not enough, and we loved serving our community both on and off campus. Tonight is only the beginning of the recognition we will receive throughout our lives, not only because we have a degree now, but also because we are Plaza College Alumni.

Before I end I would like to quote a man who has been one of my biggest inspirations and whose life has been dedicated to advocate for justice and equality, and he showed me that you can be a star and always remain true at heart and humble. “Each and everyone of you have the power, the will and the capacity to make the difference in the world you live in” – Harry Belafonte. Let’s conquer the world and make the difference.

Congratulations once again to every one and each of you for your success!”

July 20: This Week at Plaza

Tuesday, July 21: No Day Classes

Thursday, July 23: Great Plaza College Type-off, 11:40 a.m.-12:40 p.m. and 5-6 p.m. (Email Dean Howle for more information)

Thursday, July 23: Academic Assistance Sessions

Friday, July 24: Academic Assistance Sessions

Saturday, July 25: Academic Assistance Sessions

Daily: Students who were invited to the Graduate Awards Ceremony but did not attend should visit the Student Life office this week to pick up their awards.

Daily: St. Francis Food Pantry Canned Food Drive

Daily: Auditions for Plaza College Music Jazz Festival – If you sing or play an instrument, e-mail Professor Butchy for more information!

Graduates Celebrate at 2015 Awards Ceremony

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On Thursday, July 16, more than 200 students, family members, and friends were joined by faculty, administration, staff, and trustees at Plaza’s annual Graduate Awards Ceremony at Terrace on the Park. Graduating students were presented with a wide range of honors, including awards for academic, humanitarian, and artistic work as well as honors in their majors. Check out these early photos of the event, and click here to read the remarks given by student speaker Ana Mira!

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Academic Assistance Sessions Spring 2015

Plaza is once again offering academic assistance sessions to improve student performance and assist in preparation for finals. These extra sessions allow students to work on assignments, tests, and portfolio assignments specific to their courses. While the sessions cannot replace attending regular classes, they can supplement that time and help students to catch up or improve their grades. (Students cannot attend sessions that conflict with their regularly scheduled classes.)

When are the Academic Assistance Sessions?

Thursday, July 23

English (LL61, LL57, DE93), Room 206, 5-7 p.m.

Math/Accounting, ARC, 5-7 p.m.

Keyboarding/Technology, Room 202, 5-7 p.m.

Health Information Technology, HIT Lab, 5-7 p.m.

Friday, July 24

Keyboarding, Room 201, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Management (MG73), Faculty Advisement Center, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

English (LL61, LL57, DE93), ARC, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Accounting/Math, Room 207, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Technology, Room 202, 1-3 p.m.

Saturday, July 25

Technology/Keyboarding, Room 212, 1-3 p.m.

Tuesday, July 28

English (LL61, LL57, DE93), Room 206, 5-7 p.m.

Technology/Keyboarding, TBD, 5-7 p.m.

Management (MG73), Faculty Center

Wednesday, July 29

Keyboarding, Room 201, 1-3 p.m.

Accounting/Math, Room 207, 1-3 p.m.

English (LL61, LL57, DE93), ARC, 1-3 p.m.

Technology, Room 202, 103 p.m.

Important: Sessions will be closed if students do not show by the midpoint. For example, if a session is 3 hours, 9-12, the session will be closed at 10:30 a.m. if no students arrive.

How do you sign up for an Academic Assistance Session?

Call Director Fordunski at (718) 505-7276 and leave the following information with her or on voicemail:

  1. Your name (spell your last name and first name slowly)
  2. Your telephone number, in case we need to phone you back
  3. The name of the session, for example, Keyboarding
  4. The date and time of the session, for example, Friday, July 24, 9-12.


July 13: This Week at Plaza

Monday, July 13: Extended Day Registration for Associate Students

Tuesday, July 14: Day Registration for Associate Students; NO DAY CLASSES

Tuesday, July 14: Academic Assistance Session for LL254, LL290, and LL353 portfolios – Room 212, 12:30-2:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 16: NO EXTENDED DAY CLASSES; Graduate Honors Ceremony

Saturday, July 18: Open Lab in Room 202 from 12-2 p.m.

Daily: St. Francis Food Pantry Canned Food Drive

Daily: Auditions for Plaza College BBQ Music Festival – If you sing or play an instrument, e-mail Professor Butchy for more information!

Daily: Fundraiser for Nepal

Daily: Students who earned Trustees’ List, President’s List, Dean’s List, or the Faculty Award may pick up their certificates in the Student Life Office.

Fall 2015 Registration Begins Tomorrow

Registration for Fall 2015 begins this week, and students should plan to attend and register based on their program.

Associate Degree Students

Fall 2015 Registration for Associate Degree students will take place on Monday and Tuesday. Extended Day Student Registration will take place on Monday, July 13, from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. Day Student Registration will take place on Tuesday, July 14, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. There will be no day classes on July 14.

For both sessions, registration will take place in the Plaza Commons and BBA Lounge. Remember to take care of any Financial Services or Students Services holds before going to register, and be sure to arrive on time on your assigned day! Students who do not attend registration at their assigned time will have schedules assigned to them based on courses needed and availability. Once schedules are assigned, they may only be changed during the add/exchange period at the start of the fall semester.

Bachelor Degree Students

BBA-Management students should schedule an appointment to meet with Dr. Sibblis for registration this week. Students do not need to attend a regular registration session but should email Dr. Sibblis directly.

PIM students should check their email for a message from Dean Dolla. Students will receive information from the dean regarding available meeting times, and they must respond to her email to make an appointment. PIM students do not need to attend a regular registration session but should respond directly to Dean Dolla.

Fresh Start Students

Winter 2015 Fresh Start Students need to meet with Director Vetrano in Student Services regarding HSED paperwork and majors if they have not already. Students will then register starting Thursday, July 16. To schedule an appointment at one of the following times, students must respond to their email from Director Vetrano.

Thursday, July 16, between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Friday, July 17, between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

Monday, July 20, between 10:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday, July 21, between 10:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Spring 2015 Fresh Start Students do not need to register for fall courses. Programs will be assigned in order to complete the required HSED criteria for applications to be sent to Albany, and students will be able to access their required courses on MyPortal in the beginning of August. If students need to make section changes for the fall courses, this can be done in Student Services on Monday, August 31, from 10:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Students with questions about registration should contact Student Services.

Student of the Week: Dawanya Douse

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The Department of Student Life is proud to announce this week’s Student of the Week: Dawanya Douse! After being a hair stylist for 20 years, she made the brave decision to return to college to begin pursuing her ultimate dream of becoming a nurse. Her first step is the Medical Assisting program at Plaza, where is she is a top honor student.

Read our interview with her below, and then see what her professors have to say.

How does it feel to be our Student of the Week?

I am grateful and truly humbled by this honor. There are so many wonderful students in the school, and for me to be chosen is truly an honor.

What is your inspiration every day?

Every day I am inspired to improve and conquer my goals for my daughter, who is my inspiration.

Tell a bit about your journey to Plaza College.

I have been a hairstylist for over 20 years, and I decided that it was time to make a change in my life, so I decided to go back to school to get my degree. I am more motivated than I have ever been in my life, and I want to teach my daughter that it’s never to late to reach your goals.

What is your dream job?

To be an RN.

What are the three best ways to succeed at Plaza College?

Study hard, get good grades, and stay motivated.

What “Plaza secret” should every incoming student know?

The professors may seem extremely strict at times, but they are all really caring and nice and there to give you proper guidance if needed.

Who were you most excited to tell you won Student of the Week? Why?

My daughter. Because I wanted her to know that if mommy can do it, she can do it!

What song do you listen to the most?

“It’s Working” by William Murphy

If you could go anywhere over the semester break, where would you go?

Tour Europe.

For me, Plaza College means …..

A better future!

According to the Plaza community… 

Professor Laura Butchy: “Dawanya has been an amazingly dedicated student from the moment she first entered Plaza last semester. In addition to enthusiastically participating in Modern Drama class, she devoted extra time after class to meet with teachers and improve her writing and computer skills. Her passion for learning not only earned her high grades but also inspired her fellow students. She is an excellent role model who shows how successful students can be with commitment and a positive attitude!”

Dr. Susan Gunther: “Dawayna is one of the friendliest students at Plaza College. She is a hard worker and a professional. Her smile is contagious, and her spirit lifts up the moods of others. Because of this, she is reliable and sincere. I wish her the best as I am proud to congratulate her on being student of the week!”

Director Marisa Fordunski: “Ms. Douse is such a pleasure to have as a student in my Medical Finances class. Not only does she demonstrate collegiate spirit, but she always brings her professionalism to Plaza every day. I have no doubt that she will be successful in all her endeavors.”

Professor Parvathy Ramachandran: “I am so glad Ms. Douse has been chosen as the student of the week. She is absolutely wonderful! Dawayna was in my AH 155 (Medical Term) class and was absolutely wonderful to have in class. A very hard working and honest student, she was always on time with all her assignments and earned excellent grades on her tests.”

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