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Queens District Attorney Visits Plaza College!

May 17, 2024

On Friday, May 10th, Plaza College hosted the Queens District Attorney’s Office Court Reporting Recruitment event. The event featured a number of guest speakers including current staff at the DA’s Office and the Queens District Attorney, Melinda Katz. 

At the event, the District Attorney’s office emphasized  the need for court reporters in the Grand Jury. Attendees were joined by Plaza College court reporting graduates, David G. and Deasia R., both of whom currently serve as Grand Jury court reporters at the Queens District Attorney’s Office.

Deasia and David shared the benefits they enjoy as employees at the Queens DA’s Office. The benefits include access to employee assistance programs, health benefits, paid holidays, and union perks.

Find out more about this exciting opportunity at

Happy Nurses Week!

May 9, 2024

On Wednesday, May 8th, Plaza College Nursing students celebrated their special week with a luncheon in the commons followed by a game of medical Pictionary, and a raffle! Guest speaker April E, a Plaza nursing grad, delivered some words of wisdom during the celebration.

Dental Hygiene White Coat Ceremony: Cohorts 2 and 10

April 18, 2024

On Wednesday, April 10th the Plaza College community gathered to celebrate the achievements of dedicated Dental Hygiene students at a White Coat Ceremony. Students from both Cohort 2 (part-time evening and weekend program) and Cohort 10 (full-time day program),  were honored during the ceremony. 

Previously held in the Plaza College Commons, this semester’s ceremony took place at Flushing Meadows Park inside Queen’s Theater. During the event, Plaza College Dental Sciences faculty presented students with their White Coats. Students celebrated with their family and friends at the reception that followed in the Queens Theater Atrium. 

The White Coat Ceremony is a rite of passage for every healthcare professional, signifying the critical transition between classroom learning and patient care. Additionally, the White Coat serves as a symbol for the perseverance and determination of dental hygiene students throughout their academic careers. 

Check out pictures from the event below.

Student Spotlight: Jackelin B.

February 29, 2024

Jackelin is a student in the Dental Hygiene Associate Degree Program, excited to graduate in Spring semester 2024!  Jackelin explains,  “it’s such an honor to have been nominated for the Student Spotlight.  I’ve definitely put in a lot of work and feel that recognition,  but it doesn’t come from my hard work alone,  it’s from the collaboration of my cohort.  We support each other and stick together.  If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here,  so this is a representation of that.”  Jackelin started her journey in this profession working as a treatment coordinator for a dental practice.  “I observed these patients paying a lot of money for problems they are trying to restore,  so ultimately I want to focus on preventative care with my patients.”  Dr. Garland says that,  “Jackelin is a very dedicated student.  She commits herself to practicing dental techniques until she obtains mastery.  She engages with faculty and is not afraid to ask for their help as she continually hones her skills and strives to be the best dental hygiene practitioner she can be while a student at Plaza College.  As a student, she is supportive and engaging with her peers.  She is kind and empathetic with her patients.”

Her father always motivated her to pursue a career in this field because he didn’t have access to dental care back in Ecuador.  “My father always said people notice your smile.  He’s been passionate about this.”  Jackelin’s most memorable moment from being a student at Plaza College was the first day of orientation and the group of friends she made at that event.  “I’ve stuck with them throughout this time.  These are lifetime friends.  We carpool, study, and hangout together.  We share many activities together.”  Professor Vinci says,  “Jackelin is a standout student known for her strong work ethic and dedication.  She actively supports her peers, showcasing a collaborative spirit.  Jackelin’s commitment to hard work and willingness to assist others make her a valuable asset in the Dental Hygiene Program at Plaza College.” 

This semester,  Jackelin looks forward to participating in the Dental Hygiene SADHA Bake Sale Fundraiser on Valentine’s Day, National Chip and Dip Day,  and Shiny Teeth of Queens!  “I’m excited to get all these children in the clinic and provide them with the dental care they need,  and their parents too!  It’s a good way to give back to the community.”  Jackelin expressed great appreciation for all the academic resources that Plaza College extends to its student body such as the APA and Thesis Writing Process Workshops.  She appreciates how the Dental Hygiene professors are extremely approachable, very responsive to emails, and deliver advice in a kind manner when attending to patients in the chair, allowing them to learn while also making the patient comfortable.  “I also love attending Skills Lab where students can work with Professors on areas they need to improve.  Professor Fassacesia says,  “Jackelin is the type of student that will make a wonderful Dental Hygienist,  because she is compassionate, caring, and a perfectionist.  She always wants to improve and when you tell her something she takes it to heart.  She is a wonderful student and a pleasure to have in both clinic and classroom.”

Jackelin’s dream job is to teach Dental Hygiene students in both their clinical and didactic courses.  “I plan to come and teach at Plaza College after graduation and work part time as a Dental Hygienist in my current dental practice,  while also going for my Master’s Degree online.”  She cites her strict schedule to maintain high academic standards while also attending to the needs of her family.  “As soon as I get home I have 2-3 hours to spend with my baby.  Once he’s asleep I study and get assignments done.  I don’t procrastinate.  As soon as I have an assignment I get it done so that I can have my weekend with my family.  I also play soccer so I like to keep that up.  I have three planners:  a digital planner that is linked to all my devices, a big monthly and weekly planner, and a small monthly planner that I carry with me.”  Jackelin’s favorite winter season is futsal (indoor soccer with four players v. four players),  and favorite beverage is chamomile tea with honey.  She also loves watching The Office and her favorite podcast is hosted by a friend of hers called,  “30 Going on 13.”  The podcast chronicles all the things she wishes she knew at 13 years old, and how she deals with anxiety, relationships, and eventually how she learned to love herself.

Student Spotlight: Triana Y.

Triana is a student currently completing her Bachelor of Business coursework, and is excited to graduate in Spring semester 2024!  Upon seeing she was nominated for the Student Spotlight,  Triana says that this was a  “special honor to receive in the three years I’ve been a student at Plaza College!”  Her children and parents (being immigrants from the Dominican Republic) are her prime motivators for striving to do better and pursuing her education.  “Being a mom is the best thing that has ever happened to me in my life. I want my children to see they can have setbacks but can always get back on their feet.  Age has nothing to do with it.  If you want it, you can pursue it!  Seeing their four faces at graduation for my Associate Degree while I was dressed in my cap and gown was incredible.  They were like,  ‘you did it!” 

Her best memory being at Plaza College resonates with the students and teachers.  “I’ve become very close with a core group of students.  We’ve celebrated many milestones together.  Dr. Ryder and Dean Zipf have made a significant impact on me.  My experience in the BBA Program has been so great. It’s sad that it’s coming to an end.”  Her goal for the Winter 2024 semester is to complete her certifications in Microsoft Word and Excel with Professor Mookram’s class.  Triana’s history with Plaza College started in 2003 at the Jackson Heights campus.  “I was pregnant with my first child and eventually had to leave school.  ‘Mom life’  took hold and I spent time raising a family.  I was really excited to be accepted again almost 15 years later.  I didn’t think of any other college, I wanted to come back to Plaza!”  Dr. Finlay shares her insights about having Triana as a student.  “What first impressed me about Triana is her ‘can do attitude!’  No matter how hard the task is she always sees herself being able to accomplish it.  She is a very hard worker and always comes to class ready to participate and share her experience with others.  She is always polite and professional in her conduct and conversations.  She is a good example of a business professional.  I am impressed with how she manages her busy personal and school schedule even with life’s challenges.  Her ability to overcome obstacles is a testament to her grit and determination to succeed.  Triana is a true leader in and out of the classroom and I congratulate her for displaying the qualities and characteristics of a successful Business student here at Plaza College.”

She balances her academic and home responsibilities very easily due to her classes being asynchronous, Thursday and Saturday, giving her flexibility in responding to discussion questions and completing assignments.  She credits her husband with attending to the needs of her children, while also cooking and taking care of household chores.  “Weekends are for my children and family.  Recently I acquired a virtual part time job at an accounting firm to handle a variety of administrative duties, through the referral of her current boss.  Professor Ryder says that,  “I am delighted to write a recommendation for Triana.  As their faculty member,  I have witnessed her remarkable dedication, intellectual curiosity, and outstanding academic performance and growth.  Having Triana for two upper-level academic courses, I have seen firsthand her ability to grasp complex concepts, engage in problem solving and leadership development with her peers and instructor.  I have no doubt that she will continue to thrive and achieve great success in her future endeavors.”

Triana’s dream job is to sell real estate remotely, so that she can eventually own and tend to a ranch with horses, cows, chickens, sheep, with a special terrarium for lizards, and a greenhouse.  Her favorite winter season beverage is hot chocolate and she loves to plan in the snow with her children at the park.  She loves watching Law & Order SVU, as well as movies from the 80’s and 90’s such as Liar Liar, The Color Purple, and Little Shop of Horrors.


Student Spotlight: Feroza K

February 23, 2024

Feroza Khan is a student in the Healthcare Management Program completing her coursework in the Winter 2024 semester! Feroza expressed that she would wonder if her hard work was being seen, and that receiving the nomination for the Student Spotlight is a “beautiful acknowledgement of her perseverance.” Feroza originally entered the field of healthcare in 2019 by doing data entry for a portable x-ray company. She enjoyed this role and wanted to elevate her skill set. She eventually transitioned into working for a private orthopedic practice which gave her a more balanced work schedule, and the time to go back to school. Director O’Connor says that, “Feroza is an excellent student, exhibits a strong work ethic with dedication to striving for the best results. She is willing to help her fellow students by providing them with her methods and strategies for completing more challenging assignments. She has been a pleasure to work with.”

Feroza’s most memorable moment at Plaza College was participating in the Honor Society Induction for Sigma Kappa Delta in Fall 2023. “It was really fun to meet my peers in person and celebrate this milestone.” Feroza’s acceptance into SKD was supported by the classes she took with Professor Burns saying that she greatly improved her writing skills. Professor Burns shared that, “I had the pleasure of working with Feroza Khan in both LL61 and LL254. What I appreciated so much about Feroza was her commitment to excellence. For example, if she thought a source wasn’t scholarly enough, she would continue searching until she found the perfect one. If she received feedback encouraging her to work on some aspect of her writing, she made time to meet with me to discuss her writing in more detail. This is the kind of dedication that makes any academic or professional goal, no matter how ambitious, achievable.”

Feroza recently completed the application process for the Bachelor of Business Program at Plaza College. “The Department of Career Services inspired me to move forward after seeing their presentation! I didn’t want to wait and immediately started the next steps.” She explains that “from day one, all Professors at Plaza provided clarity and gave expectations early on. Everything I’ve learned in each class I’ve applied to my current job. I share everything I’ve learned with my co-workers!” Her dream job is to work as a hospital administrator, whether it’s a public or private entity. The medical aspect is important, but the administrative process is equally important to patients. I want to give patients more clarity and streamline processes, which can be particularly hard if patients have a language barrier.” Professor Ferrer says, “Feroza is a very diligent and committed student. She knows what’s expected and does her very best to execute all tasks. It is a pleasure to have her as a student.”

Feroza keeps a stringent schedule between her job and school. “When I get out of work, I go straight to class. If I’m late, I review the recordings. I put my assignments first. I struggled at first but then got into a routine for the last three semesters and things improved greatly.” Her favorite year round beverage is an iced chai latte. Her favorite shows are the Vampire Diaries and Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

Student Spotlight: Jose L

Jose Lopez is a Court Reporting student with the goal to complete his coursework and graduate by Spring semester 2025! Upon finding out he was nominated for the Student Spotlight, he expressed “I’ve never received an honor like this and appreciate my Professors for choosing me. It’s a great feeling that they see me as going above and beyond, and doing my best to excel in this program.” Jose was inspired to pursue a career in Court Reporting during COVID when he had jury duty. “It opened my eyes to a career path forward. CR has given me a chance to shine. I have an affinity towards Court Reporting because I am legally blind and this profession has helped me because I need to pay attention to detail. I also have good listening skills.” Director Santucci says, “I am so happy that Mr. Jose Lopez was nominated for Student Spotlight. He is dedicated to his studies in Theory and Advanced Theory. He possesses all the qualities needed to be a successful Court Reporter.”

Jose enjoys Professor Lemmo’s class because she shares first hand experiences of working in the profession. “I like getting a sense of what’s to come in the future. I like being challenged. It’s intimidating to start a new career but she teaches me not to be scared, to speak up, and to be positive.” This semester, he looks forward to enhancing his skill set in speedbuilding. “I keep hearing stories about this and I want to see how I can handle it. For now I need to get stenotheory right.” Jose shares that the Professors in the Court Reporting Program at Plaza College are willing to invest time in supporting students and are very communicative. “They know this field is difficult and are willing to provide guidance.” His dream job is to work for the criminal courts and grand jury to provide essential record keeping. Professor Lemmo shares that, “Since my initial meeting with Jose in the A to Z class, I felt he was very interested in court reporting and that he would work hard to be successful in this field. He is now in his second semester and is a straight A student. He has had to overcome some obstacles that have made him an even better student. He is helpful in class and I have the utmost respect for his dedication and hard work.”

To maintain a strong academic standing, he always gets his assignments done as soon as possible, and never leaves them until the last day. “I break it up as needed but stay consistent to get it completed.” His favorite beverage is Snapple Iced Tea and his favorite activity is video games because they have taught him skills he can apply to his future career when using the controls to direct the movements of a character. There’s speed involved and your fingers must have dexterity.” He also looks forward to watching season two of Loki, a series based on a Marvel comic.

New York State Courts Celebrate National Court Reporting and Captioning Week

February 21, 2024

Two New Court Reporting Positions Announced!

On Wednesday, February 7th, Plaza College hosted the Unified Court System press conference. The event featured several guest speakers with notable experience in the field of court reporting. The event was part of a seven day series of events celebrating National Court Reporting and Captioning Week. 

Included on the panel of guest speakers was Denee Vadell (Senior Court Reporter and creator of “@stenofluencer”), Reid Goldsmith (President of the New York State Court Reporters Association and Plaza College adjunct faculty member), Christy Bass, (Human Resources director for the New York State Court System), Joshua Edwards, (Co-founder of StenoCaptions,LLC), and Karen Santucci, (Director of Plaza College’s Court Reporting Program).

At the press conference, the Office of Court Administration announced two new positions for Court Reporters. Through a new trainee position, recent graduates have the opportunity to refine their skills  under the supervision of more experienced court reporters and managers, with a possibility of promotion upon completion of the one-year traineeship. A state-wide court reporter position was also unveiled, with applications being accepted on a continuous basis. 

To find out more about these exciting new positions, visit the official website of the NYS Unified Court System

The announcement of these new positions comes in the midst of a court reporter shortage, with guest speakers emphasizing the need for more court reporting staff across the state.

Student Spotlight: Kala Williams

February 16, 2024
Kala Williams is a student in the Bachelor of Nursing Program, graduating in Spring semester 2024! Kala shares that it’s a “great honor to be recognized for my extreme dedication in the Student Spotlight. The field of Nursing is my baby. I fell in love with this profession after my son was born and diagnosed with sickle cell anemia, leading to many hospitalizations. I’m truly dedicated to this profession, especially when it comes to women’s health.”

Kala continued to explain that her son’s diagnosis led to him having a stroke at the young age of five. She observed how caring the doctors and nurses were to his condition. “Once he was discharged I started the process to my new career from retail to healthcare. I first started as a Certified Nursing Assistant and then pursued my Associate’s Degree In Medical Assisting. For eight years I worked as a Patient Care Associate in the Labor and Delivery department. I then saw an advertisement for the Plaza College accelerated BSN program and said this was it! I put in an inquiry and got a call from Ms. Niebling to which I then enrolled to start the prerequisites. This then led me to getting into the Bachelor’s of Nursing Program.”
This semester, she is most excited about participating in her maternity clinicals. “Last week I experienced a c-section and also assisted with a vaginal delivery. Childbirth is truly special, especially now watching the growth of my son who is now 13 years old. Dr. Moses shares that, “Kala is an exceptional student nurse who embodies dedication, compassion, and resilience. Through her commitment to patient care and continuous learning, she serves as an inspiration to her peers and a future leader in the nursing profession. Her smile is contagious and lights up every room she enters.”

She says that “everybody at Plaza College has been so warm and welcoming; staff and faculty. Plaza is a family and the students are heard. The entire faculty knows the students by name. It’s truly a family community. Dr. Moses and Dr. Habeeb have an open door policy. Every time I had a concern it was easy to go to their office. The first thing I get from them is a hug. They’re super encouraging.” Her dream job is to become a registered nurse in a Labor and Delivery unit. She does have a future goal to become a nurse practitioner specializing in women’s health. Dr. Habeeb explains that, “Kala Williams is a reliable, caring, and dedicated nursing student who is determined to complete the nursing program. She is very supportive of her peers and is a great team player who works well with others. She actively participates in educational and evidence-based activities on campus. She has demonstrated leadership qualities in both clinical and group assignments. Her level of perseverance, dependability, integrity, compassion, and interpersonal skills are outstanding attributes that will prepare her to be a successful professional nurse.”

Kala credits her family for being so encouraging of her educational goals, allowing her to focus on her academics while they handle the majority of home responsibilities. “I have a super supportive fiance and we plan on getting married after I graduate. Everyone in the home is very understanding and at the end of the day, my son looks up to me and that’s important. I also have a dedicated room in my home for studying and for zen/relaxation time. Her favorite winter season beverage is hot chocolate while cuddled up on the couch watching her favorite movie. She loves crime shows such as The First 48 and Law & Order SVU.

Student Spotlight: Ebony Jones

Ebony Jones is a student in the Health Information Technology Program, completing her coursework in Fall 2024! Ebony expressed that  “this is the first time I’ve been acknowledged for my hard work and drive to complete what I’ve started.” Her desire to pursue a career in the healthcare field came after losing two family members. She wants to inspire others to take better care of themselves.  Ebony’s favorite courses at Plaza College have been Developmental Psychology with Professor Eder, because it allowed students to be open in speaking their minds and telling their stories; along with Medical Terminology with Professor Velez-Araujo, because she was able to apply all she learned to her current role working in a pharmacy.
Ebony appreciates all her Professors being always helpful and supportive of any questions she has. Professor King shares that, “Ebony Jones impressed me in the beginning of the Winter semester because she was proactive and hit the ground running. She is diligent in her approach regarding her assignments and her strategy is to get ahead of them. She is participatory in class and her confidence is evident that she is determined to do well and not only succeed in this class but in life.”
Her personal goal is to “graduate, walk across the stage, and have my kids see me! I want to show them they can be anything they’re destined to be and that it’s never too late to pursue their educational and career dreams. I want them to see hard work pays off. I am staying focused, studying, and not letting anything distract me; I am passing my exams and showing up to all my classes.” Professor Diep says that, “Ebony is a highly dedicated and professional student in my weekend Mathematical Applications class. She attends every class, participates, and does all her work at a high quality level. Her dedication and professionalism are exceptional.”
Ebony’s dream job is to work in multiple departments at a hospital, where she can collaborate with all employees. She looks forward to seeing her career blossom after graduation. When it comes to balancing her school and home life, she credits her children being older and more independent, therefore allowing her more time to focus on her studies. Right now, she’s making a strong effort to stay away from soda and only have water. Her favorite shows are ones that focus on crime, The First 48, anything on the ID Channel, and Tyler Perry movies.