Make A Difference Day: What did you do?

October 24, 2011
Plaza College
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 *** Press Release ***

Make a Difference Day was this past Saturday, October 22nd. The official day started in 1990 by USA Weekend Magazine and is celebrated each year on the 4th Saturday in October. The goal has long been to bring people together to tackle small and large needs in their communities. 
Make a Difference Day is America’s largest day of doing good and volunteering, “thanks to the passion and commitment of millions of people willing to give of themselves and their time. These volunteers include students, families, clubs, church groups, neighbors, corporations, athletes and celebrities doing things such as feeding the hungry, teaching children, repairing homes, as well as thousands of other unique opportunities and ideas about how to volunteer,” (Huffington Post). 
Companies like Newman’s Own (Paul Newman), NBC News and The Motorola Mobility Foundation support Make a Difference Day through donations, inspirational messages, giveaways and applications. 
What can you do to make a difference in the world? Have you already done something? Share your stories on the Plaza College Facebook wall or send your story to PlazaCollegeBlog@gmail.com so we can feature it right here on the blog! 
If you want to make a difference in the world, here is a list of National Groups that are members of the Make a Difference Day Advisory Board whom you can join efforts with:
AARP, First Book, General Federation of Women’s Clubs, Habitat for Humanity, March of Dimes Foundation, National 4-H Council, National Assembly, USA Harvest, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States of America and Volunteers of America.
Not looking to join a group? Start your own efforts right in your hometown. You could start a canned food drive (with the holidays right around the corner, this is a great way to give back to those who are in need!), volunteering at a nursing home or hospital or set up a trash clean-up day involving local students. The ideas are endless; it’s up to you to put them into action!

Plaza College Students Raise Over $1,500 at the Strides Walk for Breast Cancer

October 21, 2011
 Plaza College
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 *** Press Release ***

This past Sunday, October 16th, Plaza College students participated in the Making Strides Walk for Breast Cancer with the American Cancer Society in Flushing Meadows Park. The students and faculty have raised over $1,500 as of today! The final total will be announced next week. 
As we’ve mentioned, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The first National Breast Cancer Awareness Month program took place in October of 1985 as a week-long event to fill the information void in public communication about breast cancer. 
Today, the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month organization I comprised of several national public service organizations, professional medical associations, and government agencies working in partnership to build breast cancer awareness, share information and provide access to screening services.
Educating women on the dangers of breast cancer, as well as the preventative measures and early detection procedures is vital for women’s health. Remind your mothers, sisters, wives, daughters and friends to schedule a clinical breast exam and/or mammogram. A simple reminder could save a loved one’s life.
Plaza College is very proud of their students and faculty who participated in the Strides Walk for Breast Cancer, and all of those who donated towards the important cause.

National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week October 16th-23rd 2011

October 19, 2011
 Plaza College
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 *** Press Release ***

Over the past decade, alcohol consumption among college students has remained relatively unchanged. Two out of three college students drink alcohol, and 42% report binge drinking in the past few weeks (MarketWatch). In addition, according to the 2010 Monitoring the Future Study, 13% of college students report having 10+ drinks in a row at least once in the past two weeks, occurring more often among male students compared to females (MarketWatch). 
National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week (NCAAW) is a national campaign promoted by the Boosting Alcohol Consciousness Concerning the Health of University Students Network (BACCHUS) and by the Coalition of Higher Education Association for Substance Abuse Prevention. 
BACCHUS’s mission is to promote alcohol awareness on more than 900 college campuses across the US, providing students with alternatives to alcohol abuse and guidance on making responsible alcohol use choices.
The Coalition of Higher Education Association for Substance Abuse Prevention alliance of 20 higher education associations, including the American Council on Education, is also dedicated to promoting education, research, networking and national activities to help eliminate substance abuse on college and university campuses during NCAAW.
The 2011 NCAAW campaign theme, “Raise Your Voice! You CanSave a Life!” contains a message of student empowerment through taking a stand that is safe and healthy against alcohol abuse. The message supports personal responsibility and gives practical safety tips about avoiding excessive drinking, driving after drinking, and not riding with a driver who has been drinking.
As part of NCAAW, Shaquille O’Neal and The Century Council announced a new partnership that aims to fight binge drinking on college campuses throughout the US, a rising problem. 
Shaq will work alongside college students to bring the voice of the students to life by producing student created videos that address the serious issue of binge drinking on campus. Shaq stated, “This dangerous binge drinking on college campuses has got to stop… the best way to change this culture is to have the students address the issue face to face. I’, psyched to work on this project and firmly believe we can make a difference,” (MarketWatch).
It all starts with you! Take responsible action, and educate your friends and peers on the dangers of binge drinking and alcohol abuse.

Plaza College Honor Society Induction Ceremony: Celebrating Academic Achievements of 216 Students!

October 17, 2011
 Plaza College
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 *** Press Release ***

Plaza College’s Honor Society inductions will be held on Thursday, October 27th, 2011. The event, hosted by Professor Howle, will take place at Dante’s Catering Hall in Jackson Heights, NY, from 6:00-9:00pm.

This year, 216 students in total have been invited to the ceremony. Students who have been invited to become a member of either of the three honor societies are welcomed to join in a celebration of their achievement!

This year, we have a brand new honor society on campus, Sigma Tau Delta. This is the first year we’re inducting student’s into this chapter of the International English Honor Society. Sigma Tau Delta is an honor society just for our BBA student. To qualify, students must have earned a “B” or higher in LL290 (Literary Analysis) and have a minimum GPA of 3.3.
Alpha Sigma Lambda and Sigma Kappa Delta are the other two Honor Societies found on the Plaza College Campus. Both are elite groups that honor those students who achieve outstanding academic success.
AlphaSigma Lambda requires students to earn a minimum GPA of 3.2 and 12 credit hours in Liberal Arts courses to become a member. Sigma Kappa Delta requires a GPA of 3.3 and a B or higher in LL254.
For the first time, Plaza College has also invited student who earned a 4.0 in their first semester last semester. Those students will receive a special award from the college for their academic achievement.
At this year’s ceremony, Plaza College will have performances from last spring’s production of The Vagina Monologues, including a monologue by Professor Wanda Capobianco. 
Other performers include Professor Karlene Richardson and students Siham Toloa and Randi Montgomery. Toloa will perform a monologue from the play The Normal Heart and Montgomery will present her LL254 Powerpoint Presentation on the artist Jackson Pollock.
PlazaCollege is proud of their students who’ve earned these profound academic achievements. We look forward to celebrating on October 27th at Dante’s Catering Hall at the Honor Society Induction Ceremony.

Open House New York Weekend October 15th & 16th!

October 13, 2011
 Plaza College
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 *** Press Release ***

It’s that time of year again – no, not the holidays- but Open House New York (OHNY)!  From private residences and historic landmarks, to rooftop farms and sustainable skyscrapers, OHNY gives you access into the extraordinary architecture that defines NYC.

OHNY is known locally, nationally and internationally for its free Annual OHNY weekend- an unparalleled citywide cultural event that showcases hundreds of NYC’s most architecturally and culturally significant spaces and places, many not usually open to the public. The event takes place across the five boroughs, opening doors to locations and providing unique opportunities to learn about, explore and experience NYC’s built environment.
OHNY will kick off this Saturday, October 15th and run through Sunday, October 16th.  Take advantage of this event which gives you free access to tour landmark buildings and residences, guided tours, performances, workshops, inside looks at architectural landmarks and much more.
Find out the inside scoop on the 14th Street Manhole Covers Tour; discover all there is to know about NY’s famous park on the Central Park Walking Tour; go for a hunt on the Ghosts of Greenwich Village Scavenger Hunt; come across the history of Harlem on the Historic Harlem Tour; infiltrate the heart of NYC’s fashion industry on the Making Midtown: Design, Manufacturing, and the Built Environment of the Garment District; listen to stories on the Upper Westside Stories Tour; bring the entire family out for a Family Affair at the Bronx Museum of the Arts; and much more!

OHNY promotes a greater appreciation of the city’s built environment and broadens public awareness by exposing diverse audiences to distinctive examples of architecture, engineering and design. OHNY educates and inspires discussion of issues of excellence in design, planning and preservation while showcasing outstanding new work as well as structures of historic merit (www.OHNY.org).
Many events require a reservation, so call ahead to reserve a space. For the full event guide, including reservation information, directions and available times, click here.


Build a Fabulous Wardrobe on a Tight Budget!

October 11, 2011

 Plaza College
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 *** Press Release ***

 

As you know, Plaza College students have a dress code to follow.  We expect all of our students to dress for success. For those of you in our business program, you are required to wear “Business Attire.”  Are you thinking, “What is business attire and where am I going to find it?”  And then, of course, the dreaded afterthought: “How in the world am I going to afford a new wardrobe?” Plaza College blog to the rescue!  We’re here to help you! 
Follow these five simple steps to building a fun, fashionable and best of all, affordable, business wardrobe that will see you through your years at Plaza and beyond:

  1. Keep it classic. Trust us – build your closet with the classics now and you’ll be thanking us later!  Here are some suggestions:  cardigans, button down collared shirts, simple pant suits, sweaters and/or sweater vests, a few versatile ties, pencil or “flippy” skirts, wrap dresses, pinstripe or subtle plaid pants, polo shirts, and blouses.  Find the style you like the best and buy it in a few colors.  Having basic pieces in a variety of colors allows you to mix and match for an unlimited number of different outfits! 
  2. Layer, layer, layer.  Layers can be a lifesaver during the changing of seasons, but they can also be used to help change up your look and add a little spice to your wardrobe!  Use blazers, sweaters and cardigans to add a little warmth over blouses and shirts.  Throw a vest over a button down shirt to add a little pizzazz.  Drape a scarf around your neck for a little added fashion (and warmth if you need it).  Layering can also help you bring some color into an outfit.
  3. Accessories are your friend. Belts, bags and funky shoes can add that “oomph” and wow factor you’ve been searching for.  This is where you can bring in a little bit of color and texture without straying away from the professionalism of your outfit.  Just be careful not to go overboard – this is one area where if you think it might be just a little too much, it probably is! 
  4. Don’t be afraid to go to vintage/thrift stores.  Just like discount stores, you might have to dig to the deep, dark corners of the store to find a treasure, but it can often be worth it.  You can find barely or never worn clothing and accessories at these stores and they are often designer brands college students could never afford at full price!  There are also those classic, timeless trends that can’t ever truly be reproduced but can be found here.  So put on your digging clothes and go to town! 
  5. Be a bargain shopper.  Vintage stores aren’t the only places to find good bargains.  Try stores like H&M, Old Navy, Gap, Sears and Kohl’s for great quality items at even greater low prices.  You can also try discount stores like Marshall’s and Century 21 for a great find.  Just remember: If you see it in a department store, a smaller, less expensive store has something similar.  Don’t buy on impulse!  Shop around and do your research and you’ll get the best bang for your buck!
We hope these tips are just what you needed to start on your voyage to the perfect business wardrobe.  Happy shopping!

Celebrate Columbus Day 2011 at The Columbus Day Parade in NYC

October 7, 2011
 Plaza College
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 *** Press Release ***

On October of 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue, and landed in the America’s on October 12th. The holiday is celebrated as Columbus Day in the United States, as Dia de la Raza in Latin American countries, as Discovery Day in the Bahamas and as Dia de la Hispanidad and Fiesta Nacional in Spain.
From parades and street fairs to quiet gatherings and memorial services, Columbus Day has been celebrated differently all across the world since the early 18th century.

NYC will host its annual Columbus Day Parade on Monday, October 10, 2011, beginning at 11:30am. The parade begins on Fifth Avenue at 44th Street and continues north along Fifth Avenue to 79th Street.
The Columbus Day Parade has been organized by the Columbus Citizens Foundation in New York since 1929. The parade attracts nearly one million spectators and is the largest celebration of Italian-American culture in the world. 
Over 35,000 people participate in the NYC parade each year, including over 100 groups, bands and floats.
Since 1971, Columbus Day has been celebrated on the second Monday of October. School districts, banks, the bond market, US Postal Service and other federal agencies and most state government offices recognize the holiday and observe.
So, gather up your friends and family and celebrate Christopher Columbus’ settlement in the America’s 519 years ago on Columbus Day 2011 in NYC.


Autumn Activities To Enjoy With Family & Friends

October 5, 2011
 Plaza College
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 *** Press Release ***


Autumn is a great season to enjoy nature, family and friends, and finding comfort in cozy clothes and warm recipes!   Heading out into nature is a great way to soak up this colorful season and enjoy the outdoors before the cold of winter sets in.  From watching the leaves change color, to pumpkin and apple picking, you are sure to find something fun and seasonal to fill up your fall weekends.

Grab some water and a warm jacket, and set out for a nice, long walk.  A walk in the woods, park, or even along the city streets is a great way to take in the changing landscape.  The leaves on the trees are changing from green to red, yellow and orange, stores are putting up fall-themed window displays, and pumpkins and cornstalks are popping up on porches and balconies everywhere!  A nature walk is also a great way for you to include children (or your inner child!) in the changing of seasons.  Record observations in a journal, make a leaf rubbing with the falling leaves, or collect some fall objects to make into fun, thrifty and beautiful fall décor. 
Trips to local pumpkin patches and apple orchards are also great ways to enjoy the fall weather, as they don’t just offer pumpkin and apple picking, but many other activities as well!  Don’t forget to check for hayrides, scarecrow stuffing, corn mazes, potato sack races, pony rides and farm animal petting opportunities.  Many orchards, farms and pumpkin patches offer these fun family activities in addition to pick-your-own (and of course, already picked) apples and pumpkins.

Pumpkin picking is a great activity for all ages! When heading out to the patch, think about what kind of pumpkin you’re looking for and what you’re going to do with it.  Pumpkins come in a variety of colors (white, brown and orange), shapes (round and plump, oval and slim, even gourds are pumpkins!) and sizes (tiny to extra large), and have many different uses. 
If you’re going to decorate with pumpkins, think about how you’re going to decorate. Are you going to place a few pumpkins in an arrangement or are you going to make a Jack-O-Lantern?  A few pumpkins of different sizes, shapes and colors work best when you’re decorating in arrangements, but those big, round, orange pumpkins work best for carving.  Also, don’t overlook pumpkins with imperfections, as bumps and scars on the skin of pumpkins make for some pretty neat additions to Jack-O-Lantern faces! 
If you’re going to be using your pumpkins for cooking or baking, some kinds work better than others.  White and orange pumpkins are great for baking pumpkin pies, pumpkin muffins and pumpkin bread. For a delicious, traditional pumpkin pie recipe, click here, or here for a delightful pumpkin-raisin muffin recipe!  
No matter what you’re planning on using your pumpkin for, there are a few things you should do before leaving the patch.  First, check your entire pumpkin, top to bottom, for any potential rot.  Black or discolored areas and soft or pliable spots are a good indication of developing rot. If you see any of these signs, it’s a good idea to choose a different pumpkin!  Also, make sure you’re ready for transporting and storing your pumpkin.  Allowing your pumpkin to roll around in your car can cause bruising, and will speed up the rotting process.  Instead, bring a box along with you so you can provide your pumpkin with a secure place to travel!  When you get your pumpkin home, decide on where and how you’d like to display it.  Whether you’re going to carve it or not, pumpkins last longest in a dry and cool place, and with a piece of cardboard between them and concrete.  Follow these simple tips and you’ll have beautiful autumn decorations and delicious fall recipes to enjoy all season!

Apple picking is another great fall activity for all ages.  Apples are one of the easiest fruits to pick, and most modern apple orchards have made it even easier with dwarf trees so children can pick their own! Like pumpkins, there are a few things to keep in mind when picking and using your apples.  No matter the color (apples come in green, yellow, pink, orange and red), you should only choose to pick apples that are firm, ripe, and bruise-free. If you have any questions about whether or not an apple is ripe, just ask!  Farmers will know which trees bloomed and ripened first, and will also be able to tell you what characteristics to look for based on the types of apples they have available at their farm.
Once you’ve chosen an apple to pick, gently roll the apple off the branch and gently place it into your basket.  Don’t pull the apple directly down, shake the tree, or throw your apple – this can affect the tree’s ability to produce apples next year, and will causing bruising to either your apple or other apples that fall from the tree.  After picking, keep your apples cool and don’t wash them until just before using them to increase their shelf life.   When kept cool, fresh picked apples can last up to two weeks!  
Apples are a wonderful treat because they can be eaten fresh off the tree, cooked, canned, frozen or made into many tasty and healthy dishes! For a delicious apple crisp recipe, click here, or for an easy apple sauce recipe, click here.
No matter what you choose to do, fall is a wonderful time for taking in the beauty of nature and company.  Take some time to breathe in a little fresh, crisp autumn air and catch up with family and friends!  Don’t worry, you can thank us later!


Study Tactics To Remember!

October 3, 2011
 Plaza College
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 *** Press Release ***
Studying: a task every successful college student must accomplish on a weekly basis. Studying can take hours upon hours, and many students feel like they’ve accomplished nothing after all that time. Unless you have active studying strategies you’re following, studying can seem grueling and be extremely frustrating.
One active studying tactic is to form a study group. Study groups offer major advantages when preparing for important exams and keeping up with your course material. When studying with a small group, you think out loud which helps you understand material better, share your ideas with others as well as learn from the ideas and thoughts of your peers.  
Groups should be no more than 4-6 students who seem to share your interest in doing well academically. Be sure to include someone who knows the material better than you, as well as someone you can explain it to. Sessions should take place in a place free of distraction, like a library. Place a time limit on your sessions, either 2-3 hours, so you stay focused and on task. Meet regularly so you are well prepared when an exam is announced.
Another tactic you can engage in when studying is to test yourself. Make up questions about the sections of material you are studying, and see if you can answer the questions without looking. At the end of many sections and chapters in textbooks, there is a list of review questions. Take advantage of these, and keep reviewing until you can thoroughly answer each question without needing assistance.
Keep in mind that many textbook companies also offer online questions and review websites to help you studying and understand the material. Log on and check it out.
Study for recall rather than recognition. When you take a “fill in the blank” or essay exam, you are required to recall information that you have learned from your memory without any assistance or hints. On “multiple choice” exams, you are given choices to choose from, requiring you only to recognize the correct answer among several possibilities. When studying, most students make the mistake of just familiarizing themselves with the material.
Professors know that most students are only familiarizing themselves with the material, expecting a multiple choice exam. Therefore, they create choices that all appear familiar. Don’t fall for this! Study for recall every time! You should be able to answer each question without looking at the choices, right off the top of your head. When you read the question, jot down the answer, then read the choices to prevent the other choices from misleading you. You can then match your answer with the closest one provided. If it is a fill in the blank or essay format, you will be well prepared!
Take advantage of your class time! Write down facts, examples and information in addition to the material your professor provides. Write powerpoint slides in your own words so when you go back to study, you understand it. Within 24 hours of the lecture, review your notes and quiz yourself on the bullet points. This will make studying for the exam seem much easier.
Another useful study tactic, study in 45-minute chunks, and then take a break! Research has shown that concentration, comprehension and memory progressively decreases after 45 minutes of solid studying. After 45 minutes of SOLID studying, take a break! Go for a walk, close your eyes, turn on some music, or just relax. Then, get back to work.
The key to this is SOLID studying. This means, focusing only on the material you have in front of you. Turn off your phone, computer, TV and any other distractions during that time. After the 45 minutes, you can check your messages.
The most helpful study tactic to keep in mind is to keep up with the text! Studying will become a lot easier if you are familiar with the material throughout the course. You can remember and learn a lot more information by reading and reviewing information every week than by cramming before an exam. Long-term memory is enhanced when we think and process information a little bit at a time, rather than shoving in a lot of unfamiliar details at once.
Keep up with your readings, even if it’s just to skim the main ideas or summary before and after each lecture!
By incorporating these study tactics into your daily routine, studying won’t seem so grueling anymore!  

Important Points to Remember When Making a Decision!

September 30, 2011
Life is all about making choices. From the minute you wake up to the minute you go to bed, you’re making choices; what to wear, what to eat, what task on your to-do list you should tackle first, and many more! These decisions require little thought or reflection, and become second nature.
Other decisions, however, require more deliberation, evaluation and risk assessment. These decisions are usually never black or white, wrong or right, all good or all bad. We are faced with these kinds of decisions throughout our lives, and as students you are facing the big decision of deciding on a career. 
To ensure you’re approaching the situation with the appropriate level of consideration, evaluation and effort, here are a few tips to remember from by Careerealism.com to help you get more comfortable with your decision making process.

Choice Reflects Value: Your life is the result of your choices; every choice you make shapes your reality and becomes of reflection of who you are and what you value.  Evaluate what makes you happy, what is important to you, and what leads you to make decisions (good and bad!), and keep that in mind for your next decision-making journey.
Emotions Influence Choices: Recognize the role your emotions play in your decision making process. Look for the messages beneath the emotions and let your heart and head work together to find the best solution!
Don’t Rush Yourself: Don’t let anxiety and urgency place a negative connotation on decision making! Avoid placing unnecessary deadlines on yourself by taking your time, being thorough and balancing your desire for a quick resolution with your need for a well thought-out decision making process.
Not Making A Choice Is Still A Choice: Choosing not to choose is still a choice in its own special way!  It’s the choice to observe rather than participate, and that isn’t a bad thing. There are definitely times when you are better off simply letting a situation run its course without attempting to steer it in any direction.
Refuse “Either/Or” Dilemmas: There are always more options! When you face an “either/or” dilemma, don’t place restrictions on yourself.  Look in the grey space in between – you never know what you might find!
Build Trust: Trust in yourself, trust in others and trust in the universe. Remember that change is constant and you have the resources to manage whatever comes along, so use them! Your choices shape your reality, and that means that you always have the opportunity to make choices for the better.
At Plaza College, our faculty, administration, professors and fellow peers are all there as a strong support system for each and every student. Plaza College has built itself on a family-based foundation and continues to guide and aid students in their decision making processes. From registration to graduation, Plaza College is there, caring about every decision you make! For more information, visit www.plazacollege.edu

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