NYC’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2012: Everything You Need to Know!

March 14, 2012
 Plaza College
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu (718) 779-1430
*** Press Release ***
 
The New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade is one of our city’s greatest traditions.  The first parade was held on March 17, 1762 – fourteen years before the Declaration of Independence was adopted – and has marched its way to the largest parade in the world today!
The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York was held on lower Broadway by a band of homesick Irish ex-patriots and Irish military who served with the British Army stationed in the American colonies. For the first few years of its existence, the parade was organized by military units. After the War of 1812, the Irish fraternal and beneficial societies took over the duties of hosting and sponsoring the event.
Originally, the Irish societies joined together at their respective meeting places and moved in a procession toward Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Lower Manhattan on Mott & Prince Streets, where the Archbishop of New York would address the crowd before revelers dispersed to celebrate.
The Parade starts at 44th Street at 11:00 am and is held every March 17th, except when March 17th
falls on a Sunday, it is celebrated the day before, Saturday the 16th due to religious observances.
The parade marches up Fifth Avenue past St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 50th Street all the way up past the American Irish Historical Society at 83rd and the Metropolitan Museum of Art at 83rd Street to 86th Street, where the parade finishes at around 4:30 – 5:00 pm.
Your best bet is to leave your cars at home and take an MTA train or bus to New York City to join the St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Some of the best viewing spots are on the upper steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and 86th street, where the parade ends and the marchers disperse.  This is an especially great spot if you have children with you would like to meet some of the many police officers, firefighters, and other participants!
Are you planning on attending this year’s St. Patricks Day Parade? Tell us on the Plaza College Facebook Wall, linked HERE.

Plaza College, Home to Sigma Kappa Delta’s NATIONAL CHAPTER OF THE YEAR!

March 12, 2012
 Plaza College
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu (718) 779-1430
*** Press Release ***
This past weekend, Professor Tortora and Professor Howle, along with Plaza College students Alexandra Palma, Sigma Tau Delta President, and Neresa Joseph, Sigma Kappa Delta Secretary, attended the Sigma Tau Delta/Sigma Kappa Delta International Convention in New Orleans, LA. 
We didn’t come home empty handed! At an Awards Ceremony sponsored by Sigma Kappa Delta, Plaza College won two HUGE awards! 

  • Plaza College student Neresa Joseph won the Dr. Susan LeJeune Service Scholarship, awarding her $750 based on her service to the college, her essay application, her grades and her letters of recommendation! She competed against nearly 1,200 other students from around the country. Everyone at the conference was amazed by Ms. Joseph, and we are so proud to call her one of ours!
  • Then, Plaza College’s chapter of Sigma Kappa Delta won the National Chapter of the Year Award! Plaza College competed against 125 colleges from around the nation for this award, and won! When you enter the competition, you have to create a portfolio highlighting your chapter’s best activity of the year. Plaza College’s chapter decided to submit last March’s poetry slam, “Sisters Without Voices.” This poetry was part of Plaza College’s VDAY celebration and raised $3,800 for Safe Horizon.
Please join Plaza College in congratulating Ms. Joseph, Ms. Nixon and all the members of Sigma Kappa Delta! You make us proud! 
If you would like to qualify for our NATIONALLY RECOGNIZEDchapter of Sigma Kappa Delta, make sure you earn a B average or higher in LL254 and maintain a 3.3 GPA. Looking for further information about Sigma Kappa Delta? Email Professor Howle at JHowle@mail.plazacollege.edu.

How Did You Celebrate Women on International Women’s Day?

March 8, 2012
  Plaza College
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu (718) 779-1430
*** Press Release ***

Yesterday was International Women’s Day- an entire day to celebrate women’s accomplishments and advocate for gender equality. Here are a few ways women decided to celebrate their special day around the world, provided by The Washington Post:
  • Take the day off: In countries where the day is a public holiday, like Armenia, Burkina Faso, Mongolia and Kazakhstan, workers get the day off to celebrate! In other countries, like China, only women get the day off.
  • Give flowers to women Flowers are a symbol of International Women’s Day, and many countries celebrate by decorating with flowers or giving them to women as a present. In Italy, yellow mimosas are popular, and in Russia red roses and other varieties of flowers are common. In Vietnam, it’s not just boyfriends and husbands giving flowers to the women in their lives; but also bosses and colleagues.
  • Protest International Women’s Day was born of activism, beginning in 1910 when a German woman named Clara Zetkin proposed that every country devote a day to the needs and political demands of women. While many women around the world look at it as a sentimental holiday like Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, other women use March 8th as an opportunity to fight for political freedom, equal pay and working rights, among other causes.
  • Stand on a bridge: Part of the “Join Me On the Bridge” campaign for women’s equality started with Rwandan and Congolese women who met on a bridge, joining their two countries as a demonstration that women could build bridges of peace. This year, women will march on bridges in London, Boston, San Francisco, Toronto and NY for International Women’s Day.
  • Check out some art In Pakistan, theatrical performances, poetry readings, songs, films and a two-month long visual art show will be a part of the celebration. A friend living in Afghanistan reports that in her village, speeches and songs were performed and the highlight was a play put on by some teenage boys “encouraging men to be thoughtful when marrying off their daughters.” In Washington DC, it would be a good day to patronize the National Museum of Women in the Arts, currently featuring an exhibition by French female painters.

To read the full article on International Women’s Day Celebrations, click HERE. How did you celebrate International Women’s Day? Tell us on the Plaza College Facebook Wall, linked HERE.

The Growing Trend: Biking Through the Boroughs!

March 6, 2012
 Plaza College
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu (718) 779-1430
*** Press Release ***
The Queens Courier recently published an article reporting that more NY residents are turning to pedaling their bicycles around town then getting behind the wheel. 
“As New Yorkers spin their wheels thinking of ways to save money with the nation in the midst of a recession and gas approaching $4 per gallon, a record number of residents are spinning a different set of wheels… The New York City Department of Transportation announced recently that biking has doubled over the last four years, and almost 10 percent more New Yorkers are taking to their bikes compared to last year,” (QueensCourier.com).
An average of 18,846 cyclists were observed each day throughout locations across the five boroughs – Staten Island, Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge, Queensboro Bridge and the Hudson River Greenway at 50th Street. This is more than double the number of riders recorded four years ago (QueensCourier.com).
With the growing number of bikers, the city is forced to increase the number of bike lanes across the city streets. “Over the past four years, more than 250 miles of bike lanes have been added in the five boroughs,” (QueensCourier.com). 
A recent Quinnipiac University Poll found: 53% of Queens Residents were in favor of expanded bike lanes, finding cycling to be a greener and healthier alternative in transportation. Additionally, residents were also overwhelmingly support a city program that will allow New Yorkers to rent bikes – what a great idea! “Over two-thirds of borough residents approved of New York City Bike Share, which is planned to launch next summer. More than 50 percent of residents favor having a bike rental lot in their neighborhood,” (QueensCourier.com). 
Thanks to munimeters, the city is converting individual parking meters into bike racks throughout NY. The Department of Transportation has installed “175 of the parking meter bike racks throughout the city, including along 37th Avenue between 73rd Street and 77thStreet,” (Queens Courier.com).  
Have you used the new bike racks yet throughout the city? Do you prefer biking or other means of transportation? Let the Plaza College Community know on our Facebook Wall, linked HERE.

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

March 2, 2012

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

Do Green Eggs & Ham, Thing 1 & Thing 2, and how about the Grinch, mean something to you?

On March 2ndin 1904, Theodor Geisel, better
known as Dr. Seuss, and the author of some of the most memorable and popular children’s books, was born in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Geisel graduated from Dartmouth University and then went on to study also at Oxford University, where he met his first wife, Helen Palmer.

It was HelenPalmer who encouraged Geisel to become a professional Illustrator.

The first book Geisel wrote and illustrated, “And to Think I saw It on Mulberry Street,” was rejected by more than two dozen publishers before making it into press and becoming his first best seller.

Geisel went on to write 48 books and sold over 200 million copies, which have been translated into multiple languages, across the world. Some of his most popular books were “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish,” “Fox In Socks,” and “The Cat In The Hat.”

He lived and worked in an old observatory in La Jolla, California known as “The Tower,” and died September 24, 1991, at age 87.

Which Dr. Seuss book is your favorite? Tell us on the Plaza College

Facebook wall, linkedHERE.

The Apple Takeover!

March 1, 2012
Plaza College
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu (718) 779-1430
*** Press Release ***

With Apple’s sleek designs, high quality and service, the company is now worth a little over 500 Billion dollars- making it now one of the five most-valuable companies at any point history (CNN.com)!

Apple’s valuation is now higher than the domestic rate of Sweden, Poland, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, and Taiwan (CNN.com). Only one month ago, Apple’s market valuation rose to $400 billion for the first time, passing ExxonMobil as the top runner in the stock market (CNN.com).


Apple has a more than a predictable chance of superseding Microsoft, which has reached the highest company value at $600 billion dollars, becoming one of the fastest growing technology companies world-wide (CNN.com).

Despite Apple’s technological prestige, shares come at an impressively reasonable price. The company’s gains in stock have not kept pace with its earnings (CNN.com)

At the tender age of 35, Apple’s earnings have gone up from $10 to half a trillion dollars in ten years (CNN.com)

To learn more about the Apple uprising, check out the article published on CNN.com, linked HERE


Wrapping Up Black History Month at The Academy Awards!

February 28, 2012
 Plaza College
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 *** Press Release ***
At the 2012 Academy Awards, Octavia Spencer received an Oscar for “Best Supporting Actress” in the highly acclaimed film The Help.
Spencer has been picking up awards left and right for her turn in The Help, so this award came as no surprise. Still, the actress – only the fifth African American in history to win a supporting actress Oscar, seemed genuinely taken back. 
On February 29th, 1940, Hattie McDaniel became the first African-American actor to win an Academy Award. The Oscar, for Best Supporting Actress, was for her portrayal of Mammy in Gone With The Wind. On the night she won, McDaniel and her escort were seated at  a segregated table for two, away from her fellow Gone With The Wind cast members. Two months prior to the Oscar’s, McDaniel wasn’t allowed to attend the premier of Gone With The Windin Atlanta, GA due to Georgia’s segregationist laws. Winning an Oscar at that time was an extraordinary achievement.
Whoopi Goldberg was the second African-American to win a Best Supporting Oscar, 38 years after McDaniel in 1990. 
In 2001, Halle Berry became the first African-American female to win the Best Actress Oscar. She won for her role as Leticia Musgrove in Monster’s Ball. The 2001 Oscar’s was also the first time two African-Americans took home both Best Acting honors, with Denzel Washington taking home Best Actor for his role in Training Day.
With Black History Month coming to an end, celebrating the achievements of so many African-American actors and actresses and the strides they’ve taken in the entertainment industry seems fitting, especially with an Oscar award!

Five Unique Ways The 2012 Academy Awards are Going Green

February 24, 2012
Plaza College
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 *** Press Release ***
The Academy Awards, one of the most prestigious entertainment award shows, is right around the corner, airing this Sunday, February 26th at 7pm. Many of Hollywood’s most admired actors and actresses, directors, writers and other moguls will unite to help celebrate this past year. This year, the award show is taking huge strides towards going green! From dresses to gift bags to preparing for next year, the Oscars is sure to be “a green hit.”
Below are the top 5 ways this year’s ceremony’s contributes to the environment, provided by ECorazzi.com
  • Missi Pyle to Wear Sustainable Dress
Missi Pyle will wear sustainable dress on 2012 Academy Awards red carpet

The red carpet is always full of fabulous dresses. One to keep an eye on this year is Missi Pyle’s sustainable gown designed by Valentina Delfino, winner of the Red Carpet Green Dress design contest. Founded by James Cameron’s wife, Suzy Amis Cameron, the contest gives aspiring designers the chance to craft a sustainable dress for the Oscar red carpet. Delfino is this year’s lucky winner and now “The Artist” star will strut her stuff in the gown made from silk peace chiffon, recycled polyester and natural mineral dye. “It is an incredible honor for me to walk the most glamorous red carpet in the world in such a stunning and meaningful dress,” Pyle said.

  • Celebs Dine with Fresh California Cuisine

Wolfgang Puck to cook with fresh California produce and sustainable seafood at Oscars Governors BallAfter hours of sitting in the audience, Academy Award attendees get famished, so thankfully they have Wolfgang Puck preparing delicious food. The famous chef will be cooking over 50 dishes for 1,500 guests at the Governors Ball in the Hollywood & Highland’s Grand Ballroom. For the past 18 years, Puck has showcased his talent and this year his buffet and lounge style food will feature fresh California produce and sustainable seafood. The menu includes beet salad with pistachio butter, burrata and citrus balsamic, lobster tacos and traditional favorites like macaroni and cheese. However, for dessert he is serving gold-dusted chocolate Oscars, which may cause some controversy like this year’s Golden Globes.
  • Actors and Actresses Celebrate with Green Parties
It wouldn’t be the Academy Awards without a magnificent party, especially before the show even begins! With several pre-parties to choose from, two sound worthwhile. First, Global Green USA hosted its ninth annual event with favorite green celebs in attendance like Adrian Grenier, Kyra Sedgwick, Ed Begley Jr. and Sophia Bush. Bush even showed up in a Chevy Volt electric car. In addition to promoting eco-awareness, an electric Xenon “lightcycle” from Evolve will was auctioned off. Can you say sweet?! The event also raised money for Global Green’s National Green Schools initiative and the launch of its Rio Earth Summit.
Colin and Livia Firth to host Oxfam America Dinner benefitting Green Carpet ChallengeThe second party that was an eco-hit was the Oxfam America Dinner hosted by Vanity Fair, Zenga clothing and Colin and Livia Firth. Colin may be an Oscar-winner for his role in “The King’s Speech,” but his wife deserves an award for her eco-fashion efforts. This particular dinner benefits not only Oxfam’s international relief efforts, but also Livia’s Green Carpet Challenge that has tried to get top designers to jump on the sustainable design bandwagon. If you remember, Livia made a fashion statement at the Golden Globes with her eco-friendly Armani dress. Livia also took time to tweet about her sustainable evening wear, “Wearing gorgeous dress #BeulahLondon #GCC2012 perfect as example of relieve women out of poverty @Oxfam India.” Hopefully, we’ll see more of this on Sunday.
  • Green Gift Bags
Oscar nominees and presenters to receive gifts from Green PolkaDot Box and Essential Safe ProductsIf being nominated for an Oscar isn’t enough, nominees also receive plentiful gift bags filled with goodies. This year, organic, eco-friendly and non-toxic gifts will be given away. For the nominees in major categories who don’t win, they will receive non-toxic, food safe kitchen products from Essential Safe Products in their “Everybody Wins at the Oscars®” nominee gift baskets. Valued at over $250, the baskets include reusable items like produce bags, stainless steel snack containers and bamboo utensil sets. A $200 ESP gift certificate will also be inside.
Academy Award nominees and presenters will luckily take home an “Academy Awards Celebrity Gift Box” from Green PolkaDot Box, a company that provides organic and natural goods. The recycled boxes will be stuffed with a one-year GPDB savings membership, $75 in reward points and 48 organic products, such as Eden’s Pumpkin Seeds, Vermont Soap’s Oatmeal Lavender bars and St. Dalfour’s Black Raspberry Conserves. Well, at least the noms (who don’t win) won’t go empty-handed, but of course I’d rather go home with an Oscar.
  • Oscars Prepare Greeness for Next Year
The Oscars aren’t even here yet, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is already planning for next year. They’ve partnered with Everyone Counts Inc. to develop an electronic voting system, rather than a paper one. This new electronic ballot will not change the traditional tabulation of Academy members’ votes. It will also remain tightly secured. Sounds like the 85th awards show is off to a good start!
It’s nice to see how the Academy Awards contribute to the environment, even in the smallest of ways. Also, be sure to check out our other gallery of “The Ten Most Charitable Oscar Nominees” and see how the most talented actors and actresses are giving back to others.

A Few (Out of Many) Notable African Americans To Mention Throughout Black History Month

February 17, 2012
Plaza College
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 *** Press Release ***
 
February is African-American History Month. There are many African-Americans who have made a difference for the lives of African-Americans and the history, and future, of American History. Here are a few notable people to mention during African-American History Month.

Dr. George Washington Carver - Tuskegee Institute, Alabama. carver was scientist, botanist, educator and inventor. Dr. Carver's research gained him much worldwide acclaim. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison were a few of his many fans. His humanitarian efforts were well documented and he received much recognition for his selfless acts to help others.

  • Dr. George Washington Carver was a scientist, botanist, educator and inventor. His research gained him much worldwide acclaim. Additionally, his humanitarian efforts were well documented and he received much recognition for his selfless acts to help others. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison are among many others who were fans of Dr. Carver.
  • Barack Obama, the current President of the United States, is the first African American to be elected President. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois from January 2005 until he resigned after his election to the presidency in November 2008.
  • Octavia Butler was an American science fiction writer, one of the best-known among the few African-American women in the field. She won both Hugo and Nebula awards. In 1995, she became the first science fiction writer to receive the MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant.
  • Mae Jemison is an American physician and NASA astronaut. She became the first African American woman to travel in space when she went into orbit abroad the Space Shuttle Endeavor on September 12, 1992.  
  • Dr. Cater G. Woodson was an African-American historian, author, journalist and the founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. HE was one of the first scholars to value and study Black History. He recognized and acted upon the importance of people having an awareness and knowledge of their contributions to humanity, and left behind an impressive legacy. Dr. Woodson is known as the Father of Black History.

Maya Angelou attends the memorial celebration for Odetta at Riverside Church on February 24, 2009 in New York City.  Born Marguerite Ann Johnson on April 4, 1928, Angelou is an American autobiographer and poet who has been called

  • Bessie Coleman was an American civil aviator and was the first female pilot of African American descent. She was also the first person of African American descent to hold an international pilot license.
  • Maya Angelou is an American autobiographer and poet who has been called “America’s most visible black female autobiographer.”  She is best known for her series of six autobiographical volumes, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first and most highly acclaimed, I Know Why the Caged Birds Sing, tells of her first seventeen years. It brought her international recognition and was nominated for a National Book Award. She has been awarded over 30 honorary degrees and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for her 1971 volume of poetry, Just Give Me a Cook Drink of Water ‘Fore I Die.

February 13, 1866: Jesse James’ First Bank Robbery

February 13, 2012
Plaza College
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 *** Press Release ***
 
On February 13, 1866, Jesse James held up his first bank. Although Jesse was unable to actively participate in the robbery because of a near fatal chest wound he received shortly after the close of the Civil War, he planned the robbery of the Clay County Savings Bank in Liberty, Missouri for weeks. Jesse’s “gang” of thirteen or so men rode their horses to the front of the bank where Frank James and Cole Younger dismounted their horses and entered the bank. The encounter went down like this:
Cashier Greenup Bird went to help Frank James at the counter. Frank gave Bird a large bill and asked it to be changed. Suddenly, Frank yanked out his pistol and shoved it in Bird’s face. Cole Younger then pulled his pistol and jumped over the counter. Cold grabbed Bird’s son, William Bird, who was the only other person in the bank at the time. The Birds were handed a large grain sack and ordered to put all the money in the bank into the sack. The two Birds quickly put money into the sack, including a tin box of government bonds. The gang got away with $60,000. When all the money was stolen, Frank and Cole forced the Birds into the vault and slammed the door. The two bandits then ran outside. What they didn’t realize was that the vault wasn’t locked, so the two Birds just pushed it open after Frank and Cole left. The Birds ran to a window and began yelling “robbery!” 
Two young men, George Wymore and S. H. Holmes, were walking down the street when this happened. When they stopped to see the robbers, who were now all outside and mounted, the robbers all drew their pistols and began firing into the air to scare Wymore and Holmes away. The method of firing into the air was an old guerrilla tactic which the gang would use again and again. Compulsive killer and gang member Arch Clements fired one shot at Holmes, but the bullet went through his coat. After the two began running away, Arch shot Wymore dead for no reason. The original plan was to have no one killed. It was foolish to bring Arch along since he was well known for killing “just for fun.” The thirteen bandits then rode out of town. 
After the robbery, around two dozen men were listed as suspects. A few days after the robbery, the family of George Wymore received a letter  from Jesse James, or someone claiming to be him, apologizing for the murder of Wymore. The letter went on to state that it was not the robbers’ intention to kill anyone. Since Jesse was not famous as a robber at this point in time (after all, this was the first bank robbery in America during peacetime), it is doubtful that anyone would impersonate him by signing this letter with his name. Therefore, the letter is probably authentic, and since it would have been nearly impossible for Jesse to actually participate in the robbery, the letter seems to prove that Jesse did help plan the robbery.

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