Meet a Student Ambassador!

May 8, 2019


Student Ambassador: Alexander Callis

Introduction by Ms.Cohn, Associate Director of Student Activities:

Mr. Alexander Callis entered Plaza College in the Winter Semester of 2019 and is currently pursuing his Associate’s Degree in Healthcare Management. He desires to eventually go on for his Bachelor’s in Healthcare Information Technology. During this short time, Alex has become a well known friendly face circulating in the Commons, introducing himself to students and faculty alike. As the semester moved forward, Alex and other students formed a peer group whose main focus is academics (homework, studying for exams, etc), peer to peer support, and volunteerism (Student Life events). Learn more about what motivates Alex to be a Plaza College Ambassador!

Q: What inspired you to “come back to school?”

A: To better my life by achieving a better career and comfortable retirement.

Q: What was your motivation to choose the course of study for your Associate’s Degree in Healthcare Management?

A: I like working with people. I also like being a position to help medical and insurance companies coordinate their back end infrastructure more effectively for the patient’s care.

Q: Talk to me about your current career. What are your main responsibilities?

A: I work with parole officers to provide resources to their given parolees dealing with HIV, drugs, alcohol and hepatitis C. The focus is also on harm reduction. The ultimate goal is the help them lead healthy lifestyles and be productive citizens in society and the workforce.

Q: What have you learned about people from working with this population?

A: You can’t be judgmental, everyone has their own story. We are here to be an ear and be a source of support for the decisions they make. We all make wrong decisions but it’s about how you correct them to go on with your life.

Q: What draws you into being an ambassador and volunteering for so many events and initiatives at Plaza College?

A: Fun! I like seeing my peers happy with a smile on their face. I want them to know that somebody cares.

Q: What do you hope to contribute to the student body this semester?

A: I hope I can encourage students to enjoy the education they are getting, their peers and instructors. I hope they can approach the semester with an open mind. The goal is to gain more knowledge of their studies to apply towards to a successful career.

Q: How can students connect with you?

A:Just come by and say hi! Be yourself and get involved with Student Life activities!

National Scholarship Opportunities

May 6, 2019


Each year, scholarships are offered across the country for students from all colleges. Below are a few opportunities being offered in 2019. These scholarships are not from Plaza College, so check the individual websites for details and requirements.


Collegiate Inventors Competition

Calling all inventors! The Collegiate Inventors Competition® (CIC) is a unique invention competition that drives innovation and entrepreneurship at a collegiate level. This is your opportunity to showcase your inventions to their National Inventors Hall of Fame® Inductees and compete for cash prizes. The next entry period will begin in the spring of 2019. Visit their website for further details.

Shout It Out Scholarship

Have something to say? Whether it’s a “shout out” to mom or a message to the world, the Shout It Out Scholarship committee wants to hear from you! The Shout It Out Scholarship gives you a platform to speak up – and cash in. The “loudest” applicant will receive the $1,500 Shout It Out Scholarship reward. The deadline for this unique scholarship is September 30, 2019. Visit their website for more information.

Flavor of the Month Scholarship

Do you scream for ice cream!? If so, the Flavor of the Month Scholarship is for you. Whether you are simple and sweet like vanilla or nutty like pistachio, the Flavor of the Month Scholarship wants to know what ice cream flavor best reflects your personality and why. Tell them about your ice cream flavor, and you could scoop up a sweet $1,500 scholarship. The deadline for this tasty scholarship is July 31, 2019. Visit their website for more details.

AAMI Foundation Scholarship

Attention students who are studying to become biomedical equipment technicians, or health technology specific engineering, including clinical engineering, a $3,000 AAMI Foundation Scholarship will be award to seven students studying within these fields. The deadline for this scholarship in January 7, 2020. Applicants must be entering or current full-time college students seeking a career in the healthcare technology profession at an accredited college or university. For more information or to apply, please visit the scholarship provider’s website.

Miller Law Annual Scholarship

A $1,500 scholarship is available to college students of all majors who are a hero in their community. To be eligible applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, demonstrable history of community service and volunteerism, and submit an essay on the topic. The deadline is June 30, 2019. Visit their website for more details.

Veterans & Military Family$1,000 Scholarship

Twice per year the George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers gives a $1,000 scholarship to a hard-working U.S. college student who is an active duty service member, a veteran, or a spouse or child of an active duty or retired service member. High school seniors and graduates as well as undergraduate and graduate students may apply. The deadline for the application is June 15, 2019. Visit their website for further detail.

The Adrian Rubin Foundation Scholarship

Adrian Rubin is offering a $1200 scholarship. He wants to hear your answer to the following question in the form of a 500-word essay: “When was the exact moment that you knew what you wanted to major in?”? The deadline for submission is July 1, 2019. Visit the website for more details.

Dr. Summit Shah Scholarship

Dr. Summit Shah Scholarship to ensure that deserving students from all parts of the economic spectrum can reach their academic goals. Dr. Summit Shah would like to offer a $1000 scholarship offer to students at Plaza College to be applied to their higher learning education. To be considered for this scholarship, please submit a short essay (500 words or less) that shares what some of the things are that keep you motivated to keep reaching for your goals. Dr. Summit Shah would love to hear about some of your specific goals as well. The application deadline is June 1, 2019. Visit their website for more information.

Chase Rubin Scholarship

Chase Rubin is offering a $1200 Grant opportunity to eligible students towards their higher learning education each year. Students can enter by submitting a 500-word essay on the following topic, “What is something that hasn’t been invented yet that you think the world can benefit from”? The submission deadline is November 1, 2019. Visit the website for more details.

Why not dental care for all, New York?

May 3, 2019

Plaza College dental professor Dr. Garland, on the New York Daily News opinion page, addresses studies illustrating how enhanced oral care can help reduce overall medical health risks. You can read the full article here.

Why not dental care for all, New York?

Mayor de Blasio recently unveiled a proposal to significantly expand access to health care for city residents without insurance. Left out of this plan, and often overlooked in the larger discussion about increasing healthcare coverage, is our teeth. And our gums, for that matter.

Oral healthcare is not a luxury or a vanity but an integral part of overall preventative medical care. Just as one keeps a car running properly through routine maintenance, like an occasional oil change and checkup, the human body — much more complex — also needs specific and repeated tune-ups to keep it from breaking down.

Regular cleanings and oral health screenings, part of the recommended bi-annual check-up at the dentist’s office, can be a key part of efforts to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and pregnancy complications, according to the Mayo Clinic.

A recent study established a link between a certain type of gum infection and Alzheimer’s disease, which has become increasingly common in our aging population, now afflicting one of nine Americans over the age of 65.

Oral hygiene examinations are the key to identifying gum disease, tooth decay and other infections that, if caught early, can prevent critically dangerous health outcomes.

Yet many New Yorkers cannot afford basic dental care. Nationwide, 74 million American familieshave no dental insurance, saddling patients with the full cost of examinations, cleanings, x-rays, tooth repair and health screenings, leading many people to skip these visits — a grave mistake.

New York is ranked 30 out of the 50 sates and the District of Columbia in terms of dental wellness. One of three third-grade children are untreated for tooth decay and other oral problems.

One poll by AARP found that one-third of Americans aged 50-64 lack dental coverage and forgo dental care as a result. Some studies even suggest that up to 80% of residents in major metropolitan areas, where the costs of living are high, have limited to no access to affordable dental care.

The cost of a regular dental cleaning in New York City is between $75 and $200, with the recommended frequency of twice annually. For a family of four, this could mean several weeks’ pay.

The Community Dental Clinic at Plaza College in Forest Hills believes its role, as part of New York’s medical community, is to help lead the dental health education process. To illustrate that, the College’s School of Dental Sciences is offering free and low cost dental exams and cleanings.

Of course, this is not necessarily a scalable model. Oral hygienists are specialized professionals with degrees. The care they provide, not to mention the dentists who perform the medical work, cannot fulfill the significant void only through charitable work.

The city has made clear its position that general healthcare is a right for all New Yorkers. The NYC Care plan announced in early January strengthens the city’s public insurance option, MetroPlus, and increases access to NYC Health + Hospitals, including doctors’ visits, pharmacies and mental health services.

Why not oral healthcare? It can be scaled up in exactly the same way. NYC Health + Hospitals offers some dental care, meaning the same approach — improving direct outreach and expanding access to routine doctors’ visits — can be applied to oral healthcare.

It may require increasing the number of dentists and hygienists under the NYC Health + Hospitals umbrella, but the city is spending $100 million on its health plan partially under the assumption that it will produce savings, as more people use less expensive primary care rather than the costly route of going to the emergency room for routine care.

The same logic applies for dental care. Get your teeth cleaned today so you don’t end up in the emergency room tomorrow.

Dr. Garland, DDS, is a clinical professor of Dental Hygiene at Plaza College and a dentist in private practice in New York.


Welcome Back! Spring Semester Begins

May 1, 2019

Dear Plaza College Students,

On behalf of the staff and faculty we are excited to welcome you back on Wednesday, May 1st for the Spring Semester!

Please see below for a few important reminders:


-Students are required to scan your ID in the Welcome Center each time you enter the college. If your ID has been lost or stolen, you may purchase a replacement Student ID Card  in Student Services.


Starting Monday, May 13th open labs will be offered every period throughout the day and from 5pm-6pm for our evening students.

Schedules will be posted and share with the student body soon!

Good luck this semester and please keep a look out for more announcements regarding Student Life Events!

Meet Plaza’s Student of the Month!

April 25, 2019

Ms. Elvira Zaykova was inspired by her mother who is a dental assistant to pursue her Associates Degree in Dental Hygiene. She will be graduating in December of this year. Starting back in high school, she was required to volunteer at Coney Island Hospital and by her mother’s recommendation, she urged her to request the dental department. It was through this experience that she realized her love of dentistry. She enjoyed working with the children and seniors who came into the department, recognizing the importance of educating both populations on the correct methods of caring for their oral health. At the same time it made her sad to see those who were struggling with their dental care as this further inspired her to study dental hygiene in order to make a difference in the lives of patients. Her dream job is to travel abroad with organizations like Operation Smile, to countries where children and adults are in need of extreme dental care. In August 2019 she plans to go to either Africa, Mexico or Peru, with a program for dental hygienists to work alongside dentists for ten days in high need areas.

Ms. Zaykova expresses high appreciation for the Dental Faculty, saying “they are phenomenal, everybody gets stressed but the faculty knows how to guide you when you need their support, especially in clinic, the professors are there for you-they want to make sure you get that A!” she says.

In turn, Director Fordunski of the Faculty Resource Center says Ms. Zaykova, “has all the elements of professionalism; a positive attitude, respect, accountability, and positive communication just to name a few. She never missed one class and worked very hard to earn an A in LM63. She would help her fellow classmates as well. She is so excited to be part of our Dental Hygiene program. She always comes to campus with a smile on her face and ready to learn.”

Professor Garland of the Dental Hygiene faculty says, “since her first day as a student, Elvira Zaykova has been a cheerful presence at Plaza College. She is studious, kind and cordial. She enjoys being a member of the dental hygiene program, and her classmates along with her professors enjoy working with her. I heartily congratulate Elvira on being selected as student of the month.”

For students who are having a difficult time in their coursework she recommends to make a habit of reviewing what was discussed in class before going to bed and if possible, read for the class you have that next morning so that the information will stick! Ms. Zaykova’s daily healthy habit consists of drinking a lot of black tea and water.To decompress from long days in the class and the clinic, she enjoys watching something funny on YouTube or TV. Her favorite show is Party of Five.

Student Review “The Four Faces of Fear”

April 22, 2019

Ms. Sherria Williams, a current student at Plaza College recently attended an offsite seminar at The Assemblage John Street, entitled “The Fours Faces of Fear,” led by Karin Bellantoni, entrepreneur and business coach. Ms. Bellantoni previously facilitated a communication workshop at Plaza College at the end of Winter Semester and will be back again in the Spring. In the post below, Ms. Williams details the lessons learned from participating in “The Four Faces of Fear” and reflects on applying this content to her own behaviors.


The Four Faces of Fear

What I learned and what I loved most by attending Ms. Karin Bellantoni’s, “The Four Faces of Fear,” seminar was that our brain is powerful. Once we learned and have mastered how to stay in control of our minds with emotion involved, it will help us handle and stay in control of events that occur in our everyday lives.

The most important thing that I learned from Ms. Bellantoni was how to not fear being alone. Things that I love to do, I want to share with another person. I had personally asked Ms. Bellantoni, “how can I learn to not fear being alone?” Her amazing advice was to learn to love yourself. Learn to enjoy things and activities that make you happy by yourself. You can find a way to recharge alone. I agree. It is something that I work on every day.

Although I love myself, I could learn to adore myself more and enjoy more quality time with me. I also learned how I respond to fear. I didn’t realize that I am fighter and a fawn.  I do tend to overact in certain situations and then find myself very apologetic. It is my way of being defensive and it’s an element that I have been working on. I’m not perfect, I make mistakes. Thinking like the job I did was perfect, but finding an imperfection, I see I would have a tendency to overreact instead of staying calm and talking it over with closer friends or family.  

Ms. Bellantoni is amazing and her energy will calm a crowd. She is sweet, kind and very wise. I look forward to her next session, as well as hearing and absorbing more ways to become one with the mind and body.

Sherria Williams 

Becoming a Captioner

April 17, 2019

Plaza’s Court Reporting program allows students to study at the Associate degree level, with the goal of becoming skillful stenographers ready for the legal world. Students of this program will hone their typing skills to 225 words per minute in our stenotype courses, and study legal terminology and court procedures to prepare them for a versatile career.

Ms. Nicole Kochy, who has over two decades of experience in the Court Reporting Field, visited Plaza College to help prospective students explore the various careers one can pursue with this degree. Ms. Kochy presented a closed captioning demonstration, spoke about the daily activities of a captioner, as well as a Q&A session.

About Ms. Kochy: “Nicole was a freelance court reporter for more than 10 years when she started CART captioning in 2005. She became a broadcast captioner in 2012, first as an employee of a large captioning company and then soon after transitioned to be an independent contractor. Nicole does both broadcast captioning and CART captioning. Her experience includes providing captions, both remotely and on-site, for live newscasts, live events, webinars, meetings and classes. Nicole lives in New Jersey with her husband, Craig and 12-year-old son, Tyler.”


Celebrating Alumni Success!

April 12, 2019

Plaza College held an event to honor and celebrate outstanding alumni.

During this event, alumni spoke to prospective students, current students, faculty, and staff to share stories about their time at Plaza, as well as life after graduation. They shared inspiring stories about their journey that lead them to where they are currently at in their careers. There was also a Q & A session with the audience. Thank you to everyone who joined the event!

Thank you to the outstanding Alumni who made this event what it was!


Michelle Johnson –  Northwell Health, Patient Care Technician

Jenna Batten – Northwell Health – Forest Hills, Access Service Rep

Selena Johnson-Turner – Northwell Health – Patient Care Associate

Priscilla Lopez –  NY Stem Cell Foundation, Operations Coordinator

Umbareen Tariq – RCGA Architects, now Administrative Assistant at DRA Advisors (finance)

Andrea Oquendo –  Coney Island Hospital, Medical Records Specialist

Eliana Londono – Barclays, Executive Assistant, Head of Risk Management

Students Take 1st Place at Dental Exhibition in Long Island!

April 4, 2019

Dental hygiene students presented at the Greater Long Island Dental Meeting in Melville. Lady Peneranda, Natalie Israilova, and Isabel Carchi, won first prize presenting their poster: “How Cardiovascular Disease is Related to Periodontal Disease”. Great Job!!

This Week at Plaza

April 1, 2019

Congratulations to Betty Grullon and Sahida Nasim, the students representing Plaza at the National Sigma Kappa Delta conference this weekend in St. Louis!

April 2, 11:35 am (BBA Lounge-Plaza Commons):

In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, please join us to learn about Resources, Support and Healing!

We are excited to host guest speaker Julia Hochstadt, LCSW, Psychotherapist has been working with survivors of trauma and crime for nearly 20 years in hospital-based and private practice settings.
Julia maintains a psychotherapy practice with offices in Midland Park, NJ (Bergen County) and in midtown Manhattan. In addition to her clinical work,Julia facilitates educational courses for medical, legal and other professional and community audiences related to interpersonal violence. She regularly testifies as an expert witness with the Manhattan and Bronx District Attorneys offices. She holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from Columbia University, advanced Clinical Certificates from NYU, and certification in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy from the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy. Julia can best be reached at or via her you or someone you know could benefit from learning about the rights, options and resources for those impacted by sexual violence, please join us on Tuesday, April 2nd at 11:35am

April 4, 11:35am (Plaza Commons): Honoring Excellence at Plaza College

Hear the stories from graduates who were helped by Plaza College’s Career Services Department and are currently employed by some of the most sought after organizations in NYC!
Light refreshments will be served! Plus attendees will have the chance to sign the Plaza College Reflection Board!

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