Tag Archives: Queens College

Queens College women’s basketball team, player earn preseason recognition

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy Queens College Athletics

The Queens College Knights and their star forward, junior Madison Rowland, have been recognized by the Women’s Division II Bulletin (WDIIB) for preseason accolades.

The Knights have been ranked 11th in the WDIIB Preseason Top 25 Poll, while Rowland was named to the Super 16 All-American Team, representing the East region.

Last season, under head coach Bet Naumovski, the Knights finished the season with a 22-8 record, won the East Coast Conference Championship and entered into the East Region of the NCAA Division II National Tournament as the fifth seed. It was the team’s second consecutive 20-win season and moved Naumovski into third place on the school’s all-time wins list in her fourth season at Queens College.

Last year Rowland was named the All-Met Division II Co-Player of the Year and East Coast Conference (ECC) Player of the Year as she led the Knights, the ECC and all of Division II in steals per game (4.3) for the second straight year. She also led all sophomores in the country in scoring and finished ninth overall in Division II with 20.9 points per game.

Rowland finished her sophomore year with 18 double-doubles — good for 13th in the nation — and was ranked in the top four in the ECC in scoring, steals, rebounds (9.9 rebounds per game) and assists (4.1 assists per game).

Rowland was one of only 13 players in Division II to post a triple-double last season and has now posted triple-doubles in both her freshman and sophomore years. During the season she scored 28 points in the Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden and was named Most Outstanding Player of the ECC Championship after leading the Knights to their second-ever conference title and an NCAA Tournament berth. She has amassed 1,159 career points, 504 rebounds and 247 steals in her two seasons as a Knight.


Indian spiritual leader appearing at free Queens College conference

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the World Spiritual Awareness Forum

Renowned Indian spiritual leader Shri Gurudev will be hosting a free conference at Queens College on Sunday.

The conference is titled “Divya Darshan & Blessings” and will take place from 12:30 to 6 p.m. on Oct. 4 at the Colden Auditorium at the Queens College Center for Performing Arts at 153-49 Reeves Ave.

The guru will provide teachings on living life by speaking onstage at the beginning of the event to provide a spiritual discourse. Afterward, he will meet with attendees to provide blessings for each person.

“A little faith will lead you to heaven,” Shri Gurudev says in his teachings. “Full faith will bring heaven to you.”

The guru is one of the most influential Hindu leaders in India and many follow him around the world. He has visited over 170 countries to promote vegetarianism and a nonviolent way of life, among other spiritual ideas.

In the past, conferences hosted by the master have been attended by thousands of his followers, including a three-day event in which he received more than 2,300 followers during his last New York trip in 2014.

According to a website promoting his upcoming New York visit, Shri Gurudev was born in Delhi in 1941.

His parents gave him up for a spiritual life after a near-death experience as an infant, and in addition to becoming a recognized spiritual figure he also holds several degrees from prestigious Indian universities. These include a physics honors degree and an electrical engineering degree from the Indian Institute of Technology and master’s degrees in Sanskrit, Hindi and astrology.

His personal history attributes mystical powers to him, such as the power to levitate when meditating. During stints working in the “haunts of man,” he has been an engineer at a rubber factory and an Australian shipping boat.


Queens Memory Project asks residents to share memorabilia

| amatua@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of the Queens Memory Project

The Queens Library and Queens College want you to share your photographs, newspaper clippings and stories as they continue to archive and record the history of the “World’s Borough” as part of the Queens Memory Project.

Started in 2010 through a grant from the Metropolitan New York Library Council, a team began to interview current residents about their Queens memories and in 2011 created a website to host all of the materials they received.

According to Joanne King, communications director for Queens Library, the Queens Memory Project has hosted 40 outreach events, collected 286 oral stories from 23 countries of origin and has made more than 1,800 images and audio recordings available to the public on its website.

The website includes an expansive collection of photos and audio organized by people, places, years and more. Specific collections paint a bigger picture by coupling photographs with audio about topics such as “Bayside, Queens: WWII Homefront History.”

The collection includes photographs of soldiers, Fort Totten and interviews with a Bayside resident who remembers hiding under her school desk as air raids were conducted and scores of soldiers walking along Bell Boulevard.

Other collections document the damage homeowners sustained from Hurricane Sandy as well as recovery efforts after the superstorm. The project also showcases the diversity of the borough, highlighting a Hindi Ratha Yatra celebration and culinary traditions from immigrants.

The project has scheduled events at Queens libraries to ask people to bring in their family photos, documents and other memorabilia. Members of the project will digitize these items and give participants a free flash drive with digital copies of their materials.

The Queens Memory Project will be at the following locations:


Queens College ranked fifth in Northeast for ‘Best Bang for your Buck’

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

File photo

Queens College has once again been recognized for being financially friendly.

The Flushing institution recently earned fifth place in a ranking of four-year colleges giving students the “Best Bang for the Buck” in the Northeast.

The ranking was compiled by Washington Monthly according to which Northeast colleges offer the best value for their cost based on net price (including tuition, textbooks and other costs), how many admitted students make it to graduation and whether graduating students go on to earn at least enough to pay off their loans.

According to the Washington Monthly, only 3.7 percent of Queens College students have to default on their student loans, and the school graduates 53 percent of admitted students. Also, 35.7 percent of Queens College attendees use Pell grants to help pay for costs at the school.

The list will be included in the Washington Monthly’s book, “The Other College Guide: A Roadmap for the Right School for You.” The guide is inspired by Washington Monthly magazine’s signature college rankings, and aims to provide honest and practical information to streamline the college selection process by including the school rankings, profiles of select universities and other tidbits of useful advice.

When announcing the ranking on Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo cited his pride at having Queens College included in the top five spots in the Northeast ranking, along with three other New York schools. The other New York City colleges named were Baruch College in first place, Lehman College in third place and John Jay College of Criminal Justice in fourth place.

“New York has a long and proud tradition of providing a high-quality, affordable education through our public colleges and universities,” Cuomo said. “This latest ranking further emphasizes the value of earning a degree right here in New York and I am proud of these CUNY campuses and this well-deserved recognition.”

The recognition is not the first time that Queens College has been noted by a publication for its educational value. In February, the school earned a place on Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine’s top 10 list for the nation’s “Best Value” colleges.


Beach Boy Brian Wilson to perform at Queens College

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Kupferberg Center for the Arts

There will be good vibrations at Queens College this October.

The Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson will be performing a selection of classic hits and material from his new solo album at the Flushing college located at 65-30 Kissena Blvd. on Oct. 9.

Wilson’s solo album, “No Pier Pressure,” was released in April, and the show will also feature The Beach Boys founding member Al Jardine.

The performance is slated to begin at 8 p.m. at the Kupferberg Center for the Arts in the Colden Auditorium. Tickets run from $39 to $89 and are on sale now.

Brian Wilson is one of pop music’s most deeply revered figures, the main creative force behind some of the most cherished recordings in rock history and co-founder of The Beach Boys.

He played an active part in creating the band’s distinctive sound, co-writing, arranging, producing and performing in more than two dozen The Beach Boys Top 40 hits.

Wilson was only 20 years old when the group released their first album, Surfin’ Safari, in 1962. The group went on to have nine consecutive “gold” albums including classics like “Surfer Girl,” “I Get Around,” “Fun, Fun, Fun,” “Help Me Rhonda” and “California Girls.”

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit kupferbergcenter.org.


Martial arts tournament to be held at Queens College

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy of World Fighting Martial Arts Federation

Each year, the U.S. Open Martial Arts Championship, one of the premier martial arts competition events on the East Coast, brings together hundreds of competitors from around the world to compete in a variety of matches. This year they are headed to Queens College to battle it out to find out who is the best.

The World Fighting Martial Arts Federation (WFMAF) is hosting the fifth U.S. Open Martial Arts Championship on Oct. 4 at Queens College, located at 65-30 Kissena Blvd. in Flushing.

Elite martial artists will compete in a variety of events in several different divisions and weight classes to win medals and cash prizes.

Competitors will face off in open-hand and weapons form competition in kung fu, karate, taekwondo, and wushu, as well as combat competitions in light contact sanda (light contact sparring), ultimate sanda (full contact sparring), shuai jiao (Chinese wrestling), judo, push hands, chi sao sparring and short weapons sparring.

At the culmination of the event, the grandmasters in attendance will give demonstrations of the arts, not normally seen at many venues.

For more information on how to register to be a participant or to order tickets, visit the WFMAF website.


Singer Patti LaBelle to perform at Queens College

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Kupferberg Center for the Arts


After a successful run on “Dancing with the Stars,” legendary singer Patti LaBelle will be performing at the Kupferberg Center for the Arts at Queens College on Sunday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m.

With chart-topping hits such as “New Attitude,” “Lady Marmalade,” “If Only You Knew” and “If You Asked Me To,” LaBelle has made herself a household name during a career that has lasted more than 50 years.

The singer has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Apollo Hall of Fame and the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame, and has sold more than 50 million records worldwide.

Her Oct. 18 performance at Queens College is her only performance in the borough this year. Tickets will range from $40 to $115.

For tickets and more information, click here.


Over 1,200 new police recruits sworn in at Queens College

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD


New York City will have a fresh crop of police officers come December.

More than 1,200 new police recruits were sworn in on Wednesday during a ceremony at Queens College led by Police Commissioner William Bratton.

“I so wish I were sitting where you are today,” Bratton said. “I am coming to the end of my career, and you are just at the beginning — a beginning that coincides with a time of great change for this profession. The public safety we help provide is the foundation of our democracy, and this country’s promise. You have answered a noble calling.”

The class, which is about 80 percent male and 20 percent female, comes from a wide range of cultural and professional backgrounds.

A significant portion of the new hires — about 40 percent — have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher. That percentage includes 23 master’s degrees and one juris doctor, which is a professional doctorate in law.

Over 100 members of the class have served in the U.S. military; another 100 have had experience in civilian roles such as traffic enforcement or school safety agents, for which 42 cadets were recognized and promoted.

Additionally, the class reflects the city’s diversity, with 46 percent of the class being white, 18 percent black, 26 percent Hispanic and 10 percent Asian. Sixty percent of the recruits live in New York City; more than 200 are foreign born and represent 50 different countries, from Albania to Yemen. Additionally, 392 candidates speak 43 different languages.

The new recruits will begin six months of rigorous training on July 10 at the new police academy in College Point. In December, they will be the largest graduating class since July 2013.


Girl, 10, dies after collapsing at Queens College soccer camp

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

A South Jamaica girl died on Monday after collapsing during a soccer camp at Queens College, according to police.

Laura Palma of 97th Avenue was participating in the Flushing camp just before 3:15 p.m. when she said that she wasn’t feeling well. Seconds later, according to published reports, she collapsed and lost consciousness.

Officers from the 107th Precinct and EMS units rushed to the scene and found Palma in cardiac arrest. Paramedics rushed her to New York Hospital Queens, where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

Her body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to determine the cause of death.


Exhibition on World’s Fair architecture at Queens College

| rmackay@queensny.org

Photo courtesy of Godwin-Ternbach Museum

When attendees reminisce about the 1964-65 World’s Fair at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, they often think about the Ford Mustang, the Belgian waffle and the Unisphere, which made their United States debuts then.

Similarly, when people discuss the 1939-40 World’s Fair, which took place in the same Queens green space, they chat about the air conditioner, color photographs and nylon pencil sharpeners, which were first unveiled there.

But one of the most enduring legacies of these events — the architecture — was ridiculed at the time and then ignored by critics.

In fact, the first fair’s Art Deco designs, the monumental pavilions of fascist Italy and communist Russia, and the modernist structures of Alvar Aalto and Oscar Niemeyer had tremendous, lasting impact on the architectural field, as did the second fair’s corporate modernism and the postmodernism of Philip C. Johnson and Edward Durell Stone.

On June 29, Queens College’s Godwin-Ternbach Museum launches Persuasive Images, an exhibition consisting of more than 100 photographs depicting rarely seen images of structures built for the fairs that were selected from an array of local, national and international archives.

With these photos, the show also strives to provide new insight into the significance and power of world expositions.

“An important part of Queens history that has been lost will be recovered in the exhibition,” said Godwin-Ternbach Director Amy Winter.

The show runs until July 27 with an opening reception on July 9.


Queens College students exhibit artwork at JCAL

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning


The Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning welcomed a new exhibition by Queens College students on June 4, which was inspired by the Daghlian Collection of Chinese Arts that is being hosted at the school.

The exhibition, titled “Metempyschosis,” was curated by Professor Sin-Ying Ho, who chose artists Cindy Leung, T.J. Meadows and Liza Rong to display their work.

T.J. Meadows — who was inspired by the Daghlian Collection of Chinese Arts, a selection of cups, jars, figurines and other clay vessels from different Chinese dynasties — created and designed his own set of vessels.

“I want viewers and other artists to see beautiful art as something to be looked at and admired, but at the same time the viewers can follow through with their the urge to pick up and feel the work due to the fact that my art is all functional,” Meadows said. “I have a passion for making art that people have a use for.”

Liza Rong, who works with mediums including stoneware, ceramics, cast molding and wood sculpture, made cast-molded guns from porcelain. She decorated each gun with flowers and calls the collection Harmless Beauties Guns.

“In today’s society the image of the gun is so strong and is always used to portray violence, harm and death,” Rong said. “I was hoping to desensitize this image of the gun and give it a vibe of elegance and preciousness by hand-decorating each one with flowers. I wanted viewers to be able to approach my guns with a feeling of trust and comfort rather than fear and terror.”

Rong said she wants her art to show that though guns are usually associated with violence and death, it all depends on how people use them.

The exhibit will be on display until August 25.


Astoria woman selected as sixth Queens poet laureate

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

Borough President Melinda Katz installed Astoria resident Maria Lisella as the borough’s sixth poet laureate in a ceremony on Tuesday after a three-month search, including the vetting of more than 30 candidates.

Lisella, an author and journalist, will use the unpaid position to promote a love of poetry and literature throughout the “World’s Borough.” An author of three books of poetry, Lisella said she hopes to use the position not to market herself, but rather to connect and foster the literature community in Queens.

“It’s a privilege and it’s an opportunity, but I don’t see it as a way to promote moi,” Lisella said. “I think it’s about marketing the borough and the community.”

A south Jamaica native, Lisella’s family moved to Bellerose when she was young and she lived in Flushing as well before settling down in Astoria for the last 40 years. She is an alum of Queenborough Community College and Queens College, and she received a master’s degree from NYU-Polytechnic Institute. Lisella has been a travel writer for three decades, and her work has appeared in The Dallas Morning News and Foxnews.com, among other news outlets.

Like Queens, Lisella has been influenced by a range of cultures. Her family has roots in Italy and she speaks English, Italian and Spanish. Lisella has also visited about 60 countries.

“Ms. Lisella is an amazing writer who is capable of synthesizing the borough’s many cultures and languages into incredible poetry,” Katz said. “She also has a deep love and appreciation of Queens that comes from being a lifelong resident.”

The Queens Poet Laureate position was initially established in 1996 by Claire Shulman’s administration in partnership with Queens College.

Lisella was one of five finalists selected by a panel of judges. The judges were appointed by the Queens Poet Laureate Administrative Committee. Out of the top candidates, Katz ultimately selected Lisella, who has connections with past Queens Poet Laureates.

The first Queens Poet Laureate, Stephen Stepanchev, was a professor to Lisella in Queens College. Lisella and the second laureate, Hal Sirowitz, are both members of Brevitas, an online poetry circle.

As the new Queens Poet Laureate, Lisella will give readings of poetry around the borough in Queens Library branches and conduct outreach programs. Lisella held her first official reading  in the position at the end of her induction ceremony. She read two pieces from her most recent poetry book, “Thieves in the Family.”

To connect the Queens literature community, Lisella has thought of some initiatives including having a book fair, starting a website dedicated to Queens poetry and holding readings in cultural institutions, such as the Louis Armstrong House Museum and the Museum of the Moving Image.

She also wants to use social media to reach the Queens poetry community.

“There are a lot of pockets of activity going on [in Queens],” Lisella said, “so I have to plug into that.”


Flushing native pens modern-day version of ‘Jane Eyre’

| kmedoff@queenscourier.com

Photo by Allana Taranto

When Patricia Park would misbehave as a child growing up in Flushing, her mother would say in broken English, “You act like orphan,” Park remembered. “I realized that her definition of orphan meant to act in a disgraceful way that shamed your family.”

While reading Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel “Jane Eyre,” Park said she was “continually struck by these epithets that are thrown at [Jane]: she’s ‘friendless,’ ‘mischievous,’ ‘wicked,’ as if she somehow embodied these characteristics” just because she was an orphan.

Park’s first novel, “Re Jane,” released on May 5, was born when Park “realized that the Victorian construction of the orphan and the Korean post-war one had similarities, and my mind drew that link,” she said.

This modern-day version of “Jane Eyre” begins in Flushing, where half-American, half-Korean orphan Jane Re was raised by her Korean aunt and uncle. “This is my America: all Korean, all the time,” Jane says in the first chapter.

“For Jane, that’s kind of the irony: that she’s living in America but the community she grows up in feels like an extension of Korea,” Park said.

In the novel, Jane journeys to Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn, where she works as an au pair, to Seoul, Korea, and back to Queens. The author herself traveled to South Korea on a Fulbright grant to research her book.

“It was nothing like the Korea in my mind’s eye,” which was shaped by her parents’ stories, she said.

Queens readers can expect to find familiar places in the book such as Astoria, as well as Flushing staples including Northern Boulevard and the 7 train.

“For me, being a native Queensite, that 7 train has been a rickety racket for my whole life,” Park joked.

Park, who moved to the Douglaston-Little Neck area around age 9, calls Jane Eyre “an early prototype for a feminist” with a “fighting spirit. … She’s unbreakable and I love that, so I wanted to preserve that,” she said. “My Jane might at first read as meek or quiet but deep down she’s quite resilient.”

“Re Jane,” like “Jane Eyre,” is a coming-of-age novel, but Jane Re is a couple years older than her progenitor, just out of college.

“I think that’s a critical time for a lot of young adults because your formal schooling is all complete and then at this point you have to make choices that will shape your future,” said the former Center for Fiction Emerging Writer Fellow, who has taught writing at Queens College.

“As a Queens native, I feel like Queens doesn’t have much in the way of media representation and certainly not in literature,” she said. “I would love for ‘Re Jane’ to start that conversation. Queens has such a rich history and you have all these diverse ethnic neighborhoods, so in some ways ‘Re Jane’ is paying homage to the place I come from, warts and all.”

Patricia Park currently lives in Brooklyn. She read from her novel in Bayside on May 9 as part of her book tour, which will include a few more stops around the city later in May. “Re Jane” can be found in bookstores all over. Visit Park’s website for more details.


Queens College dancers to feature their choreography talent

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Julenphoto/Captions courtesy of Queens College Dance Department

Queens College dance students are ready for their moment in the spotlight.

The annual choreography showcase by students in the Queens College Department of Dance is set to run from May 6 to 10 this year at the school’s Rathaus Hall. The show, dubbed “Figures of 8,” is the world premiere for the work of nine students in advanced stages of study, and will also feature the work of student costume and lighting designers and stage production personnel.

The students involved have been working on their pieces as part of a yearlong choreography elective for dance majors. Presentations will include a diverse range of dance styles, with contemporary ballet, tap, burlesque and modern dancing all represented in the program.

Themes examined within the pieces vary widely in topic as well. A solo piece reflects on a horrific experience in an African slave dungeon, while a female-centric jazz quintet celebrates sexuality, and a group piece examines the positive and negative sides of friendship.

Zoe Padden, a senior who is currently pursuing a double major in dance and mathematics, said that each choreographer had their own vision and method of approaching the process. Some started with vague ideas that they later refined, and others had a very clear vision from the start.

“It’s a journey,” Katsanos said. “You just kind of have to accept that you need to walk through the journey.”

The students all agreed that putting together a show was a challenge that ultimately proved to be a rewarding learning experience.

“On paper it seems easy but as you go through it, things may change,” senior Malcolm Griffin said. “You might not have the same vision as when you started, or you might have to alter things.”

Although the showcase is an annual event at the school, this year is the first time faculty adviser and showcase director Richard Move is involved. Move has previously been a part of productions by such dance superstars as Mikhail Baryshnikov and the Martha Graham Dance Company, so he has plenty of experience with how personally moving it can be for dancers to be onstage expressing themselves with their art.

“One thing that’s inherent with dance is that there’s some level of autobiography because it’s the body speaking,” Move said.

The show will be held at the Rathaus Hall performance space M11 at 7 p.m. for the Wednesday through Saturday presentations, and at 3 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $7 and can be bought at www.kupferbergcenter.com, by phone at 718-793-8080, or in person at the Kupferberg Box Office in the Colden Auditorium.


Star of Queens: Nan Khin May, CUNY service corps volunteer, New American Welcome Center at the Flushing YMCA

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Nan Khin May


Background: Nan Khin May, 25, was born and raised in Yangon, Myanmar, and now lives in Fresh Meadows. She loves Queens because it is one of the most diverse places she’s ever been and a place where she can taste food from all around the globe. She also appreciates how much time she can save commuting easily to her college and her jobs.

Occupation: May works part time at the office of information technology at Queens College as an assistant, where she learns from her supervisors, coworkers and other students. She also works as an independent financial planner at World Financial Group in College Point, as she would like to become certified after graduating because she wants to help others who are planning to go to college.

Community Involvement: Currently, May is a CUNY service corps volunteer at the New American Welcome Center (NAWC) at the Flushing YMCA. NAWC serves the immigrant population by providing a range of services including ESL and computer classes. The goals for the immigrants are English literacy, cultural competence and self-sufficiency. May translates Chinese and Burmese for them, as well as conducts intakes of client information. The majority of students are adults from China, Korea and the Dominican Republic. In addition, May occasionally volunteers for the Mahasi Meditation Group.

Greatest Achievement: “I would consider getting the experiences of volunteering and giving the community what it needs to be both my greatest personal and professional achievement,” May said. “My 4-year-old niece told me ‘sharing is caring,’ and I couldn’t agree with her more.”

Biggest Challenge: “Going to college and getting all good grades because that is an important requirement in Asian families. Also, dealing with my father’s heart disease and elderly health issues.”

Inspiration: “My aunt. She is my mentor and best friend. She is a very strong woman and she takes care of her family. She loves me like her own daughter and has taught me since I was in Myanmar. With my parents’ support and her guidance, I am able to live here and succeed.”