Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Colleges Unite for Carnival Against Cancer

For Immediate Release

Contact: Toni Ann Buchalski

Carnival Against Cancer –April 26

Every year, four accredited colleges in Rockland County come together to support the fight against cancer. The schools that participate in this event are St. Thomas Aquinas College, Dominican College, Rockland County Community College and Nyack College. The four colleges take turns in hosting the event. Last year, the event was held at St. Thomas Aquinas College. This year the Carnival Against Cancer will be held at Dominican College on Friday, April 26, from 4 to 10 pm.

The activities will be held within the Dominican College Quad outside of the school’s student center. The cost of the carnival is ten dollars per person. This cost includes admission, access to the DJ, five carnival game tickets, and access to the performances by the four colleges’ cheerleading and dance teams, as well as a Carnival Against Cancer t-shirt. Refreshments will be provided as well. Besides the fun activities, the Carnival will also be sustaining its message to all of the college students participating.

The reason for such an event is due to the fight against all types of cancer. Each of the four colleges have asked students, faculty, friends, family and other colleagues to help the cause by providing pictures or speaking on behalf of those who have been diagnosed, are currently battling or are survivors of any form of cancer. The importance of this event will be stressed to the carnival-goers. This is a fight that all students should be aware throughout their journey in life. It is becoming a bigger issue every day.

St. Thomas Aquinas College, Dominican College, Nyack College and Rockland County Community College invite all to this special event. All proceeds go towards cancer research that will help to find a cure and aid those who have been affected by such fatal illnesses. 

For more information you can also contact St. Thomas Aquinas College’s student activities coordinator Dave Eng at Deng@stac.edu.

-- Toni Ann Buchalski

STAC Singers Spring Concert

For Immediate Release

Contact: Stephanie Costantino

STAC Singers Concert April 25

Sparkill, NY – The STAC Singers spring concert will take place on Thursday, April 25 at 7:30 pm in the Sullivan Theater at St. Thomas Aquinas College. The event is free admission.

Since the beginning of the Spring 2013 semester, the STAC Singers have been busy rehearsing every Thursday afternoon for their annual spring concert, perfecting harmonies and melodies for every song. This concert will be a treat for anyone who enjoys classic choral pieces, as well as choral renditions of modern day hits.

STAC Singers is a club at St. Thomas Aquinas College open to students, faculty, and alumni and requires no audition, so anybody who loves singing is able to join. The STAC Singers are under the choral direction of Dr. Evan Matthews and are accompanied by pianist Larry Hunt.

In this year’s spring concert, the STAC Singers will be performing favorites such as Queen’s ”Bohemian Rhapsody”, F.U.N.’s ”Some Nights”, mash-up of The Jackson 5’s ”I Want You Back” and ”ABC,” as well as some classic choral arrangements like ”And This Shall Be For Music” and ”Flying Free.” This concert will be a great experience for audience members as the songs are all upbeat and uplifting, and will be sure to leave audience members humming along.

-- Stephanie Costantino

Monday, April 29, 2013

Dominican College Hosts Carnival for Cancer

For Immediate Release

David Eng, Director of Student Activities 

Carnival for Cancer April 26,  4PM-10PM

Come to the Carnival for Cancer on Friday, April 26, starting at 4 pm. This is a fun event with all sorts of fun games and you can do it for charity! The money raised by the event will go the Ulman Cancer Fund (UCF). The charity helps with cancer patients. The Carnival for Cancer is sponsored by St Thomas Aquinas College with other colleges in Rockland County and held at Dominican College this year.

To get tickets to the event either contact David Eng or sign up at the Student Activities office at St Thomas Aquinas College. There you pay ten dollars to get tickets and sign up for the event. There will be a lot of food, games and fun. Along with having a good time, the money you spend will go to charity and help people who have cancer. The address of where the Carnival for Cancer takes place is at Dominican College, 470 Western Highway, Orangeburg NY.

-- Jeremy St. Clair

New York Mets Fans @ Social Media Night

April 22, 2013

Contact: Dan Longarino

Mets Social Media Night

The New York Mets will be facing off against The Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field at 7:10 pm on Wednesday, April 24. Before the game begins, all Mets fans that support the team on social media are welcome to partake in Social Media Night.

Social Media Night is an event put together for fans that follows the Mets on their official Facebook page or on twitter through @Mets or @LosMets. Tickets cost fifty dollars but the perks outweigh the cost. Ticket holders will be meeting up with other followers and staff in the Bullpen Plaza from 5:10-6:30 pm. Food and soft drinks will be provided, reserved seats in left field will be available, free t-shirts and iPhone skins will be handed out as well. If you take a look at the scoreboard, fans to part in the event will be welcomed by their twitter handle for all to see. In addition, all ticket holders will automatically be eligible for both pre-game and in-game giveaways.

The tickets can be purchased for fifty dollars, and if you buy yours from this special link: http://newyork.mets.mlb.com/nym/ticketing/social_media_night.jsp, you will be entered to win a chance to throw the First Pitch for the game. Don’t miss the opportunity.

For more information: 


-- Dan Longerino   

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A New Culinary Favorite Is Born

For Immediate Release
Contact: Elizabeth Flores

New Snack Bar Opens in Historic Haverstraw Locale

Haverstraw, NY – Chef Jose David Martinez and Paulo Feteira, being the proud owners of the very popular Union Restaurant and Bar Latino, have just announced the opening of their new restaurant venture, UNoodles Snack Bar at 14 Main St., Haverstraw NY. This chic restaurant is a fabulous extension to the already award winning Union Restaurant.

UNoodle Snack Bar opened its doors for  the first time Thursday, April 11th and donated 20% of their proceeds of the day to Meals on Wheels. UNoodle is most definitely a classy affair, be sure to dine in Haverstraw’s new culinary experience.

The new restaurant is open across the street from Union Restaurant and features common dishes such as noodles and hot dogs but of course with Chef Martinez’s twist. His twist on a regular hot dog features a Colombian sausage topped with bacon, mayo, lettuce, and tomato, a surprising yet savory dish. Their noodle-based dishes are also delicious, ranging from their Asian-inspired Piggy Bowl to their Linguini Western, which is delectable with every bite. 

One of their most popular items is the yucca hush puppies with a pesto sauce, which are a perfect starter for every meal and will definitely make your taste buds pop. Some of their entrees include grilled steak, rotisserie chicken, barbecued pork, and various selections of seafood items.

There is also the option of gluten free with some menu items as well as gluten-free pasta being available. Sandwiches, pizzas and chips are also featured in their menu. 

The building in which it resides already has such great history, as does the whole town of Haverstraw. What is truly wonderful is how they were able to pull different pieces together to create a truly unique feel as well as keeping the building’s history present. With its brick walls, accordion fold doors, high wooden beams as well as the retro dining pieces, the restaurant has a very inviting feel.

-- Elizabeth Flores

Benefit for Boston Marathon Bomb Victims

For Immediate Release

Contact: Brendon Padilla
E-mail: bpadilla12@stac.edu


Sparkill, NY - Urban Spotlight along with Campus Activities Board is hosting a Ladies’ Night on Tuesday, April 23 in the Sullivan Theater in Saint Thomas Aquinas College at 7 pm as a fundraiser for the American Red Cross. Members of the Urban Spotlight will be performing both covers of songs and original pieces. The set will last around forty-five minutes, containing nine songs.

Following the performances, a showing of The Lucky One provided by Campus Activities Board will be played, starting at 8:00. Snacks and drinks will be sold for $1 a piece to benefit the American Red Cross’ relief effort to help those affected by the Boston Marathon bombings.

Urban Spolight is a club at Saint Thomas Aquinas College (STAC) interested in the arts and various talents, such as singing, dancing, writing, and other art forms. Campus Activities Board is an organization at STAC that organizes events at/for the college.

The American Red Cross is a humanitarian foundation that gives disaster relief, emergancy assistance, and education in the United States.


Urban Spotlight, Saint Thomas Aquinas College, 125 Route 340 Sparkill, NY 10976

-- Alyssa Hamilton

President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union

By Toni Ann Buchalski                           

In February of 2013, President Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union speech. The President had much to say in his address, most of which was well received by the audience. Many topics were touched upon, in which the President not only expressed his personal feelings, but also the perspectives that many Americans have. I would like to focus upon certain areas of President Obama’s State of the Union, specifically college costs, women in the work force, immigration and minimum wage.

The President spoke about how his administration was unvealing a college score card. This score card is meant to be a tool for parents and students to use when deciding on a college to attend. This tool is meant to compare costs, and help guide a student as to where they can receive the best education at an efficient cost. President Obama appeared to be very adamant when talking about such a subject.

I think it is safe to assume that the President does care about the future of American citizens. He realizes that our nation’s youth is the public’s future. This is an important subject to dwell upon. I think it was wise for Obama to elaborate upon such a topic by explaining the need for Americans to remain motivated and hard working. He also stated that we as a nation should use our opportunities to get ahead in the world. This is for the sole purpose to improve our nation and prove ourselves as a sort of world leader.

President Obama’s next topic concerned legal immigration reform. He strongly believes that people should come to America not only in a legal manner, but to help reform the system so that these immigrants can truly be called American citizens.

Obama wishes for immigration to not only boost our economy by adding jobs, but also enhance our cultural perspectives. Obama feels that a way to reform legal immigration would be to enforce American civic duties. These duties include paying taxes, learning to speak English properly, passing a background check and becoming an American citizen correctly and respectfully. This subject appears to be a major concern of American citizens. From Obama’s speech, it appears that he is very serious in ensuring that revisions and reforms are taken seriously and actually carried out.

One of the next topics that Obama discussed can be received as more of a personal opinion, but it is one that a large population agrees with. Obama stated that women should be given the opportunity to earn an equal living such as men who are employed in the same job position. Obama has a wife and two daughters. This may be his incentive for including such a topic. However, women today have more opportunities than ever before. He is encouraging women to take advantage of these opportunities and use them wisely. Obama wishes to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act this year. This topic led into another popular concern – minimum wage.

Obama believes that a fair day’s work should receive a fair wage. He wishes to raise the national minimum wage to nine dollars an hour. He has taken into perspective that nineteen states have decided to raise their minimum wage above the current seven dollars and twenty-five cents an hour. Obama appears to be quite determined to improve the middle class and their financial issues. He wishes to ensure that a middle class citizen can actually make a living and survive comfortably with a minimum wage salary. He is correct in stating that citizens should not have to wait years for a change to occur. It’s quite noticeable that a comfortable living is not cheap. Here is too much poverty. It is not fair for young adults to find themselves in debt before their careers have even started. Obama’s plan is to convince companies to hire more American employees to better our national workforce as a whole.

Overall, I feel that Obama is an eloquent and strong speaker. His presence appears confident. His tone expresses a sense of true concern for the citizens he oversees. His leadership may not always be valued or supported, but it is his words that can possibly change a citizen’s view. Speeches can be very powerful. America is a nation that was built upon actions but even stronger words.

“Don’t Ever Give Up”: Jim Valvano’s Inspiration

By Kenny Kirshner

Cancer strikes thousands of people each year. Yes, we do not have a cure and still do not really know how to stop it. But there is hope and we think there is progress to the ultimate goal, which is to end cancer as a whole. Hope was brought to thousands of athletes and millions of viewers on the night of March 3, 1993 in Los Angeles at the first ESPY awards.

Jim Valvano was the head basketball coach at North Carolina State, known for his remarkable celebration after an NCAA finals tournament win in 1983. Jim was diagnosed with bone cancer nine years later in 1992. Due to his illness and cancer-struck body, Valvano accepted the ESPY award for courage. Once on stage, he gave his tear-jerking speech that would touch millions of lives across the globe.

“To me, there are three things we all should do every day,” Valvano said. 

“We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week; you're going to have something special. Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever. I thank you and God bless you all."

The motto of Valvano’s speech was “Don’t Give Up, Don’t Ever Give Up.” Because of Valvano’s efforts and speech, the “JIMMY V” foundation was set up for cancer research and awareness.

After a strikeout one day, I looked up into the stands at my parents, my number one fans and supporters and thought: “I need to do this for myself, yes, but more importantly, I need to succeed for my parents.” So I took a seat on the bench and thought as the inning was progressing, “Don’t Give Up, Don’t Ever Give Up.” To this day, Valvano’s speech motivates me and probably thousands of other athletes that if you have hit rock bottom in life/sports, do not ever quit on yourself or the people that care about you the most. The hard work will pay off and everything will work out in the end. 

I can attest to hard work paying off in the long run. I was disgruntled and sick of going to baseball every day at Siena College. I decided it was time for change because I knew my playing days were not even close to being over. I found St. Thomas Aquinas College and STAC found me. I am now the starting first baseman for the Spartans and enjoying my best college season ever. Every day I think to myself and ask, “What if I did give up? Where would I be right now?” In large part due to Jim Valvano’s speech in March of 1993 and to my parents, I never gave up and never gave in.

Social Media Career Talk at STAC


St. Thomas Aquinas College
125 Route 340
Sparkill, NY 10976

Contact: Alyssa Ramirez
Email: aramirez12@stac.edu


Sparkill, NY – On April 10 at 7 pm in the Romano Student Center, The Communication Arts Department and the Advanced Public Relations class of St. Thomas Aquinas College will host a once in a lifetime event that will inform students on the many up and coming career opportunities in social media. Social Media: The Untapped Job Market will consist of a panel of speakers who are professionals, students, and faculty with an unparalleled expertise in this field.

In the wake of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., people continue to find themselves constantly glued to their screens throughout the day to display their lives and interests as well as keep in contact with friends, family, coworkers. Furthermore, more and more businesses are finding themselves on social media for branding and advertising. Millennials need to realize that they have an advantage: they are already skilled with these tools and can channel their passion for social media towards their profession.

“I am glad I get the opportunity to give my fellow students insight and advice on their future careers. Social media is such a big trend for organizations and being that I am a social media intern, I can help guide my classmates on what employers are looking for,” said Gabriella Delgado, a senior at St. Thomas Aquinas College and a panel speaker for the event.

Dr. John Durney, Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Communications, will moderate the event. Speakers include Rosemarie Monaco – President of Group M Inc. and adjunct professor at STAC, Kelly L. Campbell – President of Liqui-Site Designs, Inc., Gabriella Delgado – social media intern at Pyramid Management Group, Toni Wisniewski – Trade Marketing & Regional Community Manager for Metro PCS, and Karelisa Faulkner – Social Media Marketing Specialist at Liqui-Site Designs, Inc.

Students who are interested in learning about the future of the job market, becoming successful professionals, and learning about the future of communication are encouraged to attend. As if this wasn’t enough, the event is followed by a networking reception as well as free food and free raffle prizes!

-- Alyssa Ramirez

STAC Athletes Awards Dinner

Immediate Release

St. Thomas Aquinas College Athletic Program

Contact:: Brad Sarno
Email: bsarno@stac.edu

STAC Athletics Spring Award Banquet

Sparkill, NY- The St. Thomas Aquinas College athletic department is holding its annual awards banquet for spring athletes on April 23 at the Rockland Country Club in Sparkill, NY. 

The dinner is held to honor all of STAC’s Division II Spring athletes. Putting all these athletes in one place on one night is almost impossible, mainly because of their game and practice schedules during the season. This is why the athletic dinner is a great event; one that will bring all the athletes together for one night out of the year to honor them for their play and commitment to the STAC athletic program. Without them, there would be no program.

The cost of the dinner is $40 per person. All tickets must be paid for in advance; however, if there is seating available on the night of the dinner, tickets may be sold at the door. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to email Brad Sarno at bsarno@stac.edu.

-- Colleen Pagnani

R&B Artist Rihanna Coming to Brooklyn

For Immediate Release

Diamonds World Tour
Barclays Center
620 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Contact TicketMaster.com
(800) 745-3000

Get Ready to Shine Bright with Rihanna’s Diamond Tour

Rihanna is a Grammy award-winning artist known for her good music as well as her lovely hair styles. Rihanna is taking her talents and embarking on another tour around the world. All Brooklyn-Knights be prepared because Rihanna will soon be hitting the stage at the newly innovated Barclays Center; tour dates are scheduled for May 4 and May 5, 2013. Ticket prices range from $34.00 to 1,918.00. There are also special deals available but are listed at another price.

Seating will be available starting at the ground floor and stretching to the balcony; there are handicapped accessibility seating as well. A rap artist by the name of ASAP Rocky will also be presenting; not including other surprise guests.

-- Cinterra Lucas

Field Day at West Beach

For Immediate Release

Sound Beach Property Owners’ Association
Website/Email: www.sbpoa.org

SBPOA Field Day on July 20

Brookhaven, NY – The Sound Beach Property Owners’ Association will be hosting its annual Field Day event at West Beach on July 20. Events (for children and adults) include a greased watermelon and kayak race, an egg toss, face painting and raffles. SPBOA members will receive free membership and unlimited food and drink.

As the SBPOA website states, “Games, Races, Raffles, Refreshments! A whole day of shore side fun for kids (and grown ups too) in the summer sun! Admission to this fun-filled event is complimentary to all members.”

Field Day begins around 11 am and runs until 4 pm, but feel free to come as early and stay as late as you want at the beach. Make sure to bring sunscreen, money (for the raffles and 50/50), and your competitive edge! All members are encouraged to bring friends and family along with them.

-- Faye Forman

Monday, April 22, 2013

Social Media: The Untapped Job Market

For Immediate Release

Contact: STAC Communication Arts Department
Email: LDurney@stac.edu, RMonaco@stac.edu


Sparkill, NY – The Communication Arts Department presented “Social Media: The Untapped Job Market” on Wednesday, April 10, in the Romano Student Activity Center at St. Thomas Aquinas College. Th evening event was a discussion on career opportunities in the social media field. The panel featured professionals who work with social media at Metro PCS (Tony Wisniewski), Liquisite Designs (Kelly Campbell and Karelisa Falker), Group M (Rosemarie Monaco), and the Palisades Center (Gabriella Delgado).

This panel discussion gave students the opportunity to ask questions and receive knowledgeable answers from professionals who deal with social media every day. Immediately after the Q/A, students had an opportunity to network with the panelists. During the networking session, free food and prizes were available for all who attended. This event was created to encourage Communication Arts students to consider social media marketing/communication as a course of study and possibly a potential career path.

-- Roxie Farina

President Obama’s 2013 Inaugural Speech

By Cinterra Lucas

President Barack Obama gave his final inaugural speech on January 21, 2013, symbolically the same day as Dr. Martin Luther King Day. During the speech President Obama made some key points on what the United States needs to do to make sure we understand what makes us Americans. President Obama said “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights...”

“Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” is often repeated throughout this speech because he wants each citizen to understand that we all have the same rights. No one is superior or inferior to the next individual.

President Obama honored individuals who came before us, and paved the way for us to be where we are today. President Obama wants citizens to understand that our job is never done.There is always an opportunity for the United States as a nation to do better.

“The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob,” President Obama said. “They gave us a Republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed.” This is a very powerful statement, because those who came before us meant for us to keep these United States a safe place. We must make it our business to do just that.

Throughout the inaugural speech the word “together” was repeated. President Obama put emphasis on this idea of togetherness because he wants citizens of America to know that everything that the United States encounters involves them as well.  Following the repetitive words of together are “we determine”, “we discover”, and “we resolved”; this shows that not only will President Obama accomplish things and overcome incidents but we as a nation will.

This last message given by President Obama stood out for me the most. 

“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law - for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well,” he said. This statement shows that Obama stands for equality. No matter what an individual’s sexual preference is, we are all created equal. If anyone thinks otherwise then they know that we are all Americans and we want the same goal, which is for America to succeed as a nation.

STAC Baseball Game to Aid Wounded Veterans


CONTACT: Kenny Kirshner

STAC Baseball to Honor Veterans

The St. Thomas Aquinas Baseball team will be hosting their annual “Wounded Warrior Day” at Provident Bank Park in Pomona, NY on April 22 at 11 a.m. in a doubleheader vs. LIU POST. The two clubs will be sporting special camouflage hats. The hats, along with “Wounded Warrior” camouflage t-shirts, will be on sale at the game for $20 and all proceeds will go to the “Wounded Warrior Project” which helps Veterans that come home from war with aid they desperately need. STAC is also teaming up with fans, students, and faculty in a pledge that for every run the team scores against LIU POST, $1 will also be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project fund.

Just this past week in their series against Mercy College, STAC honored those battling or survivors of prostate cancer. The team wore baby blue stirrups and swung baby blue bats in honor of those who suffer from prostate cancer. For every hit STAC got in the four game series, $1 was donated to “Ed Randall’s Bat for a Cure” foundation.

STAC currently sits at 7-5 in the East Coast Conference and 18-10 overall, good enough for second place behind Dowling College. LIU POST remains .500 on the year in ECC play and 11-14 overall, finding themselves in fourth place in the conference.

--Kenny Kirshner

Monday, April 15, 2013

Nick Jonas Reveals His Struggle with Diabetes

By Stephanie Costantino  

March 11, 2007 was an important day for fans of the popular teen sensations The Jonas Brothers, and all of the people who attended the Carnival For A Cure event in New York City. Carnival For A Cure was an event to help fund raise for diabetes research. At this event, The Jonas Brothers’  youngest member, Nick Jonas, revealed something very near and dear to his heart.

After the band performed their acoustic hit “Hello Beautiful,” Nick,  14,  askied the people and kids in the room who had diabetes to raise their hands. After pausing to let those affected make themselves known, Nick raised his own hand, revealing that he too is a diabetic. Nick relayed a story to the audience of when he first noticed a year earlier that something was wrong.

“I started losing weight, I started drinking a lot of water all the time, and just had a really bad attitude. It wasn’t me,” he shared.  “My parents brought me to the doctor, and I found out that I had diabetes.”

Nick explained to the audience, for those who weren’t familiar, about his symptoms, stating that his blood sugar was over 700, and “normal is anywhere between 70 and 120.” Nick added, “finding out was crazy, because I really had no idea what it was. The first thing I asked was ‘am I going to die?’ And the doctor said ‘no, you’ll be fine but you have to go to the hospital.”

Nick told the audience how he learned how to manage his diabetes while on tour, stating that he was checking his blood sugar 12 times a day by taking shots. “It was getting hard to do the shots and manage all that, but then I heard about this new product they were coming out with called the Omni Pod. The Omni Pod changed my life.” Nick began to tell the audience what the Omni Pod did, but paused to show the audience instead by taking off his jacket and revealing a small, pod-like patch attached to his bicep, earning some screams and cheers from fans in the room.

Elaborating on the Omni Pod, Nick said, “It’s just a little thing that I wear that controls my blood sugar and helps me stay at a rate so that I could be here for you today. Without it, I don’t know where I would be.

 “My brothers were there for me the whole time, my parents, and all you guys were there, so thank you.” The crowd erupted into more cheers after being noted as part of Nick’s support system.

    “The day I was diagnosed I decided I wasn’t going to let this slow me down. I know all of you guys out there that have diabetes, you all have your own stories of how when you’re down, how you’re able to manage it, and I’m so blessed to be able to share mine with you today.

    “At the beginning, I was asking myself ‘Why me?’ and then I started asking ‘Why not me?’ I could be here today telling you guys that through all that I made it through, and I’m here today singing and having fun, and just to encourage you to keep it positive.

    “So, when you’re disappointed and you’re like, ‘Why do I have diabetes? Why is this happening?’ Just remember that it’s always an opportunity for you to make someone smile.”

After closing his speech by thanking his fans and the Diabetes Research Institute, Nick cued the band to play one of their more upbeat and positive songs, “Time For Me To Fly.” Ending the speech on a positive note and progressing into an uplifting and high spirited song gave those in the audience who were living and struggling with diabetes the encouragement to not let it slow them down.

Jim Valvano’s Immortal Speech

By Dan Longarino

Jim Valvano, also known as “Jimmy V” or “Coach V,” left quite the legacy when he passed. Valvano played college basketball for Rutgers, coached college basketball for over 19 years at North Carolina State, won a NCAA championship and maintained a successful career in sports broadcasting. While these feats should in no way be discounted, Valvano may perhaps be remembered most by his motivational speech to the world while accepting a Humanitarian Award during the 1993 ESPYS.

In June 1992, Valvano was diagnosed with bone cancer. Shortly after, he learned the cancer had metastasized and he would not live for much longer. Despite such tragic news, Jimmy V still took the stage that March during the ESPY awards. The ESPY’s are a sports award show and Valvano was being honored with the inaugural Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award. He proceeded to deliver an incredible, heart wrenching speech that would resonate in the minds of millions for years to come.

Holding nothing back, Coach V addressed his diagnosis with confidence and dignity. Valvano discussed how important his family was to him, urged the audience to enjoy their lives, stay positive and not be sad. He even joked around at points. For example when his speech began to run long he stated, “That screen is flashing up there thirty seconds, like I care about that screen right now, huh? I got tumors all over my body. I'm worried about some guy in the back going thirty seconds? You got a lot, hey va fa a napoli, buddy. You got a lot...”.
Valvano’s closing is perhaps the most memorable and moving parts of the whole night.  Before leaving the stage he states:

“Cancer can take away all my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever.”
Unfortunately, Jim Valvano passed away less than two months after giving that speech, but left behind a legacy. Years later people still re-listen to his words to find motivation and humility. Many find it incredible how a man facing certain death is able to stand in front of the world on national television, keep himself together and deliver such a powerful message. If you have not already heard it, go to Youtube and search for this speech. I challenge you to watch it without becoming emotionally invested. Whether you cry or have a new outlook on life, Jimmy V’s speech will live on for many years to come and influence anyone who listens.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Mad As Hell: Still a Timely Speech

By Alyssa Ramirez

There are many memorable speeches in noteworthy films that have significantly affected society throughout the ages. There aren’t many, however, that are as affective and as filled with excitement and emotion as the speech given by fictional news anchor Howard Beale (Peter Finch) in the film Network.

Beale delivers a “Mad as Hell” speech that embodies passion and outrage for the economy’s issues during that time and calls for the people to make a stand in society. His speech in this film went viral since its debut and the famous line “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore” can be recognized in many films and other media. Many also believe that this “Mad as Hell” speech eerily foretold the future of the Internet, reality television, and other current mainstream media outlets.

Network is a 1976 American satirical film about a fictional television network, UBS (Union Broadcasting System), and its struggle to remain relevant in the media when facing poor ratings. Howard Beale, the longtime anchor of the UBS Evening News, quickly turns the network upside down when he learns that his show will end due to poor ratings. On his last chance given by UBS to air live on television in order to bid farewell to his audience, Beale retaliates and begins to rant to his audience about the problems in life and how the people need to make a stand. 

This tirade became one of the most famous scenes in Network and one of the best movie speeches of all time.

The audience can practically feel Howard Beale’s emotional outrage during this speech. Raging with anger, Beale tells his audience that instead of sitting back and simply listening to media about all of the bad that happens every day, we need to get up and do something about it.  

Beale proclaims, “I’m not going to leave you alone. I want you to get mad...You’ve got to say ‘I’m a human being, goddamn it! My life has value!’” Peter Finch, the actor who plays the character of Howard Beale, delivers an outstanding performance that won him an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Actor.

Howard Beale’s “Mad as Hell” speech is one that remains pertinent in today’s pop culture. It is a speech that is full of life and emotion. It brings an important issue of distrust for the media to light and encourages people to think about the real purpose of the news that we see on the television. 

Instead of standing back and letting the days go by while learning of all the bad thing that happen each day, we all need to step out of our safe havens in order to make a change. We need to go to the window and yell out, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

Female Ink

By Faye Forman

On Thursday March 21, the author of Bodies of Subversion, Margot Mifflin came to St. Thomas Aquinas College to discuss the history and relevance of tattooed women. Bodies of Subversion was written, she said, to dispel common myths and prejudices society holds about women with tattoos.

Mifflin opened her presentation with a picture of Olive Oatman, the first documented western tattooed woman. Mifflin explained to a mixed crowd of students and professors that Oatman was captured and enslaved by a group of Native Americans in 1851. Oatman had distinct markings on her chin engraved by Yavapai Indians, early tattoos that symbolized captivity. After Oatman’s return to the white world at age 19, women have been emulating her story and crafting tattoos for publicity and money. Mifflin explores how, ever since the 1850’s, female pioneers have inked themselves in the name of feminism, rebellion, and even as a career.

As Mifflin shared various stories and examples of tattooed women over time, for example Ruth Weyland, Mildred Hill, and Edith Burchett. She explained that she personally does not have any tattoos. Mifflin rather focuses her attention and interest on the positives and negatives of tattooing. She explained through her writings for The New York Times, The New Yorker, Entertainment Weekly, and The Believer she is able to define the “self-determination” of women and the variety of feminist and anti-feminist tattoos she’s encountered.

In her updated edition of Bodies of Subversion (3rd Edition), Mifflin offers interesting statistics regarding the popularity of tattoos and their prevalence in certain age demographics. For example, as of 2011 a study shows 33% of women have tattoos while only 29% of men are inked, and 40% of women under the age of 40 are currently tattooed.

She also quickly noted the difference between women that are marked with demeaning tattoos versus those with empowering feminist symbols. She focused on one empowering story in particular of a woman in Ontario after going through a bilateral mastectomy. 

Inga Duncan Thornell’s photo of a beautifully intricate chest piece was controversially removed from Facebook, Mifflin explains, because it violated Facebook’s nudity policy. Thronell’s chest tattoo has been an inspiration to women who have undergone similar surgeries, and according to Thronell’s blog, “This tattoo was a collaboration between Tina Bafaro, the tattooist, and me to cover the scars from a bilateral mastectomy.  It took one Sunday a month over two and a half years to complete.”

Although Mifflin was only with us for a short 60 minutes, she aptly conveyed her work as an author and professor about the contemporary culture of female body art.

Women and Tattoo Culture

By Alyssa Hamilton

It’s not every day that a book enters its third printing with more information in each edit. It’s also not every day that you hear the history of women and tattoos.

To dispel myths and fight prejudices of women and tattooing was the objective of Bodies of Subversion, as explained by its author Margot Mifflin, when she gave a presentation at Saint Thomas Aquinas College on March 21. The presentation, which lasted for about an hour in Lougheed Library, went into some of the information in the book, accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation showing images of the tattoos she was referencing.

An author and journalist whose work appeared in The New York Times, Mifflin offered a perspective as a “critic of visual and women’s culture,” as she herself does not have any tattoos. She asked the question, “Tattoos reveal what?” Interestingly enough, they mostly reflected the culture of the time.

The history she explained began in the 1850s with Olive Oatman, the first documented white American woman to be tattooed, was captured by Native Americans and was tattooed as one of their own. Mifflin then went on to talk about how tattooed women were oftentimes part of the circus and used the body art, depicting religious or patriotic imagery, as means of making a living. It wasn’t until around the mid twentieth century that tattoos for women began to be done more for personal satisfaction than as a show attraction.

Mifflin also explained how Janis Joplin inspired more women to get tattoos and how Kat von D changed a lot of tattoo culture and its relationship with women seeing as she was, and still is to this day, a successful tattoo artist. Nowadays, tattoos are used to express self-governance contemporary women have, and the line between art and tattoos is blurring.

One of the most interesting points Mifflin made was when she admitted to using Facebook to gather some of her information. She found a relative of one of the early figures in female tattoo artists and managed to get exclusive information and photos of objects such as her tattoo kit. Using social media shows that, like tattooing, journalism has evolved to fit the tools and needs of the times. 

And so, as a student of both journalism and history, there was a lot to be learned in listening to Margot Mifflin.

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Message From An Historic President

By Elizabeth Flores                                     
When I think of a speech that has impacted not only myself but also America, I think of President Barack Obama’s acceptance speech in 2008 when he was first elected to the presidency. The fact that Barack Obama became the first African American president of the United States was an amazing accomplishment for a senator of Illinois, but his acceptance speech was also one of a kind and definitely became a milestone in American history.

He started his speech by thanking the candidates that accompanied him in his journey, including Hillary Clinton, who made it the farthest of them all. One of the most beautiful parts of his speech was about family; he thanked his wife, now first lady, Michelle Obama, as well as his young daughters Malia and Sasha, showing the importance of family and union.

He also spoke about his modest upbringing with his parents, a young man from Kenya and a young woman from Kansas. He said his parents believed that America was the place where he could achieve anything he set his mind to, giving us his personal experiences as well as devotion to our great nation. He acknowledged the fact that this county is built on hard work and sacrifice from each and every one of us, and that due to this we can build a better future for generations to follow.

The whole speech presented such a united front that made America’s problems sort of dissipate and leave listeners with hope and promise. He spoke about the challenges during the years of the presidency under George W. Bush. “America, we are better than these eight years. We are a better country than this,” President Obama said. Those words inspired me to once again believe in our great nation and its capability to achieve great things under an inspiring leader. Although many politicians are represented as untrustworthy, I truly believed every word spoken by our dear president which made me believe more in his plans for America and also in him.

This speech was the first speech I actually listened to instead of just hearing it. It is a speech that made history and made it known that America is made up of fighters and no matter what, we overcome, together.

Barack Obama: The "Fired Up" Speech

By Roxie Farina

When I hear the word speech, the first thing that comes to mind is a presidential speech. Throughout my adult life, there has only been one presidential speech that I will forever remember, and that is Barack Obama’s “Fired Up! Ready to Go!” speech.

When I first discovered this speech, it was around the time of his election to his second term as President of the United States. Obama made the speech in the city of Des Moines, Iowa, on Monday, November 5, 2012. He started out by giving some background information on how he ended up in South Carolina. He was campaigning there when he was introduced to the state representative. Obama began asking her for her endorsement, and she agreed, but under one circumstance – “I will give you my endorsement if you come to my hometown of Greenwood, South Carolina.” Obama agreed to visit her hometown and that is where his speech begins.

“We had been campaigning non-stop, traveling all through towns and having town hall meetings and shaking hands,” says Obama. They had just arrived around 1 o’clock in the morning in South Carolina, and he was exhausted. Just as he was about to call it a night, one of his staff members informed him that they had to be up and on the road by 6:30 a.m. After Obama says this, the crowd and he had a nice laugh, and he states that after all “I did make this promise to go to Greenwood, and its several hours away.”

Obama also explains to the people of Iowa that “he tries to keep his promises,” so a few hours later he woke up, even though he felt terrible, and headed to Greenwood, South Carolina. It was pouring rain from the moment he woke up, and as they were walking out to the car, his umbrella blows open and he gets soaked. As if being soaked for a long car ride wasn’t bad enough, he opens the paper and discovers a bad story about himself in the New York Times. Back then he admits that he was much more sensitive to bad stories, and the crowd laughs at Obama’s comment and he continues on by saying, “I’ve become more accustomed to these now.”

As they continue on their road trip, they realize that Greenwood is several hours away from everyplace else. “And so we drive, and we drive, and we drive, and we drive until we finally arrive in Greenwood.” They pull up to a small field house, and he walks in, and begins to look around. The state representative agreed to organize a meeting for Obama, but when he walks in he sees only 20 people, who are also wet and not so happy to see him. “But I’m running for President, so I do what I’m supposed to do – and I’m shaking hands and greeting people,” says Obama.

Suddenly he hears this voice from behind him yell: “Fired Up!” The audience replies, “Ready to go!” The President is very startled by this and he is confused as to what is going on. Everyone in this small room is acting as if this behavior is normal and continue to repeat “Ready to go!” after the city councilwoman shouts: “Fired up!” This lady was very famous throughout the area of Greenwood. “She goes to football games and when she goes to rallies and she goes to community events, she does this chant of hers. And for the next few minutes she keeps on saying “Fired up!” and the audience would respond “Ready to go!”

After hearing this chant carry on for a few minutes, Obama tells the Iowa crowd “that he started to feel fired up,” and the crowd laughs. “He feels like he’s ready to go, so he started to join in on the chant, along with his staff, and somehow they all begin to feel pretty good.” After the chant, they discuss the lives of people who attended the meeting, their life problems and also their hopes for their kids and their grandkids. Then they wrap up the meeting and head back to their hotel, and even though it is still raining, “it doesn’t seem so bad, and for the rest of the day even after we left Greenwood, even though we still weren’t getting any big crowds anyplace, even though people still couldn’t pronounce my name, I felt good,” said Obama.

Throughout the rest of his campaign Obama would ask his staff, “Are you fired up?” and they would respond, “Ready to go!” At this moment in his speech, the crowd of Iowa began to applaud and praise Obama, and to me this moment in his speech is when the Iowa citizens admire Obama for all his hard work and dedication.

Towards the end of Obama’s speech, he tells the crowd that he invited Edith Childs, the lady from Greenwood, South Carolina, to one of his last campaigns to do this chant. Edith was extremely honored that he offered to fly her up from South Carolina, but she responded by saying, “I’d love to see you, but I think we can still win North Carolina, so I’m taking a crew to knock on doors on Election Day – I don’t have time just to be talking about it. I’ve got to knock on some doors.” After this the audience applauded, but Obama continues to tell them what Edith says, “I’m still fired up, but I’ve got work to do.”

This shows you what one voice can accomplish. “One voice can change a room. And if it can change a room, it can change a city. And if it can change a city, it can change a state. And if it can change a state, it can change a nation. And if it can change a nation, it can change the world,” says Obama, and the audience roars with excitement and applause.

Before ending this speech, Obama tells the crowd in Iowa, “in 2008 your voice changes the world, and Edith asked me to ask you: “Are you fired up?” The audience replies, “Ready to go!” and this chant continues on for about a minute and Obama concludes his speech by thanking the people of Iowa and reminding them that “the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth.”

Miracle on Ice: The Speech that Upturned the Hockey World

By Colleen Pagnani   

Some say it was the most motivational speech ever given, right before the most important American sporting event ever played. It was February 1980 in Lake Placid, NY, and the United States Olympic hockey team was set to play the greatest team to ever set foot on ice--the Soviet Union. The speech was a locker room pep talk by the late, great Herb Brooks, coach of what the world now knows as the ‘Miracle on Ice’ hockey team.

At the time of the Olympics, America was struggling economically, with Iran  holding American citizens hostage. But all their worries seemed to fade away on a Friday night in upstate New York on February 22, 1980. Although there is no video showing Brooks’ speech, the reenactment of it in the movie Miracle is as close as it gets to the real thing.

“One game,” Brooks said, was all it took to beat the Soviets and shock the world. “If we played ‘em ten times, they might win nine. But not this game. Not tonight.” At the time, the United States only sent amateurs to the Olympic games, not professionals, unlike the Russians. So, on that Friday night no one expected a bunch of college kids, some still teenagers, to beat a team full of grown men, many who had multiple Olympic medals to their name. Herb Brooks made sure that his players knew that they only had one shot to get this thing right.

After all the hard work they put in making it that far in the tournament, the only thing that could prevent them from winning the game was themselves: Herb Brooks made sure his guys knew that. He also made sure that this “great opportunity” was not looked past, for they would regret it for the rest of their lives if they lost and even “take it to [their] grave.” They earned the privileged to play in that game, so now it was time to
prove to the world that they deserved to win it.

The best part about the whole thing was that it was not the gold medal game; they still had one more left as long as they beat the Soviets. Not only did they listen to Brooks’ motivational words, but they also won the Gold medal, bringing together a nation whose citizens were at a low point in pride in their nation

Herb Brooks was known to people, especially his players, as a very passionate man, in life and on the ice, who was not afraid to speak his mind. The 1980 speech prior to the Soviet game was not his only one, it was just the most effective and memorable. He proved to the world that a group of American college kids had the skills and mindset to beat a team that was better than them on any other night than that night in Lake Placid. 

Just like he said in his speech, they were “the greatest hockey team in the world.” That night, not only did he believe in his team, but he also taught a nation to believe again.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Steve Jobs: The Man Who Changed the World

By Colleen Pagnani

On October 5, 2011 the world mourned the loss of Steve Jobs, a man who changed the world as co-founder and C.E.O of Apple Inc. His intelligence and extraordinary ability to be creative in ways most people never thought of left a mark on the technological world forever.

As an American entrepreneur and inventor, Jobs is survived by his biological mother, his sister Mona, his wife Laurene, and their three children Erin, Reed, and Eve.

At the young age of 56, Jobs passed away as a result of respiratory arrest related to a metastatic tumor from a cancer he had been fighting for a few years. For over 37 years, Jobs was a technological pioneer and revolutionized the world from the United States to Norway and onto Japan and China. 

Besides helping to develop one of the first personal computers--the Apple--some of his Apple company's inventive products include the iPhone, Mac computers, and iPods. It’s pretty hard to imagine life without these physical objects, which appear small, but have the extraordinary purpose of expanding things like communication. He made long-distance friendships and relationships easier with the products he invented, which even allow people to communicate through video-chat overseas.

For years to come, Jobs will always be remembered, and without him it’s almost as if a generation has ended. To many, Jobs changed the world of technology just as Michael Jackson changed music. Throughout his short life, he touched the lives of many, even President Obama, who characterized Jobs as a man who “exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity.”

At the end of the day, a man as effective as Jobs was makes people wonder what life would be like if he never existed. Fans can do nothing but be thankful for such a creative genius.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Nation Mourning Death of American Hero

By Dan Longarino
Where to start when remembering Dan Longarino? Perhaps one of the most iconic individuals in world history, Longarino finally lost his battle with time, passing away last night at the age of 105.

Longarino's legacy began in 2013 when he was only twenty years old and he single-handedly saved the world from a nuclear war. After several threats to the United States from North Korea, Longarino flew into the country and intimidated leader Kim Jong-Un to dismantle all nuclear weapons and stand down as supreme leader.

Others might remember Longarino as a result of his presidency from 2030-2038, during which he came up with a budget plan that got the U.S out of debt, dropped the unemployment percentage to .01% and led the campaign for the World Peace Treaty which was signed by all countries in 2037. When Congress offered to change the Constitution to allow Longarino to run for a third term, he respectfully declined.

After his term ended, Longarino took Hugh Hefner's place as owner of the Playboy mansion. He enjoyed the rest of his years there, meeting several of his wives at the mansion and settling down. Unfortunately, time catches up to all of us and he passed away in the mansion last night.

While Longarino was frozen with the hopes of one day being revived, his life will be celebrated at a few different locations. Tonight a private wake will be held at the mansion for family and close friends only. Tomorrow a funeral service will be held at the White House and will be broadcasting world wide on every channel. Many world leaders are expected to say a few words in his honor.

Longarino's closest family and friends have stated that he would not want people mourning his death, but celebrating his life. As a result, as of this morning, the White House has declared March 26 Longarino Day, where all businesses and schools will be closed and a parade will be held in his honor. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Spring Break Road Trip

By Roxie Farina

What better way is there to start your spring break then by taking a road trip? Well, that’s just what I did to kick off my spring break! After my last class on Thursday, March 7, my friends Jess, Shay and I packed the car and headed to North Carolina. Our best friend Cayce is currently enrolled at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. We all have grown up together and also attended high school with one another, so having her live so far away gave us the perfect opportunity to spend our spring break with her.

North Carolina is about ten hours away from New York, but we managed to make it there in about nine hours. Since we left early in the day we did not hit any traffic, which also helped the drive not feel as tedious. As we crossed over into each state, we would take a picture of the sign welcoming us to that state, which brought us closer and closer to our final destination! It was around eight at night when we finally arrived in Wilmington, North Carolina. 

We all jumped out of the car as Cayce greeted us with a big smile and a hug! When we opened the door to Cayce’s apartment we were all in awe. She lives in a three bedroom apartment and each bedroom included a walk in closet and a bathroom with a shower. We were all shocked at how cheap it was to have your own apartment down south.

After arriving and touring her apartment we all unpacked, relaxed and began to prepare ourselves for the next few days. It has been over eight months since we have all partied together, so we knew we were in for a good time! The first night we went to a bar called Liquid Room in downtown Wilmington. Downtown is only about ten minutes away from campus and Cayce’s apartment so the cab ride wasn’t long. We met a lot of her friends and had a really great time.

The next morning we woke up early and decided to tour her campus and the downtown shopping scene. UNCW is a large campus so we only stopped to see a few different buildings and parks, but all in all, it was a very nice campus. Downtown looked a lot different during the day then it did the night before. We went into many shops and sampled food from several different restaurants. I’ve never seen such a small area have so many different food choices.

After shopping and touring we met a few more of Cayce’s friends and patiently awaited the arrival of our friend John. John’s nickname is Waffles and he is originally from our hometown in New York, but currently he is stationed at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville in the Marines.

After he arrived we headed out to a bar called Sputnik. We all had a blast the second night and were so excited to finally be reunited with Cayce and Waffles. My friend Jessica was also very excited because Waffles is her brother, who she hasn’t seen since December. A lot of the bars close around 2 am, which is early compared to the bars in New York, so we decided to grab some food at this place called Cookout. Anything you could think of for under $3.00. After trying about everything on the menu we decided it was time to head back to Cayce’s apartment and call it a night.

For our third and last night of going out we decided to go back downtown and try a bar called Level 5. This bar was located on the fifth floor of the building, which was also the rooftop. During the summer they unzip the huge screen they had set up which allows you to enjoy a nice, warm summer night. We stayed inside because it was still cold at night but normally Cayce and her friends go for some drinks outside. Level 5 was definitely a fun place to spend our last night and I’m glad I was able to experience the club scene in Wilmington.

For our last day in North Carolina we toured Waffles’ Marine base. I was very excited to finally see where my friend had been living for the past two years! This was also my first time touring a military base and seeing how things worked. Waffles showed us where he works and all the different types of machines they have on base. This was definitely one of my favorite parts of our road trip. After touring the base we headed back to Cayce’s apartment and cooked dinner. We decided to do a taco night and relax in before our long drive back to New York.

The alarm was set for 7 am and we were on the road by 8 am Monday morning. We arrived in New York shortly after 5 pm and we were sad to be home. Taking a road trip was a great experience and since we had such a great time we are already planning a second trip back down to see Cayce and Waffles this summer. I’m glad we decided to visit North Carolina and see the place where my friends are living. It’s sad that they are far away, but it’s comforting knowing that they are surrounded by people who love them and friends that care.