All posts by Michael Parascandola

A Call to Action: Increased Engagement for our Graduating Seniors

The Dean’s Office, in collaboration with the Macaulay Scholars Council, is launching a new initiative to enhance the experience of our graduating seniors, all of whom were in their freshman year when the COVID-19 pandemic began. Because of the disruption to their in-person learning, this year’s seniors would otherwise graduate from Macaulay without receiving the full benefits of our engaged community. We are calling on the entire community to help us change that.


The Dean’s Office at Macaulay Honors College awards grants to enhance community-building and collaborative learning for graduating seniors. Projects and activities must contribute to our college mission by providing students with a powerful, memorable, experiential learning event, exemplifying Macaulay’s approach to engaged, real-world, collaborative pedagogies, encourage seniors to identify and plan elements of their Macaulay education that they will continue into their future educational and career plans, or introduce them to a new status—that of Macaulay alumni who are connected to the college, committed to its future, and cognizant of the advantages it has provided to them.

Grants may fund activities that involve groups of seniors and are not limited to in-class events. Given the vast impact of the pandemic on the social and emotional wellbeing of our seniors, we are especially interested in creative, fun, and engaging experiences. Activities that include some element of experiential learning or mentoring with alumni or special guests are welcomed. Though not required, we encourage applicants to explore opportunities for cross-campus collaborations and will increase budgets accordingly if submitted by two or more campuses.

All Macaulay Honors Directors, advisors, staff, and faculty are eligible to apply, regardless of whether your job function is related to your proposed idea. Awards cannot be used to fund equipment unless of direct benefit to the graduating senior experience you are proposing.

The Dean’s Office will award up to $15,000 in the Spring 23 award cycle, either as a multi-campus award or as several smaller awards, depending on the applicant pool. The goal is to distribute these resources across the community. As such, we recommend budgets of up to $2500 if the proposed activity does not involve a multi-campus collaboration. Awards will only be granted for activities that take place in Spring 23.

Enhanced Activities for Graduating Seniors Information Form

Deadline: December 29th, 2022
Questions? Contact Dara Byrne, Dean, at

Macaulay-Misfits Market Recipe Challenge


Three randomly selected culinary creators will each receive a box of Misfits Market groceries (valued at $35), a $100 Misfits Market gift card, and a chance to use a state-of-the-art test kitchen at Lehman College.

No experience necessary! The Student Wellness Committee of Macaulay’s Parents’ Council and online grocer Misfits Market have partnered to launch the Macaulay-Misfits Market Recipe Challenge to encourage student wellness. We invite you to submit a healthy, delicious recipe.

Hungry? Join the challenge now! Deadline for submissions is: Tuesday, November 29th!


See complete rules below.

Macaulay-Misfits Market Recipe Challenge!

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    Open to current Macaulay students only. No purchase necessary. Three randomly selected recipe submissions will be chosen by the taste-testing panel from all those submitted by the deadline of November 29th.  Selected recipes will be announced by the end of the month, and the creators will be notified via email.  The taste-testing panel will consist of representatives from Macaulay staff and student body, Misfits Market, and Macaulay’s Student Wellness Committee (of the Parents’ Council). Selected students will be invited to re-create their recipes in the professional test kitchen at Lehman College. Recipes, images, and instructions become property of Macaulay Honors College and may be used to promote the challenge or future student activities. Contact Macaulay Parent Liaison with questions.

    TIP: The ideal recipes (which can be vegan, vegetarian, meat- or fish-based) would include complete proteins, high fiber, and omega-3 fats. These dishes will be naturally colorful, richly textured, and low in added sugar.

    Complete Protein
    Protein is comprised of 20 kinds of amino acids; 11 of these amino acids are produced by the human body. For good health, we must get the other nine amino acids (called “essential amino acids“) from the foods we eat. When a food contains all 9 of these amino acids, it is called a “complete protein.”

    Which foods contain complete protein?

    1. Animal proteins:
      For example: fish, poultry, meat, eggs, dairy
    2. Plant-based sources:
      For example: Quinoa, Buckwheat, Hempseed, Chia  Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Soybeans
    3. Combinations of incomplete, plant-based proteins:
      Beans with nuts or seeds
      Beans with whole grains
      Nuts or Seeds with whole grains

    Omega 3 Fats
    Omega-3 fatty acids are an important type of fat that the body needs but cannot make on its own- this makes them an“essential fat”, which needs to be gotten from foods. Oily fish are the best food source of omega-3 fatty acids. Some plants also contain omega-3 fatty acids. Grass fed meat, fortified eggs and dairy, seaweed and algae (chlorella, spirulina) can also be some good sources.

    Which foods are richest in omega 3 fats:

    1. Fish
      For example: Mackerel, Salmon, Sardines, Anchovies
    2. Plant sources
      For example: Walnuts, Flax Seed Chia Seeds, Hemp Seeds

    Dietary fiber is found in plant foods – mainly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. While fiber is a part of the plant your body can’t digest or absorb- it plays a critical role in health including encouraging proper digestion, preventing constipation, helping to lower cholesterol, balancing blood sugar, feeding the good bacteria in your intestines, and more. Fiber can be classified as soluble and insoluble. A variety of both is most important. You get variety of both by eating a wide variety of plant foods.

    Foods rich in fiber:

    • Whole-grain products
    • Fruits
    • Vegetables
    • Beans, peas and other legumes
    • Nuts and seeds

    Refined or processed foods — such as canned fruits and vegetables, pulp-free juices, white breads and pastas, and non-whole-grain cereals — are lower in fiber. The grain-refining process removes the outer coat (bran) from the grain, which lowers its fiber content. Enriched foods have some of the B vitamins and iron added back after processing, but not the fiber.

    Low added sugar
    The average American adult consumes approximately 77 grams of sugar per day.  That’s equivalent to about 19 teaspoons a day (1 teaspoon has about about 4g). What’s the problem with this? The American Heart association recommends eating half this amount or less. Regularly eating excessive sugar can lead to diabetes, heart disease, obesity, concentration difficulty, mood fluctuations, poor sports performance, ongoing inflammation and more.

    Many foods including fruits, some vegetables and dairy products naturally have sugar in them. When you consume these foods in their natural form, they come along with other useful nutrients like vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber. These help ensure that your body is using the sugar in the most efficient way.

    Added sugars are those that are artificially added to a product during its processing or preparation, before packaging or serving.These are most often the biggest culprit in exceeding a reasonable amount.

    Where added sugar can be found:
    Pastries, candy, breads, cereals, sports bars, sauces, yogurts, many bottled or canned drinks (ex. sodas, bottled teas, sports drinks), granolas, nut butters, nut moxes, jellies, flavored items, and in many many more foods. Even some foods promoted as “natural” or “healthy” are laden with added sugars.

    You can find out how much sugar is added by reading the label on the packaging or description for the item you plan to use. Most labels will have a section that says “added sugar”. We suggest trying to limit the amount of added sugar for your dish to a max 6 grams per serving.

    While natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup have health benefits, using too much at a time (since they are concentrated sources) can add up- so if utilizing them be thoughtful in how much you use.

    Please avoid using very refined (ex. high fructose corn syrup) or artificial sweeteners (ex. sweet n low) at all.

    Naturally colorful
    Try to make your dishes as colorful as possible. The colors in your dishes should come from foods themselves not artificial chemical colors.

    New Plaza Cinema Finds New Home at Macaulay Honors College

    New Plaza Cinema and Macaulay Honors College


    Partnership Allows For Expansion of New Plaza’s Commitment to Film Education While Continuing To Screen Independent, Foreign and Classic Movies In The Tradition of Lincoln Plaza Cinemas

    New Plaza Cinema, the reboot of the historic and beloved Lincoln Plaza Cinema whose doors closed in January 2018, is thrilled to announce a partnership with Macaulay Honors College of the City University of New York (35 West 67th Street) beginning early October, exhibiting independent, foreign and classic films on weekends in their 72 seat screening room. The association aligns with New Plaza’s educational component and supplements its already robust virtual and in-person lectures and talkbacks.

    New Plaza Cinema at Macaulay Honors College will open on Friday, September 30th.  Films will include the acclaimed documentaries Fire of Love (both an Oscar contender and top grossing doc of 2022) and Three Minutes – A Lengthening, as well as other top new foreign titles including The Good Boss (Spain), Taming the Garden, (Georgia), Hold Me Tight, from director-actor Mathieu Amalric and Oscar nominee Vicky Krieps and 1982 (Lebanon) with Director Oualid Mouaness in attendance for the first TalkBack in the new venue.

    Pricing and ticket purchasing details are available on the New Plaza Cinema website:

    New Plaza Cinema has kept the spirit of the beloved arthouse alive as a non-profit with a groundswell of support from former patrons for over four years, offering quality film experiences inclusive of after-screening discussions with filmmakers and industry experts. Since its post-pandemic re-opening, NPC has hosted Academy Award®-nominated director Stanley Nelson, New York Times Critic and Film Historian Jason Bailey, Filmmaker Lisa Hurwitz (The Automat), and filmmaker Ferne Pearlstein (The Last Laugh), among many others.

    At the same time, New Plaza has also delivered over 100 virtual events with over 12,000 registrants, and has developed a loyal following with 100-150 participants per event. Resident Film Historian Max Alvarez, Filmmaker and Professor Daniel Cahill, and Author Steven C. Smith have been joined by the likes of Melissa Newman (daughter of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward) and Julie Garfield (daughter of John Garfield), to name just a few.

    New Plaza Cinema and Macaulay Honors College will work with students to help further their interests and careers in film and the arts with multiple areas of collaboration available.

    Upper Manhattan, with a population of over 750,000, has seen other cinemas close their doors, leaving most surviving art film venues in Manhattan south of 14th Street. At the Macaulay Honors College, New Plaza Cinema is back to satisfy the cultural and entertainment needs of the large customer base that filled the six Lincoln Plaza screens, year after year.

    “This is a terrific opportunity for New Plaza Cinema to return to screening top foreign and independent films in the neighborhood of our late, lamented Lincoln Plaza, in a first-rate venue,” said Gary Palmucci, New Plaza Cinema’s Film Curator and General Manager.

    “This is an important new relationship for Macaulay,” said Macaulay Dean Dara N. Byrne. “And we’re thrilled that our students will be able to see firsthand how activism in support of a shared passion can sustain a community in the long term.”


    Abbe Harris, New Plaza Cinema

    Kathryn Lineberger, Macaulay External Relations 


    Celebrate your Macaulay Senior

    Make a gift in their honor and leave a special note in the comment section.

    You must be so proud as your student approaches this monumental milestone. Graduating from college is always an important achievement, but the COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for Macaulay students—and students the world over—as they grapple with the normal stresses of their academic journeys.

    Macaulay shares your pride and wishes you many moments of joy in the coming months.


    50 Tips to Get Your Dream Job

    Watching these 50 tips will help you understand key things you must do to get your dream job. The more tips you make use of the more likely you will succeed. Also, be sure to access the resources of Macaulay’s Career Development Office, including working with staff to review your resume and cover letter, answer questions, and role play common interview questions with you.

    Produced by the Career Development Committee of Macaulay’s Parents’ Council.