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The New York Times: "Instagram Is Now a Dating Platform, Too. Here’s How to Navigate It."

12/21/2017

Instagram Is Now a Dating Platform, Too. Here’s How to Navigate It (The New York Times)

How to survive the wasteland that is post-breakup Instagram

Unfortunately, Instagram is not all romance and daisies. In some cases, rather than serving as a conduit for an attraction, Instagram is a reminder of what is gone.

When Mr. Forgione began dating his current flame, his ex-boyfriend started paying a lot of attention to his Stories and his feed. “The level of him creeping on me was out of control, to the point that he texted asking me, ‘Who is your new boyfriend?’” he said. “The guy I’m seeing has posted things about me and just from him doing that and tagging me, I’ve seen on my Stories guys who follow him looking at my stuff,” he said. “People are creeping on him and then creeping on me.”

Not that Mr. Forgione is above checking up on his exes. “After an ex and I broke up, of course I was crazy stalking him,” he said. But, he added, “I didn’t want him to see that I was looking at his videos.” So he used a co-worker’s fake Instagram account to see what his ex was up to.

And he is not alone. “I add a guy on my fake account even before we break up,” Mr. Yau said. “As soon as I know things are going south, I’ll add him. I have a fake account that all my exes are on. And I have two exes watching my Stories on their fake accounts.” Why look? “I delete them [from my main account] to make a statement: ‘I don’t want to keep up with your life anymore,’” Mr. Yau said. “But I believe that knowledge is power,” Mr. Yau said. “Even if it makes me feel crappy, I still want to know.”

“The only person you want to be in that much pain with when you’re breaking up is the person you’re breaking up with, so maybe there’s some impetus to look at their page to gauge how they’re doing and look for some sign that they’re also feeling bad,” said Leora Trub, an assistant professor of psychology at Pace University and a clinical psychologist.

Michel Kobbi, 27, a marketing manager from Montreal, offered a more positive take. “Seeing the new life in pictures helps bring a certain closure,” Mr. Kobbi said. “Then I know I’m totally fine with the relationship ending and I think it ends with another layer of healthiness to it. It’s really turning the page for both people.”

Other social media platforms have had similar effects, but Instagram is massive (just Stories has nearly twice as many users as Snapchat does), and other pervasive platforms, such as Facebook, are not as dominated by daily, visual updates. Nor, frankly, are they considered as cool as Instagram. “I obviously have Facebook, but I rarely, rarely use it,” Mr. Forgione said. “Your grandmother’s on it.”

As with real-life breakups, each person will have a unique experience. “How we interpret it is totally idiosyncratic,” Mr. Keller said. “It could be, ‘They’re having such a great time’ or ‘They must be really compensating for how sad they are.’”

“People are giving themselves just enough information to come to conclusions about how that person doing that have more to do with how they’re perceiving how that person is doing rather than how they’re actually doing,” Ms. Trub said.

And therein lies the final lesson: Instagram is a window, but also a facade. “The truth is you can’t look at someone’s Instagram account and know how they’re feeling,” Ms. Trub said.

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News12: "New Rochelle lets homeowners prepay taxes before tax overhaul"

12/20/2017

New Rochelle lets homeowners prepay taxes before tax overhaul (News12)

In the new legislation, tax experts say many blue state homeowners, including New Yorkers, could see a tax hike because their state, local and property tax deductions are being capped. Starting next year, deductions for state and taxes will be limited to $10,000.

New Rochelle residents were lined up Tuesday at the city's tax office to prepay both school taxes and annual city taxes before the new federal tax bill becomes law next year.

Pace University tax professor Phil Cohen says paying 2018 taxes now may not be a bad idea.

“It’s worth investigating because you're going to lose that deduction if you attempt to take it in 2018, because it’s capped at $10,000. In 2017, you have a potential window of opportunity,” he says.

New Rochelle officials insist they are not guaranteeing a windfall to homeowners who pay their taxes early. They simply want to offer it as an option.

Officials say residents should consult an accountant before they pay their bill to make sure it makes sense for them.

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Wired: "The Digital Puppy That Keeps Seniors Out of Nursing Homes"

12/19/2017

The Digital Puppy That Keeps Seniors Out of Nursing Homes (Wired)

...The fastest growth would come through hospital units and health plans specializing in high-need and elderly patients, and he makes the argument that his avatars cut health care costs. (A private room in a nursing home can run more than $7,500 a month.) Preliminary research has been promising, though limited. In a study conducted by Pace University at a Manhattan housing project and a Queens hospital, CareCoach’s avatars were found to reduce subjects’ loneliness, delirium, and falls. A health provider in Massachusetts was able to replace a man’s 11 weekly in-home nurse visits with a CareCoach tablet, which diligently reminded him to take his medications. (The man told nurses that the pet’s nagging reminded him of having his wife back in the house. “It’s kind of like a complaint, but he loves it at the same time,” the project’s lead says.) Still, the feelings aren’t always so cordial: In the Pace University study, some aggravated seniors with dementia lashed out and hit the tablet. In response, the onscreen pet sheds tears and tries to calm the person.

More troubling, perhaps, were the people who grew too fiercely attached to their digi­tal pets. At the conclusion of a University of Washington CareCoach pilot study, one woman became so distraught at the thought of parting with her avatar that she signed up for the service, paying the fee herself. (The company gave her a reduced rate.) A user in Massachusetts told her caretakers she’d cancel an upcoming vacation to Maine unless her digital cat could come along.

We’re still in the infancy of understanding the complexities of aging humans’ relationship with technology. Sherry Turkle, a professor of social studies, science, and technology at MIT and a frequent critic of tech that replaces human communication, described interactions between elderly people and robotic babies, dogs, and seals in her 2011 book, Alone Together. She came to view roboticized eldercare as a cop-out, one that would ultimately degrade human connection. “This kind of app—in all of its slickness and all its ‘what could possibly be wrong with it?’ mentality—is making us forget what we really know about what makes older people feel sustained,” she says: caring, interpersonal relationships. The question is whether an attentive avatar makes a comparable substitute. Turkle sees it as a last resort. “The assumption is that it’s always cheaper and easier to build an app than to have a conversation,” she says. “We allow technologists to propose the unthinkable and convince us the unthinkable is actually the inevitable.”

But for many families, providing long-term in-person care is simply unsustainable. The average family caregiver has a job outside the home and spends about 20 hours a week caring for a parent, according to AARP. Nearly two-thirds of such caregivers are women. Among eldercare experts, there’s a resignation that the demographics of an aging America will make technological solutions unavoidable. The number of those older than 65 with a disability is projected to rise from 11 million to 18 million from 2010 to 2030. Given the option, having a digital companion may be preferable to being alone. Early research shows that lonely and vulnerable elders like Jim seem content to communicate with robots. Joseph Coughlin, director of MIT’s AgeLab, is pragmatic. “I would always prefer the human touch over a robot,” he says. “But if there’s no human available, I would take high tech in lieu of high touch.”

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University World News: "Iran, Saudi Arabia vie for influence over Afghan HE"

12/18/2017

Iran, Saudi Arabia vie for influence over Afghan HE (University World News)

..."On ethical grounds, one might argue that higher education – especially in countries like Afghanistan which are still in their infancy for true socio-economic and political reforms – must remain above the politicisation of ‘soft cultural powers’,” David Rahni, an Iranian professor of chemistry at Pace University in New York, told University World News. 

"And yet, due to a lack of sustained and robust independent NGOs and fact-driven think tanks, it is inevitable that certain professors, if not for anything else but for bolstering their accolades and sustenance, will engage in this venture." 

William Rugh, another former US diplomat, now a professor of public diplomacy at Northeastern University in the US, and former president of AMIDEAST, a non-governmental organisation that works on educational and training projects throughout the Middle East, says: "Responsible Afghans should stand up for independent and fair education that serves the interests of Afghan society by providing objective and balanced learning free from political influence. 

"Outsiders can be supportive, but I believe it is the Afghan people who have the primary responsibility for maintaining a useful educational system," Rugh said. 

Mabon agreed. He said: "Educational establishments should be free from political agendas, particularly when these can be divisive, not only among students, but the wider local communities.

"As Saudi Arabia and Iran continue to spread their rivalry across the Islamic world, they should remember the price that exporting such views will have."

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The Irish Times: "Inside Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago: The Winter White House"

12/18/2017

Inside Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago: The Winter White House (The Irish Times)

...Larry Chiagouris, professor of marketing at the Lubin School of Business in Pace University, New York, believes the Trump brand has benefitted from the presidency.

“One of the first principles in branding is to make sure that people know your name, that people are aware of you. Before he became president, a certain percentage of people knew Donald Trump; now that he’s president almost everyone is aware of who he is. Whether you like him or dislike him – and the world is split – there is no doubt that Donald Trump has a higher brand recognition than anyone on the planet.”

But while the Trump name continues to have commercial caché abroad, particularly in the Middle East and Asia, domestically there are growing signs the Trump brand may be hurting.

The Trump SoHo hotel in Lower Manhattan has recently become the latest property to demand the removal of the Trump brand. Three residential buildings in the city also voted to abolish the Trump name. Similarly, the Trump International Hotel in Toronto reached a financial agreement with the Trump Organisation to remove the Trump name and will reopen as a St Regis.

The Trump Organisation itself has also opted to omit its founder’s name on two new hotel lines that are being launched this year in Mississippi, which are being marketed under the names “Scion” and “American Idea”.

There are signs that Trump’s daughter Ivanka’s fashion brand may be feeling the heat domestically, though her stock continues to rise abroad. Earlier this year, upmarket department store Nordstrom announced it would discontinue her brand at its stores, prompting an outburst by her father on Twitter,who said Ivanka had been treated “so unfairly” by Nordstrom.

Ivanka, who works for her father in the White House and controversially took his place during a G20 meeting in Hamburg earlier this year, has argued she has taken steps to distance herself from her business interests, absenting herself from day-to-day management. Her company’s assets are now run by “independent” trustees – her sister-in-law and brother-in-law.

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The Chronicle of Higher Education: "What Is This ‘Even’?"

12/18/2017

What Is This ‘Even’? (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

When I last addressed the word even, in 2013, it had already migrated from its accustomed function as an adverb in such sentences as “I can’t even move this suitcase, much less pick it up” or “Even vegetarians sometimes have a hankering for bacon.” The Oxford English Dictionary elegantly gives this traditional meaning as:

Intimating that the sentence expresses an extreme case of a more general proposition implied (=French même). Prefixed … to the particular word, phrase, or clause, on which the extreme character of the statement or supposition depends.

By the time of my post, the word had for some time established itself — in expressions like “What does that even mean?” “I don’t even know you,” and “Is that even a thing?” — as, in Mark Liberman’s formulation, a “purely emphatic” intensifier. I noted that it had migrated “to an unexpected part of the sentence, so that is ostentatiously not ‘prefixed … to the particular word, phrase, or clause’ it has to do with.”

Four and half years on, there are some new things to say. Well, one is an old thing — in the original post, I somehow neglected the expression, “I can’t even,” which had gotten its first Urban Dictionary definition in 2010 (sic throughout):

Yes thoes three words are a sentence a full sentence, well only on tumblr. is often used when something is either too funny, scary, cute, to have a good reaction too.

girl: “it was so awkward”
girl2: “OMFG AHAHAHA I CAN’T EVEN”

Its popularity peaked in late 2013, some months after my post (which is my unconvincing excuse for whiffing on it). In October of that year, according to the Know Your Meme website,

the Tumblr blog TheBunionPaper published a satirical news article titled “Rich Girl in Dining Hall Can’t Even,” accumulating upwards of 1,900 notes in seven months. On November 20th, the feminist culture blog The Toast published an article about Internet linguistics, which described the meaning of the expression “I have lost all ability to can.” On January 26th, 2014, country music singer Kacey Musgraves repeated the phrase “I can’t even” during her acceptance speech for Best Country Album at the 2014 Grammy Awards.

Not surprisingly, Liberman and his Language Log colleagues have been all over “I can’t even.”

Know Your Meme credibly traces the expression to the earlier-emerging, “I don’t even,” which it cites first in a 2007 message board. However, three years before that, Regina used it in the movie Mean Girls: “She’s so pathetic. Let me tell you something about Janis Ian. We were best friends in middle school. I know, right? It’s so embarrassing. I don’t even … Whatever.”

Tina Fey’s Mean Girls is linguistically astonishingly fruitful; my sense is that it reflected and created, in equal measure, loads of new ways of talking. The screenplay is a veritable symphony merely in its uses of the modern-day even, including “What does that even mean?” and these exchanges:

  • Crying Girl: “I wish we could all get along like we used to in middle school … I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy …” [about to cry]  Damian: [shouting from back] “She doesn’t even go here!” Ms. Norbury: “Do you even go to this school?” Crying Girl: “No … I just have a lot of feelings …”
  • Regina: “Cady, do you even know who sings this?” Cady: “Um … the Spice Girls?”
  • Gretchen: [to Cady] “Two years ago she told me hoops earrings were her thing and I wasn’t allowed to wear them anymore. And then for Hanukkah my parents got this pair of really expensive white gold hoops and I had to pretend like I didn’t even like them and … it was so sad.”
  • Cady: “What do we even talk about?” Janis: [shrugs shoulders] “Hair products!”

The latest even development takes it a step beyond I can’t even. In that construction, a following verb is implied and elided: “I can’t even [begin to express how funny/scary/cute/whatever the thing I'm reacting to is].” But now that’s thrown aside and even is a pure signifier of emphasis, improbability, and disbelief. I first encountered from Jon Danziger (@jondanziger)  who tweeted on November 17, apropos of a confounding news item, “What is this even?” I asked him about it and he reported it is a favorite of his students at Pace University.

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CGTN: "Number of international students coming to U.S. drops for first time in a decade"

12/18/2017

Number of international students coming to U.S. drops for first time in a decade (CGTN)

President Krislov was interviewed by Karina Huber of CGTN America on the value of international students to American colleges and universities and to employers. 

From CGTN America:

"Pace University in New York City has students from 117 countries. It hasn’t seen its applications drop, but its president, Marvin Krislov, is concerned about the data. He said international students are a huge asset.

“I think international students really contribute to the education of our students and faculty,” he said. “Because so much of our education is focused globally, and to have those perspectives really contributes to the discussions in the classroom.”

... The three percent drop in new international students cannot be attributed to U.S. President Donald Trump – the data predates his election – but the worry in U.S. higher education is that his views on immigration hurt applications.

“We all are watching,” Krislov said, “and we all want to make sure that the message – the communication is we’re very clear – we are still welcoming for international students.”

Read the full article and watch the video here.

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Broadway World: "Pop/R&B Singer Meecah Announces Her First Headlining Concert In NYC"

12/12/2017

Pop/R&B Singer Meecah Announces Her First Headlining Concert In NYC (Broadway World)

Impressive R&B/soul singer Meecah is set to headline her first concert in New York City on December 16th at The West End Lounge in NYC. The Pace University performing arts student recently performed the national anthem at the 2017 Business Council of Westchester dinner where guest of honor Secretary of State and former First Lady Hillary Clinton spoke.

"I'm extremely excited. Secretary Hillary Clinton is one of my heroes," said Meecah after singing the national anthem for Mrs. Clinton and more than 900 business leaders at the Rye Town Hilton. The promising singer is steadily increasing her fan base with impressive live performances.

The concert is titled Meecah's New York Christmas and will be a gift for music lovers in the Tri-state area. It will feature other emerging artists such as Hamilton's Sean Zuni Green Jr. Concertgoers can expect to hear live renditions of tracks from her new EP New Moon Rising. Her latest single, "Dream" has been featured in popular music blogs Solo Vibes Music and Celeb Mix. Another single entitled, "Melanated" is a favorite among African-American women due to its empowering message.

Meecah will perform those songs and many others on December 16th. When asked about the concert Meecah said, "You've never experienced Christmas like this before!"

Tickets for Meecah's New York Christmas are $15 dollars at the door. The concert begins at 9:30 p.m. and is 18+ to enter. Listen to Meecah's latest single, "Dream" and purchase her new EP New Moon Rising now on Apple Music.

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WalletHub: "2017’s States with the Best Elder-Abuse Protections"

12/11/2017

2017’s States with the Best Elder-Abuse Protections (WalletHub)

Abuse happens every day and takes many forms. But vulnerable older Americans are among the easiest targets for this misconduct, especially those who are women, have disabilities and rely on others for care or other type of assistance. By one estimate, elder abuse affects as many as 5 million people per year, and 96 percent of all cases go unreported.

Unless states take action to prevent further abuse, the problem will grow as America becomes an increasingly aging nation. The U.S. Census Bureau expects the population aged 65 and older to nearly double from 43.1 million in 2012 to 83.7 million in 2050, much to the credit of aging Baby Boomers who began turning 65 in 2011.

Fortunately, states recognize that elder abuse is a real and growing issue. But sadly, only some are fighting hard enough to stop it. WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on 11 key indicators of elder-abuse protection in 3 overall categories. Our data set ranges from “share of elder-abuse, gross-neglect and exploitation complaints” to “financial elder-abuse laws.” Continue reading below for our findings, expert commentary and a full description of our methodology.

Read what Professor Sheyin Chen, Professor of Public Andministration and Social Policy in The Dyson College of Arts and Sciences says about the most common types of elder abuse, how policymakers protect the elderly from abuse and what families can do to protect elderly family members.

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Westchester County Business Journal: "Pace team wins fed challenge"

12/08/2017

Pace team wins fed challenge (Westchester County Business Journal)

A team of students from Pace University has won the 14th annual national College Federal Reserve Challenge. The Federal Reserve runs the competition that tests whether students understand the U.S. economy, monetary policymaking and the role of the Federal Reserve System.

This is the third time in four years that Pace has won the competition.

The finals were held in Washington, D.C. following five district competitions held around the country. The Pace team faced competition from Harvard University, Princeton University, University of Virginia-Old Dominion and University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Teams competing in the finals gave presentations and answered questions posed by a panel of senior Federal Reserve officials.

Pace University President Marvin Krislov said, “This team’s dedication and success as well as that of their professors is a great example of the experiential learning and meaningful mentorship that is the hallmark of the Pace Path.”

The students attend Pace’s Dyson College of Arts and Sciences and are Klejdja Qosjdja, Marina Testani, Salil Ahuja, Carly Aznavorian, Scarlett Bekus, Aleksandra Bruno, and Argenys Morban. Professors Greg Colman and Mark Weinstock served as the team’s advisers. 

Read the article.

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