The Knight News, Queen's College Newspaper Circa 2010


For a number of years this was the website for The Knight News, Queen's College newspaper since 1937.
Content is from the site's 2010 archived pages ofering a glimpse of what the newspaper offered its readership.

The current site for the Knight's News is found at;


Circa 2010

The Knight News is the sole entirely student-run newspaper serving Queens College of the City University of New York.

The Knight News traces its roots back to the first paper established at Queens College, back in 1937. Since then, it has gone through two major changes, becoming The Phoenix and later The Quad. The Knight News has also absorbed other student publications over the years. In 2001, the Quad became The Knight News to better reflect the school identity.

The Knight News is proud to be the recipient of eight prestigious awards, some of which are the first to be awarded to a CUNY student newspaper.

The Knight News does not discriminate based on any factors, and accepts submissions from any student of Queens College. Those wishing to write for The Knight News should show up at our offices in the Student Union, Room LL-35 or contact an editor.

We can also be contacted by phone at (718) 997-3978, and by e-mail at You may also send submissions through this Web site.

For advertising information, please contact our Business Mana




Why So Serious?
A Brief History of the Smile

By Aliza Donath
Literature Editor
Published: Saturday, February 6, 2010
Updated: Saturday, February 6, 2010

As jaded New Yorkers, we’ve got to admit that smiling seems foreign to us sometimes. A grin from a man on the subway is a crude leer. Even eye contact is dangerous in a city of millions. But hard as it may be to believe, our society is one of the most charitable toward the act of smiling in modern history.

That’s what Angus Trumble suggests in “A Brief History of the Smile.”  In this relatively short read documenting the treatment and fashion of the grin throughout history, Trumble recalls the strict intolerance by the medieval English and French (perhaps comical when you consider that they considered “spitting out of direct view” the height of propriety) and the open laughter of the 17th-century Dutch. He delves into famous faces such as the “Mona Lisa,” the Archaic Kouroi, and the Cheshire Cat, even stopping to consider the meaning behind the sneers of Sid Vicious and Ozzy Osbourne. Or the greasy grin of the ubiquitous Joker ominously wearing an overly-large Batman t shirt just to spite his nemesis while seeking his demise. Remember the Batman character's evil smile jumps out of our culture from everywhere - comic books, to television, to movies, and now to clothing! And if you'd like to see these smiles, has a very large Batman t shirt selection, as well as hoodies and sweatshirts to choose from. Batman lives, and apparel keeps him and his evil nemesis smiling!

Trumble’s topic is an original and intriguing choice, and he devotes a great number of his pages to mannerisms we didn’t know and obscure facts we didn’t want to (in feudal Japan, teeth were most desirable when blackened by soot). Unfortunately, the author sabotages his delivery of these fun tidbits by skipping off on innumerable and lengthy tangents which are just as interesting, but have little to do with the topic. One can almost imagine Trumble contentedly finishing such a page, sitting back to stretch and wondering what he was talking about,especially because that’s what the reader is thinking at each chapter’s end. Most confusing is when the tangent regarding European prostitution euphemisms is discussed in the chapter titled “Decorum and not in the one immediately following, the more aptly-titled “Lewdness.”

It’s a substantial flaw, but a forgivable one, especially when you consider that most of these tangents tend to be appealing and enjoyable, even if they’re not very well placed. Over the course of 165 pages, Trumble covers the troubled (who knew?) story of the smile in contexts such as wisdom, desire, and deceit with plenty of enthusiasm.

And like smiling, his excitement is contagious. You may read the book out of curiosity or boredom, but Trumble manages to make his audience care about the topic. I only wish he had taken the discussion further, and delved a little deeper into the reason behind the Cheshire Cat’s smile, and perhaps covered some more famous grins. The book definitely leaves you wanting more, but not in the way that a cliff-hanger ending or a favorite book series does. Finishing A “Brief History of the Smile” leaves you feeling enlightened, but unsatisfied, for Trumble tends to touch on his most interesting topics rather than discuss them in depth.  

It’s a book and a subject worth diving into, built on a solid foundation of facts and rich detail. But in the end, all the little flaws add up. With a subject so potentially interesting and abundant in fun facts, the poorly-placed tangents and incomplete feeling prove to be a rather heavy rain on the parade.




Buffy a la Freud

Classics Revisted: Bram Stoker's Dracula

By Aliza Donath
Literature Editor
Published: Saturday, February 6, 2010
Updated: Saturday, February 6, 2010

Like relatively few of you out there, I do not like the vampire romance genre. It’s like teletubbies to me: irritating, possibly sketchy and everywhere you look. But my dislike of vampire novels doesn't extend to the root of this ubiquitous topic, the granddaddy of all blood-suckers, Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.”

The Victorian tale of the undead Count and the humans who hunt him is not meant to be a horror story. Stoker wrote the novel in response to the gothic-romance fad of the day (see how history repeats itself?) and depending on who you ask, to vent some of his personal fears and psyche gremlins.

The story begins with Jonathan Harker, a young man on the verge of a promising future, setting out on a real-estate business trip to the outskirts of Transylvania. What could go wrong? His client, the secretive Count Dracula, invites him to stay for a while, keeping him locked in his castle and arriving for chats only at night, until this behavior makes Harker suspicious. Soon the business venture leaves the castle for England, where Harker’s fiancée and friends are living their proper British lives. As Harker and his friends see strange occurrences (thick fog, howling dogs running amok), one of their own succumbs to a weird, steady blood loss, and they decide to do something about it. And the battle for the lives of Harker, his friends, and potentially all of England begins.

The story is told through diary entries, newspaper articles and correspondence between various characters, so we are ingeniously provided with every point of view (except the actual vampire, who remains a foreign and mysterious threat). Stoker covers many of the classic figures of his day, from the dutiful middle-class man (Harker), to the wise and eccentric teacher (Dr. Van Helsing), from the hopeless romantic girly-girl (Bella—I mean Lucy Westenra), to the more intelligent and faithful “modern woman” (Harker’s true love, Wilhelmina). It’s an interesting look into Victorian England, as well as a shameless adventure story many audiences would enjoy (as has been proven steadily over the past century).

Seen from the modern eye, it’s easy to notice the flaws of that society, especially the not-so-subtle xenophobia and homophobia. Dracula is a bearded, pagan foreigner, come to transform good women and rob men of their resources. I could write several articles on the eastern stereotypes the novel employs (being of Hungarian descent, I found myself rolling my eyes way too often for my taste), but such is the peril of reading classics, and we can’t really blame Stoker for being a product of his day.

But all in all, the book is what we look for in escapist literature: it’s fun. And for a truly hilarious reading experience, I suggest reading “Dracula”with a Freudian guide or mindset. Psychologists have gone to town on Stoker for everything from his violent stake-through-the-heart imagery to his effeminate description of the monster (full, red lips, ivory skin and long nails… too bad he’s so hairy), and I must admit that this is a rare case where reading into the story has only improved it for me. 





The Car World Turned Upside Down

By George Smolar
Staff Writer
Published:Sunday, February 28, 2010
Updated: Sunday, February 28, 2010 14:02

Remember when Toyota was the up-and-coming automaker with great quality?  Remember when they overtook GM as the top automaker worldwide?  Well, unfortunately for Toyota, that seems like eons ago.

In recent weeks it has become major news that Toyota cars have had a litany of issues resulting in several recalls. These defects include, uncontrolled acceleration, unreliable braking, and steering issues. Each of these defects is extremely hazardous in its own right, and some cars have multiple.

How did this happen? Well for beginners, they didn’t learn their lessons from GM.  General Motors was the leading automaker in the world for most of the 20th century because they always provided the customer with quality while selling at a reasonable price. In the late 80s into the 90s GM started slacking on quality, figuring no one could steal their thunder. As quality decreased, their reputation went with it. Suddenly Honda and Toyota were on the doorstep ready to take over as the new number 1.

This slip up by GM led to Toyota taking over as the top manufacturer worldwide.  Unfortunately, Toyota had already doomed itself by the time it took the lead.  Toyota had built a reputation as a high quality, yet cheap brand.  When they saw GM slipping, they increased production to fill in the gap and take the lead. This led to the quality control failure we see now.

What does this mean for Toyota? Well, it means that their reputation is shot for now, and they are losing billions of dollars by not selling cars plagued by the defect, and by having three recalls to deal with, for a total of more than 6 million cars that they had sold. Now,  Ford and GM are currently rated higher than Toyota in quality because of their mistakes.  Eight models currently sitting on Toyota lots are unable to be sold because of the problem, and as a result Toyota lost sales in January, unlike the rest of the automakers, who gained.

This is a huge boost to companies like Honda and Ford, as they had been making major headway into Toyota’s market share before the recalls. GM is also capitalizing on the recalls by offering trade-ins for potential buyer’s Toyotas. In the long term, we still need to see what happens to Toyota’s reputation, but it looks bleak. If we remember, Ford had issues with tires on their Explorer SUVs in 2000, and they suffered from that for a long time. Only time will tell us how Toyota responds, and what lasting effects will result.

This whole ordeal shouldn’t deter you from buying a car, but should reinforce the importance of properly researching the cars on the market. Know what you are buying by looking at quality ratings and checking out reviews from credible sources are the best ways to find out if there is something you won’t hear at the dealership.



Resident Assistant Spotlight

David Barriga

By Rachel Dzanashvili
Contributing Writer
| Published: Sunday, February 28, 2010
Updated: Sunday, February 28, 2010

“Practice what you preach,” said David Barriga, 26, a senior at Queens College, when describing his position as a resident assistant to his fellow students at The Summit.

A resident assistant is an authorized peer leader who oversees students living in a dormitory. With the opening of The Summit, the first residence hall in the college’s 72-year history, Barriga walks the thin line between balancing his own work and assisting other students who are under his supervision. 

He found out about the program last spring, and and out of more than 100 applicants, he was one of eleven students chosen. “I was excited to be part of history,” as QC went from a commuter to a residential campus and “motivated to make a positive impact with my teammates.” 

The son of Ecuadorian immigrants, Barriga was born and raised in Queens. He credits his parents for instilling in him the value of education. As the oldest of six, he was “responsible for looking after siblings, but also setting the best example for them.”

Growing up, it was his lifelong aspiration to join the military. “I always knew I wanted to serve this country and make an impact on society.” It wasn’t until the first day of his senior year in high school he felt compelled to serve. It was September 11, 2001.

He graduating, he enlisted in the Marines, where he served for almost six years. During his tenure, he attended the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York.

His career in the military took him all over the world, where he had the opportunity to “experience different countries and cultures.” But he also saw hardships, and tried to help. He took part in the humanitarian effort to deliver aid to Indonesia after the devastating Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004.

“I can remember first pulling into the Indonesian waters, seeing trees and bodies floating everywhere.” He views the tragedy as “a life changing experience,” that made him realized how “people take things for granted.”

In the fall of 2008, he came to QC to obtain a degree in speech pathology. His mother is an alumnus, and he was attracted by the school’s academic record and diverse student body. 

Barriga credits his years of military service for giving him the leadership skills, partisanship, and training to handle the responsibilities of a resident assistant. “It taught me to know the people you serve and what their needs are.” To accommodate the diverse needs of the campus residents, he has from self-defense classes, yoga classes to relieve the stress of exams, to hosting a “speed meeting” for new residents to get acquainted with the fellow students.

Among his responsibilities of managing a residence hall, he also has a five-year old daughter, Mikaela. He believes his experiences as a parent have been useful as an RA “because I always have to be a step ahead.” “I know I’m responsible for other people’s kids,” and tries to bestow the same care he would want others to uphold if they were looking after his daughter. 

Beside his responsibilities at QC, Barriga volunteers to help children with Asperger’s syndrome at P.S. 130 and coaches his daughter’s soccer team.

As for his future, Barriga intends to earn a doctorate in speech pathology, and dreams of opening up his own clinic to help people “overcome their disabilities.”

As for his role as resident assistant, he said he hopes he can make the college experience of his fellow students more memorable and “lay down down foundation for future residents” long after he departs.



Film & TV

Valentine's 10 Worst Movies

By Shiryn Ghermezian
Contributing Writer
| Published: Sunday, February 28, 2010
Updated: Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ten Worst Romantic Movies:

1)“Atonement” (2007) This film is sad from the start. Actress Keira Knightley plays Cecilia, a woman who is separated from the man she loves, Robbie Turner (played by James McAvoy) after he is imprisoned for a crime he did not commit and is then enlisted in the British army. The story is twisted because the Robbie is accused by Cecilia's younger sister Briony, played by Saoirse Ronan (of “The Lovely Bones”). Basically, the film is of their attempt to carry on a distant relationship, and just when you think there is hope for them to be together after the war, they both die. The only hope the audience has left is if they can atone for their sin of paying to watch this movie.

2)“Gigli” (2003) Before watching the film, someone might think that two A-list stars put together on screen would produce somewhat of a decent movie. Gigli is one of the biggest exceptions to that rule. Ben Affleck plays Gigli and is asked to kidnap a man. Ricki, played by Jennifer Lopez, is sent to help with the kidnapping. Putting aside the “Sopranos”-wannabe acting by Affleck and Lopez, the romance in this film was scarce to start, when both characters tried to act tough and hide their emotions. Any hope of romance in the film goes down the drain once Gigli finds out that Ricki is a lesbian. This film is remembered but definitely not in a good way.

 3)“From Justin To Kelly” (2003) Where to begin? It is difficult to focus on a film’s romantic story line because the screen is filled with actors who just stepped off of “American Idol” only knowing how to sing other's songs. The corny songs were painful and the title characters were sad to watch. The title alone tells you who the only audience members were who liked this film – Justin Guarini and Kelly Clarkson. Now we know why none of them have made a film appearance since this film.

 4) “All About Steve” (2009) As the title suggests, Sandra Bullock’s character Mary is obsessed with Steve, a man she went on one blind date with. She is sure he is the man for her. Mary decides to stalk Steve (Bradley Cooper) as he travels as a cameraman for a news channel. Romance is replaced by a psycho-woman’s deep, and somewhat sad, obsession over a guy she met just once.

 5)“Closer” (2004) This movie is basically the antithesis of a stereotypical romantic film. None of the relationships in the film work out and both Julia Roberts and Jude Law act selfish and cheat on their partners with one another. It obviously does not give the warm gooey feeling that other romantic movies offer. “Closer” does not describes how the couples acted with their partners, but it is instead how they acted with other people.

 6) “Jerry Maguire” (1996) The only real romance in this film is between sports agent Jerry Maguire (played by Tom Cruise) and his only client Rod Tidwell. Maguire helps his client advance in his career and does more advocating to Tidwell about his passion (Who can forget the famed “Show me the money!” scene?) than he does to his love interest Dorothy. Played by Renee Zellweger, Dorothy acts more like a side dish to Maguire’s main course and the focus of his interests: Tidwell. So romance turned into more like a quest for success, and if he could get the girl, hey, it’s not a priority but that would be great too. 

 7)“Knocked Up” (2007) As far as love stories go, this film has very little, if any, romance. The relationship of the two main characters is based on one big mistake that happened after a night of drinking and partying. Need I say more? Both are stuck together because of a “miscommunication” which resulted in Katherine Heigl’s character accidentally getting pregnant. Love is a four letter word that in the case of this movie can only describe a viewer’s love for how utterly hilarious and weird this movie was.

 8)“The Graduate” (1967) This movie is more about the infamous Mrs. Robinson and her infatuation with Ben, played by a young Dustin Hoffman, than any love between him and Mrs. Robinson’s daughter Elaine. In the end, Ben and Elaine are seen running away together but the film closes with them sitting on a bus and both with a unsmiling and puzzling expression on their faces as if thinking “what are we doing?” So much for their happy ending.

 9)“Roman Holiday” (1953) As we know from Cinderella, a princess does not necessarily make a love story any less complicated. Audrey Hepburn plays Princess Ann, who escapes her duties to enjoy Rome on her own terms. She meets an American reporter who becomes her companion on her adventure. Although he knows she is a princess, little does she know that he is a reporter staying close to get an exclusive with the princess. They eventually fall in love, but their romance is never shown, even with a mere kiss or holding of hands. The film ignored the passion between the characters and instead revolved the plot around their trip, which consisted of getting gelato and seeing the sites.  Their “romance” is put aside when she leaves to return to her duties and they, including the audience, are left with the stirring thought of what might have been.

 10) “Legally Blonde” (2001) There was so much blonde hair and pink in this movie that it was difficult to stare for a long time, so the supposed love problems of Reese Witherspoon’s character, Elle Woods, was barely noticed. In her attempt to win back the man she loves, Woods went to Harvard Law to be with him and to prove she is capable of accomplishing something higher than being president of her sorority. The movie displayed a character through Elle Woods that had determination and passion, but the passion was not about love and, in the end, she was only concerned about winning her court case.




Give Obama a Chance

By Justin Chan
Contributing Writer
Published: Sunday, February 28, 2010
Updated: Sunday, February 28, 2010

Adam Friedman's recent article, “Audacity of Hope?” >was well-written and touched upon President Obama’s State of the Union Address, criticizing Obama for his “lackluster” performance and comparing him to Jimmy Carter, one of the least favorable presidents in U.S. history. This perception of Obama among his critics has been blown out of proportion. Unemployment is not an issue that can be solved in a couple of weeks, and Obama is only in the first year of his term. While criticism is warranted for a neophyte president, it needs to be put in context.

I voted for Obama during the presidential elections. After hearing his acceptance speech, I thought that things would turn around. At the time, I had as much hope as any fellow Democrat for the future of this country. My father had just been laid off, only several months after he had switched jobs. For months, I would arrive home and see him sitting at a computer desk, updating his resume. Though he did have some interviews, he never came out of them optimistically. Clearly, I had reason to be anxious. I secured a job to support myself and relieve some of the financial burden of my father’s unemployment. My father is still unemployed, but I cannot bring myself to blame Obama for this.

The national unemployment rate is still high. However, Obama’s administration was not responsible for causing the recession. That blame should be left to the previous administration. Critics might reply to this by claiming that the blame game can only go so far, and I agree. At some point, a president needs to take responsibility for whatever the economic or political environment is during his tenure. Obama has not shied away from this responsibility, and one cannot dispute the amount of hard work he has put into trying to solve the problems facing our country. Should we blame Obama unilaterally for trying his hardest to solve one of the worst financial crises to have ever hit America? Who are we to say that he has not accomplished enough?

Having heard enough criticism of Obama and his administration, I think it is time that we need to face the facts. For a bit over a year, Obama has continually tried varying approaches in a valiant but desperate attempt to get this country out of the recession. Congress seems never to be able to reach a compromise that will allow Obama's ideas to pass through legislature. 

Despite Obama’s efforts to bridge the gap between the Republicans and Democrats, the media and the public have constantly criticized him. Although Obama’s solutions may not be all-pleasing, his calm and smooth approach to handling this crisis can still potentially help us in the end. Even Franklin Delano Roosevelt faced major criticism for his method of tackling the Great Depression. Through it all, FDR managed to successfully save this country from continually spiraling down. Who is to say that Obama can’t either?

Give it time. I recently discovered that the unemployment rate actually dropped in January. Opinions on whether this progress is substantial vary from person to person. I am not trying to say that no one should criticize Obama, but the magnitude and vitriol of that criticism needs to be restrained. Brash criticism of the president muddles the self-perception and lowers the self-esteem of this nation. As the famous adage goes, “patience is a virtue.” As Americans, we need to exercise that virtue for the time being.




Remsen Hall Construction Completed

By Deanna Smith
Staff Writer
Published: Sunday, February 28, 2010
Updated: Sunday, February 28, 2010

Now, science and chemistry students can take advantage of the latest additions to Remsen Hall, with a new phase of construction completed.

These additions include new equipment, lounging areas and laboratories. 

The construction of Remsen Hall began two years ago and was completed in late November. Remsen Hall is a building used primarily by students with science backgrounds and majors.

Alejandra Castano, a QC student with a masters in chemistry, was using a laboratory available in the newly constructed building. “We have new equipment, fridges and ovens,” Castano said. “With newer equipment, students with science majors can be more organized so school work is easier to complete.”

Dean Engel of the mathematics and science division agreed.

“We absolutely needed new labs,” he said. “I noted in my own labs that we had two types of watering taps, ones that you couldn’t turn on and ones you couldn’t turn off.”

The new construction, Engel said, is better for students working in the labs.

All requirements for disabled students have also been met with this new construction, Engel said,.

“For example, there are low tables that are adequate for students in wheelchairs to efficiently complete their work,” he said.

Another new addition was a meeting area where science students could gather to discuss their work. There is a blackboard directly above this area, so students could create diagrams.

The style of the classrooms, Engel said, also improved. “In the older classrooms it was very difficult to teach in,” he said. “We have structured these newer classrooms so it is easier for professors to communicate with and teach their students.”

William Hersh, a professor of organic chemistry was thrilled with the new space.

“The main improvement that students will see is on the safety systems in the building,” he said. “There is also heating and cooling for the first time in Remsen.”

The artwork, Engel said, is very elaborate.

“There is an art project associated with every construction on campus,” he said. “Remsen hall has a cloud chamber track as a design on the inner walls of the building.”

Engel said that there were some minor problems with the construction.

New York state, Engel said, has a regulation about some things that are counter to making a chemistry lab operable. He noted that taps have limits on how cold they can be, when chemistry work requires colder temperatures.

The construction, Engel said, also began a couple of months late. Though he was pleased with the construction’s progress overall.

“The architects and engineers were all very cooperative,” he said. “They succeeded in getting us what we needed within the budget we had.”

The construction, Engel said, has been completed for the most part.

“There are only a few punch list items that need to be checked,” he said. “Students currently making use of the labs seem pleased.”

Engel said that Remsen Hall will continue to be renovated.

“We are in the second phase of construction,” he said. “The third floor is expected to be completed by the end of the year.”

Construction is currently being done on half of the second floor and on a third of the third floor, said Engel.




Joe Nichols
Spotlight on the Country Star

By Markos Papadatos
Staff Writer
Published: Saturday, February 6, 2010
Updated: Saturday, February 6, 2010

Joe Nichols, an Arkansas native, has received numerous accolades in country music, including the ACM's Top New Male Vocalist, the Country Music Association's Horizon Award, a CMT Flameworthy Award for Best Breakthrough Video, as well as a total of three Grammy nominations. To have received such positive feedback from his peers and fans in country music, he describes as a “great” feeling “since it certainly pads the ego quite a bit, but it does not rank as high as fan appreciation. If you have peers that you look up to and respect, musically, and they pat you on the back for doing a good job, you believe that.”

            With his signature style, his dynamic vocal range and rich, baritone voice, Nichols connects directly to the heart of his audience. There are two sides to Nichols; he records up-tempo playful tunes such as his chart-topping hits “Brokenheartsville,” “What's a Guy Gotta Do,” and “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off”; and yet there  a mature  and soulful side  shows itself when he performs inspirational songs such as “If Nobody Believed In You” and  “The Impossible,” and the poignant “I'll Wait for You.”

            At age sixteen,  Nichols worked in a teenaged country “no alcohol” bar in Arkansas where he would perform in live bands every Friday and Saturday night. This marked the beginning of his path into music, as he has been performing professionally for the past fourteen years, since the age of 19.

            In country music, Nichols “loves the real stories and the songs, which sometimes may have happy endings and sometimes do not, but they always seem to hit home in one way or another.” He adds that “the personalities in country music are great.”

            Some of Nichols' biggest musical influences include his father and Merle Haggard, Keith Whitley, as well as traditional country singers with baritone voices such as Don Williams and Hank Williams Jr. Nichols says “I have always been drawn towards that kind of music, that of singer's singers.”

            Nichols' most favorite song he ever recorded is called “If I Could Only Fly” from his Real Things album, which he dedicates to his wife. Further, this song is very personal to Joe, and it is a song that Merle Haggard cut in the mid-80s. Nichols also feels “The Impossible” is one of his favorite songs to perform live on stage.

            Nichols believes that there is a different mindset between performing live and recording in the studio. “Live is all about the feel of the moment, and making sure that things go smoothly for the show's sake. Mistakes are probably a little less tolerated live than in the studio. In the studio, if you have the wrong approach to something, you can back up and try it again. Sometimes you mess up live and try not to let it bother you. In the studio, you can do many takes. The studio is much more relaxed and yet more grinding. The further you dive into yourself, and dive into the project, the harder you work, the more intense and focused you can be, the better the product will be.”

            The hardest aspect of Nichols' job includes “a degree of uncertainty that comes with my job, which may be difficult at times to deal with. Also, there is time spent away from family; and there is a lack of privacy, the wide open, sort of very 'in plain view' private life.” Surprisingly, “traveling” is not a challenge for Joe, since his father was a truck driver and used to love to go on the road with him. “I have always had a desire to travel on the highway and see new cities, but the difficult part of traveling is being away from your family” Nichols says.

            In the future, Nichols would love to collaborate with country music pioneer Merle Haggard. “Haggard has been my musical idol since I can remember, and I think to do something with him, musically, would be the highlight of my professional life” says Nichols. Nichols has also been fortunate to record a duet “If I Were A Carpenter” with Dolly Parton, which he describes as an “amazing experience" since “Dolly is a great woman and great personality.” Other female country singers that Nichols favors include Patty Loveless and Lee Ann Womack, with whom he collaborated in the classic tune “Golden Ring” on CMT's Greatest Love Songs. Womack also harmonizes with Joe on his last record on “If I Could Only Fly.” Lastly, Nichols notes that “Martina McBride is a singer's singer. She's certainly one of the most talented singers in country music. I think it would be a huge honor to sing with her. She is such a great singer that she intimates everybody, since she's such a powerful and great singer.”

            With regard to Nichols' proudest professional moments, he has been very fortunate to have a lot of “really cool things happen” to him. These include some #1 songs [“Brokenheartsville,” “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off,” and “The Impossible”] as well as the winning of some awards [an ACM Award, a CMA award and a CMT Flameworthy Award], as well as getting to rub elbows with a few superstars not only in country music, but in pop music as well in the Grammys. Another proud moment of his was going back  to his hometown in Rogers, Arkansas and getting to play for a sold-out crowd. He remarks “that is one of the coolest things I could ever ask for.”

            Nichols' plans for the future include having a new album out called Old Things New of which he remarks “is probably one of the best albums and collective piece of work that I've ever done. We will hit the road as much as possible this year and promote the new single 'Gimmie That Girl' which is climbing the charts and doing very well. People are digging it and buying it. For the short term, we go to work on the road and spread the gospel. For the long term, we look forward to build our reputation with the country music fans and hopefully, impress them enough to eventually get on that ever-so-coveted “A” list with the likes of Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban.”

            Joe  has been cast in the lead role on New York's Broadway stage musical production of “Pure Country” based on the 1992  film of the same name, starring George Strait. Nichols remarks that “it feels great and it's a huge honor, since that part could go to anybody. There's a lot of very talented singers, not only in country music, but on Broadway. I'm a huge George Strait fan and a huge fan of the movie 'Pure Country.' To land a part like that, is important for country music and a really big deal for me, and a really big honor.”

            For Queens College students who are interested in pursuing music careers in country music, Nichols recommends they move to Nashville, since “the Mecca for country is in Nashville and you gotta to be where the thing is happening.” He adds “it's all about relationship in country music, more than any other genre. Country music is about beginning and making relationships, and proving to people that you could be depended upon and you can help and make a contribution. That's what makes country music a strong and turbulent music world.”

            For Nichols, “success means coming home at night and not worrying about tomorrow. Any time you're successful, you've done the best you can, you've done well and you succeeded enough to give yourself 'another day at the office' so to speak, with as little worry as possible.”

            Nichols concludes “for everybody in NY, we don't get to see you very often, but come to a show in the surrounding New York area, or come to the Broadway show when we're up there. Thank you for buying my records, and thank you for buying the tickets, and for supporting the cause.



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Music Editor

Aliza Donath

Literature Editor
Chief Illustrator

Ahmed Lakhaney
Public Relations Manager, Office Manager

Chavie Lieber


Krystle Rubiano

Ad Designer

Markos Papadatos
Contributing Editor

Nava Streiter
Web Copy Editor

Yehoshua N. Laker
Assistant Copy Chief

Christine Barriento

Assistant Photo Editor

Jano Tantongco

Jessica Manganaro
Contributing Photographers

Michal Steinig

Calendar Editor

Professor Gerry Solomon
Professor Sheryl McCarthy
Editorial Advisors