Brookdale Community College’s 12th Annual Global Citizenship Project Awards Ceremony, held on April 24th, 2023, was a celebration of the recipients who demonstrated an exceptional commitment to globally focused activities and courses. The award recognizes the importance of international education and cultural exchange in preparing students for the increasingly interconnected world. The programs and learning outcomes of the Global Citizenship Project provide students with the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to thrive in an ever-changing global environment, and the ceremony serves as a platform to highlight the significant achievements of these global citizens.

Demonstrating exceptional engagement in global issues during their time at the College and receiving the Global Citizenship Distinction Graduates Award are Belinda Asamoah and Fafa Awoonnor.

“They have gone above and beyond to engage in globally focused co-curricular activities, contributing to their personal and professional growth,” said Dr. N. Rajkumari Wesley, professor of Psychology. “As a result, they have gained valuable experiences and developed essential skills that will prepare them for the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly changing world. Their success highlights the importance of global citizenship in today’s society and inspires other students to pursue a similar path.”

The ceremony also acknowledged the outstanding achievements of several Student Curricular Award recipients. In the English category, Professor Kelsey Maki selected Christopher Margotti for his work on Possibilities for Peace in Ukraine and Ashley Yansaguano for Organ Trafficking in The Red Market. Additionally, Professor Elana Maloney chose Stephanie Dailey for her paper on Sea Otters and their Role in the Environment and Justin Medina for Jesus Christ: Conquest of the Caucasian Identity.

In the Environmental Science category, Professor Harry Compton selected Samantha Akers for her work on Deforestation across the Nation and Isabelle Zeleznik for Environmental Sustainability.

In the Sociology category, Professor Caroline Calogero honored James Cerreta for his paper on The Elderly Majority.

In the History category, Professor, and International Education Center Liaison Ashley Zampogna-Krug selected Candela Cleries for Brookdale: More than a Learning Experience and Christopher David DeSantis for Industry and Class Inequality.

For the Reading category, Professor Barbara Barrella recognized Zoe Golden for her paper on Refugees and Mental Health.

In the Nursing category, Professor Georgia Cassidy selected Shimma Masoomzadeh-Fard for Grateful for my Professors.

Lastly, in the Art/Design category, Professor Elisa Elorza chose Guadalupe Bautista Bueno and Gabriela Pachero for Colonialism in Mexico, Oudai Al-Shuaibi for Exploring the Intersections of Culture and Colonialism, and Keishon Taylor for West African Mud Architecture. These exceptional student works showcase the students’ talent and dedication towards academic excellence and critical thinking.

The next set of awards presented at the ceremony was the Outstanding Involvement Awards, recognizing students for their exceptional work in various programs. The first program, Media as Medium: Pushing and Pulling, Civility Week Events, invited the audience to explore the intersection of design, social media, artificial intelligence, and creativity. Keishon Taylor, Sage Rafkind, and Eddie Reiff were recognized for their contributions to this program.

The second program, Social Media Around the World, and Does Social Media Allow Free Speech Globally? a Civility Week Event where international students debated freedom of speech and equality issues in their respective countries. The participants included Avril Chwe (Zambia), Bouchra El Charabaty (Lebanon), Faris Abdelaal (Egypt), Iana Dunaevskaia (Russia), Jean Guerdy Paul (Haiti), Noreen Soloman (Egypt), Sina-Imose Friehling (Germany), Thays Paiva de Almeida (Brazil), Bruno Seibt (Brazil), Jesús Calle Bula (Columbia), and Ewurafua Acquaah (Ghana/US).

Additional programs Movement Generation: Fundamentals of Anti-Oppression led by Rowan Chasco, Ashley Caposello, Jake Hessels, Belinda Asamoah, Jean Paul Guerdy, Sina-Imose Friehling and Black Student Union (BSU) by Belida Asamoah, Sina-Imose Friehling, Tabitha Destinoble, and Kenneth Grant.

Recipients of Global Citizenship Distinction went to two deserving students, Eden Pela, a creative writing major, and Morena Traditi, a psychology major. “Their impressive efforts and accomplishments throughout their first year at Brookdale have set them apart as exceptional global citizens,” said Wesley.

The Employee Engagement Awards were given to individuals who have shown exceptional commitment to their work. Art/Design Faculty and Center for Visual Arts (CVA) Gallery Coordinator Elisa Elorza, Director of Communications, College Relations Laura Oncea, Director of Diversity and Inclusion/CCOG Angela Kariotis, and the Caroline Huber Holistic Wellness Center Team, consisting of Director Dinneen Jackson, Coordinator Gina Giannattasio, and Media Coordinator Patrick Zavorskas.

International Director Janice Thomas wrapped up the evening by emphasizing that collaborating towards a shared objective can enable us to positively impact the world, which is at the core of the Global Citizenship Project. Those honored with this recognition feel a sense of pride in contributing to this movement.