Bryce MacLeod Fagel, from Lincroft, NJ, is one of eight Brookdale Community College graduates who received the Outstanding Student Award at the commencement ceremonies last week. The Outstanding Student Award recognizes graduates for their academic excellence, community service, and personal accomplishments.

After a gap in his education, Fagel found himself in a position where he could return to school. “I wanted to be sure I got off to the right start,” he explained. “Brookdale is an extraordinary asset to the community and a wonderful avenue through which to return to higher education,” he said.

Fagel, an English major, not only returned to higher education at Brookdale, he excelled. “Responsible, charismatic, thoughtful, and an independent thinker, Bryce is not only truly adept at academics, but has the talent to work and share with others in a way that seems effortless,” said Roseanne Alvarez, professor in the English department at Brookdale.

As a member and then vice president and editor of Brookdale’s literature, art, and design publication Collage, Bryce shared his talents with his peers. “He brought something to every meeting, every class, every conversation,” said Dara Evans, associate professor in the English department.

Fagel said he truly enjoyed working with the Collage team and encourages other Brookdale students to get involved as well. “Each year we compile a collection of some of the greatest works Brookdale has to offer in the fields of photography, illustration, poetry, prose, architecture, design and more. Any student is welcome and encouraged to submit their work for potential entry into the magazine, and I personally recommend anyone interested in any of the aforementioned subjects as well as journalism and magazine production to join the College Club family,” he said.

Fagel found out his achievements were going to be celebrated as he was selected as one of the Outstanding Students for the Humanities Institute on his late mother’s birthday. “Just a few years prior to on the very same date, I had made the decision to finally return to my education,” he explained. “While I hadn’t been a phenomenal student in the past, in case she was looking down from me somewhere, I wanted to make her proud. I tend not to be the type to attribute meaningful significance to simple coincidence, but I can’t help feeling that receiving the letter when I did means that should would be.”

Fagel plans to transfer to a four-year university in the fall where it is clear he will continue to excel in his academic journey.