Brookdale Community College recently unveiled the eighth edition of its student publication, Interpretations, displaying a collection of exceptional essays written by talented students. The volume not only serves as a testament to the diverse academic talent of Brookdale’s student body but also highlights the dedication of its student editors, alumni, and faculty cover artist.

Cover of student publication Interpretations Vol VIII. It has a green background and oil painting portrait of a woman framed in gold.The student contributors are the heart and soul of Interpretations Volume VIII, and their fine essays reflect the depth of their intellect and passion for the written word. The diverse topics covered in the publication are a testament to the students’ broad interests and the college’s commitment to nurturing a well-rounded education.

Among the talented contributors are Scott Pendell (Red Bank), Alexa Glassman (Tinton Falls), Sacha Jordan (Red Bank), Caitlyn Schork (Keansburg), Corinne Vergari (Neptune), Natalie Villalpando (Wake Forest NC), Karolina Vlckova (Wall Twsp), Amber LJ Conrad (West Long Branch), Jahnia Boone (Red Bank) and Rose Johnson McGinnis (Asbury Park).These students have displayed their skills in various disciplines, from English and psychology to business and fashion merchandising. The essays included in Interpretations not only highlight their academic excellence but also serve as a showcase of their unique voices and perspectives.

The Faculty Editor and Advisor, English Professor Jim Cody, D. Litt., and the student alumni editors, Ian Barbour and Keaira Ecklof deserve applause for their dedication to curating a publication that reflects the high standards of Brookdale Community College. Their meticulous efforts in selecting and organizing the essays have contributed to the seamless flow and coherence of Interpretations Volume VIII.

A special mention must be made to English Professor Kathleen Kennedy, the artist behind the magnificent cover painting that graces the publication. Kennedy’s artwork of American Writer Sandra Cisneros not only captures the essence of Interpretations but also adds a visual dimension to the literary journey that awaits readers inside.

The issue’s design, crafted by the talented College Relations designers, has received widespread praise. The publication’s thoughtful layout and aesthetic appeal contribute to the overall immersive reading experience. The design serves as a visual complement to the rich content within, creating a harmonious blend of words and visuals.

Let’s take a closer look at the bios of the student editors:

Scott Pendell: An English major in his second year at Brookdale, Scott is an active member of the Student Radio and Podcasting club. His role as a production assistant for the college radio station, 90.5 The Night, reflects his passion for media and communication. He produced the podcast for Approaches to Literary Studies, ENG, 206. Title: The New Counterculture

Alexa Glassman: Currently working towards an associate degree in psychology, Alexa plans to continue her education with the goal of helping those struggling with severe mental health disorders. Her essay in English-155: Short Stories is a testament to her dedication to both psychology and literature. Title: Different Wounds, Shared Scars

Sacha Jordan: A laboratory researcher with a passion for science, Sacha transferred to Rutgers in Fall 2023 to pursue her Bachelor of Science. Her essay in ENGL 155: The Short Story reflects her love for writing alongside her scientific pursuits. Title: My Experience

Caitlyn Schork: Enrolled at Brookdale for her associate degree in English; Caitlyn is set to transfer to New York University to pursue her bachelor’s degree in English Literature. Her essay in ENGL 275, Shakespeare’s Plays, demonstrates her dedication to the study of classic literature. Title: Prince Hal The Geniust

Corinne Vergari: A graduate of the Brookdale Community College class of 2022 with an AA in English, Corinne is currently a senior at Georgian Court University pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Her aspirations in the world of publishing are evident in her essay for ENGL-275: Shakespeare’s Plays. Title: Reimagining R&J: A Review of Two River Theater’s Romeo & Juliet

Natalie Villalpando: Currently in her second year at Brookdale, Natalie is an English major with plans to graduate in 2024. Her essay in English 156: Introduction to Poetry demonstrates her appreciation for the art of poetic expression. Title: Remembrance And Appreciation

Karolina Vlckova: An international student from the Czech Republic, Karolina is currently in her second year at Brookdale as a Business major. Her essay for ENGL 122: English Comp: Writing & Research reflects her commitment to academic excellence across diverse disciplines. Title: Are We Hardwired To Improve? Themes Of Reincarnation, Karma, Morality And Ethics In Cloud Atlas And The Good Place

Amber LJ Conrad: A first-year student majoring in Audio Communications Media, Amber aspires to shape the entertainment industry through her passion for film and storytelling. Her essay in ENGL 121, English Composition I, The Writing Process, reflects her enthusiasm for media and communication. Title: Home In Our Hearts

Rose Johnson McGinnis: Pursuing a major in Fashion Merchandising at Brookdale, Rose is working towards an associate degree. Her essay, written for her English 121 class, showcases her ability to seamlessly blend her interests in fashion and literature. Title: Mango And Mortar

Jahnia Boone: Wrote her essay in ENGL 121. Title: Building Identity In The Face of Hardship: An Analysis Of The House On Mango Street

The Forward of Interpretations Volume VIII offers a poignant insight into the teaching philosophy of English Professor Marcia Krefetz-Levine. Her choice of “The House On Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros as a teaching text is not just about exploring coming-of-age themes, culture, diversity, dreams, and disappointments. It is about the transformative power of literature and its profound impact on both the teacher and students.

Professor Krefetz-Levine emphasizes the unique voice of Cisneros, which compels readers to introspect and delve deeply into what makes us human. The inclusion of student essays in Interpretations serves as a testament to the profound effect the novel has had on the entire classroom. The essays are described as insightful, honest, raw, and polished—a reflection of the depth of understanding and engagement fostered by the text.

Interpretations Volume VIII stands as a shining example of the academic excellence and creative talent of Brookdale Community College’s students. The dedication of the student editors, alumni, and faculty has created a literary masterpiece that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on both readers and contributors alike.

If you would like a published copy of Interpretations please contact Professor Cody at or 732-224-2681.