At the Spring Convocation on January 19, 2021, Brookdale President Dr. David Stout announced the 2020 Class of Emeriti, recognizing numerous former employees for their honorable contributions to the college at the virtual ceremony.
“Brookdale Community College’s reputation of educational excellence has been built through the hard work and dedication of outstanding employees over the past five decades,” Stout said.
“These emeritus employees’ contributions helped to establish Brookdale Community College as one of finest institutions in the United States of America.”
Stout stressed the honor and significance of earning emeritus status.
“The title of ‘Emeriti’ is the most esteemed title that Brookdale Community College can bestow upon a former employee,” he said.
Professor Emeritus Jane Banks, who started working at the College in 1969 in the office technology program, reflected on her 28-year journey at Brookdale during the ceremony, noting that the College’s mission has remained constant for decades.
“The faculty is continuing and building on the reputation and the hard work that we started way back when,” Banks said. “Brookdale is the crown jewel of Monmouth County. I’m so pleased I’ve had the opportunity and desire to work there all those years and I certainly look forward to hearing about the successes in the future.”
Sylvia Smith was awarded the title of Emeritus Professor for her significant contributions to the fashion merchandising program and leadership as a Division Chair and President of the Faculty Association.
“I don’t think there’s anybody who’s ever worked at Brookdale who’s enjoyed it more than I did,” Smith said. “I have loved Brookdale from the moment I set my foot on that campus, and I will love it forever.”
Professor Emeritus Barbara Tozzi was recognized for her accomplishments within the mathematics department, and the several leadership positions she held throughout her 26-year career at Brookdale, including Basic Skills Coordinator, department chair, and advisor to WEST (Women in Engineering, Science, and Technology).
“I enjoyed every opportunity that Brookdale has offered,” Tozzi said. “I truly loved working on creative projects with colleagues…we all have the same goal: to enrich the learning experience of our students.”
Ann Tickner-Janowski gained Administrator Emeritus status for her work as director of transfer resources. Throughout her nearly three-decades-long career at Brookdale, she helped to initiate and expand the College transfer and exchange program with a number of four-year institutions.
“I’ve worked at Brookdale for 29 years and I’ve loved every minute of it. I was extremely fortunate in that I truly loved my job,” Tickner-Janowski said. “I knew how lucky I was that every day I could go to work and be proud of what I was doing.”
President Stout also recognized former Brookdale employees who were honored with emeritus status posthumously.
Among those recognized was Professor Emeritus Michael Fowler, whose son, Stephen Fowler, spoke about his father’s 45-year career teaching marketing at the College.
“He was a mentor for so many and believed that everyone deserves an opportunity to achieve the highest level of education possible. Teaching wasn’t just a job, he genuinely loved his students and his favorite joy was sharing wisdom, knowledge, and discipline with the young people on his watch,” Fowler said. “He was very funny and a blessing to be around and always kept his colleagues on their toes with his unique brand of humor. He was not afraid to barge in on a friend while teaching to make them laugh.”
Seymour Seigler was awarded emeritus status posthumously for his contribution to the history department during his 25 years of service at Brookdale. His daughter, Sara Siegler, spoke about the strong connections he built with his students.
“We couldn’t go anywhere without bumping into one of his students, and it seemed to me, no matter how long it was, he always remembered their names, even if it was 20 or 30 years prior that he taught them,” Seigler said. “He made connections with people and always wanted to be someone, not just their college professor, but a part of their lives, and I think that was his legacy.”
President Stout reinforced the lasting impact the honorees will make to the College while speaking directly to them, and to the families of those who have passed.
“You truly are Pillars upon which an amazing institution has been built and it’s my honor to present this to you,” he said. “Your names will forever be inscribed on that plaque that will hang at the College.”
Following is the complete list of all honored.
· Professor, Emeritus
o Jane Banks
o Newana Barnes
o Antonio Blaser
o Sylvia Smith
o Anthony Snyder
o Barbara Tozzi
o Linda Wang
· Administrator, Emeritus
o Kimberly Heuser
o Ann Tickner-Jankowski
· Staff, Emeritus
o Thomas Hughes
· Lee Blaustein, Administrator, Emeritus
· Fred Fraterrigo, Professor, Emeritus
· Norma Klein, Administrator, Emeritus
· Carol McCartin, Administrator, Emeritus
· Kay Merritt, Administrator, Emeritus
· Seymour Seigler, Professor, Emeritus
Posthumous (passed while still in-service)
· Carl Francese, Professor, Emeritus
· Michael Fowler, Professor, Emeritus
Photo: Sylvia Smith