Erica Rosenthal was named one of the seven Brookdale graduates who will receive the Outstanding Student Award at commencement ceremonies on May 16. The awards recognize student academic excellence, community service, and personal accomplishments.

Rosenthal will be attending Arcadia University as an International Studies Major with a concentration in Sustainable Development and a minor in Creative Writing. She plans to incorporate writing into her career and plans to write and publish.

She credits Brookdale with changing her outlook and approach to academics and helping to create focus and set goals. “I was not interested in grades in high school and was an underperformer,” said Rosenthal. She cites her involvement in Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) as the catalyst for her.

“Through my work on the executive board, I met lifelong friends, like-minded individuals, became a scholar, earned a life-changing scholarship, became a published poet and served my community,” said Rosenthal. Her poem, Red, appeared in Nota Bene, the online literary journal of PTK, the leading national honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students. It was inspired by the 2018 school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

“I didn’t know that transformation was possible but so many members of the Brookdale community, especially Angela Saragusa, Suzanne Parker Harry Compton, Dr. David Stout and others encouraged me to be the best at what I do,” said Rosenthal. “I learned about myself as a student, leader and scholar.”

Rosenthal said receiving the Outstanding Student Award honor has caused her to reflect on her time at Brookdale and how she has evolved. She is grateful to those who helped find her path.


“My advice to anyone attending Brookdale is get involved. There is this stigma that community colleges are less superior to four year institutions. That could not be further from the truth. Community colleges have the academic merit of four year institutions, if you are willing to put in the work. Find your niche, make some friends and invest in your success.”

-Erica Rosenthal

“The Outstanding Student Award Winners excelled academically and helped to make the Brookdale campus even more vibrant and engaging through their leadership and involvement in student clubs, organizations and activities. Their positive impact and community service extended beyond Brookdale, and I know that we’ll see more great accomplishments from them in the coming years.”

-President David Stout

Photo caption:

Erica Rosenthal will continue her studies at Arcadia University.