On April 28th, the New Jersey Council of County Colleges (NJCCC) honored 38 students from the state’s 19 Community Colleges for being named to the 2022 New Jersey All-State Academic Team for their outstanding academic achievements and exceptional service to their communities and colleges as members of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the national honor society for Community Colleges. The New Jersey Community College Scholars Celebration was held at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton.

“These students truly exemplify the true power of Community Colleges. The New Jersey All-State Academic Team members have worked incredibly hard to become the state’s very best Community College students. They have remarkable stories and serve as an inspiration to all,” said NJCCC President Aaron Fichtner, Ph.D.

“They have become leaders on their college campuses and have contributed to their communities in myriad ways,” said NJCCC Chair Mary Zimmermann. “As we emerge from the pandemic, New Jersey Community College students continue to prove their perseverance and achievement.”

The 2022 New Jersey All-State Academic Team members from Brookdale Community College are Cathleen Kane (Hazlet) and Daniella Mannarino (Tinton Falls).

Mannarino will receive an Associate of Science in Hospitality Management and is traveling to Italy to study abroad this summer. “Community college in New Jersey has changed my life by giving me the confidence to go for what I want academically and, in my career,” said Mannarino. “While in high school, I constantly second-guessed my decisions because I did not feel supported by those around me. When I got to Brookdale Community College, my professors and peers never showed doubt in my goals and encouraged me to excel even more at every opportunity presented to me.” 

Kane will receive an Associate of Arts in Education this spring. “New Jersey’s Community Colleges have gifted me with incredible professors who have pushed me beyond what I knew I was capable of, both academically and professionally,” said Kane. “I have made some of my greatest friends with whom I have made memories I will forever cherish. Brookdale Community College introduced me to Phi Theta Kappa where I learned to not only grow as a scholar and leader, but PTK also showed me that even the smallest act of kindness and service can make a world of difference, something I will always carry with me. Finally, Brookdale Community College showed me that community college is not just a starting place, it is a place where you can find who you are truly meant to be!” 

Additionally, as part of the USA All-State Academic Team competition, Brookdale’s Cathleen Kane was recognized as one of only five New Jersey Community College students to receive the Gold Scholarship by Phi Theta Kappa and the Coca-Cola Foundation. Team members were nominated by their college administrators based on academic achievement, leadership, and engagement in college and community service.