“The support and service of our scholarly community at Brookdale sets a very powerful example for our students as they embark on their professional training and careers,” said Mary Beth Boylan, Ph.D., professor of Psychology as she began the Psi Beta National Honor Society’s first induction and celebration of being reinstated as a chapter at Brookdale Community College. The evening was memorable, emotional, and full of joy.

“Psychology is one of our biggest programs at the College,” said Norah Kerr-McCurry, Ph.D., dean of Business and Social Sciences. “This honor society is selective and shows the dedication of the people here in the room.  I am very proud to be Dean of the area and proud of our Chapter Advisor Professor Dr. Boylan, who has reconstituted this group because it is so important.”

Over the past two years, Linda Truong, the chapter’s president and instrumental in reinstating the chapter at Brookdale, introduced the evening’s guest speakers. Joel Morgovsky, Ph.D., retired psychology professor and the founder of the Psi Beta Chapter at Brookdale in 2002, and past Psi Beta Executive Board Officers William Cole, Ph.D., Grace Shoonmacher, and Anastasia Carroll.

This was the first time Dr. Morgovsky was on campus since his retirement in 2011. He spoke about research, the national conferences, and spending time with the professors than just in the classroom.

“This is wonderful for the students and the faculty. It breaks down barriers and we do things together in the name of psychology and furthering psychological science,” Dr. Morgovsky said to the new inductees. “The rewards will be worth it.”

The past Psi Beta alumni of Brookdale were enthusiastic and shared their unique experiences with the students, families and friends present and how they benefited from their membership in the honor society.

Dr. Cole continued his education at Kean University, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ, and Rutgers University. In addition, he has taught as an adjunct professor at Brookdale and Rutgers and was recently appointed to the New Jersey Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association.

“If you like to be busy and you like keeping yourself occupied, this field is endless,” Dr. Cole said. “You can get into anything and everything starting with an education in Psychology.”

Grace Shoonmacher was involved in Psi Beta from 2006 to 2009 and served as treasurer and president. She started at Brookdale by completing three associate degrees, an AAS in Nursing, AS in Biology, and AA in Social Science. She then received her BS and MS in Nursing at Monmouth University. She has been a registered nurse at Ocean Medical Center for 12 years. She said her psychology background is a daily touchstone in her work with her patients but never more so than during the coronavirus pandemic.

“This membership in Psi Beta is not just something that is good for your resume, it’s something for networking, for leadership skills, it is something for the rest of your life,” Shoonmacher said. “This is going to follow you, and you are going to have the skills you build here for the rest of your career no matter what it is.”

Anastasia Carroll was the fundraising chair and vice president before becoming president of Psi Beta at Brookdale. “As a professional organizer, there isn’t a day that I don’t use what I have learned in the leadership of Psi Beta.”

Following the speakers, a candlelight ceremony was held as the new inductees recited the pledge and were presented with a certificate and a Psi Beta pin.

Left to right: Linda Truong, Angela Giamos, Eva Abraham, Kimberly Lopez

In addition, a certificate of appreciation was awarded to Linda Truong, Kimberly Lopez, and Angela Giamos, the three outgoing and graduating officers of Psi Beta, for all they have done over the past two years.

“I have been in the community college culture my entire career,” said Dr. Boylan. “Essex County College before Brookdale now for 20+ years. And this has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. And, I have had a lot of rewarding experiences here at Brookdale but these women and what they have done, their growth and exuberance is what got us all through this past year. They are an incredible team together and amazing individuals on their own.”

Lopez started in the position of Secretary but was shortly convinced by Truong to be on the Executive Board in the opening position of Vice President. Next year, Lopez will be attending Rutgers and was accepted into the Honors Living-Learning Community. “She worked hard over the last year to make programs come to fruition,” said Boylan. “We can thank her for all of the coordination of this evening’s program and our fundraiser this year.”

“I am so proud of how far we have come,” Lopez said. “Specifically, I would like to thank Linda Truong for restarting the chapter here at Brookdale. Without her none of this would have been possible. And Professor Boylan for stepping up and making this happen along with being an incredible mentor to me. And Angela for bringing laughter into all the meetings, making the Zoom experience forever memorable.”

Giamos was the chapter’s delegate at all the conferences. “This is the perfect role for Angela,” said Boylan. “She had to interface with people across the country. She is the communications maven, and she takes incredible notes and represented Brookdale at these very high-profile meetings and then came back to report and shared with us what was going on nationally to help us make things happen locally.”

“This whole experience has been so cool and great,” Giamos said. “I have made friends in this society, and I have been able to market this club and network and all these cool things.”

When Truong first came to Brookdale, she was an animation major. After two weeks, she realized that it was not for her. “I felt very lost and did not know what to do,” she said. During her first semester at Brookdale, she was in Professor Boylan’s Psych 106 class. “I just loved her enthusiasm about psychology,” Truong said. “Starting Psi Beta gave me the driving force to do Psychology.” Truong is transferring to The College of New Jersey next year.

“I hope all the new inductees inspire future students to become involved and this experience expands your love and knowledge for psychology,” Truong said. “Together you can ultimately create a community of individuals ready to enter the mental health profession.”

An Investiture proceeded for Eve Abraham as the chapter’s incoming President, and the chapter installation of Psi Beta National Honor Society at Brookdale for the 2022-23 academic year.

Inducted into the Psi Beta National Honor Society for the 2022-23 academic year are:

Eva Abraham, the chapter’s new President. She is from Freehold, is a Psychology major, interested in Statistics and Psychological Research, and enjoys reading in her down time. Her goal is to pursue a career in the medical field.

Rebecca Arleth is from Farmingdale. She is a Psychology and Physics major, with an interest in Forensic Psychology.

Joie Bauman is from Holmdel. She is a Human Services-Pre-Social Work major, with an interest in clinical work and trauma-focused treatment. She is Captain of Brookdale’s Cheer Team, and currently working as a mental health advocate specialist and psychiatrist’s intern. Her future goal is to gain a BSW/MSW from Rutgers University School of Social Work.

Taylor Borkowski is from Matawan and is a Psychology major.

Sophia Giselle Dargis is from Tinton Falls. She is a Psychology and Pre-Social Work major, with an interest in Clinical Psychology and would like to blend Fashion with Psychology. Her goal is to be a therapist or professor.

Ryan Delucia is from Neptune, is a Psychology and Pre-Social Work major, with an interest in counseling, addiction studies, gender and sexuality with a goal to be a therapist working with recovering addicts in the LGBTQ community.

Sauncherie Greene is from East Hartford, CT and is a Psychology major.

Kayla Miller is the chapter’s new Vice President. She is from Middletown, is a Psychology major, with an interest in Clinical Child Psychology. She is a first year Brookdale student and a member of Phi Theta Kappa.

Vic Mitterando, the chapter’s new Secretary, is from Fair Haven, and a Psychology major.

Darneisha Morris is from Red Bank. She was a spring 2022 graduate and completed an AA in Psychology. Her interest is in Educational Psychology, and she hopes to work in an elementary school setting after receiving her Bachelor’s Degree.

Sage Short is from Keyport. She was also a spring 2022 graduate and completed an AS in Pre-Social Work.

Lila Trench is from Oakhurst. Her major is Psychology. Her goal is to be a Psychologist, with the hope of transferring to Rutgers University for her Bachelor’s Degree and an eventual Psy.D., Lila will be participating in the Disney College program through Brookdale in the Fall 2022 semester.