Student Achievement Showcase poster 2020

Welcome to the 2020 Student Achievement Showcase!  

Here you will find presentation from some of Brookdale’s most committed students, who were able to thrive despite the move to remote live learning and all other challenges that we faced during the Spring of 2020 semester. 

Emily Cuje: The Disparate Treatment of Male and Female Terrorists by our Criminal Justice System

Instructor: Jacquelynn Seely, Esq. Assistant Professor
Chair, Criminal Justice Department 

Student: Emily Cuje 


Here is the presentation from Emily Cuje. Emily is a Criminal Justice major and chose to do this presentation on the disparate treatment of male and female terrorists by our Criminal Justice System. I think you will agree with me when I say she did a great job! 

Jonathan Ahl:  Podcast Research Project on Sarah J. Hale

Instructor: Jane Scimeca 


Jonathan Ahl  – podcast research project on Sarah J. Hale
Erin McEvoy – podcast research project on Emma Goldman
Taylor Fagliarone – podcast research project on Dorothea Dix  


My course, HIST 125: Women’s History, requires a podcast research project.  The objective of the research project is to work with Judi Ungar (Brookdale librarian) and research a woman from a provided list.  Students had to focus on the historical significance as well as how the life story fulfills our course methodology – the approach to studying women’s history in Gerda Lerner’s classic essay, “Placing Women in History”. Lerner’s methodology for studying women in America states that by restoring women to the narrative of American history provides an honest and complete record of the past.  After reading three sources, students had to analyze the sources and prepare a 10-15 minute podcast to be recorded on cell phone and submitted as an audio file to the CANVAS drop box.   

Jonathon Ahl’s project on Sarah J. Hale, Erin McEvoy’s project on Emma Goldman and Taylor Fagliarone’s project on Dorothea Dix were exceptionally creative and demonstrated their understanding of the course methodology.  Each student designed the podcast with their own creative flair, but also complied with the guidelines of the assignment.  They used library resources, wrote their script and performed their podcasts that produced final projects exceeded my expectations.   

Jill Albert: Positive Psychology

Instructor: Marlena Frank, Assistant Professor of Psychology 

Student: Jill Albert 


It is a tremendous honor to nominate my current student, Jill Albert, to be considered for the Achievement Showcase at Brookdale Community College. Ms. Albert is a non-traditional student who has proven that she has GRIT beyond compare. After raising her daughter, Jill decided to enroll in college while her daughter also began her pursuit in higher education. Taking one class a semester, Jill has remained determined in her quest to complete her degree in Social Science; a goal she will meet this year with an anticipated 3.95 GPA.  

Ms. Albert is currently completing her Final Project for Positive Psychology (Psyc 219). Her project will highlight not only the most recent, compelling scientific findings in the field of positive psychology, but also her personal journey in applying these concepts to her everyday life. Jill’s “Meta-Rewire” will entail a brief review of the multiple theories, concepts and principles that she has learned over the scope of the semester, while also summarizing her experience and results after applying these techniques, throughout the semester, in her weekly ”ReWire” assignments.  

After teaching Ms. Albert in multiple Psychology classes, I can firmly state that she is an outstanding student who deserves a moment of recognition. Her work in my class has been first-rate; her astute communication skills and ability to master new material is note-worthy.  I believe that her final project will prove to be beneficial to many, particularly in this uncertain, strange time. Please consider Jill Albert’s final project for the Achievement Showcase. 


Marlena Frank, Assistant Professor of Psychology

Jill Albert: Positive Psychology

Spring 2020 Commendations

From Prof. N. Rajkumari Wesley, Ph.D 

From Prof. N. Rajkumari WesleyPh.D
Associate Professor of Psychology  

  1. Nicole Schuman of my PSYC.208 class, Life Span Development.
    Nichole is a nurse working at a Long Term Care Nursing Homeand has been working 12-16 hour shifts ever since the COVID Pandemic began. Some of the staff at her facility got sick and they are running on a skeletal team. However, she kept in regular communication with me to make sure she was not missing any work in this course. I offered her extra time under her circumstances, but she never missed an assignment, and completed EVERYTHING on time, and with high quality. She took permission and time off, to attend my Zoom class sessions; most recently, she led the class in an engaging discussion when her Group had to present their Capstone Project. She made the time to work with Ms. Amy Gingold (Psychology Department’s Learning Assistant) who encouraged her to work hard on her research paper, in spite of all the odds. Her paper is one of the best in her class.  As I write this note on Nichole’s behalf, she is staying at the facility to be available 24/7 for the elderly residents she takes care of. She is a young married student and I have been admiring the manner in which she handled her job as a front line nurse, a student and her home. I definitely felt she needs to be recognized and applauded for her hard and good work in the community.  
  2. Nicole Linde of my PSYC.208 class, Life Span Development. Nichole is a very bright young lady who works very hard in my class. She works as a Patient Transporter at a local hospital. Her job is to move patients to the different departments for medical care when they arrive at the hospital.  She has been working very hard attending to COVID patients and in spite of long hours, has done extremely well in my class. Her family also lost members to the Pandemic and with everything going on, she continued to give her very best to my class. It was easy for her to give up when she was exhausted from work and grief, but is an inspiration to all of us, to keep moving towards our goals in the face of adversity. I commend her for her grit and resilience.  
From: Prof. Kristen E. Petersen, M.D
  1. I would like to nominate Elizabeth Alegria to be in commended in the Showcase.  Elizabeth has been a student of mine for the past two semesters in Anatomy I & II.  She is such an incredibly intelligent student, a quiet individual, but she is never afraid to ask thought-provoking questions about the material as well as to be able to succinctly answer difficult questions that are presented in class.  Her goal is to become a nurse, and I cannot think of a more devoted and capable individual to care for the people that need it most!  She is amazing!  
  2. Mark Salerno is maybe the most dynamic person I have ever met.  He has NEVER missed a class, is always at the front and center of the room, and is always asking and answering really thought provoking questions.  Just, amazing!  He has overcome so much adversity in his life, and has taken advantage of his time at Brookdale Community College to make himself better.  Throughout the two semesters I have known Mark, he has shown such confidence, curiosity, and intelligence in the classroom.  I always know when I ask a question, he will be able to respond!  In short, he is THE exemplary student.  Please consider this nomination for the Student Showcase.  He is someone who truly deserves it! 
  3. Grace Gambarony has been the epitome of class and confidence throughout the two semesters I have known her.  She is a quiet, thoughtful student, but when she communicates, it is infallibly correct and decisive.  She is always well-prepared, answers difficult questions without hesitation, and can quickly interpret complicated concepts and derive a correct result.  Her oral and written communication skills are unsurpassed.  Academically, Grace has excelled in my classes; she earned an A the previous semester, and is on track to earn another A in this current semester.  She is thorough in her responses, and demonstrates an understanding of the material at a level above and beyond that of her peers.  Grace is truly one of the BEST students that I have had the privilege of teaching, and I am so lucky to have had her in my classes.  As an NJ STARS Student, Grace has been determined to complete a degree at Brookdale Community College.  She has a desire to continue her studies in the health care field and believes strongly in the public education system of New Jersey.  Grace would like to continue her pursuit of a degree in medicine, specifically in the field of Diagnostic Radiology; her motivation comes from her mother’s history of breast cancer.  As a medical doctor myself, I cannot think of something more powerful than this to drive the desires of someone who wants to better the world. Grace has also shared one of her most beautiful paintings with me.  I simply cannot believe that it is not a photograph.  It is from a Cathedral in Spain and it takes me back to somewhere peaceful; it draws me to a place where I have no stress and no pain, and I think that she can gift those feelings unto her future patients with her quiet strength and compassion.  She has been kindly giving of herself for the past two years while volunteering her time to assist an older individual with Down syndrome.  While his struggles are monumental, Grace accepts these challenges with love and patience.  With her outstanding empathy and incredible dedication, she will make an outstanding addition to the field of medicine. Grace is truly demonstrative of the spirit of Brookdale.  I have been teaching here for 14 years, and I think Grace is the most talented, gifted and intelligent person I have ever had as a student.  In all this time, I have never felt so strongly about a student being worthy of recognition as I do now!