Susanna Falls, from Belford, NJ, was named one of the eight Brookdale Community College graduates to receive the Outstanding Student Award at the College’s commencement ceremonies on May 13 and 14. Falls, a psychology major, received the 2021 Outstanding Student Award for the Business and Social Science Institute for her academic excellence, community service, and personal accomplishments.

“I remember first coming into Brookdale scared and worried, but also excited at the possibilities,” said Falls. It was the professors, tutors, staff, and administration who helped Falls overcome her fears and achieve so much. “Professor Donna Flinn was my first semester English professor who made me fall in love with Brookdale,” Falls explained. “I loved her teaching, her class, and her occasional book recommendations. I loved her so much I had to take her again the following semester,” she said.

Falls also credits Dr. Mary Beth Boylan, professor in the psychology department; Marlena Frank, associate professor in the psychology department; Angela Saragusa, professor in the English department and advisor to the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society; and Geoff Shields, academic tutor in the speech department for helping her achieve her goals. “There were so many people who stood out to me and I now consider role models from my time at Brookdale. I admire so many people from this school and look up to them as leaders,” said Falls.

“Ms. Susanna Falls is the best candidate and truly deserving recipient of the 2021 Outstanding Student Award for the Business and Social Science Institute,” said Boylan. “She exemplifies the very best of our student body in all aspects and will not forget that she got her start at Brookdale!”

During her time at Brookdale, Falls was active in the PTK Honor Society, and held a chair position in her last semester. “The position I filled was chair of special events, but I really was able to help with so much more than the party plans. I really thrived in this position and enjoyed working with fellow students to make Brookdale and our community better for everyone.”

Falls, who finished her associate degree in the fall, is currently a psychology student at the Brookdale-Rutgers University Partnership located on Brookdale’s main campus in Lincroft. “My plans are to get my bachelor’s in psychology and eventually my master’s degree,” Falls said. “I know what I have learned here at Brookdale will aid me in my future plans to help children suffering with mental disorders,” she said.

“Every new student should hold on to the excitement that they feel and not let go of this feeling. They should also remember why they are attending school in the first place,” Falls said. “During the next few semesters there will be difficulty times and long nights. Sometimes it will be very tempting to quit, but holding onto the excitement and that purpose for attending can be very strong motivators.”