Three Brookdale Community College students will undertake research projects in the 2018-2019 academic year under the NASA STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Fellowship program. Renato Giordani, Zyanya Flores and Robert Mennella represent the fifth cohort of Brookdale students selected under the program since 2015.
Zyanya Flores of Ocean Township, NJ is a Math/Science (Science Option) major at Brookdale. She plans to continue her studies at Rutgers University in fall 2019 as a biology major with plans to enter the Physician Assistant’s program. She is considering various topics for her research project focusing in medicine.
“Winning the fellowship boosted my confidence and confirmed that I’m on the right path in my career,” said Flores.
Renato Giordani, Jr., of Newark, NJ, studies Mechanical Engineering at Brookdale and plans on pursuing a career in Aerospace Engineering. He is currently deciding among several options for his research project and plans to pursue a career in the aeronautics industry.
“I want to create more efficient aircraft to make our transportation system more reliable and to lower costs for those who rely on air travel for business and leisure,” said Giordani. “I was very proud to receive this fellowship, and it shows that hard work produces results.”
Robert Mennella of Brooklyn, NY, studies Mechanical Engineering. He came to Brookdale after a career in military and federal law enforcement. His research project will focus on sustainability and the ocean environment. Mennella plans to transfer to Rutgers University and study Bioenvironmental Engineering. His career goal is to combat the increasing plastics pollution problem in the world’s oceans.
“I am thankful to my professors and others who encouraged me to apply for the fellowship and who have encouraged me in this new career,” said Mennella. “It’s an honor to be selected, and this fellowship will help me to achieve my professional goals.”
The students will work with faculty mentors Dr. Gitanjali Kundu (Holmdel, NJ), assistant biology professor, and Dr. Susan Monroe (Bradley Beach, NJ), associate mathematics professor, on their projects. Twenty-three Brookdale students have participated in the program since its inception.
Flores, Giordani and Mennella began providing free tutoring in the STEM disciplines to fellow Brookdale students this fall. The trio will present their research to the Brookdale community as part of the Student Achievement Showcase forum in the spring. Each student received a $1,500 grant toward their education under the program funded by NASA and the New Jersey Space Consortium.