Thursday, February 27

Brookdale Newsroom

Brookdale Student Named to National Academic Team
Student Victoria Cattelona stands in front of a gray wooden wall wearing a black blazer and a blue ribbon

Long Branch resident and Brookdale Community College student Victoria Cattelona has been named one of the nation’s top achieving community college students as a member of the 2018 Coca-Cola Academic Team.

Cattelona, 21, was selected alongside 49 students from across the U.S. as a Coca-Cola Academic Bronze Scholar, earning a $1,000 scholarship and an invite to the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) International Honor Society national convention in Kansas City, Missouri next month.

The Coca-Cola Academic Team, sponsored by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, recognizes 50 Gold Scholars, 50 Silver Scholars and 50 Bronze Scholars each year with nearly $200,000 in total scholarships. Students are selected based on academic achievement, leadership, campus engagement and community service activities.

“I am thrilled to receive this scholarship and recognition, and I am glad to be representing Brookdale and our PTK chapter as a Bronze Scholar,” said Cattelona. “Without the active encouragement of my advisors Angela Saragusa and Shahin Pirzad, my fellow board members and interim President David Stout, I would not have considered applying for the scholarships Phi Theta Kappa and its affiliated sponsors offer. I must thank them immensely for all they have done for me.”

Cattelona, a political science major, serves as vice president of scholarship for Brookdale’s PTK chapter, vice president of the Brookdale Honors Association and a member of the Brookdale Honors Program, where she works as an ambassador and a peer mentor for incoming students. She is also a member of the college’s History and Political Science Club and serves as a campus liaison for the PTK chapter.

After graduating from Brookdale this May, Cattelona plans to transfer to a prestigious university and pursue a career in politics.

Cattelona is the third Brookdale student in as many years to be named among the nation’s top community college students.

Last year, Howell resident Kelsey Giggenbach was named the top community college student in New Jersey and received a $2,000 scholarship as part of the New Century Scholars Program, sponsored by the Coca-Cola FoundationCoca-Cola Scholars Foundation, the American Association of Community Colleges and Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) international honor society. She now studies at Seton Hall University.

In 2016, Howell resident Sameerah Wahab was named the top community college student in the state and one of the top 20 students in the country as a member of the 2016 All-USA Community College Academic Team. Wahab, who currently studies at Rutgers University, received a $5,000 scholarship.

Learn more about Brookdale’s PTK chapter here.