Thirty of Monmouth County’s best and brightest were officially welcomed into the Brookdale Honors Program on Aug. 14, during a pre-semester orientation program on the Lincroft campus.
Honors Program co-coordinators Dr. Laura Neitzel and Jonathan Moschberger joined Brookdale President Dr. Maureen Murphy, Humanities Dean Dr. Carl Calendar, Student Life and Activities Director Robert Quinones and a host of others in congratulating the students for joining one of the most rigorous – and rewarding – programs at the college.
“We love honor students at Brookdale, as you are going to learn,” Neitzel told the group. “We are extremely excited to welcome you all today, and introduce you to some of the people, places and resources that will be available to you here.”
The event began with an address by Murphy, who encouraged the students to make the most of their opportunities as a Brookdale honor student.
“We have all the support that you need, and we have the best faculty that I have ever come across,” she said. “They are going to challenge you. You are going to learn, you’re going to learn from each other, and you are going to have an extraordinary experience.”
Those sentiments were echoed by Calendar and Quinones, who outlined the various academic and student life opportunities available to all Brookdale students.
Citing the successes of past honors graduates – including alumni who have transferred to Georgetown, American and Johns Hopkins universities – both men encouraged the college’s newest enrollees to join clubs, get involved, and become leaders on campus.
“After two years, you can almost pick the college you want to go to,” Calendar said. “There will be scholarships available for you, and you will be graduating with little or no debt. You are really going to enjoy this experience and make a lot of new friends. So welcome to Brookdale.”
The all-day orientation featured a wide range of programming, icebreakers and group activities, including an overview of the honors program and the service-learning opportunities available to each student. Executive members of Brookdale’s Student Life Board also discussed the role of the college’s student governing body, and encouraged the new honor students to get involved.
After lunch the students were divided into groups for a campus-wide scavenger hunt, which required them to take photos in front of specific campus landmarks and facilities. The hunt, which included important resources like the campus bookstore, STEM Lounge, club offices, the Learning Commons and the Recreation and Events Center, was equal parts entertainment and education, Neitzel said.
“It’s a lot more fun than just taking everyone on a campus tour,” she said.
The new students will join about 30 returning Brookdale honor students, many of whom now serve as mentors for their first-year colleagues. One of those mentors, second-year student Alex Karn, said the program has already had a significant impact on his attitude and approach toward college.
“A year ago I was sitting in those seats, thinking that college was about showing up to class, doing your work and going home,” he said. “Now I’m here telling students that there is so much more. There are opportunities to do service learning projects, to take on leadership roles – to really get involved.
“It has been an amazing experience for me, personally and academically,” he added. “The other members of the honors program are my best friends now.”
To learn more about the Brookdale Honors Program, click here.
Check out more photos of the orientation program here.