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Wednesday, April 01

Brookdale Newsroom

Students Shine at 2017 Achievement Showcase
Six members of the Brookdale Honors Program sit behind a table and in front of a projection screen in the Student Life Center.

From the classroom to the community, Brookdale students were able to build, create and achieve tremendous things during the 2016-17 school year. And with a few weeks remaining before graduation, dozens of students came together to discuss their accomplishments during the 2017 Student Achievement Showcase, held April 20 in the Student Life Center.

Whether you were interested in the science of music, the effects of climate change, the prospects of sustaining life of Mars, the cultural roots of ISIS or the benefits of studying abroad, this year’s showcase offered something for everyone.

Some students, like Brookdale NASA STEM fellows Joe Bongiorno, Joseph Guth and Christine Little, discussed their year-long research projects in fields such as electrical engineering, astrophysics and entomology. Others presented on their experiences as members of a Brookdale club or initiative, including the newly established chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS).

“If you want to have your own business, or if you want to go into law enforcement or be an acclaimed scientist, you can. Here, we teach you how to do that,” said NSLS chapter president Chanell Singletary-Eskridge, who presented alongside treasurer Michael LaMura. “Being a part of something like this has definitely allowed me to grow and prosper, to learn more about myself and take things beyond just what I’m learning in class.”

Some students handled double- or even triple-duties during the showcase, presenting on multiple topics and initiatives throughout the afternoon. Brookdale honor student Gaetano Jones joined colleagues David Coleman, Anna MacInnis and Colin Thompson to discuss the potential implications of artificial intelligence before returning for a panel discussion on the college’s new Global Citizenship Distinction initiative.

“It was an eye-opening experience,” said Jones, a second-year graphic design major who will be graduating with Global Citizenship honors at commencement next month.

Chanell Singletary-Eskridge presents during the 2017 Student Achievement Showcase on April 20.

Chanell Singletary-Eskridge presents during the 2017 Student Achievement Showcase on April 20.

“I went from not being involved in anything to being involved in a lot really fast, which is great. I’ve learned to focus more on the broader picture and how things interact on a global scale, as opposed to just focusing on my own little bubble.”

Members of The Innovation Network (TIN) later presented on their work both on campus and in the community this year, including a new effort to establish a community garden on the Lincroft campus.

The group also discussed their upcoming benefit auction at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Freehold, which will be held from 12 to 4 p.m on Satuday, April 29. The event, according to TIN public relations officer Matthew Kessig, will feature unique auction items, donated food from area restaurants, a costumed mascot, games and live music performed by Brookdale students.

The showcase also included a presentation on culture shock and the challenges faced by students studying in the U.S., led by a panel of Brookdale international students, along with presentations on drug addiction, brain chemistry, attribution theory and the science of pet birds.

Members of the Honors Program also hosted back-to-back panel discussions centering on the strategies students can take to make the most of their time at Brookdale. Honor student and 2017 New Century Scholar Kelsey Giggenbach encouraged attendees to find a group of classmates with similar interests and goals, like the ones she found in the honors program.

“It’s just a different atmosphere, when you are studying and taking classes with people who share the same goals and mindset as you,” said Giggenbach, speaking alongside honor students Brianna Fortino, Grace Groh, Jenna Knapp, Emily McKenna and Natalie Ostermann. “They’re not just your fellow students, they are also your friends.”

View the full list of 2017 Student Achievement Showcase presenters here.

According to event organizers and Brookdale faculty members Deborah DeBlasio and Howard Miller, this year’s program was as vivid, diverse and impressive as the student body it represented.

“The level and the range of work we saw on display today is simply astounding,” said Miller. “The showcase is one of our favorite annual events, because it gives students the opportunity to share their accomplishments with their friends, family, faculty and staff. It also gives the entire Brookdale community the opportunity to experience and appreciate that work on a grand scale. It’s a very proud day for all of us.”

View more photos from the 2017 Student Achievement Showcase here.