Wednesday, April 01

Brookdale Newsroom

Students Shine In 2015 Achievement Showcase

Whether they want to become a gourmet chef or build a clean water well halfway across the world, Brookdale students tend to give it their all. On April 22, more than two dozens students and campus groups had the opportunity to display their talents and successes during the 3rd Annual Student Achievement Showcase.

Throughout the afternoon, Brookdale faculty, staff, administrators and community members gathered in the Student Life Center to view student presentations on a wide range of topics and projects.

For those interested in post-college career paths, students Kevin Moedt and Thomas Irving gave presentations on events management and how to become a successful entrepreneur, respectively.

Culinary Arts students Kim Arthur and Amanda Furlano gave a comprehensive cake decoration demonstration, while next door a team of Interior Design students discussed their recent volunteer work on a new post-partum depression program being rolled out at Monmouth Medical Center.

For those interested in a more global perspective, members of the Brookdale Environmental Club, Alpha Pi Theta and Students for Global Citizenship discussed their year-long “Breaking Down Boundaries” initiative, which is raising money to build a freshwater well in Rwanda.

Nervin Ramirez presents during the 3rd annual Student Achievement Showcase on April 22.

Nervin Ramirez presents during the 3rd annual Student Achievement Showcase on April 22.

“We have to keep in mind that there are many kids in undeveloped nations who lack the opportunities that we have,” said student presenter Mona Patel. “We have to take action.”

Brookdale’s four new STEM fellows discussed projects they will be working on in the coming months, from Nicholas Sakowski’s global climate modeling research and Ashley Crelin’s exploration of quaternions to Adam Winkler’s underwater flight project and Rhiannon Long’s design of an aquaponic system for Neptune Middle School.

The inaugural members of Brookdale’s BUILD leadership program later discussed the personal, academic and professional strides they had made throughout the school year.

BUILD member Andrea Alvarado said the program gave the confidence and the opportunity to meet with state senators and assembly members this year as part of Student Lobbying Day.

“As an ESL student, I never thought that I would be there,” said Alvarado, a Guatemalan immigrant. “I was not only representing myself, but I was representing Brookdale Community College. More than that, I was there representing what I truly believe in, which is community college education. It was a true honor.”

Other showcases included presentations by Giovanni Castiglione, Alyssa Jerome and Callian Stokes, who spoke on their experiences studying abroad as Brookdale students, and Nervin Ramirez, who explained what it was like growing up in America as an undocumented student.

Despite the struggles he continues to encounter as an immigrant on a Deferred Action Permit, Ramirez said he remains determined to earn a bachelor’s degree and build a successful career. More importantly, however, Ramirez said he wants to become an advocate for undocumented youths like himself and help make things easier for those coming up behind him.

“Nothing about my future is truly certain. Yet, this has not stopped me from striving for a better tomorrow,” said Ramirez, current vice president of ALPFA at Brookdale. “That is why I have made it my mission to not only do good in school, but to make an impact on those around me.”

Click here to view the full program of student presentations.

Check out more photos of the 3rd Annual Student Achievement Showcase here.