Best in the World: Bergen’s Honor Society Chapter

Members of Bergen’s Phi Theta Kappa honor society chapter accepting their awards in Orlando.

PARAMUS, N.J. – Bergen Community College’s Phi Theta Kappa honor society chapter, Alpha Epsilon Phi, has earned an institution-record 23 honors at the organization’s annual convention in Orlando, Florida including the international and regional “Most Distinguished Chapter” awards, thus making Bergen’s chapter No. 1 in the world.

“Bergen is proud of our PTK chapter and its accomplishments on the regional, national and international level as a testament to our students’ dedication, leadership, and commitment,” Bergen Vice President of Academic Affairs William Mullaney, Ph.D., said.

It marks the first time in PTK history that a chapter from the Middle States geographical region, which covers New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., won the award, according to Angie Goldszmidt, Bergen’s PTK co-adviser adviser along with co-advisor Win Win Kyi.

“Winning the most distinguished chapter award has been a surreal experience and exceeded the goals we have had for the program,” Goldszmidt, of Cresskill, said. “I am incredibly proud of our students, not only for the awards they received, but particularly for the exceptional work they have done this year.”

Also at the international conference, Bergen student Jenna Santacroce, of Saddle Brook, was elected as the 2019-20 division 1 vice president, Phi Theta Kappa international officer. Santacroce is the fifth Bergen student to serve as a PTK international officer in the past four years.

To earn the most distinguished chapter award, the chapter created two projects for consideration of merit: one where students collaborated with administrators, faculty and counselors to create a new curriculum for students who declared an undecided major; in the second, students worked on a double-blind undergraduate research study aimed at analyzing the cognitive effects of autonomous sensory meridian response media using electroencephalographic brainwave monitoring. Using EEG machines, students focused on measuring the short-term effects on anxiety in comparison to classical music.

“Their projects truly redefined student activism and undergraduate research opportunities,” Goldszmidt said.

Bergen’s complete list of honors:

International Awards

  • Most Distinguished Chapter Award
  • Distinguished Chapter Award
  • REACH Chapter Award
  • Top 100 Chapter Award
  • Distinguished College Project Award
  • Distinguished Honors in Action Project Award
  • Distinguished Honors in Action Theme Award
  • Distinguished Chapter Officer Award – Bryant Gomez of Englewood
  • Distinguished Chapter Officer Award – Luis Sanchez of Lodi
  • Distinguished Chapter Member Award – Daniel Currier of Emerson
  • Distinguished Chapter Advisor Award – Angie Goldszmidt of Cresskill
  • Distinguished Officer Team Award
    • Onur Bas of Elmwood Park
    • Doreta Biba of Leonia
    • Keanu Carbon of New Milford
    • Maddalena Carpignano of Rutherford
    • Sophia Cassera of Lodi
    • Junbyung Chae of Old Tappan
    • Erisa Ganellari of Garfield
    • Bryant Gomez of Englewood
    • Evan Greenbaum of Fair Lawn
    • Patrick Hanna of Park Ridge
    • Hahyung Jung of Ridgewood
    • Manuela Mendez of Lodi
    • Armena Molla of Garfield
    • Alicia Moran of Kearny
    • Amina Muka of Hoboken
    • Sebastian Nazal of Paramus
    • Luis Sanchez of Lodi
    • Jenna Santacroce of Saddle Brook
    • Adelajda Turku of Elmwood Park
    • Rafael Zarifa of Teaneck

Regional Awards

  • Most Distinguished Chapter Award
  • Gold Chapter Award
  • REACH Chapter Award
  • Distinguished College Project Award
  • Distinguished Honors in Action Project Award
  • Distinguished Honors in Action Theme Award
  • Distinguished Chapter Officer Award – Bryant Gomez of Englewood
  • Distinguished Chapter Officer Award– Luis Sanchez of Lodi
  • Distinguished Chapter Member Award– Daniel Currier of Emerson
  • Distinguished Chapter Advisor Award– Angie Goldszmidt of Cresskill
  • Distinguished Officer Team Award
    • Onur Bas of Elmwood Park
    • Doreta Biba of Leonia
    • Keanu Carbon of New Milford
    • Maddalena Carpignano of Rutherford
    • Sophia Cassera of Lodi
    • Junbyung Chae of Old Tappan
    • Erisa Ganellari of Garfield
    • Bryant Gomez of Englewood
    • Evan Greenbaum of Fair Lawn
    • Patrick Hanna of Park Ridge
    • Hahyung Jung of Ridgewood
    • Manuela Mendez of Lodi
    • Armena Molla of Garfield
    • Alicia Moran of Kearny
    • Amina Muka of Hoboken
    • Sebastian Nazal of Paramus
    • Luis Sanchez of Lodi
    • Jenna Santacroce of Saddle Brook
    • Adelajda Turku of Elmwood Park
    • Rafael Zarifa of Teaneck

Founded in 1918, Phi Theta Kappa is the official honor society for two-year colleges that recognizes and awards high-achieving students at associate degree granting colleges. PTK’s mission is to recognize academic achievement of college students and to provide opportunities for them to grow as scholars and leaders. The society is made up of more than 3.5 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 11 nations. For more information, visit www.bergenptk.com/ or www.ptk.org.

Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (www.bergen.edu), a public two-year coeducational college, enrolls more than 14,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.

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