PARAMUS, N.J. – Bergen Community College’s Phi Theta Kappa honor society chapter, Alpha Epsilon Phi, has earned both the international and regional “Distinguished Chapter Team” award, continuing a decade of record-setting success for the group.

“We continue to be humbled by our regional and international Distinguished Team Chapter awards through PTK and the overwhelming success of our individual students,” Bergen Vice President of Academic Affairs Brock Fisher, Ph.D., said. “Once again, Bergen’s PTK chapter and students have brought immense pride to our institution and proven the caliber of education that can be gained at Bergen.”

To earn the Distinguished Chapter Team Award, the chapter created two projects: one where students conducted an assessment of the public transportation system in Bergen County and a second where students worked on a research project analyzing the impact of media manipulation on voter perception and behavior using eye-tracking technology.

The chapter team features: Brittany Cardona, of Hasbrouck Heights; Danbee Chae, of Old Tappan; Farai Chekeche, of Fort Lee; Alaa Essafi, of Fairview; Ayaa Essafi, of Fairview; Evan Greenbaum, of Fair Lawn; Hadassah Haricha, of New Milford; Tenzin Kalden, of Hasbrouck Heights; Tae Kim, of Leonia; Robert Krasowski, of Wallington; Amanda Kurland, of Oakland; Adele Lipkin, of Fort Lee; Sokunannya Om, of Clifton; Jennifer Park, of Demarest; Michael Petrazzuolo, of Oakland; Alexios Rossmann, of Dumont; Gabriel Eduardo Sequera Silva, of Wallington; Nami Uchida, of Edgewater; Laura Varon, of Bergenfield; Han Eul Yoo, of Mahwah; Jung Yoon, of Leonia; and Tyler Zamski, of Wood-Ridge.

The group also secured numerous individual honors, including co-Adviser Angie Goldszmidt, of Mahwah, who earned the Continued Excellence Award for Advisors for 2020. Three Bergen alumni, Bryant Gomez, of Englewood; Nile Hagag, of Park Ridge; Luis Sanchez, of Lodi; and current Bergen student Jenna Santacroce, of Saddle Brook, nominated her.

“We wanted to recognize Angie’s leadership, work, and service as an adviser and we are so proud that she has won this award,” Gomez, the College’s alumni trustee who currently attends Rutgers University, said. “She sets an example of what a leader truly is for the chapter and for the College.”

Another honor went to chapter student President Tyler Zamski, of Wood-Ridge, who became one of only 30 students in the world to receive PTK’s international 2020 Distinguished Chapter Officers Award.

“Tyler Zamski has truly gone above and beyond fulfilling his duties and his unique leadership style fostered an inclusive and safe environment for the rest of his team,” Goldszmidt said.

“It was with the help of my amazing team that I was able to achieve this Distinguished Officer Award, and I am forever grateful for their love, support and like-minded desire to improve the world around us,” Zamski said. “It was my chapter team who inspired me to strive for greatness and who helped facilitate my success.”

Meanwhile, Bergen students received some of the most competitive scholarships offered to community college students from the PTK Foundation:

  • Erisa Ganellari, of Garfield, was selected as one of 10 students in the nation to become a Hites Scholar, the PTK’s Society most prestigious and largest scholarship award of $7,500.
  • Jenna Santacroce, of Saddle Brook, and Robert Krasowski, of Wallington, were selected as two of 15 students for the Guistwhite Scholars award, which includes a $5,000 scholarship.
  • Jennifer Park, of Demarest, was selected as one of 50 students for the Coca-Cola Silver Scholar, which includes a $1,250 scholarship.
  • Santacroce and Ganellari were also nominated to the New Jersey All-State Academic Team.
  • Jade Tollis, of Teaneck, was selected as one of 50 students to receive the New Century Workforce Scholarship. Only one student from each state earns the $1,250 scholarship.
  • Tenzin Kalden, of Hasbrouck Heights, was one of seven students to become an Oberndorf Scholar, which includes a $1,000 scholarship.

“We are extremely proud that several of our Bergen students were awarded honors that only had 7, 10 or 50 winners in the entire country,” Fisher said.

Last year, Bergen’s chapter won the international and regional Most Distinguished Chapter awards, making it the top group in the entire world.

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 or

Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (, a public two-year coeducational college, enrolls more than 13,000 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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