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Livia Fontana.

PARAMUS, N.J. – The International Center for Supplemental Instruction at the University of Missouri-Kansas City has recognized Bergen Community College student and supplemental instruction leader Livia Fontana with the group’s annual “International Outstanding New SI Leader Award.” Fontana represents the only community college student to earn one of the organization’s six major awards honoring supplemental instruction champions. Fellow honorees include faculty, staff and students from Louisiana State University, Baylor University and Texas State University.

“We are extremely proud to see how the leading organization that oversees the supplemental instruction program also recognizes the hard work of Livia,” Bergen STEM Program Director Luis De Abreu said. “Livia has fully embraced the training she received and assisted numerous students that benefited from her sessions. The students, and even faculty leading the classes that Livia supported, were very appreciative of the services she provided and expressed how the academic level of the class as a whole improved.”

Created by the University of Missouri-Kansas City, supplemental instruction consists of regularly scheduled, voluntary, out-of-class group study sessions driven by student needs. Trained peer leaders use collaborative activities to ensure peer-to-peer interaction in small groups.

The award presented to Bergen’s Fontana recognizes her commitment to the College’s supplemental instruction program and excellence as a peer leader. Bergen’s Cerullo Learning Assistance Center – twice recognized as the nation’s top tutoring center – and STEM program collaborate to offer supplemental instruction at the College.

A chemistry major and member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, Fontana, of Upper Saddle River, currently leads supplemental instruction for General Chemistry II at Bergen.

“I feel very blessed to have been selected,” she said. “I know there were many wonderful nominees and it was an honor to have been chosen. It is amazing to be recognized for doing something I love, and it would not have been possible without the support of the incredible supplemental instruction team at Bergen Community College.”

Fontana aspires to become a professor at a university or research institute and contribute to her field. She expects to graduate from Bergen in 2023.

When not attending class or assisting peers through supplemental instruction, the Brazilian expat enjoys cooking and developing gluten-free recipes.

Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (www.bergen.edu), 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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