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Phi Theta Kappa

Members of Bergen’s award-winning Phi Theta Kappa chapter and President Eric M. Friedman, Ph.D.

PARAMUS, N.J. – Adding to its reputation as one of the world’s finest chapters of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the honor society of two-year colleges, Bergen Community College’s Alpha Epsilon Phi chapter of the organization recently notched more than a dozen group and individual awards as part of international and regional recognition events sponsored by PTK.

“We are extremely honored and proud of our chapter’s accomplishments, especially during this challenging time,” Bergen PTK faculty advisers Lisa Mayer, Esq., and Kelly Keane said in a cosigned statement. “Our students’ commitment and dedication to their school, community, and each other is inspiring.”

At the international Catalyst Conference, Bergen’s chapter earned six awards: a top 100 ranking among the 1,300 groups worldwide; the “Beta Alpha Continued Excellence Award;” the “Distinguished Honors in Action Theme Award;” the “Distinguished Honors in Action Projects Award;” “Five Star Chapter Recognition;” and the “Distinguished Chapter Member” award for Raymond Yoon, of Wayne.

Meanwhile, during the regional awards, the chapter earned the No. 2 overall ranking (of 71 groups), while placing first in the region in three categories, notching the “Most Distinguished Project,” “Honors in Action Theme” and “Distinguished College Project” awards. The chapter’s executive board members won the “Distinguished Officer Team” award as well. Individually:

  • Yoon placed first in the “2021 Middle States Regional Most Distinguished Chapter Member” award category, with Crystal Yoo, of Hackensack, placing fifth and Casey Troy, of Dumont, placing sixth;
  • Yoo also received recognition for her placement on the “2021 All-USA Academic Scholarship Team,” which honors her as one of the top 20 community college students in the nation, and as a PTK “2021 Distinguished Officer;”
  • Genesis Capellan, of Englewood, received recognition as a “2021 Coca-Cola Academic Team Gold Scholar;” and
  • Mayer, the chapter’s co-advisor, of Livingston, earned the “2021 Paragon Advisor Award.”

The group’s award-winning projects included developing “H.U.B.” – Help Unite Bergen – video tutorials regarding Bergen resources shared through social media to better connect students during the pandemic; conducting a 1,200-student survey presented to the Board of Trustees; and publishing a children’s book on antiracist education tactics created in response to the death of George Floyd.

Both the international and regional recognition ceremonies took place virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the 2019 international conference, Bergen’s chapter earned recognition as the top chapter in the world.

Bergen’s PTK members must maintain a 3.6 GPA and have completed 12 credits. The chapter features 4,372 current and alumni members.

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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