“The support and service of our college community at Brookdale sets a very powerful example for our students as they embark on their professional training and careers,” said Mary Beth Boylan, Ph.D., professor of psychology. Boylan began the Psi Beta National Honor Society’s first induction and celebration of his re-entry as a chapter at Brookdale Community College. The evening was memorable, moving and full of joy.
“Psychology is one of our biggest programs at the College,” said Norah Kerr-McCurry, Ph.D., dean of business and social sciences. “This honor society is selective and shows the dedication of the people here in the room. I am very proud to be Dean of the Region and proud of our Chapter Advisor, Professor Dr. Boylan, who has reconstituted this group because is so important.
For the past two years, Linda Truong, Chapter President and instrumental in re-establishing the Chapter in Brookdale, introduced the evening’s guest speakers. Joel Morgovsky, Ph.D., retired psychology professor and founder of the Psi Beta chapter at Brookdale in 2002, and former Psi Beta board members William Cole, Ph.D., Grace Shoonmacher, and Anastasia Carroll.
It was the first time Dr. Morgovsky had been on campus since retiring in 2011. He spoke about research, national conferences and spending time with faculty rather than in class.
“It’s great for students and faculty. It breaks down barriers and we do things together in the name of psychology and the advancement of psychological science,” Dr. Morgovsky told the new inductees. “The rewards are worth it.”
Alumni of Psi Beta from Brookdale were enthusiastic and shared their unique experiences with the students, families and friends in attendance and how they have benefited from being in the honor society.
Dr. Cole continued his education at Kean University, NJ University of Medicine and Dentistry, and Rutgers University. Additionally, he has taught as an adjunct professor at Brookdale and Rutgers and was recently appointed to the New Jersey Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association.
“If you like to be busy and you like to be busy, this field is endless,” Dr. Cole said. “You can get into anything and everything starting with a background in psychology.”
Grace Shoonmacher was involved with Psi Beta from 2006-2009 and served as Treasurer and President. She started at Brookdale earning three associate degrees, an AAS in nursing, an AS in biology, and an AA in social sciences. She then completed her BS and MS in Nursing at Monmouth University. She has been a registered nurse at Ocean Medical Center for 12 years. She said her background in psychology is a daily touchstone in her work with her patients, but never more so than during the coronavirus pandemic.
“That Psi Beta membership isn’t just something that’s good for your resume, it’s something for networking, for leadership skills, it’s something for the rest of your life,” said Shoonmacher. “It’s going to follow you, and you’re going to have the skills that you develop here for the rest of your career, whatever it is.”
Anastasia Carroll was president and vice president of fundraising before becoming president of Psi Beta at Brookdale. “As a professional organizer, there isn’t a day that I don’t use what I learned leading Psi Beta.”
After the speakers, a candlelight ceremony took place as the new inductees recited the pledge and received a certificate and Psi Beta pin.
In addition, a certificate of appreciation was presented to Linda Truong, Kimberly Lopez and Angela Giamosthe three outgoing and graduating officers of Psi Beta, for all they have done over the past two years.
“I’ve been in the community college culture my entire career,” Dr. Boylan said. “Essex County College before Brookdale now for over 20 years. And it was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. And, I’ve had a lot of enriching experiences here at Brookdale, but these women and what they’ve done, their growth and their exuberance is what’s helped us through the past year. They are an incredible team together and incredible individuals on their own.
Lopez started out as secretary but was quickly convinced by Truong to join the board in the opening position of vice president. Next year, Lopez will be attending Rutgers and has been accepted into the Honors Living-Learning Community. “She’s worked hard over the past year to bring the programs to fruition,” Boylan said. “We can thank her for all the coordination of the program for this evening and our fundraising this year.”
“I’m so proud of how far we’ve come,” Lopez said. “Specifically, I would like to thank Linda Truong for restarting the chapter here at Brookdale. Without her, none of this would have been possible. And Professor Boylan for stepping up and making it all happen while being an amazing mentor to me. And Angela for making every meeting laugh, making the Zoom experience forever memorable.
Giamos was the chapter delegate to all the conferences. “It’s the perfect role for Angela,” Boylan said. “She had to interact with people across the country. She’s the communications specialist, and she takes amazing notes and represented Brookdale at those high-profile meetings and then came back to report and share with us what was happening nationally to help us get things moving. locally.
“This whole experience has been so cool and awesome,” Giamos said. “I made friends in this company and I was able to market this club and this network and all this cool stuff.”
When Truong first came to Brookdale, she was an animation student. After two weeks, she realized it wasn’t for her. “I felt very lost and didn’t know what to do,” she said. During her first semester at Brookdale, she was in Professor Boylan’s Psych 106 class. “I loved his enthusiasm for psychology,” Truong said. “Starting Psi Beta gave me the driving force to do psychology.” Truong is transferring to the College of New Jersey next year.
“I hope all new inductees inspire future students to get involved and that this experience expands your love and knowledge for psychology,” Truong said. “Together, you can ultimately create a community of individuals ready to enter the mental health profession.”
An inauguration took place for Eve Abraham as the new chapter president, and the installation of the Psi Beta chapter in Brookdale for the 2022-23 academic year.
Inductees into the Psi Beta Honor Society for the 2022-23 academic year are:
Eva Abraham, the new chapter president. She’s from Freehold, is a psychology major, with an interest in statistics and psychological research, and enjoys reading in her down time. Her goal is to pursue a career in the medical field.
Rebecca Arleth comes from Farmingdale. She majors in psychology and physics, with an interest in forensic psychology.
Joy Baumann is from Holmdel. She specializes in human services and pre-social work, with an interest in clinical work and trauma-focused treatment. She is captain of the Brookdale cheer squad and currently works as a mental health promotion specialist and psychiatric intern. Her future goal is to earn a BSW/MSW from Rutgers University School of Social Work.
Taylor Borkowski hails from Matawan and majors in psychology.
Sophie Giselle Dargis comes from Tinton Falls. She is a psychology and pre-social work major, with an interest in clinical psychology and would love to mix fashion with psychology. His goal is to be a therapist or a teacher.
ryan delucia is from Neptune, is a psychology and pre-social work major, with an interest in counselling, addiction studies, gender and sexuality with the goal of being a therapist working with recovering drug addicts in the LGBTQ community .
Sauncherie Greene hails from East Hartford, CT and majors in psychology.
Kayla Miller is the new vice-president of the chapter. She is from Middletown, is a psychology major, with an interest in clinical child psychology. She is a freshman at Brookdale and a member of Phi Theta Kappa.
Vic Mitterrando, the new chapter secretary is from Fair Haven and specializes in psychology.
Darneisha Morris comes from Red Bank. She was a spring 2022 graduate and earned an AA in psychology. She is interested in educational psychology and hopes to work in a primary school after she graduates.
Sage Shorts comes from Keyport. She was also a spring 2022 graduate and completed an AS in pre-social work.
Lilac Trench comes from Oakhurst. His major is psychology. Her goal is to become a psychologist, with hopes of transferring to Rutgers University for her bachelor’s degree and eventual Psych. D. Lila will attend the Disney College program through Brookdale in the fall 2022 semester.