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On April 29, several accomplished and committed Brookdale students were recognized at the 2021 Student Achievement Showcase over Zoom. Each mentored by a Brookdale faculty member, the program featured students from a wide range of campus organizations and academic majors.

Samantha Scott, a hospitality major at the College, was recognized for her United States destination project completed in Professor Michelle Zuppe’s Travel and Tourism course. Scott presented her detailed plan for a trip to Portland, Oregon at the showcase.

“The trip had to include all transportation, accommodations, food and beverage choices and a variety of attractions and sites to visit. Samantha planned an excellent trip that I want to go on. She did not miss a detail,” Zuppe said. “The trip was well planned and the itinerary included everything to see in Portland.”

Hospitality management major Randi Knauf was featured by Professor Zuppe for her excellent work on a wedding planning project in Catering and Event Planning. The assignment entailed planning a reception for 100 people, requiring students to choose the venue, menu, decorations, transportation and entertainment along with creating a timeline for the event. Knauf said the challenge of intricately planning a wedding reaffirmed her desire to pursue a career in event planning.

“Knowing I was wanting to get into this field, I thought I was going to get a perfect opportunity to see if I was going to enjoy this and what it would be like,” Knauf said. “[This project] was meant for me, so this turned out to be so much fun working on it, and it turned out to be confirmed that I will enjoy this.”

The Innovation Network (TIN) President Maeve Maguire and Vice President Jeanette Falotico were recognized by professors and TIN advisers Deborah Mura and Thomas Berke for developing and implementing the Monarch Butterfly Garden and Mediation Center on Brookdale’s campus.

“This academic year they have run the complex process of planning a garden, raising funds, including a fabulous February health series and implementing the creation phase so phenomenally that the amazingly involved tasks always seemed effortless,” Berke said. “We are extremely proud and awed by them and the team they created and lead.”

During her presentation, Maguire said the butterfly garden was created with the goal of promoting mental health on campus, which was accomplished through adding herbs for aromatics along with bells and chimes.

“We had a psychology professor sit in on one of our meetings and she mentioned that a lot of students were coming in in crisis and we have been trying to brainstorm ways to kind of counteract that or give some help to students, and we realized we could bring that into the garden with meditation,” Maguire said.

Aside from the wellness aspect, the garden will also serve as a waystation, equipped with necessary resources for monarch butterflies to sustain their migration.

Mentored by professor Elana Maloney, Taylor Cinelli was recognized at the showcase for her research article on motivation, where she discussed the importance of self-compassion and self-discipline in achieving goals.

“[Cinelli] was a shining star from the get go from the very first paper I read of hers which was open and honest and moving about her own personal challenges and struggles,” Maloney said. “And then I have her again now for English 122 which is research writing and I just found her research to be stellar and and and full of depth and full of passion.”



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