Community College Trustees Recognize Bergen Student

PARAMUS, N.J. – During the Association of Community College Trustees annual Leadership Congress event last month, the organization recognized students who secured major national awards this year, including Bergen Community College student Kim Gastelu.

The trustee association honored Gastelu for earning the Phi Theta Kappa New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar award and receiving a $1,250 scholarship from the Coca-Cola Foundation - national awards from the honor society of community colleges, PTK. A delegation of Bergen officials, including President Eric Friedman, Ph.D., members of the Board of Trustees and faculty and staff attended the event in support of Gastelu and to present during conference seminars. PTK and Honors Coordinator Anna Gergen and PTK Faculty Adviser Lisa Mayer, Esq., attended the event and offered a cosigned message of support for Gastelu.

“As president of our PTK chapter, Kim has dazzled us again and again with her leadership skills, dedication, and support of other members,” they said. “We were so proud to see her recognized on stage at the ACCT conference for all her hard work.”

Before attending Bergen, Gastelu worked in banking, customer service and administrative roles at Merrill Lynch and Danske Bank. As a legal studies student who became Bergen’s PTK president this summer, Gastelu plans to re-enter the workforce with her newly acquired legal skills and knowledge. She expects to graduate in May 2023.

“I am honored to be a recipient of this prestigious award for my academic performance and to represent the outstanding curriculum that Bergen Community College offers,” Gastelu said. “I am inspired by the fellow students that I have been able to meet through receiving this honor and by the team of strong, supportive leaders we have on staff at Bergen.”

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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