STEM Student Secures National Honor

PARAMUS, N.J. – Bergen Community College student Lisa Nam has earned the 2022-23 Terry O’Banion Student Technology Award and Student Developer Champion Award from the League for Innovation in the Community College. Nam, of Teaneck, will receive $1,000 for educational expenses and a plaque commemorating her achievement. The international nonprofit organization seeks to inspire progress and innovation at community colleges.

“We are extremely proud to see Lisa receive this well-deserved award,” Bergen STEM Program Director Luis De Abreu said. “Lisa is a very talented computer science student who has accomplished a high level of academic success. Seeing prestigious national organizations like the League for Innovation in the Community College recognize Lisa Nam validates that we are providing our STEM students with the tools and resources to succeed,” De Abreu said.

Born in Seoul, South Korea, Nam now studies game programming and computer science at Bergen, concurrently enrolling in two associate degree programs. Among her activities and accolades, Nam has become a STEM Student Scholar, a 3SP Scholar, a member of Phi Theta Kappa, a member of the Judith K. Winn School of Honors and a member of the dean’s list. She also works as a math and science peer tutor for computer science classes and as a computer lab assistant.

“I am tremendously honored to receive this award and I am proud of my achievements,” Nam said. “This award wouldn't have been possible without the 3SP program.”

The 3SP program provides outlets, resources and opportunities for students studying STEM to achieve goals, earn scholarships and reach their four-year school aspirations. As a 3SP scholar, Nam worked on the Bergen Routes team to develop an interior navigation application for the College’s buildings. She also started her own artificial intelligence project, “Trash Saver,” which directs waste into appropriate receptacles.

“As a programmer, I passionately believe in building technologies that reduce the difficulty and time lost due to mundane or overly complicated tasks to allow people to focus on more important things in their lives,” Nam said. “I believe creating programs that eliminate tedious and mundane tasks will not only lead to more advancements in our society but also lead to a more equal society where more people are free to do creative work that they love to do.”

Nam’s participation in the STEM research internship program demonstrated her leadership skills and her commitment to empowering others.

“I learned more outside of the classroom than I did inside,” she said.

Nam expects to graduate with two degrees this May: an associate of science in computer science and an associate of applied science. She has cherished her Bergen experience.

“I was constantly surrounded by dedicated students, supportive professors, and friendly staff members at Bergen,” Nam said. “They ran the extra mile to help me achieve my full potential.”

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.

Photo caption: Bergen Community College Board of Trustees Secretary Joseph Barreto, President Eric M. Friedman, Ph.D., student Lisa Nam, STEM Program Director Luis De Abreu and Trustee Chair Dorothy Blakeslee.

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