Marija Binch, a Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) Liberal Arts major, and Andrea Reed, a BMCC alumna (’16, Business Administration), were selected to be part of the Phi Theta Kappa All-State Community College Academic Team for New York.
As team members, Binch and Reed are eligible for the $5,000 All-USA Academic Team scholarship, and an invitation to attend the April 2017 American Association of Community Colleges conference.
On March 2, Binch and Reed will attend a recognition ceremony with other Phi Theta Kappa team members from across the country.
“It is a great honor for students to be nominated from their colleges for the All-State teams and be put forward for these scholarships,” said Heather Allen, Scholarship Operations Coordinator at the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society headquarters in Jackson, Mississippi. “We have a chance to see the best and brightest community college students from across the country, and recognize their achievements.”
The two Phi Theta Kappa students from BMCC represent the range of students at the College, many of whom come from more than 150 countries, and across the United States.
Andrea Reed grew up in Kansas City and moved to New York at age 22. After working as a bartender and waitress for several years, she enrolled at BMCC where she maintained a 3.88 GPA and made the Dean’s List. She joined Phi Theta Kappa at BMCC and graduated in Fall 2016 with an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree in Business Administration.
One of Reed’s priorities at BMCC was to support the college’s efforts to create its first Honors Program. She completed two pilot Honors classes; Microeconomics, and Money and Banking, and spoke before the BMCC Academic Senate on her experience. Other activities she took part in included serving as treasurer of the BMCC Journalism Club, and helping to resurrect and write the BMCC student newspaper. As Secretary of the Finance Club, she took part in BMCC’s group presentation for the College Federal Reserve Challenge of the Federal Reserve System.
In Fall 2017, Reed will enter the bachelor’s degree program in economics at the University of Pennsylvania.
“My love for economics comes from the macroeconomic theory that society is greater as a whole if everybody has an equal opportunity to participate,” she says. “My particular area of interest would be economic factors facing young women. I would use the knowledge gained from my research to supplement the personal finance book for young women that I have been working on for several years. I would also love to create or be involved in a non-profit organization that provides resources and advice to first-generation college students and assists them in becoming the best possible versions of themselves.”
Marija Binch is a Liberal Arts major at BMCC and a member of both Phi Theta Kappa and the BMCC Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP). She plans to graduate in June 2017 and transfer to Brooklyn College/CUNY, where she will begin her bachelor’s degree studies with a double major in speech language pathology and early childhood education.
“I’m very passionate about the human voice and how different muscles produce our speech,” she says. “Eventually, I want to work as a speech language pathologist with children in a preschool.” Her interest in speech and voice, she says, evolved from her love of music. Binch grew up in Ukraine, where she sang with a band that performed in restaurants. While there, she earned the equivalent of an associate degree to work in the postal service, but at age 22 moved to New York.
Today, she sings with the Ukrainian chorus, Dumka, and volunteers with City Sounds of New York, a pediatric-based language development center. She also works as a College Assistant in the BMCC CUNY Language Immersion Program (CLIP), where she studied as an ESOL student for three semesters before entering the college as a matriculating student.
“Many immigrants don’t know much about the American education system, but as a CLIP student, I was given a lot of information about CUNY programs and options for tuition assistance,” she says. That experience helped guide her to ASAP and Phi Theta Kappa, where “I get to work with a lot of motivated people who motivate me to do better.”