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Bergen County Students Enter National Science, Math Honor Societies



AHA By: Richard L. Smith 

STEM standouts from the Academy of the Holy Angels were recognized at a joint induction ceremony held on April 4. Angels who excel in the sciences were welcomed into the Science National Honor Society. 

AHA officials said students who demonstrate excellence in mathematics are now members of Mu Alpha Theta.

Thirteen Angels entered both organizations. Dual honorees are Stephanie Chan of Closter; Mia Aiko Chang of Valley Cottage, New York; Hyerin “Ella” Eom and Kate Kim of Palisades Park; Tristan Fowler of Upper Nyack, New York; Kate Hurst of Hillsdale; Katerina Karlis and Hailey Schnacht of Cresskill; Gabriella Ragucci of Harrington Park; Karina Small of River Edge; Fiona Sykes of Oradell; Lauren Tong of Old Tappan; and Annika Watson of Montvale.

Angels who took the Mu Alpha Theta oath are Giselle Acosta of Fort Lee; Francesca Casagrande of Alpine; Yeon Choe of Nutley; Julianna Dail of Saddle River; Beatrice Gee of Englewood; Lauren Gumban of Lodi; Caroline Kartman of Edgewater; Angelina Kim of Tenafly; Sophia Lee of Allendale; and Natalie Yoo of Englewood Cliffs.

New members of the SNHS include Alexia Adhikary of Rutherford; Alexandra Boardman of Saddle River; RaphaelaCárdenas of Clifton; Karis Cho of Harrington Park; Julia Favaroof Demarest; Breanna Hetzer of Nutley; Hannah Janiec of East Rutherford; Hollie Melia of Norwood; Kristina Migliaccio and Elise Pisciotti of Franklin Lakes; Alexandra Nicholas of Emerson; Georgette “Gigi” Ochs of Fair Lawn; Allie Pyun of Cresskill; Alison Roh of Englewood Cliffs; Ellie Sawyer of Weehawken; Alexandra Valdez of Oakland; Victoria Velasco of Woodcliff Lake; and Maggie Yu of Tenafly.


This year’s SNHS inductees also include several Angels who previously joined Mu Alpha Theta. These Angels are: Sidney Chung, Sarah David, Elise Kim, Katelyn Lee, and Ava Taylor of Cresskill; Ava Goyal of Montclair; Emily Kim of Englewood Cliffs; Haeun Lee of Closter; Alice Lee of Haworth; Isabella Novo of River Vale; Olivia Papp of Hawthorne; and Elise Tao of Upper Saddle River. 

Mu Alpha Theta Chapter Co-president Suzanna Odusotewelcomed everyone to the April 4 induction and led the clever STEM Prayer, which begins, “Lord, teach me to number my days and graph them according to your ways, trusting you to base me in your plan to complement your perfect diagram.”

Mu Alpha Theta Co-president Anna Jang shared how she always finds herself counting: counting the beats as a member of the orchestra, calculating a tip in a restaurant, checking the rhythm of a heart, and considering distance when running.

Jang mentioned the joy of receiving her first A+ in math and how the two students who sat next to her back in 2019 became her closest friends.

“Some things are not countable,” Jang added, commenting on the “unrelenting generosity” of those at AHA.

Mu Alpha Theta accepts students who demonstrate excellence in mathematics. Established at the University of Oklahoma in 1957, Mu Alpha Theta is a national organization for high school and junior college students.

The organization hosts an annual national convention and provides scholarships, grants, and awards.

Society members participate in Study Buddy, a tutoring program that pairs them with students who might not otherwise have access to a tutor.

SNHS Chapter President Cecilia Yun discussed some of the reasons she loves science, adding that science allows us to see color, understand how a seatbelt helps to protect people riding in a vehicle and explain why toothpaste alters the taste of orange juice.

While science can explain many elements of daily life, Yun encouraged the new inductees in a different direction.

“Embrace the unknown,” Yun said. “See science as a new way of seeing the world.”


Dominique Rose Dela Gente, Mu Alpha Theta’s media coordinator, presented the inductees with assistance from Co-Vice President Jiayi “Stella” Ouyang. Isabel Stein also serves as co-VP.

SNHS Vice President Giovanna Corbisiero led the pledge. Each SNHS inductee promises to do her best “to represent the academic goals of the Science National Honor Society, participate in community service, and encourage the pursuit of scientific knowledge that benefits all mankind.”

AHA Science Department Chairperson Sharon Jureller, SNHS Adviser Andrew Sanchez, AHA Math Department Chair Jovanka DePalma, and Mu Alpha Theta Adviser Pamela Ruschak looked on as the honorees received their pins and certificates.

AHA Principal Jean Miller congratulated the inductees, noting that they are well-positioned to “find innovative solutions to real-world problems.” She added, “You are the people who will find answers and solutions.”

Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County.