Two Hudson County Community College Students Named to New Jersey All-State Academic Team

Posted: 5/4/2012
Jennifer Christopher 201-360-4061 or Roger Jones 201-200-1080

Student scholars will be honored at celebration on May 3 in Trenton.

April 25, 2012, Jersey City, NJ – Next Thursday morning, two students from Hudson County Community College (HCCC) will be recognized as being among New Jersey’s 35 best and brightest community college students. Avishek Bose of Jersey City and Shannon Gallagher of Harrison will be honored as members of the New Jersey All-State Academic Team at the 18th Annual Phi Theta Kappa Day celebration on Thursday, May 3, 2012. The event will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Trenton Marriott Hotel in Trenton, NJ. The event, which is hosted by the New Jersey Council of County Colleges, is sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa (the international honor society for community colleges), the Coca-Cola Foundation and the New Jersey Education Association.

HCCC President Dr. Glen Gabert said: “While we are very proud of the accomplishments of all of our students, we are especially happy to acknowledge Avishek Bose and Shannon Gallagher, who represent Hudson County Community College on the All-State Academic Team.” Dr. Gabert explained that the team members are chosen and recognized for their outstanding academic achievement and service on behalf of the community.

Avishek Bose is an Accounting major who divides his time between his family, a full-time job in the accounting department of a large restaurant corporation, his studies (he maintains a 4.0 GPA), community service projects and playing cricket. Born in Calcutta to an economically secure family, Avishek attended some of the best schools in India, excelled in sports, and planned on working in his father’s shoe business. “All those dreams were shattered when my father passed away and my mother moved here to the U.S.,” he says.

Moving forward, he was accepted at New Jersey Institute of Technology, but the higher tuition meant working 60 hours a week while attending school full-time. After running out of money and spending a week sleeping in Newark Penn Station, he decided to focus on his career and accrued experience in business management at a variety of organizations.

Hudson County Community College was the first step in Avishek’s pursuit of a master’s degree in accounting and becoming a Certified Public Accountant. As a member of the Beta Alpha Phi chapter of Phi Theta Kappa who was elected Vice President of Scholarship, he has participated in the Hackensack Riverkeeper Bayonne Clean-up, the Annual MS Mud Run of Jersey City, and several other Society events, including welcoming new members and encouraging participation in social and academic initiatives.

Shannon Gallagher is a Liberal Arts-Elementary and Secondary Education major, and the first member of her family to attend college. Since enrolling at HCCC, Shannon has spent her summers juggling work as a tennis instructor, pool lifeguard and work-study secretary. She was named as a 2011 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar and was recognized as the 2011 Town of Harrison Lions Club “Pride of the Pride” Student/Young Adult of the Year.

Shannon relates that as a child, she considered teaching as her dream job. As a sophomore in high school, she volunteered at Camp Fatima of New Jersey, a camp for children and adults with disabilities. She says the experience there completely changed her outlook on life: “At first I was heartbroken to see the campers struggling, but it made me realize how much we take for granted -- that it’s the simplest things in life that mean the most.”

Shannon, who has a 3.90 GPA, plans to attain a master’s degree and become a Special Education Teacher. In addition to her studies, she served as the 2011 Beta Alpha Phi Chapter Vice President, is the 2012 Chapter President, and participates in many of its community projects, volunteering in the 2011 and 2012 MS Climb to the Top and the Garden State Episcopal Community Development Corporation Emergency Food Pantry and homeless programs, and coordinating the chapter's fundraising for the American Heart Association, Camp Fatima, and HAMI Hudson. She is also President of the HCCC Teacher Education Club, and CEO/Experienced Leader of the College’s Leadership Education Growth Opportunity (L.E.G.O.) program. She continues to volunteer at Camp Fatima as well as at Holy Cross Church, where she is a volunteer Sunday CCD teacher and choir member.