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April 01, 2022

AHA’s Best Scientists & Mathematicians Join National Honor Societies

Multiple Holy Angels students who excel in science and math have been inducted into the Academy’s chapters of the Science National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta. The joint ceremony took place on March 31.


Angels who earned membership in both honor societies include Sophia Carroll of Woodcliff Lake; Catherine Chiang of Orangeburg, New York; Allison Chung of Edgewater; Giovanna Corbisiero of Franklin Lakes; Dominique Rose Dela Gente of Tenafly; Caroline Dupas of Pearl River, New York; Jennifer Haemmerle of Leonia; Isabella McMahon of West Orange; Rachel Mina of Ridgefield Park; Josephine Noble of Demarest; Suzanna Odusote and Emily Sapka of North Haledon; Annalise Olsen of Stony Point, New York; Kate Shen of Englewood Cliffs; Amanda Tomasella and Lauren Tomasella of Oradell; Catherine Tuohy of Cresskill; and Cecilia Yun of Closter.


Angels who were inducted into the SNHS also include Caterina Cardamone of Glen Rock; Sophie Cossio of Tenafly; Danielle Dobres of Bergenfield; Celine Hong of Englewood Cliffs; Eliza Hoover and Liana Powley of Mahwah; Serin Hwang of Norwood; Zoe Manning and Amelia Shen of Demarest; Jiayi “Stella” Ouyang of Nanuet, New York; Sydney Ponti of Secaucus; Gretchen Radtke of Hoboken; Shivani Sahu of Paramus; Adriana Santos of Ridgefield; Nicole Sinde and Mackenzie Wedeen of Englewood; Isabella Troche of North Haledon; Areliz Tamayo of Teaneck; Xinyue Yang of Tenafly; and Federica Zazzali of Saddle River.

New members of Mu Alpha Theta also include Zeida Ben-Fredj Lopez of Bergenfield; Sidney Chung, Sarah David, Elise Kim, Katelyn Lee, and Ava Taylor of Cresskill; Emily Kim of Englewood Cliffs; Alice Lee of Haworth; Olivia Papp of Hawthorne; Ava Goyal of Montclair; Annabelle Hur of Norwood; Haeun Lee and Faith Youn of Closter; Autumn Morrissey of Saddle River; Isabella Novo of River Vale; Erin Pav of Westwood; Kyra Sapontzis of Park Ridge; Grace Sawyer of Weehawken; and Elise Tao of Upper Saddle River.


Mu Alpha Theta officer Keelin Robbins 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 President Jamie Sung shared the words that have helped her succeed in her studies: “Math is fun if you know what you’re doing.” Sung urged students not to be timid about making mistakes, which eventually lead to mastery. Sung is now taking Advanced Placement Calculus and plans to pursue math in college.


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.


Holly Foothorap, secretary of the SNHS, congratulated the new inductees and Vice President Kara Battaglia 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.”

Elizabeth Kim, president of the SNHS, invited all of the inductees for math and science to the stage for their certificates and pins. Those looking on included AHA Science Department Chairperson Patricia Prucnel, SNHS Adviser Andrew Sanchez, AHA Math Department Chair Jovanka DePalma, and Mu Alpha Theta Adviser Pamela Ruschak.


AHA Principal Jean Miller congratulated the inductees for their hard work, noting that they have already broken the stereotype that women are not the best mathematicians and scientists. She pointed out that gender stereotypes perpetuate the idea that men are better at math and science, and many STEM careers are male-dominated and not supportive to women. Miller invited the Angels to return to AHA as alumnae to share their journeys and tips for succeeding in STEM.


“We want to break the chain of seeing male models in those roles,” Millers emphasized.


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. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. The Academy’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.