Berkeley College Students Elevate their Voices for Social Justice

Contact: Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations
973-278-5400, Ext. 1-5122


Honors Scholars Weigh in on Conversations Surrounding
Immigration, Police Brutality and the Gender Pay Gap


Learn More: Berkeley College Honors students are available to discuss their work. To arrange an interview, contact Ilene Greenfield, Director of Media Relations, at

More than 150 Berkeley College Honors students presented research on widely debated topics including immigration, police brutality, human trafficking and the gender pay gap during research symposiums and poster sessions held this month on the topic of “Unspoken Barriers in Social Justice.” The capstone experience for first-year and graduating Honors students develops professional presentation skills and facilitates the pursuit of critical thinking and academic writing.

“I am proud of the passion and dedication shown by our Honors students in summarizing the important social issues of today,” said Byron Hargrove, PhD, Director of the Honors Program. “With support from our Honors faculty, librarians and Berkeley College writing consultants, we continue to help our Honors students develop their critical thinking, information literacy, research writing and public speaking abilities – skills that will be important in their future careers.”

Andrea Rodriguez, a first-year Honors student from Somerset, NJ, shared her research titled, “Together as One: The Consequences of Border Separation of Families.” She proposed solutions such as making more translators available to those facing detention.

“My family comes from Mexico, so I know what it means to want a better life,” she said. “It’s important that families are kept together, and that they know their rights.”

Julissa Osorio, a Justice Studies – Criminal Justice major from Passaic, NJ, said her research, titled “The Untold Stories: Human Trafficking,” will inform her future career aspirations. “People have become numb to human trafficking,” she said. “It’s a forgotten topic. After learning more about it, I can better help the community as a state trooper or in some other role in law enforcement.”


Photo Captions: (Top) Honors students present their research on widely debated topics during a poster session held on August 2, 2019, at Berkeley College in Woodland Park, NJ. (Above) Andrea Rodriguez of Somerset, NJ (left), and Julissa Osorio of Passaic, NJ, first-year Honors students, share their research on immigration and human trafficking, respectively.

Briana Posada, an Honors student from Jamesburg, NJ, became interested in the gender pay gap when she learned of allegations that the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team, which recently won the World Cup, was paid less than the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team.

“My thesis is that the gender pay gap reinforces the stereotype that men belong in the workforce, while women belong in the home,” Ms. Posada said. The General Business major also examined the “Pink Tax” – the extra amount women are charged for certain products or services – in her project, titled “Women ≠ Men: Gender Inequality in the U.S.”

Other research topics included:

  • Legalization of marijuana
  • Treatment and sentencing of minority inmates
  • Neglect of veterans
  • The Confederate flag
  • Antisemitism
  • Ageism
  • Mental illness
  • Child labor 

The Honors Program is a selective, interdisciplinary and seminar-based educational opportunity offered to a limited number of high-achieving Berkeley College students. The Program includes a rigorous academic component and requires students to contribute hours toward community service.


Photo Caption: (Left) Honors student Briana Posada of Jamesburg, NJ, discusses the “Pink Tax” and the gender pay gap in her project, “Women ≠ Men: Gender Inequality in the U.S.” (Right) Honors student Kamali Mack of East Orange, NJ, speaks with Michael J. Smith, President of Berkeley College, about his thesis, “Prison Conditions: Fixing the World Behind Bars.”

About Berkeley College
A leader in providing career-focused education since 1931, Berkeley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and enrolls more than 7,000 students – including more than 350 international students – in its Master’s, Bachelor’s and Associate’s degree and Certificate programs. Students can study in more than 20 career fields. Berkeley College is comprised of the Larry L. Luing School of Business®, the School of Professional Studies, the School of Health Studies, and the School of Liberal Arts. The School of Graduate Studies offers an MBA in Management online and in Woodland Park, NJ.

Berkeley College has four New Jersey campuses – Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park. In New York there are three campuses – Midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn and White Plains. Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. For six consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans. The website address is

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