Berkeley College Honors Students Uncover Gaps on Social Justice and Equity Topics

Tuesday, August 18, 2020
Contact: Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations


“We have to look out for the minorities, especially in the poor communities, because they suffer the most.”
- Sherrod Charles of Brooklyn, NY, Berkeley College First-Year Honors Program student

 “What surprised me the most is, there are so many laws in place to address this (issue of unequal pay for women), but in 2020, they are not effective enough.”
- Brittany Ramsaran of Ozone Park, NY, Berkeley College Honors Program student, Class of 2020


Photo Caption: At the 2020 Berkeley College Virtual Honors Program Symposium, students presented their research on topics related to social justice or marketing in a service-centric society. Sherrod Charles of Brooklyn, NY (above, left), a first-time, part-time freshman majoring in Information System Management, presented his poster titled, “Pandemic Impact: Struggles of the Misfortunate.” Brittany Rasmaran of Ozone Park, Queens, NY, Class of 2020, presented her paper titled, “The Gender Wage Gap: Women’s Negotiation.”

Five years before Sherrod Charles enrolled as a freshman part-time to earn a degree in Information Technology Management at Berkeley College, he was attending high school in Brooklyn, NY, where he was born and raised. He remembers the visit to New York City by Pope Francis. “What really caught my attention was when Pope Francis came to visit, we started to help the poor and needy. Why wasn’t America starting to do that before the Pope came to visit?” Charles wondered. 

Fast-forward to the COVID-19 pandemic, as Charles completes his first year at Berkeley College as an Honors Program student, his interest in social justice has not wavered. His research poster, recently presented at the 2020 Berkeley College Virtual Honors Program Symposium, was titled “Pandemic Impact: Struggles of the Misfortunate.”

What surprised Charles the most about his research was the data analysis showing more people of color being killed by diseases spreading in our environment. “I was shocked, but I did expect to see that … It was really nothing new,” he said.

Charles’ career goal includes opening his own company in technology and producing future technology. He also has an interest in studying forensics. While he is earning his degree at Berkeley he works as a Facility Manager Assistant at Park Slope Jewish Center. Advice he offers to college-bound students is this: “Stay in school. People come and go, but you must stay on the right path and get your priorities straight. What you post on social media is a reflection of who you are. For future opportunities, employers will look and know who you are.” 

Brittany Ramsaran of Ozone Park, NY, anticipates graduating at the end of this year with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration – Management from Berkeley College. She presented her research paper titled, “The Gender Wage Gap: Women’s Negotiation” at the Berkeley College Virtual Honors Program Symposium. 

“I selected this topic because this is a problem women face. I thought it would be interesting since will I will be entering the job market in New York and likely to be paid less. I thought it was appropriate to bring awareness to this issue women face because of their gender,” Ramsaran said.

What surprised her the most about the research she conducted, was that there are so many laws in place to address the issue of unequal pay for women, but they are not effective enough.  Her research included suggestions for how women can negotiate better salaries for themselves and mistakes to avoid. To read all of Ramsaran’s suggestions click here

Meanwhile, she is staying focused on graduating and getting a job after that. With guidance from her Career Counselor at Berkeley College, Ramsaran secured a virtual internship at Heartspace Academy, as a Social Media, Marketing, Business Development and Operations intern. She already has begun executing those assignments.

The Berkeley College Honors Program offers a highly selective, interdisciplinary, and seminar-based educational opportunity to high-achieving, full-time students seeking Associate’s or Bachelor’s degrees. This is a rigorous educational opportunity offered to a learning community of high-achieving students. To find out more about the Berkeley College Honors Program go to:

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