Public 2-Year Schools

Bergen Respiratory Care Students Bowled Over After Win


Despite a title that requires – ahem – clearing your throat, a team of students from Bergen Community College’s respiratory care program recently took home the “spittoon trophy” for winning the New Jersey State Society for Respiratory Care Sputum Bowl in Atlantic City.

A statewide scholar’s bowl-style competition, Bergen students (left to right) Sumi Thomas, of Tappan, New York; John Carlo Davila, of Paterson; Christopher Bautista, of Bergenfield; and Bianca Veloz, of Englewood, competed against Brookdale Community College students and practicing respiratory therapists.

As the students competed, respiratory care professor and program director Amy Ceconi, Ph.D., breathed easy.

“Although the Sputum Bowl might sound light-hearted, respiratory care requires serious knowledge and skills,” she said. “This competition, along with the fact that the students competed against practicing respiratory therapists, proves to the medical community the excellence of our program – and students.”

The Sputum Bowl takes place in New Jersey and across the country each year. Winning teams from each state can compete in the national competition during the American Association of Respiratory Care convention.

Bergen’s respiratory therapy club has sponsored the students’ participation in the state level Sputum Bowl for the past 21 years.

The College’s respiratory care program prepares graduates to perform in all phases of respiratory care therapies and modalities. The hands-on program incorporates didactic, clinical, technological and laboratory teaching approaches throughout the curriculum, while providing a variety of educational experiences and environments – from the traditional classroom to the laboratory and clinical settings. Students learn in the College’s recently opened Health Professions Integrated Teaching Center, a $26 million facility supported by the Building Our Future Bond Act passed by voters in 2012. Healthcare represents Bergen County’s No. 1 job market.