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Volume 84 (Fall 2012 - Spring 2013)

Have a Productive Spring Break ‘Stay’cation

volunteer-work-icelandThis is for whoever is not go­ing to a beautiful tropical island for spring break. Hello to all staycation-ers! Even with all of this snow, we are going to take back our spring break! Spring break is when all of us get a taste of warmth (but with this weather who knows). The hints of summer are fast approaching, so close, and yet so, so far away.

But who said that you need to travel to a tropical island or beach to enjoy spring break?

For anyone who is keeping their spring break local, here are some great tips to enjoy your staycation. Your spring break will definitely start to heat up even at home.

In order to get out of any stay­cation slump, you need to get off your couch-potato bums! What was that you say? You like to shake your bum? Well, here is just the thing for you!

Taking some zumba classes are great to do over your staycation for two reasons. One reason is so you can stop watching re-runs of “Toddlers and Tiaras”, eating Nutella and actually move. Sec­ond, there are discounts. Oh yeah, I’m talking coupons.

Livingsocial.com is great for finding deals on anything under the sun. Right now they are adver­tising 40-70 percent off local fit­ness deals in your area. They have deals from zumba, to yoga, and yes, even something called Bad Ass Fitness. So for anyone that is looking to get in shape to start looking good for the summer, sign up on livingsocial.com and get discounts on some of your favorite or new favorite fitness classes.

Now wait, wait, a second. Don’t run off your couch just yet. There’s more.

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It’s Something Unpredictable, But in the End is Right

editors_corner_1It’s hard to believe that it has been four years since I stood beside my best friends at high school graduation. I never thought things would get better than those times even though I was always told that college would be the best four years of my life. After going through it, all the people who told me that were one hundred percent correct.

Monmouth has been an unbelievable experience for me. I got to do so much and meet so many great people. Some of whom, I’ll be friends with for the rest of my life. There’s not enough time or ink to write down all I want to say about the people I’ve met, but here are some shout outs I was able to fit on one page:

Mom: Thank you for your unwavering support through everything over these four stressful years. You’ve always been there for me and have helped me get through whatever obstacle I had to face. You’re not only my mom, but you’re my best friend and I’m lucky to have the greatest mother in the world. I just hope you’re prepared for me to move back in for the first time in three years, haha. Love you!

Professor Morano: I learned so much from you in the past four years and since I’ve come to college, you’ve helped me increase my writing skills. You’ve been a great advisor to me and have given me many life tips that I will always remember. Thank you for all the help and aid throughout the years and I hope to still keep in touch with you after graduation.

Brothers of Phi Kappa Psi: Hey jerks. I know I wasn’t around that much this year, but that doesn’t change all of the great times we had over the past four years. From the beta class to the Bod Zone, the memories and stupid stuff we did will always be something I cherish. Gregg, Kyle Evans, Kyle Walter, Matty Ferns, Brandon, Shane, Casey, Miggs, Jeff, Tom, Decarlo, Deeg, Sean, Kinsella, Crazy John, Fichera, and everybody else, I love you all. Live ever, die never boys.

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Move It to the Exits, I Hope You Have Found a Friend

alexis_sanfranThe past few weeks I have just been looking forward to warmer weather and some free time.  I have almost been too busy to get nostalgic or sentimental about my years at Monmouth… and then I started writing this article. I remember thinking that I would never graduate eight grades – that time was a figment of my imagination.

When I got to high school I felt the same way, but when I graduated I was relieved that the next four years of my life were already planned out. Now here I am, weeks before graduation and no yearlong plans set in stone, no time allotted safety net. Realizing I am about to finish my last full week of classes as a college undergrad puts a knot in my stomach.

I have had a vast amount of personal growth over the past four years here.  There are a number of people I would like to take the time to thank:

There are a lot of people who have helped me get to where I am today, and I am grateful for each one of you.  

First would be my family. My father: for encouraging me to pick a profession based on my passion and not the paycheck, and for being a prime example of just that. For stressing the importance of education, no matter the cost, and making sure I had a strong foundation for my future. Although one of his biggest regrets was knowing that he would not live long enough to see me graduate college, I have a sense of pride and accomplishment knowing that in just 23 short days, I will walk across the stage of the PNC Bank Arts Center in my cap and gown. 

My mother and my sister: for being the strongest support system and the best friends a girl could ask for.  Mom, you are my rock and the world’s most awesome woman alive. I am so lucky to have such a close bond and great friendship with you.  Thank you for letting me call you up to ten times a day just to say “hello” or just because I feel like it. Nicole, I cannot believe that you used to hate me and wanted to be an only child. Thank you for realizing how awesome I am and always having my back.

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200 Percent: Overcoming Life’s Curve Ball

He steps up on the mound, foot on the rubber and leans forward to pick up the sign from his catcher. Going through his motion, the ball is fired toward home plate. Yet, unlike most left-handed pitchers, there is an extra step for 21-year-old Bryan Sullivan. Rather than following through beyond releasing the ball, Sullivan brings his left hand, the hand he just threw the ball with, into his glove readying him for what may come back.

Bryan was born with cerebral palsy and suffers from hemiparesis, or slight paralysis or weakness that affects the right side of his body. Despite the physical limitations, he does not let his condition hold him back, yet uses it as a means to push himself that much harder. Sullivan weighs in at 180 pounds and stands 5’11”. His bio on Facebook reads: “I’m Bryan. I like to play baseball and meet new people.”

When Bryan was 6 years-old he was watching a New York Yankees game with his father. They were playing the Orioles and Bryan noticed something unique about the pitcher. Bryan asked his dad, “Who is that pitching?” His father replied, “That’s Jim Abott, he catches and throws with the same hand.”

If he can do it, I can do it.

From that moment on, his life has revolved around becoming the best pitcher he can be and following that one simple phrase for motivation.

His father, Steve Sullivan, was, and still is, a huge part of Bryan’s life.  Steve grew up around the game of baseball and his father worked at Yankee Stadium. “It’s in our blood,” he said. “I told Bryan, ‘You can do anything, you just have to learn how and work at it, and we will find a way to do it.’”

But how to do it? A little blue baseball glove and a Wiffle Ball started it all just one day after Bryan had seen Jim Abott pitch.

After a series of trial and error, Bryan and his dad were able to make it work. “At first we tried to put his glove on his right hand,” said Steve. But Bryan did not have enough control over his right hand for that to work effectively. “We decided we would have to teach him to catch and throw with the same hand,” he said.

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Volunteering is More Than Free Labor

When picturing the lifestyle of a typical college student, the thought of getting involved on campus in a way that does not include going to class or getting invites to parties is usually not the main focus. Many people tend to forget that amidst all of the schoolwork and social aspects of college life, volunteering and joining clubs is also a very crucial part of the experience.

Marilyn Ward, Coordinator of Service Learning and Community Programs, said, “Campus and/or community involvement gives students a chance to explore their potential and give back to the University or the local community.”

At the University, it is incredibly easy to start giving back. According to the school’s website, the University is home to more than 75 student-run organizations. These include various clubs, fraternities, sororities, honor societies, governing bodies, and publication and media outlets, all of which exist for the sake of giving back and making a difference.

“Volunteering has taught me a lot about myself,” freshman Jameson Tisch said. He is involved in the Student Alumni Association, the First Year Service Project and Student Government Association. Tisch explained that his time spent volunteering has benefited him greatly, as he has gained new leadership skills and a much more prominent sense of responsibility.

Ward said she believes that volunteers are leaders because “volunteering takes initiative, organization, and a passion for the cause that you support.” The leadership skills that students gain through volunteering can be used in future workplaces and all throughout life.

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How the Human Brain Functions on Fear

In response to the tragic Boston Marathon bombings that occurred on April 15, 2013, thousands of people across the nation expressed great grief and anger at this terror strike. While this anger was justified, the fear that accompanied further repercussions of the bombing was perhaps a bit disjointed.

Currently, there is a great amount of debate centering the topic of human responses to fear. Repercussions of the Boston Marathon bombing included numerous rapid responses.

Such responses included every day citizens immediately volunteering to assist law enforcement in managing the destruction and caring for the wounded, however, such responses also included anger and prejudice. So what causes such a range of responses in such unstable situations? The answer lies within the distinctive pathways of the brain.

Tumultuous situations often elicit radical and irrational consequences. Dr. Bruce Perry of the Child Trauma Academy in Texas speculates that responses to terror situations shut down the smartest parts of the brain.

The frontal lobe is amongst the smartest parts of the brain, located just behind the forehead. This area of the brain is responsible for consciously evaluating the most logical or beneficial responses to a situation while also balancing its risks and rewards according to brainline.org.

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Think Before You Skip: Precautions for Cutting Class

Many students think that they have the option of going to class, but this can result in consequences if they are not careful.

Anna Mikalauskas, sophomore, has not had many problems. “So far I have lucked out in my time at Monmouth and have had great professors who are understanding when it comes to missing class,” said Mikalauskas.

She added, “Most of the classes I have been in allow you to have two unexcused absences, which I think is reasonable considering that does not account for classes you may have to miss if you are sick or have a personal issue.”

Adversely, Mikalauskas has heard from her friends that some professors do not allow any absences aside from religious holidays.

Some teachers are very strict when it comes to missing classes.  Ryan Kinghorn, sophomore, has not been so lucky. “For the most part my professors have been very reasonable with their attendance policies,” said Kinghorn. “But I have had a couple professors that have been very strict with their policies. I sent an email to a professor in advance that I wasn’t feeling well and he responded by saying that his department did not allow any absences without a signed doctor’s note and that I would lose points for the class.”

Kinghorn believes that professors should realize that although a student’s education should be taken seriously, there are things that come up during the course of the year that can prevent them from coming to class.

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Can You Hear Me Now? Put Down the Phone!

Nowadays, many would agree it would be difficult to live without their cell phone, something created to be fast and convenient with the ability to satisfy business or work related matters and entertainment all in one. What more could you ask for? Email, Internet, camera/video and music are just a few applications that come as a standard with most cell phones these days.

“All I need is my iPhone. If I have that, then I’ve got all I really need for school, work, you know, whatever,” said senior Carly Pavelchek. Although we have become so accustomed to using our cell phones for just about everything and anything, has the rapid growth of technology and the advancements on cellular devices caused a negative effect amongst our society? Are cellphones beginning to take over without us even realizing?

I’m sure we’ve all experienced or been a part of those “rude” moments like texting at the dinner table or checking Facebook during class, but the distraction is just too hard to ignore sometimes. The applications for smartphones are endless; workout and diet plans, coupon savers, games, puzzles, organizers, banking and credit card statements, the list goes on.

“Everything is at the tip of your fingers,” said senior Sonya Shah. “How could you not use it all the time, you know?” The medical student uses her cell phone for mostly downloading slides and using interactive applications involving anatomy. “It makes it much easier, that’s for sure. I don’t always have access to a computer, but my phone is always with me. But I guess that’s kinda like a mini computer, so never mind,” laughed Shah.

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Love Bytes: Meeting the People Behind the Profile

Since it’s creation, the Internet has had an unbelievably large impact on the every day lives of millions of people. In more recent years, the invention of the Internet has also provided us with a handful of different ways to interact with other people from all over the world, all from behind the screen of a computer.

Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter allow men and women of all ages to connect with one another through the sharing of pictures, text posts and direct messages. Other websites like match.com and eHarmony were created for interaction purposes as well, but on a much different level.

According to CBS, dating websites started appearing in the mid-90s with the launch of Match.com, but didn’t gain a whole lot of momentum until the 2000’s. Now, in 2013, there are over 5000 online dating sites in existence according to Online Dating Magazine. They’re all basically the same: create a profile, post photos of yourself, answer a handful of questions regarding your interests, goals and hobbies and then the website does the rest of the work for you.

And now that much of the United States’ population have started using smartphones, there are countless apps for both iPhone and android devices that work the same as these online dating websites.

These websites and smartphone applications have changed the face of dating over the years, but it is still difficult for many people to understand why others put these technology driven resources to use when it comes to starting relationships. Dr. Gary Lewandowski, the Department Chair of Psychology at the University, said, “It is primarily a matter of convenience. It seems that many of the things we had previously done in person have migrated to websites and apps, and it seems that dating isn’t any different.”

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The Secret to a Spicy Résumé

Your resume is the first and lasting impression. You have about three seconds to grab the employer’s attention, so don’t waste it. Incorporating creative tricks and treats to amp up your resume can help you land that job.

Resumes consist of your prior work experiences, academic influences and extracurricular activities. It is your opportunity to exhibit all of the positives that you have conquered. Avoid confusing jargon and overwriting.

Assistant Dean of Career Services, William Hill advised, “Have an Objective statement. Avoid generic statements, tweak it to fit the job and be specific as you can. Write ‘seeking a position in the financial services industry with an emphasis in banking and credit’ or ‘seeking a career in software development with a progressive technical consulting firm.’ Avoid statements like ‘seeking a job in management,’ which are too broad.”

Start off with a powerful mission statement. Include your desires, goals and qualities you can provide. The more direct and specific you are with your statement, the more convincing you will appear.

Junior Kelly Dalton explained, “A mission statement offers the employers with a short summary of what you can bring to the table. It tells them all about you and your traits in a few sentences.”

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Associated Press Issues Language Ban

Certain words in the English language have, for centuries, constructed certain social stigmas we would now consider matters of intolerance. Recently, the Associated Press announced the ban of the term “illegal immigrant” from its stylebook.

It is no secret that numerous U.S. immigrants have faced severe racial, occupational and educational discrimination in our history. Therefore, this action was taken in favor of immigration organizations and advocates who claimed that the phrase “illegal immigrant” emitted degrading and uncivil sentiments towards those living in the U.S. without proper documentation. Accordingly, the Associated Press has recommended instead the use of the term “undocumented immigrant” in hopes that a less demeaning terminology will encompass a more positive stigma. However, we must question, in truth, how successful this could be.

Various learning theorists explain the basis of behavior to be simply learning and memory. Once a thing is learned and is committed to memory, it becomes a habitual routine which, as human beings, we are reluctant to break away from. When our behavior comes to communication, our language is very difficult to separate from our associated thought. Therefore, with years of practicing the term “illegal immigrant” behind us, there seems to be narrow hope for significant change to come out of this.

Immigrants themselves are diffident in having too much hope for this act. Freshman biology major Siri Chintapalli said, “changing an official term does nothing to change people’s attitudes. At least giving something a controversial name draws attention to it and forces people to talk about it. This just makes an important issue sound like a minor inconvenience.” Seemingly, issuing legislation cannot destroy our engrained associations and might be ignoring the bigger picture of prejudice. The question further fails to associate justified sentiments towards immigrants, who were an essential component in the building of this nation.

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And the Winning Numbers for Campus Housing Are...

In just a couple of short weeks, the all-important housing selection day will be upon University residents.  Just after the relaxation of Spring Break, residents returned to emails with a random number which would determine their options for housing.

For some, the decision was easy; a roommate got a low number and housing was. But for others, their day to choose could not come any sooner.

Carolyn Taylor, a former resident assistant (RA) said, “The most common fear is that there will not be a spot and they will have to hurry and find something off campus.”

This almost was the case for sophomore Courtney Carr. “I got a bad number in the 500s but someone was able to pull me into Redwood at the last minute,” said Carr.  Numbers in the double digits, however, do not guarantee the spot someone may want or have in mind.

Sophomore Briana Dunlap said, “I had a number in the 50’s. I wanted to get into two triples in Redwood but I ended up getting two triples in Oakwood with my friends.” She added that this worked out better for her and her roommates later in the year.

There are some students who live with a couple of friends, but will be forced to move in a suite with seven or eight others next year. Deanna Lukac is in her first lottery process and is hoping for Spruce, but is concerned who some of her new roommates will be.  “I got a number in the 600’s, but only have three others who I want to live with.  I may find out selection day who the others will be because it is random.”  Waiting until the last minute to be assigned can provide some anxiety.

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Carrying Your Weight in a Group Project

group-projectsAt some point in college, students are asked to work on a class project in groups, which may account for a major grade in the particular course in which it is assigned.  These projects come in many forms including quizzes, presentations or major term projects.

Associate Professor of English, Dr. Margaret Delguercio knows that in a class like Shakespeare I or II, group projects can be very helpful in increasing students’ understanding of a difficult concept, but is also aware of commitments that members have out of class.

Delguercio tells her students each semester, “I try to set at least one class period aside as I know it is often difficult to meet outside of class with conflicting schedules.” These projects, along with journal entries are assigned equal weight so they are not necessarily a deciding factor for a final grade.  Participation is weighted equally as well, whether it means contributing to the discussion for ideas or drawing pictures on a poster.

Not all students mind bearing the brunt of the work because others are not as active.  Junior Tara Malander said, “I do not mind having to do most of the work even though it accounts for a grade for the whole group.”

It worked well for Malander to have one person responsible for the majority of the project since the task was completed in a timely manner.   Rebecca Leitt, a junior, has a business law class in which she has been working on a collaborative group project for a good part of the term.  

She said, “I do not like group projects, but while I don’t mind doing most of the work, I try to give the group members an equal amount of the work.”  This is especially important in this case because the project will culminate into a presentation, but more importantly it gives her and the other students in the group the opportunity to work as a team which is an important skill in many workplace settings. 

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The Real Deal on Reality TV

Jersey-Shore-Season-3-Cast-Wallpaper-jersey-shore-24353695-1600-1200For many American families, TV plays a large role in their daily lives. Children watch cartoons after school or early on Sunday mornings, adults who are home during the day watch soap operas and game shows, and many families gather around the television at the end of the night to watch a specific program together.

According to weirdfacts.com, 99 percent of all households in the United States possess at least one television.

In recent times, reality television shows have been growing more and more popular. The number of these programs that make it on the air continues to rise as the number of people who enjoy these types of shows also increases. But how much reality is actually shown in a program that is considered to be “reality” television?

Donna Dolphin, a communication professor at the University, explained, “The only actual reality television is called ‘news.’” In other words, the shows that may be advertised as being real life portrayals of the lives of everyday men and women are not completely real.

“The genre that we call reality TV is a semi-scripted form of improvisational narrative drama,” Dolphin further adds. “It is formulaic and episodic.” If that is the case, the concept of a genuine “reality” television show ever existing, or having ever been in existence, is completely lost.

To reinforce Dolphin’s point, Robert Scott, a specialty professor in the communication department, admitted, “I have a friend who is a camera operator for several reality TV productions and it is not uncommon for a producer to instruct him to interact with participants, sometimes fabricating situations for dramatic effect.”

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Registration Riots: Scheduling Required Classes

registrationIt’s about that time of the year again: the stressful and frustrating experience of registering for classes for the upcoming year. With the time slots allotted and the information of classes available for each semester, scheduling wreaks havoc for many students. Be sure to provide yourself with the correct amount of time to research, conform and configure the next year’s academic schedule.

There is limited class availability for certain sections and the later your scheduled registration is, the lesser your chances are of getting into specific sections. Creating a workable college course schedule is extremely important. A smart college course schedule allows a student not only to succeed, but also to engage in extracurricular activities.

Kelly Dalton, a junior student athlete, said that it is frustrating when she has a schedule planned that fits around games and practices but the class sections are full by the time she is able to register for them. Classes at the University are relatively small and are therefore limited in availability.

She added, “As a soon to be senior, I have certain courses that must be fulfilled in order to graduate on time. That could create problems for me if I cannot register for my vital courses.”

The first step before you can register for classes is to meet with your academic advisor to get unblocked. Reece Johnston,  junior, said, “I feel like the process of getting unlocked by your advisor is an unnecessary step. Meeting with an advisor is a good idea for younger students, but as I have progressed in my academic career, I have found it is pointless and feel as though there should be no lock and unlock step.”

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Monkey See, Monkey Do: Leading by Example

role-modelEarly in our lives, we find ourselves following in other people’s footsteps. We shape our decisions based on those made by the people around us, and most of our values and morals stem from the thoughts and opinions of our loved ones. But what makes some people more adept to becoming role models than others?

 Although there isn’t an official guidebook on how to become a good example for other people, there are several important details to keep in mind if becoming an admirable role model is your goal.

There is a very long list of qualities that any good role model should embody, but perhaps the most important characteristic is being responsible. Although a person of any age can have a role model, children that are much younger are the ones who normally do.

Young children are easily influenced, so it is crucial to act in a way that would not inappropriately rub off on a child. Older siblings are the ones who usually fill the role model position in most kids’ lives, and Jillian McLaughlin, a freshman at the University, knows what it’s like to have to set a good example.

With a 10-year-old sister and a 15-year old brother, Jillian feels that it is important to live a life full of positivity so that she can be a positive influence not only in her own life, but in her siblings’ as well. “It is extremely important to set a good example because I have to teach them how to be when they’re older. I want to see them do well and go down the right path,” McLaughlin explained.

Aside from someone who is able to set the proper standard for those who look up to them, role models should be understanding as well.

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Crime in Syracuse Sparks a Fear of Local Danger

RenzWith a sophisticated computer science and engineering background, David Renz, 29 of Cicero, NY managed to deactivate his court ordered electronic ankle bracelet in a matter of minutes. Disregarding his 9:00 pm curfew, he drove to the nearby Great Northern Mall. He then allegedly carjacked and abducted Lori Bresnahan, an Elementary school Librarian in the district and her 10-year old daughter after they were leaving a gymnastics class around 9:00 pm.

Renz allegedly raped the child in the car of the mall parking lot and then tied up the two females and drove them to a nearby park. The girl escaped and the mother later died of multiple stab wounds. Renz was found fleeing the park’s wooded area around 11:30 pm and was tackled and brought into custody by authorities.

According to The Post-Standard and its affiliate, Syracuse.com, Renz was awaiting trial under federal jurisdiction for possession of 100 plus gigabytes and over 3,000 images of child pornography. According to court documents, these files were on an encrypted hard drive on a homemade computer in his residence.

During pre-trial, Renz was afforded free reign to continue to work at his longstanding job at Wegmans, but was hesitantly given an electronic monitoring device in the meantime. Due to his swift nature with technology, Renz was able to reconfigure the device’s settings in a few minutes and the company didn’t detect any problems until four hours later, which was four hours too late for Lori and her daughter.

Senior criminal justice major Nicole Close and resident of Clay, NY said, “It’s just a shock and really devastating. We never expected something to happen like this here.  I live two miles from where it happened. My mom’s a pre-school teacher and I’ve been around the man who did it. He used to attend a church I went to, so it hits really close to home.”

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Challenging the Legality of Gene Patents

As the nascent field of genetics looms large across the frontlines of tomorrow’s medicine, the impact of the legality of gene patents today will have far-reaching consequences on how we may conduct genetic testing to assess the prognosis of various diseases.

Genes are the hereditary units of living organisms. They are composed of stretches of DNA and RNA that code for other RNA chains and proteins, one of the chief building blocks of life.

On May 12, 2009, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Public Patent Foundation filed a lawsuit charging the patents of Myriad Genetics, a Utah based molecular diagnostics company, on two genes associated with the risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer to be unconstitutional and invalid.

The plaintiff in the lawsuit filed, Association of Molecular Pathology, et. al. vs. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and Myriad Genetics, et al., represented women patients, breast cancer survivors, cancer research and health advocates, researchers, genetic counselors, and various scientific associations consisting of “150,000 geneticists, pathologists, and laboratory professionals,” according to the ACLU.

This lawsuit was filed against Myriad Genetics and the University of Utah Research Foundation because they have patented the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 on the human genome.

Under the First Amendment, the plaintiff charged the gene patents of Myriad Genetics to be unconstitutional because genes are the products of nature and therefore, cannot be patented.

The patents, which were originally granted in 1994 and 1995 for BRCA1 and BRCA2 respectively, allow Myriad Genetics to set its own terms and costs for genetic testing of these genes. Because all genetic testing must go through Myriad Genetics, this consequently makes it nearly impossible for at-risk women to access alternate genetic tests or get second opinions about their results.

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Tips for Getting Involved in New Student Orientation from an OL

An orientation leader (OL) is given the important task of meeting new freshmen and providing insight of what life is like at the University and encouraging campus involvement.

Junior Rachel Conners had the privilege of being an OL for the past two years and said that it is a positive experience for the leader and students alike. 

She wanted to give something back to the University, a home away from home. “I had an overwhelmingly positive experience at my orientation, and I wanted to be part of the process of giving the fun experience I had to other students,” said Conners. “I was also interested in being there for students who were more apprehensive about Monmouth or college in general. There is nothing more rewarding than making someone’s day or making a person feel at home at a place you love, so that was what ultimately led me to apply for the position.” 

This involves more than being there for students. Being a positive role model is of the utmost importance for all groups during the two day programs.  The difficult aspect of this is that while the groups of students rotate from week to week, activities can get repetitive for the leader.

“Orientation is essentially repetitive for the orientation leaders in that the schedule remains the same but the students are obviously different for each session. Keeping things interesting, fun, high-energy, and creative was a challenge we all faced at the start of a new session as it wasn’t all that new to us,” said  Conners.

All of the students are split into teams with two leaders each, determining where they will participate in various activities. Some of these include “I Got Involved” which highlights the many clubs and extra-curricular opportunities available. Icebreakers are used to get to know other students in the incoming freshman class and better familiarize themselves with the campus environment for the fall term.

“The New Student Orientation Program traditionally consists of six two-day sessions in which there are six color groups of first year students that a pair of OL’s guide throughout their stay,” said Conners.

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Working for Summer Pay-cation

hiring_1When thinking about summer, young people usually daydream about long days at the beach, cold drinks by the pool, or driving with the windows down. For Uni­versity students, summer is all about relaxing, getting away from their schoolwork, and spending time with family and friends.

Unfortunately, the time spent away from school comes with a price, literally. The cost of all of those beach badges, the amount of gas used to drive down to the shore, all of the times out to dinner with family and friends throughout the duration of the summer – it all adds up. Soon enough, people find themselves asking their parents for money or even digging under the couch cushions in search of loose change.

However, there is a way to solve this money issue that most young people seem to find them­selves involved in: working a summer job. Although it is a common sense solution to the debt problem faced by many col­lege students, a lot of young men and women cringe at the idea of working during their summer va­cation in fear that they will lose all of their free time. Although they may lose some of their time off, the hours spent working will be well worth it when they find that their wallets have expanded substantially.

There are plenty of opportuni­ties to work during the three and a half months that school is not in session, both on and off cam­pus. Aimee Parks, the Assistant Director of human resources for student employment, explains that there are jobs on campus that provide stipend pay or hourly wages, depending on the posi­tion, as well as room and board. The orientation leader position, for example, is just one of the employment options that students have on campus.

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An Intern’s Commute: Turnstyles, Third Rails and Tuna Fish

penn-stationThe alarm clock rings. Its flashing red illumination makes me think I am being pulled over by the dream police. My body jerks up from the bed like a corpse in an old John Carpenter horror film. I think for a minute why such an obnoxious and so­norous noise has awoken me on this February morning....oh yea, I have to go to my internship in New York City.

When I accepted the position in early November, I convinced my­self that the commute wouldn’t be too bad. The voice of optimism told me that the hour-and-a-half train ride would allow me some relaxation and down-time to and from the chaotic city. After a month of this twice daily routine, I think I should be a salesman for selling myself that lie.

It’s 6:00 am. After taking the world’s fastest shower and at­tempting to eat something, which is not easy at that hour, I step into the cold, dark morning. The train station is only a five min­ute drive from my apartment, but with the subarctic temperature it seems like a lot longer. Being a college student on a low income, I am forced to park on the street quite a distance from the station because of the exorbitant price of a monthly parking permit.

The walk is lonesome; it feels as if I am the only person crazy enough to be out in public at this time. Scouting the concrete for black ice like a soldier cautious­ly monitoring his footsteps on a mine field, I arrive at the station with just enough time to pur­chase the morning paper from a rusty, coin-only dispenser. Alas, the welcoming whistle of train 6612 signals to me that warmth is just moments away.

Greeting the conductor with a friendly, “Good morning,” I soon wish I could retract my momen­tary lapse of judgment. Opening the door to what I thought would be a near-empty train car, I am shockingly dismayed to see a congregation of fellow travelers, all of whom are of different sizes, shapes and from the looks of it, moods.

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Good News and Bad News: How News Savvy are Students?

news-savvyIn the current generation of college students, news has changed in terms of outlets, frequency, accessibility and even definition. While some stu­dents are avid news seekers, others are less concerned with events out­side of their immediate surroundings. Some of this is due to a lack of time or no desire to seek out stories that they do not feel pertain to them directly.

Dr. Eleanor Novek, journalism professor explains that a student’s news intake depends greatly on what they consider to be newsworthy. “If you count sports as news, lots of people go after sports information. If you count celebrity gossip as news (and some people do), some people are very well informed about that,” said Novek. She does not believe that college age students are widely inter­ested in hard news.

In a survey of 37 students at the University, seven listed stories about sports or celebrities when asked to provide three issues they had heard in the news in the last three weeks. Some of these included the results of the latest Devils vs. Flyers game, Kim Kardashian’s pregnancy and Justin Bieber’s rant on Instagram, a social media website that allows us­ers to post images taken from their mobile devices.

Social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter do have a major impact on students’ news consumption. Fifty-nine percent of students surveyed said they use so­cial media sites as one of their news sources and 19 percent say that these sites are their only source of news. Novek added that most of her stu­dents tell her they get their news from social media or websites that do not necessarily deliver hard news. “That’s why everybody knows about the cute little cat, but not necessarily who is the Secretary of State,” said Novek.

In fact, 30 percent of students could not list any issue in the news, except that there was a new pope elected to the Vatican. According to Dr. Chad Dell, Chair of the Depart­ment of Communication, becom­ing news savvy is a learned talent. “Some students are very news savvy: they see the value of well-researched news, and seek it out on a daily ba­sis. They also learn to question their news sources, particularly when the source doesn’t provide a diversity of viewpoints,” said Dell.

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The Close Friend Conflict of On-Campus Living

roommateWhen Amanda Barnum re­turned for her sophomore year at the University, she was excit­ed like most students about the thought of moving away from home again and into a suite style dorm. At the end of the lottery process the previous year, she requested to live with her close friend, thinking that everything would go smoothly. She would soon find out that it would be quite the opposite.

This was based around the popular belief that all close friends will be good roommates, when in fact, it is more impor­tant that one gets along with the other’s living habits. This puts a damper on what is supposed to be a smooth experience, es­pecially when a student has re­quested to room with someone they know well. Barnum said, “I chose to live with my best friend my sophomore year in Spruce Hall.”

Spruce, like many of the fresh­men dorms, is a suite style, put­ting tensions on the whole suite. In this case, the suite consisted of seven girls instead of a double or triple traditional room. For quite some time, the decision whether to move out or have a talk with the RA was considered to save the friendship and not interfere or get the other suite­mates involved. This also means that even though there are multi­ple rooms, everyone has to share the same common area, unlike a double room dorm which con­fines two to three people to a double or triple room.

Barnum said, “I did not like my freshman roommates so I de­cided to look around for people I know in the Educational Oppor­tunity fund program to live with. To make matters worse, I got a very high lottery number limit­ing my options.”

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We Stand Corrected: Adjusting Another’s Behavior

behaviorFrustrated on Larchwood Av­enue as a driver fails to abide by the four-way stop, you have a split second decision to roll down your window to express your anger or you can simply accept another careless act of driving. Unfortunately, in today’s crazed world of political correctness, we hesitate to say what we really think in fear of being chastised ,or worse.

“Keeping your opinion to your­self will refrain you from contro­versy,” said junior communica­tion major Danielle Rakowitz. A lot of times we are forced to bite our tongue in some pretty terrible situations. So when should we speak up about our grievances? And what stops us from truly conveying our thoughts?

Rakowitz said, “It’s appropri­ate when something needs to be addressed and changed.”

In matters of public safety, like witnessing a fender bender or an intoxicated stranger attempt­ing to start their car is without a doubt the best time to speak up. But addressing an issue simply because it is bothersome to us is something we can’t commit to.

President Paul Gaffney II said, “There are so many scenarios that it is impossible to make and re­member a rule for each. As one matures (this includes all stu­dents, I think) one is able to ap­ply his or her best judgment to the situation based on general principles.”

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Digital Demise: The Social Media Takeover

social-mediaWe’re under attack, and it isn’t looking good. The ear-splitting echo of white noise permeates the air like the slow trickle of acid rain. There is no silence. There is no calm. There is nothing but the sound of droning ma­chines in a world that is overflowing with media madness.

They walk among us, of that we can be sure. They are the technologically obsessed: a generation of unimagi­native, unqualified, and unrelenting robots. Gone are the days when you spent up six and a half minutes listen­ing to the demonic calling of America Online at your computer desk. Stay tuned for an all-access pass to an in­stant 21st century-style hell.

As social media and electronics continue to take over the world, what used to be considered a precious trea­sure is now the cause of a complete lack of concentration, unspeakable communication skills, and a society filled with half-wits who can’t form sentences longer than their 150 char­acter limits allow.

Pretty soon the entire universe is going to be speaking in Internet slang. “OMG, LOL, R U SRS?” I wish I wasn’t. We’re breeding a generation of agoraphobics, an entire population of demoralized hermits who refuse to leave their homes for fear they’ll miss a groundbreaking social notification.

Technology makes an excellent liv­ing by sucking the imagination out of us all. Meanwhile, our hypnotic eyes remain fixated on fuzzy dancing pix­els and our bodies begin to mold into our sectional sofas. We have become a society linked 24/7 in an endless cy­cle of calamity. According to Forbes magazine, Facebook alone has over 1.6 billion users, or should I say 1.6 billion voyeurs spying on each other without ever having been forced to have face-to-face communication?

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That One Class

Many students have had classes that were a struggle to get through or even pass with a ‘C’. Prior to the consideration of dropping a class, there are a number of things that can be done in order to turn things around.

Alexis Manzo, a sophomore education major did however have a very difficult Intro to Psychology class last year. She said, “I would have done a lot better had I gotten a peer tutor or visited the writing center now that I look back. At the time, I was happy with a ‘C’ because I thought I worked hard.”

J’Lyn Martin, a former ori­entation leader said that math wash is most difficult class. “I took advantage of both the math center and help from my friend who excels in the subject,” he explained. “I also get help in writing, a subject which I excel at, through the writing center’s peer tutoring services. I encour­aged all of my new students to do the same at orientation.”

Another barrier that can make a class difficult is being placed in language classes based on the number of years of a foreign language a student has taken in high school.

Sophomore Amanda Barnum was placed into two semesters of intermediate Spanish, but did not expect a significant amount of writing and the class to be conducted entirely in Spanish.

“I went to the teacher and even the Tutoring Center for help,” she said. “But I still re­ceived a ‘C’ because I had dif­ficulty understanding what the teacher was saying because of the strong combination of ac­cents.”

Expectations are very differ­ent from high school and stu­dents are expected to seek out resources that may be helpful including going to the professor for extra help. While this may seem uncomfortable, it is often the best way to get advice.

It is important to realize that college is also about being ex­posed to different things and that challenges should be wel­comed. They help students to grow and think critically.

The writing center can help with writing for any subject, not just English. They also help with any stage of the paper including drafts and revisions. The peer tutoring option is great for one-on-one tutoring in a course and is provided by a student who has taken and excelled in it.

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The Skinny Standard

lose-weightIt is not uncommon for a person to feel self-conscious about his or her body, especially in today’s society. There is constant pressure for people to fit the mold of what a “perfect” woman or man is supposed to look like, and it can be extremely easy to feel inadequate when compared to those deemed as “skinny” or “fit.” Be­cause of our culture’s current obses­sion with beach ready bodies and tiny waists, a majority of people don’t feel comfortable in their own skin. Confi­dence is a really important aspect of an individual’s persona, but unfortu­nately it appears to be pretty hard to come by in recent times.

It seems as though the media is the main reason behind a majority of the insecurities that people have about their bodies. According to Bojana Berić, a health studies professor, “Dif­ferent standards have always been used regarding appreciation of a male and a female body, mostly directed by popular culture.” She added, “Very often, celebrities of their time impose the trend of a good looking, but not necessarily healthy, body.” The men and women who are most frequently photographed in the media are the ones who inadvertently set the stan­dards for body image.

Magazines and entertainment news shows create a fairly clear picture of what they believe a person’s body should look like. “Beautiful” women have tiny waists, a flat stomach, full breasts, long legs, and nice curves, while “attractive” men are tall, have a muscular build, a prominent set of abs and that super sexy V-line that so many women seem to love. With these ridiculous standards set for the general public, no wonder so many people lack the confidence necessary to feel good about their body.

Our generation seems to have got­ten the worst of it, too. Young people are so concerned with how they look and what they weigh that excessive dieting and eating disorders have be­come an incredibly prevalent part of our society. According to dosome­thing.org, five to 10 million people suffer from an eating disorder, and about 90 percent of those people are between the ages of 12 and 25.

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Hassle Free Hunting

Simple Steps for Renting an Off-Campus Apartment

apartment-huntingApartment searching as an up­perclassman or a student who has just graduated can be very intimidating if you haven’t done so before. If you intend to live off campus your junior and senior year, when should you start look­ing around the area? Who should you contact? What are your biggest deal breakers in your home away from home?

Junior social work major Savan­nah Werner explained her process in searching for an off-campus house. She said, “The biggest pri­ority for me and my three room­mates was clean bathrooms; pref­erably newer ones.” Werner and her roommates looked at ten dif­ferent properties before choosing their rental in Oakhurst.

While others may be concerned with details like security, loca­tion and amenities, Werner and her roommates understood that the nicer the rental the more ex­pensive the rent and collectively she and her roommates are pay­ing close to $1,800.00 a month for their college house, not including utilities.

Other areas of importance in­clude understanding the risks of living on your own and being re­sponsible for things such as trash removal, lawn care and dish duty.

Senior communication major Joseph Demarzio currently lives off campus with three other stu­dents. He said, “The best part about living off campus is the overall responsibility you gain by cooking, cleaning and paying bills all on your own.”

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Keeping it Postal

With today’s advances in technology, it seems as though everyone owns their own computer or smartphone. With increasing rapidity, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and a handful of other social networking sites and applications have quickly become the main source of communication between human beings.

But what ever happened to good old-fashioned communication? The times in which it was more appropriate to send a letter as opposed to a text message appear to have completely been replaced. In current times, it seems that messaging a person on Facebook is far more superior to having an actual telephone conversation with them. Handwritten letters and phone calls are somewhat of a rarity in today’s world.

Our society yearns for instant gratification, which is why all of the various forms of instant messaging that exist are so popular, especially among the younger generation. Text messaging, online message boards, and video chatting have quickly become this era’s main ways of communicating with one another. But as someone who still does use some older forms of communication, I have found that although the current technologies made available to us are extremely useful and fun, the older ways in which people used to keep in touch are most definitely underrated.

My best friends and I got closer than ever this past summer, just months before we all went our separate ways and started our first year of college. There are eight of us, and we all attend schools in different states along the East coast. From Boston, Massachusetts all the way down to Tampa, Florida, the distance between all of us is quite far. But regardless of how far away from one another we knew we were going to be, we were determined to keep our friendship alive.

Before we had even left for school, we all wrote each other letters and gave them to one another during the final weeks of summer. We also agreed that we would always try to write to one another, even if it was just to say hello. Writing letters may be more tedious and time consuming than writing on someone’s Facebook wall, but receiving a handwritten message in the mail is a whole lot more exciting than receiving a notification.

The many different types of technology that provide us with instant messaging are great because the satisfaction of receiving and processing information is instantaneous. However, letters and postcards are things that a person can cherish for years to come. Jaclyn Boffice, a communication professor at the University, said, “I believe that mailing letters and hand-writing notes like holiday cards, thank you cards and business letters is essential. Their formality makes them distinct and more appreciated by the receiver.”

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Chocolate Lovers Unite

chocolate-loungeCaution: this article will contain detailed descriptions of delicious chocolate-y goodness. Mouth watering may occur.

For University students and faculty, along with residents around the area, The Chocolate Lounge is here in Long Branch, New Jersey to take care of all of our sudden chocolate cravings.And they are bringing out all the stops; all the chocolate-y stops.

The Chocolate Lounge is located on 81 Brighton Avenue in Long Branch, right across the way from Scala’s Pizzeria. Debra and Tom Ocasio, owners of The Chocolate Lounge, opened up shop in July of last year. They originally had a shop for seven years in Allentown, New Jersey that sat only 20 people. But now, they are seating 50 people who would love to make room for some dessert.

Olivia Caurso, sophomore, was shocked when she first found out that The Chocolate Lounge even existed.

“I was so surprised that we even had something like this so close to campus,” Caruso said.

When you first enter the lounge you’ll see a lovely decorated retail shop with a clear and shiny display window of all of their chocolate candies begging, just begging to be eaten. When you look straight on into the rest of the shop, there is a lounge/restaurant area in the back with perfect intimate lighting that can be inviting for a couple out on a date or a group of friends on their night out.

The Chocolate Lounge is not like any other chocolate shop in town. What makes The Chocolate Lounge different from any other specialty chocolate shop is that part of the lounge is for retail sale. You can pick up all the tiny and scrumptious chocolate confections at the front of the store and with such a variety it might be a little overwhelming.

It is understandable because each chocolate treat looks marvelous.

Half of their chocolate candies are milk chocolate and the other half are dark chocolate. And anything else that goes in-between them will be sure to satisfy your chocolate taste buds.

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An Evening With the University Police

its-tha-police-manNumerous unplanned occur­rences can find themselves wedged between the everyday obligations of a police officer at the University; A suspicious persons report, card access failure, and a fender bender in the parking lot happened last Thursday evening when Patrolman John Noonan was on duty.

The night shift began with a briefing, the way every shift change begins at the University Police De­partment. The other officers on duty for the night shift on Thurs­day, February 21 were Patrolman Stephen Pavich and Safety Officer Frank Lotorto.

The officers sat in the squad room and discussed what had happened during the previous shift and re­viewed any teletypes. A “teletype” is a notification sent over from an­other police department for them to be conscious of. In this instance, they had received a teletype about a missing persons report, a girl from a community campus nearby.

“We’re here to make sure that everything goes smoothly and that everybody is safe. That’s the most important thing,” said Noonan. He has worked for the University for ten years. Previously, he worked in Maplewood Township for 28 years as a Detective Lieutenant/Com­mander of the Detective Bureau. “It’s a secure, steady job and I like helping people. I actually took a cut in pay to be a cop,” he said. Prior to becoming a police officer, Noonan had a managerial position at Kings Super Market.

Paperwork and documentation is a big part of the job. Noonan said, “There’s a report for everything.” Officers must constantly document the status of their car (mileage, contents of the car, etc.) as well as their stops (if the buildings checked “okay”).

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In Your Dreams: A Look Into the Unconscious Mind

dreamsThe ability that human be­ings have to conjure up different thoughts, feelings, and images while they sleep is perhaps one of the most perplexing concepts of all time. Dreams are incred­ibly fascinating, mostly because so much about them has yet to be uncovered. Scientists, physicians, and psychologists have all com­pleted studies on the subject in at­tempts to further their knowledge on the act of dreaming; unfortu­nately, most experiments have only provided a limited amount of information.

The most commonly asked question when it comes to dreams is: What exactly causes them?

Dr. Jamie Goodwin, psychol­ogy professor at the University, explained that when it comes to the answer, there are a handful of various theories, all of which have yet to be disproved. Howev­er, there are so many theories that no one is quite sure which one is correct.

“Some people think they [dreams] are the brain’s attempt to make sense of random neural im­pulses. Others believe they serve as a sorting function, helping to process the day’s events into our memories, while another theory is that dreams are the brain’s way of working on problems that we were unable to solve during the day,” Goodwin explained.

She also discussed the ideas of Sigmund Freud, a renowned psy­chologist who focused mainly on human actions and dreams.

Goodwin explained that ac­cording to Freud, dreams are sim­ply a person’s way of expressing unconscious, unacceptable wish­es and impulses. Add this theory to the list of those previously mentioned and that still doesn’t cover half of the ideas presented by other men and women study­ing this particular subject.

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University Graduate Programs Grow

Enough? For those whose in­tended careers require more than a bachelor’s degree, the Univer­sity has a wide range of graduate programs for students to choose from.

According to Dr. Datta Naik, Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School, there were a total of 1781 graduate students, 18 master’s degree programs, one doctoral degree, 13 Graduate Certificates and 10 Post-Master’s Certificates at the University as of Fall 2012.

The University has gradu­ate programs in six academic schools including the Leon Hess Business School, the School of Education, the Wayne D. Mc­Murray School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Marjorie K. Unterberg School of Nursing and Health Studies, the School of Science, and the School of Social Work according to monmouth. edu. Most classes are held in the evenings and are offered year round.

Five of the graduate programs have accreditations from various organizations such as the Com­mission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the International Coalition for Addiction Studies Education.

Dr. Stanton Green, Dean of the McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences, said that humanities and social science programs account for half of the University’s graduate students and these programs continue to grow. “The program in psycho­logical counseling continues to grow and it is to some extent up to the University to decide how big it wants it to get – it cur­rently stands at around 300,” said Green.

“The Criminal Justice Program is both growing and changing as this field morphs into the field of homeland security,” Green con­tinued. The homeland security graduate program will be avail­able in Fall 2013.

Graduate work differs greatly from work students do as under­graduates. Dr. Catherine Duck­ett, Associate Dean of the School of Science explained, “As an undergraduate you often repeat work that others have done.”

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Welcome to Your Quarter-Life Crisis

crisisIf you’re stressed out all the time, feeling like your life con­sists of work, school, and sleep or you’re lost and confused about what’s right for your future, then you’re not alone. Research from the American Psychosocial Asso­ciation has shown that 41 percent of 20 to 29-year-olds say they feel sig­nificantly pressured or almost more stress than they can bear.

By psychologist Erik Erikson’s definition, a quarter-life crisis is the period of time where adolescents experience major changes dur­ing the late teens to early thirties. The question of where we shall go enters our minds and we begin to doubt our future lives by the stress­es of becoming a true adult.

“It’s probably the absolute worst feeling,” said senior Tyler McCue, who expressed his uncertainties about job opportunities and finan­cial stability once graduation comes in mid-May.

“It’s not that I’m scared of hav­ing to work hard, I’m just worried about not finding something good enough for me to live off of. It kind of makes you start to wonder if what you’ve been learning the past four years and emptying your bank account for is going to actually pay for you to live comfortably,” he added.

For others the worries of financial security and living arrangements seemed to be core of most quarter life crises.

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Pets Over People

petsWhen does man’s best friend become man’s only friend? Are pets so easy to get along with that we value our friendship with our cuddly buddy before that of a teammate or comrade? Owning an animal can be one of the most rewarding parts of life. Feeding, grooming, loving and understanding the needs of someone other than yourself can open your heart and mind to something greater than last Fri­day night.

If you’ve been stood up by a boyfriend or better yet, you re­ceive that phone call where your parents nag you about your de­pleted savings account, pets can be a reprieve. A dog or a cat would never argue with you about finances. One of the many reasons people own pets is for companionship.

Next time you’re home with your animal, have him or her sit on your lap. At that moment are you currently distracted by cha­otic regiments or are you now ap­preciating some down time? Pets are an instant de-stressor. They provide warmth, entertainment and positive feelings. Honestly, what friend do you know who would jump up and down and roll around on the floor for a meal or treat? And no, your friend’s be­havior for a $1.00 Big Mac after midnight doesn’t count, as most of us have been that friend.

“Pets have positive effects on our emotions,” said Dr. Marilyn Denninger, psychology professor and mental health professional. “Pet’s playfulness and antics make us laugh and experience delight, their affection and loyal­ty are a source of unconditional love and meaningfulness.”

A pet does not challenge you or make you irritable. They do not ask you to complete outra­geous tasks such as taking out the trash or replacing the moldy milk container in the fridge; the only thing a beloved animal will ask of you is for a good scratch behind the ears and a dish full of food and water.

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A New Tune For MU

drThis semester the music depart­ment welcomes Professor Iris Perry, an adjunct professor of Music Appre­ciation (MU 101). While new to the University, she is not new to the area.

“I grew up in Holmdel, not far from Monmouth University and my parents still live in Holmdel,” said Perry. “My father taught some busi­ness courses at Monmouth Universi­ty back when it was Monmouth Col­lege. I love this campus and if I have time on my way to teach or on my way back home to Northern NJ, I stop and visit my parents.” She add­ed that the students at the University are a pleasure to teach as well.

Her experience in only a few weeks here has shown her the friendly atmosphere of the school and that the class has students from all different majors. “Since I am teaching Music Appreciation here, my goal for my students is that they gain a stronger sense of familiarity and greater interest in music than they had before they took my class, particularly with the type of music that is covered in my class,” said Perry.

Topics covered include music from the 20th century as well as chants from the Middle Ages to give students an idea of various ways of singing and different tones in the piece.

She said, “It is important to always have a clear lesson plan before going into class but to allow for flexibility. The more interactive the class is, the better. Humor is also helpful in keeping the students awake, happy and entertained.”

Prior to coming to the University, Perry has had the opportunity to travel and perform at piano concerts across the U.S. and Europe.

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From the Airwaves of WMCX to ESPN Radio New York

wmcxLife is full of many journeys filled with twists and turns that could take you anywhere. For se­nior Brad Brown, life has taken him from putting on the headset for WMCX sports to sitting in a booth a few feet away from ESPN analyst and radio host Stephen A. Smith. Brad’s dream is to one day be a professional sports broad­caster. Thanks to hard work and a drive to succeed, Mr. Brown is well on his way.

Brad is currently interning at the radio station ESPN New York 98.7 FM, located directly above Madison Square Garden at Penn Plaza in New York City. Every Monday and Wednesday, Brad takes a two-hour NJ Transit train into the city to work.

Brad has two different jobs as an intern for ESPN New York 98.7 FM. On Mondays he works in pro­gramming and on Wednesdays in promotions.

A typical day in programming consists of arriving around 11:00 am, completing prep work, help­ing with the rundown of top­ics, and making sure each host is aware of the topics. Once the shows begin, he tracks all of the topics discussed on the shows by entering them into a Microsoft Excel sheet, so they can figure out which topics draw the most lis­teners. He does this for the Mike Lupica Show, Stephen A. Smith & Ryan Ruocco Show, the Michael Kay Show and Dave Rothenberg’s show.

“Other jobs include using adobe audition to cut up interviews with Steve Young and Coach Wood­son for the Knicks,” said Brown. “I did a Dwight Howard one which I rolled footage off ESPN Sportscenter, so they can put it in the system and use it on the air.”

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Valentine’s Day: Stigmas, Plans and Pancakes

valentines-dayHere it is: the one holiday that sends single ladies to their couches as they pop in The Notebook screaming to Noah Calhoun to build them a porch, followed by a Mount Everest of tissues. It’s also the one holiday that sends couples reeling to the tippy-top of their relationship peak.

Everyone, welcome to Valen­tine’s Day, full of candy hearts and fluffy bears. It seems impos­sible not to feel the love in the air. But how do the singles and couples plan to spend their Val­entine’s Day? It’s time to open up a box of chocolates and see what’s inside.

First, one must address that it is already half way through Feb­ruary. Secondly, one must real­ize that tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. We can officially conclude that the month of February is going by fast. Since tomorrow is the big day of love, break out the candy hearts, get out the freshly cut roses and summon all the chocolate lovers! There is about to be an overload of sweets a’comin’.

Despite all of the decadent treats and sweet kisses of Val­entine’s Day, how do people go about planning and spending their day of love, regardless if they are single or in a relation­ship? Does everyone on this jam-packed love fest of a day get a teddy bear with “Be Mine” stitched on the belly?

Maybe if they were giving them away for free.

We can wish, right?

There are a lot of stigmas that center around Valentine’s Day. For people who are representing the single life for this holiday, people tend to assume that they will sit at home on their couches and complain how they will for­ever be alone. That’s right; I’m talking to every girl who says she will be a cat lady.

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How to Succeed in Business

work-behaviorSucceeding in the business world obviously takes skill. You have to be good at your job in order to advance in your field, however, one of the less obvious ways to move up in the office is by demonstrating appropriate behavior.

Being the best at your job does not, by any means, make you the best employee. It is by behaving in ways that exemplify particu­lar company ideals that can help you impress those in charge and make you successful.

As a way to help you succeed in the workplace, William Hill, the Assistant Dean of Career Services here at the University, has provided a few things to keep in mind while working in the of­fice. Although there may be oth­er guidelines and rules that are synonymous with certain com­panies and offices, the follow­ing tips are general enough to be used anywhere:

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From Regents College to MU

fromregentscollegetomuMany of us have heard or even have had the pleasure to study abroad while attending the University, but for sophomore Charlotte Carne, the University is her new home away from home this semester.

Carne is a theater and acting major at Regents College located in Lon­don, England. There are many differ­ences in the program there than there are here, according to Carne. One being that study abroad is not manda­tory for students here, but it is at Re­gents. There is also special empha­sis placed on how to apply for study abroad programs and the options for one’s desired major.

There are a number of choices giv­en and each must be listed in order of preference. “For the course I am cur­rently studying at Regents College a study abroad semester is mandatory,” said Carne. “If we don’t go then we fail the course. Therefore, the study abroad office goes through how we should prepare for our study abroad period very thoroughly before we go. The acting and global theatre class has six schools in different locations to choose from.”

She explains that her options in­cluded three universities located in the United States as well as univer­sities in Chile, Prague or Australia. She was given a breakdown of the departments connected to her field of study. From there she applied in order of her top choice to last. “The choice to come to Monmouth was pretty easy for me,” said Carne. “The course content for the theatre depart­ment was, in my opinion, far superior to the other choices, and I believe I made the right decision. Had I gone to Prague, I would have just been there for the culture, but here I have not only a brand new culture to ex­plore but a solid academic base to ex­plore within.”

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Can DNA Store More Than Genes?

Three years ago a pair of geneti­cists sat at a bar discussing the issue of where to store their institute’s copi­ous amounts of research data due to the fact that storing such information on hard drives had become exceed­ingly expensive. What began as a mere quest to find an alternative to store DNA, protein and other genetic sequence information ended up as an exceptionally revolutionary idea: storing real-life practical files within DNA itself.

Now in 2013, these two geneti­cists, Ewan Birney and Nick Gold­man of the European Bioinformatics Institute, have succeeded in storing a set of Shakespeare’s sonnets, a PDF of the first paper describing DNA’s double helix structure, a 26-second mp3 clip from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and a JPEG photograph of their institute-all within a molecule of DNA. They’ve published their research in Nature, one of the world’s most prestigious scientific journals.

This enormous feat renders a hope­ful and exciting future for DNA stor­age. Such an endeavor is also likely to lead to more success because DNA is an optimal storage device, being sturdy and extremely compact.

Furthermore, storing information on DNA is relatively inexpensive, es­pecially when compared to the cost of using external hard drives. And just as storing information on silicon chips and in hard drives was reaching its maximum point in both pushing budget costs and storage limits, this breakthrough has had excellent tim­ing. Sophomore education major Ma­ham Ayub said, “Such a breakthrough in DNA research is especially conve­nient due to the monumental use of technology in our current digital age, which is bound to become only more advanced. It is fascinating to be able to store practical files in life’s own ge­netic make-up and it really makes me wonder what other great accomplish­ments our future will hold.”

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Sacrificing a Tan for Summer Education

Annoyed and frustrated at your newly printed syllabus, your roommate looks over your shoul­der and mutters, ‘That class was a breeze; I took it over the sum­mer.’ You glance back at the 15 page major research paper, group presentation and three examina­tions and think about dropping a class because your 19-year-old pal said taking it during summer would be worth giving up time in the sun. Dedicating time and money to a summer class may be worth neglecting your job as a camp counselor, but it may not be for everyone. Summer classes are meant to keep students ahead, a float or on board to graduate and are not seen as a loophole to a better grade, because believe it or not, you will be kept the full class period.

The weather will be getting warmer towards the end of March and class attendance at the Uni­versity will dramatically decline as you find classmates enjoying the perks of a one mile radius to the Jersey Shore. If you’re one of those students who will take advantage of the allowed two absences per semester solely for a warm week in May, a summer class may not be the best idea.

Surrounded by white walls, white floors and books may not be an ideal summer vacation. Senior education major Ash­ley Mcpeek said, “Being inside when it is 85 degrees and sunny and your friends are at the beach is a serious downside.”

Consider your options be­fore turning your nose up at the idea of “summer school,” as it is vastly different than what we thought summer classes were in high school. It’s a great way to be ahead in credits in order to lessen the load and defer from an 18-credit semester for your en­tire junior year.

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Abroad-er Experience Awaits University Students

Traveling the world seems to be something that a lot of people have on their bucket list, and who could blame them? They see pic­tures and videos of people and places in countries and cities that exist across the ocean, and they can only wish that they will one day be given the opportunity to experience those images them­selves.

The study abroad program here at the University was created for those kinds of people; the people who yearn to step outside of their comfort zone and venture into the unknown. The program gives stu­dents who wish to travel the world the opportunity to study in a va­riety of different countries during their time at the University.

Students are able to choose from three semester-long programs in either: London, England; Sydney, Australia; or Florence, Italy. If a semester seems like too long of a time away from home, the Uni­versity also offers summer pro­grams as well; a six-week program in Cadiz, Spain and a four-week program in Florence, Italy. Fortu­nately, the tuition and fees for all of the semester long programs are the same abroad as they are here, so airfare and spending money are the only extra expenses that a stu­dent has to worry about.

Erin Smith, a junior, recently studied at Regents College in Lon­don, England during the 2012 Fall semester. “I chose to study abroad because I knew that college was going to be my only chance to get out and see the rest of the world with no real strings attached,” Smith explained.

It’s difficult to travel freely after graduating, especially if a person intends on jumping straight into their career field upon leaving the University. Studying abroad gives students a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience the world, and it’s best for them to grab onto that opportunity when it’s right in front of them, even if they are feel­ing a little apprehensive.

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Hitting the Housing Lottery Jackpot

housinglotteryThe spring semester is here, and that means preparation for the upcoming housing selection lottery are already at the forefront of residential students at the University. 

Upon returning to school last Monday, residents returned to find a blue book in their dorms and suites explaining the details.  While deposits and contracts will be submitted soon, the actual selection does not take place until the middle of April.  Those looking for on-campus housing will be given a random number in their term group (sophomores/ all transfers, juniors or seniors) and can make selections based on the number they receive which determines availability and range from 1-999 per term group.  

The hope is that a low number will be given allowing for the highest possibility of options designated to that group.

 Danielle Walsh, a sophomore and resident of Maplewood apartments, was excited and relieved as her friend got a low number.  She explained, “I was so excited when my friend, Michelle, got a low number last year.  We got to pull our whole suite, plus my sister, into Maplewood Apartments this year, one of the nicest buildings to live in on campus.”

 Kelly Hughes, also a sophomore, was not as lucky, as she and the rest of the suite got very high numbers and had to pick Spruce Hall as a result.  “We love our suite,” she notes, “but we would have preferred to be in Maplewood Apartments because it can get very tight in Spruce with eight of us.  I am dreading the process this year and some of us may move off campus.”

Of course, possible scenarios must be thought about well before the drawing. 

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Music: Cheaper Than Therapy

Life has an awful tendency of hurling high-speed curveballs at just about everyone in this world and there are a few things that have the ability to guide a person through some of the seemingly unforgiving times that we inevitably have to face as human beings.

As we continue to age, we find that times become increasingly difficult. There is only so much that can be done to help us cope with the struggles of heartbreak, the loss of a loved one, or simply a day that didn’t go as planned, but perhaps one of the most effective and popular ways to handle life’s unsatisfying situations is music.

“If you’re in the midst of a difficult life situation, music can help you go inside, find the hurt, and deal with it,” Laura Dubois, noted pianist and music professor explains. “Music can alleviate stress, which is something we all go through. If you feel angry, frustrated or hurt, you can use music to express that, and therefore get it out of your system.”

Keeping negative feelings bottled up inside is not beneficial for anyone, yet it can be difficult to find the proper way to express one’s self in tough situations. For many people, music serves as a creative outlet that gives them the opportunity to properly express themselves in an easier and less complicated way.

In fact, freshman musician Natalie Zeller confessed that one of the main reasons that she writes, plays, and listens to music, “is to escape from the daily struggles of every day life. When I need a distraction from the world, I love nothing more than sitting down and getting out my frustrations through creativity.”

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Owning Your Experiential Education Experiences

internshipsStudents are often told that high school prepares them for college and college prepares us for the real world. However, the real world is seldom kept in a class room with text books and homework assignments. To better prepare students for the reality of full time careers in their field of study, many students opt for internships.

According to Marilyn Ward, Career Services Experiential Education Specialist, all undergraduates must fulfill an experiential education requirement which allows them to gain more hands-on experience than the classroom allows. Depending on their major, students can fulfill this requirement  with experiential education courses, service learning placements, co-ops, research projects, studying abroad, and internships.

The Offices of Cooperative Education and Service Learning, a part of Career Services, are here to assist students in finding and applying for internships. “Career Services provides assistance with the search for Ex Ed opportunities through targeted emails, the Ex Ed Database of Opportunities, a part-time job newsletter, and weekly workshops on Experiential Education,” said Ward. “Students can also make appointments with Career Services staff to prepare a resume or to discuss Ex Ed opportunities.”

The University gives credit for students interning. Department advisors must approve a student’s placement before granting them credit, according to Ward. Usually, a certain number of credits must be earned before a student can earn credit for their experiential education. She encourages them to gain as much experience as possible through the University. “In general, the more experience a student has the better, so it’s ideal if a student can fit in more than one internship or other Ex Ed placement,” said Ward.

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Local Paleontologist Harbors Ancient History

feature4On the outside, the yellow, bungalow- style home looks innocent enough, just like any other house on the block. A passerby would have no idea that this home was a time portal. Much more than meets the eye, this house brings you back millions of years into an archaic landscape filled with relics of inconceivable but true species now absent from the ecosystem.

The house’s resident is Ralph Johnson, an older gentleman with perhaps more hair on his chin than his head, who curates a paleontological research museum in his basement. There are more than 20,000 catalogued specimens from extinct creatures that live, once again, in this Long Branch residence. It is home to: a 30 pound piece of leg bone from a dinosaur that weighed eight or ten tons; remains from ammonites, which are relatives of squid that lived in coiled shells and traveled in schools; shells so well preserved that even after 75 million years the mother of pearl is as iridescent and shiny as ever.

Like the home’s exterior, the living room is inconspicuous with its plush carpets and chairs with velour cushions as well as glass and ceramic figures resting on tabletops. A fancy dining room sits adjacent, seemingly more for show than for use. It is the descent down the short staircase that transports you and makes you forget that you’re in Long Branch in the 21st century.

The sloped ceiling above the stairs is concave and even Ralph, at no more than five-and-a-half feet tall, needs to bend awkwardly to fit beneath. A sign above deters creationists from entering.

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‘Cool’ Story Bro

feature3From the time that we first begin to interact with others, we become acutely aware of what is supposedly ‘cool’ and what is not. Still today, as students in college, we pride ourselves on the notion of being the coolest, the most popular, and the best liked by our peers. But what exactly does it mean to be cool?

In today’s society, t here s eem to be many variables that play into the definition of the word, but regardless of the ambiguity of its meaning, it is a widely acknowledged term that everyone strives to be perceived as.

If you search for the definition of cool in the dictionary, Merriam- Webster considers it to be slang and defines it as “fashionable, hip.” This vague explanation of the word is an example of the fact that we, as a society, create what we take to be cool.

Dr. Johanna Foster, sociology professor, explained, “In sociology, we would say that ‘cool’ is a social construct, meaning that in every society, and within smaller groups in that society, people in interaction with others define the standards of ‘cool.’”

As a society, we depend on one another when it comes to almost all things, and defining what’s considered to be “cool” is no exception. We decide whether or not the people that we interact with, as well as ourselves, make the cut when it comes to what’s “in” in today’s world. These standards of “cool” continuously change, which makes it even more difficult to properly and elaborately define the term.

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Remember That Time?

Is It Those Nostalgic Memories That Define Our Friendships?

feature2Friendship, a relationship between two people, who hold mutual affection for one another; a shared bond that makes someone who is not blood related, feel like family. What in the world would we be without our friends, right? Remember That Time?

They are people who share similar interests, listen to our problems and give advice; the ones who support and encourage us and share many memories, tears, and smiles.

Have you ever wondered what exactly caused you and your best buddies to build such a relationship? As we all move forward in our lives, our environments change and we meet new people, build new friendships, and lose touch with others. That is why the subject of friendship can be so interesting. It can be described as the study of sociology, psychology, anthropology, philosophy, and even zoology.

Such a controversial subject proposes various theories on what really causes friends to be friends. Take the social exchange theory for example: a sociological perspective that explains friendship as a subjective cost-benefit inquiry. In other words, it insinuates that social behavior is the result of an exchange process. If the risks outweigh the rewards, people will vacate that friendship; if the risks are outweighed by benefits, then people will cherish that relationship. “You’ll find that your most positive relationships are ones in which the benefits outweigh the costs. You’re best friends, as you could say,’’ said Michael Pirrotta, psychology professor.

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Extended Use of Breast Cancer Drug Increases Remission

FEATURE1A wide variety of breast cancer drugs are currently in use to treat the symptoms of the horrific disease. One specific drug, which has recently been noted for its potential in prolonging cancer remission, is Tamoxifen.

According to BreastCancer.org, it has been proven that the extended use of Tamoxifen can reduce the risk of breast cancer from coming back by 40 percent to 50 percent in postmenopausal women and by 30 percent to 50 percent in premenopausal women. Such results make a phenomenal difference because approximately 227,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed annually in the United States. Additionally, Tamoxifen has been proven to reduce the risk of a new cancer developing in the other breast by about 50 percent and has shown promising results in keeping cancer away from undiagnosed women who have family histories of breast cancer.

Typically, Tamoxifen is prescribed to breast cancer patients for approximately five years. However, in a new study called “Atlas,” Tamoxifen was assigned to one group of breast cancer patients for the average five years and to another group of patients for an extended 10 years. The results of this study showed that the group taking Tamoxifen for five years had a 25.1 percent recurrence rate of cancer while those who took the drug for 10 years had a 21.4 percent recurrence rate.

Such a difference is highly significant, especially when viewed through a personal and realistic lens. Freshman chemistry major Kristen Flynn comments that, “If it is scientifically proven that taking Tamoxifen reduces the chances of breast cancer from returning, then diagnosed patients should invest in the extra five years of treatment. Those five years can save them a lifetime. My cousin was diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago, Extended Use of Breast Cancer Drug Increases Remission so these advancements in medicine are the reasons why remission is possible.”

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Flee the Flu

It’s that glorious time of year again. When the days get busier and the nights grow colder, we all fall victim to symptoms of the common cold and flu; and of course, the true Grinch of winter never has convenient timing. “Who has the time to get sick now a days?” said senior Sonya Shah.

With the holidays upon us, people are more concerned with shopping for their friends and family and less concerned with remembering to take care of themselves. Contagious viruses are obtainable year-round, but it’s during the fall and winter months that our immune systems are at an all time low. Between the stress of the semester ending, earlier mornings and later nights, it’s almost impossible to avoid getting ill.

Bitter cold weather equals spending more time indoors and it’s because of this additional time spent with others that germs spread so easily. The deadly concoction forces us to be more susceptible to getting sick, but that doesn’t mean preparing yourself is a waste. Use these prevention tips to help you boycott the trend.

Number one and most effective: get vaccinated against the flu. The vaccine is available by shot or nasal spray and the best time to do this is during the weeks of October and November, although December isn’t too late.

Washing your hands is one of the most over looked methods of prevention yet our hands are one of the most contaminated parts of our body. Coughing, sneezing, runny nose; its like germ central. All it takes is 15 seconds with hot water and antibacterial soap to kill germs instead of spreading them. Simple healthy habits such as eating a balanced diet, exercising, getting enough sleep, maintaining your stress level, etc., are all preventative measures that can help you stay sick-free.

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An RA’s Journey

In a residential student’s freshman, sophomore or junior year, he or she has the opportunity to apply for the position of Resident Assistant (RA).

An RA is someone who is in charge of a floor in a dormitory and acts as a mentor to the student community in which he or she lives in. This provides valuable experience to both students and the RA.

Their duties include planning programs, supervising closing periods for break and acting as peer mediator. “I was encouraged by my sister, who attends another institution, to apply for the position here at Monmouth,” said Nick Rossi, the head RA in Elmwood Hall. “It has also given me the chance to learn a lot about myself in the process as well.”

Dan Roman, also an RA in Elmwood, wanted to apply as a means of giving back to his former RA who was a major help during his freshman transition last year. “I became real close with my RA and I wanted to do something that would allow me to give back to people who were a big help to me,” said Roman. “I want others to know that they can be successful and are strongly encouraged to give back to the community.”

One of the major responsibilities of an RA is to plan both educational and social programs for their residents.

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Put Procrastination Off Until Later

procrastinationThe art of procrastination lies somewhere in between the confidence we have in ourselves and the anxiety we face to perform. Depending on the difficulty of the assignment or project, whether it is work related or personal, time is the main factor hindering efficiency. Time represents the amount of hours or minutes or days spent working towards a goal, and for the start of finals week, time is something we usually put off. Be- cause of the confidence we have in performing to the deadline, we normally work better under stress.

“I usually procrastinate when I have a lot of work to do and I put it off because it is too much to take on,” said senior Samantha LaRocca.

If we as students are putting off assignments to the very last minute, we develop stress which initiates the release of adrenaline. And depending on where we as individuals fall within the ‘Fight or Flight’ response, we generally experience both phases.

First, the brain triggers a flight response in which the delay pro- cess begins and procrastination is filled with the updating of statuses and the re-tweeting of famous 90’s lyrics. By the time we’ve already complained about how much work we have we begin to fight the avoidance of course work and we decide start our list making, delaying us another 20 minutes.

Suppose we cut the crap, sit down and focus for a change because experience has shown that we have already overcame difficult challenges and have succeeded, relating to why we procrastinate- because we can, it’s always worked and we normally end up on top.

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Educators from High School to College

Untitled-2Almost all of us have a favorite teacher from high school or even a professor from here at the University who is looked at as a friend or mentor.

There are some major differences in the way these relation- ships are viewed. “One of my communication professors used to work at places such as Walt Disney World and they really allowed me the chance to see what working in the field is like at a professional level,” said Rebecca Zidik, a sophomore.

Hearing about real life experience from professors often enlightens students to see the world differently than they may have viewed it in the past and could even inspire them to change their major if a high interest arises in a particular subject.

Over fall break, many students have returned to their home town high schools to visit favorite teachers. One major difference is that these teachers know their student on a more personal level and of ten stay in touch with them after graduation.

“I am real close friends with my high school Spanish teacher and it was really cool to see him both at my high school’s homecoming and here at Monmouth at a soccer game. He was also my soccer coach and inspired me to go far,” said sophomore Rachel Fox. More of the education process is geared towards individual styles in high school and a structured learning environment help to foster some of these close relationships.

Some teachers even will go the extra mile according to freshman Briana Lieberman, “One of my teachers still keeps in touch with me through phone an email while I a away at MU.” This is vastly different from a relationship with a professor.

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Black Friday Madness

featuresBlack Friday: the infamous day after Thanksgiving holiday; a day that appeals to many Americans yet raises feelings of intimidation and frustration.

It marks the start of the holiday shopping season, businesses open shop early, close later and offer promotions. It has been recorded as the busiest shopping day of the year since 2005.

The appellation is quite ironic: cold weather lines, no guarantees, sleep deprivation, etc. So when factoring in your sanity, time, uncertainty and the price of your purchases, does it all add up to be worth the troubles?

Some would say that highly items are not worth freezing their toes off, but Senior, Greg Sentara disagrees. He spent his outside of a local Target to take home a 32-inch Apex LCD TV for only $147. “It was way worth desperately needed a TV. Now I’ve got a nice one that’ll last me years,” said Sentara. For him the reward was well worth the wait.

Unfortunately for sophomore, Benjamin Rickks, his Black Friday experience does not share a happy ending. “I bought some TV on impulse at Walmart. I mean it was only $78 and looked so nice. I’ve had nothing but problems after one month.”

Ben fell victim to the common one-off model strategy. Basically, distributors will strip down a well-known model and sell the partially gutted product for far less money. Commonly used by retailers, the one-off model poses as a real bargain, but more often times than not.

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A New Meaning for Thanksgiving

oceanportIn the wake of Hurricane Sandy, many who live by the shore have lost everything. Freshman Samantha Barnwell, who lives in Oceanport, knows that despite having lost her home due to the storm, that it is important to be thankful for what we have, appreciate one another and to share the joys of past fond memories. Barnwell has lived in Monmouth County for all of her life and is very thankful to be from the area. “Growing up in Monmouth County meant so much to me. My dad grew up here with his family so it is very special to me. I remember building snowmen in my front yard in the winters, hunting for Easter eggs in my backyard, amazing fun filled summers in Lavallette, and playing in the leaves that my dad raked in the fall. I have spent 18 years in Monmouth County and I am proud to be from here,” said Barnwell.

Just a couple of weeks ago, mother nature changed everything when the raft of the hurricane’s power destroyed the Barnwell family home and everything in it. The meaning of “it can’t happen to me” quickly changed to a tragic reality. The entire family came together during this time to help and support one another during and after this major disaster, something that she will be forever thankful for.

Of equal importance is that the holiday season is about not only giving to family and friends, but also to those in need. This year, many are right here in the Monmouth County area looking to rebuild and begin again. Something as simple as making a monetary donation for a family’s Thanksgiving meal goes a long way to help those in need this season.

Barnwell has learned the lesson of appreciation well. “First I learned that material objects don’t matter. I am so thankful that my family was not harmed in this storm. Maybe our home is gone, but we still have each other,” said Barnwell.

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Until Divorce Do Us Part

divorce-decreeLife has that funny way of throwing things at you when you least expect them. From the positives of a new-found love to a highend job promotion, to the contrasting negatives of a car accident or a sudden death, all are surprises that capture individuals day by day.

What happens, though, when that very surprise isn’t much of a surprise at all and you see it looming overhead far before it decides to strike? Or better yet what if that sudden curveball is one that sticks with you, refusing to leave no matter how hard you will it to?

For more and more people in this age that very thing is occurring, grasping them in a suffocating clutch and affecting more than merely them, but those around them as well. The name of their unforeseen marvel? Divorce.

At this point, everyone has heard the stories; how divorce rates are higher than ever and about how half of the marriages who complete the glitzy, happy ever-after wedding ceremony will end in a court room. It’s not an ideal position to be in, it isn’t grand, and it most certainly is not something worth exploiting for personal gainthough as some television dramas will tell you is a foolish claim, get rich quick and all that.

However, as much as we know about the sad reality of the escalating rates in marriage separations, we as a society have become desensitized to them entirely, something that sophomore Victoria Hammil notes from personal experience.

“My parents told my sister, brother, and I they were going to get a divorce about two years ago. I could hardly believe it and I was devastated. When I told my friends, they couldn’t really believe it either but they accepted it as a kind of ‘it is what it is’ kind of thing. I just kept on thinking about how it didn’t really make sense. Celebrities and people who don’t value what they have get divorces; they are the ones that quit,” notes Hammil.

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Real World Emergency Journalism

A Personal Look Inside Hurricane Coverage for The Asbury Park Press

ginaResidents across New Jersey have been in a need-to-know state of mind over the past few weeks due to Hurricane Sandy and newspapers have been the main source of information. In the world of journalism, it is up to local staff writers to provide their very neighborhoods with such news.

Many daily newspapers across the east coast still update their readers on conditions in the surrounding areas. A prime example of this is The Asbury Park Press.

Gina Columbus, staff writer for The Asbury Park Press explained that many of the newspaper’s staff writers were not only journalists, but residents of the shore areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. Like many residents, Columbus could not go into work immediately following the storm, but that did not mean she wasn’t working. “They sent us out into the neighborhoods we were living in to take pictures. We used our phones since we didn’t have power and sent everything to our editors. They kind of understood,” said Columbus.

The first official assignment Columbus was given regarding the hurricane was at Brick Hospital. She covered the overflow of emergency patients and the mobile emergency unit. Still, Columbus said, The Asbury Park Press is mostly covering local updates on hurricane damage.

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Superstorm Sandy’s Unprecedented Impact

aftermathsandyIn the last few weeks, a new page was written in the history books of the Jersey Shore, marked under the shadows of wreckage and havoc from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Though only a category one hurricane, Sandy devastated the homes of tens of thousands of people in the tri-state area, leaving unprecedented damage Superstorm Sandy’s Unprecedented Impact across the shorefronts.

Atlantic City, known for its boardwalk, beaches, and blackjack, became an extension of the Atlantic Ocean as seaweed and debris circulated the kneedeep murky water, covering the shorefront streets and beyond. The property damage there was pretty extensive, according to Mayor Lorenzo Langford who said in an article in CNN, “I’m happy to report that the human damage, if you will, has been minimal.”

Governor Christie said he saw the damage left behind by Hurricane Sandy as “overwhelming” according to CNN.

“We will rebuild it. No question in my mind, we’ll rebuild it,” Christie said. “But for those of us who are my age, it won’t be the same. It will be different because many of the iconic things that made it what it was are now gone and washed in to the ocean.”

“I think many of us underestimated the damage this storm would cause,” said Paula Burns-Ricciardi, history professor. In all my years, I have never seen a storm of this magnitude followed within days by a snowstorm and I am heartsick over the damage Sandy has done to so many people and to our treasured landscape. I am impressed, however, at how this tragic event has moved people to come together to help one another.”

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Remaining Calm is the Ticket

features_copWith the holidays upon us, drivers have to be more cautious with icy road conditions, snow removal and turbulent winds. But say you look in the rearview mirror and the dreadful red and blue flashing lights are signaling you to pull over? A wave of panic advances, your palms become instant sweat pools and you have forgotten the proper protocol from your junior year Driver’s Education class. Fret not, despite your ironic “keep calm and carry on” tee.

Patrolman Officer Vaccaro of Ocean Township Police Department notes that your first step should be to, “Pull into a well lit area, off to the right side of the roadway, clearly out of the traffic lane.” After which your window should be fully rolled down with the engine off. If it’s night time, the interior light should be turned on as well. After eight years of service, Vaccaro adds that drivers are most commonly forgetting this step, which adds further suspicion to the situation.

Once stopped keep flashers on and remember the 10 and 2 rule, where you first learned to place your hands on the steering wheel. Placing hands in this position signals that you have control and are respectful to the patrolling officer.

“Once the vehicle is stopped an officer provides the dispatcher with the location and plate of the suspect vehicle. The officer then approaches the vehicle and asks the driver for license, registration and proof of insurance,” says Vaccaro.

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Young Kids Facing Grown-up Illnesses

kids--illnessesAre kids growing up too fast? Dr. Michelle Fowers says too many are.

“I think all the time about kids with grown-up illnesses,” says Fowers, a pediatrician at Baylor Medical Center in Irving, Texas.

Societal pressures, poor nutrition, and inadequate or too narrowly focused exercise are causing serious health problems for kids, experts say. These problems include obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, repetitive stress injuries, anxiety, depression, Type 2 diabetes and eating disorders many of them striking at younger ages than they did a generation ago.

“There are so many things that make kids grow up faster than they should,” Fowers says. She cites exposure to inappropriate material on television and online, marketers who encourage them to dress or act older than they are, pressures to compete in organized activities before they’re emotionally or physically ready.

That’s why she advises parents to slow childhood down by limiting screen time and eating and playing together as a family. It’s advice she follows herself as a mother of a 4-year-old girl and 7-year-old boy. “You have to allow time for them to be kids,” she says. “You try to make your home a stable and emotionally safe place where your child feels loved and can get away from the pressures of the world. You need to offer healthy foods and schedule family time to go outside and play or to run around the house and goof off. I think there’s a lot of creativity that comes with unstructured play.”

Obesity is at the root of many of the health problems once thought of as rare in children. A 2005 report in The New England Journal of Medicine projected that childhood obesity, which has tripled in the past 30 years, may cut two to five years from the life expectancy of the current generation.

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Oceanport Family Loses More Than Electricity

features-sandy2Hannah Stone, 17, a resident of Oceanport, NJ evacuated her home on October 29 due to increasing winds approaching the East Coast. Her family fled to safer grounds as her waterfront home in Oceanport was issued a mandatory evacuation. However, by Tuesday morning, Hurricane Sandy had already engulfed the Stone’s home and left little behind.

“Only a few neighbors stayed, but nobody had lived quite as close to the water as we did” reports Hannah.

Hannah and her family live approximately five to 10 feet from the Shrewsbury River, resulting in inevitable flooding, and extreme devastation with winds being reported up to 80 mph by the National Hurricane Center.

“We had never anticipated that Hurricane Sandy would have caused so much damage to not only us, but many other families in the Jersey shore area,” said Stone.

However, many decided to stay, claiming that the hurricane would be as minor as Hurricane Irene, which hit the area in August of 2011.

“This was a relatively weak hurricane, but the fact that the storm was a hybrid is what caused all the devastation,” according to Joseph Gleason, local EMT volunteer for West Long Branch.

But what if you woke up on Tuesday and realized that this was a hurricane more comparable to Katrina? Imagine returning to the place you call home only to find your valuables submerged in water.

“I was devastated when I saw my house for the first time. It was so hard looking at something so important so ruined,” says Hannah as she remarks on Sandy’s aftermath.

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Halloween’s Most Mischievous Deviant is Sandy

features-sandyIn the current college students’ generation, Halloween has always come with some mischief and each year authorities take precautions to keep everyone safe. This Halloween, however, mischief’s name was Sandy.

Before Governor Chris Christie’s rescheduling of Halloween from October 31 to November 5, MUPD planned for a normal holiday centered around costumes, parties and celebrations. William McElrath, Chief of Police for MUPD, stressed the main concerns for Halloween on campus. As far as Halloween activity on campus, I would say the main safety concern [was] related to the abuse of alcohol and all of the safety issues which result from it,” said McElrath. “Generally speaking, our campus has not experienced any upswing in negative activity on recent Halloweens. Students should [always] be reminded that if they are old enough to drink, and choose to do so, they should drink responsibly and utilize taxis or designated drivers to get around.”

McElrath explains that the same penalties that apply every day are in effect each Halloween.

The most common charges are underage drinking, driving while intoxicated, disorderly persons, etc. and they can also be charged under the Monmouth University Student Code of Conduct if they are in violation.

Students’ plans were deferred thanks to Hurricane Sandy taking such a devastating toll.

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The Dawn of Quantum Computing

features-quantum-computingIf you have glanced at specifications for the typical personal computer over the past few years you have probably noticed the exponential rate by which many of the computer’s components are improving.

This trend is the result of an observation made in 1965 by the cofounder of Intel, Gordon Moore, known as Moore’s Law which states that the number of transistors per square inch on an integrated circuit will double every two years, according to intel.com.

Transistors are semiconductors which are the fundamental components of most electronic devices. They can act as amplifiers by controlling a large electrical output signal with changes to a small input signal (much the same way as a small amount of effort is used to allow a faucet to release a large volume of water). Transistors can also act as switches that can open and close very quickly to regulate the current flowing through an electrical circuit.

An analysis of personal computer specifications of the norm over the past decade showed an increase in RAM from 256 MB to 4 GB and in hard-drive space from 50 GB to 500 GB. With respect to storage capacity, we went from storing a few word processed documents on 3 ½ floppy discs (R.I.P.) with 720 KB and with the later ones 1.4 MB in the 90s and early 2000s, respectively.

Then CD-Rs came with upwards of 700 MB storage space, giving way to DVD-Rs with 4.7 GB, and eventually dl-DVD-Rs with 8.5 GB. The recent Blu-Ray discs boast a storage capacity of upwards of 25 GB for single layer and 50 GB for dl-Blu-Ray – capable of holding upwards of 9 hours of high definition video – a 3.7 percent increase in storage capacity over that of floppy discs.

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November is Blindness Awareness Month

features-blindnessNovember is a month that is not only dedicated to honoring our country’s veterans and the Thanksgiving holiday, but as of two years ago it is also Blindness Awareness Month.

People with low vision are able to receive a variety of services that can help them be successful in life. One of the organizations offering these services is the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired which assists with helping people with limited vision achieve independence through providing them with tools such as books on CD, or a Closed Circuit Television to enlarge print size. “We currently have six students enrolled at Monmouth from our agency. One of our biggest challenges is assisting those who are visually impaired, (partially sighted) because on the outside they may not appear to have an obvious difficulty,” said case worker Diana Cortez

It is very important to understand that many people with blindness and low vision have been successful as a result of these supports. Education Leadership Professor Doctor Terri Peters had the opportunity to express these benefits at a panel.

Last month four panelists during a presentation to the Foundation Fighting Blindness were people who have successful careers despite living from limited vision or blindness. In attendance were people with professions such as lawyer, disability rights advocate and a film editor.

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Lights Out, Phones On

In the Midst of Hurricane Disaster, One of Our Biggest Concerns is ‘Will My Battery Die?’

features-hurricane-technologyAfter two long weeks, the University gets back on its feet as students, faculty, and staff members finally return to their daily routines and fall back in to a s tate of normalcy.

Many would agree that the destruction from Hurricane Sandy was unexpected and underestimated, especially by those who faced up to twelve days with out heat or electricity. Jersey Central Power & Light Company (JCP&L) configured power outage maps that reported over 969,000 homes lost power in the state of New Jersey. No TV, no computer, no IPhone charging; just a deck of cards, board games and a radio.

“By day four I was already loosing it. I couldn’t work, no businesses had power, I couldn’t even do my homework because I needed my laptop and Wi-Fi,” said senior Lea Callahan. She wasn’t the only one who felt frustrated from Sandy’s wrath. Student Jamie Cardullo, 19, agreed, “having a few days off to spend time with your family and be unglued from your phone, your job, and Facebook for once was cool and all. I guess I started getting used to it, but that’s when I started to realize how impossible and inconvenient everything was without power.”

This was the worst natural disaster Jersey had ever endured. Students and faculty were nowhere near prepared for the University to be closed for almost two entire weeks.

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Frankenstorm is the New Boogie Man

features-frankenstormDo you remember some of your first Halloween costumes? Were you dressed as a black cat like I was? Or maybe you were a Jack O’Lantern? Better yet a wicked witch?

“Me and my friends were ninja turtles. We handmade our turtle shells, it was awesome,” said senior Taylor Manthey.

Well, hold onto those memories because I’m sure every youngster will remember the year 2012 when Halloween wasn’t celebrated with classmates or allowed kids to go door to door as normal.

On October 31st, Governor Christie’s Administration signed an executive order postponing the night of mischief for trick- or – treaters to Monday, November 5th. It’s a good thing too because candy was scarce in shut-down stores and many already consumed fist- fulls of chocolate well before Wednesday.

Ellen Jensen, music teacher for St. Rose Grammar School in Freehold says, “I just feel so bad for the kids, they have been looking forward to coming to school in their costumes for weeks.”

Even though Hurricane Sandy prevented New Jersey from successfully celebrating Halloween on October 31st 2012 as previous years, the day was still held in spirit.

Instead of trick-or-treating on dangerous streets where trees, transformers and power lines were unstable several alternatives were used allowing for children to still dress in their costumes and parade around for sweet treats. Such alternatives included “Trunk or Treating” where car trunks were filled with candy in designated parking lots and allowed for children to celebrate in safe corridors.

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Kislak Real Estate Institute is One of a Kind

The University’s School of Real Estate Comes Out of Hiding With Continuing Developments

features-real-estateFew students have heard of the Kislak Real Estate Institute at the University’s Business School, but their accomplishments span from awards to scholarships to developing classes and curriculums.

Dr. Peter Reinhart, Director of the Kislak Real Estate Institute, said that the real estate program began in 1994 as a certificate program only and remained that way through 2006. “In 2006 the Kislak company made a big donation to rename the institute from the Monmouth University Real Estate Institute to the Kislak Real Estate Institute at Monmouth University,” Reinhart said. Within a couple of years, the institute was able to offer an MBA and undergraduate classes, explained Reinhart.

Reinhart was one of the first instructors for the real estate school while still working full time. Last year when Dr. Donald Moliver, former Director of the Kislak Real Estate Institute was promoted to Dean of the Leon Hess Business School, Reinhart was offered the Director’s position. He also teaches courses such as Real Estate Development, Lease Negotiations, Business Law I and II and a freshman seminar called “The Law and Your Life.”

The most profound accomplishment for the institute is that it is the only one in the state to offer undergraduate and master degrees. “We’re one of a kind…so if you’re a real estate major you graduate with a bachelor in science and business with a concentration in real estate,” said Reinhart. According to Reinhart, the program currently has about 40 students majoring in real estate.

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Stress Causes Insulin-Producing Cells to Go Inactive

features-diabetesTwenty-five million Americans, or 8.3 percent of our population, suffer from diabetes. Due to the recent obesity epidemic, nearly two million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in people aged 20 years and older in 2010, according to the American Diabetes Foundation.

Researchers from Columbia University have proposed a new hypothesis that may change our understanding of the cause of diabetes, and if tested positively, may allow for better treatment options for the millions suffering from diabetes in the near future.

The body’s blood sugar level, commonly reported as the serum glucose concentration, becomes elevated after we eat food, especially that high in carbohydrates. The digestive system breaks down the large complex carbohydrates, polysaccharides, down into disaccharides and eventually into monosaccharides, the most common being glucose. The hormone insulin allows our cells to take up the blood sugar glucose to metabolize it for energy, store it as short term energy reserve known as glycogen, or as fat, the long term energy reserve – depending on our physiological conditions at the time.

In the most common form of diabetes, known as Type 2 diabetes mellitus, the body has either an inability to produce enough insulin or it ignores insulin itself. A lack of insulin therefore does not allow cells to take up glucose from the blood, so the cells cannot metabolize glucose for energy. Barring glucose from entering cells causes the blood to quickly get very concentrated with glucose in a condition known as hyperglycemia.

Hyperglycemia disrupts the osmotic pressure gradient in our blood and leads to a wide gamut of complications, the most common being high blood pressure due to the high solute concentration in the blood. Other complications that may arise include lethargy, heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease and neuropathy, according to the American Diabetes Foundation.

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From the Womb to the Web

features-wombBarbie dolls, video games, designated nap times and carefree innocence is what most recall when they think about life prior to the stress filled adult world that college introduces. It was a kinder time where a child’s only true concern was whether or not they would be able to go over their friend’s house after school to play. Sadly, it seems that those times so cherished by college age adults might very well be lost upon the youth of today.

With the ever-expanding influence of the media and the online Internet-based devices that allow individuals to view such influences, children nowadays seem to be skipping right from the crib to adulthood without so much as a brief time in childhood bliss. Not only is this a pattern that has escalated in the past decade, but it could very well be a trend unintentionally spun on by their parents and guardians.

The kids of today are usually bought extravagant electronic devices, like smartphones and tablets, which parents buy with the pure intentions of supplying the child with a source of entertainment. Not to mention the added draw of being able to put educational applications on the devices and the security a parent would be able to feel knowing their child could contact them for help when needed by having a cell phone. However, by allowing children to have access to these tools they are also being exposed to the vast information the devices can access.

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Senior Hawks Prepare to Take Flight

perkinsWith over half of all college graduates jobless or underemployed, University seniors face the challenges of standing out when bachelor’s degrees are a dime a dozen and jobs are few and far between.

Graduates need hard skills rather than diplomas, according to a recent article from the Associated Press in The Atlantic about how graduates are more likely to be underemployed to make ends meet with loans.

Students are more likely to work as “waiters, waitresses, bartenders and food-service helpers than engineers, physicists, chemist and mathematicians combined,” AP concluded.

Each University student’s educational experience is unique, and students from all different majors have advantages and disadvantages.

“I found it somewhat difficult because I needed one more credit for graduation because of my chemistry minor and there wasn’t anything I could take, but I’m really excited to graduate and move on to graduate school. I am applying to chiropractic schools now,” said Allison Day, health studies major.

Other students have found fewer difficulties with senior year. “I don’t feel that I’m having any difficulties. I’ve had a lot of good help from Dr. Mitchell, and everything has been pretty smooth,” said Anthony D’Elia, political science major.

“I’m going to Washington for the DC semester and I plan on going to law school when I graduate. Professor Bordelon has really helped with the law school application and meeting those requirements,” D’Elia continued.

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Heavy Text Books, Light Wallet

Students Consider Multiple Sources When Searching for Costly Text Books

books

At the beginning of each semester students scramble to buy their required text books and sell their old ones for the best price possible. The University has a campus bookstore that can help students with most of their text book needs, but there are many other outside resources available as well.

Buying text books, no matter the seller, can be quite expensive depending on the book and condition. Many sellers offer, however, a way to essentially borrow text books for a flat rate through the semester. The University’s book store also offers this option.

Bill Rainey, campus book store employee explains why it is such a great privilege. “Students renting are allowed to keep the book until the last day of finals,” Rainey said. “Many online book rental places have a fixed number of weeks that are not long enough to cover our semester resulting in additional charges.”

Online vendors such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble, however, have a flexible time policy when renting text books and even allow students to extend their rental periods. According to their websites, both vendors’ typical rental periods are 130 days, but Barnes and Noble offers shorter rentals for a lower cost. New or used condition is not guaranteed for rentals from either vendor.

Sophomore Tyler Vandergrift said that he saved money by renting books instead of buying them. “I bought from the bookstore and Amazon last year and spent nearly $500 a semester,” said Vandergrift. “I decided to switch to renting all my books this year from either the bookstore or chegg.com and have cut that cost in half.”

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A Cost-Effective Guide to Fall Decor

fall_decorIt’s that time of year again, with crisp leaves crunching underfoot, cider simmering and a chill in the air. But before you unpack those decades-old plastic pumpkins and puffy paint-inscribed “Give Thanks” signs, consider a more modern side to fall decor. The key to a fresh fall spread say Maureen Anders and Adria Ruff, owners of the custom design company Anders Ruff- http://www.andersruff. com/- is all about embracing natural elements.

This doesn’t mean spending a small fortune on high-end seasonal items. Think natural fabrics, earthy colors and an approachable-yet-sophisticated atmosphere. “Get rid of the fake stuff _ bring in the real _ and don’t be afraid to use old pieces from your home in new, unusual ways,” Anders said.

An approachable feel is as much about design as it is about practicality. “We both have young kids, so we create designs that are elegant but not too formal,” said Anders, who incorporates inexpensive items like Kraft paper into her fall party prep, using it for everything from lining the dinner table and to wrapping dessert stands. “It gives it a rustic feel and makes cleanup easier too.”

Not sure where to start? Although much of the season is about what’s familiar, check out these tips to freshen things up.

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Transfers Are Students Too

A Look Into the Life of Transfer Students Adjusting to a New University

transfer

Freshmen are not the only students who are new to campus this semester. There are a number of students who have transferred here from other institutions. This means that they have had prior experience with college level work.

“We have had the second largest class with over 340 transfer students this fall and many of them came from two year community colleges and a small percentage are from the west coast” said Jean Dealo, transfer advisor.

One of the biggest differences is that unlike freshmen who are new to college and can go undecided, transfer students generally must have declared a major at the University since they are transferring in a lot of credits. Thus, it is very important to see if the credits transfer to the University long before applying.

“NJ Transfer.org is a great planning tool for students and shows them how many credits can fit with both their general education and major requirements. Certain courses without equivalents count for particular subject areas, especially lab sciences,” added Dealo and Jean Judge, transfer advisor. This prevents students from losing credits and will keep them on track with their general education requirements.

Residential life is also of consideration when planning to transfer to the University as it may be the first time some students are living away from home for an extended period of time. Leah Torres, a junior transfer from Middlesex County College and Resident Assistant in Spruce Hall knows the transition process well. “I was real nervous last year as a [transfer] sophomore moving into the residence halls and did not know what to expect, but I got involved in many different activities and am really enjoying it now.”

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University Alumni Gets Down to Business

features alumPatty Azzarello, University alumni and successful business woman revisited her place of higher education last Tuesday to share her secrets about making it in the real world. University students and faculty gathered around to listen to her various career accomplishments and tips for technology in the real world.

Azzarello has been in the work force for 25 years and has held positions such as Vice President, General Manager and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of various software companies and currently runs her own independent business. She talks about some of her personal highlights in her career thus far.

“There were two positions I had, one was in the beginning of my career and one was much later in my career that were very significant for different reasons,” Azzarello said. One of these positions was being a sales engineer where she would frequently be left alone to deal with customers, business deals, create marketing relationships, recruit and train resellers and developing marketing programs. She held this position at the age of 22.

“Why that job was so important to me was because it was just me and I had to figure out how to do everything, and I really learned what makes business happen,” Azzarello said. “I had to make everything happen by myself and I probably took the skills I learned there and used them in every job I ever had.”

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Is Plastic Burning a Hole in Your Pocket?

Most young adults see credit and debit cards as a means to an end, but do not know the benefits or negative effects they can have on credit scores, making it more difficult to finance future investments.

Sallie Mae published a study in 2009 that discussed how students charge an average of $2,200 in direct education expenses.

Eighty-four percent of undergraduates had at least one credit card, up from 76 percent in 2004. On average, students have 4.6 credit cards, and half of college students had four or more cards. The average (mean) balance grew to $3,173, higher than any of the previous studies. Median debt grew from 2004’s $946 to $1,645, the study concluded.

The most shocking statistic of the study discussed how, “only 17 percent said they regularly paid off all cards each month, and another 1 percent had parents, a spouse, or other family members paying the bill. The remaining 82 percent carried balances and thus incurred finance charges each month.”

Dr. Paul Orzechowski, economics professor at the University, discussed how credit cards can be very dangerous for students if they are not used properly.

“It is a good device to use credit, but a student has to pay it off on time,” Orzechowski continued, “it is best to seek a card that does not have annual fees.”

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Were We Always Alone?

NASA Curiosity Rover Finds Ancient Streambed on Mars

Water as we know it is the essence of life, for without it, almost no form of life could ever exist. Last Thursday on September 26, NASA’s Curiosity rover found evidence that a stream of water once coursed the now desolate Martian landscape as the rover scanned the surface.

According to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at NASA, “There is earlier evidence for the presence of water on Mars, but this evidence -- images of rocks containing ancient streambed gravels -- is the first of its kind.”

The NASA scientists are closely examining the images of stones that are cemented into a layer of conglomerate rock. By examining the intrinsic qualities of the rocks such as their size and shape, the NASA scientists can get “clues to the speed and distance of a longago stream’s flow,” according to nasa.gov.

By analyzing the size of the rounded pebbles embedded in the slab, the NASA scientists estimated that water was flowing about a yard a second and was between ankle and hip deep, according to the New York Times.

“Plenty of papers have been written about channels on Mars with many different hypotheses about the flows in them. This is the first time we’re actually seeing watertransported gravel on Mars. This is a transition from speculation about the size of streambed material to direct observation of it,” said Curiosity science co-investigator William Dietrich in a press release with NASA.

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Music Moves More Than Dancers

For centuries now, music has played a very important role in the world. It’s a way for people to express themselves, be entertained, listen to for pleasure, etc. One thing music has always been used for is a way to motivate people. This can be seen all over the place, especially in the sporting world.

While teams warm up for games, there’s always music playing in the arena as a way to get the team fired up for the upcoming game. Another example is, when one goes to the gym, all you have to do is look around and see people running on the treadmill or lifting weights with headphones on.

Frank DeGenaro, a University alumnus said, “Music is the best way to shut out all else. You can’t control what noises are outside of your headphones, but you can control exactly what’s coming out of your iPod. This allows you to focus and find that competitive part of you. You can sit and just stare and listen to whatever pumps you up. Then you can go out on the field like an animal,” said DeGenaro, who played four years of football and baseball in high school.

“It drives me when I need an extra push-- the song ‘Carry On the Flame’ by Santino Noir has lyrics that push me when I feel like I can’t quite push to the end of my run. Not only that, the music itself lets me get distracted from worries and I just use it to pace out my runs. Running for an hour and a half would be really boring if I didn’t have some good tunes to listen to,” said Pikaard.

Dr. Janice Stapley, Chair of the psychology department on campus, has been studying music and emotion regulation among emerging adults.

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Giving Life to Synthetic Organs

features-giving-life-to-synthetic-organsThree short years ago, Andemariam Beyene was studying geology for his PhD in Iceland when his physicians found out he had a golfball sized tumor growing in his trachea (windpipe) which blocked his breathing. After going through aggressive rounds of surgery and radiation therapy, Beyene’s health continued to deteriorate, according to The New York Times, as the tumor still persisted.

It seemed as though all hope had been lost, for without a transplant, Beyene would almost certainly have died. Beyene soon thereafter enrolled in a revolutionary operation. Tissue engineers from London created an artificial windpipe of a special plastic and coated it with somatic stem cells from Beyene. According to BBC, an Italian physician, Paolo Macchiarini, at the Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden, led the pioneering surgery.

The technique is special in the regard that it does not require a donor. It uses the patient’s own somatic stem cells to vascularize and coat the artificial organ with “cells, blood vessels, and nerves to become a living functional part of the human body,” said Henry Fountain of The New York Times.

Stem cells, which come in two types, have the ability to differentiate into specialized cells to do specific tasks– much like that of a college student picking a major for a specific trade. The first type, embryonic stem cells, can basically differentiate into anything– cells that line the GI tract, muscle cells, and kidney cells among a myriad of other options.

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Liberal Arts Across the Disciplines

No matter their major, all students attending the University are required to take the same courses to fulfill general education requirements. These liberal arts and humanities classes are designed to give students a wellrounded education and are, according to many professors and students, important.

Jean Li, ancient history professor, speaks out about the general education requirements in the history department. “History touches upon every aspect of contemporary society,” she said. “A business major should know why economic systems developed the way they did. For example, they should know the origins of our current system of banking arose in Renaissance Europe to meet certain demands of globalized trade. Law or pre-law students learn that history is inherent in law. The law is built upon history; lawyers argue based on precedent.” She continues that history can be used for various reasons in other departments such as communication and political science.

Li believes that the history requirements are minimal and should be more diversely focused on. “I think it’s important for students to take History 101 and 102, not just one or the other,” she said. “I also think it’s important for students to take world (not European or American) history classes. Students need to expand their knowledge beyond the traditional ‘Western Civilizations’ since contemporary society is truly global. If you think about it, human societies have never been isolated, but global in their own ways. History ties all the disciplines together. It, along with anthropology, is the study of human achievements,” said Li.

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Conquering Dreams Through the Civil War

features-civil-warThroughout our nation’s history, numerous significant events have made an impact on the way our country is today. The Revolutionary War, the signing of the Declaration of Independence, The Great Depression, World War II, September 11, and many more. Out of all of these events could the most significant event be, perhaps, the Civil War?

According to Greg Caggiano, aspiring teacher, Civil War enthusiast, and history blogger, the Civil War is just that. “It is the single defining moment where we decided as a country are we going to stay together or are we going to allow other states to secede. I take a more sympathetic approach to the south, but regardless it is still a defining moment in our nation’s history. There is no event more important than the Civil War. Revolutionary and World War II were important too, but the Civil War is where we come into our own as a country,” said Caggiano.

Ever since Greg was seven years old, he has always had a love for history, especially the Civil War. Now 14 years later, he is well onto his way into adult hood and at times can resemble a Civil War soldier with his solid build, short brown hair and scruffy beard.

This love for the Civil War has brought about many great things for Greg in the past few years. Growing up, two of his favorite movies were “Gettysburg” and “Gods and Generals.” One day he heard that there was going to be a director’s cut of Gods and Generals that was going to be released. This excited him greatly, as he got a keyboard from his arsenal and began to write about it on his blog, titled “From New York to San Francisco,” which had been about hockey, the New York Rangers, and the San Francisco Giants up until that point.

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Have You Paid Your Bills?

The University’s Office of the Bursar Handles All of Students’ Billing Needs

Each semester, many students find themselves in classes where their names aren’t on the roster. If they have experienced financial difficulty in paying for the class, or the University has not received their payments, then the Office of the Bursar is here to help.

The Office of the Bursar deals with matters of tuition, room, board and fees and all other aspects of students’ financial accounts. “We also charge for any books that are charged against a student’s financial aid,” said Jonas Javier, Bursar. “Another primary thing we do is process student refunds after financial aid or any over payments, and we also disperse any financial aid that a student is receiving.”

One of the consequences of not paying bills by the deadlines that the Office of the Bursar sets each semester is being dropped from the classes that were not paid for in a process called deregistration. “Deregistration happens long after the actual semester payment deadline is,” said Javier. “Even though it sounds unjust, in reality what that does is open up course registration for other students who have paid their bills.”

Often students will find the means to submit their payments after the deadline and after which point they have already been dropped from their classes. For this, the Office of the Bursar has a solution. “We have a process called retroactive registration, in which we do instruct students that have been cancelled,” said Javier.

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Suicide Awareness Month Brings Hope to Troubled Minds

It’s 4 am and the phone is glued to my right ear. Leaning against the bed, with my legs splayed out across the floor, I am chatting with a life-long friend about our significant others.

At the age of 17, I found a guy I was completely in love with and devoted 14 months to our relationship. My friend was also in a longterm relationship. Our two boyfriends had one thing in common though: A dark side.

As much as we tried to talk to the guys about it, the conversation never really went anywhere. I had just spoken to my boyfriend Lee, two hours earlier and he sounded really depressed. After repeatedly asking him if he was alright, he didn’t tell me what was going on with him. Jenny and I were talking about it when the call waiting beeped in.

I put her on hold and heard the voice of Lee’s brother on the other end of the line.

“Lee hung himself,” he said. “What?” I did not believe what I was hearing. “Is he OK?”

“No Michelle,” he answered. “He’s dead.”

In that very second, my world was ripped away from me. All the air was sucked out of the room. I desperately held on to the idea that the paramedics could save him. I kept saying, “He’s going to be OK though, right?”

Thoughts of him in the back of an ambulance flashed through my mind as I held on to some unrealistic hope that he would be alive. I had just talked to him a couple of hours ago. How could this be real?

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Like Brother, Like Sister, Like Brother

Two Out of Three Triplets Discuss Life on Campus with Their Siblings

College is supposed to be the time when young adolescents branch out, find their independence, learn to do their own laundry and create a healthy distance between themselves and their families. This was not the case with triplets Danielle, Anthony and Michael Branco.

All three juniors study at the University, though that was not the initial plan. Danielle and Anthony explain how they ended up at the same institution.

“I was actually torn between The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) and Monmouth University, and my one brother, Michael, attended Montclair University his first year,” said Danielle. “Knowing that my other brother was going to Monmouth University was a small safety net, but I do not think it truly influenced my decision because Monmouth was a lot closer to my house and it saved me the most money.”

“I did not plan on attending the same school as both my siblings,” remarked Anthony. “I knew Danielle was interested, but I always thought I would go somewhere far. My brother started at Montclair and transferred here, so I had no idea we would be at the same school together.”

Although the Branco siblings attend the same University, they all major in areas of their own, independent interests. Danielle is majoring in Communication with a concentration in Public Relations and Journalism, while Anthony majors in Business Marketing and Michael in Computer Science. “We all have different majors and different interests, which is pretty cool because it sets each of us apart,” said Anthony.

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A Look Inside the Burning Bravery of a Fireman

For decades now, firefighters have been an instrumental part of our society. They are the ones who strap up in their turnout jacket, pants, boots, and hard helmet to go into burning buildings when everyone else is running out of them. The firefighters go in fearless and face the intense heat of the flames and the blinding, suffocating smoke. They do this because it is their job and is what they chose to do for a living. It’s a part of being in a special brotherhood.

On 9/11, their bravery made national headlines. Three-hundredforty- three firefighters gave their lives to try to save people from the World Trade Center. So many people across the country were grateful for their efforts, but as time went on it seemed to be forgotten that firefighters are still out there day in and day out giving their all and putting their lives on the line for their job.

Former Deputy Chief of the Linden Fire Department, Danny Gurrera, was a part of the firefighter brotherhood for 32 years before retiring in June 2011. For each and every one of those years, he gave the job his everything.

Danny, who is happily married and is the father of two sons, stands at 5’10 and is in great physical shape with a short military style haircut and a goatee that is now speckled with grey. His physique has been something that his fellow firefighters have joked with him about over the years. At his retirement dinner, when his name was called the entire room was flooded with the sounds of chirping. It turns out that many of his fellow firefighters said with his muscular upper body and skinny legs, he resembled a bird.

When asked about other jokes around the house, Danny simply replied with a big smile and said, “It’s like Vegas. What happens in the firehouse stays in the firehouse.”

The journey towards becoming a firefighter started back when he was 18 years old. Back then you couldn’t take the firefighter’s test until you were 21, but luckily for Dan he wanted to join the Navy, which was where he served until he was 22.

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Creative Learning in the Art and Design Department

It has been said that the two sides of the brain are composed of completely separate traits and operations; the left side being the logical perspective and the right being the creative outlook. Both are facets that are divided down the middle, yet they merge together to form the mind as a whole. It’s a yin and yang kind of relationship, one that is said to be necessary for the mind to operate and function. Here at the University, such psychological divisions are being fused together by those involved in the arts.

Whether it is studio or graphic, art students on campus are displaying masterful understandings of the teachings in their particular area of interest.

Through such courses as Basic Design Comprehension, Art History and Graphic Design, students are not only taking in their lessons but going the extra step in the terms of exercising their creativity in the area.

Crowds of freshmen are drawn in every year because of current students’ great talents here. First year student Tyler Aberdeen, a studio and fine arts major, is one of these individuals. “I chose Monmouth because of the fine arts program. I remember looking through other colleges and the student works there, but the stuff being done here just caught my eye,” says Aberdeen. He goes on to mention visiting the Ice House Gallery and the gallery in Pollak Theater while on a tour on campus last fall. “I was just amazed by both the student and faculty works and knew that’s what I wanted to do and this is where I wanted it to be done,” said Aberdeen.

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Realizations of an Addict

Former Addicts Explain Rock Bottom and Their Road to Recovery

The disease of addiction is a vampire. It sucks the life out of every aspect of a person’s existence. Addiction takes over the body, the mind, and destroys the soul. Age, race, gender or occupation makes no difference to the disease. Its ultimate goal is to take your life, unless you make the decision to save it.

“The moment I realized I was an addict was actually when I had the spiritual awakening,” Michele I. said, requesting her last name be withheld. “I was at a New Year’s Eve party and I got this overwhelming feeling like if I took one more hit, one more sip, or one more bump of anything, I was not going to wake up the next morning.” She heard the crowd countdown to midnight from her bed in another room.

“The next morning I had to figure out how to get help,” Michele said. She had just finished her undergraduate studies in criminal justice at a university in New York state six months prior. She returned home to her parents’ house immediately after the holiday and endured a painful detox on the couch from alcohol, cocaine and prescription pills. Now, ten years later, Michele has not touched a drink or drug since that night.

For some addicts, it is not always a realization that leads directly to seeking help.

“I started doing heroin, and I didn’t even feel like I was an addict because my life was still together,” Kris said, asking that only his first name be printed. He continued to work and earn a living while his addiction festered. The first time Kris was sick from not using, he said he realized he was willing to do anything to get high. Kris robbed his sister’s piggy bank.

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Junk DNA Recycled From the Attic

features_scienceWith respect to the unprecedented advancements seen in genetics in the past few decades such as the Human Genome Project, the advent of gene therapy, and recently, the Human Epigenome Project, we are better able to begin traversing through the vast ocean of uncertainty that circumscribes our ancestry and our individuality. Through this journey, we are now beginning to understand the genetic basis for disease on a whole new level that is allowing us to treat patients on an increasingly personalized basis, one down to the very building blocks that makes up their genomes.

The genome, which consists of the aggregate sum of all the genetic information in our bodies, is composed of a tightly packed molecule known as DNA, a very small fraction of which we have known to actually code for protein. Until recently, its larger counterpart laid dormant as a gray area as we did not fully understand its function and, consequently, was labeled as “Junk” DNA.

30 research papers published last week in major peer-reviewed journals such as Science, Nature, and The Journal of Biological Chemistry, among others, contend that the vast majority of our genome, this so-called “Junk” DNA, does, in fact, have some biochemical purpose, according to the New York Times.

The papers represent a decade’s worth of work by an international collaboration of 440 scientists from 32 laboratories in the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project. ENCODE was launched by the National Human Genome Research Institute, according to the National Institutes of Health, back in September 2003 with the intention of identifying all functional elements of the human genome.

Daniel Goldenberg, senior psychology major at the University, thinks that the discovery of the function of such “junk” components of DNA is a significant and worthwhile asset to the journey of human development. “Furthermore, it is a stepping stone from which we can be able to unlock the mystery behind it all.”

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Researchers’ Guide to the Galaxy

Guggenheim Library Offers Resources Accessible to Students Anywhere

features_libraryresourcesMany students have heard about the wealth of history behind the University’s Guggenheim Library, but how many are aware of the wealth inside of it? Plenty of students have taken advantage of the free computer and printing and copying access that the library offers, as well they should. However, the University strives to educate its students about the resources offered to assist students in their academic careers.

“We have almost 300,000 books,” said Assistant Librarian and Coordinator of Reference Services and Special Collections, George Germek, “and we have thousands and thousands of online databases, limitless really, too many to mention because they grow every day.” These hundreds of thousands of online resources are products of the technological advances made in the 21st century. However, other old fashioned resources have not become outdated, and are not suspected to in the near future.

“We also have printed periodicals, too,” said Germek. “Certain people in the humanities—English, history, people of that background—will still use print extensively.”

Though printed resources are still widely used among students and faculty, certain areas of study are really benefitting from the online research aids available to them, according to Germek.

“Social studies and some of the maths in this world, they use a lot of digital depositories, but not everyone.”

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Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication 
and Instructional Technology (CCIT) Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey 07764

Phone:(732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu