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Volume 85 (Fall 2013 - Spring 2014)

Like Mother, Like Daughter

There is a time in everyone’s lives where we think, “I’m not going to be like my parents.” Whether it’s their thoughts and opinions on something or how they disciplined us when we did something wrong, everyone thinks they will be different. Of course, in some ways, we are different from our parents. We were all born and raised in different generations, had different life experiences, and for the most part, we have different tastes in everything. At the end of the day though, we are our parent’s children. Whether we have different personalities or not, we had to have gotten something from them, right?

For me, it is inevitable that I will turn into my mother. We have different taste in music, clothing, and even in people in general. Our personalities have clashed a lot in the past because we are very similar, and thankfully, I have my dad to break up our petty arguments. Not that I consider myself much older now, but when I was a teenager, especially around 15 and 16, I couldn’t wait to get out of my house and be away from my parents. I thought all they did was nag me and they were always complaining that I was doing something wrong. I hated listening to their advice because I was too stubborn to realize that it would help me in the future.

Somehow, some things got through. I have many similar values that my parents have and am very thankful that they raised me the way they did. The more people I meet in life, I grow even more appreciative that I have the parents that I do. My mom would always tell me stories about when she was in her teens and 20s and how she was the more mature and responsible one that all the parents trusted. I somehow managed to end up the same way. She taught me what to do or not do in certain situations, what to be careful about and overall, how to stay out of trouble. Of course, many things I had to try and learn for myself, but I always have my moms voice in the back of my head.

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When Striking Out is a Good Thing

“Strike Out Arthritis!” is a campus-wide wiffle-ball tournament occurring at Great Lawn at Monmouth University on Saturday May 3, a day filled with sports and entertainment all for a great cause.

“Strike Out Arthritis! Is the signature philanthropy event of Alpha Omicron Pi,” says Victoria Day, Philanthropy Chair of the chapter, “and all proceeds benefit the AOII Foundation’s work to eliminate arthritis as a disease and to eliminate the pain and suffering it causes old and young alike.” To date, the AOII Foundation has given more than $2 million in grants for arthritis research and education.

The May 3 event will be a wiffle-ball tournament played on the fields at Great Lawn beginning at 12 pm. Participating teams already committed to play include the sisters of the Iota Theta chapter. Additional teams desiring to play or sponsors wanting the support the event may obtain information by emailing Victoria Day at s0817489@monmouth.edu. Teams can register with up to seven people with a donation of $20. Thursday May 1 is the deadline to register.

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Jersey Shore Roller Girls

“You need to be 18+ with health insurance,” read a poster posted on the Asbury Park Boardwalk. There are posters all over the city advertising “to become A Jersey Shore Roller Girl.”  Who would ever want to join a team that promotes enrollment with their main specification being health insurance? Surly, you would think, only people who have gone mad would look into joining a team like that.

In reality, The Jersey Shore Roller Girls (JSRG), are actually quite popular, and their league is continuing to grow. The Roller Girls are an all-women roller derby league, and are constantly recruiting interested girls all over the state. Betty, known on the flat-track as “Black Eye Betty,” is one of the founders of the Jersey Shore league.

“I’ve had my fair share of broken limbs and black eyes, but you better believe I’ve dished out some black eyes as well, hence my nickname,” said Betty proudly. Betty is very friendly, but she also has this spunky, I’ll-kick-your-a** attitude. “Roller Derby is, with no doubt, a rough sport. It is not made for the weak, but under the rough and tough skin of each of our players, there is your typical, kind, and friendly girly girl. We have built a league of winners, tough players who fight to win, but when you join our league, you become part of our family. We all support and help each other, and while injury is inevitable, it is never intentional,” said Betty.

“Before you can compete in the real league, you have to go through a mandatory 20 week training period. At the end, there is a written test about the rules and conduct. There are certain ways you have to skate, fall, and play because it’s a really physical sport and can be very dangerous. There is also a physical test that has to be administered before taking part in an actual bout. We are really thorough about who can actually compete in the real big bouts,” said Christine Hodan, another roller derby player turned coach. A bout is the name used for the roller derby matches.

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The Unfriend Zone

As the warm weather finally approaches, most of us will take part in the annual ritual of spring-cleaning. For some, this means going through old winter wardrobes and cleaning and dusting to our heart’s content. For others, this means spring cleaning through their social media, deleting frivolous accounts and even filtering whom they are in contact with. “Unfriending” is an odd two-sided coin. On the one hand, there is the person going through their list of friends, choosing which ones they decide to stay connected to through these online social medias, creating the question of why we unfriend people.

“It depends on their purpose in the unfriending.  Sometimes, the Facebook friendship is really the last thread connecting people in a dysfunctional or non-existent relationship,” explained Dr. Jamie Goodwin-Uhler, psychology professor. “In that case, cutting that tie can feel like finishing up unfinished business, and the unfriender feels relief that they get to put the relationship in the past and move on.”

Goodwin-Uhler added, “But some others may unfriend as a passive-aggressive move-- they feel a sense of power in having gained the upper hand. They can exclude someone from their life with the click of a button, and without saying a word, force the other person to make a move if they wish to continue the relationship.”

Back in the day, Facebook was all about the numbers. If you didn’t have at least 300 friends you were deemed uncool in the realm of social media (There was a grace period of course for those who just made an account).  However, it seems recently that being “friends” with someone on Facebook is more about the quality than the quantity.

Alex Mitchell, a junior social work major explained that she has unfriended dozens of acquaintances on Facebook for multiple reasons such as lack of contact or negative commentators. “If I don’t talk to them then why should they have access to what goes on in my life? The last time I did a mass unfriending of people was after something fairly tragic happened in my life and people were talking negatively about me and someone I care about. I decided that I didn’t want to subject myself to others negativity and hatred so I unfriended close to 300 people and honestly I’m happier because of it,” said Mitchell.

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How to Heal Your Hangover: A Step-by-Step Guide

You wake up on the wrong side of the bed. At least you’re in a bed. You have to rub your eyes a few times before they actually open. You’re still wearing the same shirt as last night! How could you do such a thing? There’s your shoes, sprawled out across the floor along with your wallet. You reach for your phone. It’s 10 am and you’ve got four missed calls, 10 texts, and five percent battery left. You always charge your phone before bed! What were you thinking? Oh wait, you weren’t thinking. And then you realize that it’s too early and your head is pounding to the beat of some techno song you heard last night. Yup, you definitely should have resisted that last Tequila Sunrise.

Probably one of the worst feelings in the world, a hangover can sometimes trump the common cold or stomach flu. It’s not recognized as an illness, but it definitely should be. For anyone who has ever experienced the wrath of a hangover, you probably agree—it is miserable. There is arguably no cure for the monster either, but there are ways to make it go away faster (or at least make yourself feel like it will).

1. Drink Water

It’s pretty obvious that you drank one too many cups of Moscato last night. You may have temporarily forgotten what water is, but find a big glass of the H2O quickly. And drink it quickly. Nothing feels better the morning after alcohol consumption than consuming a day’s worth of water. And add ice. Water always tastes better on the rocks.

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Why Should I Study Abroad?

When and How to Take Advantage of the University’s Travel Opportunities

In today’s society of ever-increasing competition, studying abroad is becoming a popular option.  This helps students learn about other cultures as well as more about themselves.

Lexi Morrison, a sophomore communication major, had the pleasure to study in Australia and enjoyed every minute of learning about a new culture. “Living in Australia allowed me to see the world in a different light. I became more culturally diverse, making friendships with people from all over the world, with completely different backgrounds than myself,” Morrison said.

Morrison added, “I learned about cultures and the many differences between those cultures, and through these interactions, I ultimately learned about myself.  Studying abroad allowed me to mature in way I didn’t think I had to. I became more independent, thought about different aspects of life, considered new lifestyles, thought deeply about my future, and overall became more well-rounded.”

For Morrison, this changed her life and even way of thinking forever.  The Australia program is offered in the Fall and Spring only which can be a major advantage for students as it allows them time to explore the country and transition into a new culture.

Morrison recommends this because it allows time for exploring, unlike the Monmouth Fall semester, students are given a two week break between quarters as the term started in the middle of July.  “I also feel as though you don’t truly begin to become part of a culture until well after six weeks. Those first weeks are the tourist weeks. Some may disagree, but I think you are still set in your American ways the first month you are abroad,” said Morrison.

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Stress May Unlock Stem Cell Research

Imagine the anxiety and unease felt when you are undergoing any number of stressful situations. The discomfort experienced during those moments is not generally thought of as beneficial and if anything, is considered the complete opposite.

It is therefore incredibly surprising that progressing stem cell research has shown that some normal cells subjected to stress can develop back into their embryonic or stem cell state.

While normal body cells have specific functions in specific areas (such as liver cells, cardiac cells, or muscle cells), stem cells are unique in that they are able to become any other type of cell. This research has thus far been done on mouse spleen cells and has delivered positive results.

Such a transformations from somatic or body cells to stem cells could allow for successful life-saving regeneration treatments. These treatments would involve patients fixing damaged areas of their bodies using their very own transformed cells.

Furthermore, a successful method of transforming body cells would allow for access to a form of personalized medicine. This would involve individual patients being able to have treatment specific to each one of their health requirements, and it would also eliminate complications often faced by transplant patients whose bodies sometimes reject or have difficulty accepting cells from outside sources.

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Are Beats the Best Bang for Your Buck?

Beats by Dr. Dre have become the preeminent headphone in the entertainment industry.

According to the retail analysts group NPD, Beats accounted for 64 percent of the headphones selling for over $100 in the U.S. in 2012. Beats electronics owned 51 percent of the entire headphone market in 2012, according to beatsbydre.com.

The latest headphone developed by Beats Electronics is the Beats Studio, which is currently priced at $299.95. With the value of Beats Electronics Company surpassing a billion dollars, there is some quality to their headphone but considering the steep price of nearly $300, does the Beats Studio have the best value on the headphone market?

“The problem with the Beats headphone is more about the durability and the pricing.” said Michael Clarke, a sales associate at Radio Shack. “If you compare Beats with other headphones like Skull Candy or Sol Republics, you can get pretty good headphones for at least $100 to $150 cheaper, whereas with the Beats, they are really good headphones, but they are really not worth 300 dollars,” said Clarke.

Stephen Nowack, a sales leader at Best Buy, offered a similar sentiment about Beats headphones. “In my opinion, Beats are a good quality headphone but I also think there are other headphones that are made with just as good of a build for less price,” said Nowack. “The problem with the Beats headphones is that it is a very high price point. It is like any other brand; they put a higher price point on it just because of the name of it.”

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A Home for the Homeless: Destiny’s Bridge

taylor-smith_humans_of_muAccording to the National Student Campaign against Hunger and Homelessness, over 3.5 million people experience homelessness each year. Thirty five percent of these people are in families with children, the fastest growing category of homeless people in the U.S.

A common conclusion that many people jump to is that all homeless people are alcoholics or junkies who lost everything they had to fuel their latest addiction. While that may be true for some homeless people, it's wrong to assume that it's true for the majority. The National Student Campaign against Hunger and Homelessness reports that 23 percent of homelessness is attributed to military veterans, 25 percent of homeless people are under 18-years-old and 30 percent have experienced domestic violence.

Homelessness is not only an epidemic in major cities, but it is also a problem that is closer to home than we may think. Approximately 30 minutes away from the University is a local homeless community in Lakewood, NJ. Started by Minister Steve Brigham, Tent City is a clearing in the woods that is "home" to nearly 100 local homeless people. The grounds have been in use for 12 years and Minister Steve has spent four of those years living on the site.

Filmmaker Jack Ballo made a documentary titled "Destiny's Bridge" about Tent City and its residents which was shown at the University during the Global Understanding Convention on April 8 in Wilson Auditorium. It featured Minister Steve and other homeless people who live on the encampment. The film followed residents through their struggle to overcome obstacles such as addiction and paying for medical bills.

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The Green Monster of College Relationships

Jealousy_in_college_relationshipsLet's face it; relationships at any age are not easy. Whether you're just starting out as a couple, or have been married for years, being in a relationship is hard work, and the effort must be put in by both parties.

Now, I'm no Dr. Phil or anything, but from what I've seen thus far, I'm going to say having a relationship in college is even harder than having one out of college. Most college kids go out and party on a pretty normal basis, which can be a definite burden on relationships. Even if you are not the biggest partier, you still come to school and meet a ton of new people in classes and activities.

Between the amounts of people coming in and out of your life, the substances that may or may not be at parties, and the ultimate freedom you have for the first time in your life, being in a relationship may seem like a far-fetched idea.

I recently read an article about how it is actually harder to even start a relationship in college these days because we've become so comfortable with the "hook up culture." Young adults are less interested in actually dating and are okay with just having someone to text and party with on the weekends. So now we all won't get to know each other past basic social media conversations? That's scary, but fear not college students, I've seen plenty of relationships work out as well. In fact, most of my friends are in a relationship, or are at least engaging in the same person on a regular basis.

So if you are one of the lucky people to break through the "hook up culture" and start a relationship in college, what do you do when your significant other wants to go out on a Tuesday while you're stuck inside doing a paper? Do you flip out and not let them go? That's not the best idea, unless you're trying to get out of that relationship. But should your significant other have complete freedom when it comes to going out or should you two establish some ground rules?

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Top Five University Fun Facts

pet_cemetaryGet up, go to class, eat lunch, procrastinate, do some homework (possibly), and go to bed. So is the life of most college students Monday through Friday, which at times can seem repetitive and dull. However, there are many little things about the University and the local area that can perk up the redundant schedule of everyday college life. So here are some facts you may not know about dear old Monmouth.

5. There is a graveyard on campus.

A little creepy, yes, but it's not what you think. Located by the old well by the garden apartments is a small pet cemetery from when Mr. and Mrs. Parsons lived in Wilson Hall. It consists of their two dogs and cat that they owned. There is an apparent ghost story that one of the headstones goes disappears and reappears every once in a while. There are also other allegedly ghostly tales about Wilson and the library. If you love the spooky adventures, then head out to these locations on campus to do some possible ghost hunting.

"When we first moved the honor students in, they were asking about all the 'haunting' on campus," said Amy Rochette, a junior criminal justice major. "We could only find one of the actual headstones, so they were a little disappointed, but enjoyed the adventure anyway. They even like how creepy the well was next to the pet cemetery."

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“Humans of Monmouth” Features Everyday Students

taylor-smith_humans_of_muLook at the person sitting two tables over from you at the Rebecca Stafford Student Center, or the student in the back of the classroom whose name you can't seem to remember. What are their fears, aspirations, talents and passions? It is the goal of Taylor Smith, a freshman psychology and social work major, to find out.

Smith announced a new project through a Facebook page called "Humans of Monmouth." Modeled after the well-known "Humans of New York," this project will feature photos of every day students and unique captions that aim to define their personalities.

"Originally I was looking for a way to be interactive with the community without joining Greek life," said Smith. "As a freshman I wanted to get out there and interact with new people and get my name out there and just talk to people." Smith is currently the only person working on the project.

"Humans of New York" posts photos on their website (humansofnewyork.com) of average people in the city accompanied by brief interviews or quotes from those people. Examples include a father with his son describing how proud he is, and a young boy who claimed to be a knight when asked why he carried a toy sword.

While the University does not offer as diverse of a crowd as NYC in terms of age, professions and social status, Smith wants to start off small, catering solely to MU's campus, though talking to strangers outside of the University is tempting. "It's funny, now that I'm doing this, I'm recognizing people, even at home, at the store or something, or on the street and I just want to go and talk to them, but right now I'm just keeping it at Monmouth," said Smith. "I have seen people that I really want to go speak to and they're not from the school so I can't. Well, I can, but I'm not going to."

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“The 90s Are All That”

No matter what age you are, you were born in a definitive decade. Each period brought us something special. Whether it was from music and movies, or life changing discoveries or great world leaders, it all came from a specific decade. Amongst many of the students here at the University, the 1990s are a sheer favorite that most can connect with and wish to go back to for even just one day.

When speaking about the 90s, perhaps the biggest piece of nostalgia and definition came from the popular music that emerged. It was a new sound for the pop genre and it dominated the scene. The emergence of The Backstreet Boys and N*SYNC paved the way for boy bands everywhere, and a little girl from Louisiana, named Britney Spears showed everybody who the new pop princess was. They all gave us earworms that live on today and have become karaoke and dance favorites.

While the music erupted out of every speaker, people were flocking to the cinemas as well. Adventure movies flourished more than ever in the 90s. “Jurassic Park” and “Independence Day” are just two examples of movies that fired up big screens everywhere. People were getting lost in the imagination that sparked from the movies. Even Disney sprinkled their magic pixie dust and cemented the way for animation to flourish. Television was a staple too. “Friends” is still a beloved comedy show today, that sitcoms strive to emulate.

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Cherish the Little Things in Life

When we are little kids, everyone tries to stress the fact that that it’s the little things in life that matter the most. Saying thank you when someone does something nice for you, picking up something for someone when it falls, these are the kind of things that actually really matter to people. Of course, when we are younger, this theory seems absurd. What do you mean the “little things” are the best? I want to biggest scoop of ice cream they have. I want to go on the biggest rollercoaster ride, what do you mean I’m too small? Anything little can’t be anything good.

As we get older, we realize the smallest things can make someone’s day. I am particularly offended when people don’t hold the door open for me, especially when I am steps behind them, so when I walk through a door and people are around, I think nothing of standing and waiting for them to pass.

One day, a very stressed looking mother with a very young baby, was trying to balance pushing the stroller and carrying about six diaper bags and walking towards me. I held the door open and the woman actually stopped and put a bag down to thank me. She said she couldn’t believe how many people don’t do things like that for her and with a hard new job on her hands, she was pleasantly surprised by any small act of kindness. For the rest of the day, I felt like a better person for making this woman so happy.

When asked about what makes her better, Caitlyn Bahrenburg, a junior communication major, said, “My dog, Beau. He’s taught me how to be selfless, compassionate, and what it means to live for another person.”

Vincent Crincoli, a junior communication major and Dan Gunderman, a senior communication major, believe the television have made them better people. Crincoli said, “I think TV has made me a better person because it’s allowed me to empathize with people from other cultures and places in a way that I wouldn’t get to in real life.”

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Three, Two, One, Graduate!

Anxieties About Finding a Job or Continuing School After Senior Year

In another month, the Class of 2014 will be off at commencement exercises. With this special day also comes the reality of being able to secure a job after graduation or even graduate school.

Gina Crowell, a freshman communication major, noted, “It could be very difficult to secure a job immediately and while I am only a freshman here, I don’t quite know what this will be like.”  This is a very realistic situation.

Emily Henig, a junior communication major, said, “I am nervous about finding a job and will be doing an internship for my communication TV major next year.”

Henig added, “The career fairs held at the University allowed me to meet prospective employers and see what they had to offer.” This is an especially important day as it allows students to ask various questions about careers in their related fields after graduation and also help them refine their job search in the future.  There were many employers there in all different fields from accounting to journalism.

Many students have put as many as five to six years of hard work to get to this day.  This is a culmination of everything they have done from academic honor societies to president of a fraternity to fun times with new friends they have made over the years.

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One Hot Hobby: Small Cars, Big Obsession

When it comes to hobbies, some options are more affordable than others. For example, horseback riding and collecting classic cars are usually a little bit more expensive than stamp collecting or fishing. However, there is one popular hobby that could qualify under both of these categories. It starts out as a cheap way to have fun, but once you’re hooked, it can get much pricier. And all it takes to start this addiction is 97 cents.

In 1968, Mattel released a line of toy cars that were meant to compete with Matchbox, a line of model cars and trucks produced by Lesney Products, a British die-casting company (until Matchbox was bought by Mattel in 1997). These original 16 cars were called Hot Wheels and were intended as children’s play things. But today, Hot Wheels cars are much more than cheap trinkets kids drive in the sandbox. They are collector’s items coveted by the young, as well as the young at heart.

In a March 2013 article posted on ksl.com, author Jessica Ivins notes that, while sales of Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars have begun to stall over the last few years, these brands still net Mattel around $1 billion annually. Speaking as someone who has a few hundred or so of these vehicles, I can safely say that there are many collectors out there who are trying to help shift sales back into high gear.

Eric Dougherty, a US Navy flight mechanic and someone who has also been collecting Hot Wheels since he was a child, knows a lot about the brand and their collectability.

“My parents started giving me Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars when I was one I believe,” Dougherty said. “I keep collecting them because I know some will gain value and also because I like so many different cars. I would like to own the real version of every Hot Wheels car that I have.”

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Let Me Show You How Country Feels

Country music has come to be very popular across campus recently, as it has been a hot topic throughout conversations and even club meetings.

Bryanna Recanzone, a sophomore health studies major, feels that part of this is because many of the topics discussed in the songs are very relatable to everyday life.  “It appeals to everyone and I happen to like it because it talks about love a lot of the time,” she said.

Bekah Varin,  a sophomore agrees.  “A lot of songs deal with relationships and other very important aspects of life which is why I also enjoy it.”  Some students are not quite sure why this has become such a fad.  Lena Kaplan feels “I am not sure why it has become a fad, but know it is very popular to hear about in conversations.”

Rachel Fox, a junior, said that there is a certain feel that country music has that makes it appealing to the college crowd.  “I think it is popular because it touches upon topics such as family, faith, and love... topics that many people can relate to,” she explained.

Fox continued, “Country music puts out a lot of feel-good songs about being young and carefree and about enjoying life in general.”

Country music has a special feeling where people can let loose and escape the issues they may be dealing with in their lives.  Gabi Meyer said that there is something unique within this style of music.  “I feel [like] it talks about things that everyone can relate to and also provides a party style feel when one listens to it in a group,” she said. Many of the singers in this genre are also very young, making it even more relatable.

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Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Our Cognitive Ability to See Movement in Pitch Black Conditions

Imagine being in a pitch black room wearing an industrial strength blindfold being clearly unable to see. Surely such conditions would not allow for any movements to be perceived due to the lack of light.

How is it then that when subjected to these conditions, cognitive experiment volunteers reported seeing movements? The answer lies in a cognitive study which suggests the mind is able to trick the eyes into perceiving motion that is truly unperceivable.

When subjected to situations in which we are unable to see, our eyes make rigid and jerky movements. This occurs due to the eyes’ inability to focus because of the deficiency or complete lack of light at the time. In the presence of light when we are able to focus on a moving target, our eyes produce smooth movements.

In order to record the eye movements of the experiment volunteers, computerized eye trackers were employed. This advanced technology was able to confirm the smooth eye movements of volunteers who claimed they were able to see movement in pitch black conditions.

Interestingly enough, not only do smooth eye movements detect motion, but because they only occur when our eyes are following a target, the volunteers were able to clearly follow their arms moving in front of them.

Siri Chintapalli, a sophomore biology major, said, “I feel that it is possible to see such movements in the dark because you instinctively know where all of your body parts are. That, combined with how many times you’ve seen your own arms, would allow for the illusion of seeing in the dark.”

The incidence of this illusion is seen in other instances as well. Often missing limbs or amputations induce an effect of a phantom limb. Phantom limb is described as the sensation that missing body parts or organs are still attached to the body and are continuing to move accordingly with normal body movements.

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Preparing for Battle: A Parking Lot Saga

Blinkers clicking furiously; tires screeching to a halt; horns honking nonstop. The yelling, the arguing; I can hear it already and I’m not even on campus yet.

Welcome to the modern day battlefield: the Monmouth University parking lot.

It’s like the scene in “Mean Girls” when Cady Heron imagines the cafeteria turning into a jungle in Africa, except instead of people running wild, it’s the machines that are animals, weighing 10 tons each and being driven by barbarians on the hunt for a good spot.

It’s survival of the fittest out here. The early risers, being better prepared, are guaranteed better spots, but still, there is always struggle. Not to mention, they’ve now eliminated more space for parking with the construction that is going on. As if the competition wasn’t high enough. It’s like cutting down the rainforest! Cutting into our natural resources, necessities.

And before the hunt even begins, a smooth drive to campus can’t even be promised. Our commutes consist of traffic, detours and lines at the local coffee shop, hoping there is enough time to grab a breakfast sandwich to go with that double espresso to get you through the day.

I’ve learned from past experience that I would end up in the overflow parking lot, sprinting to class if I arrive to campus with only 10 minutes to spare. So, I’ve just pulled onto campus with 20 minutes until class starts. The hunt is on.

I start circling, row after row, and not a spot is in sight. Really?! I got here early thinking that there would be spots galore. But of course not, the rush of students leaving the class that ends before mine hasn’t been let out yet. So I still circle, creeping slowly up and down each aisle. I feel like a lion trying to steal a cheetah’s kill.

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The Best Places on Campus to Rest Your Hiney

Walking into a restroom can sometimes be a risky gamble. You can either have a pleasant experience fully equipped with an attendant, or smell the foul odors courtesy of the person before you and the poor ventilation  can knock you 10 steps back before you brace yourself and force you to hold your breath for 30 seconds.

Restrooms are traditionally a place to privately take care of personal business, however, in college there’s more to it than that. They serve as a temporary escape, or a 10 minute vacation, without the sandy beaches. We go to restrooms to “tweet,” gossip about that cute boy or girl in class and use the mirror to make sure we look as good as we did when we left for school in the morning and don’t forget those bathroom “selfies.”

Because the restroom is such an important place and plays a colossal role of our daily lives, I have decided to outline the University’s premier restrooms and the ones you should avoid at all costs. This article exclusively considers publically accessible restrooms located in academic buildings, the Dining Hall and the Rebecca Stafford Student Center. After visiting the restrooms on the academic side of campus I didn’t have the stomach to research the restrooms in all of the dorms and suites.

WORST

5. Howard Hall - First Floor

Right outside of the 24-hour lab in Howard Hall are what feels like the smallest restrooms on campus. The single-person lavatories are so tiny inside that it is almost impossible to move without slamming into a wall. It makes even the most basic functions of a bathroom, like washing your hands or flushing, nearly impossible. These bathrooms lack the space that it needs to be considered a luxurious bathroom. Moreover, the vestibule that serves as a waiting area is constantly crowded with people anxiously waiting their turn to enter the jail-cell type restroom that it discourages students from attempting to wait in line. This restroom does serve its purpose for those students who need to take a quick leak while up all night studying or finishing their term papers.

4. Student Center – Third Floor

Although it is a cozy and decently sized restroom on the upper level of the Student Center, its downfall is that it’s the only one up there. The third floor of the Student Center is home to most of the club offices, as well as the Office of Counseling and Psychological Services. With so many offices and people that will be potentially fighting over toilet time, I find it strikingly odd that there is only one single-person restroom on that floor for both men and women. The poor ventilation does not help the cause either, because once there’s a lingering smell in these bathrooms don’t count on it going anywhere fast.

3. Edison Hall – Second Floor

When I walked into both the men’s and women’s restrooms, I was suddenly bombarded with childhood memories of my elementary school and the little boy’s room there. The paint colors used in my elementary school restrooms significantly resemble the paint used to color the stalls of the restrooms in Edison Hall. Both the women’s and men’s room are outlined with blue tile, which leads me to believe that they were both used as men’s rooms at one point. The women’s room did have a few amenities that were found nowhere else on campus: a TV tray table in case you want to cram for a test before class, and a wicker shelf that housed over 20 rolls of toilet paper and plenty of liquid soap. If you’re one of those people who constantly worries if there is enough toilet paper for you, this might be your go-to bathroom, although to me it reminds me of a facilities management storage closet with a complimentary bathroom.

2. Rechinitz Hall

If you have ever been in the new art building, you may have noticed that the floor plan is hard to navigate, which has a negative impact on the placement of the restrooms on the list. Trying to locate the bathrooms in Rechnitz Hall makes you feel like a mouse in a maze trying to get to the cheese; having to go upstairs, then downstairs, then through the Art Gallery, (if it is unlocked), then through a classroom mid-lecture and finally down a hallway. It is a complete burden, especially while doing the pee-pee dance the whole time. I would recommend avoiding the building as a whole, even if you need to use the restroom during class in Rechnitz Hall. It’s easier to just walk to Plangere or the Student Center than finding your way around the building, which is just as easy to navigate as a Jackson Pollock painting.

1. Magil Commons – Dining Hall

This is a no brainer. Hundreds, maybe thousands of students utilize the Dining Hall everyday, and a good majority of them use the bathroom either before or after their meal. There just isn’t enough manpower from facilities management or ARAMARK to keep it clean. Elizabeth Bennett, a senior, expressed her dissatisfaction with the restrooms by saying, “I just feel like they never are clean or they just seem like they’re [dirty] because they are so old and ugly.” If privacy is your thing, these restrooms are not for you. With so many people coming in and out, its not exactly discreet. Remember, what goes in, must come out and these restrooms look like yesterday’s dinner.

BEST:

5. So-Sweet-A-Cat Field

Although the “So-Sweet-A-Catbox,” the field hockey’s playing field, possesses every quality of a horrible restroom, it narrowly makes it to the best list. The restroom that undoubtedly bears a resemblance to an outhouse has a capacity of one at a time, and gets dirty really easily. But putting all the negatives aside, it is a score. If you are part of a team that practices there, field hockey namely, I’m sure you hold this bathroom in high regard. Prior to  building of the lavatory on the field, players coaches and spectators of games had to use Port-A-Pottys, which are infinitely worse than the current facility. This restroom makes the list because if you are in the area and need to “go,” it is the only place to do so in what feels like miles.

4. Guggenheim Library - Second & Third Floors

Countless late night study sessions equate to plenty of coffee; which ultimately means more bonding time with the bathroom. The Guggenheim Library has a bathroom on each of its levels, but the second and third floors seemed to be the roomiest. The best thing about the library is that you never have to worry about being interrupted due to the quiet policies that are always enforced, and there is no shortage of reading material to bring into the stalls with you. If you ever need a break from studying, especially with midterms approaching, the Guggenheim is your best bet.

3. Edison Hall – First Floor

What a difference a floor makes. If you’re ever in Edison Hall and need to use the bathroom it pays to take the trip to the first floor restrooms. The new state-of-the-art restrooms took me by surprise. With stainless steel stalls and automatic sinks and toilets, it makes for a relaxing environment. Admittedly, the women’s room is more impressive because it has eight stalls and is larger than the men’s room, however both of these restrooms make for great environments for those bathroom “selfies.” I’m sure Thomas Edison would be honored to take a number two here.

2. Wilson Hall – Basement

You would think that the older the building is, the more appalling the condition of the bathrooms are, right? Nope. Wilson Hall is home to easily the most elegant bathrooms I have ever seen; it is the ‘Royal Flush!’ They all emit feelings of peace and tranquility, but the ones in the basement appear like restrooms you would find in a high budget film from the 1980’s… “Annie” perhaps?

“The bathrooms in Wilson Hall’s basement ... Look straight out of Harry Potter,” said senior Zachary Werkmeister. He continued, “I have to go at night though so no babes see me.”

1. Magil Commons - Club Room

After four years it is time to reveal Monmouth’s best kept secret. Everyone uses the restrooms in the Dining Hall, but has anyone ever thought to go outside, down the ramp and use the restroom in the building adjacent to the Dining Hall? If you really needed to, you could find me in there twice a day, because it is hands down, my favorite place on campus to be. It is a gem because not too many people know about it. The Magill Commons Club Rooms are usually empty if there is not a conference or event going on, so it’s a safe bet that nobody will interrupt you. Occasionally, I play music loudly from my phone, or enjoy the silence, either way I can guarantee the restroom in Magil Commons is clean, well stocked and a perfect place to spend your free time, discreetly.

Overall, I am content with the fact that all of our buildings have a place where we are able to do what we have to do. While it is evident that some buildings are a tad worse than others, I have a complaint that extends to each and every bathroom; please, raise the toilet paper holders. I either hurt my hand reaching to get toilet paper, or constantly rip the paper, which annoys me to no end. If the toilet paper holders are more easily accessible, I will be happy with every restroom, no matter what it looks like.  Hopefully this list steers you clear of those low-end lavatories, and gives you a new place to flush your troubles, and other waste, away.

Before you Graduate...

Graduation is approaching quite quickly for most college students around the world. It is no different at the University. Time flies during college years. One minute you are entering your very first class and before you know it, you’re walking out of your very last class of undergraduate college. It’s a memorable time in your life, but what are some experiences that every University student should have before they graduate? As the unforgettable movie character Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

As a student, it is a given that the academic opportunities are great, but fun times are a must as well with friends, new people and more. One of the biggest must-do’s for any MU student is to go to the beach during their time here. It’s only a mile down the road and a nice way to relax. Plus, how many colleges can say that they are right by the beach? When the weather is warm and class ends, grab your sunscreen and head toward the coast.

Another popular outing near the University is to visit the nearby Pier Village. There are restaurants, boutiques, cafes and more for you to spend a day wandering through. The nightlife is equally as energizing as well. Come time for the warm weather and the social scene is bursting with even more vivacity. It is not uncommon to overhear students on campus asking others to “meet me at Pier”.

Having fun is a hefty part of the experience, but let’s not forget about the collegiate side as well. There are plenty of academic opportunities that truly can enhance your experience.

“Taking advantage of working with a faculty/staff member on a project or on research is a great idea,” said Jordan Levinson, a junior.

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English Second Language Support Service is in its First Year

Learning to understand a foreign language well enough to fit into a new social setting is difficult, so imagine having to master that language with enough proficiency to pass college courses and ace job interviews. Many international students still struggle with the English language, but some are overcoming the challenge through the University’s English Second Language (ESL) support service, a part of Tutoring and Writing Services in the Center for Student Success (CSS).

Dr. Charles Cotton, an adjunct political science professor, is a Master Tutor in Tutoring and Writing Services and instructs the ESL service that began last semester. Since the start of the program, Cotton tutors 10 international students over 12 hours a week, providing one-on-one assistance in learning proper English speech and writing.

Cotton said that the biggest challenge for many international students is un-learning the improper English that they may have been taught by other non-native English speakers. “[International students] have really kind of fallen into habits which they’ve become very accustomed to, which they considered to be fine or acceptable, and they might be acceptable talking with friends, but in terms of academic writing [they’re] not,” said Cotton.

Dorothy Cleary, Director of Tutoring and Writing Services, said that the number of international students who have come for help with writing and grammar has increased, contributing to the need for an ESL service. When Cotton applied for the open Master Tutor position, it all fell into place.

“This is an opportunity to give them one-on-one attention which they very much appreciate, and again, it’s all tutoring,” said Cleary.

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Ten Commandments of College Life

As a graduating senior, I have had my share of experiences at the University. Whether it was finding myself at McDonalds for midnight dollar big macs, all night sessions in the library, painting splatter paint squares at 3 am (long story), or explaining to all my peers  and professors why I had a cast on my hand in class  when it had not been there 48 hours before (even longer story).  With less than two months left before I walk across the stage at PNC and shake President Paul Brown’s hand, there are some things that I learned over my four years here.

10. Thou Shalt Get Involved

I know, I know. You have heard this from every professor since your freshman seminar class, but it is the truth. Often I have heard, “there is never anything to do around here unless you are in Greek Life.” While I love and respect all my Grecian peeps, there are so many other ways to get involved on campus, from the outdoors club, the harmonic jewels glee club, community service club, and not to mention all our intramural sports. Also remember being in a club is only half the battle. You have to contribute otherwise it will feel like there is no reason to be there, and you might be missing out on meeting some great people.

9. Thou Shalt Cut the Cord

Coming from someone who is extremely close with her family, I understand how hard it can be away from your family in college. It is a big change and there is always the “what if” scenario running the back of every student’s mind (even if we don’t want to admit it). Trust me, there were several days during my freshman year I would have done anything for a hug from Mom. However, remember you are in college to make something on your own, to grow up and be independent. That doesn’t mean you completely have to shut your parents or siblings out to have your space, but you also don’t have to go home every weekend either.

“It is important to test your wings,” said Lorna Schmidt, professor of communication. “So getting away from your parents gives you the opportunity to do that. Then when the parents still call, I usually have a tendency to email the student saying, ‘Your mom, or your dad called,’ and then the student usually takes it upon themselves to say, ‘okay, I’ll take care of it.’ ”

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Storing Data in DNA

From a blade of grass to the wing of a falcon, to the seed of a coconut to the stem cells in your bone marrow, almost all known life uses DNA as an instruction manual of sorts to carry out its representative functions. Recently, a team of biomedical engineers at Harvard led by Nick Goldman has successfully stored 739 kilobytes of hard-disk storage into synthetic DNA, sequenced it, and recovered the original content with 100 percent accuracy, according to Nature.

So what really is DNA? It is an acronym for deoxyribonucleic acid, a double-helical molecule that is found in the nucleus of our cells. Its hereditary nature manifests itself as one copy of a person’s genes are inherited by his or her mother, and the other from the father. Genes are linear segments on the DNA molecule that provide a blueprint of protein synthesis accomplished by an intermediary known as RNA, ribonucleic acid from an alphabet of four nucleic bases known as A, T, G, and C. The proteins synthesized therein take control of a myriad functions inside our body such as antibodies for the immune response to pathogens, enzymes for metabolic regulation, and hemoglobin for oxygen delivery, to name a few.

Goldman’s team encoded 5.2 million bits of information into DNA and developed a new code in which every byte (a string of eight ones or zeroes) was represented by a word of five letters that were each A, T, G, or C. The team broke the DNA into overlapping strings, each 117 letters long and indexed the information to show the respective location in the general code. The system was managed in such a way that the data was encoded in partially overlapping strings such that any errors in one string would be cross-checked against the other three strings. The strings were synthesized by Agilent Technologies in Santa Clara, CA and shipped to the researchers who were then able to reconstruct the files with complete accuracy.

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Movin’ On Up: Preparing for Sophomore Year

Declaring Majors, Minors and More

In a few short weeks students will be picking their new classes for the 2014-2015 school year.  For freshmen this is especially important because this also means transitioning to a new academic advisor and possibly changing or declaring a major.

Misty Hinshillwood, a freshman, explained that she came to the University undecided, but quickly chose a major. “When I started here, I was unsure what I wanted to do but then I saw how all the humanities courses fit together,” she said. “This made me decide to choose to major in politics and minor in philosophy even though I have enjoyed all the courses in this area.”

The first year in college is an opportunity for many students to try different courses to see what area of study will best fit their interests and strengths and try to help them decide on a potential major to declare prior to becoming a sophomore. While the University does not require that students declare a major until the end of their sophomore year, the sooner they start, the better.

The office of first year advising services helps students decide on which major is best for them if they are unsure and allows them to take career and interest inventory tests to help them decide on a possible major. When freshmen prepare to become sophomores, they have an advisor from their respective major. Sometimes a faculty member from the major area will be the advisor if one is declared prior to starting college.

Assistant Dean of the School of Humanities, Golam Mathbor noted that he sees a significant increase in a student’s confidence level from freshman to sophomore year. “I feel students have a smooth transition because they know more about the resources available to help them,” said Mathbor.

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No Plans? No Problem! How to Spice Up Your Spring Break

As we hit the mid-point of the spring semester (if you can even call it spring), students are navigating through midterms, anxiously waiting for summer, and of course gearing up for spring break. If you are like me, those nine days are full of glorious naps, Netflix binging and possibly a little spring-cleaning. Others are packing their bags and heading for warmer waters for some fun in the sun. However, if you have no plans whatsoever, have no fear, for there are plenty of local trips and activities to partake in during spring break.

One of the many great things about living in a metropolitan area is there are several day trip activities that you can take. With Philadelphia and NY only a train ride or car trip away, there is no reason you have to sit at home during spring break. While day trips may not be as exciting as Cabo or FL, if you are limited to where you can go, it can turn a boring week at home into a series of mini adventures with friends or family.

“Anything that takes you out of your daily schedule is a treat and should be appreciated,” said Robyn Asaro, Assistant Director of Study Abroad. “Whether it’s bike riding on Sandy Hook or studying abroad in Australia. One benefits by living more in the moment and seeing life through ‘new eyes,’” she said.

And there are several things you can do, especially on a budget. If you love the arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC is filled with different pieces spanning across cultures and centuries from the Egyptians to the Renaissance era. The museum takes donations instead of having ticket prices, so along as you make some sort of donation you can spend hours in the Museum, never seeing the same piece twice.

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The Seven Deadly Sins of College

The lifestyle of any college student can be difficult to conceptualize in its entirety. From cursing at your alarm clock for not allowing you to attain more than five hours of sleep, to trying to find the perfect time to cuddle up next to the remote controller, college is often a tug of war game between what students need and what students want.

There are constant forces in play that are guiding students in their decision making processes. So with a tip of the hat to Dante Alighieri and his Divine Comedy, here are the seven sins that seem to capture college students into a web of marionette strings and manipulate them like dolls throughout their four years.

Lust

The obsession with personal gratification or pleasure, that doesn’t necessarily need to be sexual, is lust. The football player that you can’t seem to take your eyes off of as you see him sprint off to the locker room or the sorority girl whose triad of letters glistens in the sunlight as she prances to class.

Every person has desired a fellow classmate because some aspect catches their eyes more than any other. Whether it is a simple hook-up or an urge to embark in a committed relationship, students lust for attention.

According to Dr. Gary Lewandowski, Chair of the Psychology Department, a sociological study using the General Social Survey comparing hook-up rates among today’s students with students from a decade ago found that both groups reported similar rates of hooking up. He said that 31.9 percent of students from 1988 - 1996 reported having more than one sexual partner in the past year, differing only by 0.3 percent today. Regardless of the decade, this excessive sexual appetite for the campus cutie seems intoxicating.

Envy

The mean, green, jealous machine. Envy is having an unusually obsessive fascination with another  individual to the point of developing a strong jealousy towards them. 

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Breaking Bad Habits

Bad habits. They start pretty much as soon as we’re old enough to walk, whether it’s sucking on our thumbs or not sharing our toys. As we get a little older, the habits change, for example, my younger brother used to color himself with markers every time someone was in plain site. A habit he luckily grew out of. As we get even older, the habits can be little things we don’t even notice, like chewing with our mouths open, or worse habits, like smoking or drinking all the time. Even if you have a clean record, can anyone truthfully say that they do not have bad habits?

I thought about my bad habits as I sat in class one day, pulling my split ends apart and picking at my nails. These are two things I do when I’m nervous or anxious about something, or if I’m just really bored. Are they the worst bad habits I could have? Probably not. But I now have nubs as nails, so I should probably stop anyway.

No one is perfect, everyone has a bad habit they know they should get rid of. Everyone does something that isn’t great for them or that bothers someone else. Bad habits are something we pick up on as we grow, and since everyone has their own little quirks, just how bad are bad habits?

Junior Regina Zucchi said, “Bad habits are a comfort zone and as soon as you break those habits, you break out of your comfort zone. It’s a hard thing to do because it’s a change in your life, and change is hard for some people.”

Junior Lauren Walsh, agreed. “I think it’s easiest to break a bad habit if your gradually try to give the habit up a little bit at a time, rather than try to break it suddenly. I think if you give yourself time to adjust, you will be a lot more successful in breaking it.”

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The Spring Break SlumpIt

It is almost time for a much needed break from school and for some, a fun get away with friends. But with an abundance of snow days putting classes behind on work and nine more weeks after break to cram in work, there is still a long way to go.

Kylie Powell, a freshman, knows a few tips to ensure she does not get affected by this.  “I always make a to-do list to prioritize what must get done, however, for many this means that summer vacation is around the corner and they start to fall behind,” said Powell.

Freshman Noel Labb also feels the same way, though the slump does take its toll on her.  “It affects me a little, I try to stay motivated knowing I’m almost done with the semester,” she said.

It is important to remember that Spring Break, while associated with a week off, is actually a mid-semester break like fall break is in October, though this one is a bit longer. This means that work is still in progress in the semester and with the rough winter, more work may be assigned this year.

Sophomore Stephanie Mamo feels her work load is actually balanced.  “A few of my classes are hybrid and online so the work kind of balanced out and was completed online during snow days as a result,” she explained.

Some students feel that their work ethic actually increases between spring break and summer.  Junior Lauren Muffley said, “I actually think that work ethic increases after spring break. It’s right after we get our midterm grades back and usually a lot of projects and papers are due right after the break. It gives students a chance to make up for any lost points they may have had before break.”

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Chris Miller: A Voice for Disabilities

Interning in Washington and working with the Chinese Ministry on Civil Affairs are accomplishments worth bragging about for any college student. But for Chris Miller, a political science major, such an experience was much more significant.

Miller has Cerebral Palsy, a group of developmental disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and develops in the brain during pregnancy or shortly after birth, according to cerebralpalsy.org. He is able to move in a motorized wheelchair but requires assistance for some daily tasks that most others might find simple.

Having a disability, however, is an obstacle that Miller overcomes with passion, motivation and drive. Not only does he pursue his own dreams and ambitions, but he encourages others with disabilities to do the same through a presentation he calls, “Voice on Wheels.”

Through this presentation Miller teaches others about “people first language,” meaning that the person should come before the disability in conversation. He explains in “Voice on Wheels” that disabilities are something that people have and are not defining labels. For example, we should not say that someone is disabled, but rather they have a disability.

Serving as the Vice Chair of the NJ Council for Developmental Disabilities, Miller is able to teach people on campus as well as in the state capitol of Trenton about disabilities. After meeting Advocacy Training Coordinator Dennie Todd in Atlantic City, NJ, he was invited to participate in a program called Partners in Policy Making which is a leadership training program where he also teaches person first language.

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Starbucks vs. Local NJ Coffee Shops

Local coffee shops can’t compete with the big chains on visibility, marketing and brand-name recognition. But what really counts, they say, is what’s in the cup, and that’s where they think they can hold their own.

North Jersey coffee shop owners are spending more time- and money- focusing on getting better coffee beans, and sometimes roasting their own. And they’re also reaching out into their communities, building relationships, name recognition and their own brand of loyalty with their best customers.

It isn’t easy, in a saturated market where the big name retailers like Starbucks, with 47 stores in Bergen and Passaic counties, and Dunkin’ Donuts, with 50, seem to be on every corner. They’re competing for an ever-increasing number of people seeking their daily caffeine fix. The National Coffee Association’s latest survey last Sept. showed that 83 percent of adults in the United States drank coffee in one form or another, up five percent from 2012, and one third of consumers drink a “gourmet” coffee each day, or something other than your average blend.

That’s not news to Terry Jung, co-owner of Ridgewood Coffee Co.

“We are in the third generation of coffee consumption,” said Jung, who purchased the Ridgewood, NJ, shop in Dec. “Coffee started with the daily, instant-style dollar-fifty kind of coffee. Then it moved to the Starbucks-style, which educated customers to pay more. Now we are where customers know and understand coffee, and are willing to pay more. But we want to be more than that; we want them to taste and see why.”

Soon after buying the business, Jung upgraded the quality of its coffee beans, to put his coffee a “step above” the coffee joints he was familiar with. The shop now serves Chicago-based Intelligentsia brand coffee and espresso, which was rated the 10th-best coffee roaster by USA Today. Jung pays $25 to $30 per pound of coffee, up about five percent from what the previous owner was paying. He said the coffee beans account for 25 percent of the store’s expenses each month.

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The Winter Olympics Call Attention to the Genetics of Risk Taking

The Winter Olympics have brought upon us a generation of seemingly fearless athletes intent on advancing through extreme feats such as snowboarding and slopestyle and half-pipe skiing. The intensity with which these athletes train to ultimately endanger their lives for the sake of the sport truly makes us wonder, what is the inherent difference between these risk taking competitors and the rest of the masses content with simply watching them on TV? The answer may verily lie within our DNA.

Debate over the environment being the sole mold of our personalities is shifted in this argument by a recent genetics study revealing specific genes. These genes are responsible for an individual’s tendency for sensation seeking by pursuing thrilling experiences and taking risks to that effect.

The gene activity promoting risk taking has been linked to the varying levels of dopamine in our brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter which is very involved in reward-motivated behavior. Additionally, dopamine is associated with the pleasure centers of the brain so the increased release of the neurotransmitter by athletes participating in risky sports promotes their activities further.

The intrigue of such genetics studies however, lies within the evident difference in how dopamine is processed by those who are risk takers and those who are satisfied with just watching. The answer to this lies in a variation of the DRD4 gene which is closely related to the function of dopamine and its connection to risky behavior.

A sophomore clinical lab science major Kerianne Fuoco, said, “It is not surprising that there is a genetic basis to risk taking behavior since other aspects of individuals’ personalities, like temperament, have already been discovered to have a biological link.” She added, “It will be interesting to see if more evidence for the connection between the DRD4 gene and risk taking is revealed as further experiments come to fruition.”

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Transfer Services Makes Monmouth Home to New Students

Attending a new school can be a nerve wracking situation for many. It is a new surrounding with new people, new schedules and new experiences to adjust to. For transfer students at institutions all over, this is a commonly shared feeling of anxiety.

At the University, the transfer process is made easier on students, and it is all due to the  people at the core of Undeclared-Transfer Services. Located in the Center for Student Success, they work daily in order to ease this transition. After all, most students would not ever know where to begin when it comes to transferring in credits or even making their academic schedule.

Comprised of Dean Mercy Azeke, Assistant Dean Jean Judge, Student Development Counselors Lori Lichter and Jean-Marie Delao, Coordinator of Undeclared Majors and Transfer Program Sherry McHeffy and Assistant to the Dean Karen Wallendeal, Transfer Services does its part to assist transfer and undeclared students. Each weekday, they can be found smiling and opening their doors to new students.

Sophomores are able to be advised as “undeclared” students in this department up until they have reached 58 credits. Upon this completion of credits, then it is time to choose a major. Deciding on which major is a best fit can be difficult, but Azeke and her team strive to help this decision flow nicely and help to understand every individual’s passions, which make for another milestone in academics.

New transfer students are in luck as well. The counselors assist with setting up appointments with a student’s department advisor, evaluate credit transfers, aid with transitional concerns and are also available during each Fall and Spring Transfer Orientation. To top it all off, Delao is the advisor for the Transfer Student Connection Club, which helps students not only to make friends, but to ask questions pertaining to transitioning at the University and more. Meetings are currently held every other Wednesday, in Edison 113 and are open to everybody, whether students have transferred here from a former institution or not.

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“Choose a Job You Love and You Will Never Have to Work a Day in Your Life”

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about money; thinking about all of the money that I could use to help myself out financially. With all of the school loans and car loans, it’s seriously enough to make my head spin, fall off, and roll all the way over to the bank to ask for some more money to pay off what I already owe. I’ve thought about all of the money that I wish I could use to surprise my mother with a new car to replace her old, beat up, raggedy soccer-mom minivan that barely gets her to the grocery store around the corner, and about all of the money that I could make if I chose a certain career path that, on average, almost guarantees a certain salary so I would never have to worry about monetary issues again.

According to an article published in US News: Money, unless I am a software developer, computer systems analyst, or dentist, I really shouldn’t be expecting to ever see a salary in the six digits.

And let’s face it, we aren’t in the best economic times. So should we, as students, pick a major and let this idea of money guide our career paths? Or should we let our passion and our drive for a certain subject push us into choosing a certain career?

Grant Zaitchick, a special education in music major, said, “I feel that too many people are affected by money and greed. Power is not something that should be sought through money. Power should be sought internally.”

Zaitchick added, “Too many people believe money can provide them with the popularity and comfort they are looking for, but it is often a fragile comfort. Those that are driven by passion can accomplish their dreams and can look forward to the next day without reservations.”

When people question me and ask what I aspire to do in life, and I tell them that I love the communication field, I am basically guaranteed to hear a chuckle, covered by a, “That’s, uh, awesome, but won’t it be a tad difficult to make a career out of that?” and then finished off with someone blabbering about how I should be more practical with my life choices and put some of my “real skills” to the test. Basically, just because my career isn’t, on average, guaranteed to make enough money at first, I should be detracted from my goals, remolded into a money-making machine, and forced to do something that I don’t necessarily enjoy.

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Univeristy Spotlight: Specialist Professor Mary Brennan

The Special Education field is rapidly expanding and so are the demands of the unique needs of the students. Mary Brennan, specialist professor in special education, knows that meeting these unique needs are critical, yet challenging at the same time.  Students who take her course titled, “Assessment Approaches P-12” are offered a variety of undergraduate courses for students in the disabilities field.

Junior Rachel Fox feels the class is just the right challenge. “I like her class. It is rigorous but you learn a lot. Professor Brennan is very knowledgeable.”

Junior Ashley Suppa also agreed that she has learned a lot from Brennan.  “I also took Human Exceptionalities with her and she knows a lot about the field of special education and makes it relatable to our lives. I learned so much that I can do when I teach because of her.”

Brennan has had a lot of experience in the teaching field and has served in a variety of roles. “I started as a history teacher in a middle school and then continued my education and became a special education teacher with an additional certification as a teacher of the Blind and Visually Impaired,” she said. “I taught in this field for six years in the middle school and high school level.  Then I became a college administrator and instructor for 18 years in NY.”

When she moved to NJ, Brennan returned to teaching in the special education area and working as a Learning Disability Teacher-Consultant. She said, “I have been a case manager, consultant and evaluator for a number of school districts. Since coming to Monmouth University I have also been responsible for coordinating the Learning Disability Teacher-Consultant program.” (LDTC)

The Teacher-Consultant program is offered at the graduate level and provides courses in the area of  case managing students with an array of different learning needs as well as educating classroom teachers on possible modifications as a result of these issues.  This role requires previous experience as a classroom teacher.

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The Selfie Revolution Boosts Selfie-Steem

I’ve seen people doing it in class. I’ve seen people doing it at parties. I’ve seen people doing it while eating, working out at the gym, pretty much everywhere and anywhere. Celebrities do it. Even Olympic athletics are doing it. Selfies: the art of taking a picture of your own face.

You see them every day on popular apps like Instagram, being corrected with filters and good lighting. Snapchat was pretty much created for taking good pictures of your face to send to your crush and taking hideous pictures of your face to send to your closest friends. But are selfies really just shameless picture taking, or for some people, are they huge ego boosts?

I have to admit, I too have dabbled in the selfie game. I have stood by the window to get good lighting and have taken a good 20 pictures to get the perfect one. Then I go through every Instagram filter (twice) and pick the right one. While I’m scrolling through I tend to think, “This is stupid,” but I also tend to post the picture anyway. Shamelessly embarrassing, I know, but I’m definitely not the only one.

Everyone I know, male and female, have sent, received, and posted selfies. I get and send my face through Snapchat all day long, and let me tell you, they are usually not good pictures of my face that I would want out in public. I mostly send and put up pictures for fun, but I can’t be the only one that appreciates every “like” I get on my posts. But how much is too much?

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PowerBuoy Technology Marks World’s Largest Wave Energy Project

Advancing the availability of alternative energy solutions reaps the benefits of protecting the environment, promising future generations a reliable energy supply, creating jobs to improve the economy, and most importantly, enabling energy independence to reduce the dependence on foreign sources.

On Feb. 11, Lockheed Martin signed a contract with Victorian Wave Partners Ltd. to signal the construction of the biggest wave energy project in the world to date, marking an important step forward in harnessing the energy of ocean waves.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 115,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services, according to lockheedmartin.com.

Even though the 62.5-megawatt peak power energy project will be constructed off the coast of Australia, the effects of its “PowerBuoy” wave energy converter technology will be felt worldwide. Once the endeavor nears completion, it is expected to be able to produce enough energy to supply the requirements of 10,000 homes.

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Peer Learning Assistant Spotlight: Erin Smith

Every freshman at the University is required to take a first year seminar course. In each of these courses there is an upperclassman that assists students through not only the course material but through their adjustment into college. Erin Smith, senior public relations major was a Peer Learning Assistant (PLA), for Dr. Marina Vujnovic’s Hollywood Journalism freshman seminar course for Fall 2013.

During her freshman year, Smith found out about the PLA program by watching her PLA help lead Dr. Kelly Ward’s freshman seminar class on technology changing the world. Smith had been an orientation leader before applying to become a PLA. She believed the experience helped her to understand the expectations freshmen look for in their first year, especially compared to her first year at Monmouth.

“Working [as an orientation leader] showed me just how important the first year is for students,” Smith said. “I wanted to be there as a PLA for the freshmen class and alleviate any small stresses such as roommates, minors and pledging.”

Becoming a PLA fit perfectly into Smith’s schedule when Vujnovic approached Smith about becoming her PLA. Smith previously had Vujnovic as a professor and they both shared similar ideas about the material freshmen needed to understand.

“Professor Vujnovic would allow me to talk to freshmen about the student experience aspect and we both trusted each other with the material,” Smith said.

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The Monmouth Review Gets a Review

It is almost guaranteed that during a student’s stay at the University they will encounter a collection of mysterious, yet awe-inspiring, little magazines titled the Monmouth Review. But while these students are flipping through the pages and absorbing the literary and artistic works, they may not exactly know who is responsible for creating such a publication, or even really know why they would make such a magazine. Though it is not a high-end secret who the individuals are that create the Monmouth Review, it is not necessarily well known to the University community either.  However, that all might change with the new adaptations that the both the organization and the publication are making with their next big issue.

While the Monmouth Review is most known for being a once-a-semester compilation of literary works, such as poetry and prose, and artworks, ranging from paintings to photographs to pottery, the group behind the magazine is attempting to bring publication into the digital age with a first time ever Monmouth Review iPad app.

Olivia Greco, President of the Monmouth Review Club, said that the idea of having a Monmouth Review app has been in the works for a while now, but with the last issue being the biggest issue yet, it appeared like the perfect timing to finally put the plan in motion.  “With this issue, it was the first issue that we did an iPad publication so you can download it for free through the App Store. So it’s not an app but it’s a publication, so you can page through the issue cover to cover and there are a few interactive pieces, like you will be able to hear certain artist or writers talk about their work, and the cover is animated on the iPad publication which is pretty cool. It will be a bit of an interactive piece,” said Greco.

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University Clubs Embrace the Social Media Trend

In an ever-changing world of technology, websites such as Facebook and Twitter are becoming a popular medium for campus clubs and groups to communicate with each other. This is often done to remind members of monthly meetings and keep them updated on happenings in between them.

Freshman Sam Tok, feels that social media is very helpful in communicating an event.  “Facebook groups for clubs are a great way for members to keep in touch and post happenings in the club.”

Clubs such as Residence Hall Association (RHA) set up a page on Facebook at the beginning of each semester and add members from the first interest meeting as well as new ones to the group.

Sophomore Kelly Schulhafer, is in the intramural softball club and feels that the page they currently have is a good idea. “The page is only open to club members and is a great way for people to stay connected with the group. If the page were left open to the public, it would not be as useful because people can access it randomly and request friends just by looking.”

Some clubs are not currently active on social media and are looking for new members. Junior Deanna Puglio feels that this would help gain new members.  “I would like to see more members in the psychology club and I feel a social media page would do just that.  If the page was created it could be open to all of MU and not just the club to get an idea who is interested.”

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A Toxic Friendship: The Story of “Frienemies”

The TV called for attention.

Tonight on CNN: When friends become bullies. The taunts began in second grade when Ally Del Monte started taking medication for a thyroid disorder and gained 60 pounds. The boys at her elementary school in Westchester County, New York, banned her from the jungle gym because they said she would break it. The girls made fun of her large jackets and told her she was fat, ugly and weird.

I looked down at the open bag of potato chips sitting in my lap and the curves of my body, unflatteringly folded into rolls from my relaxed position. How many pounds have I put on in the past year? I didn’t even have a medication to blame. My friends have never said anything, I think.

Dr. Franca Mancini, Director of Counseling and Psychological Services, said, “Having friends is such an important part of our lives, and the desire to belong  is so strong that it’s often difficult to understand when the comments and interactions that occur between friends become toxic destructive to the person involved.  Generally speaking, if being with certain friends makes you feel anxious, insecure or fearful of making a mistake or expressing your opinion, or if you find that you are often the target of negative comments or if others are laughing at your expense, it’s important to take a look at the relationship.”

“To me, it was normal because that’s what I was used to. At first I didn’t consider it bullying because the people treating me like this were supposed to be my friends. That’s how I perceived myself because that’s what they were telling me.”

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The Magical World of John Stessel

Student Excells as an Inventor of New Tricks and Best Selling Products for Magicians

For some people, magic only happens around holidays like Christmas or when they go to places like Disney World for the first time. For sophomore John Stessel, magic is apart of his everyday life.

Magic has always been a passion of Stessel’s; not only has it helped him in his social and professional life, it has helped him grow into the person he is today.

“When I was eight my sister Jen, who also goes to Monmouth, bought me my first magic set. It had a couple of corny things and one card trick. Once I learned the card trick, I was hooked, it became an addiction. And once I learned sleight of hand with a pack of cards the rest was history,” said Stessel.

Stessel explained that his friends have always been very supportive and are the reason why he can perform the way he does today. “Growing up I played ice hockey for various teams and as one could imagine, young hockey players are the worst audience ever. Yet through the struggle of performing for them it made me who I am today.” He said that he gives huge credit to his friends and his peers for the assistance in building his skills.

While Stessel continued to practice magic, the tricks he wanted to accomplish became harder and harder. “My desire to do more impossible tricks grew, and this desire was never met by anything I could purchase, so at the age of 13 I began inventing and developing my own tricks,” he said. “Originally, nothing was very worthwhile but as my creativity grew so did my talent at creating. At the age of 15, I was able to partner with two companies, Vanishing Inc. and The Blue Crown, to put out my acclaimed first effect flush linking rubber bands. It became a worldwide best seller!” Flush linking rubber bands are bands that link together seamlessly without breaking the elastic.

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A Surprising New Method for Creating Stem Cells

Fascinating and extensive research in Japan has developed an innovative way to create working stem cells by treating blood cells in an acid bath. This discovery holds much promise and could potentially revolutionize numerous health fields as well as illuminate the advent of personalized medicine.

While normal body cells have specific functions in specific areas such as liver cells, cardiac cells, or muscle cells, stem cells are unique in that they are able to become any other type of cell. Such transformations would allow for successful life-saving regeneration treatments in which patients can fix damaged areas of their bodies using their very own transformed blood cells.

Previous stem cell research has already been applied in allowing for surgical regeneration and healing  parts of the eye, heart and brain. It would truly be a miracle to have access to this revolutionary form of healing for such essential organs such as these.

Dr. Dorothy Lobo, biology professor, said, “In recent years, many labs have been working to try to figure out how to ‘induce’ normal cells to convert them into stem cells (these are induced pluripotent stem cells) – this has been a challenge. Trying to find the right combination of cell types, environmental conditions, and signaling molecules needed has been complex.”

Considering the intricacies of bodily function especially at the cellular level, this discovery comes as a shock even to Dr. Haruko Obokata, a developmental biologist who worked on this research project who said that she was “really surprised that cells would respond to their environment in this way.”

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Say What? The Evolution of Internet Slang

In recent years, slang terms that were once considered unacceptable have made their way into everyday vocabulary.  Words and phrases like “googling” something are heard commonly everyday both in and out of the classroom.

Leah Schweitzer, a junior social work major, feels that this is because people are on these resources daily so they have become a regular way of life. She said, “Students almost always ‘google’ something for fun and I have even heard my professors use this term quite often.”  What was once considered not acceptable just a mere 10 years ago has now become almost embedded in everyday language.”

Some other students, however, still see significant gaps when it comes to where people are from in the US. Caden McMillan, a junior social work major, said that she sees dramatic differences when it comes to what is considered acceptable in one region versus another.  “My family is from the south and says ‘y’all’  but I grew up here in New Jersey and say ‘you guys.’ In the south, ‘you guys’ is considered to be not accepted and y’all is viewed to be the correct way to speak,” she said.

McMillan added, “Despite this, I feel people are eager to learn about the diverse cultures that there are on our campus.”

A student who wishes to remain anonymous said that the phrase “Yo what up” is very popular among college students today than it has been in the past.  The student said, “It is an easy way to get one’s attention and very common of students to use.”

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Back to Class: Readjusting to Campus Life After Winter Break

In the popular movie “Billy Madison,” Adam Sandler sings, “Back to school, back to school, to prove to dad that I’m not a fool.” Many college students can relate to that, especially when they’re heading back for their second semester.

No matter what year students may be in, the second semester is the time to put their old classes in the past, reunite with friends, and attempt to bring up their GPAs. But after a month of Mom’s homemade food, sleeping in your own bed, and showering in your own shower, going back isn’t always as easy as one may think.

As a junior, I live off-campus, so I get to cook my own food and only one other person uses the same things as I do. I lived on-campus for the first two years however, so I had my fair share of dining hall food and waking up at 3 am on Wednesday mornings because people were screaming outside my dorm hall. Still, I didn’t really understand appreciation until I came home for my first Christmas break my freshman year and I could shower without sandals on. Going back to that was definatly a little rough.

Junior Stephanie Hamilton, who lives in the Great Lawn apartments, said getting readjusted to being back at school is hard. “You get so used to having your parents go food shopping for you, your laundry being done, and everything in the house always being cleaned.”

Hamilton added, “It’s also a change going from having your own space, especially your own bedroom, then going back to sharing everything with roommates.”

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University Alum Goes the Distance

On most bucket lists, there are the usual ‘go sky diving’ or ‘travel the world’ descriptions, but University alum Paul Mandala’s bucket list consisted of a 10,000 mile bike ride from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Panama City, Panama.

“My initial motivation started years ago in 2007 when I was asked by my best friend Luke to join him on a cross country charity bike ride working with a non-profit organization,” Mandala recalled. He explained that the organization groups together 18-25 year olds and sends them on a touring bicycle ride where they stop along the way to help build houses.

“One of the heads of the program came out to ride a few days with each of the groups and when he stayed with us one night at dinner someone asked him what his other dreams were. His response was ‘the Pan American Highway,’” Mandala said. “As what usually happens in life, I got busy with life and the idea stayed deep in the back of my mind as a dream.”

Mandala graduated from the University in 2011 with a degree in marine biology. While enrolled as a full time student, he consistently cast aside material elements as he preferred the natural environment and traveling.

“First I went to the Bahamas for a two week research class. I fell in love with travel instantly because in those two weeks I was able to explore what was in my text books, to see, feel and hear what I had learned about but also so much more in that there were new environments as well as people and culture,” Mandala continued. “My love for travel and education would only be furthered a few years later when I studied abroad in Australia, and was lucky enough to snag a humpback whale research position, take biology classes, and still have time to explore all over the different landscapes of eastern and central Australia and Fiji.”

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The Buzz About BuzzFeed: A Rising Internet Media Platform

The internet never ceases to amaze with its vast amount of, well, everything. Just one click and endless amounts of information pop up to inform, amuse or just to make you wonder what goes on in people’s heads. Popular website BuzzFeed has recently risen to internet glory by capturing things in media, news and more, and having editors and users sprinkle in humor within most pieces. If an issue is spreading like wildfire in the technology realm, then BuzzFeed is on it.

Upon visiting their website, there are various links for different stories and topics. Most links are chock full of lists to provide laughs. Previous articles have ranged from, “19 Things You Miss After Graduating College” to “The 40 Most Insane Things That Happened This Year in Florida.” Users have flocked to the variety of topics provided on BuzzFeed in millions.

Humor isn’t the only aspect to the site though. Worldwide issues strike a chord amongst the articles and readers. Poverty, war and politics are amongst the many issues compiled into the site. For younger readers who may not be as informed as older readers, this is a great way to spell out what is happening today with critical problems that affect everybody in one way or another.

The site was founded by Jonah Peretti in 2006 and is still growing in popularity. It averages about 85 million visitors each month. The site has expanded to many other countries and  makes millions of dollars each year. Talk about a budding global domination.

The question still remains however, what is the buzz with BuzzFeed?

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Less Stress for Sophomore Housing in Fall 2014

The new semester means the time has come to start thinking about housing options for the next school year. Over the break students and their families received a lengthy packet in the mail about this process.  Luckily, for rising sophomore students, things got a bit easier as they along with the incoming freshman class are also guaranteed housing for next year thanks to a new dorm that is set to open near the University library in September.

Ray Gonzalez, Associate Director of Residential Life said, “while the actual selection process is not changing, it does give us the ability to guarantee housing to all rising sophomores who are participating in the housing selection process. Prior to this year, while there was no guarantee of housing, we were able to accommodate all requests for housing over the last three years.”

Freshman Erica Villa is excited about this. “I think it is good that sophomores are also guaranteed housing. I am excited to get a suite with my friends and have another year on-campus.”

Freshman Kelly Loebs is also relieved that this year there will be no worrying about getting a high number in a housing lottery or having to move off-campus.  “I feel that it decreases stress for all of my friends as well as myself and we all get to stay together another year,” said Loebs.  “We were originally thinking about getting a house off-campus, but changed our minds due to this option to avoid conflicts.”

Freshman Michelle Bacchetta also agreed that there are more benefits than disadvantages when it comes to living on-campus.  “I am excited to have another year on-campus because it is better than trying to locate an off-campus house or apartment which can be very expensive.”  

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New Year, New Goals, New Me

As the year comes to a close, we all start to look back on the last 12 months, the good and the bad. All of the accomplishments we’ve achieved and obstacles we’ve overcome. All the changes we’ve made for ourselves and all the things we still want to work on. The New Year is always a time that brings excitement to people because it’s a chance to change. But how many people really change for more than a couple weeks or months? Sure, resolutions may be easy to come up with, but why are they so hard to stick to?

Every year I promise myself that I am going to start going to the gym, eating better, working harder and procrastinating less. Some of these things don’t ever even start, but the ones that do only seem to last a few weeks. Every beginning of the year I am highly motivated to be a better person, but by the middle of the year I always realized I haven’t changed at all. I may even get worse. Maybe I like to eat more than I like to run and maybe I can only do homework when its due in a few hours and I’m severely under pressure. I cant be the only one, right?

Junior Katie Dykstra said that the most common resolutions are the hardest to stick to because they need to be done on a daily basis. “What my New Year’s resolutions are is a hard question. I don’t even tend to think about it until the New Year comes,” said Dykstra. “I would have to say it would be going to the gym and actually sticking to it as well as being able to manage my time better. I’m always doing things last minute and driving myself crazy, so I want to work on improving my study habits,” Dykstra added.

Junior Annalisa Vitale said, “This year I want to become more involved in campus activities. I normally only stick to resolutions for a few weeks but if I’m a member of a club I will almost be forced to stick with it. Having to stick with things will be a good thing though, and will ultimately help me in the future.”

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Happy Holidays Means More Than Merry Christmas

As with every year, before the last piece of turkey is carved, everyone is out shopping for the holiday season. Even though different holidays have finally made their way into the spotlight, there are still several celebrations or holiday traditions that not many people know about.

Sophomore Ashtin Brinkerhoff, for instance, who lived in the town of Rota, Spain for seven years celebrates Three Kings Day, which pays respects to the Magi who brought Jesus presents in the manager. “Anywhere you went in Spain, it would [look] the same [because of celebration] along with religious music compared to the usual American Christmas carols. There are several similarities. For example,  you can sit on the Three Kings’ laps, and instead of leaving carrots and cookies out for Santa and the reindeer, you leave out hay and water for the camels,” she explained. “We still exchange gifts of Christmas Eve, but we get our main gifts from the Three Kings on Dec. 6.”

Then there are the more popular holidays such as Chanukah, which is the festival of lights celebrated by those who practice Judaism. Each night, a candle is lit as a symbol of the eight nights that the oil burned in the temple. In modern times, some have created their own traditions based off this ancient ritual.

“When my children were little, they both went to Jewish pre-school. During Chanukah, one of the projects they did in school was making their own menorah,” said Sherry Sukienik, an adjunct communication professor. “I have four or five homemade menorahs made out of wood or clay, and we started the tradition of alternating the menorahs. My children are grown and out of the house, but I still use the ones they made as children.”

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Making Rain to Clear Smog: An Artificial Solution

Record levels of airborne pollution in Shanghai, China have passed the threshold necessary for normal outdoor activities to resume their course. Its aftereffects have manifested themselves most directly in public sectors such as education and transportation. The closing of schools and the cancellation of flights resulted from the smog infested pollution prompted the Shanghai government to issue the highest level of health warning, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

After eyeing China’s booming manufacturing industry, it is unsurprising to see why the levels of pollution are so elevated, leading industrial pollution to make cancer China’s leading cause of death, according to the Chinese Ministry of Health. The WHO recommended that the levels of particulate matter (particles found in the atmosphere such as dust, dirt, soot, and smoke) over 300 were hazardous and recommended daily levels of 20 or less.

The particles with diameters less than 2.5 micrometers, designated by the PM2.5 value, are known to produce the greatest health risk since their small size (1/30th the width of the average human hair) can allow them to lodge deeply into the lungs according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

On Friday, the “Shanghai PM2.5 value exceeded more than eight times the national limit of 75 by reaching 600 micrograms per cubic meter,” causing increased cuts on outdoor activities and prompting children and the elderly to stay indoors, said Shanghai Daily. To combat the incessant smog which has even reached California, the Chinese government has been looking at different venues, such a cloud seeding, to halt the progression of air pollution into an increasing set of domains.

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Finally Time for Finals Week: Are You Prepared?

Winter break is coming, but before the much needed relaxation comes, the daunting task of taking and successfully passing final exams. These tests vary in format from covering the material at the end of a course, to projects, to covering an entire course.  Formats also vary from multiple choice based tests to essays.

Kaitlyn Mazzeo, a junior English and elementary education major, said that she is going to try and wing it this year. “I don’t really prepare. I have four cumulative [exams] and two are what we did after midterms,” she said.

This is not a good idea because studying is very crucial for success on these exams which in turn determines the final course grade. Usually finals count for 15 to 30 percent of a student’s grade, but for some classes they can be as much as half the course grade.  Therefore, effective note taking is very important for success.

Junior Krista Varanyak said, “I always make flash cards and note sheets to prepare for  exams.  It helps me retain all of the information that I need to know.”  Grades can be determined significantly based on a final exam mark.

Senior psychology major Shannen Wilson knows, “This can be especially important when one’s grade is on the borderline of one mark to the next.”  This is especially important for maintaining a strong GPA.

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What Not to Wear: College Edition

There comes a time in every student’s life when they have to make their way into the working world. Maybe you’re looking for your first job to get you off the ground towards your career goals. Maybe you’re looking for the job you plan to stay in for the rest of your life. Regardless, this is a scary time for everyone. Sure, you might have a great GPA. You might have been a part of Greek life. You might have all the experience and credentials the world has to offer. But what if you don’t look the part? That’s when you really need to worry.

Considering most of my knowledge of fashion comes from my years as a retail worker, as well as watching countless hours of “Sex And The City,” I figured some of my choices could probably be a little questionable. Sure, my retail work might be able to carry me a little, but working in boutiques and working in a corporate office are different.

For both men and women, solid colors are the safest bet and conservative suits are the runner up. Men should wear a coordinated tie, dark colored socks, and dress shoes. Women should also wear a coordinated shirt, have neatly manicured hands, limited jewelry and makeup, and sensible shoes. Of course, not every job has the same dress code, so if you have any questions about what the office wear is, ask the person interviewing you. If anything, this will show that you are serious about making a good impression.

Michelle Levash, a junior education major said, “It’s important to dress in a professional way because you only get one chance to make a first impression. It’s also always better to be overdressed rather than underdressed and dressing professionally sets the stage, showing that you take care of yourself and take your career seriously.”

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The Harmful Effects of E-Waste Around the Globe

As college students, we use electronic devices for just about everything we do. We watch our favorite shows on television every day; we hop on our laptop every few hours to work on assignments, and just about every one of us uses a cell phone. But when items become outdated or damaged and new items are purchased, where do they go?

When we throw these items in the garbage, we rarely think about how we are impacting other people and the environment. In millions of cases, the poorest parts of Africa and South Asia get the brunt of our neglect and unawareness as it pertains to the harms of electronic waste.

Electronic waste, or e-waste, consists of any electronic device, either new or old, that has been thrown away. According to the Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives, items considered to be e-waste include televisions, desktop computers, laptops, monitors, cell phones, keyboards, computer mice, printers, copiers, chargers, and other items of this nature.

When we think about how much technology has grown in the past decade and how many people have several of these items, we forget that when it is thrown away it all has to go somewhere. The Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives also estimates that over 250,000 metric tons of e-waste illegally enters African countries every year.

You, me, and everyone around us have been individually contributing to this issue and we don’t even know it. When e-waste is transported into countries such as Lagos and cities such as Bengaluru, and Guiyu, these e-waste products are dumped onto beaches and remote areas to be picked apart by teenage workers, sometimes even small children.

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To Italy and Back: A Study Abroad Experience

These words have been my response to every single person that has asked me about my trip to Italy, “Amazing, I loved it.” They sit there, and wait for a better answer, but how can someone possibly sum up the most remarkable month of his or her entire life?

When people told me I would want to go back the second I got home, it was an understatement. Even my dreams when I got home were taking place in Florence. It truly became our home while we were there, and it was only for a month.

I never thought I could adapt to a lifestyle so easily and love every second of it. From the hottest nights trying to sleep, to catching lizards in our room, to hanging our clothes out to dry, it was all worth the view of Piazza del Mercato and the Duomo in the distance from our window.

I don’t think anybody knows what it means to appreciate the world until you’re on top of it. In the peak of my life I hiked the tallest mountains in Cinque Terre, dangled in a chair to the top of Anacapri, bussed to the highest roads in Croatia, climbed to the top of the tower in Florence, and overlooked the city at Piazza Michelangelo.

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YouTube to the Top

The role that media can play in an artist’s success is very prominent these days. In an instant a video of somebody performing can be uploaded onto the internet and anybody can see. If seen by the right amount of people or the right people, then a musical career can be right around the corner.

“I think that the Internet is a great way to enhance a musician’s career. Anybody can see and you never know who’s watching,” said a sophomore, Alex Rivera.

YouTube began in 2005 as a video uploading service and has since been home to millions of videos. Videos can range from showcasing talents, media clips and even to video blogs. As the site grew, musicians began to upload videos of themselves or their bands performing music. For a few lucky musicians, YouTube gave them their start in the music industry.

The biggest YouTube sensation to date is teenage pop sensation, Justin Bieber. In 2007, Bieber was discovered by talent manager Scooter Braun through videos that his mother uploaded of him singing on YouTube. Within two years, he had already signed a record contract with R&B artist Usher and had his debut album My World debut at number six on the Billboard charts. Three hit albums, a successful 3D movie, world tours and two Grammy nominations later, Bieber is currently working on his fourth album, still on top of his game.

Pop music seems to have a huge calling on YouTube, not just with Bieber, but with others including pop duo, Karmin. In 2011, the musical fiancés Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan uploaded their cover of Chris Brown’s “Look at Me Now”, which quickly went viral. They were invited to perform on talk and radio shows, including On Air with Ryan Seacrest and were signed by Epic Records. Their first single, “Brokenhearted” went platinum and they now have their second album, Pulses which is due out sometime soon.

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Going Home for the Holidays

A long semester will soon come to an end and students are eager to go home and celebrate “the most wonderful time of the year” with family and friends.  There are some great traditions many are looking forward to this season.

This week, Wilson Hall is transforming into a magical and festive holiday display, meaning that winter break is quickly approaching for students, staff and employees. For Michelle Bacchetta, a freshman, this is the one time of year where the entire family is together because everyone was away at college.  “I can’t wait to spend time with my family, my sister and [my] boyfriend.  This will be the first time since the summer everyone is together.”

For Lexi Swatt, a freshman, both Christmas and New Year’s Eve bring special traditions.  “I’m most excited to go home to spend time with my family and my close friends. On Christmas Eve, my whole family comes to my house for dinner and presents, and on New Year’s Eve I spend the whole day with my group of girlfriends and then meet up with other friends to watch the ball drop,” she said. This will also be Swatt’s first time home for the semester.

Annie Siegel, a freshman, explained, “This will be the first winter break I have had where I do not have to worry about any schoolwork and can enjoy the holidays.”  While high schools give a break, at least a moderate amount of work is assigned over the week and students are expected to have completed it upon their return to school. This makes many students excited for college because they are able to fully enjoy this time of year without the pressures of schoolwork and upcoming tests  right after the New Year. 

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Is it Winter Break Yet: Milestones to Keep You Motivated

It’s that time of year when the semester is on its way out and college students are itching for winter break. The 15 weeks of hard work will have officially been paid off and a much needed break will be all theirs for a month.

Since the break is close enough that students can almost touch it, many wonder what they can look forward to in the meantime. After all, winter break is a top priority for students and gives them a vacation from classes and homework.

Next week begins the first holiday break and that is of Thanksgiving, where students have two school days off, plus the weekend, in order to spend time with family. It’s the start of a semester wind down, but more importantly, a joyous time for family and where being thankful shows fully. Students can look forward to this mini break not just for family bonding time, but for a period of relaxation before an academic crunch time kicks in.

A senior social work major, Alex D’Errico, said, “I am looking forward to relaxing and not having so much work.”

Since it is now holiday season, this means that all of the fun holiday festivities are coming. Soon, the sights of Christmas and winter decorations will spread throughout stores, homes, workplaces and even the University. For many, the holidays and their decorative splendor bring up happy emotions and memories. These feelings can always bring out the bright side for those counting down until the winter break.

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Giving Thanks at the University

In the spirit of the holiday season, most see Thanksgiving as a long weekend to eat turkey, watch football, and of course for students, catch up on some sleep. However, as time has passed it seems that the underlying meaning of why we give thanks gets overlooked, or rather has changed among the younger generations since the pilgrims first landed on Plymouth Rock.

“I’m really thankful for my life in general. I could be in such a worse position than I am now,” said Michael Udayakumar, a senior.  “In our generation we tend to complain about things that when you put them into a bigger perspective really aren’t a big deal. Like you may think how you hate how many classes you have this semester, while you should be thankful you have classes you attend and that you can be at a university.”

While Thanksgiving is a nationwide holiday celebrated by many Americans through parades and food comas, it was originally a religious holiday. As we all remember learning while drawing hand turkeys in elementary school, the pilgrims first celebrated Thanksgiving after suffering harsh conditions and severe illnesses that plagued their colony.

They gave thanks to each other and God as the colony made it through the rough conditions and were able to settle down into a flourishing community that included the Native American tribes. However, it can easily be seen how that could have gotten lost since Christmas has taken over with music and advertisements along with Black Friday. The media is bombarded as soon as Halloween is over.

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Brotherly and Sisterly Love

When Your Once Annoying Siblings Grow Up to Become Your Best Friends

When my middle brother was born, I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about him. He definitely wasn’t the sister I asked my parents for, and he was probably going to steal my only child spotlight. When I finally accepted that he was nonrefundable, I decided to take on the role of proud big sister.

Two years later, my youngest brother was born, and this time I was not as accepting of the fact that he wasn’t the sister I so desperately wanted. The first time I met him, I walked out of the hospital room and had to be chased down by my dad. He found me standing near the newborn baby room, selecting which one I wanted to take home. Apparently, it didn’t work that way, and I was stuck with two younger brothers for life, like it or not.

My parents should have seen it from the start. Though I was four and six at the times my brothers were born, I wore my “mommy’s favorite” and “daddy’s girl” shirts way too proudly to give those titles up to anyone. I had to show who was the first, and therefore, obviously the best child. Throughout the next 10 years, my parents had to deal with a lot of bumps, bruises, hair pulling, hitting, pushing and crying. It wasn’t until I was about sixteen that I realized that my brothers, now both taller and stronger than me, could probably take me down. Oh, how the tables had turned.

Keri Mullin, a junior who has a younger brother that is now a freshman in college, thinks that sibling relationships are some of the most important relationships one can have.  “The best part of sibling relationships is that it’s a relationship that no one else will understand. They’re kind of like a best friend,” said Mullin. “I don’t think it’s a bad part but I think the hardest part of sibling relationships, especially if it’s a girl and a boy, is that they mature at different times. There is definitely a time period where you don’t have much in common and don’t get along, but siblings always come back together. They might annoy you and make you angry sometimes but you love them unconditionally.”

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Professor Spotlight: Maureen Dorment

Meet an MU Lecturer of History and Anthropology

Professor Maureen Dorment, a lecturer of history and anthropology, has been a lifetime lover of learning. Although it was not always her plan to become a teacher, she finds herself very thankful for the way that things turned out. Dorment loves being in the classroom and the students she teaches. She has much wisdom and knowledge to share and her passion for her profession is expressed to anyone who has met her.

Dorment began teaching at the University in the fall of 1993, after completing her master’s degree here, which she started in 1989. Prior to that, she attended Georgetown University and received her undergraduate degree. To continue bettering herself, in the late 90s Dorment began taking classes at Drew University to earn her Ph.D., while continuing to teach here.

Because she is so passionate about her career, some find it surprising that Dorment did not always plan to be a teacher. “No it wasn’t the plan to become a teacher, and I have to say I’m really fortunate it just worked that I got in the classroom and I really loved it. I love the students, I love the interaction. I really enjoyed it, so I decided to really pursue it and work at it, and improve my scholarship,” said Dorment.

Dorment has worked very hard and achieved many things all without a role model or inspiration to guide her in the right direction. “I think I was a chronic overachiever, and I just worked really hard. And when I came here I worked really, really hard. I know my children used to look at me all the time and say, ‘what are doing?’ and I would say, ‘I’m studying,’ and they would just shake their heads,” she said.

Dorment said she did not have any major career goals prior to coming to the University. “Basically, when [I was] in college, the whole idea was that you dated someone and you got married and you had children, so that is what I did,” said Dorment. “I have five kids and I took care of them, did the whole suburban mother routine, coached every sport, was on the school board, and did that until my oldest went to college and that is when I came here.”

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Backstreet’s Back, Alright!

They’re all you ever wanted, they’re all you ever needed and we want them back. What am I talking about here? Why boy bands of course. Almost any 90s child can admit to listening to *NSYNC or Backstreet Boys when they were the most popular. This goes for the young men of the 90s as well.

The epidemic of boy bands did not start in the 90s though. People of our generation tend to forget about the earlier boy bands like The Jackson 5 and the Monkees who came about in the 1960s.

“We really didn’t call them boy bands in the 60s and 70s,” said Robert Boyd, an adjunct in the music and theatre department. “They were just bands with boys in them.” Boyd does not have a personal favorite boy band from his youth but he said that he still enjoys listening to that type of music today.

Another fan of past boy bands is Joe Rapolla, the Chair of Music and Theatre Arts Department. He also has a history of working in the music industry. He explained that he continues to love The Beatles and many of the original boy bands but also appreciates some of the more recent ones. “… I also respect hard working bands like Hanson, who were popular when I started my job at PolyGram/Universal Music Group,” Rapolla said.

These boy bands have certainly left their mark on the music world but the ones known mostly by our generation are *NYSNC, Backstreet Boys, Hanson and 98 Degrees. When one of the songs from these boy bands comes on the radio, be prepared for at least one girl who grew up in the 90’s to scream out of excitement.

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Winter Weather Worries: How to Handle a Snow Day

Winter weather is coming and that means more time for homework and school related activities.  It also means snow will be falling, increasing the desire to go out and play in it which can distract one’s study time.

Annie Siegel, a freshman said that this time of year actually motivates her to study more. “I feel this weather forces me to work harder as I am inside more often,” Siegel explained.

Christina Fisher, a freshman said that a snow day would be to her advantage in terms of mental relaxation at this point in the semester. “I would take the whole day off and wait to do work until the night of the snow day since I love the snow and procrastinate a lot.”

Some people take the day as it comes, in order to see what work they can get done, or wait until later to finish. Junior Lauren Walsh said, “I don’t know [how much I would get done].  It would depend on how much work I had.”

Walsh, unlike some students, would budget her time wisely based on work load, exams coming up and other situations that may arise over the course of the semester.

Junior Kaitlyn Mazzeo feels the same way about snow days. She likes to enjoy them, but also use them wisely to complete assignments that are due. “I would enjoy my day, but I also keep track of my work.  I always make lists of my assignments at the beginning of the week,” said Mazzeo. She believes this is an important step in staying organized and moving towards completing short term goals.

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Military Veterans in the Campus Community

As another veteran’s day passes, many across the nation honor those Americans who fought to protect their country.

Adjunct professor Alan Foster currently teaches sociology at the University, but in his past, he was known as a soldier for the United States Army.

Foster served in one of the country’s most chaotic and cautious eras during the Cold War. From the late summer of 1955 until the early summer of 1957, Foster was wearing the shade of army green and traveling the world.

“I took my basic training at Ft. Dix, NJ, then went to Radio School also at Ft Dix, was sent to Fort Bragg, NC, where they thought I was going to jump out of airplanes,” Foster said. “Then, luckily, I was assigned to the very secret Army Security Agency in Germany for the rest of my Army career.”

Much like his fellow comrades who served by his side, Foster was drafted into service as most were during that era.

“We were all drafted in those days, so it was no surprise for my parents when I was drafted also. My brothers all served and had their college careers interrupted and knew I would follow in their footsteps whether I wanted to or not,” Foster said.

Foster served his nation through the height of the Cold War, during the Suez Crisis, and the Hungarian Revolution. “I returned to the States with an intensely increased understanding of the world’s many problems at that time,” he said.

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Your Very Own IKEA

Make anything. This is the ideology fueling the 3D printing industry as it takes steps to become increasingly domesticated.

Though it was originally introduced in the mid-1980s, the technology quickly gained momentum throughout the 1990s as it made incredible strides in facilitating advances in engineering, architecture, and manufacturing. Only for the last decade has the scope of applications boomed exponentially, with biomedicine at the core.

3D printing works as an additive process where multiple layers of a particular material are laid down in specific shapes on top of each other to create a solid 3D object from a digital model. Of the many methods that utilize this additive approach, selective laser sintering (SLS) has emerged as one of the most common.

Though SLS originally began as a way to manufacture prototype parts in the early phases of designing products, it is now being utilized to manufacture end use parts. SLS begins when a 3D computer-aided-design (CAD) file is sliced to make 2D cross-sections, similar to how radiologists make 2D cross sections of body organs with CT scans for surgical and diagnostic purposes.

Afterwards, a computer-guided laser sinters (heats and fuses) a range of powders, such as Nylon-11 and Nylon-12 polyamides, to construct the designed part layer-by-layer, allowing a targeted precision that is not possible with traditional manufacturing, according to Solid Concepts, an industrial leader in 3D printing.

Shivam Patel, senior biology major commented that “The large-scale impact of 3D printing as it takes steps to become increasingly available is nothing short of remarkable. As its cost continues to drop, 3D printing will become only more accessible to students, researchers, and entrepreneurs, paving the way for a new age of innovation.”

In an interdisciplinary collaboration last year, a team of medical researchers, engineers, and surgeons successfully replaced the jaw of an 83-year old woman with its 3D printed counterpart.

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A College Student’s Worst Nightmare

College students in the U.S. are worried, stressed and afraid of what opportunities will be available to them come graduation day. Questions flood their minds such as, “Will there be a job for me? If so, am I applicable? Even if I am capable, will I be replaced by someone with more skills?” These are only a few of the constant concerns that students battle every day.

There are many reasons that students feel this fear, including high unemployment rate, the ever-changing job market and the constant pressure of competition.  Receiving a bachelor’s degree is believed to be right of passage that a student is educated in their field of study and is prepared to take on a full-time job. Meanwhile, as graduates people still see themselves as students, unsure of how educated and prepared they really are.

In an attempt to keep up with ever-increasing job requirements, unemployment rate and competition, students work harder. College students across the nation are doing whatever it takes to prepare themselves for that final moment when they accept their diploma and take their first steps in the real world.

“There is a lot of pressure looking for a job after graduation,” said Nicole Russo, senior criminal justice student. “There aren’t a lot of jobs out there that you’re going to love.” Like most college students, she is left anxiously waiting if the long hours studying, volunteering at clubs and working overtime will finally land her a job.

Russo added that as a result of the unemployment rate, students have to compete against many people while applying for jobs and this can be very stressful.

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Facebook Friendships are Not Face-to-Face

In the ever growing world of electronics, social media sites such as Facebook are becoming a popular way of meeting new people, especially before the first year of entering college.

Freshman Sarah Curtelli said that there are both advantages and disadvantages to having met her roommate on Facebook. “An advantage was that when I got accepted to Monmouth and got my roommate information, I was able to find my roommate and get to know her. We mainly talked about what to bring and got to know each other a bit,” said Curtelli.

She added, “A disadvantage was we never met face-to-face until move in day and that did cause slight tensions and took us more time to get along.”

This is becoming more of a trend now than it was a few years ago since links to University pages are mailed to students upon their acceptance into the University.

Even with recommendations that students should call their roommates to get to know them better, many just search the class webpage.

Junior Eryn Siddall believes that there are a few reasons as to why this is the case when it comes to finding roommates. “I think the initial reaction of every freshman is to friend as many freshmen as possible before the school year starts,” said Siddall.

Siddall added, “Then once you actually start going to school you either casually say ‘hi’ to the people you recognize from Facebook or don’t even acknowledge their presence at all.”

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Retail Therapy: Lightening Your Stress and Your Wallet

With malls coming in almost every shape, size and website it can be so easy to spend more money than you realize.  An article from MSN Money stated that five percent of Americans suffer from compulsive shopping.  However, it can be hard to see the blurred line between shopping for necessity compared to emotional shopping, also known as “retail therapy.” This can be easily addicting for anyone, especially college students.

“You get more confidence and feel better when you have bought something new,” explained sophomore Rachel Gale. “You look forward to wearing it, and it gives you a little boost that from the down feeling you had before.”

According to the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery, people who suffer from compulsive shopping or spending often spend money when they are experiencing negative feelings such as disappointment, anger or fear.

Compulsive shoppers also have spending habits that cause arguments with others and leave them with thousands of dollars of debt. Many feel lost without credit cards or think excessively about money. The big danger that comes from this type of uncontrolled spending is the euphoric rush that keeps people digging deeper into their pockets until there is nothing left.

Specialist professor of communication, Kristine Simoes said she indulges in retail therapy. “There’s not a week that goes by that I don’t say, ‘I’ve had a really bad day and I need to get something right now,’” said Simoes.

“I do notice that when I was having a bad day or boy problems, me and my friends would say ‘Let’s go shopping.’  Then I would end up spending money that I did not have,” said sophomore Alexa Burger.  “It’s almost like a present to myself, which doesn’t really make sense.  I was spending my money, but I would think ‘I want this necklace because it’s pretty, and I had a bad day so I deserve it.’”

With 85 percent of women in the United States making or influencing the major purchasing decisions in their household according to an article on thenextweb.com, the stereotype that only women like to shop has circulated through all forms of media.

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How Can I Help You?

A Retail Worker’s Perspective

For as long as I can remember, my parents have been telling me to save my money so I could one day put it towards something big and expensive. Seeing how I would only get large amounts of money for my birthday and Christmas, I decided at a very young age that I wanted a job. I pictured working as something glamorous, like working would suddenly make me mature and responsible.

I was about 12 when I announced that I wanted to work at Hollister Co., because “that’s where all my clothes are from, Mom.” Of course, I couldn’t work when I was 12 but couldn’t wait until the day I could start. Boy, was I wrong.

When I was 14 I got my first job at an ice cream shop, not exactly glamorous but not exactly strenuous work either. I worked there until the shop closed down and I was sucked into the wonderful, sometimes scary world we call retail. I figured it wouldn’t be too bad because I considered myself a pretty friendly person and I loved the thought of being surrounding by clothes.

Once I started working though, I realized it was much harder than I anticipated and I quickly learned the number one rule of retail: “The customer is always right.” The more I talked to my friends and peers about retail work, the more I found how many people felt the same way as I did.

Junior Michelle Schuler agreed that retail work is definitely harder than it looks. “I worked at Hollister Co., and I was only a seasonal worker but I thought it was terrible. I didn’t like folding clothes for hours or greeting people at the door saying, ‘hey, what’s up?’ and usually not even getting a response. Working at the register wasn’t bad because you got to interact with people but working on the floor was hard work,” said Schuler.

Associate professor of communication, Deanna Shoemaker, shared the benefits of her retail experience. “I gained greater customer service skills and the ability to handle conflict management in the workplace,” she said.

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Polio Outbreak Marks Syrian Aid Crisis

A cluster of polio cases has been reported in Syria for the first time since 1999, threatening to further destabilize the war-torn country and surrounding regions. Ten of the 22 polio cases analyzed tested positive for poliovirus type one, but the origin of the virus itself has remained undetermined according to the World Health Organization.

Since the beginnings of the uprisings in March 2011, about 110,000 casualties have been documented by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, over 40,000 of whom are civilians including 5,800 children and 3,900 women.

The advent of polio, if not addressed with immediate action, will pose dire consequences for the populace as a whole as it faces a civil war that continues to exacerbate.

“The large-scale implications of an outbreak like this could be huge,” said Dr. Maryanne Rhett, assistant professor of history.

She added, “Unlike influenza after World War One, of course, people around the world are largely vaccinated against Polio, but with regions like Syria offering the instability of war and places like the pockets in the United States where anti-vaccine sentiment has been increasingly common, the ability for diseases we had once thought eradicated to return becomes disturbingly possible.”

Representing one of the most dreaded diseases of the 20th century, poliomyelitis, known commonly as polio, results from the infection of the poliovirus which is specific to humans.

Even though a majority of polio infections are asymptomatic, if the virus enters the bloodstream, then such affected individuals may exhibit a range of symptoms including paralysis, severe pain, muscular atrophy, and breathing and sleeping problems such as sleep apnea. 

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Halloween Before the Candy Consumption Craze

Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain. This festival celebrated the end of the harvest season for Gaelic culture and functioned as a time to take stock of supplies and prepare for winter.

According to halloweenhistory.org, Samhain, which took place on Oct. 31 was also believed to be a time when the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped, allowing the deceased to come back to life and cause havoc on the living. This caused consequences such as sickness or damaged crops.

In order to fend off these spirits, the Gaelic people would wear masks and costumes, attempting to mimic evil spirits or appease them.

Adam Heinrich, professor of anthropology, commented on the Celtic festival. “If you look at drawings of the old costumes and masks they used to wear, they are actually quite terrifying. The people believed these masks acted as a disguise that would protect them from any evil spirits that wished to cause them harm,” said Heinrich.

He added that the first Jack- O-Lanterns were not made from pumpkins. “The Gaelic people did not have access to pumpkins so they carved faces on the ends of turnips.”

Halloweenhistory.org explained that the custom of trick-or-treating goes back to the middle ages resembling the practice of “souling,” when poor folks would go door to door on Hallomas (Nov. 1) receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day (Nov. 2). This custom originated in Ireland and Britain, but similar practices have been found as far as Italy. 

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Halloween is Back from the Dead in NJ

For many children, two years have passed since there was a typical Halloween due to nature’s fury.  A snow storm the first year followed by the terror of Superstorm Sandy last year put a damper on trick-or-treaters.

Freshman Jenn Urmston said one year she was able to celebrate the day twice in a row.  “Well, it was kind of funny actually. The year that it snowed they cancelled Halloween in my town, but rescheduled it for the next day. My neighborhood decided to celebrate it on Halloween, and then the next day we went to other neighborhoods. So we actually ended up having two Halloweens!”

She continued, “I’m so excited for Halloween to be back this year. The weather didn’t cooperate the past few years. I’m hoping it holds out this time.”

Freshman Lexy Snyder feels the same way.  “I love Halloween and can’t wait to go out this year.”

For Sophomore Jennifer Young, Halloween this year will be both a time of excitement and sadness as she was also directly impacted by Superstom Sandy.  Her house in North Jersey sustained moderate to severe damage.  While she is happy for Halloween to be back, she feels it more important to reflect that she and her family came together during this difficult time for NJ.

“Sandy really hit hard for me considering I personally know people that fell victim to the hurricane’s destruction.  It was tough being without power for nine days as well as not being able to go anywhere considering gas was in extremely high demand.  I clearly remember waiting on line at the gas station for two hours to get gas with my friend and we thought that was like waiting no time at all,” said Young.  

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Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust

“Time goes too fast,” they said when I started high school. “Stop trying to grow up,” my parents told me the first time I stayed out too late. Looking back, I wish I had listened and embraced my youth, but at the time all I could think about was driving that old car just over the speed limit, or getting into that “R” rated movie. To be able to hand over my ID and say, “one ticket please,” with the confidence of a twenty-something professional career woman was the dream, and I thought I was living it.

In reality, my so-called career was scooping ice cream at a stand by the beach and praying I passed my algebra test, although the middle aged woman at the ticket counter didn’t have to know that. For all she knew I loved the violent and profane movie I just paid ten dollars to watch, and didn’t secretly wish I saw the latest Disney movie instead.

Now that I am more than halfway through college, I’ve realized that those old tales of princes and princesses, and witches and fairies are one of the few things that have remained consistent throughout my life. The grown-ups who told me with stern intent not to get old have grown old themselves; friends who I swore I would talk to everyday are talking to new friends. Now it seems when I talk to them over breaks from school, that every sentence starts with, “remember that time,” or “when we used to.”

Freshman Grant Zaitchick said he stays youthful when interacting with his friends. “I let all formalities go, and have the weirdest laughs when I truly know the person I am with. Aside from that, I still love cartoons aside from the current generation Cartoon Network.”

He added, “On the Disney note, my favorite movie is Brother Bear, because it teaches to love everyone and everything, no matter what form they may take.”

Our relationships are narrated in past tense as we talk over lunch while checking our watches to make sure we’re not late for our next appointments. 

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Cochlear Implants Let the Hearing Impaired Listen to the Music

Cochlear implants, first employed in the 1950s, aim to provide profoundly deaf and hard of hearing patients with a method of auditory functionality.

The disruption of air waves in the environment enter the ear, which is structured so that these air waves travel down the auditory canal and cause the small bones and cilia of the ear to vibrate. These pulsations continue past the tympanic membrane, better known as the eardrum, and into the inner ear where a spiral structure called the cochlea is situated.

The cochlea contains fluid and thousands of cilia which move, stimulated by the vibrations and enough movement sends a signal down the attached auditory nerve which connects to the brain. The cilia work together while each hair  The brain is then able to interpret the original disruption of air waves as a sound and it then goes on to further decipher the meaning of that sound.

Many cases of chronic and temporary deafness involve patients suffering from damage to the tympanic membrane or the cochlea. Damage to the cochlea has a wide array of culprits, however it is primarily due to extensive exposure to loud noise. Such damage destroys the tiny hairs within the cochlea which unfortunately do not regenerate. Therefore, the damage is permanent and varying degrees of hearing is lost according to the amount of hair cells damaged.

While hearing aids work to amplify sounds, they can only function according to the amount of cilia within the cochlea and therefore, prove inefficient in more severe hearing loss injuries. Cochlear implants therefore prove useful as they are structured with parts that essentially take the place of the hair cells and work to detect, transmit, and interpret sound waves.

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What Are You So Scared Of?

You’re home alone and you’re watching American Horror Story. The room is dark with the exception of the television and you start hearing noises from behind you, getting closer and closer. As this happens you see a dark shadow getting closer and closer.

Your muscles tighten, heart races, and your breath quickens.

Next thing you know you realize it’s your dog that can’t see and keeps bumping into walls because of how dark the room is.

This sensation is called fear. Your body initiates a fight or flight response that is so pivotal in any person’s survival, even though there was no actual danger at all. However there are multiple questions pertaining to figuring out how the nuts and bolts of fear works. What exactly is fear? Why do our bodies react this way when we become scared? And how can we develop ways in order to conquer it?

Professor Jamie Goodwin of the psychology department said, “What becomes problematic is when our fear reactions are exaggerated and/or misapplied. Overwhelming fear can be paralyzing, and responding to public speaking the way one would respond to a charging mountain lion is not helpful or adaptive.”

Fear is a chain reaction that occurs in the brain that begins with a tense stimulus and ends with the release of chemicals that cause an increased heartbeat, quickened breathing, and tight muscles according to Dr. Rajiv Desai, an M.D. who is working in India.

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Deck the Walls

Holiday decorations fill the shelves all the year round, but specifically in fall and winter, the stores begin to overload with products. Some repeated from past years and others have new products in hopes of gaining more consumers. However, it comes to a point where the amount of holiday items that are for sale, and the timing of when they are put out in the store seems to be ridiculous to some while others it seems to be not enough time.

It seems as though it would be ridiculous to think about some holidays such as Christmas and Hanukkah in months as early as October, but on the other hand some people already have their minds on New Year’s Eve and Day plans and started buying decorations and planning for that.

Dr. Eleanor Novek, associate professor of communication said, “It seems that every holiday is now associated with certain types of products instead of religious or civic meaning. Thanksgiving is about Butterball turkeys instead of giving thanks. Mother’s Day is about flowers or jewelry instead of expressing appreciation for a family member. Christmas is almost entirely about buying too many things, and hardly about faith at all.”

There seems to be a blurred area in how holidays are forming to be such huge gatherings. Whether it be through the stores and corporations releasing holiday decorations months before that holiday comes around or that people have simply formed their own holidays to be so commercialized, at any time right now, consumers can find the products and gifts that they would need in a heartbeat. Then again, who doesn’t love the holidays?

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Staying Close to Those You Love Most

College is a time to create yourself as a new person or further develop your personality through new friendships, new activities and most importantly, new classes. It can be a challenge to stay close to old friends from home or even family. Some students even find themselves balancing a long distance relationship. However, it is possible to stay close to loved ones throughout college.

Junior Sarah Turner said, “I miss my family a lot so I do everything I can to stay in touch from Skype to phone calls. It is just nice to hear my family and friends’ voices.” Turner believes relationships are always changing, even when you arrive back home for the first time.

“As you go through college you change and grow up so when you go home things are different,” Turner said. “My relationship with my parents has evolved a lot since I have gotten used to independence at school.”

Dr. Rebecca Sanford, associate professor of communication, commented on students living awway from home for the first time. “Students are gaining a sense of autonomy and independence. They’re becoming increasingly able to navigate the world on their own,” said Sanford. “But at the same time it changes the roles at home, so we have to renegotiate those roles.”

When you return home to finally catch up with old friends, Turner said, “It is easy to reconnect with them because you have so much catching up to do.”

Sophomore Danielle Rivera believes staying close to high school friends can be a bit more challenging. “A lot of my old friendships have been replaced with new ones since I’m so far away,” she said. “ However, when my best friend from high school and I are home, we make it a priority to talk at least once a week just to keep in touch, and when we are home things still feel the same.” 

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The Arc of Monmouth: A One Stop Shop for Disability Services

The Arc of Monmouth is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to “improve the lives of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. This is accomplished through advocacy services and supports, cooperation with community partners and community education.  The Arc of Monmouth also works to prevent the causes and effects of intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

Director of Development at The Arc, Brett Colby, is in charge of all fundraising efforts put forth by the organization.

“There is a little bit of everything to do here. I get to work with a large staff, work with people with disabilities and I’m also in the community dealing with and interacting with the press, businesses and the community at large,” said Colby.

The major goal of The Arc financially is to increase fundraising. Colby said that the organizations government funding has not seen an increase in recent years while the cost of living has. Despite the difficulty of fundraising, however, Colby has a positive outlook on his job.

“It’s a very rewarding place, the fact that we can offer every service that someone would need in one place is exciting,” said Colby. “They don’t have to shop around.”

The Arc is not only in the constant process of fundraising for people with disabilities and their families, but they are also recovering from the damage to one of their sites during Hurricane Sandy. With their insurance unable to cover $100,000 worth of the damage, The Arc suffered a great financial loss in the storm.

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Staying Young in a Grown-Up World

College is often thought of as the last four years to be young before one is forced to enter the real world, but for many, the pressures to grow up begin during freshman year. The new responsibility of being on one’s own combined with juggling classes, friendships, work, athletics, and everything else that college has to offer can catapult college students into adulthood before they are ready.

In order to fight these pressures, members of the University community have come up with some simple ways to keep the inner child alive and combat the stress of growing up.

Sophomore Thomas Egan said that his trick to staying youthful is all in his attitude. “I guess I always keep a positive attitude on things and remember that it could always be worse,” he said.

Egan is also a member of the Student Activities Board (SAB) and said that being a part of a club and being able to participate in the fun events helps him to relieve stress and keep his mind off of school for a period of time. To stay in touch with his inner child, Egan said he enjoys listening to music and watching television shows that were popular when he was a child.

Sophomore Dylan Vargas relies on his friends to help him fight the pressures of growing up. He said that hanging out with his friends at night helps him to relieve some of the stress of the day. “Doing homework with friends or roommates makes it seem less tedious and reminds me that the people around me are in the same situation.”

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New SGA Senators Share Their Excitement

Ten new Student Government Association (SGA) senators were selected last month as representatives of not only their grade level, but the school as a whole. Six of the new senators agreed to discuss their interview process, goals for the new school year, and even the first SGA meeting.

“I want to leave my footprint on this school and change it for the better,” freshman Garrett Brown said. As an ice hockey player, he lives by Wayne Gretzky’s quote, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”

“I’m not afraid to throw my ideas and myself out there. I want Monmouth to not be afraid to throw itself out there too,” Brown said. “We are a school of diversity and we can come together with each other’s ideas and work as a community.”

Brown values the school’s phrase “Hawks Fly Together,” as displayed on the newly printed agenda books that freshmen receive. Additionally, Brown is hoping to create changes in the Study Abroad Department.

“I really want to upgrade the Study Abroad Department to give more students access to Monmouth sponsored trips.”

Sophomore Trevor Rawlik was nervous for his interview because it was a panel of about 10 people and he was the last of 34 people to be interviewed. He came in his Student Ambassador’s work polo and waited an hour before being interviewed.

Though Rawlik was nervous, he spoke about his pride and love of the University. “I want everyone to enjoy Monmouth as much as I do by attending various events, volunteering and getting involved with campus life and activities,” Rawlik said. As a senator he hopes to gain leadership skills and be able to volunteer in various activities on campus.

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Fighting the Flu and Other Illnesses This Fall

It is now fall and that means more time inside with others and more cold, flu and stomach viruses going around.  This is not happening because of the cold weather, but because people are coming in closer contact with each other.

Freshman Jacqueline Burzo said that she had an early case of the bug. “The first week of October, I was sick with a cold. I did not think to use the Health Services on campus,” Vurzo said. “I do think sicknesses are more common when the weather changes because your immune system is down when it is cold outside.”

Sophomore Caliean Andel felt the same since the weather change caused her to feel a little sluggish. “I was not sick with a cold. I just had a little cough but it was nothing big.”

Living in the dorms also helps to spread these aliments quicker. This is because everyone is in tight quarters and because viruses can stay on surfaces for long periods of time if not cleaned. Also, the droplets that are inhaled when one does not cover his or her mouth when coughing can easily spread viruses.

This is especially the case in triples and suites where six to ten people share a small space.  Junior Rachel Fox recalled, “While I did not go to the health center, I came down with a bad stomach bug around finals week.  Someone in my suite got it, then my friend and I got it a few hours later.  This was very unpleasant because I was feeling ill all night, but I could only let it run its course.”

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The Khan Academy Innovates Education

A Free Online Learning Resource Serves as a Tool for Both Teachers and Students

Reaching a total of 1.4 million subscribers, the Khan Academy has marched forward on actualizing its mission to provide a “free world-class education to anyone, anywhere.”

The non profit website, led by ex-hedge fund analyst turned education pioneer Salman Khan, has uploaded over 3,840 YouTube mini-lectures spanning topics from K-12 math, calculus, physics, biology, chemistry, economics, finance, computer science, and world history. The ten-minute videos, which have garnered an impressive 312 million YouTube views, are only half of what the Khan Academy has to offer.

An infinite amount of unique problems can be generated to provide additional practice on mastering the material at hand. Not only do students have access to this expansive problem set, they also have step-by-step hints to understand the problem-solving process to get to the correct answers.

Though Khan’s idea of an online school is not unique, it is his lax teaching style and ability to explain difficult concepts in a concise manner that has allowed the website to gain the momentum it has now. The complex calculus problems manifested by Khan’s doodles with a pen tablet are recorded by screen capture software and narrated by his voice as he never shows himself on the camera.

“I like you better on YouTube than in person,” Khan’s cousin Nadia told him after watching his first tutorial on least common multiples.  Despite its amusing sentiment, Nadia’s comment sheds light on an ulterior framework of thinking that Khan has been trying to understand and address.

The virtual classroom, unlike its physical counterpart, is free of the confines of social intimidation prevalent in typical classrooms where only a handful of students dare to ask questions. With the videos however, no instructor is asking “Do you understand this topic?” as he or she waits to begin covering the next set of lectures. 

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Quality Research Resources: Let’s Google It

Google is a vast portal of information on everything from news to recipes to song lyrics and more. It is the simplest form of finding research, some would say, but does simple research mean quality content?

Dr. Rebecca Sanford, associate professor of communication, said that Google is used extensively by students. "I think that it becomes just a given that if you don't know something or want to know more about something, Googling is the way to access information," Sanford said. She added that Google is a great resource that most people have right at their fingertips. With smartphones, we can get the information we want, when we want it.

However, Google has its flaws in terms of serious research. "The internet is a democracy. It has all sorts of information at ranging levels of accuracy," said Sanford. "I may find information, but the credibility of my information may or may not be as strong as it should be."

Because information is so easy to find, our overconfidence in determining good research from bad often causes us to lose respect for the research process, according to Sanford. Researchers may in turn mistake an inaccurate source of information as being credible.

Dr. Marina Vujnovic, assistant professor of communication, teaches an online journalism class where she discusses top level domain with her students. "Those things that are on top of the search when you search for something, it's not because it's the best. It's because they paid to be there," Vujnovic said.

One of the websites that is most commonly at the top of any search is Wikipedia. Most professors forbid students to use Wikipedia, which can be edited by any internet user. Vujnovic, however, does not tell her students that they cannot use it. She allows her students to do research on Wikipedia as long as they are using the direct reference links on the bottom of each information page.

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Learning is Not a No-Brainer

right-and-left-brainWhat is the best way to learn? There are many different suggestions, options and theories out there that boast the most effective way to learn or study. Two most common are the "Left Brain, Right Brain Theory" and the "VARK Model." But there is much controversy against these theories, so how are students supposed to learn? There has been a discovery of a process called "desired difficulty" that has shown very promising results when the students' recollection of information was tested.

The Left Brain, Right Brain Theory has been around since the 1960's when an epileptic had their brain split, separating the right and left hemisphere, severely limiting communications between the sides. People developed theories that one side of the brain was dominant and therefore your personality reflected the traits attributed to the dominant half. For example left brained people were viewed as logical, systematic and organized. While right brained people were seen as more artistic, intuitive and expressive. This theory really bloomed through time and people even adapted the idea into learning styles.

Hypothetically, left brained people would learn better through reading, taking notes and right brained people preferred lectures, visuals and hands-on experiences. However many recent studies have disproven this theory.

Dr. Jack Demarest, psychology professor, explained while each side of the brain does process certain information first, the brain shares the info with the other half almost instantly. With the whole theory disproven, the learning style becomes obsolete as well.

Some students, however, still believe in the right and left brain learning styles. "I think that there is some truth to this theory," said Junior Lindsey Pieschl. "While there are different things the left and right hemispheres are known for, most processes are so intertwined it is hard to tell which side of the brain they come from.

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October is Disability Awareness Month

disability-awarenessOctober is Disability Awareness Month and students and faculty are encouraged to learn more about disabilities from events that will occur throughout the month. Students and staff were greeted by an email on the first day of October, highlighting the many events and the importance of Disability Awareness Month.

Many people do not know how much time is spent increasing awareness on these issues. Many things can be done to assist individuals with special needs on campus. Meredith Courtney, freshman, is excited about the upcoming activities. She was not aware that October is Disability Awareness Month until the month began. "I think that it is great that October is dedicated to bringing awareness to people with disabilities," said Courtney. "I believe that it is unfortunate that the month is also shared with other issues such as Breast Cancer Awareness, Bullying Prevention Awareness, Domestic Violence Awareness and many, others. I think that disability awareness is being overlooked because it is being shared with so many other awareness causes."

Courtney said she hadn't heard of Disability Awareness Month until very recently. "Personally, I wish that more people were aware that this month is Disability Awareness Month because so many people in our world suffer from disabilities and other humans tend to take their lives for granted."

Krysten Brannick, junior education major, shared the same idea. "I feel that it is necessary to have disability awareness because all students and faculty should know about the importance of having disabilities resources on campus," said Brannick.

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Seeing Through the Eyes of a Commuter

GIbson_AmrillaThe University has such a wide spread community that gives commuters just as many opportunities as residents. The only difference is the distance that one has to travel to make it here. Some say it is worth it, and others say they would never even consider it.

Commuting to any school is a challenge, whether it's driving an hour every day, five days a week or looking for a parking spot for sometimes 20 minutes. However, even with all of the different schedules that commuters and residents have at the University, on campus all students are united and share common interests and goals.

Vaughn Clay, Director of Off-Campus and Commuter Services, said, "Commuter and off-campus students can take advantage of a number of the opportunities that resident students may access. However, the fact that they are commuting from a home or local address will always introduce a level of difference between resident and commuter students." He added that family and responsibilities at home affet the extent to which commuter students are involved on campus.

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Out With Shining Armor: Chivalry Does Not Mean Equality

Stop a handful of women walking down the street and ask them if chivalry is dead. More often than not their response would fall along the line of a laugh accompanied by a snort, a shake of the head indicating a “yes,” or a feeble attempt at defending males with a weak statement about that guy who one time held the door open for them.

Now, some would say that this loss in gentleman-like behavior is a result of the modern-day man simply being lazy and not putting forth the effort to court a lady.  However, this very well might not be the case ladies.

Before looking into the meat of the matter, perhaps people should take a look into the meaning of chivalry itself.

As defined by Dr. Nancy Mezey, Associate Professor of Sociology, chivalry is the idea that a man should go out of his way to treat a woman with protective respect.

Mezey further points out that because knights were the ones who used to be acting in this manner, chivalry is a gendered term. Therefore in today’s society when chivalry is discussed, it is most commonly used when referencing a man.

More recently, it would appear that men are acting with an absence of their chivalric duties, or so some women say. Freshman Daniella Fulton said that nowadays, the norm has become that women almost expect men to not act in a gentlemanly fashion.

“You hear a lot of jokes about guys just being jerks from your friends, the older women in your family, and especially in the media and on T.V. At first it might just seem like joking, but because it happens almost everywhere and all the time, you just start to believe it, especially once you see a guy do something rude. It kind of solidifies the idea,” said Fulton.

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What Can Grad School Do for You?

What do you want to do after you get your undergraduate degree? That seems to be an age-old question that makes almost every student cringe when it comes up in conversation.  It is scary to think that after four years, it is expected of us to be thrusted into the work force, ready to hit the ground running. However, there are other options after graduation for students, such as graduate school, which student Jessica Kimball has taken advantage of to further her education.

“For me personally, it was just easier to transition into a Master’s program where I received my undergraduate. I knew the school, and I didn’t have to go searching because we do have good programs here,” explained Kimball, 23, who is currently working on getting her Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) at the University. “The problems with the economy and the job market is what helped me in deciding to pursue graduate school. That and my graduate assistantship.”

The Leon Hess Business School at the University holds an Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accreditation, which is the top accreditation possible. Because of this factor, Kimball decided to transfer to the University from Ramapo College to receive her undergraduate in Business Administration, and now her graduate degree.

“Ramapo was just receiving their AACSB while I was there, and I knew that it wouldn’t really have any weight on my degree there like it would here,” said Kimball.

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Reducing Prejudice Through Cultural Activities

Studies conducted by psychologists at Stanford University show that engaging in cultural activities can not only reduce implicit prejudice but also create lasting effects of this change. Prejudice and stereotyping are learned attributes which generally take root at younger ages.

It is a point to note, however, that these qualities are learned. Therefore, as we all experience, it is very possible that with proper action, prejudice and stereotyping can be unlearned. Luckily, this action may be something as simple as participating in some kind of cultural activity.

The average American is exposed to a massive and varying amount of diversity occurring in daily life and especially through the advent of advancing technologies and social networks. With the internet narrowing global boundaries and blurring the lines of inequality, we might expect a significantly higher tolerance for difference among race, culture, or creed. However, the online interactions that are increasingly prevalent in present and upcoming generations cannot suffice for genuine and real participation in a culturally diverse environment.

Stanford research shows that to personally engage in cultural events in the presence of people from that specific culture will produce the longer lasting, and perhaps permanent restraint from prejudice. Fortunately for us as members of the University community, there are a wide array of campus events available to students that provide the perfect opportunity to perhaps spark our curiosities while increasing our cultural competency.

Geography professor at the University, Vincent Joyce, said, “Most first-year psychology students know that one of the most important elements for friendship, acceptance and interpersonal relationships is proximity and by having a healthy mix of diversity here at Monmouth University, we can be assured that many lasting relationships will be formed in study groups, social clubs, and in the classroom.”

Joyce added, “Prejudice is the fear of the unknown and by having daily encounters with others of different hues, religions, and sexual orientations we all can knock down that wall of bias.”

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A Safe Haven for Study Struggles

There is a big exam coming up in your toughest class and you didn’t understand the homework. Your professor’s office hours do not work with your heavy class schedule and this test counts for half of your grade. Before you decide to withdraw from the class, leaving your transcript with a big ‘W’ for the rest of your college career, be sure to make use of all of the available resources that the University offers. For example, visit the Tutoring and Writing Services located in the Center for Student Success on the lower level of the student center.

Dorothy Cleary, Director of Tutoring and Writing Services, has been working to help students with their academic difficulties for the past two years, this semester marking the start of her third year. Prior to joining the University staff, Cleary had worked in the K-12 tutoring industry for 11 years. She wanted to move up to the University level, and interviewed for the position after seeing an ad in a local newspaper. “I enjoy it,” Cleary said. “It’s hard sometimes, but overall I enjoy it.”

Tutoring and Writing Services is a free resource for students who need help understanding their class subjects. They can request a tutor for a specific class online and Cleary works to match them with another student who has taken and excelled in the class. All peer tutors have a 3.0 GPA or better and were hired based on invitation, according to Cleary.

On a normal day at the office, Cleary oversees the peer-to-peer tutoring between the 83 student tutors, five faculty tutors and a wide variety of struggling students. She also teaches skill workshops for students who need help in areas such as organization, time management, note taking strategies, test taking strategies, college reading strategies and email etiquette. Cleary also works closely with First Year Advising.

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Controlling Your Dreams: A Lucid Approach

Perception of consciousness as the awareness of our own actions and existence transcends, to some degree, from our awake state into the realms of the dream states. Often after waking up from sleep for instance, we can recall a particularly vivid set of dreams and recollect the emotions, people, and scenery we experienced and interacted with.

However, a vast majority of the time, we tend to experience these dreams as observers, following ourselves as we carry out various actions that we do not directly control of. Lucid dreaming, on the contrary, is the awareness that we are dreaming while we are dreaming.

Imagine walking down the sidewalk of an urban neighborhood. A constant stream of yellow taxi cabs and congested city pollution from the surrounding restaurants, kiosks, and vehicles pervade your senses as you walk past a set of people who appear to be minding their own business. You look at your wrist-watch to check the time, and all of a sudden you see that you have 15 fingers on your left hand. With the knowledge that you must have five fingers, you come to the realization that the world you are experiencing is actually part of a dream.

“When you observe that times, places and persons change without notice, bizarre events which never occur in waking, you will know that you are dreaming,” said Mary Arnold-Foster in her book, “Studies in Dreams.” After taking note of this realization, you proceed to visit the ancient ruins of Egypt, climb K2, or simply ride a bike down Ocean Avenue, guided by your own free will.

This concept of lucid dreaming appears to bridge the gap between the consciousness of non-lucid dreaming and awake states. The proof of this third state of consciousness, according to Allan Hobson of Harvard Medical School, is empirical. In a 2009 study at the University of Frankfurt in Germany, Ursula Voss and her colleagues showed that lucid dreaming was associated with the resolving power of an electroencephalogram (EEG) and the difference in its coherence with non-lucid dreaming and awake states was statistically significant.

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Relationships Are a Laughing Matter

According to Match.com, the dating website polled 5,481 singles ages 21 and older that are not in a relationship on February 5. Fifty eight percent of women said that “has a sense of humor/makes me laugh” was a must-have quality in a romantic partner. Meanwhile 37 percent of men said that “has a sense of humor/makes me laugh” was a must-have quality in a romantic partner.

Dr. Gary Lewandowski, Chairman of the Psychology Department said that humor is well known as a positive trait for attracting potential mates, especially for men.

According to Lewandowski who has been married to his wife, whom he met in college, for 12 years, humor makes men more attractive to women. It can also tie to intelligence, he said.

Another positive of humor in college relationships, according to Lewandowski, is that it helps defuse arguments or disagreements. “In long term relationships, having a sense of humor is important. You can’t be right or perfect all the time so when you mess up, you have to be able to laugh at yourself,” said Lewandowski. He also said that humor helps people “takes things a little less serious.”

Lewandowski recommends that college-aged partners should be very careful in regard to sarcastic or mean spirited humor.

Michael Phillips-Anderson, assistant professor of communication, said that people should be aware of intentions of humor and the interpretation. “What I think is funny, the other person may not. Getting out of your own head to realize how it may be interpreted is important.”

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Grown-Up Bullies: Conflict Past the Playground

People may think of bullying as an act meant to intimidate another person, but may have specific views on how it is done.  This could be the classic thought of a popular scene from a movie such as Spiderman where a man waits to fight him in the cafeteria.  The reality is, bullying does not end after high school and is just as likely to happen on a college campus.

Dr. Margaret DelGuercio, professor of English, knows quite well that bullying happens anywhere and to anyone.  “I have seen students do it to students, but also teachers to other faculty members. It is sadly a part of nature, but today I see more of a focus to educate younger kids about it and colleges get overlooked.”

This is especially important for campus the size of the University’s. Although people may be generally friendly does not mean there is no bullying here.  Annie Siegel, a freshman resident of   Elmwood Hall knows that bullying can indeed happen at the University because “it is very easy to spread rumors about events and others differences.”

For example, someone who has a special need that requires him or her to do something a bit differently and can be grounds for inappropriate behavior.  Most of the time, however, it is not as direct as it is in high school because everyone is on a different schedule. Nonetheless, bullying occurs and can often be more subtle than in the past.

Megan O’Donnell, a sophomore in Redwood said that, “Yes there are cliques here and bullying still happens. It does not end upon high school graduation.”

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Professor Spotlight: Meet Nicolette Nicola

Spreading a Love of Language to Students at the University

Nicolette Nicola, adjunct professor of English, grew up in the south hills of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania amongst her “warm loving, big hugging, and very loud Italian family.” Today she has two kids of her own, Ian, who is eleven and Elena, who is nine.

When she isn’t teaching English, she enjoys jogging and journaling ideas for future poems and play topics.

Nicola began teaching English Composition at the University in the Fall of 2011. She had been teaching literature classes and tutoring for six years at Brookdale Community College when a colleague recommended that she start teaching at the University to receive more of “an overall college teaching experience.”

Nicola still tutors at Brookdale’s Writing Center and spends some afternoons teaching there as well.

Nicola received her undergraduate degree in English with a minor in French at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania.

When learning a language, she believes immersion is the best route. “I recommend studying abroad if you are given the chance,” she said. “I went to Paris and I was able to pick up the language quickly.”

Nicola also suggests watching foreign video tapes, listening to foreign music, and most importantly, reading foreign literature.

While receiving her undergraduate, Nicola had the opportunity to participate in work study with incarcerated youth. “I taught at a Youth Development Center for my whole undergraduate experience,” she said. “My English professor freshman year announced the opportunity to all his students and told us that there would be a bus that would periodically take us.”

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Fall Has Fallen at the University

The leaves begin to turn beautiful shades of oranges and reds on the trees. The air becomes crisp and scents of apple and pumpkin spice fill the air. While the summer is the perfect time to relax away from school and possibly even at the beach, autumn at the University is unlike anything else.

The change of scenery at the University excites freshman Emily-Rose Tau. She also enjoys, “Apple and pumpkin picking with the different shades of color,” while freshman Leann Burns is looking forward to wearing her comfy sweaters again.

“It will finally be sweater weather and I love pumpkin spice lattes,” said Burns, who raved about Java City’s Pumpkin and Apple Cider flavored drinks.

As for sports, freshman Jennifer Ingegno looks forward to the U.S. Opener in the fall.  “In the fall, you can play soccer, but also watch football games,” she said.

The University’s homecoming schedule begins Friday, October 18 with a pep rally beginning at 5pm in the MAC.

On Saturday, October 19 many other fun activities will occur before the game at 1pm on Kessler Field.

Freshman Jenna Lally said she enjoys exercising especially in the fall because “the weather is nicer outside to exercise with a group and it is not as uncomfortable as it is in the heat.” Lally recommends strengthening your muscles in the fall before you “pack on the pounds with all the holiday food.”

While freshman Caitie Bitetto enjoys wearing her cardigans and boots again, what she looks forward to most are fall concerts. Many concerts are happening this fall at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, which is only about thirty minutes from campus.

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The Loss of Childhood for Syrian Refugees

The United Nations Refugee Agency reports that there are currently 1.85 million registered Syrian refugees who’ve fled their homeland in search of freedom from the persecution of the Syrian government. This astounding amount of people is the equivalent of having a forced evacuation of every single person living in the state of West Virginia.

Mass amounts of Syrians began fleeing their country around April 2011, one month after the start of the Syrian Civil War. The war was started by the Syrian government, led by the President Bashar al-Assad against various anti-government protest groups fighting for freedom and a better state.

The brute and violent methods by which Assad’s forces have attacked the Syrian people have left many Syrians with no option but to escape to the neighboring countries of Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq.

While being in refugee camps can be better in many respects, what exactly is it that these people escape to?

Most Americans would be unable to even imagine the devastating conditions of the refugee camps. Broken families live in tents, and barely survive on minimal amounts of food and water.

Contaminated water sources, squalid living conditions and lack of sanitation make previously simple daily tasks a dangerous struggle. There are decreased chances of survival for those who fall ill due to the lack of proper medical care.

However, the children forced to call these camps home will not always be seen crying. Instead, they play games, make drawings, and desperately hold on to any moments of happiness in their lives.

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Dr. Carol McArthur: Specialist in Special Education

The Professor Who Helps University Students Learn How to Teach Despite Disabilities

Becoming a candidate for a teaching position is both exciting and challenging. Selecting a Teacher with Students Disabilities (TSD endorsement) brings educators into a world that many may not have known about before.

Dr. Carol McArthur, professor of special education, knows that each student with disabilities is different in his or her own way. She inspires this love for learning and teaching in her students.

McArthur, like her students, has a passion to help others. She said, “I have always wanted to work with children. I taught pre-school and first grade in a general education setting before moving to special education.”

McArthur continued, “The individual students and the other teachers and professionals were what inspired me to continue in special education.  It is a unique experience.” This experience includes working with students from all levels and with all types of disabilities, from learning to physical and psychological.

McArthur is experienced in working with these students and said that it is important to strive for them and to do what they think they cannot. She added that many students with disabilities see the world differently than the typical person.

Family background is also a more significant factor.  “I taught in a self-contained classroom, as well as a science classroom, at a residential special education facility, and then became Assistant Director of the school. The boys at the school were classified as ‘emotionally or behaviorally disabled,’ said McArthur.

Many of the children McArthur has worked with came from abusive backgrounds.  Many also spent time in psychiatric hospitals, so they were delayed academically.  “It was a challenge to try to bring them up to grade level.  Overall, the number of students who rose above those challenges was inspiring,” McArthur added. 

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Things Every Girl in Her 20’s Should Know

Being in your 20’s is a crucial period in a woman’s life: It’s a transitional time when a girl discovers who she really is and becomes a woman. These are the years that women find themselves graduating college, renting their own apartments, starting their careers, and building new relationships with  people. This is the time when women discover what it truly means to grow up. The 20’s are some of the most exciting years for women. To ensure the maximization of the opportunities, there’s a list of 10 things every girl in her 20s should know:

1. Learn How to Manage Your Budget: Most women start paying the bills and it’s important to have money for rent, groceries, utilities, etc. However, putting aside a little “fun-time money” is very important as well. With trying to manage all of these budgets, it can be a little bit tricky. According to zenhabits.net, there are plenty of fancy software and cool apps to help manage multiple budgets. One app in particular is called Mint.com that helps keep track of multiple budgets.

2. Interview Like a Boss: Interviewing is a key component in finding a career. Even if you don’t land a job right away, it’s important to remember that interviews are good for networking purposes and building relationships across the business world. According to worksmart.ca.gov, a good tip is to do some research on the business before the interview. It’s a great way to get some background on the company so that you won’t appear out of the loop about what the company does. Also, don’t forget to update your résumé! The bottom line? Take advantage of every interview as it made lead to opportunities in the future.

3. Keep Your Skin Young: This is what laurenconrad.com calls the “post-acne and pre-wrinkles era.” It is always important to wear sunscreen, but that doesn’t mean to run to Walgreens and slather on Neutrogena SPF 30 Sunscreen. However, this is the moment to really educate yourself on SPF numbers and what they mean. Make sure to wash your face every night and take off your make-up. Going to bed with make-up on not only clogs pores; it dulls your complexion and can cause dryness or wrinkles.

4. Cherish Your Friendships: These years are filled with a lot of dating, a lot of love, along with a lot of time mending broken hearts. It’s important to know that being in college, you’ll see a lot of people (guys and girls) come and go, but a solid group of girlfriends or guy friends will be there to help you through it all.

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Renovating Edison Hall One Module at a Time

When students walked through the doors of Edison Hall last year, they would find crowded tables crammed with students reading heavy textbooks and experiments being conducted in labs that looked only spacious enough for half the class. With such limited learning space for students, the science department set out to make changes that would transform students’ education.

The first part of a multi-phase renovation and expansion project is presently underway to make Edison Hall a state-of-the-art modern science building – one that will integrate research and teaching and allow all students, regardless of major, to engage in their own learning.

The renovation will progress in a series of modules, starting with the physics teaching laboratory and classroom areas on the East Side of the first floor of Edison Hall. The modules will host more spacious and welcoming teaching labs, research suites, faculty offices, and student study spaces poised adjacent to each other, encouraging interdisciplinary student and faculty collaboration in the process.

“The thing I love about this model,” remarked Dr. Michael Palladino, Dean of the School of Science, “is that it reflects the way the sciences are going. Research, teaching, student-faculty interaction, and student-student interaction all weave together. That’s the way you build a modern science building.”

Student-researchers will have 24-hour-access to the research suites, which will each combine two adjacent labs in related areas of research, essentially removing the wall in between and exploiting the space within to show off the building’s newly designed structure and excite students about the new educational possibilities. Although the labs would be combined, each research group would still have its own space.

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Getting Involved in the New Semester

The new school year is finally upon us here at the University, which means many things:  questions about how to get involved on campus, available resources to help with success in class and the experience of living in a dorm with a roommate for the first time.

Jackie Giacalone, freshman who is living in Elmwood Hall, has mixed feelings about beginning her time here at the University.  “Some things that I’m excited for are meeting new people, learning new things and just the overall experience of college,” said Giacalone. “But I’m nervous for the work load and time management,” she continued.

This is common for many new students because the workload is different from high school and will require students to manage their time carefully in order to keep up with classes.

There are many resources that can help when one is struggling in a class.  One example is the Writing Center.

Dr. Susan Goulding, Chair of the English department at the University tells her students, “I strongly encourage use of the Writing Center.  Even if the tutor did not take your (the student’s) specific course, he or she could adapt to the level that it is being taught whether it be lower or upper.”

This is especially important for freshmen composition classes since it is generally the first time students are made aware of this resource. Students are also beginning to see emails about other helpful resources such as one-on-one peer tutoring which can assist with a specific course that a student may have difficulty with.  There are also academic orientations geared towards students’ majors.

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Professor Vincent DiMattio’s True Colors

Artists are no stranger to being known as eccentric. So when students happen to wander into the office of art and design professor Vincent DiMattio, they should not be surprised to find a giant anatomic rendering of a human head mounted behind him as he works on the daily newspaper based crossword.

A member of the University staff since 1968, DiMattio has been teaching undergraduates techniques in studio art such as drawing, basic design and painting, as well as an assortment of lecture courses. It is through these classes that DiMattio is able to share with the students the very devotion that inspired him to become an artist.

The passion all started at a very young age in Quincy, Massachusetts. DiMattio said, “When I was in the first grade wearing white short pants and standing at an easel drawing a large head of a horse, my father would bring me home paper from work because I just enjoyed drawing.” Eventually that very drawing of a horse head was featured in his town’s annual report, which then started him down the path of his artistic career.

As the years went by DiMattio continued to draw and followed the usual routine of an artist in training by taking the offered art classes in high school. However, it appeared that this is where his artistic endeavors would end.

“I was going to join the Marine Corps. I was playing baseball one day and the Marine band was there playing for the game. Eventually a Marine Sergeant approached me and said, ‘Why don’t you come into the Marines?’ and my brother was a Marine and I thought that it was exciting and just made sense,” said DiMattio.

Yet on the very week that he was supposed to go to the Marine recruiting site and get sworn into the organization, an unexpected encounter with an old friend from high school changed his  plans. The friend invited DiMattio to join him on a trip to the university he was attending, the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (Massart), and the Marines were out of the picture.  A compilation of previously completed works and one day of tedious auditioning later DiMattio was admitted to the university and transitioned onto the path of studio arts.

Upon completion of his degree at Massart, DiMattio then went on to obtain his Master of Fine Arts (MFA) at Southern Illinois University and secured a teaching position in Wisconsin for a few years.

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Meet Dr. Nancy Mezey of the Sociology Department

For students, returning to the University for a new semester means being immersed once again in their studies and extracurricular activities. For Dr. Nancy Mezey, Associate Professor of sociology it means returning to “the best job in the world.”

Mezey has been teaching at the University for 12 years and still enjoys coming to work. Initially, the beautiful campus is what brought her here. The best part of her job, however, is the students. “I find that the students that come to Monmouth University are really eager to learn about new things, and when they’re in a sociology class it just opens their minds in ways that sociology opened my mind when I was young,” said Mezey.

Sociology has fascinated Mezey since her first semester as an undergraduate student. The theory aspect of the subject was what first sparked her interest and her volunteer experience at a maximum security prison for men furthered it. “I think what really excited me about sociology was finding a discipline that made sense of social inequalities and could analyze social inequalities and actually work to try to change social inequalities,” said Mezey.

Specializing in family relationships and gender, Mezey teaches classes such as Family Sociology and The Sociology of Aging as well as Introduction to Gender Studies, Gender and Sexual Identities and Introduction to Sociology, but which one is her favorite?

“Whichever one I’m standing in at the time. I’m the youngest of four daughters, and my father would always say that his favorite child is the one who’s sitting closest to him,” said Mezey. Her favorite part about Introduction to Sociology is exposing students to a new subject, and her Gender Studies classes “totally rock people’s world.” Her passion in sociology lies in family studies.

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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