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Last updateWed, 20 Sep 2017 1pm

Features

Mid-Majors as Told by the Committee

Mid Majors Told by CommitteeThe 2015-16 Monmouth University Basketball team is no different than any Monmouth team in the past. They are, have been, and always will be a mid-major. What is a mid-major?

Well, we on the ever-esteemed NCAA Tournament Committee would be glad to answer that question for you, but give us a second please, Duke and Kentucky are tied up in the first half, and we cannot miss this.

Oh, that John Calipari offense is so efficient, and he is only doing it with six McDonald’s All-Americans. Wow, he just knows how to find them. Okay, where were we? Ah yes, what is a mid-major? Mid-majors always make for a fun time. These are the teams we invite to our historical arenas early on in the season, to get our top programs running before conference play.

You know how in horse racing, trainers like to have their horse mock race against a much slower horse to boost their confidence and get them into the winning groove?

This is essentially the mindset we have adopted regarding mid-majors. When our royal blues like Kentucky and Duke face off on ESPN, and any other channel that gets the gracious opportunity to broadcast us, we need our one-and-dones to be in perfect form.

While our guys benefit physically and statistically, our strong-hearted mid-majors get the great experience of playing basketball alongside them in some of the highest regarded basketball hubs of the world. Even though the high-major gets the check in the win column, really everyone wins, right?

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Post-Graduate Life

Seniors - we all know how dramatically we cringe at the thought of the g-word: graduation. With May right around the corner, the senior class is looking forward to what’s next; not picking classes for next semester like the rest of the campus population, but applying for further schooling, choosing where to travel, or even picking the right job.

So, before we walk across PNC with pomp and circumstance playing in the background, here are a few tips for life after graduation, so we can transition from a college senior to a functioning adult with ease.

 Michelle Gonzales, a Monmouth alumna with a B.A in communication, advised, “My tip for graduating seniors is to keep an open mind. When searching for a job, read deeply into what the day-to-day tasks are. What you enjoy doing may be out there, but not necessarily where you’d expect to find it.”

“You go to school for 16 years, and after you graduate, you are expected to fill a role in which you may think is out of reach. The reality is, is that you won’t know everything you’re supposed to when you start – but you’re also not supposed to,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales encourages graduating students to go into the workforce confidently. No matter you’re your sub-conscious may be telling you, you have the skills to accomplish anything. 

Casey Hanna, a senior education student, said, “I don’t necessarily know what route I want to go in after I graduate, but I know I am not solely limiting my path to my degree in education.”

Hanna continues, “My love for field hockey has led me to look for assistant coaching jobs, at various levels. The idea of giving back to the game that has meant so much to me makes me so excited.”

For students in the communication department, it is a requirement to take a Career Prep class, and to complete a resume. Since I had taken that class sophomore year, I haven’t really focused on updating it regularly.

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Taking Learning Outside of the Classroom

Outside Classroom LearningOn a campus so enriched with a plethora of diverse events, it would be a shame if students did not attend these events. For many humanities courses at the University, there is a mandatory attendance requirement for students to attend a specific event for the course.

Many students shudder at the word “mandatory” because of their busy and hectic lives. Students choose classes to fit their schedules to a T; so, hearing that there is a mandatory event outside of the class time frame that one has to attend is irksome for most.

Lucia Bailey, a sophomore English student, said, “At times I wish the attendance was not mandatory, because if I am not on campus I find myself driving 45 minutes from my house to get there to attend the event.”

Dr. Susan Starke, associate professor of English, who has required her Shakespeare classes to attend simulcasts of popular Shakespeare plays studied in class, said, “As long as the professor offers an alternative assignment for students whose prior obligations literally don’t permit attendance at a special event, I feel it’s reasonable. I put it in the syllabus so students know from the start of the course what they are getting into.”

It seems as though classes in the humanities are more likely to assign these mandatory attendance events than the sciences. Dr. Merrily Ervin, Coordinator of School of Science General Education Courses, explains why the School of Science does not require students to attend events outside of class: “Students’ schedules vary and most likely, not all students would be able to attend an event that does not coincide with class time.”

Ervin added, “Even if you just offer extra credit for attendance, it is not fair to those who are unable to attend, unless you offer them an alternative way to get extra credit.”

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First is Not the Worst: First Generation Students Take Higher Education by Storm

First Gen Not Worst 1The day your acceptance letter to college comes in the mail is a proud day for you and your family, but there is a completely new level of pride and achievement when you are the first child in your family to go to college. Although it is 2017, and college seems like a norm to everyone, we still have students who are the ‘first generation’ students.

Being a first generation student means being the first person in your entire family to earn a degree in college. Many parents of first generation students may have only gotten a high school diploma at the most. Some students graduating this May are the first in their families to be able to call themselves a college graduate.

Dr Robert McCaig, Vice President for Enrollment Management, said, “40.7% of the fall 2016 incoming freshman were first gen students.”

“One of the myths about Monmouth is that we are a rich white kid school. That is so untrue, 30% of the incoming class comes from varying ethnic backgrounds. These are facts, these are real. Our school is very rich in diversity,” according to McCaig.

Joey Affatato, a senior music industry student and first generation student said, “Going away to college and having this experience really means a lot to me especially because my parents didn’t get to have this same experience.”

“I feel the opportunity to go away to school, make lifelong friends, and learn from professionals is an amazing experience that some cane only dream of,” he continued.

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Sustainability for Students: The Importance of Eco-Friendly Businesses

John JohnsonThe world needs to start heading down a more sustainable path for the sake of future generations. We are over-populating, overeating, overfishing, and overusing. Multibillion-dollar corporations corner the industry and put money in the pockets of those that have influence politically and have the power to make a change.

It's up to big name brands like Adidas, who are releasing a shoe made up of 95 percent ocean plastic, to make a difference and be the change. In 2017, the brand aims to produce one million pairs of the sneakers made from more than 11 million plastic bottles.

Another big name busines, IKEA, has just unveiled a furniture set made out of recycled plastic and reclaimed wood.

“We need to become better at using the planet’s resources in a smart way. Our ambition is to increase the share of recycled materials in our products," said Anna Granath, product developer at IKEA. "We are looking into new ways to re-use materials, such as paper, fibre, foam and plastic, so that we can give them a new life in a new product.”

Later in 2017, IKEA has plans to release an even more sustainable and "waste-free" line of furniture, and continue to produce more sustainably.

When Keurig came out with the single-serve coffee machine that almost instantly brews a cup of joe, it seemed like the best innovation at the time. Little did we realize how detrimental they could be to the environment and our health.

According to theatlantic.com, " In 2014, enough K-Cups were sold that if placed end-to-end, they would circle the globe 10.5 times."

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Getting Over Mid-Semester Blues

Mid Semester BluesThe spring semester is always an interesting one, to say the least. You feel like you’re in high school again, just counting down the days to summer vacation. But you also realize that you need to “adult” and actually complete your work to finish out the semester.

This time of year is also very confusing in terms of the weather. One day there’s a snow storm, and the next day it is gorgeous and sunny. You don’t know if you should curl up in a blanket and attempt to study for all your midterms, or get ready to forget about all responsibilities and go to the beach.

Around this time in the semester when midterms are happening and soon finals will be approaching, students may have a hard time remaining focused and staying motivated to do work.

“Everyone wants to be outside in this weather and it’s important to find a balance,” Dr. Andrew Lee, the director of Counseling and Psychological Services, said. “We shouldn’t allow ourselves to lose track of everything, but we also shouldn’t restrict ourselves from going outside and enjoying the beautiful weather.”

 Not only are we distracted by the beautiful weather and our close proximity to the Jersey shore, we also have finals right around the corner. Lee said “We must know and acknowledge that stress will come. Life happens, and sometimes, life is stressful.”

Lee continued, “The best way to help with stress is to have a plan to finish your work and study efficiently.”

Lee also shared that some simple things we can do to have less focus on stress during this time is to make sure we engage in some kind of physical activity, get enough sleep every night, and also to just breathe. These tips may sound silly and simple, but can actually be very helpful in avoiding being overwhelmed by stress.

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Student-Athletes: On and Off the Field/Court

Student Athletes OnOff CampusStudent-athletes are multifaceted individuals who have passion, love, dedication, and motivation for the sport they play, and all the work that comes along with it. People often overlook the responsibilities that athletes have, on and off the court. Whether it is soccer, lacrosse, football, basketball, field hockey, golf, or bowling, each student program and team has rules and demands that athletes have to obey. These students also have the pressure of representing their team and Monmouth University.

Senior communication student, Justin Robinson, guard on the men’s basketball team, said, “We have a whole bunch of things that people don’t notice. We have to sit in the front rows of classes, or else we get in trouble. We have to carry ourselves a certain way because everything we do is watched under a microscope. Things that a regular student could get away with, we can’t because we’re athletes.” Robinson continued.

“It’s demanding, but I love it and wouldn’t change it for anything.”

Athletes are a symbol for Monmouth, and they have to strive in the classroom and on the court. There are no easy days for them. They are always asked for more than a student who is not involved in sports programs.

Lacrosse senior midfielder and communication student, Kevin Osback, said, “The team comes first, long practices followed by film sessions and lifting sessions. Applying a championship mentality to every aspect of the day from the little things to the bigger picture.”

Student-athletes are motivated to win and practice every single day to reach their goals. They have practices in the morning, during the days, and sometimes later on in the evening. Practice makes perfect, and practice puts Monmouth up on the charts against other universities.

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Technology: The Good, The Bad, and The Controlling

Tech Good Bad ControllingIt’s no wonder titans of tech are locked in an epic battle of the bots, racing furiously to produce the best virtual assistant.Their respective help-bots--Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana--promise consumers one of the most valuable commodities in the world: free time.

Due to the sudden acceleration of artificial intelligence and advancements in speech recognition and big-data storage, the technology behind virtual assistants is rapidly spreading from phones and electronic devices to cars and homes, and the truly useful helper is approaching fast. The four companies are fighting for the biggest share of a market expected to grow to $12 billion by 2024.

“There’s a tremendous amount of promise for these agents to help and assist with many different tasks that we face every day,” said Ross Rubin, Principal Analyst at Reticle Research. “The more the agent can help you with, the more value it holds.”

The ultimate goal is our own personal genie in a bottle that awakens with a word or touch to liberate us from all of our daily mundane tasks, organize our days and nights, and free us from the stress of endless days that have become so terribly busy. But that’s not going to happen quite yet.

Today, the aid these virtual assistants provide remains fairly limited. Most users of Google Home and Amazon Echo devices--which host Assistant and Alexa respectively--stream music, play audiobooks, and control smart-home devices, according to surveys by San Francisco analytics firm VoiceLabs.

Still, the virtual agent’s foundation in Artificial Intelligence (A.I) means the more it learns about a user’s preferences and behaviors, the better job it can do. So, while experts predict a handful of firms will dominate in this field, most agree that Apple, Google and Amazon will be major players, with Microsoft in a lesser role. The one thing they’re split on is whether consumers will be served best by one bot, or more.

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Student Raises Money For Syrian Refugee Children

Keychain Cause 1Carly Miller, a junior homeland security student, has raised about $40 so far in donations for the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) by creating “Keychains for Children” to directly help child refugees from Syria.

The keychains are little plastic animals painted with various metallic colors. Miller explained how she had to screw a hole into each plastic animal and attach the keychain ring to create her final product.

The homeland security student has been selling her keychains through her personal instagram and facebook accounts and also booked a few days in the Rebecca Stafford Student Center(RSSC) to sell her keychains in person a few weeks ago. Miller plans to continue selling her keychains online and booking table space across from the information booth in the RSSC to sell them for $2 each.

Miller explained how she really felt moved to dive into this craft.”It was truly the intense media coverage and intimate personal videos of the victims I saw on social media one night that really motivated me to do something,” said Miller.

Her inspiration for the project cane when she was scrolling through her facebook page and saw all of these videos of innocent civilians being shot and killed in Syria. A few months ago, government forces in Syria attacked the city of Aleppo. The attack was supposedly a search for rebels, but it was evident that they were just killing innocent civilians.

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How to Reclaim Your Life from the Stress of College

Reclaim Life From College StressCollege is a time to find yourself, figure out what you’re passionate about and explore all of life’s options, but this is something that is easier said than done.

Between going to class full time, working part time and being involved in clubs on campus, it is difficult to remember to take time for yourself.

Endless to-do lists and class assignments control the majority of our time in college, but it is important to pencil in time in our planners for ourselves in order to take control over our schedules.

By taking advantage of free time, learning our limitations, and prioritizing ourselves, we can make the most out of our college years and reclaim our lives from our busy lifestyles.

Free time can be rare for some college students; how that time is spent can really affect the rest of our day.

Most of the time students end up mindlessly scrolling through social media or binge watching a show on Netflix for hours before getting back to the limitless work that is still piled in the corner we left it.

Samantha Marella, a senior business student, said, “Being a senior is a lot of work. Between my classes, internship, part time job and sorority, I’m always on the move. Sometimes it feels like I’m just on a nonstop cycle and I need to actively make time for myself and do things that I enjoy.”

Marella shared, “Some days I like to wake up an hour earlier so I can go to the gym or cook myself breakfast. It’s the small things like that that really help break up my crazy schedule and make me feel like I’m in control of my day.” Free time can be really beneficial in helping us accomplish what we want to do, instead of what we have to do.

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Internships: A Glimpse Into Your Future

Internships Glimpse Into FutureMany students try to push off the responsibility and task of getting an internship, but that experience is more beneficial than some people think. An internship is a preview of what someone’s future career will be like in a specific field. It could be a business, a public relations firm, or student teaching.

Whatever your calling may be, it is extremely important to figure what you want to spend your life doing, and what it is like to work that job.

Some may be wondering how to go about the process of obtaining an internship. For many instances, the process depends on the company or firm itself. Students should initiate searches on Google to find businesses and companies that appeal to them.

Collect as much information that you are able to, and familiarize yourself with the work they have done in the past.

Some websites provide a phone number or email address for students to reach out and connect with employees. Other sites have information about internships explaining the time span of the internship, what the intern would be doing and learning, the skills and education they require or prefer, and so on.

It may not seem like much, but, writing a cover letter and making sure your resume is perfect, and properly sent in are crucial steps.

When going in for an interview, it is best to have questions prepared to ask the company as well. They could be simple, such as their favorite part about working in the company, how long they have worked there for, what a typical day is like for an intern, and any other information they did not touch upon.

Lexi Swatt, a Monmouth alumna who is currently a postgraduate assistant for the Young Athlete team at Bleacher Report, said, “I made bullet points of information I found out about the company and then I made a set of questions I wanted to go over. Whatever company did not fully appeal to me, I crossed it off my list, and moved on. Make sure that you intern for a company that you know you will enjoy and have the same mindset and goals as they do. It really makes a difference.”

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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