Sunday, November 29th, 2015

Rowan University Discovers Breakthrough in Parkinson’s Disease Research PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 11 November 2015 12:15

Parkinson DiseaseA team of researchers at Rowan University may have discovered a blood test that can detect symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative illness, before the symptoms become fatal in patients.

Researchers from the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, working with Durin Technologies, a company based in New Brunswick, believe that they have found a simple blood test that would detect early stages of the disease.

If they are correct, having the results of the blood test could potentially give notice of symptoms years before the appearance of any physical signs. In most cases, by the time the physical signs are noticeable, 50 percent of the involved brain tissue has deteriorated and the disease is past the point of treatment.

The test was developed during the course of a year-long study, led by Dr. Robert Naegle, who is the Director of the Biomarker Discovery Center at Rowan University’s New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging. Naegle had a team made up of mostly medical students. The researchers used human protein microarrays, and were able to identify a panel of antibodies that act as markers to detect the early stages of Parkinson’s disease.

The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Immunology Letters, took between five and six million dollars to complete over the course of about a year. It was partially funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Those involved with the study are now trying to find a financial partner to provide funding towards getting approval from the FDA. According to the published journal article, the test shows an overall accuracy of 90 percent in the 398 tested subjects.

Students Celebrated Sukkot at the University PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 11 November 2015 12:12

SukkahIn Oct., a simple structure with outer walls clothed in a light blue tarp took residence in front of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center (RSSC). This makeshift edifice was a sukkah, and it was built in celebration of the Sukkot holiday by members of the Jewish Chabad.

Sukkot began on Sunday, Sept. 27 and lasted through Sunday, Oct. 4. Annually, this holiday recognizes the plights of Jewish ancestry. “The Jews were slaves in Egypt, and when they were freed they wandered in the desert for 40 years. When they were in the desert, God made a few miracles happen for them,” said Yaakov Greenberg, a Rabii in the Monmouth County Jewish community.

“There were three main miracles; one was the manna, where they had special food from heaven while they were in the desert. Second was the water, which came from Mariam, who was Moses’s sister. And third was the Clouds of Glory, that protected the Jews from enemies who wanted to attack them,” he continued.

According to, Sukkot literally means “Feast of Booths”. It is one of many Jewish holidays that is based on the lunar calendar. Throughout the eight days of Sukkot, Jews are required to eat their meals in the sukkah structure. “A lot of students utilized the sukkah this year. During one of the days we had a Chinese dinner and a lot of Jewish students attended,” said Mitchell Parker, the Vice President of the Jewish Chabad.

Nash Wiener, a Jewish communication student, said that he has enjoyed Sukkot since he was a child in Hebrew school. “I think it is a very unique holiday. The fact that it centers around the sukkah and everyone eats their meals in it is so much fun,” he said. “When I was younger in Hebrew school, building the sukkah was always my favorite thing, so it is always a nice memory seeing one on campus,” he said.

Kenneth Womack Named New Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 11 November 2015 12:05

DeanDr. Kenneth Womack, Dean of the Wayne D. Murray School of Humanities and Social Sciences, has been cited as bringing leadership experience and creativity to his new position at Monmouth University.

Provost Laura Moriarty participated in the search to find the new dean, and feels confident in the committee’s decision, saying, “Dr. Womack has a wealth of experience serving in various administrative appointments at Penn State. He is a distinguished scholar and teacher…He is a transformative leader who will move the school forward.” 

The former dean, Dr. Stanton Green, was not part of the search for Dean Womack. “My reason for stepping down was personal, and confidential,” Green explained.

Womack’s new position follows a long administrative career, featuring positions like senior associate dean for Academic Affairs and head of the Division of Arts and Humanities at Penn State.

Dean Womack arrives at what he believes is a time of change at the University. “We are sitting at the crux of a key moment of change,” Womack explained, referencing that Monmouth has a recently minted president, a new provost, and two new deans. “There’s a lot of flux right now in the University.”

One thing that will be implemented under Womack is the strategic plan, titled “The Monmouth Plan”. “[Womack] understands the strategic plan and has great ideas about implementing it,” Moriarty believes.

Womack explained, “We have a great strategic plan that highlights learning outcomes, immersive study, life after Monmouth; all of these important initiatives. I think our challenge is to take all of the wonderful aspects that already exist at the University and grow them during this period of change.”

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Gourmet Dining Update PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 04 November 2015 12:06

OE Student Center 1Monmouth University changed dining services to Gourmet Dining this fall semester with new additions to Magill Commons, the Rebecca Stafford Student Center, and academic buildings.

The main changes include a Dunkin Donuts, renovation to the food court in the Student Center, and new daily food offerings. Chris Ryerson, Resident District Manager of Gourmet Dining, said, “We are the food service partner of Monmouth University for the next ten years, operating all the food and beverage outlets on campus.”

Gourmet Dining claims it is the premier food service company serving NJ. It provides services for 14 campus locations, Monmouth being the latest addition. According to Gourmet Dining, “It operates on-site food service management for educational, corporate, healthcare and long-term care throughout the state.” Gourmet’s motto, according to their website, is “to deliver professional food service programs with a personal touch.”

The University’s contract with Aramark, the previous dining vendor, was up and the students were ready for a change. “We were getting a lot of complaints and we were observing some things that we had been working on to get corrected for some period of time,” said Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life.

Monmouth issued a request for a proposal and received responses from four different companies: Aramark, Gourmet Dining, Parkhurst Dining, and Sodexo. “At the end, we made the decision that Gourmet Dining best met what we were looking for and I think what our students have been looking for and frankly deserving for some time,” said Nagy.

Gourmet Dining has brought many new additions to the University. The new Dunkin Donuts, which is located in the back of the Student Center, replaced what was Grille

MACE 2015 Award Presented to Filmmakers PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 04 November 2015 11:59

Phil Lord And Chris MillerThe Monmouth Award for Communication Excellence (MACE) was presented to accomplished filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller for their work on projects such as The Lego Movie, 21 & 22 Jump Street, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs at Pollak Theater on Monday, Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m.

Lord and Miller join previous honorees such as Asbury Park Press publisher Jules L. Plangere, White House Correspondent Helen Thomas, and CBS sports commentator Jim Nantz in the University’s list of esteemed recipients. Jim Hickey, Chair of the Communication Council and presenter at the ceremony, noted that MACE honorees must possess the following qualities: “exceptional success in their chosen career, the respect of their peers, and, most importantly, the ability to be strong role models for Monmouth University students.”

Hickey was joined on stage by Dr. Kenneth Womack, Dean of the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences, as well as Chair of the Communication Department, Dr. Aaron Furgason. The presentation featured a 45-minute Q & A segment with Lord and Miller moderated by specialist professor of communication, Robert Scott. Among the topics discussed were the origin of Lord and Miller’s partnership, the differences between working in film and television, and the inspiration behind their various creative projects.

Having developed a friendship while working together at the animation studios of Dartmouth College, Lord and Miller officially forged a partnership when Miller received an invitation to Walt Disney’s Animation Studios in California. He and Lord began collaborating on projects such as Clone High, an animated series that aired on MTV in 2002. From there, the duo contributed to shows such as How I Met Your Mother before directing the popular films Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 21 Jump Street, and ultimately The Lego Movie.

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