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Volume 85 (Fall 2013 - Spring 2014)

Where Are They Now - Jorge Branco ‘13 Psychology | Study Abroad in London in Fall 2010 || Features

study abroad

Growing up as the first generation American I often visited family in Portugal which helped to create in me a strong desire to travel and see more of the world.  With those memories at heart I knew that studying abroad was a core dream of mine and nothing would stand in my way. I decided to study abroad in London and it began a life changing and pivotal moment in my life.  I became determined to reach deep down and look at my flaws.  I desired to overcome and change, to follow my life dreams and aspirations, and more importantly to really become the man I knew I could be. In college we have a many choices impacting our future. We are young and strong enough to open the doors of our past and fix anything about ourselves we don't love, and choose to be anything in our future that we DO love.

The study abroad experience made me appreciate being a Monmouth University student more and to take advantage of all that it offers every student. I took my classes more seriously and opened up my eyes to all the opportunities that lay before me.  I realized that just showing up wasn't enough, I had to learn and apply as much as possible. That is really just one of the many intangibles of the study abroad experience, the fact that you can wake up. I think you grow up faster into an adult with values and actual plans, other than just what the weekend entails.

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Where Are They Now - Britt Travis '05 Communication | Study Abroad in London, England in Fall 2002 || Features

study abroadI wasn’t enjoying my experience as a freshman in college…and I had dreamed of being abroad my whole life. When I saw the advertisement & met with Robyn, I felt like I would meet similar people to me. It ended up being the best decision of my life to date.

Robyn was amazing to us; we really felt like we had a person to connect to… many of the other schools seemed to ship students off without a “home base contact.” That was crucial.

At first it made me more connected to people like me at Monmouth – and that was really important. I was 19 – young, unsure of who I was. It sounds silly, but studying abroad helped me gain confidence so that I could really succeed at Monmouth. After traveling through countries where no one will speak to you in English, smartphones weren’t a thing yet, you had to be confident to get through the program. It set me up to continue to have confidence in myself after the program ended. While it didn’t alter my career path – I had always wanted to be in advertising, it enabled me to utilize what I learned to excel further. How many potential employees could speak fluently about different advertising as it was viewed in other countries, compare it to America, and have an opinion on how to make ours better? Not many. It made me stand out – and ahead, of the pack. It enabled me to get hired weeks after graduation.

First, Study Abroad forced me to be confident; second, it made me know what my “musts” in life are (ie: I will not date a person who will not travel; my future children will study abroad…) I know, for sure, I am a changed person because of studying abroad. Travel is a part of who I am now.

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Where Are They Now - Bill Stryker || Features

I’ve been working with Merrill Lynch since August of 2006.  I’ve held a couple positions.  Right now I’m the staff assistant/office manager for Alternative Investment Product Services located in Hopewell, NJ.  I am currently residing in Asbury Park with my sister, Sarah, who is also a study abroad/Monmouth alum.

I studied abroad because I wanted to experience something new and get away; I had never really traveled before.  I went to a preliminary meeting, explaining the study abroad program and was hooked from the start.  The desire to experience a variety of cultures drew me to London and the easy access to travel Europe was the most appealing part of it.

Studying abroad forced me to be outgoing and to meet new people.  This is something I had not really done in my life prior to that.  It’s given me endless stories and memories I will have for the rest of my life.  I’m completely a better person today than I would have been if I didn’t take advantage of this program. I will be a groomsman in a wedding next year, both the bride and groom are best friends of mine, the bride-to-be I met studying abroad and we’ve remained extremely close ever since.  Studying abroad has created everlasting bonds with several people.  Many of us, myself included, have a “NW1 4NS” tattoo which is the zip code for Regent’s University London area.

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Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED) Chapter at University Announced || News

online_exclusive_newsThe Pre-Professional Health Advisory Committee (PPHAC) is announced the installation of a new chapter of Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED), the national health preprofessional honor society, at Monmouth University – New Jersey Delta Chapter on Friday, Oct. 3 in Magill Commons.

Dr. Dorothy Lobo, AED Advisor, and Dr. Bernadette Dunphy, Co-Directors of PPHAC, presented the 30 installed members with their certificates and congratulated them on their success. The ceremony was also attended by Dr. Frank Dyer, National Counselor, and Dr. Nuran Kumbaraci, AED Regional Director, as well as family members and distinguished guests from the University.

The guest speaker was University Alumnus, Dr. Sunaini Kaushal. Kaushal graduated in 2009 from Monmouth and attended Drexel University Medical College through the Monmouth Medical Center Scholars Program. She is currently at Drexel in Internal Medicine completing the second year of her residency. She spoke to the newly installed AED Members about the hard work ahead of them and to be truthful and passionate about their decision to pursue medicine.

AED is dedicated to the encouragement and recognition of excellence in preprofessional health scholarship. The society welcomes all students engaged in the pursuit of a professional development, provides a forum for students with common interests, and extends a program of service to benefit the college/university community. AED serves not only as an honor society but also as a service organization.

AED was founded in 1926 as an honorary fraternity for premedical students at the University of Alabama. AED became an associated society of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on October 28, 1936. AED was incorporated as a non-profit educational institution in 1962, in Washington, DC. As chapters grew and became more widely distributed, five regional groupings were designated in 1962.

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SCREAM Theater || Entertainment

Dating and getting to know people can be nerve-wracking, but the threat of sexual assault is even scarier than battling nerves on a first date. Rutgers University's Students Challenging Realities and Educating Against Myths (SCREAM) Theater addressed the issues of sexual assault on college campuses on Tuesday, Sept. 30 in Wilson Hall.

The performance, consisting of undergraduate students, graduate students, and alumni of Rutgers University, began in 1991 and has become a campus-wide phenomenon.

Brady Root, a member of SCREAM Theater, started the program by rattling off startling statistics regarding sexual assault. "Twenty percent of women are raped, mostly in their college years," Root said. "One in every 33 men younger than 18 are sexually assaulted in their lifetime."

Behind her was a stage, depicting a stereotypical college dorm getting ready for a party: there was a table with solo cups and a pitcher of alcohol, as well as an area on the right-hand side of the stage that represented the upstairs, containing a bed and more drinks. The improvised scene consisted of eight characters named Jess, Rachel, Liz, Ryan, Alex, Corey, Sam and Elena.

Jess and Liz were both excited to hang out with the boys that they met earlier, Ryan and Corey. The boys invited the girls over to drink before going to a party later in the night. The girls' friends, Rachel and Elena, tagged along. Before they get to the party, Jess and Liz explain how they really like Ryan and Corey, and could see pursuing serious relationships with them.

The scene then switches to the boys in the dorm, accompanied by their roommates Sam and Alex, gossiping about the girls. Corey states how he actually likes Liz, although he would take things to the next level if she wanted to. Ryan says, in vulgar terms, how he just wants to have sex with Jess. The girls walk in and they all begin to drink.

Corey takes Liz into his room and he offers her a drink. She has a little more vodka, and when she reaches her limit, he respects that. They talk for a little and then he abruptly comes onto her. Liz says to stop, and he does just that. Corey gets off of her and they agree to pretend that nothing happened.

On the contrary, Ryan does not do the same. They had all decided to leave for the party when Jess and Ryan agree that they will catch up later. Both go up to Ryan's room and sit on his bed. Ryan encourages Jess to drink some more, although she does not want to. He then jumps on top of her, and Jess begins to scream things like "no" and "stop."

Ryan yells at Jess to shut up and covers her mouth. Sam, a female roommate who had just moved in, walks in and then quickly leaves, not wanting to be involved. The scene then changes to the next night, where Jess is talking with her girl friends about what happened with Ryan.

Each friend represents a different way that a person outside the situation may respond. Elena encourages Jess to go to the hospital, call the police, or speak to a counselor. When the victim says she is not ready, Elena respects that and continues to comfort her. Elena showed to correct way to respond to this situation, unlike her other friends. Rachel is very aggressive, saying that she wants Jess to go to the police or she will go for her. Liz does not believe that Jess is telling the truth, and says that because alcohol was involved, it was her fault.

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Confronting Campus Rape Culture || News


The prevalence of sexual violence on college campuses and ways to prevent sexually violent behavior was discussed by a crowd of University students and faculty who attended the "Confronting Campus Rape Culture Discussion and Workshop" event in Wilson Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 1.

"The crisis of sexual assault is so great," said Dr. Johanna Foster, an assistant professor of political science and sociology instructor.

"According to the recent task force report released by the White House, one in five women in college have been sexually assaulted," Foster said.

Foster explained that women and girls of all races are affected the most by sexual violence and that the victims are often aquatinted with their assailants. "Mary Koss's research on campus date rape and acquaintance rape found that nearly 44 percent of all women surveyed, experienced some form of sexual activity when they did not want to," Foster added.

Nicole Smith, President of the Gender Studies Club, said that sexual violence is present at the University, "I believe there is a problem with sexual assault here as well, though I am proud that the University has taken these issues to heart and has attempted to work on them," said Smith.

"A staggering 27 percent of men would rape a woman if they thought they could get away with it," said Smith. "We need intensive sex education and scrutiny on campus. Men are the primary perpetrators of rape and violence against women, and we need education to support this idea that no means no."

Dr. Nancy Mezey, Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, stresses the need for education on the issue. "We need to get people to start thinking about sexual assault as a social problem not as an individual problem," said Mezey.

Most people think and assume that rape is a result of one individual's actions. "The common perspective is to look at this major problem as simply about the random bad behavior of a few dangerous individuals," said Foster.

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Clichés Haunt ‘Annabelle’ || Entertainment

"The Conjuring" really captured my attention back in 2013, standing out among other horror movies for its relative lack of jump scares, the way it did not rely on tropes to move the plot along, and how women were still shown as being strong characters. Though it did rely on some clichés, it set a high bar for what such movies could attempt, so I eagerly sat down to watch "Annabelle" on Friday, Oct. 3.

This anticipated follow-up fell short in nearly every single category, with its issues ranging from claustrophobia-inducing camera angles and an exhaustingly overused plot to utilizing tropes at almost every possibility. Where its predecessor at least attempted originality, the 2014 'prequel' bored me, only drawing my attention in the last few minutes (not counting its numerous painful jump scares).

"Annabelle," directed by John Leonetti and written by Gary Dauberman, is about a young, recently-married couple, consisting of the pregnant Mia (Annabelle Wallis) and John (Ward Horton). The movie opens with them at church talking to Sharon Higgins (Kerry O'Malley) and Pete Higgins (Brian Howe), who live next door. After, John notes that they "shouldn't talk about the pregnancy" around them, as their daughter Annabelle ran away two years earlier. Coincidentally, Annabelle returns to the Higgins household with an unnamed male, murders her parents, then the two break into John and Mia's house and attempt to kill them as well. This ends with Annabelle committing suicide while holding the 'Annabelle' doll and bleeding on it, with the movie implying that her blood somehow let a demon begin using the doll as a conduit to attack Mia and John.

Throughout the film, the writers bash the viewers over the head with Satanism, Occultism, and related horror-movie clichés, ranging from Mia watching a documentary on Charles Manson in one of the opening scenes to a book called "The Devil's Welcome" prominently displayed in a bookstore window (which seems unlikely for Pasadena in the 1960s, when everyone was terrified of Satan worshippers). Nearly every scene seems obliged to mention demons, the mysterious 'A' shaped mark that appears throughout the events, or cult worshippers. The only times these aren't mentioned are when Mia is being attacked by said demon, so no one had to mention that it was there.

Aside from the worn-out plot of "devil worshipper kills self, summons evil upon those who possess random creepy doll," the writing uses nearly every character cliché. Mia continuously wanders toward certain danger and gets herself hurt on numerous occasions due to a lack of common sense. John "has" to go to a conference to make sure he gets a specific job, leaving Mia alone right as creepy things begin to happen (even though he misses the conference, he gets the job anyway). Later, as Mia tries to convince John that they're being haunted, he belittles her, saying "It's all in your head" and indicating it's just post-partum stress. These are just a few examples of the sexist tropes that wormed their way into this film.

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Jackie Evancho: From Second Place to the Top of the World || Entertainment

In competitions, there can usually only be one winner. However, when it comes to shows like "America's Got Talent" (which concluded its ninth season on Sept. 17 by crowning magician Mat Franco), remaining contestants still have the future at their finger tips even though they were not awarded the big prize. To prove that contestants all still have a real shot at achieving their dream, "America's Got Talent" Season 5 runner-up Jackie Evancho, now a platinum recording artist at the young age of 14, released her third studio album on Tuesday, Sept. 23 entitled "Awakening."

Since "America's Got Talent," Evancho has proven that you do not need to win the talent competition in order to reach new heights in your career. From performing for the President of the United States and the Royal Family to making regular appearances with the Tokyo Philharmonic, she has showed future contestants that it's not always about winning.

Her journey began when she signed with Columbia Records and took a jump start in pursuing her career shortly after the completion of "America's Got Talent" at the age of 10. Prior to her latest album, she released two other studio albums entitled "Dream with Me," which was certified Gold, and "Songs from the Silver Screen," which topped at #1 on the Billboard Classical Charts.

However, with her latest album "Awakening," Evancho diverted slightly away from the all-classical inspired albums by taking on some more contemporary songs. While the album still contains classical selections such as "Think of Me" from "Phantom of the Opera" and "Ave Maria," it also contains modern-day songs such as U2's "With or Without You" and "The Rains of Castamere" from HBO's "Game of Thrones."

In response to her diversion away from classical music towards pop, Evancho told Sony, "Of course there are always going to be some classical pieces, but I wanted to reinvent the pop songs and make them my own. The only thing that mattered was that the song spoke to me."

When questioned specifically about the recording of "With or Without You," Evancho told the Associated Press (AP) that she wanted to maintain the original "rocky feel" and sound, but add in her own classical crossover style to the track as well. It was a matter of balancing the two styles in order to create a new version of the hit track.

In addition to adding contemporary hits to her music collage, Evancho also released two originals. "Open Fields of Grace" and "Take Me There" are the first original tracks she recorded on an album. In an interview with AP, she stated, "I prefer to record original material because I make it my own, and it's like, I'm making my own thing almost." Evancho added that she felt like Taylor Swift when recording the original tracks, since Swift writes and records all of her songs for her albums.

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Nintendo 3DS Releases Crossover Sensation || Entertainment

A renowned attorney and a famous professor team up to defend clients accused of witchcraft. No, this is not the newest drama on a local network. This is the plot of the just released "Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney" on the Nintendo 3DS. This game is a crossover of two fun (but perhaps little-known) series of video games, "Professor Layton" and "Ace Attorney," though it requires no previous experience with either series to enjoy.

"Vs." takes the puzzle solving Englishman, Professor Layton, and the unrelenting defense attorney, Phoenix Wright, and drops them into Labyrinthia. Labyrinthia is a storybook world ruled by the Storyteller, whose stories dictate the world's inescapable future. Plagued by the Great Witch Bezella, Labyrinthia holds witch trials where accused witches are found guilty and burned to purge the curse of witchery from the land. Assisting the mysterious Espella Cantabella in the first trial, Layton's puzzling prowess and Phoenix's dogged defense join forces to defend the innocent. Working against, and sometimes with, the Inquisitor Zacharias Barnham and his armor-wearing puppy Constantine, they must interview an array of unique personalities and investigate artful locales to end the witch trials, expose Bezella, and end the tyranny of the Storyteller.

The game is told through chapters which alternate between exploration and puzzle solving with Professor Layton and his apprentice, Luke Triton and trial segments with Phoenix Wright and his assistant Maya Fey. During exploration chapters, players travel from area to area talking to people and solving puzzles. Trial segments have Phoenix cross-examining witnesses and using evidence to find the truth behind various witch-related incidents.

Puzzles originate from the "Professor Layton" series and can be found anywhere. Most are found within the story, but some have to be sought out. Puzzles you miss are sent to a library at the end of the chapter, and completed puzzles can be replayed anytime through the Puzzle Index. Most puzzles submit themselves when you complete the assigned task, but others must have the right answer submitted from multiple choices. If you guess wrong, you're given another chance - though the reward for solving them is reduced.

During the trial chapters from the "Ace Attorney" series, players listen to testimonies and find contradictions based on evidence. Each testimony consists of statements given by witnesses. Statements can be responded to in many ways, such as pressing witnesses, or presenting evidence. When pressed, witnesses elaborate on their statement. Other witnesses must be watched for reactions and can be questioned on their thoughts about the testimony to reveal new information. Presenting evidence can be done from the Court Record, which contains the trial's evidence, the Grand Grimoire, which is the definitive encyclopedia of all magic, or profiles of people associated with the case. The player must present the proper evidence at the proper opportunity to arrive at the truth. Giving the wrong evidence incurs a penalty. Five penalties and it's game over.

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Meatless at MU: Is It For You? || News

Dollar Big Macs after midnight. Phat Spruces. Chicken Quesadillas and Steak Burritos. These all become things of the past once you convert to a vegetarian diet, but do not stop for a second to think this diet will come without great benefits. A plant-based diet not only contributes to better health and weight management, but also it benefits the environment. For individuals who have an extensive taste for different foods, a vegetarian diet on the University's campus is feasible.

According to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association (2009), a vegetarian diet is linked with low blood cholesterol levels and reduced risk of heart disease, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, a vegetarian diet is typically associated with a lower Body Mass Index (BMI), and lower cancer rates.

As less red meat and more plant-based foods are eaten, a vegetarian consumes less saturated fats and cholesterol, which are only found in animal-products. Vegetarians also take in more dietary fiber, magnesium, phytochemicals, and vitamin C than non-vegetarians.

Many fear a vegetarian diet because they believe deficiencies are developed in areas such as protein, iron, and vitamin B-12. However, Mary Harris, Director of the Monmouth Area Vegetarian Society (MAVS) and specialist communication professor, described the protein deficit as a misconception when stating, "Most of what the general public has been taught about protein requirements in general is a myth. Protein can be found in all plant foods". Harris continues, "Some sources of protein include: lentils, chickpeas, black beans, tempeh, nuts and seeds, tofu, seitan, quinoa, oats, peas, spinach, broccoli, and the list goes on and on". Additionally, many foods today are fortified with nutrients.

Another myth about vegetarian diets is that they are more costly. However, Dr. Null and Dr. Feldman refute this myth in the Townsend Letter. They write, "... A consumer may pay more than five times the price for steak (versus a loaf of whole-wheat bread), a food that does not rival its cheaper counterpart in terms of nutritional value and fiber content". A healthier diet that can be less expensive may be more alluring to a college student with a dearth of money.

There are several motivations for becoming a vegetarian. Some do it for health while others do it for environmental or ethical reasons.

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Debate Team Coaches Asbury Park Debate Teams to Playoff Rounds || Club & Greek

The University Debate team coached the Asbury Park debate team to a 4th place award at a debate tournament at the Institute for Collaborative Education in New York City this weekend. The Asbury team was coached after school every Tuesday afternoon by MU debaters Dan Roman, Kelly Craig, Sam Maynard, Jessica Roberts, Dylan Maynard, Ryan Kelly, Danielle Doud, Angela Ryan, Michelle Grushko, Saliha Younas, Monica Santos, Michael Hamilton, and Nick Whittaker.  The MU debaters took the Asbury debaters to three weekend tournaments affiliated with New York's Urban Debate League this year, but the third proved to be the charm as this was the first time the Asbury team made into the playoff rounds.  The Asbury team of Amaris Williams and Sharif James took a 4th place trophy after being coached throughout the year by MU debaters Kelly Craig and Dylan Maynard.  Amaris Williams also took a 5th place individual speaking award.

Kelly Craig was recently accepted in to the political science graduate program at American University in Washington D.C. and Dylan Maynard will be attending law school at American University in DC after graduating from Monmouth this spring.

The Asbury team debated whether the United States should end the economic embargo on Cuba.  The Asbury teams included Lisa Miranda and Brian Miranda, Julio Gonzalez and Diana Massa, William Wells and Sal Swain, Reggie McNeil and Jazira Robinson, Amaris Williams and Sharif James, Adria Barksdale and Josue Williams, Siana Portlock and Siera Foster, and Omar Lopez and Dawren Ruiz.  Ms. Christine DeMarsico, an English teacher at Asbury, also helps coach the Asbury team.

The Monmouth-Asbury debate partnership is made possible by a grant from TD Bank and Santander Bank.

Please contact Professor Joe Patten at if you are interested in learning more about the debate team.

‘Tis the Season for Hot Chocolate || Club & Greek

Tis_the_season_hot_chocolateThe Monmouth University Street Team, (MUST) celebrated "National Hot Chocolate Day," by serving free hot chocolate to over 850 students and faculty members, outside the Rebecca Stafford Student Center (RSSC) on Thursday, Dec. 12.

MUST continued their vision to create situations that encourage people to think and talk about big, meaningful things, while promoting positive outlook on life. Every month, MUST decides on a "theme" for their event, and for the month of December, the theme was "celebrate".

MUST President Ryan Murphy explained the process for choosing a theme each month by saying, "There are certain aspects of life that we would like to promote on campus, things that we think might be lacking in daily conversation... Along with the holidays we wanted to promote the idea of 'celebration,' in a different way than we normally do it in the holiday season."

MUST were stationed in front of the RSSC passing out hot chocolate to students and faculty passing by who needed to warm up during the cold winter day. Those who did take advantage of the free hot chocolate were able to customize their drinks to their own liking by adding peppermint, marshmallows, caramel squares and whipped cream to their drinks.

MUST also handed out "Hot Chocolate To-Go" packs, which included a pack of instant hot chocolate and two marshmallows, for those who didn't have the time to grab a cup, or who might have wanted to make hot chocolate later on in the day.

"Based on the amount of cups and to-go packs we gave away, there were about 850 students and faculty members who were involved in our event," said Susan Bennett, advisor of MUST. Bennett continued, "In addition to supplying hot chocolate to our own students and faculty members, we also provided hot chocolate to two tour groups of perspective students, and that was really incredible."

Each to-go packet and cup of hot chocolate had a sticker on it, with a question that related to MUST's theme of celebration. Although the event was free, each student or faculty member that wanted a cup of hot chocolate, had to answer the question on his or her cup or packet. "The cups that we're handing out have different meaningful questions like 'What aspects of society should be more celebrated?' or 'What is something that you celebrated as a child, but don't anymore?' These are the ideas and things we want students to be discussing for the upcoming holiday season," said Murphy.

Lisangi Fernandez, a senior, was asked, "What is one way we can celebrate more often?" She responded, "By just getting together."

Though "National Hot Chocolate Day" was one of the coldest days of the winter thus far, it did not deter members of MUST from handing out free hot chocolate and encouraging conversation on campus. Michael Qualiano, member of MUST, said at first he didn't know how to feel about the cold, but the substantial turnout had proved that the event was worthwhile.

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Making Money or Making a Difference? || News

Companies have profited millions of dollars by raising awareness for breast cancer, yet in 20 years the question of how to cure breast cancer still remains unanswered.

Barbara A. Brenner, Executive Director of Breast Cancer Action, located in San Francisco, CA, said, "Breast cancer is the poster child for cause-marketing."

Cause marketing is an agreement made upon the partnership of a non-profit charitable organization and for-profit organization in an effort to promote their business, sell products and donate a percentage to a good cause.

As stated in an article titled "We Can't Waste Another October: End Pinkwashing and Stop Cancer Before It Starts," Astra Zeneca, a pharmaceutical company, began the epidemic of BCAM. Zeneca distributes cancer treatments as well as carcinogenic pesticides.

BCAM has eventually become a profit month for corporations that promote their effort to spread awareness by selling their own products.

Joseph F. Rocereto, Ph.D., associate professor of marketing in the department of marketing and international business, said, "In a world where resources are necessary to advance any cause, those both noble as well as malicious, cause marketing represents an opportunity for nonprofits to enhance their contributions to those who rely on them, and to society as a whole."

Eighty-five percent of consumers were willing to support a company when the proceeds benefit causes they care about, according to the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC).

In 2012, Susan G. Komen's available taxing file stated that Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, former CEO and founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, was paid an annual salary of $684,000.

"Many people were upset to learn about Brinker's $684,000 a year salary. This salary is beyond outrageous and should certainly be a cause for people to be skeptical. She is making an exorbitant amount of money on the backs of individuals who are ill or dying. More funding should go toward prevention - prevention research and prevention education," said Mary Harris, specialist professor in the department of communication.

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Placing the Cambell’s Soup Can Back onto the Canvas: Why “ARTPOP” is the Most Innovative Lady Gaga Record to Date || Entertainment

"I try to sell myself but I am really laughing, because I just love the music, not the bling." Gaga doesn't write music for the charts, but for the most honest and raw parts of both her conscious and unconscious. This lyric to the title track of Lady Gaga's new album, "ARTPOP," captures the true message of the album as a gestalt and uniform project. Currently sitting atop the Billboard Hot 100, "ARTPOP" is Gaga's most innovative and unique album to date.

As described by Gaga herself, the album is designed as "a trip" from track 1-15, each song on the album is meant to be a different adrenaline rush." The production team for ARTPOP is perhaps her best yet. EDM artists Zedd and Madeon produced five of the 15 tracks on the album, Paul "DJ White Shadow" Blair, a past collaborator on Gaga's preceding album, "Born This Way," produced eight tracks on the album, WILL.I.AM produced the track "Fashion!," and Rick Rubin, one of the executive producers on Eminem's most recent release, produced the melancholic track "Dope."

The songs themselves are unlike anything currently on Top 40 Radio, which shows Gaga's versatility as an artist. The opening track "Aura" is a euphoric track that positions "ARTPOP" to be an extremely ambitious record.

As the album progresses, you are taken on a journey to space in a song that Gaga completely wrote and produced herself: "Venus." Throughout the album, Gaga engages in "genre tripping." This is delving into genres that used to be unknown territories. Songs such as "Jewels & Drugs" with a cast of contemporary and retro rappers: T.I., Too $hort, and Twista, and her current single "Do What U Want," featuring R. Kelly, show both her diverse vocal range, and ability to adapt with different collaborators. Moreover, songs such as "Swine," lack lyrical quality, but make up in the production department with engaging beats that are sure to wake you up when listened through headphones.

The Zedd produced track "Donatella," is quite immature, as it comments on those outcasts that feel the need to dress up and feel glamorous, an ode to the queen of fashion Donatella Versace.

Perhaps the most uniquely produced song on the album, "Mary Jane Holland," is much more than the "weed anthem" critics are claiming it to be. Instead, while Gaga was touring in Amsterdam, her and DJ Madeon created the identity of Mary Jane Holland, a girl who outdoes the critics by turning to the one thing that can send her mind to ignore the hatred.

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Contact Information

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

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

Phone:(732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151