Last updateWed, 09 Dec 2020 1pm


Volume 91 (Fall 2018 - Spring 2019)

Student Spotlight on Tymere Berry

Spotlight BerryTymere Berry is a senior communication student and a defensive back for Monmouth’s football team.

A native of Philadelphia, Berry was born to a single 19-year-old mother. Berry moved back and forth with his grandmother and mother, until age seven, when he moved permanently to Toms River, NJ.

At eight, Berry found out that football could take him a long way.

“I never played flag-football; my first year was tackle. My first position was running back. I’ve played football every year since then,” he said.

At Toms River South High School, Berry was selected for First Team All-Shore Conference. As a senior, he finished with 51 tackles, and he scored 25 touchdowns passing and rushing overall.

He was named First Team All-Shore Defense, and he was selected to play in the Phil Simms North-South All Star Game.

Monmouth was the first school to offer Berry a scholarship, and he felt that the institution was home.

“I was a junior in high school. It was just a family environment. They came to any event I had, and the whole staff was there supporting me. I had offers from Army, Rhode Island, and others,” he shared.

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"Stop This Train" | Jenna Puglisi's Senior Goodbye

Train Puglisis GoodbyeThere is a John Mayer lyric for any and every situation, even graduation.

“I’m so scared of getting older; I’m only good at being young,” from “Stop This Train,” is currently the line that is going through my head on a loop.

How can college already be over? It feels like yesterday that I threw my high school graduation cap into the air, excited to see where life would take me next.

To my parents, thank you for getting me here. You always remind me to stop and take a breath.

Mom, I am the Rory to your Lorelai, always. Thank you for being my personal assistant and best friend. Dad, I’m proud to be your Pearl.

To Spencer, my Jean-Ralphio, you are the coolest dude I know. There is no one who makes me laugh as hard as you do, and I’m so lucky that you’re always there to cheer me up.

To the rest of my amazing family, the Degnan’s and the Pugs, thank you for loving me and believing in me. Gram and Pop, everything that I do is for and because of you. I miss you. I love you.

My friends are an extension of my family and a support group that I would be nothing without. (Sorry in advance for not listing everyone, but I love you all dearly.)

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The King of the Monsters: Spotlight on Jason Aquino

King Of Monsters SpotlightSome people collect coins, others collect sports memorabilia, but few collect giant radioactive reptiles with atomic breath. Jason Aquino, a senior English student, has a collection of figures depicting monsters from the Godzilla franchise.

The majority of his collection showcases different iterations of the “King of the Monsters,” but his collection also includes other beasts such as King Ghidorah, Rodan, and Mothra, just to name a few. Jason estimates his collection to include about 60 figures in total, and the largest figure in his collection towers at three feet tall.

At about a foot tall, Aquino’s newest figure of Godzilla from the movie Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. stands with outstretched claws, while showing off its menacing array of bone-white dorsal plates that poke through its back. The figure cost him $75 and was manufactured by Bandai, one of the largest manufacturers of collectible figures. 

Describing his newest purchase, which he bought on eBay, Aquino said, “I like it because it’s one of the few figures I have where Godzilla has lightning-bolt shaped dorsal plates that generate blue atomic breath, because that shape is usually associated with orange breath. It’s unique.”

Zoe Saufler, a senior graphic design student, commented on his personality. She said, “Jason’s hilarious but also very introspective. He has a kind-hearted personality. One minute we’ll be joking about YouTube videos and the next we could be talking about theoretical universes and its effects.”

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Alumna Spotlight on Tara Ackaway

Spotlight Tara AckawayMonmouth alumna Tara Ackaway, CEO and founder of Social Wise Communications, has been featured in ForbesWomen on Thursday, March 28.

At 22, Ackaway, a former communication student, founded Social Wise, a boutique public relations company, after graduating Monmouth. After four years, her team now works with small businesses, non-profit organizations, authors, entrepreneurs and celebrities. Her portfolio includes projects with Bravo, E! News and MTV.

Prior to the launch of Social Wise Communications, Ackaway was interning in the city balancing three high-profile entertainment public relations and social media gigs. When she was a senior at Monmouth, Ackaway got an internship with the Bravo series “The Real Housewives of New York City.”

“I was a student during all of this. I was going in and out of the city (NYC) almost daily,” she said. “Everyone wants immediate results. I knew working this amount of hours and this high stress pressured job would lead me to something. I didn’t know what it would be but I knew it would lead me to this bigger, amazing experience.”

“I did a lot of networking in the city. I talked with a lot of people. I made a business card with my name on it and I handed it out all over the place,” she continued.

Ackaway said, “It wasn’t all glamorous. And, I appreciated the work ethic required to complete those not-so-glamorous responsibilities.”

John Morano, a professor of journalism, had Ackaway as a student and her company now represents him as his publicist.

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Student Activities Spotlight on Eta Sigma Gamma

Student Activities ESG 1Excellence, professionalism, and health promotion. Those are some of the values of Eta Sigma Gamma (ESG), the National Health Education Honorary.

At Monmouth University, ESG holds events for health education and community service such as CPR certification training, blood drives, and donations to various organizations.

“Through many of these events, we give our members the opportunity to propel into careers in health,” said Justin Badamo, a senior health studies student and Vice President of ESG. Badamo’s passion for health bleeds into his involvement in ESG.

“This semester, we collected and delivered donations to the Monmouth County SPCA in West Long Branch. The animal shelter was extremely grateful for the much-needed supplies and food, and our members were happy to have participated in such a wonderful event,” Badamo said.

Badamo showcases his enthusiasm for health by leading the organization, promoting health-related activities, and giving back to the community.

The chapter is an embodiment of the hard work and success of health studies students across Monmouth. Being inducted into the accomplished honor society is a path toward new, fulfilling experiences.

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Professor Spotlight on Claude Taylor

Professor Spotlight Claude TaylorClaude E. Taylor is a lecturer of communication and the Advisor-in-Residence for Academic Transition and Inclusion at Monmouth.

A native of Asbury Park, NJ, Taylor was born to his mother Audrey Taylor, a Jamaican immigrant, and father Roosevelt Taylor who was from North Carolina.

Upon graduating Red Bank Catholic High School at 17, he decided to continue his academic and athletic career at West Chester University of Pennsylvania playing football.

“I was not a starter, but our program was coached by legendary PSAC coach Danny Hale, who emphasized that my role on the practice squad was as important as the starting players,” said Taylor.

Taylor only played three out of the four years at West Chester because he was unable to balance academics and athletics. Since he was not a scholarship player, he relied heavily on his education.

“I highly value the student-athlete experience, but it does sometimes call for sacrifices that are hard to make,” Taylor shared.

Taylor graduated from West Chester with a bachelor’s degree in speech communication and a master’s degree in communication studies.

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A Better Life in Guatemala: One Individual at a Time

Better Life GuatemalaWhen I stumbled across an email expounding the details of a course called Guatemala Public Health, taught by Chris Hirschler, Ph.D., I couldn’t help but be drawn to a class that would foster academic success while concurrently stimulating global understanding in a developing country.

I had no idea that this email would lead me to one of the greatest experiences that I have encountered.

For seven weeks, five other students and I prepared for our upcoming travels, reading articles and watching documentaries that would try to prepare us for what we would experience in Guatemala, not realizing that this could not fully prepare us for what we would eventually see, smell, hear, and feel with our own senses.

The curriculum educated us on impoverished conditions, the prevalence of violence, and taught us the history of the country, enabling us to understand the present.

Our class consisted of six students, as well as Ekaterina Bronshteyn, an adjunct instructor of music and theatre. Additionally, Jeffrey Wilhelms, a lecturer of sociology at Rutgers, joined us on our journey. Our group was welcomed with open arms by Archie and Jacky Contreras of A Better Life Foundation Guatemala.

Together, we constructed bunk beds, picked up trash within a cemetery located in Chichicastenango, assembled water filtration systems, hiked up the Picaya volcano, toured a private hospital, and met with Selaine d’Amborosi, a representative of a nonprofit animal welfare program, Ayuda.

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Spotlight on Coach Kevin Callahan

Spotlight Kevin CallahanMonmouth University’s Head Football Coach, Kevin Callahan, has developed a foundation of excellence on the field and throughout life.

“I came here to start a football program. As we continued to build the program and evolve, the job kept changing. There were always new challenges and approaches to doing things,” said Callahan.

Callahan has been the only head coach since the football program began. This past season, he led his team to an 8-3 record, a second Big South Championship appearance. They placed ninth overall among Division I Football Championship Subdivision head coaches with 152 victories.

“There is a sense of ownership with the program because I have been with it from the beginning. The support that football gets is outstanding. I really like the people at Monmouth University, so it’s made it easy to stay here,” said Callahan.

A native of Elmira, NY, Callahan earned a bachelor’s degree in history from University of Rochester in 1977, while being a student athlete on the football team.

Before becoming head coach at Monmouth, he spent three years at University of Albany as a graduate assistant, one year at Syracuse as an offensive assistant, two years at Wagner College as defensive coordinator, and eight and a half years as a defensive coordinator for Colgate University.

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Tips on Surviving the Rest of the Semester

Surviving SemesterAfter midterms and spring break, the workload of the semester can hit like a tidal wave. As longings for summer arise, it is not uncommon to feel sluggish and unmotivated. However, there are plenty of opportunities to find ways to thrive from now until the rest of the semester.

Motivation is the driving force behind a successful semester. It can be found by looking ahead at future goals and celebrating past accomplishments, both big and small. If there’s a specific goal you want nothing more than to achieve, then finding the incentive to work toward it will come naturally. Motivation is a powerful tool that will provide endless bursts of energy to get stuff done.

“I find motivation by just reminding myself that everything will be okay, and that I can do everything one step at a time,” said Caitlin O’Leary, a sophomore clinical lab sciences student.

Spring is an opportunity for new beginnings. The time is ripe for planning ahead, arranging a consistent study schedule, and managing time.

Staying organized will ensure that you don’t lose track of assignments as the semester progresses. Simply maintaining a planner or setting phone reminders can go a long way, and a classic to-do list has never let anybody down.

Janice Stapley Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology, said, “Since adolescents and emerging adults tend to be present focused, it is better to work on the rest of the semester in a week by week fashion and set a reward for yourself when you complete things on your planner list.”

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Student Spotlight on Logan Smet

Student Spotlight Logan SmetLogan Smet, a senior communication student and women’s lacrosse player, has an inspirational story of overcoming obstacles to achieve her greatest aspirations.

“My dad has always told me that education equals scholarship, scholarship equals education, and education equals future. That has sort of become my mantra throughout college,” said Smet.

A native of Rockville, Maryland, Smet did not realize where her athletic talents could lead her. “I began taking the sport seriously when I saw the college coaches at the tournaments recruiting. If I could get enough of them to look at me, I could get the chance to go to school for free. It opened my eyes to the things I could do and use lacrosse to open doors for myself,” she said.

Smet was looking for an institution that would give her an amazing opportunity to further her education at the highest level while competing on a NCAA Division I scholarship. She happily committed to Monmouth University.

“It was truly a moment I will never forget,” said Smet.

Smet tore her ACL following her commitment. Luckily, her injury did not impact her scholarship, but she faced the obstacle of working hard to recover from her injury for the remainder of high school.

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Student Spotlight on Nicholas Paradise

Student Spotlight Nicholas ParadiseIn his on-campus suite, Nicholas Paradise grabbed his acoustic guitar and began to strum a series of random chords. His close friends listened as he turned a simple chord progression into much more by adding unique zest. There was passion in his strums as the guitar’s crisp vibrations engulfed the space around him.

Paradise, a sophomore music student, has held music close to his heart ever since childhood. The beginning of his musical journey was characterized by constantly being around music, listening his parents’ CDs and receiving his first guitar at the age of six. It was a spark that ignited a powerful musical dream.

“I loved music so much as a kid, and obviously I’ve carried on with it,” said Paradise, his passion on the subject settling in the faint smile on his face. Paradise said that he used to take guitar lessons, but became much more proficient by teaching himself.

However, Paradise decided to become a music major only one year ago. After a year of majoring in media arts at Sacred Heart University, he transferred to Monmouth to pursue a degree in music.

Paradise said, “I came to the realization that, ‘Yeah, I should major in music, this is what I want to do, I can’t see myself anywhere else.’”

Paradise is involved with Blue Hawk Records, Monmouth’s student-run record label. His role consisted of determining which artists will be featured on the record’s 14th compilation album. Auditions for the album took place on Feb. 11.

“Blue Hawk Records is really cool and unique. I don’t know any other college that has their own record label run by students,” said Paradise. “It’s also a big reason why I came here, because other music programs weren’t nearly as all-encompassing as this. There’s a lot of accessibility when it comes to being involved in the whole process.”

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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

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