Last updateFri, 19 Jun 2020 7pm


Volume 91 (Fall 2018 - Spring 2019)

Professor Spotlight on Courtney Werner

Professor Courtney WernerCourtney Werner, Ph.D., is an associate professor of English. Those who have had her as a professor know that she is consistently helpful and affable, but many of her students may not be aware of the research she does outside of the classroom.

Werner’s research specialty is digital writing. Regarding the works that she has had published, Werner explained, “My most important pieces are about how my field defines new media and the practical applications of those terms. Other pieces I have published focus on pedagogy: what does it mean to use this ideology in the writing classroom?”

Another one of her research interests is delving into the importance of writing centers.  “My favorite topic to research is actually the ideology of writing centers like our own writing services, and I have a history of publication that looks at digital writing and writing centers,” Werner shared.

While teaching at Monmouth has lessened the amount of time that Werner has available for research, she does not view that as a bad thing. She loves to teach and is happy that since being hired at Monmouth in 2015, teaching now takes up most of her time.

Werner said, “My emphasis on teaching here also informs my research and allows me to think about new projects. It’s also helped me better manage my time and find like-minded, teacher-researchers, with whom I currently have a great writing group.”

It is likely that you may have had Werner for a first-year composition course. “I love the variety of classes I get to teach, but every semester, I insist on teaching either EN 101 or EN 102,” she shared.

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The Great Note-Taking Debate: Laptop vs. Paper

Laptop Vs PaperA laptop is a must-have for all college students; University websites will even give guidelines to what kind of laptops should be purchased. In other words, colleges rely on our ability to have access to technology.

But, this is not a bad thing at all. After all, the internet is chock full of information and as students, we have access to virtually anything at the touch of our hands and the connection to Wi-Fi. Note-taking is quicker and we can make it all neat with just some format adjustments. However, laptops might not be the best way to take notes.

The University as a whole has split opinions on whether it is more beneficial to take notes on a laptop or with pen and paper.

Laptops: many professors will advise against it, some are preforming research on it, and others think it is valuable to have information at students’ finger tips. Frank Fury, Ph.D., professor of English, often lets students have laptops in his classes.

“I think that they can be a distraction sometimes, but it is less about note-taking and more about being a supplement to discussions,” Fury stated.

The old school way to take notes is via pen (or pencil) and paper. Laptops may make note-taking faster, but there is not as much knowledge retention in taking notes with a keyboard.

Physically writing down your notes will spark a mental process that helps you to remember what you have written down. That is why a lot of professors, especially in note-dependent classes, will often advise that laptops are to remain shut.

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How to Plan the Perfect Friendsgiving

Perfect FriendsgivingThanksgiving is the time of year where we give thanks to everything and everyone in our lives. For almost everyone, the people we are most grateful for besides our families are our friends.

Friendsgivings are events similar to Thanksgiving dinners, but the guests are our friends. These dinners are always a lot of fun, but for those who have not planned one before, it could be a very stressful event. Here are some tips for those of you who have never planned a Friendsgiving before.

The Host Makes the Roast-- Everyone Else Brings the Sides

When I had my first Friendsgiving with my friends, all our cooking abilities were very different. Some of us could cook but didn’t have the space, and others had the space but could somehow burn boiling water.

We quickly came up with this simple rule: whoever offered up their place as the site for the dinner would have to make the turkey. It doesn’t always have to be turkey; some friends prefer to bake chicken (because it’s cheaper) or a ham (because it’s easier to make).

The guests would then volunteer to bring sides, whether that be mashed potatoes, broccoli or mac and cheese. Assigning tasks like these will not only make the host’s job easier, but will also help make everyone feel like they are involved.

Have a Theme

Sometimes, especially when you are hosting one of these events for the first time, it can be difficult to get everyone comfortable and to get the ball rolling.

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The Best Student Deals and Discounts

Student Deals DiscountsWe all know the cliché “broke college student.” If you can relate to that description, local businesses offer incredible student discounts all over the Long Branch area to help out Monmouth students.

There’s no reason to sugar coat it – we live in a pretty pricey area on the Jersey Shore. These student discounts really do wonders to make up for that.

If you are looking to get your nails done, you can get a manicure without feeling any guilt. Shannon McBride, a senior communication student, said, “The Affinity Nail Salon gives Monmouth students a discount and they do nails really well.”

When checking out the school’s site, you can easily find a list of some of the discounts that are offered to us. Believe it or not, we have some pretty awesome connections.

Apple, Dell and AT&T are just a few of the big names that really come in handy when you’re a student looking to buy some new electronics. Laptops, tablets and/or desktops are some necessary machines for all college students. Prices run pretty high for our beloved MacBooks, so we could all use a discount for that purchase.

With having a mall so close to campus, things can slightly get out of hand. If you hear the Monmouth Mall calling out your name to spend all of your latest paycheck, it’s okay to cave. If you want to get some new clothes or a sweet treat, there are plenty of discounts available to you.

Stores like Charlotte Russe and Forever 21 are among those who will give you a discount. When in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask your favorite store if they offer any deals for local students.

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Tips for Building the Perfect Resume

Building Perfect ResumeIt’s not uncommon for students to struggle with building resumes. Creating a resume can cause stress and pressure, since it’s the main determining factor in getting hired for a job. But it doesn’t have to be so difficult. There are simple tips to follow that will ensure a flawless resume.

If you’re beginning from scratch, six basic categories should be included on every resume: contact information, an objective that explains why you want the job, education, experience, skills, and achievements.

First off, a resume should be clear and consistent. Using only one or two font styles and sizes throughout your resume gives it clarity and consistency. This will mark the difference between a weak and a strong resume. If an employer spends too much time figuring out where to find your experience, skills, etc., your resume will simply be tossed to the side.

Another aspect of clarity that many people don’t consider is name size. The most important part of contact information is your name; it must be large and bold to ensure that it’s the first thing the employer sees upon viewing your resume. It’s your brand name, and your resume must wear it well.

Organizing experience and education in reverse chronological order also gives your resume more clarity while highlighting your current experience by placing it on top. Bullet points offer clarity but should not be used excessively; rather, they should highlight the most important parts of your resume.

Another vital aspect of resume building is keeping everything relevant. Although you may have experience with ten different employers, only list the experience that is relevant to the one you’re applying to. List any past experience that has taught transferrable skills, which are skills that can be utilized in any type of job.

Your resume has to let the employer know that you really want that job. In fact, one of the most common mistakes is sending the same resume to every job you apply for. Rather, each resume should be tailored to a specific job, and the objective should reflect why you want that specific job by basing it on the job description.

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Small Ways to Help the Environment

Help The EnvironmentOur environment is suffering, and there are things that every student can do to help it get better. No effort is too small; everyone has the power to create a positive impact.

Randall Abate, professor of political science and sociology, also serves as Endowed Chair in Marine and Environmental Law and Policy. Commenting on the current state of our environment, Abate said, “Global climate change is caused by many factors worldwide, but it has significant impacts here in Monmouth County.”

He continued, “Sea level rise, more intense storms, and more frequent episodes of coastal flooding, coastal erosion, and harmful algal blooms are just a few of the many climate change impacts in our area that are imperiling human health and safety, coastal infrastructure, the local economy, and marine and terrestrial plant and animal species.”

Some Monmouth University students are not involved in the cause to protect the environment, but everyone should recognize why it is important to care. “Students should care about these issues because they impact our daily lives and because we have a moral duty to serve as stewards of the environment to ensure that future generations inherit a habitable planet,” Abate continued.

A simple suggestion is to partake in the use of reusable products. “The easiest ways for students to minimize waste in their daily routines is by using reusable containers for cold and hot beverages,” Abate said.

Sara Sikora, senior communication student, shared, “I use a reusable water bottle that I either refill from my Brita or from water fountains around campus.”

If you are on a budget, measures like this will end up actually saving you money. Instead of having to buy a supply of plastic water bottles every week, you will only need to buy one container that you can refill forever. Some brands, such as Nalgene, are very affordable; you can get a BPA-free bottle for under $10.

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How to Give Back During This Holiday Season

Give Back Holiday SeasonWith the coming of the holiday season, this is a time when we all need to slow down and reflect on what we have and also what we do not. While Thanksgiving break brings happy memories and endless amounts of comfort food, it is easy to forget that not everyone can have that exact experience. Some of Monmouth’s own students are not going to go home to an extravagant feast.

Recently, Monmouth students have organized a full-year donation drive to help out both students who live on and off campus. The Hawk’s Nest is a food pantry in Laurel Hall, open from 4-6 p.m. on Monday and Thursday.

Nick Verzicco, senior business administration and finance student, said, “We have passed out about 40 meal bags so far.” The Nest is a fairly new organization and there is only room to grow.

Verzicco continued, “When you come, bring a friend and spread the word. You can use the hashtag #HawksFeedingHawks.”

The Honors School has also run its own donation drives throughout the semesters. In early October, students gathered in Beechwood Lobby and created bags with hygienic items, non-perishable snacks, and small clothing items like socks.

You do not need to be in the honors school to get involved in events like these. The more help, the more items to donate, and the more we can help soldiers stationed overseas who do not always have access to 24/7 convenience stores.

There will be more opportunities to get involved in other donation drives throughout the semester.  Keep an eye out for posters around the library, student center, and even the residential dorms.

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Professor Spotlight on Dean John E. Henning

Professor John HenningJohn E. Henning, Ph.D., is the University’s Dean of Education. He joined the Hawk family in 2015 and has since been recognized with a wide-range of awards and notable mentions. Being a part of the University’s most recognizable field of study, Henning has both influenced and assisted in the success of future teachers.

As a student at Penn State, Henning was never one to picture himself at a desk with students referring to him as “Dean.” Surprisingly, the educational field was not his plan. He was an agriculture student, due to his passion for organic food and conscious eating. One of his many mantras is, “Eat things that promote life.” This goes back to his ideology of taking care of your personal body in order to implement more widespread changes.

When the opportunity arose to become an agricultural educator at a high school, he took it. He wanted to stick with agriculture and teaching seemed like the best way to do that.

After nine years of teaching agriculture, he switched to his other passion: writing. Henning has published four books, and over fifty journal articles. He went on to teach high school English for 12 years because of his combined love for reading, writing and learning.

Over time, he said, “I got more and more involved in motivating students to learn and read more, and I became more successful as a teacher.” He enjoyed the positive feedback that he received from students, as well as winning Teacher of the Year and other awards. He knew that he could do the same at a university. Consequently, he received his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at Kent State University after 21 years of teaching.

Henning is an astounding support system for each and every student that he serves; whether he is a professor or dean, he makes sure that everyone who comes to him leaves with success. He stated, “Every interaction with a student is different so there is always a challenge.” This speaks volumes to his position as a dean and while it seems like your typical desk job from the outside, it is so much more than that. Each day varies and speaking to different students aids in learning more from other perspectives. 

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Do Midterm Grades Have You Feeling Down?

Midterm GradesOne of the most suspenseful and terrifying things is watching the loading screen on your MyMU portal as you wait for your midterm grades to load. If the anticipation did not hurt enough, sometimes seeing that C or B- may make you feel uncertainty about the future of that class.

This should not prompt you to “give up;” midterm grades are meant to give students an idea of where they are at in a course. These are not permanent; in fact, they are often not correct since they are only factoring in half of the semester’s coursework.

Luckily that C is not far from an A, in perspective. It is easy to bring your grade up, but it takes dedication and time outside of class.

First and foremost, look at your syllabus. Usually professors offer extra credit, which normally is an extra assignment or attendance at an event that reflects the concepts in the course.

Always take advantage of extra credit, regardless of your academic stance in the class. You can never be too safe in securing your high letter grade. Extra credit is an amazing safety blanket, in that the assignments tend to not be graded harshly and are usually smaller, more lax projects.

If you are worried that an essay is subpar and lacks a central focus, make an appointment on Accudemia. You have the ability to pick the writing assistant based on your own time and the type of class you have.

Appointments range from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at the Center for Student Success in the lower level of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center. If those times are extremely inconvenient for you, there are also extended hours offered at the library from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

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Classic Halloween Movie Recommendations

Classic Halloween Movie RecommendationsIt’s officially Halloween. The night of the ghouls, ghosts and grouchy gremlins has finally arrived.

If you don’t have a costume or plans to go out tonight, gather up your favorite spooky pajamas and snacks for a night full of classic films.

Whenever someone is asked about Halloween, a scary horror film is one of the things on their mind.  

For Heidi Bludau, Ph.D.,  lecturer of history and anthropology, her favorite film is 28 Days Later. Not being a fan of traditional horror movies, Bludau has chosen a more mind-twisting film.

“It’s not a classic but I watched it on Halloween once; it’s scary so it did the job,” Bludau said. Trying to survive after a virus took out majority of the world? Yeah, I’m not sure how well that’d go.

While I’m slightly on the same page as Bludau, I do like scaring myself because of the adrenaline rush. I feel like it’s almost necessary to watch a scary movie on Halloween or leading up to it; it just puts you in the holiday’s spooky spirit.

A go-to of mine that isn’t absolutely terrifying would have to be Scream. While some of the later films in the franchise are slightly iffy, the original is a cult classic. With comedy, a serial killer, and Shaggy from Scooby Doo making an appearance, it’s kind of hard not to love it.

The director of Scream, Wes Craven, is a legend in the film industry. Films of his like A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Hills Have Eyes, and My Soul to Take are ones that are perfect Halloween films. Not only did he direct and write a lot of these classics, he also stars in them.

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How to Fight Against Fall Allergies

Fight Against Fall AlergiesSome University students are suffering from fall seasonal allergies and are feeling sick. It is very common to brush off the symptoms of allergies and say, “It’s just allergies.” But allergies can have a major impact on our health.

Fall seasonal allergies usually begin to flare up at the beginning of the fall semester. Polina Amburg, specialist professor of nursing, said, “The symptoms usually worsen around September and October.” So, if you’re suffering from allergies right now, you are not alone.     

Carol Huggler, a nurse practitioner at the Health Center, said, “There seems to be the same amount of patients exhibiting fall allergy symptoms this fall semester as last year. Because we are having warm weather without a killing frost in October, we may continue to see allergy symptoms longer this fall.”

According to Huggler, the Health Center has had patients come in with viral infections, such as cold or upper respiratory infections. These illnesses could have begun with seasonal allergy symptoms.

“If your runny nose persists after trying your allergy medication daily and following the tips above, come to the Student Health Center on campus to be evaluated by one of our nurse practitioners,” Huggler said.

Amy Czerepak, a senior nursing student who has done clinical work at Monmouth Medical and Community Nursing, said, “A key sign that it’s seasonal is that the symptoms are worse in the morning when you wake up.”

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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