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Features

Volume 92 (Fall 2019 - Spring 2020)

Jacqueline DiPasquale: A Phoenix from the Ashes

default article imageOn Saturday, March 28, Jacqueline DiPasquale was greeted with a surprise at her door in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ—a scintillating silver crown and a purple-and-white sash that says, “Miss New Jersey International 2020.”

“This is something that I’ve dreamt of for so long,” said DiPasquale, a Monmouth alumna who graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in communication with a concentration in radio and television. “And for it to finally come into fruition, even amidst COVID-19, really is a dream come true for me.”

The pageant was originally scheduled to take place at the Crown Plaza in Princeton. However, due to the increased risk of the COVID-19 pandemic, DiPasquale was crowned on her front porch by her tight-knit family—her mom, the owner of a DJ company, her dad, a chiropractor and a high school science teacher, and her younger brother, a freshman at Georgian Court University.

“It was so surreal being able to be crowned by my best friends in the world,” she remarked. “My mom and my grandma had really encouraged me to join pageantry all my life, but unfortunately I was bullied for many years growing up so that took a way a lot of my self-confidence.”

The bullying began in the first grade, then carried into her high school years. She was heavily involved in high school, participating in cheerleading and theatre, assuming student council president, and finishing within the top ten of her graduating class.

“I remember some instances where I would get really good grades and I was very well liked by my teachers, and a lot of times my classmates would pick on me for that,” she explained. “I remember being in my public speaking class my senior year and a few of my classmates had drawn a picture of me with our teacher and posted it on the internet. I remember seeing it and I just bawled my eyes out. I was speechless. I didn’t even know what to say or what to do.”

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Campus Comedian Brendan Short

default article image“I’m not good at dating. But it’s hard to be good at dating when you’re spending most of your time acting like Steve from Blue’s Clues.”

On stage, Brendan Short stands tall during his usual stand-up routine, wracking his brain for the jokes he spent weeks perfecting.

Off stage, Brendan is a senior business student at Monmouth University and a native to Monmouth Beach, so he is never not appearing at one of the local bars like The Chubby Pickle in Highlands or Old Glory Kitchen & Sprits in Keyport to perform a three-minute bit.

“For anyone who does stand up, there’s this dichotomy of whether or not you like writing or you like performing,” he said. “I’m much more on the writing side.”

One late afternoon, the Monday after hosting an open-mic night as Comedy Chair of the Student Activities Board (SAB), Brendan casually pulled out a notebook of jokes from his backpack and flipped to a random page. “This looks like I’m really prepared, but it’s just stuff I bring with me everywhere I go. It’s all in the ‘process.’ That’s the word we assign to neuroses,” he laughed.

Brendan’s writing process is simple. He begins with a single word like “dating” and proceeds from there, searching for relatable moments and phonological word pairings. He explained, “I have a setup and then the first point I want to make, the second point I want to make, etc. It’s very intuitive, the way I write it. When I first started, I used to write it out in prose

and try to remember it verbatim, almost like doing a monologue for a dramatic scene, but instead with potty jokes.”

So, what exactly jostles the funny bone? The comedic connoisseur explained, “There’s a science to how punchlines work. They have to have certain kinds of subtleties that help people know they’re the punchlines, like alliteration and assonance. It’s very literary. It makes people laugh when they hear similar sounds like that.” He also said that specificity, like referring to “Steve from Blue’s Clues,” is the key to making a crowd crack up.

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Flying Proud: First-Generation College Student Spotlight

default article imageA fist-generation college student’s acceptance letter is more than just a piece of paper tucked into an envelope. It’s a call to spread their wings and soar to the nest that is Monmouth University’s campus.

Isabel Claros, a sophomore social work student, described the day she got her acceptance letter as a joyful occasion. Although she always saw herself going to college, her family’s happiness stood out to her the most. In fact, a first-generation student’s college acceptance is about more than just themselves.

Claros said, “Being at Monmouth and having my parents say, ‘We are so proud of you’ is what really makes it unbelievable.”

According to the University, a first-generation college student is defined as a student who is the first member of their family to attend college. Thirty-two percent of Monmouth students are first-generation students, compared to 56 percent of students nationally as of the 2015-16 academic year, according to the Center for First-Generation Student Success.

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Diocese of Trenton Bishop Celebrates Ash Wednesday Mass in Wilson Hall

default article imageBishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. celebrated Ash Wednesday Mass in Wilson Auditorium on Feb. 26. The Catholic Campus Ministry hosts the event for students, faculty, and all members of the university community each year.

President Leahy gave opening remarks before the Mass, “This is my first Ash Wednesday Mass in Monmouth County, and I am deeply honored that Bishop O’Connell has decided join us in this liturgy. Even though we are a non-sectarian institution it does not mean religious expression is not considered important to us. We want our university to be place where people of all faiths can express their beliefs.”

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Library Hosts “Blind Date with a Book”: The Best Date You’ll Ever Have

default article imageBooks won’t ignore your texts, argue with you, or play hard to get—that’s why book dates are the best dates.

Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society, hosted their second annual “Blind Date with a Book” event on Wednesday, March 4 at the Guggenheim Memorial Library. The event offered students the opportunity to grab books that were hand-wrapped in brown paper and marked with a cryptic synopsis to hint at what was hidden underneath.

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Fighting Food Waste on Campus

A9R3vv45r 19vmtsm 3c8Have you ever wondered what happens to all the leftover food at the dining hall and student center? What happens when the lights turn off and everyone begins settling in their dorms, getting ready for nightfall? Well, the answer lies in three words: Food Recovery Network.

Food Recovery Network (FRN) is a nationwide, nonprofit organization that has been fighting food waste and hunger while promoting sustainability on Monmouth’s campus since 2016.

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How to Be Successful in the Workplace

Successful WorkplaceA college education is one of the main factors that can be a determination of an individual’s success not in the workforce, but in the future. One method that helps current collegiate students discover their career path is networking with professionals, especially in their desired field of study.

 

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Celebrating Black History Month With BSU

Black History MonthMonmouth University’s Black Student Union (BSU) is continuing to give their members a voice on campus during Black History Month.

Established in the late 1970s, the club is rooted in students’ push for intercultural awareness on campus.

Director of the Intercultural Center Zaneta Rago-Craft Ed.D., known by students as Dr. Z., said, “The Black Student Union helps to connect historically underrepresented students to community, culture, and resources all year round and has a tremendous history here on campus as university change-makers.”


Morgan Moxie, a senior music student and president of BSU, said, “It is definitely a month that is meant for celebrating black scholars, inventors, etc., and making sure people know the history and the facts about our culture. A lot of people forget that it’s also a month of celebration for us, and that’s what we’re focusing on.”

The club is sponsored many events for the month of February including guest speaker panels, a flag raising and lowering, and a movie game night on Feb. 27 featuring the 2000 film Love & Basketball.

Out of all the events BSU brings to life on campus, Moxie is most looking forward to Ebony Night. Taking place on Saturday, April 25, it is a night of socialization, stand-up comedy, spoken word poetry, and awards.

Moxie said, “Our goal for that event is to celebrate black excellence and celebrate black students on campus and give them an event that they can just feel like they’re welcomed. This is for them.”

Last year’s Ebony Night marked the first event in which Moxie took on a leading role in the club, paving the way for her preferment as club president this past September. Throughout her four-year involvement with the club, Moxie served as the head of social media, then vice president, and eventually president.

BSU has collaborated with the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) to kick off events this past semester such as a poetry slam and the two-day Baking for Change Activism Project, which raised awareness for the retention and graduation rates of women of color.

Club members also took on a volunteer role during The Big Event, which took place last semester on Oct. 26.

BSU also works with the Intercultural Center to create a greater sense of inclusivity at Monmouth.

Moxie said, “there’s only so much we can do as a student organization, and having a big department like the intercultural center being there to help us has broadened the scope of what we can do. Dr. Z has done a lot for multicultural groups on Black History Month this year.”

Rago-Craft added, “The newly formed Intercultural Center plays an important role in helping to preserve and advance cultural celebration.”

The name of the organization changed in 2018 from the African American Student Union (AASU) to the Black Student Union.

Moxie said, ‘black’ is such a spectrum and ‘African American’ is a very specific group. When we changed to Black Student Union, we feel like that definitely helped because it became an umbrella for anyone who identifies as black in some way. This is your place to come”

Moxie added that she saw an increase in membership after changing the name because it offered more inclusivity.

In fact, the club has grown under her presidency as she utilizes her leadership role to encourage more students to take a prominent role in BSU.

Moxie concluded,“[The club] is important especially since Monmouth is a PWI (Predominately White Institution), so it’s not as heavily focused on. Since there’s such a small community of black students on campus, it’s really important to know they’re welcomed and being prioritized.”

PHOTO COURTESY of @monmouth_bsu Instagram

Saliba Sarsar Ph.D. Publishes Book on Middle Eastern Peacebuilding

Saliba SarsarSaliba Sarsar Ph.D., Professor of Political Science, had a book published on Jan. 31, 2020 by Peter Lang International Academic Publishers.

Titled Peacebuilding in Israeli-Palestinian Relations, the 164-page book examines the historical relationship between Israelis and Palestinians and focuses on understanding peacebuilding at the individual, pair, and group levels.

The publication recalls many examples of peaceful resolutions and role models such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.  The objective of the book is for Israelis and Palestinians to learn from and support a grassroots movement for peace.

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How to Manage Student Loans

Student LoansAccording to the Institute for College Access and Success, 44.7 million American students and graduates shared a collective $1.59 trillion in educational debt in 2019.

Managing these loans may seem daunting, and understandably so. Here are some tips that might help.

First, take stock of how much in loans you’ll actually need. You don’t want to take out more debt if it might not be necessary. There are other forms of aid that don’t require you to pay back, like grants and scholarships. If you figure you can manage the tuition bill with less loans, do it.

“Look for easy scholarships from organizations in town, online, or someone you know,” said Marissa LaSala, a senior political science student. “Getting $250 to write an essay can cover a semester of books or your dorm bedding, or a month’s car payment if you decide to commute.”

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Answering the Demands of the PA Profession

Known for its mobility across different fields, autonomous role, competitive salary, and ability to provide a work-life balance, the Physician Assistant (PA) profession has become increasingly desirable throughout the years.

PAs are dependent health care providers licensed to practice medicine under physician supervision. Though they are considered dependent providers, they independently obtain medical histories, order diagnostic testing, conduct medical examinations, develop diagnoses, and formulate treatment plans.

As the interest in the profession rises, so does the level of competition surrounding matriculation into PA educational programs. Expectations are set at a high standard in regards to requirements such as GPA, GRE, and prior pertinent experience.

Bernadette Dunphy Ph.D., Specialist Professor and Director of Monmouth’s pre-health advising agrees, “A successful applicant has many, many clinical hands-on experience hours. Sometimes these hours are in the thousands. The best type of experience is EMT, nurse’s side, scribe positions, and other jobs that the student works directly with patients.”

The application process consists of meeting the required prerequisites, developing the application, sharing an interview with the admissions committee and hopefully, being matriculated into the program.

A large majority of PA programs accept applications online via a system termed the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). This system was developed in order for applicants to easily apply online to multiple programs at once.

PA ProfessionAn important component of the CASPA application is an obligatory essay. To write this essay, be yourself—let your voice be heard through your narrative. Be sure to proofread, provide evidence to support your claims, organize your essay into a unique structure or theme, and get a second opinion before submitting.

It is highly recommended that applications be submitted well before their deadline, since many programs carry out rolling admissions. Rolling admissions cease the admissions process as soon as the program has reached their desired number of applicant interviews.

Dunphy said, “Be prepared to apply when the application service CASPA opens...look at the prerequisites of the schools early to make sure you have all the classes necessary because they vary from school to school.”

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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