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Volume 83 (Fall 2011 - Spring 2012)

The Lines Await

default article imageRegisters ringing, credit cards swiping, wallets whining, and parents sighing are sounds that echo through the stores. This is the joy of holiday shopping. Every year shoppers swarm the department stores and battle it out for the best deals on the items that top their gift list.

Extended hours and sales galore draw shoppers to the stores at all hours. Erin Cunningham, a junior, said, “I went shopping a few times on Black Friday, but it is so out of control. I don’t feel like the madness and long lines are worth the discounts. If I do go, it is usually later in the day when all the craziness has settled.”

Holiday shopping estimates for the 2011 season project that each person will spend $403 on gifts for family members, according to National Retail Federation (NRF). The total spending on holiday items is estimated at $704 per person, which also includes gifts for friends, pets, decorations, and various other items. Last year, shoppers spent a reported $45 billion on Black Friday, according to a report from the NRF.

Out of the estimated 212 million shoppers, the amount breaks down to $365 per person this year, some stores are opening even earlier to get shoppers to spend money in their store first. Target, Kohl’s, Walmart, and Best Buy will open at 12:00 am before many other stores to get a head start on profits. Other stores, such as Sears and JC Penney, are opening at 4:00 am.

In a Wall Street Journal article, some retail employees expressed their unhappiness about the midnight openings. Many will need to sleep before going to work and the hours will cut into their Thanksgiving holiday time with family.

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Giving Back to the University and Beyond

default article imageNo community, not even Monmouth County, has a lack of volunteering opportunities. There are many opportunities, both on and off-campus, which students can and should take advantage of.

You can find that some of the best resources for volunteering are right here on campus. Campus resources can take the hassle out of finding opportunities by providing services that can connect you with volunteering programs without you having to step foot off campus.

When it comes to finding volunteer opportunities, Marilyn Ward, Coordinator of Service Learning and Community Programs, is a person to know on campus. She works with individual students as well as clubs and organizations on volunteer opportunities on campus and in the larger community at hand.

She recommends that the first way a student can get involved on campus with volunteering is to join a club that deals specifically with volunteering. At the University, this includes Circle K and the Community Service Club. Other clubs also offer volunteering opportunities, but it may not be their main focus.

If you do not have time to join a club, there are usually many volunteering projects on campus. These include food drives, clothing drives, First-Year Service Project activities, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Relay for Life, Project Linus, letter writing for the troops, recycling efforts, and Greek fundraising events. Tess La Fera, sophomore, said that volunteering is a good activity to preoccupy one’s time. “I participated in the teach-in and relay for life on campus,” said La Fera, “and both were very rewarding experiences.”

Ward said, “We’re heading into the holiday season so there are many opportunities to help the community, especially through the Student Government Association Giving Tree. If groups would like to work with a family in need we have referrals from several community organizations.”

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Here Comes the Teenage Bride, All Dressed in White

The Analysis of the Emerging Problems of Teenage Marriage

Dressed in WhiteThere was once a time when a person getting married at a young age was common. According to the New York Times, the average age for women to marry in the 1950’s was 19-years-old, and the marriage of people between the ages of 17 to 19 was not referred to as a teenage marriage because it was part of the norm. During those times, marriage between young adults was viewed the same way as marriage between 30-year-olds: a common practice.

Oftentimes, when people are told about a teenage marriage today, they usually suspect a pregnancy. In addition to pregnancy, wanting to get away from one’s parents can also be a contributing factor to teenage marriages, according to marriage.about.com.

“In some cases, teenagers who are without families for numerous reasons, or disconnected from their families may view marriage as a way of creating a family of their own so that they have someone to love and receive love in return,” said Thomas McCarthy, University psychologist.

No matter the circumstances, teenagers should not feel as if marriage is an obligation or something they have to do, nor should they view it as a means to an end. Although marriage may bring a certain level of freedom from one’s parents, it is also accompanied by many complications, expectations, and responsibilities. The pressures of a marriage can also bring about its downfall.

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The Hidden Finds in the Rare Book Collection

George Germek, Rare Book Collection Administrator Shares its Value

Rare Book Collection 1For those who are interested in classic literature dating back to the eighteenth through twentieth century, George Germek, administrator of the Rare Book Collection in the Guggenheim Library, is a golden resource.

“The Rare Book Collection also has older books, like manuscript leaves from about 1300.” These manuscripts, said Germek, are the most popular books in the collection among students. “Some will say that students aren’t interested. They’re born into the computer age and they wouldn’t really be interested in leaves from the thirteenth or fourteenth centuries, but I find that to be completely untrue,” he said.

“They can’t believe that they’re touching something that’s 700-years-old that somebody worked on, that’s still existing, that’s still intact.”

The antiquity of these books is what draws many people to them. Beautiful bindings and cover art attract attention and make them more desirabl e to most collectors.

Many illustrations students see in textbooks today come from originally published editions.

However, it is not only the physical appearance that makes these books rare collector’s items.

“What makes a book rare is really hard to say. Scarcity increases its rarity, as well as how it was produced, like if there were any sorts of problems in production.”

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The Life of a Scam Artist

default article imageFor most people, Christmas is the most exciting holiday of the year. But for Richie Sorrento (his real name has been changed to protect his identity), Black Friday is like Christmas on steroids. All of the stores open at midnight and everything from DVDs to snow blowers are on sale. Richie Sorrento, 39, your typical scam artist, has been taking part in Black Friday festivities since he turned 23.

The 5’6 black haired Italian works as a real estate agent making anywhere from $70,000 to $100,000 a year in Marlboro, NJ. He has been married for 17 years and has three young boys who are too young to take part in the “real” family business yet. Sorrento plans to introduce his boys to his hobby once they reach the age of 16.

The night before Thanksgiving, Sorrento always makes sure to get plenty of sleep. He fills his body with hazelnut coffee, carbohydrates and five-hour energy drinks anticipating the lack of sleep. “At around 7:00 pm on Thanksgiving, I get in line at the Manalapan Best Buy. When they open the doors I am in with my plan already orchestrated perfectly. I find the items that have the best deals running and purchase them as quickly as possible before the line accumulates,” said Sorrento.

Next, he heads to Target. Target always has ridiculously low prices on Black Friday, and he always manages to fill two carts with computer printers, cameras, laptops, toys, and more while he is there. After Target his next stop is Staples, where he buys almost everything advertised on the front page of the flyer.

“I don’t just buy this stuff because I like sales or have a shopping addiction, I do it to make money. This might make you think to yourself that I am crazy,” said Sorrento. He then takes everything from Best Buy that he purchased on sale, and lists it on Craigslist for the full price. “I made a point to familiarize myself with Target and Staples’ return policy, and noted that neither of them requires a receipt for returns. As a result, I am able to return all of my Black Friday purchases that cost me almost nothing, for the full price in the form of a gift card. Last year I turned my $2,000 purchases into $4,500,” said Richie.

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The Next Billion

Next BillionPlanet Earth yet again established a new threshold for its global populace with the addition of the seven billionth human being on October 31. With the forthcoming of this new addendum, a question must be asked. Are our socioeconomic and natural resources truly capable of sustaining yet another billion people, when, according to the Population Reference Bureau (PRB), more than half the world lives on less than two dollars a day?

A recent report in The Economist analyzed human population growth in the billions of people. For the human population to reach the first billion, it took roughly 250 million years. More than a century passed before the second billion could be reached. The third billion took only half as long as the second. The following two billions took 13 and 12 years, respectively. And the most recent billion took only another 12 years.

Therefore, before the twentieth century, no person had lived through a “doubling period” of the human population. However, today, there are people that are alive who have seen the world population actually triple.

As the global population grows by about 77 million each year, it becomes a formidable task to remain calm. From common observation, soil is eroding, desertification is looming, glaciers are melting, the fish supply is lessening and millions of people are starving-every single day. Fifty years from now, according to the PRB, there will be two billion more mouths to feed, a great majority of whom will reside in developing countries.

Should the next generation “follow the path blazed by wealthy countries by clearing forests, burning coal and oil, freely scattering fertilizers and pesticides? They too will be stepping hard on the planet’s natural resources. How exactly is this going to work?” asked Robert Kuznig from National Geographic.

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Getting Into the Christmas Spirit

Holiday Events in Monmouth County

Christmas SpiritDecember has always been the month of hurried shopping, holiday decorations, and great preparation. It’s very rare that people stop and relax between the lights and the gifts and inflatable snowmen. But in Monmouth County, there’s so much to do in the community that relaxing is the last thing on a person’s mind.

For example, this Thursday, December 1 at the Monmouth Museum in Lincroft, NJ is the “All Things Jersey” annual Holiday Exhibition. The annual exhibit celebrates New Jersey’s rich history, culture and traditions. For only $7 a ticket, the “All Things Jersey” Holiday Exhibition should be on everyone’s to-do list, whether you live in New Jersey, or just attend school here.

Sometimes, the best place to go is right in your own backyard. On Friday, December 2, Father Alphonse Stephenson and the Orchestra of St. Peter by the Sea will be performing some holiday favorites at Pollak Theatre, like he has been for the past 21 years. Tickets are $39.

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Facebook Friend Your University

default article imageSocial networking tools, such as Facebook, blogging and Twitter, are fast becoming an integral part of college admissions around the country as students communicate with schools in the way that has become second nature to them.

More than 60 percent of schools are now using social media to recruit and contact students, which is a huge jump in just a few years, according to a survey done for the National Association of College Admissions Counseling.

And just about every college and university in New Jersey has recently started or is planning to launch some sort of social media campaign, from "live chats" online to Twitter updates and video campus tours.

Applicants to the University can now use videos submitted via Facebook — in lieu of essays — to tell the school why they should be accepted.

Online groups set up by Drew and Seton Hall Universities lets those admitted get to know each other before they ever set foot on campus, and Rutgers University freshmen are blogging for prospective students on school-sponsored sites. "It's the new and best thing, and you have to do it unless you want to look antiquated," said Peter Nacy, Vice President of undergraduate admissions at Seton Hall.

Last year, Seton Hall's admissions office put up a Facebook page for freshmen enrolling in the class of 2013, offering notices, news and a chance to interact with other students. The site grew quickly and now has nearly 850 members, out of a class of 1,140. "It doesn't take long at all when you put yourself out there," Nacy said.

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A New Hope Against Malaria

Hope Against MalariaAccording the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), malaria affects 225 million people across the globe every year, killing over 781,000 people, mainly African children. Even though the morbidity rate of malaria has been reduced due to scale ups in malaria-control-interventions in recent years, the danger malaria poses to public health remains at the forefront of concerns throughout the globe.

The World Health Organization says malaria is caused by a parasite of the genera Plasmodium and is transmitted intravenously from the mosquito bite on the integument to the liver, where the erythrocytes (red blood cells) are infected. Common symptoms include fever, headache, and vomiting. If left untreated, malaria can become life-threatening by severely disrupting blood supply to the organs.

On October 18, preliminary results published in the NEJM of a phase three clinical trial in Africa provided hope to millions that a new vaccine for malaria may finally have been synthesized. The vaccine, created by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, is called RTS,S and has been in development for more than 25 years with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Prior phase two trials have shown that the RTS,S vaccine that targets the circumsporozoite protein with an adjuvant system (AS01 or AS02) has protected against the Plasmodium falciparum malaria in infants and young children.

In vaccination, an antigenic material (a weakened form of a pathogen) is introduced to the body, causing an immune response without causing a disease. The immune system then develops antibodies that attack and destroy the foreign pathogen. Afterwards, the antibodies circulate in the bloodstream and actually “remember” the pathogen so that if the antibodies ever come into contact with it again, the real pathogen would be neutralized by the trained antibodies.

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The Woman Behind Student Success

Meet Dr. Mercy Azeke, Dean of the Center for Student Success

Behind Student SuccessThe Center for Student Success (CSS) allows students to have access to the many programs and services that help students cope with the stresses of college. These include the academic rigors, determining and declaring an appropriate major, acquiring valuable leadership and work experiences, and making progress towards degree completion. The CSS houses all of the programs that help students accomplish these goals including the Office of First Year Advising, the Tutoring Center, Career Services, Experiential Education, Service Learning and Community Programs, the Department of Disability Services, the Writing Center, Supplemental Instruction, the Office of Transfer and Undeclared Services and the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF). Dr. Mercy Azeke is the overseer for all of the programs encompassed by the CSS.

Azeke became the Dean of the CSS in October 2009. She is originally from Nigeria where she received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Nigeria in home economics education. She came to the Statesin 1980 with her husband. After a few months in the U.S., she decided with the help of her parents to go to graduate school at Temple University, where she received her master’s in curriculum instruction and doctorate degree in vocational education.

Azeke has worked in both public and private two-year and four-year institutions. Prior to coming to the University, she worked at Virginia Tech as the Director of Academic Advising and Student Services for the Undergraduate Program in Pamplin College of Business. Before that, Dr. Azeke served for several years as Executive Director of the First Year Experience at Norfolk State University. She has also worked at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois, where she was the first Director of Academic and Personal Support Services. Her areas of expertise include student development, enrollment management, student retention, academic advising, and academic and career services. She has also taught education courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

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“Mission: Philosophy” Pioneers Forward

Students Fight to Organize Philosophy Major

Pioneers ForwardWhat initially began as five inspired college students pushing to add another field of study to the curriculum has become a well-supported movement to encourage the University to offer its students philosophy as a major.

In the fall 2010, five students, Jessica Celestino, Aziz Mama, Emily Curry, Matthew-Donald Sangster, and Andrew Bell, found themselves in the same intriguing existentialism class that left them with a new appreciation for philosophy and a love for the subject.

Once the group discovered that the University did not offer a philosophy major, they mobilized in spring 2011 and have since been working to add the major.

“Mission: Philosophy” promotes the philosophy major and all of the benefits it offers. In order to raise awareness about the movement, the executive board members of the Philosophy Club, who are also the pioneers of the movement, have made numerous presentations in first-year seminar classes and introductory classes in the social sciences and humanities, according to Curry, Secretary of the Philosophy Club and one of the movement’s pioneers.

“We wish to make the students aware of the lack of a philosophy major, gain student support, and encourage students interested in philosophy to declare a minor,” added Curry.

Philosophy was offered as a major at the University at one point in time during the 1980’s, but it was eventually dropped due to lack of student interest. “Many students don’t take philosophy seriously because there is not an obvious career path for a philosopher,” said Bell, Vice President of the Philosophy Club. “However, philosophy is extremely important in order to analyze things critically.”

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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
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu