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Features

Volume 85 (Fall 2013 - Spring 2014)

“Choose a Job You Love and You Will Never Have to Work a Day in Your Life”

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about money; thinking about all of the money that I could use to help myself out financially. With all of the school loans and car loans, it’s seriously enough to make my head spin, fall off, and roll all the way over to the bank to ask for some more money to pay off what I already owe. I’ve thought about all of the money that I wish I could use to surprise my mother with a new car to replace her old, beat up, raggedy soccer-mom minivan that barely gets her to the grocery store around the corner, and about all of the money that I could make if I chose a certain career path that, on average, almost guarantees a certain salary so I would never have to worry about monetary issues again.

According to an article published in US News: Money, unless I am a software developer, computer systems analyst, or dentist, I really shouldn’t be expecting to ever see a salary in the six digits.

And let’s face it, we aren’t in the best economic times. So should we, as students, pick a major and let this idea of money guide our career paths? Or should we let our passion and our drive for a certain subject push us into choosing a certain career?

Grant Zaitchick, a special education in music major, said, “I feel that too many people are affected by money and greed. Power is not something that should be sought through money. Power should be sought internally.”

Zaitchick added, “Too many people believe money can provide them with the popularity and comfort they are looking for, but it is often a fragile comfort. Those that are driven by passion can accomplish their dreams and can look forward to the next day without reservations.”

When people question me and ask what I aspire to do in life, and I tell them that I love the communication field, I am basically guaranteed to hear a chuckle, covered by a, “That’s, uh, awesome, but won’t it be a tad difficult to make a career out of that?” and then finished off with someone blabbering about how I should be more practical with my life choices and put some of my “real skills” to the test. Basically, just because my career isn’t, on average, guaranteed to make enough money at first, I should be detracted from my goals, remolded into a money-making machine, and forced to do something that I don’t necessarily enjoy.

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Univeristy Spotlight: Specialist Professor Mary Brennan

The Special Education field is rapidly expanding and so are the demands of the unique needs of the students. Mary Brennan, specialist professor in special education, knows that meeting these unique needs are critical, yet challenging at the same time.  Students who take her course titled, “Assessment Approaches P-12” are offered a variety of undergraduate courses for students in the disabilities field.

Junior Rachel Fox feels the class is just the right challenge. “I like her class. It is rigorous but you learn a lot. Professor Brennan is very knowledgeable.”

Junior Ashley Suppa also agreed that she has learned a lot from Brennan.  “I also took Human Exceptionalities with her and she knows a lot about the field of special education and makes it relatable to our lives. I learned so much that I can do when I teach because of her.”

Brennan has had a lot of experience in the teaching field and has served in a variety of roles. “I started as a history teacher in a middle school and then continued my education and became a special education teacher with an additional certification as a teacher of the Blind and Visually Impaired,” she said. “I taught in this field for six years in the middle school and high school level.  Then I became a college administrator and instructor for 18 years in NY.”

When she moved to NJ, Brennan returned to teaching in the special education area and working as a Learning Disability Teacher-Consultant. She said, “I have been a case manager, consultant and evaluator for a number of school districts. Since coming to Monmouth University I have also been responsible for coordinating the Learning Disability Teacher-Consultant program.” (LDTC)

The Teacher-Consultant program is offered at the graduate level and provides courses in the area of  case managing students with an array of different learning needs as well as educating classroom teachers on possible modifications as a result of these issues.  This role requires previous experience as a classroom teacher.

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The Selfie Revolution Boosts Selfie-Steem

I’ve seen people doing it in class. I’ve seen people doing it at parties. I’ve seen people doing it while eating, working out at the gym, pretty much everywhere and anywhere. Celebrities do it. Even Olympic athletics are doing it. Selfies: the art of taking a picture of your own face.

You see them every day on popular apps like Instagram, being corrected with filters and good lighting. Snapchat was pretty much created for taking good pictures of your face to send to your crush and taking hideous pictures of your face to send to your closest friends. But are selfies really just shameless picture taking, or for some people, are they huge ego boosts?

I have to admit, I too have dabbled in the selfie game. I have stood by the window to get good lighting and have taken a good 20 pictures to get the perfect one. Then I go through every Instagram filter (twice) and pick the right one. While I’m scrolling through I tend to think, “This is stupid,” but I also tend to post the picture anyway. Shamelessly embarrassing, I know, but I’m definitely not the only one.

Everyone I know, male and female, have sent, received, and posted selfies. I get and send my face through Snapchat all day long, and let me tell you, they are usually not good pictures of my face that I would want out in public. I mostly send and put up pictures for fun, but I can’t be the only one that appreciates every “like” I get on my posts. But how much is too much?

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PowerBuoy Technology Marks World’s Largest Wave Energy Project

Advancing the availability of alternative energy solutions reaps the benefits of protecting the environment, promising future generations a reliable energy supply, creating jobs to improve the economy, and most importantly, enabling energy independence to reduce the dependence on foreign sources.

On Feb. 11, Lockheed Martin signed a contract with Victorian Wave Partners Ltd. to signal the construction of the biggest wave energy project in the world to date, marking an important step forward in harnessing the energy of ocean waves.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 115,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services, according to lockheedmartin.com.

Even though the 62.5-megawatt peak power energy project will be constructed off the coast of Australia, the effects of its “PowerBuoy” wave energy converter technology will be felt worldwide. Once the endeavor nears completion, it is expected to be able to produce enough energy to supply the requirements of 10,000 homes.

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Peer Learning Assistant Spotlight: Erin Smith

Every freshman at the University is required to take a first year seminar course. In each of these courses there is an upperclassman that assists students through not only the course material but through their adjustment into college. Erin Smith, senior public relations major was a Peer Learning Assistant (PLA), for Dr. Marina Vujnovic’s Hollywood Journalism freshman seminar course for Fall 2013.

During her freshman year, Smith found out about the PLA program by watching her PLA help lead Dr. Kelly Ward’s freshman seminar class on technology changing the world. Smith had been an orientation leader before applying to become a PLA. She believed the experience helped her to understand the expectations freshmen look for in their first year, especially compared to her first year at Monmouth.

“Working [as an orientation leader] showed me just how important the first year is for students,” Smith said. “I wanted to be there as a PLA for the freshmen class and alleviate any small stresses such as roommates, minors and pledging.”

Becoming a PLA fit perfectly into Smith’s schedule when Vujnovic approached Smith about becoming her PLA. Smith previously had Vujnovic as a professor and they both shared similar ideas about the material freshmen needed to understand.

“Professor Vujnovic would allow me to talk to freshmen about the student experience aspect and we both trusted each other with the material,” Smith said.

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The Monmouth Review Gets a Review

It is almost guaranteed that during a student’s stay at the University they will encounter a collection of mysterious, yet awe-inspiring, little magazines titled the Monmouth Review. But while these students are flipping through the pages and absorbing the literary and artistic works, they may not exactly know who is responsible for creating such a publication, or even really know why they would make such a magazine. Though it is not a high-end secret who the individuals are that create the Monmouth Review, it is not necessarily well known to the University community either.  However, that all might change with the new adaptations that the both the organization and the publication are making with their next big issue.

While the Monmouth Review is most known for being a once-a-semester compilation of literary works, such as poetry and prose, and artworks, ranging from paintings to photographs to pottery, the group behind the magazine is attempting to bring publication into the digital age with a first time ever Monmouth Review iPad app.

Olivia Greco, President of the Monmouth Review Club, said that the idea of having a Monmouth Review app has been in the works for a while now, but with the last issue being the biggest issue yet, it appeared like the perfect timing to finally put the plan in motion.  “With this issue, it was the first issue that we did an iPad publication so you can download it for free through the App Store. So it’s not an app but it’s a publication, so you can page through the issue cover to cover and there are a few interactive pieces, like you will be able to hear certain artist or writers talk about their work, and the cover is animated on the iPad publication which is pretty cool. It will be a bit of an interactive piece,” said Greco.

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University Clubs Embrace the Social Media Trend

In an ever-changing world of technology, websites such as Facebook and Twitter are becoming a popular medium for campus clubs and groups to communicate with each other. This is often done to remind members of monthly meetings and keep them updated on happenings in between them.

Freshman Sam Tok, feels that social media is very helpful in communicating an event.  “Facebook groups for clubs are a great way for members to keep in touch and post happenings in the club.”

Clubs such as Residence Hall Association (RHA) set up a page on Facebook at the beginning of each semester and add members from the first interest meeting as well as new ones to the group.

Sophomore Kelly Schulhafer, is in the intramural softball club and feels that the page they currently have is a good idea. “The page is only open to club members and is a great way for people to stay connected with the group. If the page were left open to the public, it would not be as useful because people can access it randomly and request friends just by looking.”

Some clubs are not currently active on social media and are looking for new members. Junior Deanna Puglio feels that this would help gain new members.  “I would like to see more members in the psychology club and I feel a social media page would do just that.  If the page was created it could be open to all of MU and not just the club to get an idea who is interested.”

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A Toxic Friendship: The Story of “Frienemies”

The TV called for attention.

Tonight on CNN: When friends become bullies. The taunts began in second grade when Ally Del Monte started taking medication for a thyroid disorder and gained 60 pounds. The boys at her elementary school in Westchester County, New York, banned her from the jungle gym because they said she would break it. The girls made fun of her large jackets and told her she was fat, ugly and weird.

I looked down at the open bag of potato chips sitting in my lap and the curves of my body, unflatteringly folded into rolls from my relaxed position. How many pounds have I put on in the past year? I didn’t even have a medication to blame. My friends have never said anything, I think.

Dr. Franca Mancini, Director of Counseling and Psychological Services, said, “Having friends is such an important part of our lives, and the desire to belong  is so strong that it’s often difficult to understand when the comments and interactions that occur between friends become toxic destructive to the person involved.  Generally speaking, if being with certain friends makes you feel anxious, insecure or fearful of making a mistake or expressing your opinion, or if you find that you are often the target of negative comments or if others are laughing at your expense, it’s important to take a look at the relationship.”

“To me, it was normal because that’s what I was used to. At first I didn’t consider it bullying because the people treating me like this were supposed to be my friends. That’s how I perceived myself because that’s what they were telling me.”

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The Magical World of John Stessel

Student Excells as an Inventor of New Tricks and Best Selling Products for Magicians

For some people, magic only happens around holidays like Christmas or when they go to places like Disney World for the first time. For sophomore John Stessel, magic is apart of his everyday life.

Magic has always been a passion of Stessel’s; not only has it helped him in his social and professional life, it has helped him grow into the person he is today.

“When I was eight my sister Jen, who also goes to Monmouth, bought me my first magic set. It had a couple of corny things and one card trick. Once I learned the card trick, I was hooked, it became an addiction. And once I learned sleight of hand with a pack of cards the rest was history,” said Stessel.

Stessel explained that his friends have always been very supportive and are the reason why he can perform the way he does today. “Growing up I played ice hockey for various teams and as one could imagine, young hockey players are the worst audience ever. Yet through the struggle of performing for them it made me who I am today.” He said that he gives huge credit to his friends and his peers for the assistance in building his skills.

While Stessel continued to practice magic, the tricks he wanted to accomplish became harder and harder. “My desire to do more impossible tricks grew, and this desire was never met by anything I could purchase, so at the age of 13 I began inventing and developing my own tricks,” he said. “Originally, nothing was very worthwhile but as my creativity grew so did my talent at creating. At the age of 15, I was able to partner with two companies, Vanishing Inc. and The Blue Crown, to put out my acclaimed first effect flush linking rubber bands. It became a worldwide best seller!” Flush linking rubber bands are bands that link together seamlessly without breaking the elastic.

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A Surprising New Method for Creating Stem Cells

Fascinating and extensive research in Japan has developed an innovative way to create working stem cells by treating blood cells in an acid bath. This discovery holds much promise and could potentially revolutionize numerous health fields as well as illuminate the advent of personalized medicine.

While normal body cells have specific functions in specific areas such as liver cells, cardiac cells, or muscle cells, stem cells are unique in that they are able to become any other type of cell. Such transformations would allow for successful life-saving regeneration treatments in which patients can fix damaged areas of their bodies using their very own transformed blood cells.

Previous stem cell research has already been applied in allowing for surgical regeneration and healing  parts of the eye, heart and brain. It would truly be a miracle to have access to this revolutionary form of healing for such essential organs such as these.

Dr. Dorothy Lobo, biology professor, said, “In recent years, many labs have been working to try to figure out how to ‘induce’ normal cells to convert them into stem cells (these are induced pluripotent stem cells) – this has been a challenge. Trying to find the right combination of cell types, environmental conditions, and signaling molecules needed has been complex.”

Considering the intricacies of bodily function especially at the cellular level, this discovery comes as a shock even to Dr. Haruko Obokata, a developmental biologist who worked on this research project who said that she was “really surprised that cells would respond to their environment in this way.”

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Say What? The Evolution of Internet Slang

In recent years, slang terms that were once considered unacceptable have made their way into everyday vocabulary.  Words and phrases like “googling” something are heard commonly everyday both in and out of the classroom.

Leah Schweitzer, a junior social work major, feels that this is because people are on these resources daily so they have become a regular way of life. She said, “Students almost always ‘google’ something for fun and I have even heard my professors use this term quite often.”  What was once considered not acceptable just a mere 10 years ago has now become almost embedded in everyday language.”

Some other students, however, still see significant gaps when it comes to where people are from in the US. Caden McMillan, a junior social work major, said that she sees dramatic differences when it comes to what is considered acceptable in one region versus another.  “My family is from the south and says ‘y’all’  but I grew up here in New Jersey and say ‘you guys.’ In the south, ‘you guys’ is considered to be not accepted and y’all is viewed to be the correct way to speak,” she said.

McMillan added, “Despite this, I feel people are eager to learn about the diverse cultures that there are on our campus.”

A student who wishes to remain anonymous said that the phrase “Yo what up” is very popular among college students today than it has been in the past.  The student said, “It is an easy way to get one’s attention and very common of students to use.”

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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