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Features

Volume 85 (Fall 2013 - Spring 2014)

Reducing Prejudice Through Cultural Activities

Studies conducted by psychologists at Stanford University show that engaging in cultural activities can not only reduce implicit prejudice but also create lasting effects of this change. Prejudice and stereotyping are learned attributes which generally take root at younger ages.

It is a point to note, however, that these qualities are learned. Therefore, as we all experience, it is very possible that with proper action, prejudice and stereotyping can be unlearned. Luckily, this action may be something as simple as participating in some kind of cultural activity.

The average American is exposed to a massive and varying amount of diversity occurring in daily life and especially through the advent of advancing technologies and social networks. With the internet narrowing global boundaries and blurring the lines of inequality, we might expect a significantly higher tolerance for difference among race, culture, or creed. However, the online interactions that are increasingly prevalent in present and upcoming generations cannot suffice for genuine and real participation in a culturally diverse environment.

Stanford research shows that to personally engage in cultural events in the presence of people from that specific culture will produce the longer lasting, and perhaps permanent restraint from prejudice. Fortunately for us as members of the University community, there are a wide array of campus events available to students that provide the perfect opportunity to perhaps spark our curiosities while increasing our cultural competency.

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Out With Shining Armor: Chivalry Does Not Mean Equality

Stop a handful of women walking down the street and ask them if chivalry is dead. More often than not their response would fall along the line of a laugh accompanied by a snort, a shake of the head indicating a “yes,” or a feeble attempt at defending males with a weak statement about that guy who one time held the door open for them.

Now, some would say that this loss in gentleman-like behavior is a result of the modern-day man simply being lazy and not putting forth the effort to court a lady. However, this very well might not be the case ladies.

Before looking into the meat of the matter, perhaps people should take a look into the meaning of chivalry itself.

As defined by Dr. Nancy Mezey, Associate Professor of Sociology, chivalry is the idea that a man should go out of his way to treat a woman with protective respect.

Mezey further points out that because knights were the ones who used to be acting in this manner, chivalry is a gendered term. Therefore in today’s society when chivalry is discussed, it is most commonly used when referencing a man.

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Professor Spotlight: Meet Nicolette Nicola

Spreading a Love of Language to Students at the University


Nicolette Nicola, adjunct professor of English, grew up in the south hills of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania amongst her “warm loving, big hugging, and very loud Italian family.” Today she has two kids of her own, Ian, who is eleven and Elena, who is nine.

When she isn’t teaching English, she enjoys jogging and journaling ideas for future poems and play topics.

Nicola began teaching English Composition at the University in the Fall of 2011. She had been teaching literature classes and tutoring for six years at Brookdale Community College when a colleague recommended that she start teaching at the University to receive more of “an overall college teaching experience.”

Nicola still tutors at Brookdale’s Writing Center and spends some afternoons teaching there as well.

Nicola received her undergraduate degree in English with a minor in French at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania.

When learning a language, she believes immersion is the best route. “I recommend studying abroad if you are given the chance,” she said. “I went to Paris and I was able to pick up the language quickly.”

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Grown-Up Bullies: Conflict Past the Playground

People may think of bullying as an act meant to intimidate another person, but may have specific views on how it is done. This could be the classic thought of a popular scene from a movie such as Spiderman where a man waits to fight him in the cafeteria. The reality is, bullying does not end after high school and is just as likely to happen on a college campus.

Dr. Margaret DelGuercio, professor of English, knows quite well that bullying happens anywhere and to anyone. “I have seen students do it to students, but also teachers to other faculty members. It is sadly a part of nature, but today I see more of a focus to educate younger kids about it and colleges get overlooked.”

This is especially important for campus the size of the University’s. Although people may be generally friendly does not mean there is no bullying here. Annie Siegel, a freshman resident of Elmwood Hall knows that bullying can indeed happen at the University because “it is very easy to spread rumors about events and others differences.”

For example, someone who has a special need that requires him or her to do something a bit differently and can be grounds for inappropriate behavior. Most of the time, however, it is not as direct as it is in high school because everyone is on a different schedule. Nonetheless, bullying occurs and can often be more subtle than in the past.

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Relationships Are a Laughing Matter

According to Match.com, the dating website polled 5,481 singles ages 21 and older that are not in a relationship on February 5. Fifty eight percent of women said that “has a sense of humor/makes me laugh” was a must-have quality in a romantic partner. Meanwhile 37 percent of men said that “has a sense of humor/makes me laugh” was a must-have quality in a romantic partner.

Dr. Gary Lewandowski, Chairman of the Psychology Department said that humor is well known as a positive trait for attracting potential mates, especially for men.

According to Lewandowski who has been married to his wife, whom he met in college, for 12 years, humor makes men more attractive to women. It can also tie to intelligence, he said.

Another positive of humor in college relationships, according to Lewandowski, is that it helps defuse arguments or disagreements. “In long term relationships, having a sense of humor is important. You can’t be right or perfect all the time so when you mess up, you have to be able to laugh at yourself,” said Lewandowski. He also said that humor helps people “takes things a little less serious.”

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Controlling Your Dreams: A Lucid Approach

Perception of consciousness as the awareness of our own actions and existence transcends, to some degree, from our awake state into the realms of the dream states. Often after waking up from sleep for instance, we can recall a particularly vivid set of dreams and recollect the emotions, people, and scenery we experienced and interacted with.

However, a vast majority of the time, we tend to experience these dreams as observers, following ourselves as we carry out various actions that we do not directly control of. Lucid dreaming, on the contrary, is the awareness that we are dreaming while we are dreaming.

Imagine walking down the sidewalk of an urban neighborhood. A constant stream of yellow taxi cabs and congested city pollution from the surrounding restaurants, kiosks, and vehicles pervade your senses as you walk past a set of people who appear to be minding their own business. You look at your wrist-watch to check the time, and all of a sudden you see that you have 15 fingers on your left hand. With the knowledge that you must have five fingers, you come to the realization that the world you are experiencing is actually part of a dream.

“When you observe that times, places and persons change without notice, bizarre events which never occur in waking, you will know that you are dreaming,” said Mary Arnold-Foster in her book, “Studies in Dreams.” After taking note of this realization, you proceed to visit the ancient ruins of Egypt, climb K2, or simply ride a bike down Ocean Avenue, guided by your own free will.

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Things Every Girl in Her 20’s Should Know

Being in your 20’s is a crucial period in a woman’s life: It’s a transitional time when a girl discovers who she really is and becomes a woman. These are the years that women find themselves graduating college, renting their own apartments, starting their careers, and building new relationships with people. This is the time when women discover what it truly means to grow up. The 20’s are some of the most exciting years for women. To ensure the maximization of the opportunities, there’s a list of 10 things every girl in her 20s should know:

1. Learn How to Manage Your Budget: Most women start paying the bills and it’s important to have money for rent, groceries, utilities, etc. However, putting aside a little “fun-time money” is very important as well. With trying to manage all of these budgets, it can be a little bit tricky. According to zenhabits.net, there are plenty of fancy software and cool apps to help manage multiple budgets. One app in particular is called Mint.com that helps keep track of multiple budgets.

2. Interview Like a Boss: Interviewing is a key component in finding a career. Even if you don’t land a job right away, it’s important to remember that interviews are good for networking purposes and building relationships across the business world. According to worksmart.ca.gov, a good tip is to do some research on the business before the interview. It’s a great way to get some background on the company so that you won’t appear out of the loop about what the company does. Also, don’t forget to update your résumé! The bottom line? Take advantage of every interview as it made lead to opportunities in the future.

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Dr. Carol McArthur: Specialist in Special Education

The Professor Who Helps University Students Learn How to Teach Despite Disabilities


Becoming a candidate for a teaching position is both exciting and challenging. Selecting a Teacher with Students Disabilities (TSD endorsement) brings educators into a world that many may not have known about before.

Dr. Carol McArthur, professor of special education, knows that each student with disabilities is different in his or her own way. She inspires this love for learning and teaching in her students.

McArthur, like her students, has a passion to help others. She said, “I have always wanted to work with children. I taught pre-school and first grade in a general education setting before moving to special education.”

McArthur continued, “The individual students and the other teachers and professionals were what inspired me to continue in special education. It is a unique experience.” This experience includes working with students from all levels and with all types of disabilities, from learning to physical and psychological.

McArthur is experienced in working with these students and said that it is important to strive for them and to do what they think they cannot. She added that many students with disabilities see the world differently than the typical person.

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The Loss of Childhood for Syrian Refugees

The United Nations Refugee Agency reports that there are currently 1.85 million registered Syrian refugees who’ve fled their homeland in search of freedom from the persecution of the Syrian government. This astounding amount of people is the equivalent of having a forced evacuation of every single person living in the state of West Virginia.

Mass amounts of Syrians began fleeing their country around April 2011, one month after the start of the Syrian Civil War. The war was started by the Syrian government, led by the President Bashar al-Assad against various anti-government protest groups fighting for freedom and a better state.

The brute and violent methods by which Assad’s forces have attacked the Syrian people have left many Syrians with no option but to escape to the neighboring countries of Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq.

While being in refugee camps can be better in many respects, what exactly is it that these people escape to?

Most Americans would be unable to even imagine the devastating conditions of the refugee camps. Broken families live in tents, and barely survive on minimal amounts of food and water.

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Fall Has Fallen at the University

The leaves begin to turn beautiful shades of oranges and reds on the trees. The air becomes crisp and scents of apple and pumpkin spice fill the air. While the summer is the perfect time to relax away from school and possibly even at the beach, autumn at the University is unlike anything else.

The change of scenery at the University excites freshman Emily-Rose Tau. She also enjoys, “Apple and pumpkin picking with the different shades of color,” while freshman Leann Burns is looking forward to wearing her comfy sweaters again.

“It will finally be sweater weather and I love pumpkin spice lattes,” said Burns, who raved about Java City’s Pumpkin and Apple Cider flavored drinks.

As for sports, freshman Jennifer Ingegno looks forward to the U.S. Opener in the fall. “In the fall, you can play soccer, but also watch football games,” she said.

The University’s homecoming schedule begins Friday, October 18 with a pep rally beginning at 5pm in the MAC.

On Saturday, October 19 many other fun activities will occur before the game at 1pm on Kessler Field.

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Meet Dr. Nancy Mezey of the Sociology Department

For students, returning to the University for a new semester means being immersed once again in their studies and extracurricular activities. For Dr. Nancy Mezey, Associate Professor of sociology it means returning to “the best job in the world.”

Mezey has been teaching at the University for 12 years and still enjoys coming to work. Initially, the beautiful campus is what brought her here. The best part of her job, however, is the students. “I find that the students that come to Monmouth University are really eager to learn about new things, and when they’re in a sociology class it just opens their minds in ways that sociology opened my mind when I was young,” said Mezey.

Sociology has fascinated Mezey since her first semester as an undergraduate student. The theory aspect of the subject was what first sparked her interest and her volunteer experience at a maximum security prison for men furthered it. “I think what really excited me about sociology was finding a discipline that made sense of social inequalities and could analyze social inequalities and actually work to try to change social inequalities,” said Mezey.

Specializing in family relationships and gender, Mezey teaches classes such as Family Sociology and The Sociology of Aging as well as Introduction to Gender Studies, Gender and Sexual Identities and Introduction to Sociology, but which one is her favorite?

“Whichever one I’m standing in at the time. I’m the youngest of four daughters, and my father would always say that his favorite child is the one who’s sitting closest to him,” said Mezey. Her favorite part about Introduction to Sociology is exposing students to a new subject, and her Gender Studies classes “totally rock people’s world.” Her passion in sociology lies in family studies.

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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