Last updateFri, 19 Jun 2020 7pm


Building a Brand 101

Building Brand 1We have arrived at a point in time where everyone’s building something for themselves-- which is rad, don’t get me wrong. But, let me ask you, what is going to make what you’re building any different? Everyone’s passionate, everyone’s creative, everyone’s got soul, so that kind of leaves everyone at a plateau, right? Wrong. That won’t be me; that won’t be us.

I’ve been around the block in terms of trying to cultivate a brand, whether it be jewelry or a blog, at the end of the day, it’s an art form. A brand is who you are, who you want to be, and who you want to inspire, so creating the look doesn’t happen over night and doesn’t stay the same for long.

I mean, just look how I started out: all the way from a Word Document to this bad ass logo I had created and recreated custom for me by @LittleLiasArt.

Getting a little taste of what I’m getting at here? Cool, let’s begin.

Step one is to envision.

Make a vision board for your brand. I did this for my class; we made a one to five year plan vision board and it honestly lit such a fire under my butt.

It may sound silly, but it gives you a tangible item that motivates you. You can insert pictures and take them off until you find just the right vibe that suits you.

Step two is important, you have to remember that everyone has a beginning, even you.

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MU Takes mtvU

MU Takes MTVUSophia Parola, a senior communication student who specializes in radio and TV, secured a position with MTV’s on-air college programing, MTVU. Parola is from Manalapan, NJ and is a full-time student at Monmouth University planning to graduate in May 2018.

At MTVU, Parola’s position is a Video Jockey (VJ). “Basically, I am the host for segments that the channel puts up. I introduce music videos, episodes, and I help brainstorm ideas for content, and I also have the opportunity to create and produce some.”

Parola expanded, “It’s a very relaxed position. There’s no set schedule. My boss will contact me about new projects, and I say, ‘yes’ and then we do it! Sometimes I will go to the studio in New York, or stay on campuses. It’s a really fun and stress-free position.”

Through the Viacom Media Networks, MTVU is broadcasted through 750 college campuses across the United States. The music featured on the channel spans from indie, rock, pop, punk, to hip-hop.

In regard to landing the position, Parola felt that just being herself was what most enhanced her talents. “In my audition tape I was loud, silly, very nice to the camera guy and director, always trying to smile, and just having fun. They liked my energy. I think the qualities you need as host is being natural, number one, and also bringing your personality to the screen-- your real personality--not someone you think they want to see, just you.”

Parola had a background in television through her training at Brookdale Community College. “I’ve been working for BrookdaleTV as a host since 2013, so I’m very used to talking on camera. Also I take acting classes so I am good with improvisation, memorizing lines, and taking a script and performing it--which is basically what you do as a host. I never have any problems going up to someone random to ask questions, making a fool out of myself, or thinking on my feet.

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Blue Hawk Records Holds Auditions for 12th Compilation Album

default article imageWest Long Branch, New Jersey. On Wednesday, January 31, 2018, The Blue Hawk Records’ Applied Music Industry II class hosted auditions for their Twelfth Compilation album!

The turnout at Woods Theatre was large, ultimately making the final decision extremely difficult, but by the end of the night, the class was able to choose five artists to feature on their newest album.

The artists, all of various majors and years, include Brianna Scangarello, Wynward, Brad Kraft, Francesca Longiro, and duo Shadiyah Belton and Carlos Flores!

The chosen artists will be recording each of their songs at Lakehouse Recording Studios in Asbury Park, New Jersey and for some, this will be their first experience in the studio.

Brianna Scangarello will be recording her song “Hold on Close.” “I was honestly really nervous to audition, but my friends in the band Malibu, who were on the Blue Hawk Records’ Volume 11 Compilation Album, were also playing with me, so that definitely helped calm the nerves” said Scangarello.

“It was such a fun experience, and when I got the call that I made it onto the album, I started jumping and screaming from excitement.”

“Everyone in Blue Hawk Records is really cool and great to work with and I’m so excited and grateful that I get the opportunity to learn more about the industry, while doing something I love, alongside some really great people,” she continued.

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Privilege, Identity, and Androgyny in Clothing

Privilege Identity AndrogynyI became interested in dressing androgynously (between the typical male and female fashion) more out of mere comfort than from establishing an identity.

It started when I was 11 years old, making my mom buy me t-shirt after t-shirt from Hot Topic. These shirts were usually labeled as men’s smalls, printed with the art of a band I listened to at the time, and they were always far too big on me. I complimented my look with colored jeans that were never too tight or too loose, and a pair of plain Vans.

At the time, the fashion for girls were neon-colored tank tops, large hoop earrings, and skinny blue jeans, finished off with the Juicy Couture faux-fur lined zipper hoodie. When I looked in the mirror in the mornings, there was no way my figure would vibe well with those pieces.

Several years down the line, after I moved away from my Hot Topic phase, the clothes that I donned became a little more than just for the sake comfort. It manifested in an identity I was able to craft for myself, and with total control.

Being able to dress a certain way became a safe haven of self-expression wherein I was able to pinpoint exact moments in my life through my clothing.

For instance, I have this pair of striped socks that I fell in love with while I was in Vermont with two of my best friends. It was this small shop tucked away on the main streets of Brattleboro and the owner and I talked endlessly about the origins of the printmaking factory in the center of town.

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Beauty Standards: Today's Society

Beauty StandardsBeauty standards in the 21st century have been filled with negative stereotypes for both men and women. Being harmful for all, these standards lead to one being filled with depression, negative self-image, and even anxiety due to not being able to love themselves fully.

After not fulfilling the stereotypes of what society believes someone should be, these boys and girls live their lives in a silent pain.Many view themselves as “too fat” or “too ugly” to live through everyday life. Young men and women are led to believe that they do not fit the unrealistic beauty standards presented to them.

Due to this, boys and girls isolate themselves, causing their childhoods to be filled with bad memories and no social skills for later in life. Even though society wants to believe that these instances only occur during the adolescent years of one’s life, these issues are also present in the older years too. How crazy is it that even at 18 to 25 years old people judge each other based on weight, how much makeup someone wears, or what brand clothes someone has on?

Katlin Onorato, a sophomore social work student, explained that “[she] has been exposed to such rude and childish behavior, but it has only made her realize that [she] loves [her]self more.” Though Kate has turned her experience into a positive one, she is in the small percentage capable of doing this. There are those at Monmouth who haven’t been as lucky. For example, Shannon McGorty, a sophomore health studies student, stated that “even now there are many who judge me for not being the size of a toothpick and for not dressing in a tube top and mini skirt to go out to parties.”

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Student Spotlight: Lauren Gnoinski

Student Spotlight Lauren Gnoinski 1Freshman year can be an overwhelming experience. For many, it’s their first time away from home, their first time managing their own lives, and their first time living as an adult. For those looking back on their freshman year, there is undeniable growth. Confusing, exhilarating, and for some, difficult, the experiences freshmen have are transformative at 18 or 19. However, being a freshman later on in life is a completely difference entirely, at least, it is for Lauren Gnoinski.

For Gnoinski, a freshman education student, her first year experience is unique in with her fellow classmates. Graduating from Nutley High School in the spring of 2015, Gnoinski’s future path led to Monmouth University. College was the next step for the majority of her friends and classmates, but ultimately was not hers, at least, not for years to come.

That summer, Gnoinski decided that she needed to follow her heart and her dream of attending cosmetology school. Growing up with a passion for doing hair and makeup, she knew it was something she had to do or she would regret it for the rest of her life. “I wanted to work in a salon and I followed what interested me the most. You don’t have to write an admission assay but you still apply and have an interview process but you don’t test or anything. I went to Parisian Beauty Academy in Hackensack New Jersey. “

Gnoinski was able to study hair, skin, and nails, but enjoyed doing hair the most. “Doing hair gave me the power to be creative and transform people and make them happy. When other people are happy, I am happy.” Even though she was happy doing what she was doing, Gnoinski still felt that she wanted to expand her education in makeup.

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All for the Art: Spotlight on Kelly Barratt

Art Spotlight Kelly BarrattWe’ve all taken a class where a professor makes us attend an extracurricular activity. At first, we groan about how “we did not sign up for this” but ultimately realize that it is better if we just go to some event. We walk all the way to Pollak Theatre, sign in to watch a show, and swear we plan on leaving in 15 minutes.

However, we end up staying the whole time because the show ends up being so interesting, we can’t bear to leave. Often times, students don’t consider all of the work that goes into these events, like the student labor and faculty communication.

One of the people who makes sure all of these events go smoothly is Kelly Barratt.

Kelly Barratt is the Assistant Director of the Center of the Arts, whom you’ve probably seen setting out attendance sheets and helping students get tickets. Although her main focus is marketing, she wears many different hats in the office.

“I like how I get to do something different every day. One day I’m painting the walls and the next day I’m working with artists or creating brochures,” she said.

Although she loves her job now, she never intended to fall into this career. When she was an undergraduate at the University of Maryland, she was planning on becoming a lawyer.

After joining a Pre-Law fraternity, she decided that law was not in her future. At the same time, she was working in the Art department and gained an internship at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey.

It was here where she realized that there was a field in Arts Administration, and got her Master’s degree in Museum Exhibit Planning and Design from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

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More Than Just Hugs: Ken Nwadike and his Message of Peace

Free HugsAs Americans, we are living in one of the most polarizing times in our history, not only politically, but idealistically as well. From the riots that sparked since the Trayvon Martin case to rallies preaching hate and white supremacy in Charlottesville, one could easily say that we in dire need for deeper discussions of peace and understanding.

This is a difficult task, however motivational speaker and activist Ken Nwadike’s approach to starting those meaningful conversations has inspired the country for the past four years. His movement “Free Hugs” is more than just the iconic t-shirt that Nwadike wears to the events he attends- it’s the title of his movement and message that he spreads to others, young and old, across the country.

Ken Nwadike brought his inspirational message to Monmouth University students and faculty on Jan. 30 at Pollak Theatre. Nwadike began his charitable work years prior in California, where he lived since the early 1990s. His experience with extreme polarization and hardship early in life due to homelessness made Nwadike very withdrawn as person, stating that in high school he wouldn’t interact and participate in much.

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Students Talk "Sylvia"

Students Talk SylviaHaving a “ruff” semester? Come see Sylvia!

The Monmouth University Theatre Department proudly presents: Sylvia, a hilarious play about a man, his dogs, and all the antics that come with their unbreakable bond. Sylvia, written by A.R. Gurney, is set in modern Manhattan, where Greg (Mark Cayne) and Kate (Samantha Truglio) decide to move after 22 years of marriage and their children have gone off to college.

Greg, a financial trader, goes to the park on his lunch break and meets Sylvia (Kara D’Antoni), a sassy, spunky stray dog looking for a new home. The two connect immediately, however Kate does not approve of housing a dog at this point in their lives.

Along the way, Greg and Kate encounter several characters that try to help them through their new lifestyle with Sylvia. First, Tom (Christian Lombino) a fellow dog park goer with a good-looking golden named Bowser.

Next, Phyllis (London Jones) a high-society woman with a bit of a drinking problem. Finally, we are introduced to Leslie (Erin Clemente), an androgynous marriage consoler that has some personal issues as well.

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It's the Write Thing to do: Why Writing is Important

Writing ImportantWhy is it important to write?

The importance of writing is simple yet equally complex. Just one of the reasons a person might write is for personal satisfaction or fulfillment. Writing is an art form, meaning that it can be used to release and portray feelings that might go otherwise unsaid.

I am a believer in the concept of keeping a journal and documenting personal thoughts. It is healthy to make note of how you feel daily. Keeping record of these moments is important to keep an open and clear mind. 

Granted, it can be very difficult to find time for writing when we have grown accustomed to moving so fast. We, as a society, sometimes forget to take a moment and appreciate all we have, let alone document it. 

Deadlines, exams, work, studying, the list is endless. As college students, we can barely find the time to breathe. Everyone struggles with finding the time to stop and write, but taking every moment you can get makes it worth it. Whether it be scribbling down a few sentences before bed, or writing a note in my phone as I walk to class, writing down a passing thought is pacifying. 

Disclaimer, you don’t need to be a poetic genius to write! Especially if you are writing for pleasure, simply let your mind articulate your words to the page or your screen.

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Student Spotlight: Joe Johnson

Student Spotlight1We all have a million things on our plate, but, the way we handle them is always the way people will remember us.

The way Joe Johnson, a senior criminal justice student with a minor in sociology, handles his workload and still manages to give back to the Monmouth University community is how he’ll be remembered.

Johnson remembers, “I only applied to three schools, Rowan University, Montclair State University and Monmouth. As I started receiving acceptance letters, the only school who offered me the most scholarship money was Monmouth.So, I chose Monmouth to begin my journey and have loved it ever since.”

Originally from Edison, NJ, he has been an influential figure to remember at the University. He said, “The first club/organization that I got involved with at Monmouth was African American Student Union (AASU) was extremely difficult to look around campus and not see many people of color. In my high school, I was accustomed to people of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, but when I came here it was hard finding people of my same race that I could connect with. So, I took it upon myself to join the club and see if there were people who had the same thoughts and interests as me.”

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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