Last updateFri, 19 Jun 2020 7pm


Alumna Spotlight on Tara Ackaway

Spotlight Tara AckawayMonmouth alumna Tara Ackaway, CEO and founder of Social Wise Communications, has been featured in ForbesWomen on Thursday, March 28.

At 22, Ackaway, a former communication student, founded Social Wise, a boutique public relations company, after graduating Monmouth. After four years, her team now works with small businesses, non-profit organizations, authors, entrepreneurs and celebrities. Her portfolio includes projects with Bravo, E! News and MTV.

Prior to the launch of Social Wise Communications, Ackaway was interning in the city balancing three high-profile entertainment public relations and social media gigs. When she was a senior at Monmouth, Ackaway got an internship with the Bravo series “The Real Housewives of New York City.”

“I was a student during all of this. I was going in and out of the city (NYC) almost daily,” she said. “Everyone wants immediate results. I knew working this amount of hours and this high stress pressured job would lead me to something. I didn’t know what it would be but I knew it would lead me to this bigger, amazing experience.”

“I did a lot of networking in the city. I talked with a lot of people. I made a business card with my name on it and I handed it out all over the place,” she continued.

Ackaway said, “It wasn’t all glamorous. And, I appreciated the work ethic required to complete those not-so-glamorous responsibilities.”

John Morano, a professor of journalism, had Ackaway as a student and her company now represents him as his publicist.

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Student Activities Spotlight on Eta Sigma Gamma

Student Activities ESG 1Excellence, professionalism, and health promotion. Those are some of the values of Eta Sigma Gamma (ESG), the National Health Education Honorary.

At Monmouth University, ESG holds events for health education and community service such as CPR certification training, blood drives, and donations to various organizations.

“Through many of these events, we give our members the opportunity to propel into careers in health,” said Justin Badamo, a senior health studies student and Vice President of ESG. Badamo’s passion for health bleeds into his involvement in ESG.

“This semester, we collected and delivered donations to the Monmouth County SPCA in West Long Branch. The animal shelter was extremely grateful for the much-needed supplies and food, and our members were happy to have participated in such a wonderful event,” Badamo said.

Badamo showcases his enthusiasm for health by leading the organization, promoting health-related activities, and giving back to the community.

The chapter is an embodiment of the hard work and success of health studies students across Monmouth. Being inducted into the accomplished honor society is a path toward new, fulfilling experiences.

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Professor Spotlight on Claude Taylor

Professor Spotlight Claude TaylorClaude E. Taylor is a lecturer of communication and the Advisor-in-Residence for Academic Transition and Inclusion at Monmouth.

A native of Asbury Park, NJ, Taylor was born to his mother Audrey Taylor, a Jamaican immigrant, and father Roosevelt Taylor who was from North Carolina.

Upon graduating Red Bank Catholic High School at 17, he decided to continue his academic and athletic career at West Chester University of Pennsylvania playing football.

“I was not a starter, but our program was coached by legendary PSAC coach Danny Hale, who emphasized that my role on the practice squad was as important as the starting players,” said Taylor.

Taylor only played three out of the four years at West Chester because he was unable to balance academics and athletics. Since he was not a scholarship player, he relied heavily on his education.

“I highly value the student-athlete experience, but it does sometimes call for sacrifices that are hard to make,” Taylor shared.

Taylor graduated from West Chester with a bachelor’s degree in speech communication and a master’s degree in communication studies.

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A Better Life in Guatemala: One Individual at a Time

Better Life GuatemalaWhen I stumbled across an email expounding the details of a course called Guatemala Public Health, taught by Chris Hirschler, Ph.D., I couldn’t help but be drawn to a class that would foster academic success while concurrently stimulating global understanding in a developing country.

I had no idea that this email would lead me to one of the greatest experiences that I have encountered.

For seven weeks, five other students and I prepared for our upcoming travels, reading articles and watching documentaries that would try to prepare us for what we would experience in Guatemala, not realizing that this could not fully prepare us for what we would eventually see, smell, hear, and feel with our own senses.

The curriculum educated us on impoverished conditions, the prevalence of violence, and taught us the history of the country, enabling us to understand the present.

Our class consisted of six students, as well as Ekaterina Bronshteyn, an adjunct instructor of music and theatre. Additionally, Jeffrey Wilhelms, a lecturer of sociology at Rutgers, joined us on our journey. Our group was welcomed with open arms by Archie and Jacky Contreras of A Better Life Foundation Guatemala.

Together, we constructed bunk beds, picked up trash within a cemetery located in Chichicastenango, assembled water filtration systems, hiked up the Picaya volcano, toured a private hospital, and met with Selaine d’Amborosi, a representative of a nonprofit animal welfare program, Ayuda.

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Spotlight on Coach Kevin Callahan

Spotlight Kevin CallahanMonmouth University’s Head Football Coach, Kevin Callahan, has developed a foundation of excellence on the field and throughout life.

“I came here to start a football program. As we continued to build the program and evolve, the job kept changing. There were always new challenges and approaches to doing things,” said Callahan.

Callahan has been the only head coach since the football program began. This past season, he led his team to an 8-3 record, a second Big South Championship appearance. They placed ninth overall among Division I Football Championship Subdivision head coaches with 152 victories.

“There is a sense of ownership with the program because I have been with it from the beginning. The support that football gets is outstanding. I really like the people at Monmouth University, so it’s made it easy to stay here,” said Callahan.

A native of Elmira, NY, Callahan earned a bachelor’s degree in history from University of Rochester in 1977, while being a student athlete on the football team.

Before becoming head coach at Monmouth, he spent three years at University of Albany as a graduate assistant, one year at Syracuse as an offensive assistant, two years at Wagner College as defensive coordinator, and eight and a half years as a defensive coordinator for Colgate University.

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Tips on Surviving the Rest of the Semester

Surviving SemesterAfter midterms and spring break, the workload of the semester can hit like a tidal wave. As longings for summer arise, it is not uncommon to feel sluggish and unmotivated. However, there are plenty of opportunities to find ways to thrive from now until the rest of the semester.

Motivation is the driving force behind a successful semester. It can be found by looking ahead at future goals and celebrating past accomplishments, both big and small. If there’s a specific goal you want nothing more than to achieve, then finding the incentive to work toward it will come naturally. Motivation is a powerful tool that will provide endless bursts of energy to get stuff done.

“I find motivation by just reminding myself that everything will be okay, and that I can do everything one step at a time,” said Caitlin O’Leary, a sophomore clinical lab sciences student.

Spring is an opportunity for new beginnings. The time is ripe for planning ahead, arranging a consistent study schedule, and managing time.

Staying organized will ensure that you don’t lose track of assignments as the semester progresses. Simply maintaining a planner or setting phone reminders can go a long way, and a classic to-do list has never let anybody down.

Janice Stapley Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology, said, “Since adolescents and emerging adults tend to be present focused, it is better to work on the rest of the semester in a week by week fashion and set a reward for yourself when you complete things on your planner list.”

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Student Spotlight on Logan Smet

Student Spotlight Logan SmetLogan Smet, a senior communication student and women’s lacrosse player, has an inspirational story of overcoming obstacles to achieve her greatest aspirations.

“My dad has always told me that education equals scholarship, scholarship equals education, and education equals future. That has sort of become my mantra throughout college,” said Smet.

A native of Rockville, Maryland, Smet did not realize where her athletic talents could lead her. “I began taking the sport seriously when I saw the college coaches at the tournaments recruiting. If I could get enough of them to look at me, I could get the chance to go to school for free. It opened my eyes to the things I could do and use lacrosse to open doors for myself,” she said.

Smet was looking for an institution that would give her an amazing opportunity to further her education at the highest level while competing on a NCAA Division I scholarship. She happily committed to Monmouth University.

“It was truly a moment I will never forget,” said Smet.

Smet tore her ACL following her commitment. Luckily, her injury did not impact her scholarship, but she faced the obstacle of working hard to recover from her injury for the remainder of high school.

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Student Spotlight on Nicholas Paradise

Student Spotlight Nicholas ParadiseIn his on-campus suite, Nicholas Paradise grabbed his acoustic guitar and began to strum a series of random chords. His close friends listened as he turned a simple chord progression into much more by adding unique zest. There was passion in his strums as the guitar’s crisp vibrations engulfed the space around him.

Paradise, a sophomore music student, has held music close to his heart ever since childhood. The beginning of his musical journey was characterized by constantly being around music, listening his parents’ CDs and receiving his first guitar at the age of six. It was a spark that ignited a powerful musical dream.

“I loved music so much as a kid, and obviously I’ve carried on with it,” said Paradise, his passion on the subject settling in the faint smile on his face. Paradise said that he used to take guitar lessons, but became much more proficient by teaching himself.

However, Paradise decided to become a music major only one year ago. After a year of majoring in media arts at Sacred Heart University, he transferred to Monmouth to pursue a degree in music.

Paradise said, “I came to the realization that, ‘Yeah, I should major in music, this is what I want to do, I can’t see myself anywhere else.’”

Paradise is involved with Blue Hawk Records, Monmouth’s student-run record label. His role consisted of determining which artists will be featured on the record’s 14th compilation album. Auditions for the album took place on Feb. 11.

“Blue Hawk Records is really cool and unique. I don’t know any other college that has their own record label run by students,” said Paradise. “It’s also a big reason why I came here, because other music programs weren’t nearly as all-encompassing as this. There’s a lot of accessibility when it comes to being involved in the whole process.”

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How to Still Make Time For Your Friends When You’re in a Relationship

Make Time For FriendsNew relationships are so fun and invigorating. You spend every waking moment with your new partner and talk about your newfound happiness 24/7. But you soon realize that you have placed your friends on the backburner. You are no longer hanging out with them and texting, snapchatting, and talking to your besties all day long.

Let’s be honest, no matter how much your boyfriend or girlfriend loves you, they do not want to spend every waking moment with you and vice versa. When you spend too much time with your partner you begin to annoy each other and fight about unimportant things. Spending time away from your partner is healthy.

You do not want to develop a co-dependent relationship, where you can’t do anything alone and your partner is your only source of happiness. You and your better half must have separate lives from each other, with your own friends where you can escape.

Letting your relationship eclipse your friendships is a major dating faux pas. Your friends should always be treated as your day-ones because they have been there for you since day one. A lot of times when people enter into new relationships they become so wrapped up in the romance and do not intentionally ignore their friends.

Sooner or later, they realize that their friends are barely speaking to them and excluding them during hangouts. That is when the FOMO seeps in. But how do you earn their friendship back?

The best way to reconcile with your besties is to talk to them in person and explain to them how wrong you have been and how sorry you are.

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Professor Spotlight on Matthew S. Lifeson

Professor Spotlight Matthew LifsonAt Monmouth there are an abundance of amazing professors that love what they do and provide students with classes where they enjoy learning. Matthew S. Lifson, an instructor of business, falls under that category for many reasons. At Monmouth, Lifson teaches macroeconomics, microeconomics, and finance.

Before starting his career as a professor, Lifson graduated with a Masters in Business Administration in International Finance from St. John’s University. After all educational endeavors, Lifson found his way into the job of a Foreign Exchange Trader at multiple companies including Chase Manhattan Bank, Merrill Lynch International Bank, and PNC Bank. Lifson was the Chief Foreign Exchange Dealer for PNC Bank. He also served as the President of the United States Foreign Exchange Association from 1994 to 1997.

While at PNC, Lifson taught at Duquesne University, University of Pittsburgh and St. Vincent’s College, which began his path into education. Throughout his time at the trading institutions, Lifson had always been involved in seminars and guest lecturing, which peaked his interest.

Teaching is something that Lifson clearly loves doing. “I truly enjoy the interactions that I have with my students,” he said. When in class, Lifson is lively and fully interactive, engaging his students into being truly interested in the subject at hand. This is something that puts Lifson above some other professors because even if the class is a general education class, students will always find a way to be excited and happy to be in class.

His classes have a policy where attendance is not necessarily required, but if you do not show up and miss material for the exam, Lifson will only grade what he is given. This, however, does not matter to the vast majority of his students because each class is usually filled.

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College Graduates are Severely Lacking Soft Skills

College Graduates Lacking Soft SkillsAttention students of Monmouth University! Do you think you have what it takes to succeed in a professional interview setting? Think again…

Studies have shown that while some college graduates may have the right technical skills or may have plenty of experience in their field, many are actually lacking essential soft skills.

In basic terms, soft skills make up who you are as an individual. College graduates should be able to confidently maintain eye contact, shake hands well, think critically, communicate efficiently, foster teamwork, have the ability to make decisions, and possess problem solving skills.

The Washington Post reported on this decline of soft skills and analyzed two tests, the Collegiate Learning Assessment Plus and the Association of American Colleges & Universities. The first study was “administered to 32,000 students at 169 colleges and universities. It found that 40 percent of college seniors fail to graduate with the complex reasoning skills needed in today’s workplace.”

The second study found that “would-be graduates said college armed them with the skills needed for the job market.” However, “employers disagreed. On a range of nearly 20 skills, employers consistently rated students much lower than they judged themselves.”

Possible explanations for such a shortage of soft skills in individuals might include: not being taught at an early age at home, students not realizing it or caring enough, or the use of technology.

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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