Last updateMon, 10 Dec 2018 4pm


Women Helping Women: My Experience in Guatemala

Women in GuatemalaI have been wrong about feminism. As a student enrolled in Guatemala Public Health, taught by Chris Hirschler Ph.D., Department Chair and associate professor of Health and Physical Education, I have been required to learn Guatemalan culture and, more specifically, the plight of the women who live there.

Before traveling to Guatemala as part of the service-learning component of this course, I read articles, watched videos, and engaged in discussions with my classmates. I came prepared to help with what I thought was a mind free of preconceived notions. With the utmost cultural sensitivity, my classmate, Sneha Bupathi, a junior health studies student, and I developed the lesson we would have to teach to victims of domestic violence.

Bupathi said, “We decided on art therapy because we wanted the women we worked with to relax, express their feelings, and create something that they could keep.” Knowing that we needed an expert opinion, we consulted Jennifer Gottshall, an adjunct professor of health and physical education, who approved of our plan and added that “Art therapy also has the ability to enhance confidence,” a trait that any victim of domestic violence is likely lacking.

Needless to say, I knew I would be working with women throughout the course of this trip, but no article, documentary, or class discussion could have prepared me for what I was about to experience. 

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A Conversation, A Decentralized Brotherhood

Decentralized BrotherhoodThere is a beautiful home in Manasquan, New Jersey; if you were to walk into this home it would look just like any other, but if you were to stroll down to the basement, you would enter a small home studio.

A computer monitor sat on the right, a microphone to the left of it, and keyboards surrounding it. The walls were poster-ladened with images of different bands, artists, and influencers.

Casted into the corner was perhaps the most pertinent frame: a t-shirt with Recess Radio’s name and logo much like the first ones they sold, perhaps this was the one that got the ball rolling for Recess Radio, because now, “Nothing is a joke,” according to producer/artist Blake Foster.

 Recess Radio carries the age old narrative of a music group that started back in high school. According to the three members I spoke to, the group formed around September of their senior year, and eventually became a collective of eight people: Daniel Harmon, a.k.a Skyeboii; Seamus Higgins, a.k.a ShaeBoro; Blake Foster, a.k.a Lakeblake; Martin Terry, Sean Ferguson, Eddie Destefano, Andrew Cosenza, and Justin Hetzle.

The year 2016 seems about a lifetime ago when Recess’ success is taken into account, but that is when the high school friends got together, made beats, and created tracks that no one knew about. At that time it wasn’t at all serious, but Eddie Destefano stated passionately that, “nothing starts serious.”

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Mattel Introduces Line of ‘Shero’ Barbies; Amelia Earhart, Frida Kahlo, Chloe Kim to be Included

Mattel Shero BarbiesMattel’s Barbie dolls have been around since 1959, when Co-Founder, Ruth Handler designed the original Barbie figure and debuted her at the New York Toy Fair.

Since then, the dolls have transformed over the past 55 years; Barbie has become a nurse, teacher, astronaut, game developer, and most recently, a president. The newest addition to the collection of dolls is the design of the Inspiring Women series.

This series includes influential women figures throughout history portrayed as Barbie dolls such as Frida Kahlo, Amelia Earhart, Katherine Johnson, and soon to come Chloe Kim, Ibtihaj Muhammad, and many other women both past and present.

The idea of a ‘Shero’ or a female hero is not unheard of in today’s society.

Michael Chattalas, Ph.D., a specialist professor of marketing and international business said, “Society’s stereotype of a ‘hero’ is adjusting to changing gender roles. My own research on cultural stereotypes, suggests that an ideal ‘hero’ figure should exude both competence and warmth, which could be a perfect fit for Barbie’s Shero image.”

According to Mattel’s website, “86 percent of moms surveyed are worried about the kind of role models their daughters are exposed to [according to a 2018 online survey].”

“That’s why Barbie continues to showcase examples of inspirational women. From Sheroes to Inspiring Women, meet our latest Barbie role models–all extraordinary women we’ve honored with a doll in their likeness.”

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Inspiring by Aspiring: Natalie Newbold

default article imageBold, Talented. Newbold, New Natalie.

This 28-year-old virtuoso has been drumming since she was 10 years old, playing guitar since she was 14, and has been song writing as long as she’s had a journal. The longevity of her dedication serves as a standard of what passion is in the music industry.

Having been a dedicated member of dollys, from 2013 to 2017, and a touring drummer and backing vocalist in Green Paper while at Rutgers New Brunswick, Newbold has become renowned in the music scene for her pleasant vocals and drum playing, equaled only by her kindness and support for others in the scene.

Natalie is currently the front-man of Well Wisher, where she sings lead vocals and plays guitar.

At the front of the stage, the shield of her kit has been removed, and her vulnerability is seen not just from her standing, singing body, but in her sincere expressions as she reveals her heart live for those in the audience to enjoy, relate to, and be moved from.

“As a performer, the thing that magnetized me and seemingly so many people to Natalie is how candid and honest everything she does FEELS when you watch her.  Every musician knows how hard it is to constantly be connected with the music you are trying to convey,” said Erik Romero, close friend of Natalie’s and former band member of dollys.

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Student Spotlight: Will Jones

Student Spotlight Will Jones 1Junior computer science advanced computing, software engineer student with a double minor in mathematics and informational technology, William Jones is enrolled at Monmouth University but has some interesting life experiences that set him apart from his peers. Not only has Jones served in the United States’ military, he also is married with a son and a daughter and about ten years older than the average college undergraduate.

William Tepfenhart, Ph.D., a professor of computer science and software engineering (CSSE) commented about Jones, “He’s a great guy and good role model for the other students. He demonstrates that by helping others, interacting with new students to make them feel welcome, and [Jones] helps bring a level of maturity to the classroom. He’s active in the Monmouth University Chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).”

Jones is the president of IEEE and organizes many events with the group and continues to find ways to keep the organization active and involved with the community. “Professor Kretsch advises IEEE and Association for Computer Machinery (ACM) and Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE), which is the honor society for computing,” Jones said.

Jamie Kretsch, Chair of the CSSE department and specialist professor said, “He is known by a wide range of students, from freshmen through graduate students, because he is always involved in department-related events, always there to help others, and always in the middle of activities to further our department on campus.

“Will is known by all faculty because of his dedication and enthusiasm for learning, and the strong sense of responsibility he brings to Monmouth and our program. As a U.S. veteran, Will is an inspiration to all in his patriotism and commitment to serving Monmouth and the United States with pride and honor.”

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Doing it for the Art: Abstract vs. Traditional

Abstract Traditional 1Slap some color on a canvas, step back, call it a day, and sell it for $50,000. To an untrained artist, this is the process they believe professionals such as Jackson Pollock, Ad Reinhardt, and Mark Rothko practiced as a means of arriving at a valid statement.

This narrow-minded approach as to how abstract art is observed as opposed to traditional art, is what has haunted abstract artists for decades; artists as such receive a great deal of criticism today from the young urban professionals in museums.

Abstract Traditional 2To an artist, nothing is more insulting than a blank canvas. Scott Knauer, Director of Galleries and Collections for the University’s Art Department said, “It may take hours or even days to start to see something develop, but time goes by quickly after you get the painting started.” The sustained burden of wonder hovers over the artists and demands a specific outcome.

Producing a work of art from the heart and having it rejected is detrimental to the artist’s mindset and future creations; they present their work for the purpose of receiving feedback and gratification. The artist relies on the viewers’ impressions in order to improve; benefits sometimes include a potential buyer, although, this is not always the case.

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Nothing but Respect for Our [SGA] President: Nick Verzicco

Respect Nick VerziccoIt’s true that the energy we harvest within ourselves, has a direct impact on those around us. For junior business administration/finance student and Student Government President, Nicholas Verzicco, this impact is nothing but positivity and enthusiasm for Monmouth University.

Verzicco recalls, “I decided to come to Monmouth because of the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) program which has helped me tremendously in my Monmouth career. The extra support I was going to receive was very appealing to me. Also, the beauty of this campus really made me feel at home. In the sculpture garden by the Koi pond is where I decided that if I get into the EOF program I would come here.”

It was during the summer of 2015 five week EOF program where Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement, Mary Anne Nagy first met Verzicco. Nagy said of Verzicco, “I’ve been here 32 years and have worked with a lot of student leaders, and I have to say, I think Nick is a pretty amazing young man.”

Nagy recalls her first impressions of Verzicco saying, “He’s funny, outgoing and he makes you feel good because he feels good and that’s important.”

As Student Government President and a Student Ambassador for the University, Verzicco knows he has the ability to influence his peers and other students.

Verzicco said, “Being a student leader on campus means that you are a familiar face that students can go to for advice or direction. I take pride in being a student leader and I want my fellow peers to take pride in Monmouth.”

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Suns Shoes Aiming to Make the World a Little Brighter

SUNS Shoes 1With all of the tragedy happening in recent years, one start-up company called SUNS Shoes is aiming to make the world a brighter and happier place for all.

Launched in the summer of 2017, SUNS Shoes set out the goal to kick-start a movement towards positivity in adults, teens and pre-teens who might not have the resources to do grand gestures for their community. SUNS focuses on encouraging positive thinking, gratitude, empathy, and random Acts of Kindness (AOKs) under their “BE KIND AND SHINE ON” rallying.

Holding open the door for someone, telling a friend how much they appreciate him or her, or even just helping a person in need are only a few ways to perform AOKs. The founders were inspired by research on how the community is affected and positive psychology of performing simple AOKs, and by the invigorating energy of the sun.

Shoes for both women and children, each style of SUNS is uniquely designed to transform when exposed to sunlight, shifting to more vibrant tones and patterns. Changes can occur in the canvas, rubber sidewall and laces of the shoes. The shoes may be completely white inside, but step into the sunlight and the shoes change to blue right before your eyes.

Ariana Murdocca, a junior communication student explained, “Just looking at them and watching them change color makes me happy.” However, the product itself is a shoe, the brand focuses significantly on the message behind it.

After the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, two young Boston locals, Kaya and Maddie wondered if the two bombers had more kindness in their lives maybe they would have never carried out such a heinous act. They remembered reading a news article about the two brothers disliking school and rarely getting along with their classmates. They thought, “Maybe if their formative years had been a different experience, would the outcome of that fateful day have been any different?”

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What is Love? How to Not Let Your Baby Hurt You No More

What is LoveLove is an emotion that so many people have attempted to understand, but have failed. With the feeling of love so much more impactful than anything, love has taken over the minds of a vast majority of college students.

The modern concept of love is somewhat of a challenge; how does one get past the communication hurdle or how does one know when there is true love? These difficulties hinder the minds of people wanting to accept love, causing them to overthink and not accept when love is right in front of them.

However, the question remains, what is love? Love is the intense and deep feelings of affection. Usually, this fondness is shared between people. In addition, true love brings loyalty and trust between the partners involved; love is not something someone can go to the store and buy, but it is something that people must let come to them by itself. When in love, there should not be a reward or a punishment, but more so an everyday feeling and admiration for someone else. With all of these components, misunderstandings and mistakes can be seen as inevitable.

To begin, communicating between partners is a tricky portion of love. In the 21st century, technology has strained the smoothness of communication that times before did not have; for example, social media apps such as Tinder and Snapchat have contributed to this. Though Tinder was made for people who wanted to find love, often times it is used as a hook up outlet for its users.

Since Tinder’s showcasing in 2012, it has found a new meaning, but there are still a few who would rather keep the traditional views of the dating app and use it to find a real partner and love interaction.

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Student Spotlight: Chris Rapaglia

Student SpotlightVibrant, passionate, kind and outgoing, Chris Rapaglia, is a sophomore social work student who advocates for change, justice, creativity, and voice in many disenfranchised communities.

She is proudly a transgender woman and works part-time at Voyagers, a progressive school for K-12 youth in Eatontown, NJ. She also serves as Vice President of Sexuality, Pride, Education, Community, Truth, Respect, and Unity at Monmouth (S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M), the on-campus LGBTQ+ group that participates in a number of activist-driven events.

Rapaglia has been a member of the club since fall of 2016 and has been involved in countless events such as the weekly club meetings, the diversity open mic night and intersectionality week with the ally clubs. She also participates in the annual coming out day held outside of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center.

Rapaglia actively circulates ideas to the club by listening to what her peers have to say and by voicing her creative and unique perspectives on how to bridge LGBTQ+ folks and allies in a community, which promotes pluralistic ideas.

“Chris is a very generous and loving person and has made me feel welcome in S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M and other club group meetings. She always has the best interest of everyone at heart,” said Bianca Zazzarini Leon, a sophomore English student. Her compassion and genial personality has led her to be an admirable and successful role model in the LGBTQ+ community both on and off campus.

 Being a social work student, Rapaglia is able to take her activism a step further and use the valuable lessons she learns in the classroom, and apply them through a lens which promotes inclusivity both with the LGBTQ+ club and in the jobs she pursues.

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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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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