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Last updateWed, 11 Sep 2019 12pm

Features

The Woman Behind Student Success

Meet Dr. Mercy Azeke, Dean of the Center for Student Success


Behind Student SuccessThe Center for Student Success (CSS) allows students to have access to the many programs and services that help students cope with the stresses of college. These include the academic rigors, determining and declaring an appropriate major, acquiring valuable leadership and work experiences, and making progress towards degree completion. The CSS houses all of the programs that help students accomplish these goals including the Office of First Year Advising, the Tutoring Center, Career Services, Experiential Education, Service Learning and Community Programs, the Department of Disability Services, the Writing Center, Supplemental Instruction, the Office of Transfer and Undeclared Services and the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF). Dr. Mercy Azeke is the overseer for all of the programs encompassed by the CSS.

Azeke became the Dean of the CSS in October 2009. She is originally from Nigeria where she received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Nigeria in home economics education. She came to the Statesin 1980 with her husband. After a few months in the U.S., she decided with the help of her parents to go to graduate school at Temple University, where she received her master’s in curriculum instruction and doctorate degree in vocational education.

Azeke has worked in both public and private two-year and four-year institutions. Prior to coming to the University, she worked at Virginia Tech as the Director of Academic Advising and Student Services for the Undergraduate Program in Pamplin College of Business. Before that, Dr. Azeke served for several years as Executive Director of the First Year Experience at Norfolk State University. She has also worked at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois, where she was the first Director of Academic and Personal Support Services. Her areas of expertise include student development, enrollment management, student retention, academic advising, and academic and career services. She has also taught education courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

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“Mission: Philosophy” Pioneers Forward

Students Fight to Organize Philosophy Major


Pioneers ForwardWhat initially began as five inspired college students pushing to add another field of study to the curriculum has become a well-supported movement to encourage the University to offer its students philosophy as a major.

In the fall 2010, five students, Jessica Celestino, Aziz Mama, Emily Curry, Matthew-Donald Sangster, and Andrew Bell, found themselves in the same intriguing existentialism class that left them with a new appreciation for philosophy and a love for the subject.

Once the group discovered that the University did not offer a philosophy major, they mobilized in spring 2011 and have since been working to add the major.

“Mission: Philosophy” promotes the philosophy major and all of the benefits it offers. In order to raise awareness about the movement, the executive board members of the Philosophy Club, who are also the pioneers of the movement, have made numerous presentations in first-year seminar classes and introductory classes in the social sciences and humanities, according to Curry, Secretary of the Philosophy Club and one of the movement’s pioneers.

“We wish to make the students aware of the lack of a philosophy major, gain student support, and encourage students interested in philosophy to declare a minor,” added Curry.

Philosophy was offered as a major at the University at one point in time during the 1980’s, but it was eventually dropped due to lack of student interest. “Many students don’t take philosophy seriously because there is not an obvious career path for a philosopher,” said Bell, Vice President of the Philosophy Club. “However, philosophy is extremely important in order to analyze things critically.”

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Alum, DJ, Statistician, Inspired All Who Knew Him

Beloved Member of the Communication Department Passes Away


Ray Michelli 1Ray Michelli was someone you just couldn’t miss when you walked into a room packed with people. It had nothing to do with the fact that he was bound to a wheelchair; it had everything to do with an infectious smile, as described by many, which lit up everyone around him.

After living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy for all his 36 years, Ray passed away on Thursday, October 6. Remembered by a support system of family and friends, he was also cherished by several members of the University community. As a communication student, a sports talk show host and DJ for WMCX, and a statistician for the University football team, this former Hawk had his plate full, but enjoyed every bite of it.

“As anyone who knew him came to realize, he was one of the proudest and most courageous human beings anyone could ever meet,” Nick Mischelli, Ray’s uncle, said during the funeral’s eulogy.

Dr. Chad Dell, Chair of the Department of Communication, commemorates Ray’s smile and positive attitude. “He was so passionate about radio, he was passionate about sports, and he always had something funny or an interesting angle that made me see things a different way, so I always liked talking to him,” Dell says. He heard of Ray’s passing on the University’s alumni Facebook page.

One University member who was particularly close with Ray was Professor Chris Cavallaro, who had him in his Introduction to Radio Production course and Advanced Radio Production courses in the late 90’s. “At first it was a professor-student relationship, but then I think we got to be more like friends.”

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What We’re Really Thinking About Halloween

Overpriced Drinks, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Other Halloween Favorites


Thinking About HalloweenThe leaves have all fallen, it’s dark before 6:00 pm and you need a jacket in the morning. Welcome to fall! And we all know what that means… Halloween is on its merry way.

Get ready to start stressing over whether you should be a nurse or cat woman. God forbid anyone chose something original. And we all know that some guy is going to be the condom dispenser and act like he’s the first person to wear the costume.

Or maybe you don’t have the good fortune of getting to dress up like an angel for the 15th time. Perhaps you’ll be chained to your front door for eight hours as snot nosed kids stomp all over your front lawn and come to your door looking for candy like bums begging for a dollar.

When Halloween falls on a Saturday or Sunday, there’s always that parent that decides that 9:00 am is a suitable time to begin trick or treating. That’s always fun. And who doesn’t love the kid who grabs 50 Kit Kats after you specifically say “TAKE ONE”? Then they’ll go running, trampling your beautiful hydrangea bushes without as much as a thank you.

We all secretly love Halloween because it is an excuse to be a kid again. But does anyone remember worrying about bars doubling their entry fees when we were 12? Nope, because now you’re 21, and you can drink legally! Which means bars get to slap you with a $30 entry fee and $15 “haunted” mojitos? Well, drink up! You’ll have more fun dressed as Charlie Sheen if you’re inebriated.

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The Scares in Your State

The Most Haunted Places in New Jersey


Scares in Your State 1It is that time of year again. The days are shorter, the nights are cooler, and tales of ghost stories and hauntings are sought out by many.

The ghosts of the dead can make their presence known by running us off the road, or giving us a glimpse of them. We might hear their footsteps and find that objects were moved when we were not looking. Maybe it was just your imagination, or maybe it was the ghosts of the dead reaching out to you.

New Jersey hosts one of the most haunted roads in the United States, a ghostly colonial manor, and has its own homegrown tales of terror.

Some people believe in ghosts and some do not, but one can go to these haunted places and find out for themselves if they are a true believer.

One of the most haunted roads in America is located in West Milford. With a history of unexplained phenomena, Clinton Road is a 10-mile stretch of road surrounded by woods. “There’s a lot of strange activity here on Clinton Road,” Mark Johnson of New Jersey Paranormal Research said. “Many people have had accidents here and some people have died.”

The phantom truck whose headlights appear out of nowhere is known to chase unsuspecting drivers late at night. “It drives erratically, it tailgates, and it tries to force you off the road,” Johnson said.

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Skipping Class

Guidelines to Follow for the Forgetful Student


default article imageWe’ve all done it. We just don’t want to wake up for that 8:30 am class all the way across campus. We hit the snooze button one too many times, or maybe we just had a really late night of partying it up.

Whatever your reasoning is, everyone has once, twice, or 50 times, skipped their classes.

Now, everyone knows that professors have attendance policies and strict rules about how many classes one can miss, but what most people don’t realize is that it’s a lot easier to skate around these rules and guidelines than one might think.

All it takes is a little common sense and some creativity at times.

There are a few common mistakes and misconceptions when it comes to skipping class. The first and, without a doubt, biggest mistake someone could make when skipping class is using the same excuse on a professor more than once.

This may seem like an obvious “don’t,” but according to Professor Robert Scott, Communication professor, it happens more often than you’d think.

“I’m reminded of the student a few years back whose grandmother had died three times in the course of a single semester,” he said. “Now, I don’t teach biology, but this scenario seems highly unlikely.”

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A Neat Freak’s Nightmare

The Disease Behind A&E’s “Hoarders”


A Neat FreakMany people collect things such as coins, dolls, baseball cards, and antique items. Keeping a collection clean and organized allows the individual to enjoy the items they have acquired. However, some people begin to collect things compulsively, and it consumes them.

If this behavior continues unchecked, and a home is filled with useless items that are unorganized and unkept, it is most likely a hoarding situation.

The A&E television show “Hoarders” addresses the issue of compulsive hoarding and assists the participants on the show in recognizing, cleaning up and receiving treatment for their disorder.

Compulsive hoarding is defined as “an irresistible desire to possess an extraordinary amount of items that, to others, may seem to have absolutely no value at all,” according to The Compulsive Hoarding Cure’s website.

In one episode, Andrew’s home is completely filled with stuff to the point the house is unlivable.

The hoard has spread to consume the entire property and he has a homeless man living in his front yard. His furnace no longer works, there is no running water, and the town is threatening to remove him from the home. After the show, he refused after-care treatment and the town did remove him. As a consequence to his hoarding, Andrew ended up homeless before he would part with his hoard.

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The Price of a College Education

Understanding the Tuition and ‘Fees’ at a Higher Institution


default article imageToday’s economy has most students and their families constantly stalking their checkbooks. With the already suffering economic conditions in the United States, a college education only puts more financial stress on families and individuals. This can make us take a step back and wonder where our college tuition is really going.

Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Director of Financial Aid, Claire Alasio, said that the University’s tuition goes to “anything you see happening on campus. Classes, any events you see going on, building maintenance, faculty salary…Everything has a cost.”

Many students agree with this statement, though from a different perspective. We look at only the college expenses that pertain to us.

Alyssa Gray, a freshman, said that as a commuter, most of her money goes to food and gas.

Chris Orlando, a freshman, said, “The largest expense, aside from tuition, is my textbooks. Food and school events are some of my other large expenses.”

These expenses, however, apply to any university student. Alasio said that in her opinion, Monmouth is priced fairly.

“You have to consider that Monmouth is private, meaning not funded through tax payers,” she said. “There are 14 private schools in New Jersey. I would say we’re in the lower third when it comes to comparing tuition prices.” Alasio adds that in the 15 years she has been at Monmouth, this year was the first year that she has seen an annual tuition increase of more than five percent.

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Keeping Your Wallet Full

How to Get Around Major College Expenses


Wallet FullIf there is one thing that every student knows, it is that college is expensive, and prices only continue to go up. Reducing spending can be difficult, but it is an effective way of saving money.

One of the major college expenses is the cost of books. According to yourcreditadvisor.com, the best way to save money on books is to start by buying used books. Students can also take advantage of websites such as amazon.com in order to find reasonably priced text books. After the semester, students are encouraged to sell their books back.

Credit card debt can often start early if a student is not careful, so students are encouraged to stay away from credit card usage unless it is an emergency. If a credit card is used, students should get in the habit of paying bills on time to avoid the late fees and pay more than the minimum payment fee.

College students do not realize how much they spend on food outside of their meal plans. Weekly take out alone can add up to a lot of money every month. According to collegescholarships.org, a student who buys a daily cup of coffee may end up spending over $250 per semester.

“College students can save money by not getting take-out because delivery and take out start to add up quickly,” said Elizabeth Regan, junior accounting major. “Don’t stop by Einstein’s bagels every morning even when your class is right next door, and cut down on student center lunch dates.”

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From Hollywood to the Jersey Shore

Meet Professor Rob Scott of the Communication Department


Hollywood to the Jersey Shore 1At the University, there are many professors that one can meet, who will help guide you along your career path and future endeavors. One of these professors is Robert Scott, Specialist Professor in the radio/TV concentration of the communication major.

Born and raised in New Jersey, Scott lived in Scotch Plains until the age of five when his family moved to Lincroft. He attended the Christian Brothers Academy for four years, and then his family moved to Brielle on the Manasquan River.

After graduating high school, Scott decided to attend the United States Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut for about two years until he reevaluated certain things and decided to transfer to Monmouth College (Monmouth did not have university-status at that time).

This is when he really started experimenting with film and video. “During high school and undergraduate studies, I spent a great deal of time taking photographs, shooting 8mm film and video, and writing as a hobby. I was also doing the same as part of related school activities and a few minor professional jobs,” said Scott.

Originally, Scott wanted to pursue a career in marine biology and fantasized of attending the Woods Hold Oceanographic Institute and traveling the world’s oceans. “Then, I learned the significant role that math and science play in these professions,” joked Scott. He then changed his major to history and political science.

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Put Down That Phone!

The Dangers of Texting and Driving


default article imageWe’ve all done it. As you’re driving, you hear your phone ring. You check the text, reply, and throw it back onto the passenger seat, all while keeping a steady speed. No one died, right? No harm done. Plus, you can drive while texting, you know what you’re doing.

Well in those five seconds it took for you to answer that text, you may have traveled the length of a football field.

Seems a little dangerous to do without really paying attention, doesn’t it?

Up until recently, texting while driving had not been taken very seriously. But since there were about 6,000 deaths caused by distracted driving in 2009, people have begun to realize how dangerous texting while driving can really be; and have tried to stop it.

Studies done by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, one of the leading vehicle safety investigation institutes in the world, showed that while a teenager is texting behind the wheel, he or she spends at least 10 percent of that time outside the driving lane they are supposed to be in.

The study also showed that drivers using a hand held device are four times more likely to be in a serious crash than those that are not distracted while driving. At that point, why even risk it? I’m sure any information you were going to get from that text can wait until you are safely parked and off the road.

According to CBS News, 97 percent of Americans agree that the habit should be illegal.

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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