Last updateWed, 14 Oct 2020 1pm


Alumna Esosa Ruffin Secures Fellowship

Alumna EsosaPolitical science graduate, Esosa Ruffin ‘20, has recently secured a graduate fellowship at the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE).

Ruffin, who accepted the position in September, said, “I wanted to become a member of the OSHE team because I am really passionate about the policy and issues that this office addresses. I wanted to learn more about how I can make a positive impact for students like myself and give them a voice.”

A native of East Orange, NJ, Ruffin chose to attend Monmouth because of the connection she made with the Educational Opportunity Fund Program (EOF) staff, as well as the benefits of the program.

She said, “While I’ll certainly advocate for the Educational Opportunity Fund Program until my last breath, I am not sure I dawn the title of ‘EOF Advocate’ just yet, as there are many individuals who have rightly earned this title for their extensive lobbying efforts for the program throughout the years...I just try to do my best to explain to people what an amazing access tool EOF is and how it has shaped my life and the lives of countless others.”

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Dr. Gac-Artigas Publishes Article on the Implications of Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Death

Gac Artigas PublishesPriscilla Gac-Artigas, Ph.D., Professor of Spanish and Latin American Literature in the Department of World Languages and Cultures, recently published an article in ViceVersa Magazine about late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The article, titled “Our Pledge to Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” begins with a personal anecdote, includes a discussion as to how the Judge’s death became politicized, and explains the impact Ginsburg’s seat in the Supreme Court can have on future generations.

She concludes the piece with a call to action for readers to fight for justice and equality to honor Ginsburg’s memory. She dedicated the article to her daughter, granddaughters and daughter-in-law.

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Students and Professors Adapt to Multiple Roles During Remote Learning

Adapt RemoteNormal is not a term that can be used to describe the year 2020, nor the lives of the people living in it. Any other year, parents would be working in offices, students would be learning in classrooms, and socializing with others in person would be simple.

Today, one is encouraged to stay in their homes and avoid staying within six feet of others. Rather than coming to campus every day and hosting or attending classes, the majority of students are learning remotely. And, while professors are at home, so are their children.

These trying times have professors fulfilling multiple roles. While trying to teach, class might be interrupted because a professor’s child may need help with schoolwork or they may be hungry. If your professor’s child is in a Zoom class at home, and they get hurt or their nose starts bleeding, their teacher will send them to the parent because there is no nurse’s office in virtual school. This means that class might be interrupted or ended early. For now, this is the new normal and professors are still learning to adjust to it.

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Dr. Ken Womack Publishes Latest Beatles Book

WomackKenneth Womack Ph.D., Professor of English and Popular Music, published his latest book, John Lennon 1980: The Last Days in the Life, on Sept. 15.

“It’s about this amazing comeback at the end of John Lennon’s life where he comes back from a five-year self-imposed retirement and begins making music again,” said Womack, a Beatles fan of 43 years.

He continued, “There was no book that demonstrated and detailed how he had come back, why he came back, how he composed the 10-30 songs that he recorded in the fall of 1980, and how long they were in gestation. I wanted a book to exist that told the story of that incredible comeback of this guy deciding to make a go of it again in a very competitive industry and pulling it off.”

Research for the book included interviews with Lennon’s friends and associates, as well as producers and engineers who worked on his recordings.

“I’m very interested in the process in which art is made,” said Womack. “I want to learn about how someone takes an idea, a ragged idea, and turns it into something in this case that will endure for all time.”

Since beginning his professional writing career in the mid-1990s, Womack has covered all things Beatles, including Long and Winding Roads: The Evolving Artistry of the Beatles (2007), The Cambridge Companion to the Beatles (2009), and The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four (2014).

This semester marks his third time teaching the music course “Introducing the Beatles” after initially teaching it at Penn State beginning in 2002. The class analyzes the music from perhaps the most influential band of all time, their impact on music history, and their upward trajectory from their origins in 1960, their unwavering success in 1969, and until their split one year later.

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Class of 2024: What It's Like to Start College During the COVID-19 Pandemic

2024Members of the Class of 2024 are facing some unique obstacles. After finishing their senior year of high school in quarantine, they’re now transitioning into college at a time where things like online classes and social events are looking a bit different.

First year students shared some concerns, and how they’re navigating campus life, as they enter their third week of college.

“Freshman year is not how I expected it to be because of COVID-19, but Monmouth University helped in putting the students’ safety first and made it possible for me to stay on campus and in my dorm,” said Clinical Lab Sciences student Faith Guerron.

 “It’s been a bit tough to balance working and school again,” shared Kayla Gillespie, a freshman English student.

For students who encounter the common struggle of balancing multiple responsibilities, Director of Tutoring Services Dorothy Cleary recommends reaching out to the University’s many services designed to promote student success.

“As we know that the transition from high school to college can be stressful under ‘normal’ circumstances, I think it’s important for first year students to realize is that there are many resources on campus that can offer support and they should make sure they are familiar with them and how to access those resources,” said Cleary. “Speaking with that student’s first year advisor is a great place to start, and also speaking with your Peer Transition Assistant (PTA).”

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The Black and African Diaspora Forum United

BlackThe Black and African Diaspora Forum United (BADFU) was established as an organization consisting of Black and African American faculty members and allies at Monmouth University, which evaluates African American academics at dominant white institutions of higher education.

The organization began in summer 2020 in response to a series of racist and anti-Black incidents that have occurred involving members of the University community.

Consisting of 19 faculty members, BADFU strives to unearth institutional practices that negatively impact the learning, education, or opportunities for African American and Diaspora students and faculty.

By working with administration and faculty decision makers to transition new practices, BADFU supports the increase of diversity in student and faculty ratio, placing more African Americans in administrative roles (specifically positions of institutional governance), and incorporating education to the institution on matters related to the Black and African Diaspora experience while providing advice through interactions with key stakeholders at the University.

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How to Properly Wear a Mask

Shadow MaskIn order to maintain campus safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital that students wear face masks.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) “recommends that you wear masks in public settings around people who don’t live in your household and when you can’t stay six feet away from others. Masks help stop the spread of COVID-19 to others.”

Because the coronavirus is mainly transmitted by airborne respiratory droplets produced when an infected person talks, coughs, or sneezes, as per the CDC, it is imperative that masks be worn correctly to receive and provide the most protection.

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Jacqueline DiPasquale: A Phoenix from the Ashes

default article imageOn Saturday, March 28, Jacqueline DiPasquale was greeted with a surprise at her door in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ—a scintillating silver crown and a purple-and-white sash that says, “Miss New Jersey International 2020.”

“This is something that I’ve dreamt of for so long,” said DiPasquale, a Monmouth alumna who graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in communication with a concentration in radio and television. “And for it to finally come into fruition, even amidst COVID-19, really is a dream come true for me.”

The pageant was originally scheduled to take place at the Crown Plaza in Princeton. However, due to the increased risk of the COVID-19 pandemic, DiPasquale was crowned on her front porch by her tight-knit family—her mom, the owner of a DJ company, her dad, a chiropractor and a high school science teacher, and her younger brother, a freshman at Georgian Court University.

“It was so surreal being able to be crowned by my best friends in the world,” she remarked. “My mom and my grandma had really encouraged me to join pageantry all my life, but unfortunately I was bullied for many years growing up so that took a way a lot of my self-confidence.”

The bullying began in the first grade, then carried into her high school years. She was heavily involved in high school, participating in cheerleading and theatre, assuming student council president, and finishing within the top ten of her graduating class.

“I remember some instances where I would get really good grades and I was very well liked by my teachers, and a lot of times my classmates would pick on me for that,” she explained. “I remember being in my public speaking class my senior year and a few of my classmates had drawn a picture of me with our teacher and posted it on the internet. I remember seeing it and I just bawled my eyes out. I was speechless. I didn’t even know what to say or what to do.”

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Campus Comedian Brendan Short

default article image“I’m not good at dating. But it’s hard to be good at dating when you’re spending most of your time acting like Steve from Blue’s Clues.”

On stage, Brendan Short stands tall during his usual stand-up routine, wracking his brain for the jokes he spent weeks perfecting.

Off stage, Brendan is a senior business student at Monmouth University and a native to Monmouth Beach, so he is never not appearing at one of the local bars like The Chubby Pickle in Highlands or Old Glory Kitchen & Sprits in Keyport to perform a three-minute bit.

“For anyone who does stand up, there’s this dichotomy of whether or not you like writing or you like performing,” he said. “I’m much more on the writing side.”

One late afternoon, the Monday after hosting an open-mic night as Comedy Chair of the Student Activities Board (SAB), Brendan casually pulled out a notebook of jokes from his backpack and flipped to a random page. “This looks like I’m really prepared, but it’s just stuff I bring with me everywhere I go. It’s all in the ‘process.’ That’s the word we assign to neuroses,” he laughed.

Brendan’s writing process is simple. He begins with a single word like “dating” and proceeds from there, searching for relatable moments and phonological word pairings. He explained, “I have a setup and then the first point I want to make, the second point I want to make, etc. It’s very intuitive, the way I write it. When I first started, I used to write it out in prose

and try to remember it verbatim, almost like doing a monologue for a dramatic scene, but instead with potty jokes.”

So, what exactly jostles the funny bone? The comedic connoisseur explained, “There’s a science to how punchlines work. They have to have certain kinds of subtleties that help people know they’re the punchlines, like alliteration and assonance. It’s very literary. It makes people laugh when they hear similar sounds like that.” He also said that specificity, like referring to “Steve from Blue’s Clues,” is the key to making a crowd crack up.

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Flying Proud: First-Generation College Student Spotlight

default article imageA fist-generation college student’s acceptance letter is more than just a piece of paper tucked into an envelope. It’s a call to spread their wings and soar to the nest that is Monmouth University’s campus.

Isabel Claros, a sophomore social work student, described the day she got her acceptance letter as a joyful occasion. Although she always saw herself going to college, her family’s happiness stood out to her the most. In fact, a first-generation student’s college acceptance is about more than just themselves.

Claros said, “Being at Monmouth and having my parents say, ‘We are so proud of you’ is what really makes it unbelievable.”

According to the University, a first-generation college student is defined as a student who is the first member of their family to attend college. Thirty-two percent of Monmouth students are first-generation students, compared to 56 percent of students nationally as of the 2015-16 academic year, according to the Center for First-Generation Student Success.

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Diocese of Trenton Bishop Celebrates Ash Wednesday Mass in Wilson Hall

default article imageBishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. celebrated Ash Wednesday Mass in Wilson Auditorium on Feb. 26. The Catholic Campus Ministry hosts the event for students, faculty, and all members of the university community each year.

President Leahy gave opening remarks before the Mass, “This is my first Ash Wednesday Mass in Monmouth County, and I am deeply honored that Bishop O’Connell has decided join us in this liturgy. Even though we are a non-sectarian institution it does not mean religious expression is not considered important to us. We want our university to be place where people of all faiths can express their beliefs.”

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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