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Features

Volume 83 (Fall 2011 - Spring 2012)

Skills That Will Score the Coveted Job

features-jobWith graduation impending for many in a matter of weeks, soon-to-be graduates are busy putting the finishing touches on their resumes in order to impress and hopefully get that sought-after yet very mythical callback. If one is lucky, they will be called for an interview.

What happens, though, as one is waiting in the office, sweating through the expensive suit or name-brand blouse waiting for their chance to astound? In today’s market, it helps to be different than the rest of the candidates in the pool and to be able to stand out among the rest. It benefits to know and possess some unconventional job skills in today’s working world.

So the day of the interview has finally arrived. Now what? Person after person, parent after parent, all have their two cents to put in when it comes to making an impression on the hiring employer. Many more people have seen the countless pages of news articles regarding what to say and what not to say at a job interview. Majority of the skills mentioned in said articles are generic and most often come across the minds of most people as common sense.

For example, in today’s technology-driven society and work force, it pays to know and be able to work with computers and the ever-growing social media movement. “Many employers today are using social media in the workplace, so a knowledge of how to use social media in a professional setting is helpful,” William Hill, Assistant Dean of Career Services said.

Beyond social media and other technology-savvy innovations, it’s important to be aware of skills that are not as common and tapped-in yet. Something as simple as being polite and grateful to superiors and fellow employees goes a long way when it comes to being considered for a position. Some people forget the thought and meaning behind a simple thank-you or an e-mail that was returned in an orderly time frame. “Common courtesy, while not often considered a ‘skill,’ is nonetheless critical to new employees. For example, not returning calls or e-mails promptly, not turning off cell phones in meetings, showing up late, or texting while in a meeting all contribute to a negative impression in the workplace,” Hill said.

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The Evolution of Supercomputers

features-super-computerIf you bought a computer within the last few years, you probably realize that it can run circles around the old desktop you had lying around your house from a decade ago. The speed in loading webpages, playing games, editing media,and processing information has appeared to have exponentially increased compared to the ancient former.

Who doesn’t remember the days of using dial-up internet and hoping that no one would call home as the phone line was occupied by the modem? Then came DSL and fiber optics and our freedom of using the phone while surfing the web was established as a new norm. A few years down the road, the majority of advances of desktop computers, mainly processing power, had begun to migrate to laptops and recently, to smartphones.

This trend is the result of an observation made in 1965 by the cofounder of Intel, Gordon Moore, which is known as Moore’s Law. It states that the number of transistors per square inch on an integrated circuit will double every two years, according to intel.com.

Transistors are semiconductors which are the fundamental components of most electronic devices. They can act as amplifiers by controlling a large electrical output signal with changes to a small input signal (much the same way as a small amount of effort is used to allow a faucet to release a large volume of water). Transistors can also act as switches that can open and close very quickly to regulate the current flowing through an electrical circuit.

The evolution of supercomputers is no exception to Moore’s Law. The modern Cray XT5 Jaguar supercomputer performed 1.4 petaflops in 2008, whereby processing almost nine million times more flops than the famous Cray-1 supercomputer from 1976, according to cray. com. A “flop” is an acronym for a floating point operation per second which is a way to measure a computer’s performance, generally in processing power.

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How to Not be Treated Like a "Winter Rental"

features-winter-rentalIMAGE TAKEN from lovestorywedding.comSummer is almost here and “single” is in the air. All year long from the first week of September until Memorial Day weekend, we sit around pining for “the one.” But something about summer triggers a sense of freedom in the blood. Your friends are all coming home from school, you’re starting that new lifeguarding job, classes are over and any type of responsibility sounds like torture.

Those of us that are in rela­tionships suddenly feel trapped and those of us that are already single feel like we’ve hit the lot­tery. There’s no better time to be single than D’Jais opening week­end. “Last year, my boyfriend and I broke up in the beginning of May. It wasn’t the greatest relationship and I knew the summer was going to have much more to offer,” said Samantha LaRocca, senior.

So the real question here is: If you are one of those unlucky suck­ers who find themselves stuck in a relationship, how do you hold onto the love until September is in sight again? Chances are, at least one of the two people in every relation­ship is looking for an easy way out before June 1 hits. “Everybody breaks up in April or May. Most people don’t want to be held back over the summer,” said Dimitri Di­Marco, student at the University.

If fate has it that you are not looking to dance half-naked on the bar at Bar Anticipation every “Sun­day Funday” this summer and you actually like your significant other, I am here to teach you how to hold onto your beloved.

First, if you are in any way clingy, lay off immediately. No­body wants a needy partner calling them every five minutes while they are getting their tan on at 16th Av­enue in Belmar. Realize that you too need to enjoy your summer.

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How to Not be Treated Like a “Winter Rental”

Keeping Your Relationship Sunny Through the Summer


Not be Treated Winter RentalSummer is almost here and “single” is in the air.  All year long from the first week of September until Memorial Day weekend, we sit around pining for “the one.”  But something about summer triggers a sense of freedom in the blood.  Your friends are all coming home from school, you’re starting that new lifeguarding job, classes are over and any type of responsibility sounds like torture. 

Those of us that are in relationships suddenly feel trapped and those of us that are already single feel like we’ve hit the lottery.  There’s no better time to be single than D’Jais opening weekend.  “Last year, my boyfriend and I broke up in the beginning of May.  It wasn’t the greatest relationship and I knew the summer was going to have much more to offer,” said Samantha LaRocca, senior.

So the real question here is: If you are one of those unlucky suckers who find themselves stuck in a relationship, how do you hold onto the love until September is in sight again?  Chances are, at least one of the two people in every relationship is looking for an easy way out before June 1 hits.  “Everybody breaks up in April or May.  Most people don’t want to be held back over the summer,” said Dimitri DiMarco, student at the University.

If fate has it that you are not looking to dance half naked on the bar at Bar Anticipation every “Sunday Funday” this summer and you actually like your significant other, I am here to teach you how to hold onto your beloved. 

First, if you are in any way clingy, lay off immediately.  Nobody wants a needy partner calling them every five minutes while they are getting their tan on at 16th Avenue in Belmar.  Realize that you too need to enjoy your summer. 

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University Featured in “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges”

default article imageMonmouth University is one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States and Canada, according to The Princeton Review.

“The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2012 Edition,” created in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the only free, comprehensive guidebook profiling institutions of higher education that demonstrate a notable commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation. The free guide can be downloaded at www.princetonreview.com/greenguide.

Monmouth University is the first independent university in New Jersey to sign comprehensive green operation agreement with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The University was named the New Jersey Clean Energy School of the Year in 2006 by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and received a 2007 Merit Award from the Monmouth County Planning Board for its 2006 Solar Panel Installation Project. The University is currently installing a 600kw Solar Panel system on seven University buildings under a Power Purchase Agreement with Torcon Energy Services.

The Princeton Review selected schools for this guide based on a survey of administrators at hundreds of colleges that the Company polled in 2011 about their school’s sustainability initiatives. The Princeton Review does not rank the schools in this guide hierarchically (1 to 322) according to their Green Rating scores, nor does it include those scores in this book’s school profiles.

Psychology Professor Gary Lewandowski Featured in “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 300 Best Professors”

default article imageMonmouth University has one of the country’s best undergraduate teachers, according to The Princeton Review. The Massachusetts based education services, widely known for its test prep courses, books, and student survey based college rankings profiles Psychology Professor Gary Lewandowski in its new book, The Best 300 Professors.

Published April 3, 2012, The Best 300 Professors is a project that The Princeton Review teamed up with RateMyProfessors.com the highest-trafficked college professor ratings site in the United States to develop. The book’s impressive roster of top teachers features professors in more than 60 fields ranging from Accounting to Neuroscience to Sport Management. They hail from 122 universities across the nation.  A complete list of the professors in the book is accessible at www.princetonreview.com/bestprofessors.aspx.

The selection process took into account qualitative and quantitative data from survey findings and ratings collected by both The Princeton Review and RateMyProfessors.com. The professors featured in the book are a truly select group:  from an initial list of 42,000 professors considered, the final group of “best” professors chosen constitutes less than .02% of the roughly 1.8 million postsecondary teachers instructing students at universities. The professors in the book are not ranked but each professor profiled received high ratings from their most important audiences, beneficiaries and critics: the students they teach and inspire.

In its profile on Professor Lewandowski, The Princeton Review editors describe how he “sets challenging but achievable goals and is approachable and always willing to help. The write-up also includes comments from students of Professor Lewandowski surveyed by The Princeton Review who described him as “the best teacher I have ever had in my entire school career. He’s funny and makes class enjoyable.”

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How Professors Get the Grade

Getting Familiar With Faculty Evaluations


default article imageStudents always know when it’s about to happen. With less than two weeks left of classes, the professor wraps up one class a few minutes early, reaching for a manila envelope on their desk. A brief speech about something called the SIRs is brought to your attention as a questionnaire is distributed to you and your peers. The professor quietly leaves, giving you a few minutes to look it over and an­swer the questions laid out before you.

For once, you are the grader scoring your professor. Think hard about the last 16 weeks, because the “grade” you give your instructor and course overall turns out to be more significant than you thought.

According to Provost Thomas Pear­son, there was no formal student eval­uation system when he came to then- Monmouth College in 1978. However, there were ways students could leave feedback, such as a book of comments that he believes was placed in the Reg­istrar’s Office. “Students could come by and see what other students thought about faculty, courses, things like that. But it was very random, rather infor­mal and the comments to the best of my knowledge were not used in any formal way by faculty,” Pearson says.

Pearson says it wasn’t until the mid- 1980’s that a formal student evalua­tion system was introduced as part of negotiation for the Faculty Asso­ciation. The University saw this as important to evaluate faculty in order to make decisions in terms of tenure, candidacy, continuance and promo­tion. “Having a more formalized pro­cess was felt by the administration to be at the advantage of everybody.”

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Tests, Quizzes, Essays... and a Publication

default article imageSome students decide to get in­volved with student affairs, others with athletics, some with clubs, and then there are a few others who decide to write books. This happens to be the choice that Aziz Mama and Matthew- Donald Sangster made when they co-authored The Stranger Inside: Stories from Beneath the Mirrored Glass, published in May 2011 under their own publication house, Mama Sangster Publications.

The Stranger Inside: Stories from Beneath the Mirrored Glass is com­posed of nine short stories ranging in themes. “The plot of each of the stories is based in realism but subtly takes a turn towards existential understand­ing. Essentially, the aim of many of the stories is to outline the concept that no philosophical idea can be taken solely at face value,” said Sangster. He said that each one of the stories unfolds and in its own way and then ends by its own means, as is the way in life. He continued, “Doing so highlights the similarities between the stories: The significance and importance of a sec­ond chance. Through forcing the char­acters to grasp the subjective nature of the perceptions of life, they are al­lowed to see their circumstances with more optimistic tones.”

Mama said that all the stories speak for themselves, saying that the meaning of each story will be the reader’s own. “We had our own ideas and concepts which we put into the stories, but given the way we wrote they are still very much open to interpretation,” Mama said.

With writing, inspiration comes from numerous sources, whether they be real-life experiences or a daydream morphing into something more. For Mama and Sangster, part of their in­spiration came from a class. “Well, we each had our own creative influences but collectively our greatest inspiration was from Professor Stuart Dalton and his Existentialism class,” Sangster said. Besides the class, he said he draws cre­ativity from other authors. “As for my­self specifically, I drew much influence from Sartre, Kafka, Stephen King, and my personal muse -- the musical styling of Tchaikovsky,” he said.

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Technology’s New Frontier

Google Unveils its Augmented Reality Glasses


features-google-glasses

In 1991 when Arnold Schwar­zenegger walked into the bar in the beginning of Terminator 2: Judge­ment Day, we all glimpsed at what augmented reality could be like. In a crimson red background, the cy­borg’s biometric eyes studied the people in the bar using digitized checklists of countless algorithms, analyzing each individual from head to toe until the Terminator found his match and with a proba­bility reading of 0.99, saying “I need your clothes, your boots, and your motorcycle.”

Now in 2012, 21-years-later, Google has announced its own en­deavor, Project Glass, to bring to fruition the augmented reality op­tics Generation Y had always grown up fantasizing about, from futuristic movie series such as Star Wars and Terminator.

The prototype glasses that Google publicized a few weeks ago marked the company’s first steps in the ephemerally uncharted territory of wearable computing. Presently un­der development in Google’s secret research lab located near Mountain View, California, the glasses “can stream information to the lenses and allow the wearer to send and receive messages through voice commands. There is also a built-in camera to record video and take pictures,” ac­cording to the New York Times.

Isabelle Olsson, an industrial de­signer on the Project Glass team, said on the Project’s website, “A group of us from Google started Project Glass to build this kind of technology, one that helps you explore and share your world, putting you back in the moment.”

A video entitled “Proj­ect Glass: One day…” released by Google, which sparked over 13 million views on You­Tube in only two weeks, shows the point of view of a man’s own eyes see­ing through the glasses on a regular day.

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The New Hollywood Film: Successful, Yet Risk-Free

default article imageWhile it seems that Hollywood has run out of ideas by the amount of remakes and sequels being released, the reasons why this occurs remains something of a mystery. One theory is that these recycled ideas and storylines internalize the fear of taking a risk on something with an unsure future.

Movies such as The Karate Kid, Arthur, and Footloose were all highly successful films when originally released. Because of this, big budget studios seem to have concluded that if it was successful once, it will be successful again.

Dr. Chad Dell, Chair of the Department of Communication, sees Hollywood remakes particularly as a business decision. “We’ve got remakes of 70’s and 80’s films that still have currency with today’s audiences. The studios see something that was a blockbuster in its time, so it already has that bankability,” said Dell.

Dell then explained that for studios, it seems easier to risk a certain amount of money on something that has already proven its success rather than something with an uncertain future.

Professor Robert Scott, professor of radio/television, also believes the need for film remakes are financial considerations. “It is typically easier to greenlight a project if the financial risk can be minimized,” said Scott. “By pitching a project with a proven track record, name recognition, and perhaps even iconic status, producers may feel they have a better chance of a strong return on their investment.”

Professor Aaron Furgason, professor of radio/television, sees remakes not only as a business related decision but also as way of tapping into an already established fan base. “Remakes are safe,” said Furgason. “Last American Virgin, for example. It was influenced as being this interesting teen film and now it’s being presented to a new teen audience. The original Footloose was a huge hit. So if it was a hit to that teen audience, why wouldn’t it be a hit to the next teen audience?”

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Overcoming the Obstacle of Writer’s Block

features-writers-blockIMAGE TAKEN from wordsmithbob.comThe vertical flashing black line in Microsoft Word is staring you down and reminding you just how little you have written thus far. Writer’s block can be downright demoralizing if you have an assignment due. Whether it is from distraction or procrastination, or your mind is at a standstill, writer’s block is frustrating when it refuses to relent. What is it that causes this bothersome problem and how can it be defeated if someone is stuck at a crossroads?

Writing involves many components that differ for individuals, ranging from purpose to mood to motivation. When something is missing from this mixture, writing can be impossible and panic can ensue.

“I think writer's block is caused by lack of inspiration sometimes. Other times I think it's stressrelated,” Nicole Massabrook, a sophomore writing assistant for the Writing Center said. Sometimes without that little “click” going off in one’s brain, words fail to materialize, which leads to even more worry about not being able to write. Massabrook continued, “Even with homework, sometimes you're just stressed by the fact that it's due soon and you have a million other things to do that you can only focus on the fact that it needs to get done instead of how you're actually going to do it.”

Dr. Heather Brown, assistant professor of English, said that when people talk about writer’s block, what they are really talking about is writing anxiety. “I firmly believe that a major cause of writing anxiety is the idea that one has to wait for inspiration to strike. Inspiration is great when you can get it, but it is even more important that you get your butt in the chair, open a blank document and just start typing. The best way to cure writer’s block is to write,” Brown said.

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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