Last updateMon, 10 Dec 2018 4pm


Home[body] for the Holidays

Home Holidays“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know, where the treetops glisten, and children listen to hear sleigh bells in the snow.”

We all wish for and dream of different things when the holidays roll around, but some simply wish they had family and the ability to enjoy the excitement that comes with the holidays. So, how do the holidays really make us feel?

As the song states, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but the Huffington Post explains the reasons why that is not the case for everyone. For some, the holidays are simply a painful reminder of Christmases past, as well as family that is no longer here.

Throughout the past couple of years, members of my family passed away one by one, most recently being my father. While everyone else excitedly waits for Christmas, I just look forward to it being over.

Dr. Mark Sichel LCSW, author and psychotherapist, states that unrealistic expectations also come into play during the holiday season.

Regardless of whether you have family or not, it is easy to want that picture-perfect white Christmas or New Year’s Eve kiss at midnight. But, when you don’t get that, it can lead to disappointment, anxiety, and even depression.

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Is Black Friday Shopping Just a Black Hole?

Black Friday ShoppingWhat causes you to lose sleep and stresses you out to no end? Nope it’s not college, it’s Black Friday!

After all the turkey, stuffing, and desserts, some are willing to lose sleep and venture out into crowds of people to take advantage of the year’s best deals.

Is all of this really worth it and is Black Friday all it’s hyped up to be? states that the reason Black Friday is so popular is because it has grown into a phenomenon. It’s also important to note that it’s not all about the super low prices. In fact, most people aren’t even after anything specific.

Some people simply want to see what the hype is all about and experience it for themselves. Besides that, some companies will offer sales throughout the year that are better than Black Friday sales. A company may have a sale of 30 percent off but then offer 50 percent off either weeks or months after Christmas.  Senior communication student, Kayla Cardona, does not go Black Friday shopping and prefers to enjoy the holidays with family. She said, “I don’t go shopping since there isn’t anything I desperately need to be waiting in lines for or being surrounded by crowds.”

“I think it’s worth it if someone really needs something and it’s a huge deal they’re getting. But if not, I think it’s best to just stay home and enjoy the holiday,” Cardona continued. 

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Behind the Scenes Heroes: Theatre's Backstage Production

Behind Scenes HeroesNot everything is what it seems, especially on the stage. In theatre, the actors may be front and center, but without a dedicated crew behind the scenes, the show could not go on.

Microphones for the performers to be heard and spotlights for them to shine bright like stars are a couple of aspects, among many more, that are controlled by the technical and artistic staff of a production.

Although they are not seen physically, the crew puts in the same amount of hard work and passion into their roles of the show as the cast and should receive a standing ovation as well.

In honor of the sold-out run of the Monmouth University Theatre Department’s production of Hair, it is time to give credit where credit is due to those who helped this production become a huge success.

Anthony DeFilippo, a freshman criminal justice student, played a large part of the production team by operating the spotlight throughout each performance. Hair is an extremely audience interactive show; being on spotlight is already a challenging job, but having to chase around the actors as they bounce around the entire theatre takes talent and patience.

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Everybody's Crying Wolfe! Graduate Student Spotlight on Danielle Wolfe

Everybody's Crying Wolfe 1Upon starting her college career, Danielle Wolfe, now a Monmouth graduate student, always had a pretty clear idea on what she wanted to do inside the classroom. But, as the years flew by, her experiences outside of the classroom are what truly influenced her decision to continue her college career at Monmouth and to choose her program.

“I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in childhood studies. I knew since around 4th grade that I wanted to be a counselor--I know it sounds crazy. Initially, I thought I’d want to become a child psychologist. Once I became more involved on campus, everything changed,” Wolfe said.

Wolfe, a graduate student who is earning her Masters of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.), is in the Student Affairs and College Counseling program on campus. But, before coming to Monmouth, her undergraduate career was spent at Stockton University in Galloway, NJ.

“I chose Monmouth [to continue my college career] because the minute I stepped on campus, I felt at home. The campus environment was so warm and friendly, which made me feel as though I could really thrive in this community. It had a similar feeling to where I went for my Bachelor’s degree, Stockton. If it felt like home and I could envision myself loving where I learn every day, then that’s where I’ll be glad to stay,” she said.

Her time at Stockton brought about many newfound passions, “I worked as a Student Assistant in the Tutoring Center, I was a Resident Assistant (RA) for upperclassmen and freshmen, I was on several executive boards, I volunteered for anything and everything that I could. The most impactful part was being an RA and having my then supervisor and now mentor show me the world of Student Affairs and I knew that this is where I was meant to be,” Wolfe said.

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Contagious Senioritis: How to Push Through Until the Finish Line

Contagious SenioritisSenior year of college certainly is an exciting time as you prepare to start the next chapter of your life. However, with senior year comes good old senioritis. Senioritis kicks in when you’ve lost all motivation and you’re in what seems to be a slump. All you want to do is cross that finish line, but not do all the work that will get you there.

According to U.S. News, here are some of the best ways to overcome senioritis.

First, do not let senioritis get the best of you. Classes still need to be attended and assignments still need to get done. So, set aside some time to relax and take care of yourself. If you eat breakfast to nourish your brain and find time to hit the gym, you will mentally stay on track.

No more staying up all night either. If you have a lot to do or an important exam, get things done throughout the day. Homework can easily be done between classes or while you eat lunch.

Plan on going to the gym? Bring something to study, like notes or your textbook. If you know you are going to be on the elliptical for 30 minutes, use that time to learn and memorize things. And if you don’t, stay on that machine until you do.

Joseph Coyle PhD., Department Chair of Mathematics, said,  “I think that senioritis is difficult to overcome mainly because you are typically surrounded by others that have it as well.”

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How Does She Do it All? Student Spotlight on Julianna Emilio, President of Phi Sigma Sigma

How Does She Do It AllHave you ever wondered what it might be like to hold a position, such as President, in a Greek organization? Julianna Emilio, a senior nursing student, offers an inside look on what her role as President of a sorority entails. Julianna even gives suggestions to those seeking a leadership position in any organization on campus.

In the eyes of many Greek life students, several commitments come along with joining a sorority, it means whole-hearted dedication and the willingness to give back. It means giving back to a community larger than oneself and always striving for greatness.

Emilio has been a sister of Phi Sigma Sigma for almost two years now, and she has held the position as President for seven months. Her sisters know her as kind-hearted, enthusiastic, reliable, and extremely dedicated.

On top of that, she believes her past leadership positions like being on the board of the Panhellenic Council and President of the Panhellenic Council have helped her fully prepare to uphold the duties as President of Phi Sigma Sigma.

Monmouth University offers a total of 14 individually unique Greek organizations on campus. The fraternity and sorority community encompasses a diverse group of individuals, which is just one of the reasons as to why it is so great.

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Random Hacks of Kindness Jr.: Kids Coding for a Cause Comes to Monmouth

Random Hacks KindnessThe Monmouth University Department of Computer Science & Software Engineering, in conjunction with Random Hacks of Kindness Junior (RHoKJr), a non-profit that encourages a positive impact for technology use in other non-profits, hosted its first “Kids Coding for a Cause” event on Oct. 28.

This event welcomed over 50 young girls to the University to work on various projects. The point of the event was for these young girls, ranging from 4th-8th grade, to design, create, and test app prototypes for local non-profits.

The girls were given the opportunity not only to gain experience using the open source coding tool, MIT App Inventor, but they were also given the opportunity to learn how to effectively communicate with a client (the non-profit) and deduce project requirements. This is an invaluable experience that these girls will move forward with in their future careers having learned at such a young age.

Allowing budding female students to experience the immeasurable opportunities that the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) field has to offer is pivotal in the era that we live in. STEM is a hugely important part of our society and there is a massive shortage of women in this field.

Megan Rapach, a senior software engineering student, said, “I had no exposure to coding before college. If I did, I feel like I would have had more confidence going into my freshman year at Monmouth.”

According to the National Center for Women and Information Technology, 1.1 million U.S. computing-related job openings are expected by the year 2024 and, as of 2016, women held only 26 percent of professional computing occupations. This number is abysmal and Monmouth University’s Computer Science & Software Engineering Department is facing this issue head-on.

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Pink, Blue, and Gender-Neutral?

Pink Blue Gender NeutralPink is for girls and blue is for boys. Boys play with trucks and girls play with dolls. That may be true for some parents, but not for gender-neutral parents.

According to Forbes, enforcing gender stereotypes have negative effects on both adults and children. So, gender-neutral parenting is the way to go.

Forbes emphasizes that gender should be of little importance. It is common to impose gender roles and stereotypes on children, but it should be avoided. Instead of saying, “You’re such a strong little boy,” say, “You are so strong!” The same applies to girls. Girls are more than just a pretty face, so focus on other characteristics and qualities, like their intelligence or athleticism. Say, “You are really good at math,” rather than, “You’re good at math for a girl.”

As early as nine months, girls and boys gravitate to toys of their gender. The reason it occurs so early is because of their parents.

If a couple is having a boy, it’s blue everything. Something as simple as that can shape a child’s development, so gender must not be imposed like that.

It is also important to note that toys do not have a gender. If a girl plays with only dolls and makeup, and a boy plays with only trucks and action figures, it limits the skills they develop. For example, if a little boy plays with dolls, he will learn how to be caring and nurturing.

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University Holds Annual Language Festival

Language FestivalEvery year, students gather in Wilson Auditorium for the Annual Language Festival in order to promote diversity and community on campus.

Taking place on Nov. 8, students will have the chance to partake in a myriad of events promoting heritage and culture. Performances range from the Flamenco and Salsa to opera singers and poets, students and guests have the ability to showcase their unique culture.

The Annual Language Festival allows students from a variety of different backgrounds to express themselves.

According to Julia Riordan PhD, Director of Spanish and International Business Major and Spanish for Business Minor, the main goal of the festival is to represent all languages on campus: “We try hard to have the other languages represented. Italian, Chinese, Arabic, as well as Latin languages- we encourage all the students to participate in some way.”

Riordan, winning the “Distinguished Educator Award” in 2016, places a huge importance on engaging students not only inside, but outside of the classroom.

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What Happened Outside of the Classroom?

On a brisk Saturday morning, students made their way to local transit to embark on a journey to New York City, NY, to visit the World Trade Center and Ground Zero.

On Oct. 28, students, many of which were criminal justice and homeland security students, commemorated the loss of lives during a tragedy and enriched their own education in the process.

The Department of Criminal Justice and the Guardian’s Club hosted their NYC Terrorism Tour to provide students with an opportunity to experience life outside the classroom while still learning the valuable lessons that simply cannot be taught.

The group was led by Dr. John Comiskey, an assistant professor of homeland security and a 9/11 first responder, guided the tour of Ground Zero of the 1993 and 2001 World Trade Center bombings.

The group of about 12 students and a handful of faculty including professors from the Department of Criminal Justice and the Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences visited the World Trade Center Observatory and museum.

Following that, there was a walking tour from the museum to 23 Wall Street, the site of the 1920 terrorist bombing that resulted in the deaths of 38 people; they also saw Fraunces Tavern, where the 1975 terrorist bombing occurred that resulted in the deaths of four people.

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Merry Christma-giving: How Society Decks the Halls Past Thanksgiving

Christma GivingHalloween is over, so that means you can deck the halls and rock around the Christmas tree! Just 47 days until you wake up on Christmas morning and the inner child in you rushes to see the presents under the tree.

Whether you are naughty or nice, Christmas is the best holiday ever…I am forgetting something here, and it seems the rest of the world has too. Believe it or not, there is such a thing as Thanksgiving.

Of course it is perfectly fine to be excited for the most wonderful time of the year, but that doesn’t mean you skip the time where you should be most thankful.

Families come together from near and far to have that one special meal followed by lots of pumpkin pie.

Jenn Cabral, staff member of Gourmet Dining Services, emphasized the importance of Thanksgiving and gratitude. “Thanksgiving is the most important holiday, to me at least. It is a time to give thanks for what you have. It’s about togetherness and being with family and friends, the most important people who make up who you are,” she said.

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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