Last updateWed, 16 Oct 2019 12pm


Annual University Open House

Annual Open HouseThe University hosted its annual Fall Open House to engage prospective undergraduate students and their families and introduce them to the Monmouth community on Sunday, Oct. 13.

According to the official open house schedule, the open house served to allow attendees to meet current students, hear from faculty regarding academic programs and majors, as well as learn about resources available to students. 

The day began with a welcome from senior administrators, followed by an opportunity to learn about academic programs from faculty members.

Students, faculty, alumni, and future students from each department gathered to inform prospective students on what Monmouth provides. Common questions concerned areas of study, clubs, and campus life.

During a full tour of campus, representatives from the offices of Undergraduate Admission and Financial Aid were present to help students with questions concerning the enrollment process of becoming a Monmouth student.

Michael Qualiano, an undergraduate admissions counselor, was integral in organizing the Open House and bringing in people. “We’ve got all hands-on deck today; staff, students, everybody,” for the 1,500 to 2,000 students that will visit the campus, explained Qualiano. 

Lorna Schmidt, an Adjunct Professor of Communication and the Director of Advising, explained the benefit of the Open House to prospective students. “I think it gets them a true, first-hand feel for how the departments interact with each other and the type of environment that they’re going to be coming into,” she said.

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'Shop Long Branch' Program Gives Student Discounts

Shop LBThe City of Long Branch has partnered with Monmouth University to form the Shop Long Branch Property Tax Reward Program, which will provide cash rebates to students when shopping in Long Branch at participating locations. 

This program is managed by a third-party company which is currently implemented in 26 municipalities throughout New Jersey.

Roberto Ferragina, Assistant Director of the Office of Community & Economic Development for City of Long Branch, believes that this system will benefit students by allowing them to buy preferable food based on the discounts from participating locations. The only challenge this program will face is making it known. 

Ferragina and the City of Long Branch are confident that this program will last as long as the participating businesses and customers are engaged with it. A total of 35 Monmouth students and 22 local businesses have registered for this program. Businesses currently participating include Bacon Beach Grille, Bella’s Pizza, Butcher’s Block Restaurant, Caputo’s Italian Pastry Shoppe, Norah’s Irie Jamaican Restaurant, The Peddler Bike Shop, Natural Healthcare, Ace Hardware, and V&S Auto.

Long Branch Mayor John Pallone is certain that the program will be beneficial for all parties involved. “This program is a win-win for both businesses and the customers who use a Shop Long Branch card. Our hope is that participating businesses will see an increase in exposure, customers, and therefore more profits. We hope a lot of students take advantage of this program,” he said.

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Debate Team Wins at Rochester

Debate HawksThe Monmouth Debate Hawks team of Payton Collander, a junior political science student, and Anthony Cendagorta, a sophomore sociology student, won the Brad Smith Invitational Debate Tournament at the University of Rochester the weekend of Oct. 11 through Oct. 13.

The Monmouth team of Mia Ardovini-Booker, a junior political science student, and Billy Siefert, a senior English student, took second place at the tournament.  Both MU teams went undefeated with 6-0 records before heading into the playoff rounds on Sunday. 

Collander explained that she and Cendagorta placed first in the tournament, and she was awarded second place for a speaker award.

“Personally, I find Debate very gratifying. You get out what you put into it and my partner and I work very hard,” she explained. “If you want to refine your public speaking skills or become a better critical thinker then debate is perfect.”

This tournament is the first time that the Debate Hawks won both a first and second place team award. Monmouth had eight teams of two debaters compete at the tournament, and six teams made it into the playoff rounds with winning records, a record number of Monmouth teams to make it into the playoffs in one tournament.

Each Monmouth team competed in six preliminary rounds before competing in the playoffs on Sunday.

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Hong Kong Protests Continue

HK ProtestsThe citizens of Hong Kong have been protesting the Chinese government since June 2019, when Chief Executive Carrie Lam proposed the ‘extradition law.’

The ‘extradition law’ stated that any crime committed in Hong Kong would be prosecuted in Mainland China.

This proposal sparked massive protests, resulting in the withdrawal of the bill on Sept. 4. Despite the bill’s extraction, protests are ongoing as young citizen’s fear for their autonomy. 

  Hong Kong has been a semi-autonomous region in China since the 1997 handover, when the United Kingdom relinquished control after 150 years of Western imperialism. Since the transfer of power, China agreed to a transition period where Hong Kong would retain its independence. This deal is known as the “One Country, Two Systems” agreement that will remain intact until 2047. 

 Melissa Brzycki, an Assistant Professor of History with expertise in East Asian History, said, “The protests this year roughly coincide with the one hundredth anniversary of the May Fourth Movement of 1919, where students and others from across China protested the terms of World War I, the colonization of parts of China, and their own government's policies and actions.

She continued, "I think there are a lot of parallels there, especially in young people protesting their own government's policies, proposed or otherwise.” 

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First Year Seminar Discontinued

FYS DiscontinuedUniversity Faculty voted to remove First Year Seminar from the General Education Requirements, effective Fall 2020. This decision came as a result of Monmouth’s graduation requirement being lowered from 128 to 120 credits, necessitating a cutback of courses to meet this new minimum.

The decision to discontinue First Year Seminar was relatively devisive last week. Out of the total 239 faculty votes, 142 members voted to remove the course, 75 to retain, and 22 abstained from the vote entirely.

When the decision was carried out to reduce the amount of necessary graduation credits, General Education Requirements such as Technological Literacy, Reasoned Oral Discourse, and ultimately First Year Seminar were considered to be discontinued in order to meet these new demands.

 According to Marina Vujnovic, Ph.D., Chair of the Faculty Council and an Associate Professor of Communication, First Year Seminar was eventually chosen to receive a vote on its ongoing status. “Over the course of the years that faculty taught those courses, there were several ideas and proposals that were brought to attention at the time,” Vujnovic said. “Some called for a revised seminar, as certain faculty felt it didn’t really do what the ‘19C’ intended it to do.”

Referenced internally by Monmouth faculty as document “19C,’ the 2008 Monmouth University Approved General Education Curriculum Reform detailed an outline for the intentions of First Year Seminar. 

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Celebrating Diversity through Hispanic Heritage

Celebrating DiversityMonmouth’s annual Hispanic Heritage Month’s opening ceremonies took place on in Anacon Hall, in the Rebecca Stafford Student Center on Wednesday, Sept. 25. 

The opening ceremony consisted of traditional music and dancing, that began outside the student center on teh patio, opening remarks, keynote speaker, and refreshments for students and faculty. 

In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Monmouth University is hosting a series of events to celebrate Hispanic heritage. 

Activities this month have included “Lift Mentoring Circle: Imposter Syndrome and Missing Home”; “Employees of Color Networking Event”; “Intercultural Trivia Tuesdays: Latinx History Trivia”; and a “Hispanic Heritage Month Display” in the library that will be available for viewing until mid-October.

Judith Remos, Assistant to the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, who is part of the Committee that organized the event, spoke about the event’s benefits to students. “[Hispanic heritage month] helps the students, especially students of culture, feel like they belong and are included at the institution,” she said.

Monmouth holds the Hispanic heritage event annually, with a variety of guest speakers and artists, depending on their availability or who is working, Remos explained. 

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President Leahy on Drafting a New Strategic Plan

default article imagePresident Patrick Leahy, Ed.D., informed the student government of the formation of a new Strategic Plan for the University last Wednesday, Sept. 25.

Student-senators inquired about how the plan would address tuition, inclusion and safety on campus, and residential living. 

Following the session, The Outlook organized a one-on-one meeting with Leahy to inquire about the Strategic Plan’s role of administration, fiscal sustainability, and its approach to higher education.

The following is a series of questions and answers from that meeting, this Monday, Sept. 30: 

Would you support having more than just two students to serve on the Strategic Planning committee, as well as including students on committees where they are not currently represented by their peers at all?  

“Of course I would consider it; I think we were pretty deliberate about naming two students to the Strategic Plan committee. I think there’s only going to be about 10 or 12 members anyway so we thought it was proportional representation. But, I guess I would be open to it if the student government wants to make a recommendation.”

Would you say that we take a top-down approach to University operations and do you see yourself using this frame of mind as you begin to draft and implement your own Strategic Plan?

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IGU Makes a Return

default article imageThe Institute for Global Understanding (IGU) began as The Global Understanding Project (GUP) in late 2001 as a means for Monmouth faculty and administration to push discussion on global engagement for the campus and beyond. Lauded by faculty and students alike, the institute has undergone an unstable past few years after being slated for hiatus by former Monmouth President Paul R. Brown, Ph. D.

Over time, the institute evolved to host the Global Understanding Convention (GUC), facilitate a successful partnership with the United Nations, and create local programming such as Project BAM, a collaboration between IGU, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Monmouth and Middlesex counties, and Asbury Park High School.

Despite its success and popularity amongst students and faculty alike, the IGU was eventually put on an indefinite hiatus in 2015.

The mystery surrounding the suspension of the IGU has left many Monmouth community members dumbfounded, but new conversations have begun to stir regarding a possible revitalization of the institute.

Nancy Mezey, PhD., Founding Associate Director of the IGU had some thoughts regarding the abrupt hiatus of the institute.

“I believe what happened with the institute, was it being too under-resourced, and the faculty just couldn’t maintain it,” Mezey said. “When President Brown came into the university, he said he wanted a much bigger area of global education which was great and it's what we have now, but it seemed the administration could never really figure out where IGU fit into that plan.”

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Wilson Hosts Panel on Inequality

Wilson InequalityThe annual Conversation and Action series, which explored a range of social and policy issues related to gender inequality, began in Wilson Hall on Wednesday, Sept. 25. 

The two-day event consisted of a dynamic discussion that included diverse perspectives on a current topic of interest to feminist scholars and activists. The theme of this year’s event was Title IX, sexual assault, and college campuses. 

 Jack Ford, an award-winning journalist and former prosecutor, led the discussion.

Panelists included Wagatwe Wanjuki, feminist anti-violence activist, speaker, writer, and digital strategist; Andrew T. Miltenberg, Esq, veteran trial lawyer and due process advocate; Laura Luciano, victim advocate, Associate Director of the Office for Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance; Jordan Draper, Ph.D., Title IX Coordinator and Dean of Students, TCNJ; Jennifer McGovern, Ph.D., MU Assistant Professor of Sociology and NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative; Stephanie Wright, Assistant Director of Student Conduct, Rutgers and former Greek Life Leadership Coordinator, Montclair State University; and, Michael J. Rein, Deputy Chief of University Police, Institutional Planning and Operations and University Public Safety at Rutgers. 

Ford guided the discussion, proposing a hypothetical dilemma constructed from real-life cases of sexual assault and Title IX advocacy. He described a small college campus where a “clearly distraught” woman calls campus police and said, “I think I’ve been assaulted.” 

Rein described how his office at Rutgers would handle a report of assault. The police would try to respond to her location and ask if she was injured. When calm, they would pose tougher questions such as “Do you know who assaulted you? Do you remember any sights or smells?” 

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New Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations

New Director RelationsChris Hellstrom has appointed himself with the Monmouth University community as Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations in the Division of University Advancement.

Hellstrom’s new role will be to plan and accomplish the institutions fundraising program to solidify financial support from businesses. He will control the endowment and finance proposal that will enhance the University’s academic obligations and develop acknowledgment of company and principle sponsorship in conjunction with the Office of Grants and Contracts at the University.

Hellstrom is hoping in the first six months to identify 50 new funders interested in supporting Monmouth University and match them with some of the unique opportunities that Monmouth offers. He also believes this exciting time to start at Monmouth especially with a new president, Dr. Patrick Leahy, who has articulated the process for a new strategic vision for the future of the University. “We have a variety of priorities set by each dean, such as additional funding for our Visiting Writers series, resources for the SIM Lab for our Nursing Department, and support for our financial literacy programs. We have renowned centers of distinction including the Monmouth Polling Institute and the Urban Coast Institute and I will help to support the Institute for Global Understanding and the Institute of Health and Wellness as well as new programs and initiatives for data science and risk management and insurance,” he said.

A native of Colts Neck, New Jersey, Hellstrom earned his B.A. in psychology and his M.A. in political theory from CUNY, Staten Island, as well as a doctorate of Arts in English Literature from St. John’s University (NY).

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"Just Beach/After Sandy" Exhibition Debuts

Just Beach ExhibitionAn art exhibition titled “Just Beachy/After Sandy,” created by Karen Bright, MFA, a Professor of Art, and Amanda Stojanov, an Assistant Professor of Communication, is displayed in DiMattio Gallery located in Rechnitz Hall, where its opening reception took place at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20. 

The exhibit is a public participatory art installment that highlights the effects of Hurricane Sandy and shares the stories of residents who were impacted. It consists of four parts: The Drying Station, Nine Feet High, The Climate Shelter, and The Transformer.

 Bright was inspired to make something that would bring people together to share their stories. “I kept hearing Sandy story after Sandy story and I felt that it was kind of forgotten on the national stage, and I felt that people had a lot to talk about even though it was 7 years ago.” 

Bright explained that she personally had questions like, ‘Why didn’t we have more warning time?’ and ‘Did the full moon have anything to do with it?’ Her work has been environmentally themed since the 80s. 

Bright’s “The Drying Station,” contains nearly a century of scientific data for natural phenomena such as high tide levels, wave heights, and wind speeds on the Jersey Shore. That information was interpreted and converted to graphics on beach towels, representative of measurements. 

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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