Last updateThu, 18 Jan 2018 3am


Harvesting for the Hungry

Harvesting For Hungry 1Monmouth students enrolled in the Peace Corps Prep program harvested apples with Farmers Against Hunger to donate to disadvantaged families in time for Thanksgiving on Sunday, Nov. 5.

The event was hosted at Eastmont Orchards in Colts Neck by Farmers Against Hunger. The goal of the event was to gather surplus crops and harvest them with the purpose of donating to families in need of nutritious foods. Farmers Against Hunger accepts volunteers from various organizations and schools, including the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of New Jersey.

It was officially announced by Elyse Yerrapathruni, the Gleaning Coordinator of Farmers Against Hunger, that the event successfully collected over 6000 pounds of apples.

“For many people who suffer financially, healthy food and produce can be extremely difficult to come by,” Yerrapathruni said. “Farmers Against Hunger provides tons of fresh produce to these families in need and thus provides nutrition and life.”

“I think it is very important that we connect directly with our food supply,” said Frank Cipriani, Director of the Peace Corps Prep Program. “The chain from farm to stomach is so long that we really should reconnect with what it takes to feed us, and to be aware of how our work can feed those who, for economic reasons, are disconnected with the chain.”

According to the University’s website, the Peace Corps Prep program at Monmouth University audits the courses students take to see if they qualify for the prep certification. After the auditing process the program director will assist students in charting their schedule to reach the qualifications of the certification. While being a member of this program students are connected with internships and opportunities that make them especially experienced in fields relevant to the Peace Corps service positions.

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Monmouth President Discusses Important Issues on WMCX

MU President Discusses Issues 1University President Grey Dimenna, Esq., sat down with WMCX  sophomore hosts Molly Fitcher and Noah Preschel to discuss topics such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the Title IX violation concerning the University in March of 2016 on Tuesday, Oct. 31.

The segment, titled “Bird’s Eye View,” was live-streamed on the University’s Facebook page and began with Dimenna describing the DACA email he sent out in early October. The DACA program, according to Fox News, allows individuals called “Dreamersdreamers,” who come to the U.S. illegally as minors, to be protected from immediate deportation.

Dimenna  said that, to the best of his knowledge, the University is not becoming a sanctuary campus. According to Dimenna, sanctuary campuses pass policies in which they refuse to cooperate with federal authorities in handling and detaining over undocumented students, not just DACA students.

“My reason for not adopting such policies is that I do not believe they are necessary given the limited number of such students attending our University.  I think we can protect those students just as well without passing such a policy,” he explained. 

“My goal in sending the email was to reassure any DACA Monmouth that we care about them and that the University will be as supportive of them as possible,” said Dimenna.  “I also wanted to reaffirm to the campus community the values of inclusion, equality and non-discrimination that I hope are, and will continue to be, the principles of our University.”  

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Second International Education Week Held

International Education Week 2017The University’s second International Education Week will be held from Nov. 13 to 17, presenting a variety of programming about the importance and benefits of learning abroad.

According to Jon Stauff, Vice Provost for Global Education, “International Education Week focuses on mobility – the movement of students from Monmouth abroad and our engagement with international students and their cultures from over 30 countries.”

“We highlight Monmouth’s work in international education, including study abroad, international student services, global service trips, and our campus commitment to the United Nations,” he added. “Our events all serve to share a core message with students in particular – you can do this!”

Programming for the week includes speakers sharing their own experiences abroad, informational panel presentations about things such as daily challenges faced by international students, educational entertainment events such as a fashion show and tea ceremony, and opportunities to learn more about study abroad, according to Stauff.

“We are doing a mix of events to cater to as much of our student audience as possible,” said Samantha Falvey, office coordinator for the international education department. “We choose events that will provide the opportunity for our campus to gain a global perspective, that will be engaging, and that come in many creative forms. We try to balance catering to Monmouth’s tastes with getting everyone to think out of the box.”

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University Holds Biennial Interdisciplinary Race Conference

The fifth Biennial Interdisciplinary Race Conference was held at the University from Nov. 9 – 11. With discussions led by numerous distinguished scholars from 15 U.S. states, four continents, and twelve nations, the conference focused on leadership and how it relates in terms of race and gender

Hosted by the Department of History and Anthropology, the Interdisciplinary Race Conference’s sub-theme was: Race, Gender, and Leadership in Global Societies: Goals, Strategies, and Reconciliation. Each of these subtopics were discussed at length over the three day conference period with presentations of scholarly works and open conversation.

The primary conference organizers were Hettie V. Williams, Ph.D., a lecturer in African American history, and Julius O. Adekunle, Ph.D., a professor of history and anthropology. Originating in 2008, the first race conference occurred the year that Barack Obama was elected president, and was conceived out of conversations between Williams and Adekunle. “My dissertation concerns African American women in the civil rights movement and I have written on the topic of race/taught courses of the subject for several years,” said Williams.

The first day of the conference was held in Wilson Auditorium. The conference opened with a performance of “Glory” by Deacon Solomon Cobbs of the Freehold Church of God. Cobbs was followed by a presentation from the keynote speaker, Jonathan Holloway, PhD., the Provost of Northwestern University and the former Dean of Yale College. 

Holloway deliberated the topic “The Price of Recognition: Race and the Making of the Modern University.” Among the subtopics were how to include students of color in “historically white institutions.” Holloway elaborated on the idea, explaining the tension between the memory of history and its written record, all while deftly incorporating narratives and its written record, all while deftly incorporating narratives from Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man.

After his keynote address, an audience member asked his thoughts on keeping the University’s “Wilson” Hall, to which Holloway responded with an explanation of former President Woodrow Wilson’s significance at Princeton University. Holloway explained that he does not believe in renaming a building in vain.

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Model UN Wins Big at Oxford University Competition

MU Students Win Awards 1The University’s Model United Nations Team (MUN) competed at Oxford University’s annual MUN contest from Nov. 3 through Nov. 5, where eight Hawks joined other students from Europe, Asia, and Africa.

The three-day competition in Oxford, England consisted of thematic committees where students individually wrote position papers and negotiated policy resolutions. In order to obtain their win, the students were asked to pen a resolution, defend it against rivals, and convince their committee of 25 to 40 rival students to pass it.

Successful resolutions required extensive research, effective public speaking and critical thinking, and clear, efficient, empirical/data-based writing. Opening ceremonies took place at Christ Church College, and awards and closing ceremonies were at the historic Sheldonian Theater.

All University students wrote resolutions and performed in the competition. Three students won awards at the competition. MUN captain and senior political science student, Prachi Patel, won first place for “Best Delegate” on an International Court of Justice (ICJ) committee that debated rival claims of genocide in the former Yugoslavia and the legality of a border wall separating Israel and Palestine.

“Overall, going to Oxford was not only the best academic experience of my college career but I also learned so much about different cultures throughout the conference. As the captain, I am very proud of team and for the hard work and time they put in to preparing for the conference,” Patel said.

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University Continues to Place in RCUC's Third Quarter

Monmouth University students from the Kislak Real Estate Institute and Leon Hess Business School led the competition for the second straight quarter of the 2017 Real Confidence University Challenge (RCUC), moving up to fifth place overall.

The University posted an “impressive” 6.53 percent total return, according to the RCUC website, which allowed them to jump four spots to join the top five. Monmouth also had the top public portfolio in the competition – according to the RCUC website, the “back-to-back quarterly wins, [being] up four spots, and the all-in on industrial strategy is paying off.”

The University is competing against 38 other schools, including the University of Georgia, which is currently in first place, and Rice University, which is in second place. Texas Tech University holds the third place in the competition, and Temple University is in fourth.

“The team had the highest points for the third quarter of 2017, following its first place showing in the second quarter, and has now moved up to fifth place for the full 2017 year,” said Peter Reinhart, Esq., the Director of the Kislak Real Estate Institute and NJAR/Greenbaum/Ferguson Professor of Real Estate Policy. “The team’s selection to invest heavily in the industrial sector paid off yet again.”

According to Reinhart, the team’s analysis of various real estate sectors and anticipation of strong growth is producing “excellent returns.”

“Students benefit from this competition in several ways,” said Andreas Christofi, PhD, a professor in the department of economics, finance, and real estate, who nominated some students to the team and advised them to invest 100 percent of their funds in industrial equities. “They learn how risk has its rewards, since investing in a risky portfolio paid off for them. Second, they get to practice their team skills and learn from each other. Third, they see that Monmouth is not inferior to any other school, and that raises their esteem and confidence.”

The competition, created as an education tool for universities as an alternative teaching method, aims at introducing real estate investing skills to students. With the competition, which is sponsored by the Altus Group, faculty are able to pursue a distinctive approach to education, according to the RCUC website.

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Debate Team Wins Big at West Point Tournament

Debate Team Win West PointThe Monmouth University Debate Team won two team awards, as well as three individual speaking awards, at the West Point Military Academy tournament the weekend of Oct. 28 – 30.

Two teams made it into the playoff rounds on Monday, Oct. 30, after winning five of the eight preliminary rounds, which were held on Saturday and Sunday. The teams consisted of Landon Myers and Chase Petras, both political science students, on one team, and Eric Schwartz and Matthew Cohen, a political science and computer science student, respectively, on the other.

The speaking awards were given to the top ten students out of the 160 competing. Alexis Vasquez, a political science student, was in fifth place, while Myers and Cohen were 6th and 10th place.

“It’s fantastic to have two teams reach the playoff rounds, and three debaters earn top 10 speaking awards against such tough competition,” said Joseph Patten, PhD, an associate professor of political science. “The team worked so hard during evening debate scrimmages and in researching new evidence since our last tournament a few weeks ago. I’m so happy to see all of their hard work pay off.”

The topic of the tournament was “Resolved: The United States Federal Government Should Establish National Health Insurance in the United States.” The topic, chosen by the American Debate Association, was selected in the summer to be debated throughout the year, according to Patten.

According to Patten, West Point has been hosting this tournament for over 60 years, and the University “makes it a point to regularly attend” the competition.

In total, the University had 16 debaters compete in the tournament. In addition to Myers, Petras, Cohen, Schwartz, and Vasquez, the competitors included Gregory Harpe, Kaitlin Allsopp, and Abdullah Rashid, who competed in the varsity division, co-captain Sabrina Saenger, and Sarah Bowers, Michael Scognomillo, Yendelli Bello, Nick Goranites, Alec Gullian, Mandeline Doe, and Claudia Di Mondo.

“This was my third tournament overall,” said Gullian, a sophomore political science student who has been debating for about a year. “The experience was awesome, especially getting to know some awesome people, while at the same time learning how to use critical thinking in a debate round.”

“Every team scored impressive victories against strong competition,” added Patten. Other competitors came from 16 schools, including schools such as Dartmouth University, New York University, and the University of Washington. The tournament included eight preliminary rounds, each lasting two hours. Each team of two students argued the affirmative side for four rounds and the negative for another four.

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Rook Coffee Spills the Beans on Customer Service

Rook Coffee Customer ServiceThe Monmouth University Office of Student Employment hosted a presentation and panel discussion on customer service on Oct. 25, featuring co-founder and co-CEO of Rook Coffee, Holly Migliaccio.

The event was free for all University students and employees. Among the guest speakers were Migliaccio, and Andrea Pappas, the Director of Recruitment and Culture of Rook Coffee. Additional speakers from the Leon Hess Business School included specialist professor John Buzza, Nicki Kelly, the administrator of the University’s MBA program, and associate Professor Eugene Simko.

“Part of our mission in Student Employment is to organize professional development workshops and events that provide our students with the information and skills that directly impact their performance here and careers after Monmouth,” said Administrator of Student Employment, Raul Arlequin, who felt that having Migliaccio speak at the event was a no-brainer.

 “For this discussion, we thought it would be nice to get an external perspective,” Arlequin explained. “We wanted someone from an organization that our students were familiar with but [who] also understands the value of good customer service and its effect on business. Someone that knows that ‘customer experience’ is just as important as the product itself, but more importantly understands that company culture has a direct relationship with the level of customer service delivered to the customer.”

Throughout the panel discussion, which was moderated by Buzza, the focus was on customer service and the importance of it in a business’ success as well as in one’s personal development.

Simko believes that there is really no such thing as a department of customer service. He explained, “There is no such thing as an organizational structure, an office of customer service. It’s a philosophy. It’s a philosophy that’s got to seep into the DNA of every organization, profit or nonprofit service, public, private… It’s something that forms the foundation of not only establishing a brand, but what they [customers] think of what we [service providers] do, and what they think of our product.”

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Poll Shows Dissatisfaction with Hurricane Sandy Response Efforts

Poll Sandy Response Dissatisfaction 1According to a poll by the Monmouth University Polling Institute, a majority of New Jersey residents who were ‘hard hit’ victims of Superstorm Sandy are dissatisfied with the government aid they received.

The poll also showed that some victims are still suffering, even five years after the storm made landfall on Oct. 29, 2012.

“Monmouth has been tracking some of New Jersey’s hardest-hit Sandy victims for nearly five years, and it is clear that the slow rate of recovery is something many will never be able to get over,” said Patrick Murray, Director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, in the polls results report. “We have certainly seen some improvement in these residents’ attitudes. But with nearly 1-in-10 of those surveyed still waiting to return home, it is unlikely that a majority of Sandy victims will ever be satisfied with how New Jersey has handled the recovery.”

This year’s poll addressed 432 families who were classified as suffering the greatest after-effects of the storm in 2013. The families had either been displaced from their homes or obtained damages that cost more than $8,000.

The poll found that 55 percent of those surveyed felt dissatisfied, compared to 67 percent in 2013. Of that number, 29 percent felt “very dissatisfied,” while 26 percent are “somewhat dissatisfied,” according to the polling institute’s website. Only 9 percent are “very satisfied” with the recovery effort, and another 35 percent are “somewhat satisfied.”

The report found that among people who have been able to move back into properties that were damaged by Sandy, the satisfaction rate was 50 percent. Only 29 percent of those who have permanently relocated, or are waiting to move back, are satisfied with the state.

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Campus Vandalized by Graffiti, Suspects Unknown

An unknown person or persons committed what the Monmouth University Police Department (MUPD) is referring to as a “bias incident” in the early hours of the morning on Oct. 31, spray-painting various “bias-type words and objects” on portions of Henni and John Kessler Stadium and So Sweet a Cat field.

In addition to the sprayed graffiti, cans of white paint were spilled onto Larchwood Avenue. The defacement was discovered early in the morning by both an unidentified athletics coach, and an unidentified facilities management employee, according to William McElrath, Chief of MUPD.

According to McElrath, a $1,000 reward is being offered to anyone who has any information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the crime. He also said that the incident is still being “actively investigated” by detectives, but no further information was available. 

Students were informed of the situation via an e-mail sent at 10:42 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 2, two days after the graffiti was discovered.

 “The information that I know is that there were swastikas and the ‘n’ word written on the stadium,” said Hayley Bray, a senior health studies student and President of the Chabad on campus. “When I heard it, I literally felt my heart drop and thought to myself ‘not again.’”

The graffiti was removed by facilities management as soon as it was discovered.

“I was extremely disappointed in the vandalism defacing the new stadium and other campus facilities,” said University President Grey Dimenna Esq. “I was even more disappointed that the vandalism included symbols, pictures, and words that were discriminatory, vulgar, and so antithetical to our community and its values. I would like to think that none of our students were involved. These actions have no place on our campus and I would hope that everyone will stand together in condemning such behavior.”

 “Thinking that this type of behavior can bring us back to a dark era is terrifying,” said Bray. “I thought that if something like this were to happen, more would be done [by the school].”

University Responds to Nationwide Opioid Crisis

MU Response Opioid Crisis 1President Donald Trump declared the opioid epidemic to be a public health emergency on Oct. 26. This declaration allows grant money to be released to combat the problem and allows the easing of some laws and regulations.

In the United States, deaths from overdoses now outnumber deaths from car crashes, according to the Times. According to, at least 1,901 people died from opioid overdoses in New Jersey in 2016, with a “meteoric” rise in deaths from heroin and fentanyl.

Deaths involving heroin have more than doubled since 2013, and fentanyl-related deaths have risen by 2,000 percent.

“I wouldn’t say there is a large drug problem on campus, but it would be naïve to think that the national opioid problem has not filtered into the surrounding towns, and onto the University campus,” said William McElrath, Chief of the Monmouth University Police Department (MUPD).

According to Laura Jannone, RN, NJ-CSN, FNASN, coordinator of the School Nurse Program at the University, this increasing drug problem was why the Marjorie K. Unterberg School of Nursing and Health co-sponsored an Opioid Conference in partnership with Horizon NJ Health.

Held on Saturday, Oct. 14 in Pozycki Hall, the program was attended by over 80 school nurses, educators from all over the state, and current students from the University’s nursing and health studies programs.

“I think opioids are a problem everywhere, not exclusive to Monmouth University,” said Jannone. “I know they are a problem in the surrounding area. I was a school nurse in several districts before coming to Monmouth. There was a small opioid problem then, which has gotten much worse due to the availability of new prescription opioids that were not available when I was a school nurse.”

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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