Sun11182018

Last updateFri, 16 Nov 2018 5pm

News

University Launches New Suicide Prevention Program

Suicide Prevention 1A Competent Community Initiative, a new federally-funded suicide prevention initiative officially launched at the University on Sept. 30, after a meeting with the leadership on campus on Sept. 26. The initiative aims to strengthen and broaden infrastructure to prevent suicide on campus.  

This initiative is designed to help young adults by strengthening their bonds with general health, mental health, and substance abuse services at the University, according to Scott. This is the second time that the University has been a recipient of the Garret Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention Grant.  The award is worth $101,963 and will be renewable in three years, making the total close to eclipsing the $306,000 mark. 

The “Connect to Wellness: A Competent Community Initiative” is being led by Michelle Scott, Ph.D., Director of the SRF Suicide Prevention Research and Training Project in the School of Social Work. “The focus of that 3-year grant was training campus members, key campus gatekeepers, and on- and off- campus mental health providers as well as to develop public awareness messaging and programming regarding mental health challenges, suicide risk and help seeking,” Scott explained of the goals of the three-year grant.

“Identifying and helping students who are at risk for self-harm as a result of this stress could potentially save lives,” said Jaimie Goodwin-Uhler, Ph.D.   

Goodwin-Uhler, a specialist professor of psychology and counseling psychologist further explained the importance of suicide prevention programming “Programming and resources dedicated to preventing suicide among our students is essential,” stated Goodwin-Uhler. “Suicide remains one of the leading causes of death among university students, who are not only susceptible to all the mental health concerns of the general population, but who are also dealing with a time of great transition and, potentially, stress.” 

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Urban Coast Institute Honors Former New Jersey Governors

Urban Coast GovernersThe University’s Urban Coast Institute (UCI) honored former New Jersey Governors Thomas Kean and James Florio at the 14th Annual Coastal and Ocean Champion Awards at Wilson Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 9.

Florio and Kean received the UCI’s highest honor, the National Ocean Champions Award, for their advocacy in environmental and coastal protection in office, and their current leadership in the New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance (NJCAA). The NJCAA is a network of partner organizations dedicated to enhancing New Jersey’s capacity to plan for and respond to climate changes. 

“Governors Jim Florio and Tom Kean are well deserving of UCI’s National Ocean Champions award,” said Tony MacDonald, Director of the UCI.  He explained that Florio’s and Kean’s many actions over the years have led to, “the reduction of marine debris, the phase out of ocean dumping, opposition to offshore oil and gas development, and support for protection of the Jersey Shore we all love,” which led to the UCI’s decision to honor the governors with this prestigious award. 

MacDonald explained that for 14 years, the UCI has brought national and state leaders to the University in order to acknowledge and honor their work and commitment to coastal and ocean issues. “Hopefully, bringing leaders of this stature to campus will inspire our students and local leaders, as well as to reflect to the broader community UCI’s and Monmouth’s aspiration to be a center of expertise to inform ocean and coastal management efforts,” he said.

“As an ocean research and policy institute within ‘The Coastal University,’ we feel a special obligation to shore communities on timely marine issues. Each year this event brings nationally respected leaders and scientists to Monmouth for a valuable dialogue with students, faculty, and members of the public,” said Karl Vilacoba, the UCI’s Communication Director

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Hispanic Heritage Celebrated

Hispanic Heritage 1The University held the first ever opening ceremony for Hispanic Heritage Month on Monday, Sept. 17, marking the beginning of a series that will run through Friday, Oct. 19.

The event began with a lively musical performance and dancing in front of Wilson Hall, followed by a flag parade to Anacon Hall in the Rebecca Stafford Student Center for a keynote speech by Wilda Diaz, Mayor of Perth Amboy, and a dance performance by Alborada, a Spanish dance company based in New Jersey. 

The event was organized by the Hispanic Heritage Month Committee with the sponsorship of the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Gourmet Dining, and the Educational Opportunity Fund Program, among others. The theme of the series of events is “One Endless Voice to Enhance our Traditions.”

“One of the things I always tell students is that when you come to Monmouth University, you’re coming to get an education and a degree, but you’re also coming to broaden yourself as people and individuals,” said University President Grey Dimenna, Esq., while introducing Diaz. “One of the greatest opportunities you have while you’re here at the University is the ability to meet people from different backgrounds, different cultures, different religions, and get a better understanding of the people that make up our wonderful country.”

“I think it’s really important that we celebrate diversity and most importantly celebrate who we are as students,” said Diaz in her keynote speech, highlighting that the month of events was a great step toward appreciating the Latino culture that she proudly represents as the only Latina mayor in New Jersey. “We can’t continue to allow the [current presidential administration] to diminish and be so disconnected with the Latinos and Hispanics of this nation that only come here to live the American dream and make contributions by their hard work,” Diaz continued.

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Nineteen New Faculty Start at Monmouth

Monmouth Welcomes Faculty 1The University hired 33 faculty members for the current 2018-2019 academic year. Of the 33 faculty, 19 were new to the University whereas 14 were retuning faculty taking on new roles.

Laura Moriarty, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, explained the logistics behind the hiring process. “Whenever we hire faculty, it is to meet the demands of various academic programs and to serve the students in those programs, so hiring faculty is always beneficial,” she said.

According to Moriarty, the University had a net gain of two faculty members for this academic year, having a total of 312 members for the fall compared to the 310 from the previous year.

Moriarty further commented on the reasoning behind why faculty members are hired and said, “Hiring faculty is not only for new-to-budget positions but for replacements of people who have left the University for a variety of reasons.”

University President Grey Dimenna, Esq., played a crucial role in the hiring of these new faculty and touched upon the hiring process as well. “We continue to hire new faculty to meet the demands of various academic programs, both new and continuing, and to serve the students in those programs,” explained Dimenna. “Faculty hires are made based upon the number of students in each program and the number of faculty needed to teach those students.”

Dimenna said that he has confidence in his new faculty members and believes that they are a good fit for the University. “This year’s group of new faculty are particularly great,” commented Dimenna. “I have met them and am very impressed by both their diversity as well as their excitement to be teaching at Monmouth.”

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University Launched New Institute for Health and Wellness

New Institute Health WellnessThe University announced the establishment of its new Institute of Health and Wellness (IHW), a campus-wide initiative that will serve as a central health and wellness resource for the University and surrounding community, on Tuesday, Sept. 18. 

The IHW will leverage the University’s existing academic programs in the health fields and regional partnerships with hospitals and other community-based partners, and will be an organization for education, research, and community engagement. 

Belinda Anderson, Ph.D., the new Director of the IHW, explained that a significant part of her job includes getting funding, managing projects, and creating and strengthening partnerships with other organizations. “My job as Director will involve shaping the Institute’s focus and goals,” she said. “The Institute’s activities will encompass education, research, community service and collaboration, and will be interdisciplinary. I am responsible for collecting feedback from internal and external stake holders to collectively determine the Institute’s priorities.” 

“My goal is to develop the IHW so that it embodies the needs, interests and passions of our faculty, students, staff, and external partners,” Anderson said. “I’d like to see the IHW improve the lives of those on campus and in the surrounding community through education, research and service related to health and wellness.”

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Rock the Vote Event Gets Over 100 Students Registered

Rock Vote Registered 1The University’s Stand Up and Be Counted voter campaign and the Political Science Club hosted the first of two Rock the Vote events in front of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center, on Wednesday, Sept. 26. 

The event succeeded at getting more than 160 students on campus registered to vote, and featured free pizza, t-shirts, and a star-spangled dinosaur mascot. Joseph Patten, Ph.D., an associate professor of political science, and one of the coordinators of the Rock the Vote campaign, explained that the event was organized by a volunteer group, consisting of students, faculty, and administrators from all six schools, as well as University President Grey Dimenna, Esq.  “All six schools gave contribution to help fund the effort,” Patten said. “Our goal is to register 400 students on campus this semester.” 

In order to plan the event, the Political Science Club held meetings once a week on Wednesdays to come up with fun and creative ways to get students registered to vote. “A lot of the ideas come directly from the students,” said Patten. 

One of the ideas that has been utilized has been the “classroom barnstormers,” about 20 students who are going through classes on campus to help raise awareness about elections and helping to register students that way. 

Landon Myers, a senior political science student with a minor in economics, and President of the Political Science Club, explained that the barnstormers have gone through about 30 classrooms to discuss the importance of voting, informing students of upcoming elections, and handing out registration forms. “The professors were really helpful in allowing us to come into their classrooms and talk to their students,” said Myers. “Many of them also helped in organizing the Rock the Vote event.”

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Debate Team Defeats Cornell in Quarter-Playoff Round

Debate Team Defeats CornellThe University Debate Team received four team awards at the Phyllis Schatz Invitational, hosted by the SUNY-Binghamton this weekend. The team went 4-2 on Friday, Sept. 21 and Saturday, Sept. 22, and defeated Cornell University in a quarter-final playoff round on Sunday, Sept. 23.

 “We actually went up against the same Cornell team during the regular rounds and they were a really tough team to debate,” Eric Schwartz, a political science student sophomore, explained. “They were obviously incredibly intelligent and used some pretty intricate and unique arguments. They ended up winning that round. When we learned that we would be facing them in the playoffs, we knew we had to step up our game. Matt and I prepared for the arguments they might run, and ended up beating them and advancing in the playoffs.”

“It felt great to defeat an Ivy League school, and I’d like to think that it reflected really positively on Monmouth and even helped with our reputation as a school to take seriously,” said Schwartz. Cohen also believes that the team’s win against Cornell at the tournament is a major achievement for the University, and he credits their success to the work and commitment of the rest of the team and of their advisor, Joseph Patten, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Political Science and Sociology, and an associate professor of political science.

“Defeating Cornell was a really great win for me and my partner Eric. However, it was all because of debaters like Gregory Harpe, Kaitlin Allsopp, Landon Myers, and Alexis Vasquez who put so much time and effort into gathering evidence and mentoring the Eric and myself,” said Matt Cohen, a junior computer science major. “Debate is all about the team and our leadership is amazing and me and Eric would have gone nowhere without them.”

“And of course without the amazing Dr. Patten to guide us through the good and the bad, debate would just be another academic activity not the fun and enjoyable experience it is because of him,” he added.

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Business Honor Society Recognized Nationally

Beta Gamma Sigma HonorsThe University's chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS), the International Business Honor Society, has been recognized as a highest honors chapter this month by its national organization.

BGS was established in 2000, shortly after the University received accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) for their business program in 1999.

Donald M. Moliver, Ph.D., Dean of the Leon Hess School of Business, recalled the moment when he received the news. “The way I was notified was [by] President [Grey] Dimenna,” explained Moliver. “He sent me an email because he was personally notified that our chapter has been recognized as a chapter of distinction and said if I hadn’t seen this I think you should know about it.”

Unlike some honors societies, Beta Gamma Sigma takes members on an invite-only basis. Students must be at least of sophomore standing and have a 3.8 GPA to receive an invitation to join. Only the top ten percent of business students are accepted as undergraduates; the eligibility for graduate students is a little more lenient, with them having to be in the top 20 percent of their class. Becoming a member is a lifelong commitment that stays with students long after they graduate.

The traditional induction ceremony is held on the night before spring commencement at the Hollywood Golf Club in Ocean, NJ. New student inductees, current student members, families, and University faculty gather around to celebrate the chapter’s accomplishments and listen to a guest speaker. Additionally, awards are distributed to both students and a faculty member who have shown exemplary work that year.

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Anacon Hall Turned into Heat Shelter for Elmwood Residents

Elm Heatwave 1Residents of Elmwood Hall were encouraged to stay overnight in Anacon Hall after a heat wave from Sept. 5-7 prompted student and parent complaints about temperatures in the residence halls.

“I had lived in Elmwood before so I knew they did not have air conditioning,” stated Matt Engel, a junior communication student. “I did not want to stay there, but I had requested a single room and this was the only dorm that had them.”

Elmwood and Pinewood Halls remain the only student housing buildings on campus without air conditioning. While high temperatures are not much of an issue in the middle of the school year, the first few weeks of school are where students are facing the heat. According to the New Jersey Herald,   the first week of September could have been considered a heat wave, with it having felt more like the first week of August than the first week of September.

On the final day of student move-in, Labor Day (Sept. 3), the heat in West Long Branch reached about 90 degrees with no record regarding how high temperatures were in residence halls without air conditioning.

On Sept. 4, Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President of Student Life and Leadership Engagement, contemplated ways to accommodate students living in these non-air conditioned buildings. “We began to get a lot of complaints from students and parents about the conditions so we worked with facility management to gather additional fans to strategically place around those buildings to improve the flow of air,” Nagy explained.

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University Unveils New Hawk Statue

Hawk Installation 1A 22-foot wide bronze sculpture of a hawk was installed in the center of the roundabout near OceanFirst Bank Center on Saturday, Sept. 15.

The bronze hawk is a donation from University alumni, given by world-renowned sculptor Brian Hanlon (‘88), his wife Michelle (‘90), and the Brockriede Family. Senior Associate Athletics Director Jonathan Roos, who coordinated the effort, described the monument as a new point of pride being welcomed onto the campus.

Discussion about the possibility of “The Hawk” began over three years ago, in July of 2015. Vice President and Director of Athletics Marilyn McNeil, Ph.D., said that there was a mutual conversation between the donors and the school about the project, but that “their (the donors’) love of Monmouth allowed the conversation to end beautifully.”

The official start of the project was when the two donors signed funding agreements in October of 2017, and according to Roos, no University operating funds or tuition dollars were used for the funding of this project.

According to Roos, the new hawk statue was built to foster pride amongst the Monmouth community. “We wanted to create a landmark space on campus that would build pride for our students, alumni, prospective students, faculty and staff, and community,” he added.

“I really like it [the statue]. It’s a good way to get people hyped about the school. It shows pride for the school, and that’s something I really like, it’s one of the reasons why I chose to come to Monmouth,” said freshman communication student Anna Maida.

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Honoring the Life of Alice Paul on Constitution Day

Alice Paul Constitution DayA theatrical performance about the life of Alice Paul, a leading suffragist and women’s rights activist, was hosted in Wilson Auditorium on Monday, Sept. 17.

The event was sponsored by the Political Science Department, Office of the Provost, and “Stand Up and Be Counted,” the University’s voting campaign; and featured props to create a scene of Paul being interviewed by reporters in a nursing home, with Paul later ‘transforming’ into her younger self to tell her life’s story.

“Each year, we celebrate Constitution Day, September 17, with an event that brings students together to learn more about the U.S. Constitution. Professor Joseph Patten, proposes an event and the provost office, along with the department, sponsors it,” Laura Moriarty, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, explained. “This year we [had] a theatrical performance celebrating the life of Alice Paul. Ms. Paul and others are credited with securing for women the right to vote; a fundamental right that we must all protect and exercise regularly as we continue to fight for equal rights for all.”

Taylor Williams, Esq., has been portraying Alice Paul since the late 1980’s, when she was first approached by the woman who ran the American Historic Theatre in Philadelphia. Williams said that she was always aware of Paul, and that she was active in the Women’s Movement in the 1970’s. “I remember seeing her artifacts in a shop window on Walnut Street and thinking, ‘These have to belong to Alice Paul,’” she said. Paul’s life and work are what have inspired her to portray this role for over three decades.

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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