Last updateThu, 18 Jan 2018 3am


University Professors Create New Learning Strategies

University Professors New Learning StrategiesTwo faculty members at Monmouth University are spearheading the Autism Program Improvement Project, a unique program where educators and paraprofessionals in local school districts receive further training on how to work with children on the autism spectrum.

The project is led by Stacy Lauderdale, Ph.D., Department Chair and assistant professor in the Department of Special Education, and Mary Haspel, an instructor in the same department. The two professors, who also created the high-ranking Applied Behavior Analysis program, is currently being tested in four nearby school districts.

“We have four very substantial partner districts,” said Haspel. “We’re working out in the classrooms with the teachers [of students with autism] to provide professional development and training, and to enhance their programs and increase capacity in terms of resources and support for students.”

The project is funded by a grant from Autism MVP, a local organization who is “solely invested in improving public school programming for students with autism,” said Haspel.

“The Autism Program Improvement Project was born from many discussions with Dr. Stacy Lauderdale,” said Keith Green, the founder and executive director of Autism MVP. “To hear how successful it’s been so far validated the reason we formed as an organization.”

According to Lauderdale, the project works with teachers on the implementation of evidence-based practices; the majority of the practices are based on the principles of applied behavior analysis.

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Business Students Place First in National Competition

Business Students 1st National CompeitionA group of eight University students won the first place prize for the second quarter of 2017 in the Real Confidence University Challenge (RCUC).

Students from the Leon Hess Business School and the Kislak Real Estate Institute competed, along with students from 38 other universities. Overall, there were 190 students competing, and the competitors included prestigious schools such as Harvard University, John Hopkins University, and Penn State University. Students also pursued the possibility of winning up to $50,000 for their university’s programs.

“To be part of the team, you have to be nominated by a finance or real estate professor,” said Caitlin Kovacs, a student who graduated Monmouth in January 2017 with an MBA in finance. She was a teaching assistant (TA) in a finance class with Andreas Christofi, Ph.D., a professor in the finance department at the University; it was Christofi who asked her to join the team in the first place.

“We first started by figuring out if we wanted to invest in private equity, REITs, public, or private debt. Based on whether we wanted to invest in equity or debt, we then had to figure out what industry we wanted to invest in.”

The competition was created as an education tool for universities, to be used as an alternative teaching method, with aims at introducing real estate investing skills to students, according to the Real Confidence University Challenge’s website. With the challenge, faculty are able to pursue a distinctive approach to education, showing the benefits of commercial real estate.

The competition, sponsored by The Atlus Group, required the student teams to allocate a hypothetical one billion dollars in real estate assets in December 2016. The assets will be tracked throughout 2017.

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University’s ABA Program Ranked Among Top 62 Nationwide

The University’s Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program was chosen to be among the top 62 in the nation, picked from a pool of 200 candidates, and is the only school in New Jersey to receive this honor.

The rankings were conducted by, an online publishing group that acts as a “dedicated resource on state licensing, education options, earning potential, practice domains”.

To be considered, programs needed to be held entirely online, fall within specific tuition brackets, and hold institutional accreditation through a Department of Education-recognized agency.

The program, led by Stacy Lauderdale, Ph.D., Department Chair and assistant professor in the Department of Special Education, and Mary Haspel, an instructor in the same department, has only been recently added to the Monmouth curriculum.

It is entirely online, and is designed to meet the course work requirements to sit for the Board Certification in Behavior Analysis (BCBA) exam.

Approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB), the accrediting program for the program, those enrolled in the program will take six courses, with titles such as ‘Applications of Applied Behavior Analysis Principles,’ ‘Research and Advanced Topics in Autism and ABA,’ and ‘Ethics and Professionalism For Behavioral Analysis.’

“BCBA’s usually work with individuals on skill acquisition of behavior reduction, usually in terms of working with children with autism,” said Lauderdale.

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DeVos’ Title IX Guideline Changes to Affect Colleges

DeVos Title IX Affects CollegesEducation Secretary Betsy DeVos announced Friday that the Education Department is rescinding the 2011 Obama-era ‘Dear Colleague’ letter, which offered guidance on how universities should handle sexual assaults under Title IX federal law.

The Department released a Q & A document comprised of guidelines and recommendations in order to aid schools handling sexual misconduct cases while the letter is under review.

Title IX is a federal law that prohibits discrimination based on sexual identity for schools and programs that receive federal funding, including protection from sexual harassment.

DeVos’ reasoning behind rescinding the letter was to introduce new policy on allowing due process for those accused, and argued that the investigation process needed a higher standard of proof when investigating these cases, according to a 2017 CNN article. DeVos said on Friday that students facing accusations are interrogated before being formally accused.

This higher standard of proof, otherwise known as “clear and convincing evidence,” according to the article, means that in order to pursue any disciplinary action, there must be clear evidentiary support against the accused.

In the 2011 letter, the standard of evidence was significantly lower and only required “preponderance of evidence.” The temporary guidelines allow the possibility for both parties to negotiate if willing, which was not supported in the 2011 letter.

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Welcome Back from the Provost

Welcome Back ProvostDear Monmouth Hawks,

On behalf of the Office of Transformative Learning, I hope that your semester is off to a strong start. I would like to introduce to all of you the Transformative Ten (T10). This is a series of ten events designed to help you connect the major to prospective career options in preparation for life after Monmouth. This initiative is a direct response to student insights and, in particular, a result of the College Student Inventory (CSI) that is completed during the New Student Orientation. We are keenly aware that many students are concerned with exploring majors and determining career opportunities. The T10 brings together current and new programming for a complete portfolio of activities.

T10 activities are focused on developing your leadership, communication, problem solving, teamwork, digital literacy, and networking abilities. T10 events are available to all students. Attend and sign in at a minimum of three of the T10 events during the academic year and you will be invited to a capstone luncheon with a keynote speaker on employment/industry trends and networking opportunities.

Listed below is the T10 lineup and description of events:

The Transformative Ten (T10): My Major, My Career, My Life After Monmouth

Sophomore Start-Up (Scheduled for 9/28; 1:30-4:30pm; Wilson Hall Auditorium) - This event challenges sophomores to develop integral career skills in an “Amazing Race” style contest. Students will move from station to station, engaging in activities such as resume review, interview skills, personal branding and marketing, and digital profile refinement.

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University Activism Clubs Unite for Student Inclusivity

MU Activism Club Student Inclusivity 1Five of Monmouth University’s activism-oriented clubs hosted an open social on Sept. 12 to unite efforts of leadership and social responsibility on campus.

The Youth Activists (YAG), S.A.G.E (Students Advocating Girls Education), The Sociology Club, the Gender Studies club, and Sexuality, Pride, Education, Community, Truth, Respect, and Unity at Monmouth (SPECTRUM) collectively organized an evening social at Magill Commons.

The event gave current and new members an opportunity to meet and strategize progressive activism on campus in the new academic year.

“The Activist Meet and Greet was an uplifting and empowering event, forming a community on campus in a volatile time,” said Elizabeth Carmines, President of the Sociology Club and a senior political science student. “I think it is important that we create a safe space for students to express themselves and share their personal experiences so that we may all learn from them, and I believe Tuesday’s event did just that.”

Each club that co-hosted the event has similar missions and saw the opportunity to grow a stronger and more active community by working together. According to Jane Lai, President of SPECTRUM and junior English student, “This event was a wonderful opportunity to meet like-minded individuals that push intersectional thought while erecting diversity and acceptance across campus.”

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University Mourns Beloved English Professor

University Mourns EvartsDr. Prescott Evarts, Jr., who had educated generations of students over the span of his 50-year career at the University, passed away at the age of 79 on Aug. 28.

Evarts was a beloved faculty member, influential professor, and a core member of the University community.

“Education was very much alive to him,” said Dr. Susan Goulding, Chair of the English Department, colleague, and friend of Evarts. “He really wanted students to learn,” she continued.

Evart’s passion for education began at an early age, when he attended New York City’s Buckley School and Saint Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire.

He then went on to study Greek History and Literature at Harvard University.

After receiving his BA, Evarts continued on to Columbia University where he completed his Ph.D. in English Literature.

Although literature was a large interest of Evarts’, he also stayed very active.

He played football at Harvard Law School, and ran track in high school.

He finished 17 marathons, including the Boston Marathon.

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Monmouth Rises in U.S. News’ Annual Rankings

MU US News Annual Rankings 1U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges ranked Monmouth University 28th in the Best Regional Universities North category for 2018, ten places higher from its original rank at 38th.

The higher ranking has been attributed to the hard work and dedication of the University over the span of nearly ten years to increase the academic quality of its freshman class. The University can consider itself one of the fastest rising institutions within the last 15 years due to its ten-place jump.

Robert D. McCaig, Vice President for Enrollment Management at Monmouth University, said, “Rankings mean a lot and U.S. News is one of the most important publications we rely on, in addition to the Princeton Review. Last year we scored a 69.4 percent six-year graduation rate. We scored higher than the U.S. News’ algorithm used for predicting, which was 64 percent. We scored six points higher than they had predicted. This accounts for nearly 30 percent of the U.S News methodology.”

Some of U.S. News’ primary criteria for ranking include graduation and retention rates, overall academic reputation, and student selectivity.

Their ranking system places importance on statistical measures that experts in education have researched and deemed to be indicators of academic excellence.

Indicators are scored given a specific weight of importance. From the original weighted scores, each school being ranked is given a score anywhere from zero to 100.

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Welcome Back Letters 9/13/17

Welcome Back from the President

President Grey DimennaFellow Hawks:

It gives me great pleasure to welcome to Monmouth our freshmen, transfer and new graduate students for the first time and to welcome back our returning students. It has never been a better time to be a Hawk.

One of our greatest strengths as a university are the close bonds we share as a supportive community. Every member of our dedicated faculty and staff is here to help you succeed. An important hallmark of a Monmouth education is that students get to know their academic advisors, professors, coaches, resident assistants, and even the president. Please take advantage of the opportunities that Monmouth provides.

Over the summer we made many campus improvements to prepare for the 2017-2018 academic year. The most visible projects are the Science Building, which will be completed by the end of the Fall semester, and the recent opening of Kessler Stadium, home base for our track & field, lacrosse, and football programs. Please come out to support the Hawks throughout the year—and more importantly, get involved yourself.  Reach beyond your comfort zone by exploring clubs, organizations, internships, and volunteer opportunities. The more time you invest in your experience at Monmouth, both inside and outside of the classroom, the stronger your foundation for personal growth and postgraduate success will be.  

We are a family, and families stick together. Please watch out for each other, keep each other safe and lend a helping hand or a friendly ear when it is needed. Do your part to make Monmouth a community where all are accepted and welcomed, no matter their background. Your University years should be a time for intellectual exploration, debate and reflection. Push your boundaries and those of others but do so respectfully.

One of my major goals is to be very visible on campus, whether it is attending student events, eating in the student dining hall or just being out and about.  I believe it is important for you, the students, to see and interact with your President. 

Whether you are joining our community for the first time, returning as an undergraduate, or enrolled in a graduate degree program, I hope you will stop me and introduce yourself.  Nothing makes me happier than talking to you, the students.  At Monmouth, students come first. We are at our best when we work together to support one another, and I hope you share my excitement for an outstanding academic year ahead.

Grey J. Dimenna, Esq.


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Hurricane Activity Causes Gas Prices to Rise

Due to the recent hurricane activity and severe damage along the Gulf of Mexico, gas prices in New Jersey have risen more than $0.10 cents per gallon, which has left some state residents concerned about the correlation.

The increase in gas prices have been attributed to Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall in eastern Texas on Aug. 25.

Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy, a firm that analyzes gas prices, spoke to Vox about the effects Harvey would have on the industry.

According to him, around 15 to 16 percent of all United States refining capacity was offline in the days before Hurricane Harvey.

Beyond Texas, however, the storm has affected the entire national economy, pushing gas prices to the highest they have been in two years, according to a Sept. 8 article from Business Insider.

In Long Branch, gas prices as of this week range from $2.69 to $2.79 per gallon, where just one month ago prices were averaged at $2.41 per gallon.

According to TIME Magazine, on Friday, Sept. 1, the national average for regular gas had increased $0.18 per gallon.

Within 24 hours of the storm, prices in Texas, Ohio, Georgia, and the Mid-Atlantic states had jumped by $0.10 a gallon.

Elizabeth Newcombe, a senior business management student, said, “My first reaction to the rise in price was annoyance because I have no alternative options. No matter how high the gas prices are I still need to buy gas and drive the same distance. I am trapped by our government and have no alternative for public transportation in town.”

 Some students at Monmouth have noticed the price hike in their daily commutes.

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University Kicks Off School Year With Rally Against Hate

Rally Against Hate 1Monmouth University professors and students launched a new school year with a rally on Sept. 6 to support students’ rights to free speech and freedom from harassment.

The rally was organized by a group of professors calling themselves Professors United for a Safe Haven (PUSH), who wanted to show support for university President Grey Dimenna’s recent statement condemning “hatred, bigotry, and violence in all forms” and emphasizing “our shared commitment to building a community of mutual caring and respect, diversity, and integrity.”

Faculty gathered outside of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center, clad in white t-shirts bearing the boldly printed message, “P.U.S.H Has Your Back.” While originally only 60 shirts were printed, nearly 130 professors and campus faculty participated in the demonstration.

Holding the event the first week of school was no incident, as the organization sought to let both new students, and returning students know that PUSH is here for them, and that hatred and bigotry will not be tolerated on the University campus, according to Dr. Lisa Dinella, associate professor of psychology.

 “It is important to us that our students coming into the fresh new year and those new to our community understand that this is an open and accepting environment and that their faculty will stand up for them,” Dinella said.

A number of professors involved in the rally said they wanted to set an example for their students in standing up for justice and inclusivity. “When we model for students how to unify against agendas of hate and discrimination, we are giving them a discourse they can follow in forming their own groups that are speaking up against bias,” said Carolyn Groff, who is chair and professor of Curriculum and Instruction in the School of Education. “Many students would like to speak out, but they do not know how to get started. As professors, we are their role models and their greatest champions,” 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