Last updateWed, 16 Sep 2020 2pm


Volume 90 (Fall 2017 - Spring 2018)

Stunited App Helps Students Connect for Educational Purposes

default article imageStunited, a new app created by Rowan University senior finance student John Rondi, helps students across campuses to connect and help each other with school work.

Rondi came up with the idea one late night his sophomore year when he had to write a paper. “It was like 2:00 a.m. It was too late to contact my professor, I couldn’t call a tutor, I didn’t really want to pay for online help, so I reached out to my friend who lived across the hall who was up with her math assignment,” he said.

As Rondi went on to help his friend with a math assignment, his friend helped him with a paper. “At that moment, a lightbulb went off.”

Rondi went on to research if such an app existed, but was unable to find the kind he was looking for. He went on to try and make his idea into reality. 

“Pretty much, I started an app called Stunited and essentially all it is, is a platform for students to match basically based on what they’re good at in school and what they need help in,” Rondi said. “So think kind of like a dating app for education.”

A student would download the app on their mobile device and then they would create their account based on strengths and weaknesses. From there, students can match with other students based on these strengths and weaknesses.

Once matched, students would then be able to have private conversations to discuss what they can do to help each other. 

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Susan Fowler, Uber Whistleblower, Speaks at Monmouth

Uber Whistleblower Talks About Workplace Sexual Harassment

Whistleblower Susan FowlerSoftware engineer and former Uber employee Susan Fowler came to the University on April 11 to share her story on overcoming sexual harassment and to show students how they can protect themselves upon entering the workforce.

“The Adventures of Susan Fowler at Uber: Sexual Harassment in Silicon Valley” is part of a lecture series hosted by the Leon Hess Business School. Fowler was chosen to give the 2018 H.R. Young Endowed Lecture. Donald Moliver, Ph.D., Dean of the Business School, believed that Fowler was a perfect candidate for the position. 

“This is a topic that sadly involves business and needs to come to the forefront,” explained Moliver, before introducing Fowler.

Before becoming one of “The Silence Breakers” and the 2017 Financial Times Person of the Year, Fowler graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in physics and later worked at two startup companies before joining Uber. 

“Uber was the great disrupter,” said Fowler. “That was something that spoke to me. I came from a very poor background and made it into an Ivy League school. I viewed myself as a disrupter as well.”

Great disrupters not only disrupt businesses, but laws as well, Fowler said. They argue that the laws that are meant to moderate their work are in the past, which sets the tone for their innovative processes. However, Fowler got more than she bargained for. 

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Business Students Win Real Estate Competition

default article imageA team of four Monmouth University juniors recently won a real estate competition sponsored by NAIOP, a commercial real estate development association, competing against schools such as Rutgers University and Villanova and winning $5,000. 

The competition involved performing a complex analysis of a 116-acre redevelopment site in northern New Jersey. The team, consisting of business administration students Jacqueline O’Dor, Lindsey Florio, Sam Perrelli, and Christopher Fitzsimmons, prepared a detailed planning and site evaluation, and a financial analysis of the project. 

Peter Reinhart, Director of Kislak Real Estate Institute and a specialist professor, said, “Monmouth has participated in this NAIOP competition the past three years. This is the first time we finished first. The team members are selected by me as the Director of the Kislak Real Estate Institute based upon my evaluation of their academic talents and their availability to participate.”  

“With the project being as large as it was, we all had to work together to accomplish the task at hand,” said Perelli. “We each participated in all aspects of the project and collaborated to decide which idea made the most sense. At times when the entire group count meet, the rest of the group made sure everything got done.”

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Annual Springsteen Symposium Held; University Faculty Members Featured

default article imageBruce Springsteen’s Darkness on the Edge of Town: An International Symposium was held at Monmouth University and began on Thursday, April 12th spanning across four days. On Sunday, April 15th, the conference concluded with closing remarks from Kenneth Womack, Ph.D., Dean of the School of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

The University website notes that the conference celebrated the 40th anniversary of Springsteen’s 1978 classic album “Darkness on the Edge of Town.”

“The event was a tremendous success, drawing in students, faculty, and fans from across the world!” Womack said. “We are honored that the symposium has found a home at Monmouth University.”

Womack continued, “When I co-founded this event in 2005 with Mark Bernhard and Jerry Zolten, I could never have imagined that it would lead to the conference’s vaunted place in Springsteen studies. Our Monmouth University team has given wonderful life to this superb symposium. The papers and performances were uniformly excellent, establishing an atmosphere at Monmouth that made for an incredible learning community on our campus.”

The activities offered over the four days included Rock & Roll Tour of the Jersey Shore which consisted of two guided walking tours through Asbury Park, and musical events at locations such as the Wonder Bar and the Pompeii Room of Wilson Hall which featured songwriters influenced by Springsteen and bluegrass renditions of songs from the album.

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2018 Spring Commencement Speakers Announced

Commencement Speakers 1The speakers at this year’s graduate and undergraduate commencements have been announced.

According to a statement released by President Grey Dimenna, Esq., Jimmy Jam Harris will speak at the undergraduate ceremony, which will be held on Wednesday, May 9, at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ.

Moleen Madziva will speak at the graduate ceremony, which will be held in the OceanFirst Bank Center on campus on May 10.

“We are especially glad to welcome two very accomplished speakers to our undergraduate and graduate commencement ceremonies this year,” said Dimenna. 

Harris, often known just “Jimmy Jam,” is a world-renowned musician, songwriter, and producer who has jointly written or produced 16 Billboard number-one hits and 26 R&B number one hit songs, according to the statement. Harris will also receive an honorary degree at the ceremony.

Harris is also a board member at the Grammy Museum, an affiliate of Monmouth University.

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Commencement Requirement Questioned

Strict Requirements; Lack of Winter Commencement Lead to Graduation Troubles

Commencement Requirement QuestionedSome University students are questioning a policy that keeps students from walking at spring commencement if they are registered to finish their degree during the summer. 

According to a USA Today article published in 2015, the majority of colleges and universities allow for seniors who have six or less credits remaining to complete their degree to walk at their spring graduations if they were registered to finish their degree in the summer.

Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement, said that the University once had a policy allowing for those finishing their degree in the summer to walk at the spring graduation; however, it was revoked once an analysis found that many of those who walked were not finishing their degrees. 

According to Nagy, the number of students who did not finish their degree was “in the double digits” and she approximated it at around 15 percent. 

“A significant number of students who participated in commencement didn’t ever actually complete their degree,” Nagy explained. “They would say, ‘Well, I went to commencement.’ Commencement is the ceremonial celebration of a degree, but the completion of your degree is the completion of your degree. They’re two separate and distinct things.” 

“To us, that seemed very high, and it suggested to us from an academic rigor and integrity perspective that we needed to close the gap, so the rule became that you had to be finished to participate in commencement,” Nagy continued.

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Meal Swipe Fraud Leads to Investigation

Students Who Abused Meal Swipes Face Punishments Under the University Code of Conduct

Meal Swipe FraudAt least 24 students have been found fraudulently using meal plans, leading to disciplinary action against those involved. 

According to Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement, students have been making copies of bar codes and attaching them to their own identification cards. The forgeries have cost Gourmet Dining Services approximately $30,000, according to an anonymous source with knowledge of the situation. 

Nagy declined to mention specific students, demographics, or details, as the students who have been caught abusing their meal plans are still being sentenced under the University’s Code of Conduct. However, she did explain the general situation. 

“At some point during the spring semester Gourmet Dining had a situation where a student came over to the dining hall and the cashier noticed something off about the ID0 card,” Nagy said, explaining how the situation was first discovered. “What they found was that, in essence, someone had made a copy of the bar code and taken that bar code.” 

“The process is still ongoing in that the investigation itself is complete, the students have been charged under the Code of Conduct, and they’re in various states through that process,” Nagy said. “They’ve had their meetings, decisions are now being made.” 

Gourmet Dining declined to comment on the situation, with the Resident District Manager Chris Ryerson stating that he was not able to discuss the situation or any financial impact that could be had. 

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Burst Pipe Leads to Early-Morning Flooding in Thomas A. Edison Hall

Edison Hall FloodingAn improperly installed copper pipe burst in the recently-renovated Thomas A. Edison Hall at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 11, allowing water to flow from the third floor to the first floor, according to Patti Swannack, the Vice President for Administrative Services.

“The only area that suffered damage and was unusable was the atrium,” said Swannack as she discussed the scope of the damage.

“Some of the classes were moved," Swannack continued. "Some of the classes, if not impacted, continued as scheduled. The classes north and south, e.g. Howard Hall and the northern classrooms and labs, were not affected.”

According to a statement by William Schreiber, Ph.D., Chair of the Chemistry and Physics Department, the pipe that burst was located over a physical and inorganic chemistry lab on the third floor. A lab bench holding computer and specific optical spectroscopy equipment did have water land on it; the computers were not damaged but “it will take a few days to determine the condition of the other equipment.”

Schreiber’s statement also explained that biology labs on the first level had been damaged. However, he said that damage to the building “did not appear to be great.”

“We will be opening the building [Thursday] morning,” said Swannack. “We have tested the lighting, the fire alarm system, removed the wet ceiling, installed dryers and dehumidifiers, and cleaned the furniture, floors, and counter tops.”

PHOTO TAKEN by Mehdi Husaini

Anti-Racism Rally Held on Campus

Anti Racism Rally 2018Graduate students from the Educational Counseling and Leadership program at Monmouth University held an Anti-Racism rally on April 4 to bring awareness to campus about the need for tolerance.

The date itself was symbolic for their cause because it was also the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. King is considered one of the founding fathers of the equality movement, so it was only fitting that the rally’s date hold a connection to him. Originally the rally was set to be held in front of the 9/11 memorial, but weather led to the rally being relocated to Anacon Hall and the halls of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center.

“The goal is to raise anti-racism awareness and one way was to support the initiative of a Multicultural Center that was already in progress by Dr. Nicolle Parsons-Pollard,” explains Vanessa Bernal, one of the graduate students leading the rally. “Other future goals of this project are to support a more diverse enrollment within Monmouth University, provide students with a solution to barriers, and create a culture of equity within the University.”

At the event, students had the opportunity to sign a petition supporting both the Multicultural Center and anti-racism, with the hope to get 1,000 signatures before the end of the semester. As students signed the petition they were given black-and-white ribbons. The ribbons symbolize a solidarity of all races.

Students leading this crusade were encouraged to create an innovative campaign for their Advanced Topics in Race and Racism class. Their semester-long efforts formed the Anti-Racism Advocacy Project (AAP). 

In order to get the project off the ground, eight groups were created that had their own objectives to achieve: Leadership, Outreach, Research, Social Media, Website, Creative, Proofreading/Editing, and PowerPoint.

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Graduate Student Appreciation Week Held

default article imageMonmouth University is celebrating Graduate Student Appreciation Week from April 7 to April 17. 

Darrell Peterson, Associate Vice Provost of Graduate Student Services, and Erica Turtz, his graduate assistant, are responsible for organizing the week-long event. According to Turtz the events that will take place include Grads Give Back, Wellness Day Professional Headshot Photos, Graduate Assistant Reception, Grab & Go Giveaway, Happy Hour, Escape the Puzzle, and De-Stress for Success.  

“We understand that graduate students are very busy, so we wanted to maximize the number of students who would be able to participate by offering a variety of opportunities,” said Peterson.

Grads Give Back took place on April 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Lunch Break, a non-profit soup kitchen, food pantry, and clothing donation center in Red Bank. “A group of graduate students (and myself and Darrell) will be volunteering at Lunch Break,” said Turtz. “We may be asked to prepare food, wash dishes, clean tables, shelve food in pantries, and organize clothing.”

On April 8, students participated in Wellness Day at the Graduate Center, which ran from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and was sponsored by the Counseling Student Association. Alanna Cosgrove, the treasurer for the organization, was responsible for organizing the event. According to Cosgrove, the schedule included yoga, chakra bowls, lunch, massage/Reiki, Infinite Possibilities training, and essential oils teaching. 

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Rebecca Stafford Student Center Food Court Closed Due to Water Main Break

Water Main Break in Student Center Repaired by Independent Contractor

Student Center Water Main BreakThe Rebecca Stafford Student Center had a water main break on Wednesday, April 4, which resulted in the facility losing water and food services until Thursday afternoon. 

“The water leak was discovered by Facilities Management employees during the course of their work [on Wednesday]. We were very lucky that they found it before there was major damage,” said Patricia Swannack, Vice President for Administrative Services, “The leak occurred in a vertical pipe that was approximately three feet below concrete.” 

Swannack described how the leak had to be located by breaking up the layers of concrete around the water pipe with the use of jackhammers. The pipe broke at a seam where it had been originally welded to another one over time, while the concrete that had been installed around it, making locating the leak a time-consuming process. Water to the building was shut off at about 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday to prevent damage.

Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement Mary Anne Nagy said that the dining facilities were shut down at about 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday night to allow for campus personnel to start repair work. 

“We called in Farrell Construction who has worked on several projects on campus, including the Science Building,” said Swannack. According to her, the amount of concrete surrounding the broken pipe required the use of specialized equipment that the University does not have, meaning that the external contracting company was needed. “We knew that they had larger equipment which we thought would be needed to perform the repair. They responded immediately. They worked until approximately 1:00 a.m. with our in-house plumber and returned at 7:00 a.m. to complete the repair.” 

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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
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu