Last updateWed, 19 Feb 2020 2pm


Volume 90 (Fall 2017 - Spring 2018)

Debate Team Attends National Championship Tournament for the First Time

Debate Team National ChampionshipThe University Debate Team competed at the Cross Examination Debate Association/National Debate Tournament (CEDA/NDT) national championship, scoring victories over debate teams from the University of Madison-Wisconsin, the New School, Southwestern College, and James Madison University.

The championship, which was held at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA, took place from March 15 to March 18. This is the sixth and final tournament that the debate team participated in during the 2017-2018 academic school year.

According to Joseph Patten, Ph.D., associate professor of political science and the debate team’s faculty adviser, four students competed in the tournament, compared to the usual 16-20 students that attend. Juniors Alexis Vasquez, Sabrina Saenger and Gregory Harpe and sophomore Landon Myers, all political science students, participated in the four-day tournament. Saenger and Harpe competed as one team of two, and Myers and Vasquez competed as another.

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"Deadbolt-Style" Locks Continue to be Installed to Increase Safety

University Offers Various Means for Campus Protection

Safety Increase Deadbolt Locks 1Deadbolt-style locks have been installed in Joan and Robert Rechnitz Hall and the Jules L. Plangere Center for Communication as part of an ongoing effort to increase on-campus safety and security. This precautionary step was taken, according to Patricia Swannack, Vice President for Administrative Services, to improve the time that it would take to lock a door.

According to Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement, the deadbolt-style locks are being installed in stages due to the amount of locks that need to be put in. 

Nagy said that the installation is not due to the Feb. 14 shooting in Parkland, FL, but as part of the “natural progression” of increased campus security.

“There are many different styles of locks throughout the campus, some of which can be locked with a key,” said Swannack. “It is much easier to simply flip a deadbolt from inside a classroom than to have to locate keys.”

Swannack also mentioned, that deadbolts are a cost-effective solution. A deadbolt style lock costs approximately $45 per lock and are being installed by University locksmiths and carpenters. Installation takes approximately one hour per lock.

“I feel this is safe,” said Conor Scott, a senior homeland security student. “The main thing that I can see this measure being useful for is active shooters or other shelter-in-place scenarios. If something happens that forces students and staff to hide, dead bolting classroom doors may help provide an extra level of defense from a threat outside the classroom.” 

Many of the building locks have a button under the latch which, when pushed, causes the door to be locked from the inside, as opposed to a deadbolt. Once locked, a key would be needed to gain entrance, or the door would need to be opened from the inside. Buildings with these locks include the Magill Dining Hall and the offices in the James and Marlene Howard Hall, Samuel E. and Mollie Bey Hall, and the Plangere Center. Locks with a key mechanism cost the University approximately $250 each, according to Swannack.

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Vice President for University Advancement Named

Newly-Appointed Vice President for University Advancement Brings Over 12 Years of Experience

VP Advancement Johnathan MeerJonathan D. Meer has been named the new Vice President for University Advancement by University President Grey Dimenna, Esq. 

According to the University, Meer will champion the University’s key fundraising initiatives with a special focus on raising dedicated funds to support student scholarships and increasing the University’s endowment. Meer’s responsibilities will also be critical to strengthening engagement efforts with alumni. 

“[The Vice President for University Advancement] is a very important position as it is responsible for all fundraising and alumni affairs,” said Dimenna. “These areas are vital, especially for private universities as funds raised from private sources help to fund scholarships for students and other activities which helps keep tuition lower.”  

“One of my top goals is executing a successful Scholarship Campaign that will run through the summer of 2019 and will add substantial current use and endowed funds for scholarship,” said Meer, whose appointment was effective as of March 1. “To help lead this campaign, we will be recruiting a volunteer Campaign Cabinet that is full representative of all University constituencies, including students.” 

According to Meer, his first priority is to bring in more gift revenue to alleviate pressure on the employees in the Offices of Finance and Enrollment Management. 

“In the short run, that means raising more money from alumni, parents, friends, faculty and staff, and local corporations and foundations that can lessen the University’s dependence on the revenue we receive from our students,” said Meer.  “To be successful, my team and I must do a better job of telling the ‘Monmouth Story,’ and encouraging especially those alumni who had positive experiences here as students, to understand why it is so crucial for them to help us strengthen the financial undergirding of the University.”

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“Discovering the Ecological Self” Workshops Use Art and Science to Connect with Nature

Nature Art and Science Monmouth University began hosting nature-based workshops for the social practice project, Discovering the Ecological Self, this February to encourage a connection between the middle school students from the Aslan Youth Ministry (AYM) and the environment, through art and science.

The project is developed and led by artist Kimberly Callas, MFA, an assistant professor in the department of art and design. The purpose of these workshops is to foster environmental stewardship and create environmental leaders and Social Practice artists, according to Callas.

AYM is an after school program based in Red Bank that provides middle school children from underprivileged backgrounds with resources for guidance, tutoring, mentoring, recreational activities, and cultural enrichment programs. 

Some of the students enrolled in the AYM programs have been returning to the University every Wednesday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. where they receive an interactive learning experience focused on marine biology.

“We live so close to the beach, it just makes sense that we would want to connect the students with the ecosystem, that for many, they have known and loved for much of their lives,” said Callas.

Students from the marine biology and environmental policy department, members of the Artists for Change club, and students in Callas’ Sculpture 2 class connect with Callas and ecologist specialist and associate professor of biology Pedram Daneshgar, Ph.D., leading and supporting the various weekly activities.

The workshops generally begin with a science lesson done by marine biology and environmental policy student volunteers Rebecca Klee, senior, and Taylor Donovan, a junior. 

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School of Education Dean Redesigns Residency Program

Revised Program Allows for More Student Teaching Experience

Education Dean Redsign Residency ProgramJohn Henning, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Education, has been designing a residency program that will give students the skills they need to thrive as teachers, as well as changing the way they are seen in their field.

The pilot program started three years ago, when New Jersey changed its student teaching requirement. As of 2015, student teaching, a major requirement for graduation, was a year-long field experience, rather than lasting only a semester. Henning saw this change as a chance for him to create a more innovative blueprint for the University’s education program.

Henning expanded the idea to start during students’ sophomore year, leading to exposure on a more regular basis. In the program, students will start going out to their respective residency sites one day a week, building up to being in the classroom every day during their senior year.

“The longer [students] are in the field, the more flexible and spontaneous they get,” said Henning, who had been an English teacher for over 20 years before taking on an administrative role. “They’ve seen more, and practice more things so that things come to them automatically.”

According to Henning, students will be able to take on different roles in the classroom, such as working as a tutor, a paraprofessional, a co-teacher, and/or a summer school teacher. These varied roles will give students a taste of teaching in different content areas, as well as working with different grades and learning abilities.

According to Wendy Harriot, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Education, exposure to varied types of students will help future teachers have a better understanding of their students’ needs, and can lead to interest in a specialized field of education.

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Sports Communication Minor Restructured for Fall 2018

Broadcasting Minor To Provide More Opportunity

Sports Comm Minor RestructuredThe University’s sports communication minor is being restructured for the upcoming fall semester, which will allow students to focus their interests in specific areas of sports communication. 

Aaron Furgason, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Communication, said, “The change is subtle. The sports broadcasting minor replaces the current sports communication minor by narrowing down to one element of sports communication, the skills needed for the broadcasting of sporting events and talking about sports via talk radio. There is a potential that future areas of sports communication may also be available for students to minor in the future.”

The rationale behind the change reads as follows on the curriculum proposal chart, the minor is intended to expose students to a variety of communication areas with respect to sports. With sports communication moving towards convergence of skills and disciplines; whether it be journalism, broadcasting, production, public relations, sports studies or a host of other professions, it is a core belief that students pursuing careers in this realm will have to be competent in a wide variety of areas that cut across communication interests." 

Specialist professor of communication Matthew Harmon said, “[There are] big changes as you can see from the curriculum chart. [We] took out the prerequisites of the introduction communication classes to make this way easier for a student that might be interested in sports to add the minor.”

“[A] history of sports class is now repeatable as a class as it will be changing and having a topic listed each semester instead trying to cover everything in one semester. In the past [the class] would do about two weeks on each sport. Now the class will allow a much more in depth look at two to three sports per semester,” said Harmon.

An advanced sports broadcasting course and a second ESPN3 class are also available now.  Some film communication courses might also be sports-specific, according to Harmon.

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Annual Criminal Justice Networking Event to be Held

Annual Networking Event to Include Brookdale Students; Inclusive of all Years, Majors at Monmouth

Criminal Justice Networking EventOver 50 different career fields will be joining the criminal justice department at their sixth annual networking event  in an effort to help students of all majors build mentorships, inform themselves on careers they wish to pursue, and establish professional relationships on March 28 in Wilson Hall from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m.

Of the over 60 different presenters of federal law enforcement, homeland security, local and state law enforcement, victim advocacy, and many others, roughly 60 percent of them are Monmouth University alumni. 

The event will host different types of criminal justice related areas of work such as members representing postal inspection, Secret Service, the Fire Department City of New York (FDNY), and victim witness units from county prosecutor's offices. A new addition to the list of organizations is rehabilitation resources, along with many other dedicated individuals from the area.

Nicholas Sewitch, Internship Coordinator and instructor of the criminal justice and organizer of the networking event, said, “The number and percentage of Monmouth alumni at this event has been a big improvement for us. My goal one day is for all of the presenters to be previous students.”

This networking event has been specifically designed to be unlike an internship or career fair in the way the event will be set up--the layout of the event will be completely interactive with the officials in each category via sessions instead of walking around table to table.

After an opening statement, two breakout sessions will commence on the first floor of Wilson Hall. Each of the 100-level rooms holds a different form of law enforcement, victim advocacy, rehabilitation, security, and similar organizations. Each of the two sessions will be about an hour and 20 minutes long; previously, there were three sessions - the elimination of the third session provided additional time for presenters to fully inform guests.

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Model UN Wins Best Delegation at International Tournament

Model UN Team Takes Home Three Student Awards

Model UN International Tournament 1The University’s Model United Nations (MUN) Team won overall Best Delegation at the London MUN contest during the annual meeting on Feb. 25, competing against over 1,500 students from over 100 universities. The team beat Imperial College London and New York University, which placed second and third, respectively.

Eight University students attended the competition, including team captain and senior Prachi Patel and senior Liz Carmines, juniors Justin Dritschel, Emma O'Rourke, Liam Coffey, and Pablo Catano, and sophomores James Hawk and Mackenzie Ricca, along with faculty advisor Ken Mitchell, Ph.D. The group travelled to the United Kingdom on Feb. 23 to compete in the London-based conference. All competing students except Catano, who is undeclared, are political science students. 

With attendees from across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and North America, the London Conference is the largest, most competitive MUN contest held outside of the United States. Other competing schools included Oxford University and the London School of Economics, among many others. 

At the conference, Individual Best Delegate awards were earned by Patel, Hawk, and Ricca for their performance debating, negotiating, and writing policy resolutions.

The conference took place over the duration of three days. Participants represented different countries and competed in policy committees of approximately 70 students. Within their committees, students worked to negotiate and write policy resolutions in order to resolve international challenges—such as economic development, poverty, terrorism, civil wars, refugees, deforestation, human rights, post-conflict reconstruction, and natural disaster responses, among many other topics.  

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University Mourns Jane Plangere

MU Mourns Jane PlangereJane Plangere, University supporter and Director of the Jules L. Plangere, Jr., Family Foundation, passed away at age 94 on Friday, Feb. 23.

According to an obituary published in the Asbury Park Press, Jane Plangere passed away peacefully following a brief illness.

The wife of Jules L. Plangere, who passed away in 2016, Jane Plangere was a generous supporter of the University. She also had strong family ties to the University. Her late son, Jeffrey Conover, who died in 2006, is a University alumnus, and her other son, Jack Conover, is a member of the University Board of Trustees as of 2013. Conover’s wife, Cathy, is a Monmouth alumna as well.

"The Plangere name is synonymous with generosity and support at Monmouth University, but few people know and understand the critical role that Jane Plangere played in cultivating that reputation, since it is so often attributed to her husband," said University President Grey Dimenna, Esq. "As director of the family foundation, Jane helped steward significant support for so many critical initiatives at Monmouth and was instrumental in establishing the Jeffrey S. Conover Memorial Scholarship in memory of her son, a Monmouth alumnus. She had a genuine kindness about her; she opened the door to her home countless times over the years in support of Monmouth, and she had an infectious smile that all who knew her could appreciate. We are so privileged to have had the opportunity to share our mission with her for so long."

Jane Plangere served as the Director of the Jules L. Plangere, Jr., Family Foundation, established in 1997. Jules Plangere was the namesake of the Jules L. Plangere, Jr., Center for Communication and Instructional Technology; the building was named and dedicated in his honor in 2002 due to his generosity. In the same year, he received the President’s Vision Award, the highest award the University bestows.

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Tau Kappa Epsilon Kappa-Kappa Chapter Closed

default article imageTau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity's Kappa-Kappa chapter closed officially on Friday, Feb. 16.

According to an e-mail sent to members of the campus community on Feb. 23 by Michele Kaplan, Assistant Director of Student Activities for Fraternity and Sorority Life, the University has placed the chapter in the status of "non-operating" with the offices of the Grand Chapter, effective immediately.

Kaplan wrote, "This means the chapter is not permitted to hold any activities, events, chapter operations, recruitment, candidate education classes or conduct any business of the Fraternity."

Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement, said, "We did not make this decision, but we honored Tau Kappa Epsilon Headquarters' decision to close the chapter."  

Kaplan also addressed in the email that all collegiate members in good standing will be granted inactive status of membership until graduation, at which time they will be granted alumni status.

The email concluded, "The University supports the decision made by Tau Kappa Epsilon's National Headquarters and will no longer recognize the Kappa-Kappa chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon."

The email also explained that chapter members on record with the Office of Student Activities and Student Center Operations have been notified of this closing. John Hoffman, former President of Tau Kappa Epsilon's Kappa Kappa chapter, declined to comment on the chapter's charter being revoked. The chapter has been on campus since its founding in 1966.

University SGA Presents Workshop at Annual Conference

default article imageA delegation from the University’s Student Government Association (SGA) held a workshop for other leadership organizations from across the country at the annual Conference on Student Government Associations (COSGA) on Feb. 24th in Houston, TX.

The event consisted of three days of workshops and guest speakers for student government delegations in attendance, from the 23rd to the 25th. Seven students represented Monmouth: Karla Almanzar, Jabriel Belhadj, Amalia Giraldo, Mehdi Husaini, Jihad Johnson, Leslie Valdez, and Vincent Welch. The students were accompanied by Director of Off-Campus and Commuter Services and Advisor to SGA, Vaughn Clay, Ed.D.

The presentation given by the University’s SGA, entitled “Breaking Through Barriers” was a summary of the obstacles the organization faced this year, with accompanying strategies on how to bring a student leadership organization together to accomplish the year’s goals.

“[The purpose of] our presentation was to allow other universities to see how we function as a Senate, and our structure on how we do things,” said Jihad Johnson, a senior communication student who represented Monmouth. He described that the presentation was created to address the theme of the conference this year, “Beyond All Limits,” by showing how SGA broke through barriers to accomplish tasks for the year.

For Johnson, getting things accomplished this year started with the creation of a cohesive, close-knit team of Senators. “One of the things we identified that we thought was very important was that you can be your own barrier,” he said, “We explained to the other universities that our [annual SGA] retreat, our group bonding, our social events that we do together help us establish a relationship with each other which ultimately transfers over to our work.” The delegation’s presentation showed that that this was apparent in community involvement initiatives, like the Big Event and hurricane relief efforts, which were made possible with strong relationships between members of SGA.

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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