Last updateWed, 19 Feb 2020 2pm


Volume 91 (Fall 2018 - Spring 2019)

University Announces New Fundraising Campaign

University Fundraising CampaignUniversity President Grey Dimenna, Esq., announced the public launch of a campaign to raise $15 million in private funding to support student scholarships at the University during a meeting of the Board of Trustees on Thursday, Oct. 25.

The goal of the campaign, Together We Can, is to raise $15 million in gifts and pledges by June 30, 2019. The campaign has already made much progress toward reaching its goal. Current development stands at $10.3 million, about 68 percent of the way to reaching the University’s goal.

“Raising money to support student scholarship aid has been one of my top priorities as president of Monmouth, and it will certainly be an area of need for the University in the years to come,” Dimenna writes in an email announcing the campaign.

Dimenna continues, and explains that last year, the University provided more than $66 million in institutional scholarship aid, which is 11 percent more than the previous year, and 99 percent more than a decade ago. “These may seem like daunting numbers, but we have found that even $5,000 in scholarship aid can be the deciding factor in a student’s choice of Monmouth over a peer institution. By way of reference, annual scholarships at Monmouth can be established with a commitment of $1,000 per year over a five-year period,” he writes. 

“Most members of the Monmouth community are well aware of how expensive a private university experience can be for students, so many of our donors are stepping up with support for the Campaign so as to help Monmouth students address as much of their unmet financial need as is possible,” said Jonathan Meer, Vice President for University Advancement.

Efforts by the campaign are to reach and exceed its $15 million goal in order to accelerate the University’s trajectory of academic excellence, in order to enable highly qualified students from economically, geographically, and culturally diverse backgrounds to apply and attend.  

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Fake Job Offer Emailed to Students

Fake Job Offer EmailAn alert message was sent to University students and alumni concerning fraudulent e-mails offering nonexistent paid positions as a virtual personal assistant on Oct. 1.

In a screenshot of the fraudulent e-mail provided by William Hill, Assistant Dean of Career Services, the spammer claims to have gotten the contact’s name from the Monmouth University Career Services offices. The Spammer posed as a Career Services employee and sent an e-mail to students that would offer compensation of $20 an hour, in exchange for tasks that included running errands and paying bills for the spammer.

In February 2018, thousands of fraudulent e-mails were sent out to Monmouth students by an unknown source, telling students to click on an attached link to update their eCampus log-in information. Approximately 50 student accounts were compromised and forced to send out unsolicited e-mails, leading Monmouth’s technical support team to notify other University employees about the incident. This time, no one was affected by the single email blast, according to Hill.

According to Jeffrey Layton, Monmouth University Police Corporal, any student who accepted the nonexistent position would then be instructed to deposit a fraudulent check in their account on behalf of the spammer, and then take the amount of the check as personal compensation to buy gift cards. The spam victim would then be required by the scammer to give them the numbers on the gift card, under the false promise of redemption through a check.

“There is no way to catch the criminals,” Layton said. “Each time we trace the e-mails, we find they are overseas, or they are spoofed e-mail addresses.”

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New Research Vessel Welcomed by UCI

New Research Vessel 1The University’s newest research vessel, originally acquired in June 27 as the R/V Nauvoo, was renamed the R/V Heidi Lynn Sculthorpe during a naming ceremony at Bahr’s Landing on Oct 8. 

The 49-foot vessel is Monmouth’s largest and was recently acquired by the University from the National Oceanic and the Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The vessel is an important ambassador for the University to the broader marine research community, our academic colleagues at other universities, and to the public at large,” said Thomas Herrington, Ph.D., Associate Director of the Urban Coast Institute (UCI).

According to the University's official website, the vessel was named in honor of Heidi Lynn, a Monmouth Country shore area resident who loved to surf and spend time at the beach with her family and friends.

Lynn’s father, Robert Sculthorpe, is a graduate of the University and former chair of the University Board of Trustees, and a Trustee Emeritus. 

According to University President Grey Dimenna, Esq., it was Sculthorpe’s generous donation that helped create an endowment to support the vessel. 

“We remember the Sculthorpe’s who have been very helpful to the University,” said Jim Nickels, the Marine Scientist for the Urban Coast Institute. “He (Robert) has been very generous over the years to the school and the work we do. He even sponsored a scholarship in Heidi’s name for the summer research program.”

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University Hopes for New ‘Hawk Walk’ Tradition

New Hawk Walk TraditionThe Football team and other student-athletes participated in the Hawk Walk where the University community walks around campus before the football game on Homecoming.

The walk consisted of sports teams, the Spirit Squad, alums, parents and fans joining the football onto the field before the Homecoming game.

The gathering started at the circle between Rechnitz and Wilson Hall, where there were light refreshments. 

“The idea for the Hawk Walk started with the football program, who have done the actual walk for a few years. They (Athletics Marketing) approached us about adding in the Spirit Squads, Shadow the Hawk and fans/parents of players. From there it expanded to include alums and various on-campus groups,” said Eddy Occhipinti, Associate Athletics Director/Marketing and Sponsorships. “It really has been an organic, Monmouth-made idea that grew from the football team and now includes all areas of the University.” 

The connection is making its way around campus. This past week, the Hawk Walk included various teams, among them Women’s Lacrosse, Women’s Soccer, Men’s Soccer, Field Hockey and Track & Field. “I think it’s a good idea and a step in the right direction and hopefully in years to come all athletes can support each other,” said Madie Gibson, a senior Women’s Soccer player.

Jon Roos, Senior Associate Athletics Director/External Affairs, explained that the Hawk Walk “combined effort from football and athletics marketing.” He then added, “Then we collaborated with Student Life, Residence Life, Admissions, and Alumni Engagement.” The hope for the Hawk Walk is for it to become a tradition throughout the campus. The University hopes to, “continue to build pride on this campus and utilize the new Hawk sculpture as the ‘heart’ of the campus,” said Roos.

“While the idea for the Hawk Walk was born with the football team, the hope is that it becomes a point of pride for every student, alum and fan and the actual path taken by the football team for the Hawk Walk becomes something special for everyone that does it,” said Occhipinti.

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Creator of Puerto Rican Superhero visits Monmouth

Puerto Rican SuperheroThe University community welcomed comic artist and writer Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez on Thursday, Oct. 11 in Wilson Hall Auditorium to talk about the cultural significance of the Afro-Latina superhero he created, La Borinqueña.

Miranda-Rodriguez created the fictional character to bring the often-overlooked problems facing Puerto Rico to the forefront of popular media. According to him, interest in the character’s stories grew after the recent hurricane that affected residents of the commonwealth, and his stories have now become an avenue to raise awareness and funds for the affected Puerto Ricans using local community outreach programs, through his work to create a grant program that supplies funding for reconstruction efforts.

“[La Borinqueña] is a strong, independent college student born and raised in Brooklyn, who returns to the island to conduct research for her senior thesis,” explained Paul Humphrey, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of World Languages and Cultures, who also serves as a member of the Hispanic Heritage Month Planning Committee. “While there, she becomes a superhero, La Borinqueña, whose name is a reference to the indigenous Taíno name for the island, Borinquen or Boriken.”

For Miranda-Rodriguez, this project represents a personal way of giving back to the region of his ancestry. “Although Puerto Rico does not have its own autonomy politically, I strongly felt that, as a puertorriqueño (person of Puerto Rican origin), I had the autonomy…to decide how I wanted to help my people…That is how I continue to do this work (helping with reconstruction), and it started out with one little comic book character I created because I wanted to create a conversation.”

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University Mourns Passing of Professor Eugene Simko

default article imageThe University celebrated the life of Eugene “Gene” Simko, Ph.D., in the Great Hall of Wilson Hall on Oct. 11 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Simko passed away on June 12, 2018.

Simko was a professor of the Leon Hess Business School and had a career that spanned for 40 years. He received tenure in 1984 and won the Distinguished Teacher Award shortly after in 1989. Simko was a multifaceted professional, serving on various committees including chair of the Faculty Council, Associate Provost, and the Roberts’ Teaching Award Committee. In 2018, Simko took on the role of faculty marshall for the Graduate Commencement ceremony. 

“He (Simko) loved Monmouth, and a few times I’d jokingly call him Mr. Monmouth,” reminisced Scott Jeffrey, Ph.D., an associate professor of management and decision sciences. Jeffrey met Simko about eight years ago when he started at the University as a professor. They bonded over working in the same department and often had lunch together, quickly going from colleagues to life-long friends. 

Jeffrey commented the first thing that came to mind when he thought of his friend and colleague was his voice. “You always heard his booming voice when he was talking to somebody,” remembered Jeffrey. Being an extremely well connected and an extrovert, it wasn’t uncommon to see Simko talking to faculty and students on campus.

Simko played a crucial role in the business school that is not being taken lightly by the business community. “On behalf of Beta Gamma Sigma (business honor society) and the students within the Leon Hess Business School, we would like to say that we are deeply saddened for the passing of Dr. Gene Simko,” stated Joe Firetto, a first year MBA student and president of Beta Gamma Sigma. “The cultural and academic impact he has made at our university is unparalleled with his 30+ years of experience teaching the business leaders of today and tomorrow.”

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Football to Play Rutgers in 2020

Football Rival RutgersMonmouth Athletics announced the football team will travel to Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and in-state opponent Rutgers for the first matchup in program history on Sept. 5, 2020 at Stadium in Piscataway.

This game marks the first time Rutgers has played an in-state school since its last matchup with Princeton in 1980 and the first for the two schools.

“It is an indication on how we have grown as a football program since 1993,” said Football Head Coach Kevin Callahan. “It shows the growth of the program and where it is heading. We are going to have quite a challenge in front of ourselves in 2020 as the Rutgers program continues to grow and develop under Head Coach Chris Ash. It is a challenge we welcome and it is a challenge we are excited for.”

Rutgers will pay Monmouth $375,000 for the game, according to the game contract obtained through a public records request.  Morgan State, Rutgers’ most-recent FCS opponent, was paid $350,000 for its visit to Piscataway last fall. FBS opponents pay opponents for home games, like Monmouth and other Football Championships Subdivision (FCS) school. The money will go into the general revenue for athletics, according to Marilyn McNeil, Ph.D., Vice President and Director of Athletics.

Monmouth will also be allotted 400 complimentary tickets, 1,000 tickets to sell to its fans, 70 programs, 60 sideline passes and up to 15 all-access passes for VIPs. The Monmouth band, cheerleaders and mascot will also be admitted for free, according to public records.

According to McNeil, the matchup became possible after football joined the Big South Conference in 2014 after being the Northeast Conference (NEC). “It became a serious possibility when we joined the Big South when we increased scholarships. We have been always interested in playing Rutgers, but once we got the scholarships and were able to play Rutgers it was, ‘Why not play them?’”

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University Transitions to Under Armour Apparel

Under Armour Apparel 1The University has made a transition in its athletic apparel from its former sponsor, Nike, to Under Armour (UA) over the past year. The multi-year contract was announced on Nov. 30, 2016, and the transition in athletic apparel and team uniforms began on July 1, 2017.

Senior Associate Athletics Director Jonathan Roos said that when the Nike contract was coming to an end, Monmouth Athletics decided to initiate a bidding process. Nike had priority bidding, and the company wanted to renew their partnership. However, Roos said that UA’s package was much more enticing. 

This year-long bidding process was not only between Nike and UA. Roos explained that Adidas and lesser-known brands, such as Russel Athletic, were also among the potential bidders. Roos negotiated all the terms of the partnership and is now The University’s representative for UA.

Marilyn McNeil, Ph.D., Vice President and Director of Athletics commented and said, "I believe that the drive, passion and goals of Under Armour closely match what we are trying to achieve as an Athletics Department. Their commitment to constant product research and development coupled with their relentless marketing efforts will help to continue to push Monmouth Athletics to the forefront of Division I.”

McNeil explained that UA were aggressive in getting this deal done, actively recruiting Monmouth Athletics to become part of their brand. “This partnership will provide numerous benefits to our student-athletes, coaches and staff for years to come," McNeil added.

The five-year contract with UA will end June 30, 2022. The official press release on the Monmouth Athletics website states, “The partnership includes all footwear, uniforms and training footwear and apparel for Monmouth student-athletes, coaches and administrators.” 

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Founders' Day Celebrated with Social Justice Guest Speaker and Ceremony

Founders Day 1Members of the community gathered to celebrate the University’s 85th  anniversary of Founders’ Day. The Convocation Ceremony took place in Pollak Theatre on Wednesday, Oct. 10. 

Founders’ Day is a campus-wide event that celebrates Monmouth University’s founding in 1933. The first Founders’ Day was held in 1983 as a part of the University’s 50th anniversary celebration and has since become a University tradition.

The Convocation Address is delivered by a guest selected by the University each year. This year the speaker selected was New Jersey’s Secretary of Higher Education, Zakiya Smith Ellis, wherein she is responsible for policy development and coordination of higher education activities for the state. She was awarded an honorary doctorate of public service. 

“The history of Monmouth University is rich and deep, and steeped in public service,” said Ellis in her address. “It is wonderful that that spirit of service remains with the institution to this day.” 

Ellis said that the purpose of education is to prepare individuals for life as a public citizen, and that she has been able to harness her own passion for teaching others and utilize it in advising policymakers. Ellis served as a senior advisor for education at the White House Domestic Policy Council and in the U.S. Department of Education, where she proposed solutions to respond to issues like access to higher education, and college affordability and completion.

“Whatever your idea is; whatever it is that you think would make the world a better place, there’s a place to bridge your passion and that idea in public service,” she said. “Figure out your passion and figure out a way to make your own place in public service.” 

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New Washing Machines Installed in Campus Dorms

default article imageNew app-based, high tech, and high-efficiency Washlava washers and dryers were placed in all on-campus halls before the Fall 2018 semester. 

 The new laundry machines are run by an app called Washlava, a student only needs to download the app, create an account, and attach a debit or credit card. The app allows students to pay for their loads of laundry by simply holding their phones near the machine. Students are also able to reserve machines for up to ten minutes.

 The new machines cost $2.00 for one load in both the washer and dryer. Washlava determined the pricing for the machines. Jessica Aguilar, a sophomore and an Oakwood Hall resident, said, “The convenience and upgrade were necessary, but the price increase should not have happened.”

The Washlava app allows students to monitor the machine’s progress they are currently using and notifies them of the cycle completion. Gina Urbanik, a sophomore and an Oakwood Hall resident, said, “The app makes it more efficient, no longer do I need to set a timer for my laundry. The app notifies me when my load is done.”  

The new machines provided by Washlava are brand new LG commercial laundry machines. Pillar said, “The new machines are 1.5 times larger than the old ones. Therefore, students get three loads for the price of two.” 

The machines are also “HE” machines. Pillar said, “The washers are high efficiency and have advanced water technology. Therefore, students are only required to use ¼ cup of detergent or 1 “pod,” ½ to ¾ less. The machines also have smart water technology, reducing the water needed.” 

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DJ Spooky Performs at Pollak Theatre

DJ SpookyPaul D. Miller, also known as DJ Spooky, performed on Tuesday Oct. 2nd in Pollak Theatre. Miller came to the University to showcase his work on bringing music and climate change together in a contemporary approach to promoting awareness of global warming.

 The event is part of ArtNow, a performance and lecture series organized by a committee of faculty members that aims to bring events focusing on performance, technology, and art to campus. DJ Spooky’s performance at the University was also co-sponsored by The Urban Coast Institute, Honors School, Department of Chemistry and Physics, and Monmouth Review.  

The formatting of Miller’s performance included hearing passages of his book along with music remixes. Audience members also heard the method to the madness behind his book. “Tonight’s going to be a little bit about some of my written work and then part of it’s going to be a conversation between some of the places I visited and the process of writing my book,” stated Miller.

Miller was accompanied by Shadow Lawn chamber players, a string quartet that made the melodies Miller mixed possible. One of the University’s own music faculty members, Michael Gillette, a specialist professor of music and theatre arts, was one of the instrumentalists.

Tarin McGee, a senior graphic design student appreciated Miller’s artistic approach. “A concert event that was visually and sonically exciting,” noted McGee.

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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