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News

Volume 92 (Fall 2019 - Spring 2020)

Climate Change Discussion

Climate Change 1Monmouth University’s Department of History and Anthropology invited stu­dents and faculty to discuss their concerns regarding climate change in obser­vance of National Anthro­pology Day on Wednesday, Feb. 19.

Heidi Bludau, Ph.D., Lecturer of Applied An­thropology, hosted the school’s second annual themed event, on behalf of Monmouth’s History and Anthropology Department and the American An­thropological Association. During the event attendees were asked for their in­sights on climate change.

Often perceived to be one of the most imminent threats to humanity, cli­mate change consistently ranks among the issues concerning college stu­dents the most. For the 2017 World Economic Forum Global Shapers Survey, responses were recorded from over 31,000 people aged 18-35 in 186 countries; of these, 48.8 percent listed “climate change” or “envi­ronmental destruction” as the most serious issue impacting the world.

The discussion, which took place in Edison Science Hall, began with an interac­tive poll which asked faculty and students: “What worries you the most about climate change?” By answering via their devices, attendees were able to anonymously add their responses to a word cloud projected at the front of the room, which would grow in correspondence with the fre­quency of key terms. Among the dominant concerns in­cluded “biodiversity,” “sus­tainability,” “ethics,” and “extinction.”

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Students Present Research in D.C.

default article imageBiology students Jive Jacob, and Subah Soni presented their research on the effects of manuka essential oil on the viability of cancer cells at the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) annual meeting in Washington, D.C. in December.

Soni and Jacob began this project while enrolled in the 2018 Summer Research Program under the supervision of Biology Department Chair, Dr. Dorothy Lobo. The project was an extension of work being conducted in the laboratory of James Mack, Ed.D., Professor of Biology, who had been analyzing the anti-bacterial properties of several essential oils.

“Dr. Mack gave us a list of all of the essential oils he works with in his lab where he tests their effects on different bacteria species,” said Soni. “From this list, we looked up which oils had or had not been used in previous studies dealing with cancer cells.”

Soni continued, “There are not many studies on Manuka oil and its effects on cancer cell lines, and after further research on Manuka oil we discovered that it has many properties that work to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells.”

Manuka essential oil is found in a variety of skincare products, and has known anti-inflammatory properties, but the effects of this oil on specific cancer cells has not been made clear. Jacob and Soni’s work shows that manuka oil decreases the proliferation and viability of two different cancer cell lines (HT-1080 fibrosarcoma cells and HeLa cervical adenocarcinoma cells) and normal fibroblast cells.

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MLB Executive Coppotelli Speaks to Sports Industry Club

MLB ExecutiveVice President of Account Services with Major League Baseball (MLB) Media Courtney Coppotelli spoke with members of the Sports Industry Club for their weekly guest speaker series. The reoccurring program aims to allow students with an interest in sports-related careers to engage with tri-state professionals and alumni.

During her speech, Coppotelli detailed the evolution of her career while offering advice for those looking to break into the world of sports.

“I’ve been in the baseball industry for almost 17 years now,” Coppotelli said. “I did not go to Monmouth, but I’m a New Jersey native so I always like to help and support.”

Graduating from Fairfield University with a B.S. in Marketing, Coppotelli entered the sports industry through an assistant position with Penn State Athletics.

“I worked [with Penn State] for 9 months,” Coppotelli said. “Football was awesome, but after the season was over, I quickly realized I didn’t want to work in college athletics.”

Staying in touch with her contacts, Coppotelli began job searching in the New York area. After a few interviews, she was able to secure a spot with MLB Advanced Media, the “digital arm” of baseball at the time.

“They were looking for a coordinator, and with my little bit of experience I got from my internships in college, as well as my Penn State experience, I was able to get that job,” Coppotelli said. “I was extremely ecstatic. It was amazing and it’s crazy that I’ve been there ever since.”

Coppotelli’s involvement with baseball came during a time of accelerated digital growth, as new marketing methods of socialized internet, media and mobile became useful yet confusing tools.

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Toni Morrison Day Highlights Historic Literature

Toni Morrison 1Monmouth University’s first annual Toni Morrison Day celebrated the life and legacy of the African American novelist, Pulitzer Prize winner in fiction, and Nobel Prize winner in literature, on Tuesday, Feb. 18

Sponsored by the Department of English, the Guggenheim Memorial Library, and the Honors School, the honorary event was first planned in September, a month after Morrison’s death in August.

“We thought that this was a really fitting celebration of her legacy,” said Beth Swanson, Lecturer of English and faculty advisor of Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society. “This is something we actually had a thought about since the fall semester but we really didn’t start to put into motion until January.”

The all-day event began with a welcome speech by Courtney Werner Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English, opening remarks by Swanson, and a keynote address from Walter Greason Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair of Educational Counseling and Leadership.

Other exhibitions included a presentation on the works of Toni Morrison given by Anwar Uhuru Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English, a screening of the 2019 film Toni Morrison: The Piece I am, a pedagogy panel titled “Teaching Toni Morrison” facilitated by Assistant Professor of English Alena Graedon, and a marathon reading of Morrison’s 1973 novel Sula by student and faculty volunteers.

“I was really interested in involving [Sigma Tau Delta] in a way that would showcase the talents of our English majors by having our students do a readathon,” said Swanson.

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Students Protest Divisive Dramatization

Social Work AbortionA group of social work students peacefully protested the screening of an anti-abortion film organized by the Campus Catholic Ministry (CCM) in the Wilson Hall Auditorium, on Monday, Feb. 17. 

The film, titled Unplanned, is a 2019 drama based on Abby Johnson’s memoir of the same name.

Johnson was a Director at a Planned Parenthood facility, but after assisting with an ultrasound guided abortion, she became an anti-abortion advocate.

Kailey Monteiro, a junior social work student, organized the protest.

She said: “As a social work student, I am held to a strong ethical and evidence-based position on reproductive justice from the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics. I did not want to stand by while this event occurred on campus, as I feel it is my responsibility as a future Social Worker to advocate for a woman’s right to choose.”

Brittany Macluso, a junior social work student, participated in the protest of this event because it violated the NASW Code of Ethics.

Macluso said, “We have to abide by these laws and I feel like this as a social worker, and my friend who is also here also agrees… This says a lot about what we stand for as a community at [Monmouth University] and I don’t think that’s representative of all people that are here.” 

The screening was promoted via the University’s official Instagram page, and that was seen as unacceptable by Monteiro.

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Hawk Network's Digital World

Hawk Network 1The University is soon to invite students to the "Hawk Network," a digital community for professional networking and development available to undergraduates and alumni alike, on Mar. 2.

Users will be able to search and filter fellow Hawks by industry, professional experience, general location and more. Built-in video conferencing tools, as well as connection through email and text, allow the site's users to "build meaningful mentoring relationships," the official Hawk Network FAQ states.

William Hill, Assistant Dean of Career Services, considers the Hawk Network to be a "game-changer for Monmouth."

"This system harnesses the potential networking power of tens of thousands of alumni and students in a robust yet user-friendly website," Hill said. “Over time the possibilities for career connections and advice is nearly endless. Initial response from alumni has been overwhelming, with over 700 signing up in the first two weeks since launch. I am confident Hawk Network will have an important impact on our current and future students’ professional success.”

Jeffery Mass, Assistant Director of Career Services, considers Hawk Network to be a tool which will allow students and alumni to succeed before, during and after Monmouth.

“Students are able to gain networking contacts by connecting with alumni and friends of the University. Hawk Network also offers resources to help budding professionals as well as a forum for users to discuss how they have navigated their own personal career development.

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Monmouth Reacts to Trump's State of the Union Address

Trump Union AddressPresident Donald Trump gave the 2020 State of the Union address on Capitol Hill, last Tuesday, Feb. 4.

“Three years ago, we launched the great American comeback. Tonight, I stand before you to share these incredible results,” Trump said as the opening line of his speech. “The years of economic decay are over,” he continued, adding that the state of the Union is “stronger than ever before.”

Much of the address focused on the nation’s economic accomplishments: the unemployment rate at the lowest in over 50 years; seven million people off food stamps; 10 million people off welfare; and 3.5 million people joining the workforce over the past three years. “This is a blue-collar boom,” said Trump.

Matthew Lifson, an Instructor of Economics, discussed how he thinks the president should get some credit for the economy for reaching new heights. “The unemployment rate has always been a misleading figure, since it only includes those looking for work at the present time,” he said. “That being said, the number at such a low level gives more evidence to an improving economy. The quickest way to prove that an economy is improving is by the amount of jobs created.”

Lifson also explained how there needs to be more civility between the two political parties. “The shame of the event was the breakdown in relations has gotten so bad between the Republican and Democratic parties, and the State of the Union was actually embarrassing,” he said, blaming both the president and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

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Guardians Club Welcomes NJ State Police Captain

Guardian Club PoliceThe Monmouth University Guardians club hosted and welcomed NJ State Police Captain Michael Zimmerman, to discuss careers in law enforcement to students this past Wednesday in Bey Hall, Room 133.

Zimmerman is an experienced member of the NJ State Police force who currently serves as the Deputy Troop Commander in NJSP Troop C. Some of his notable experiences include conducting relief efforts in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria and helping to innovate the NJSP Regional Operations and Intelligence Center (ROIC). He has acted as Incident Commander and supervised major multi-county sides, Assistant Bureau Chief of NJSP’s Intelligence and Criminal Enterprise section, and the Executive officer at the NJ State Police Academy.

Guardians Club President and senior criminal justice student, Dally Matos, hopes to pursue a career in criminal justice, and she believes that events like these can give students perspective on law enforcement officers. “In today’s world, most students gain opinions from law enforcement based on what is on the news. Students can meet with officers face to face and get answers to their questions and see both sides of the new criminal justice debate,” she said.

Criminal Justice Department Chair and Professor, Nicholas Sewitch, explained that it is an obligation to expose students to different careers through real life experiences in order to understand what their desired job requires. “Some students have an idea of what they want to do, but they really don’t know what the career field is. We try to expose our students to a deeper look into a particular field.

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The Story of a Banished Family

Banished FamilyThe University hosted a documentary play entitled Banished: A Family on the Sex Offender Registry, to discuss issues with the sex offender registry, on Monday, Feb. 9 in Woods Theatre.

Banished is an oral history project, telling the story of harms caused by the sex offender registry. It follows the story of one family through the criminal proceedings and changes they endure while preparing for the registry.

The play also features interviews with Elizabeth Letourneau, Director of the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse at Johns Hopkins University; and, Patty Wetterling, a national children’s safety advocate, whose son’s disappearance led to the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act. The contained works are co-written by Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg, a staff writer for The Appeal, and coLAB Arts producing director, Dan Swern.

The names of the family are altered for confidentiality purposes.

Kiefer Swanson, played by actor David Seamon, pled guilty to indecency with a child in
December of 2015, years after the incident transpired. In a series of interviews, Kiefer and his family provided insight into the aftermath of the sentencing.

Kiefer’s career in the air force was on track, when he received a text from his father that they needed to talk. His father explained that there was an open investigation regarding what happened when he was 11 years old.

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What is the Development Team?

Development Team 1University Advancement accomplished a lot in the past fiscal year. Between June 30, 2018 and July 1, 2019 the Donor Impact Report states that the University received more than $15.4 million in gifts, pledges, and planned gifts. This is an over 65 percent increase compared to the previous year in which $9.3 million was committed.

According to Monmouth’s website, University Advancement is  a division responsible for “working with alumni and friends, we raise much-needed scholarship funds and support the key initiatives that draw students from all over the world to Monmouth University’s vibrant coastal campus.” University Advancement is the larger umbrella term that encapsulates the four different departments: Development Team, their largest department, Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving, Donor Relations and Stewardship, and Advancement Services. 

Jonathan Meer, the Vice President of University Advancement oversees all of these departments and also works toward making those relationships with possible donors in order to cultivate gifts for the university. The Development Team focuses mainly on fundraising, “We go out and meet with donors, generally donors that have the capacity to make major gifts $10,000 or above,” says Meer. 

Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving “do a little bit of fundraising, but mostly it’s [planning] reunions [and] events.” Meer also stated that they are responsible for Annual Giving, or “low level giving” as he referred to it. An example of this would be the Philanthropy Chord Project, part of the Senior Giving Campaign, in which graduating seniors make a donation and receive a philanthropy chord to wear for commencement. The class of 2019 set a record with over 400 gifts toward the Philanthropy Chord Project, and all of this money goes towards student scholarships.

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Blood Drive Supports Professor's Son

Blood DriveThe School of Science, School of Social Work, and School of Nursing and Health Studies sponsored a blood drive to honor Monmouth’s own Ollie Daneshgar on Monday, Feb. 10.

Ollie, the four-year-old son of Pedram Daneshgar Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology, was diagnosed with Leukemia on Nov. 7. All donations were sent to Robert Wood Johnson hospital in New Brunswick, where Ollie is currently receiving treatment.

“I never really gave blood drives that much attention until my son got Leukemia,” said Daneshgar. “And then I saw him get several blood transfusions in the last three months. He would not be alive without them, so it really hit home.”

Hosted in the Edison Science Building, the blood drive drew 137 registered donors with 104 whole blood donations, five platelet donations, and one plasma donation.

Koorleen Minton, Assistant to the Dean of the School of Science, said, “Every year I assemble a group of students comprised of honor societies, clubs, and others that just volunteer to help.” These organizations include Eta Sigma Gamma, the National Health Education Honor Society, Beta Beta Beta, the Biological Honor Society, the Next Generation Science Club, and the School of Science Peer Mentors. The drive offered an opportunity for student members to fulfill the service requirement for these honor societies.

Minton has been organizing campus blood drives since 2014. Since then, the University has donated over 1300 pints of blood in total. The University hosts three blood drives per school year.

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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