Last updateWed, 21 Apr 2021 3pm


Volume 92 (Fall 2019 - Spring 2020)

Student Featured in National Magazine

social workThe National Association for Social Workers (NASW) magazine will interview Brittany Macaluso, a junior social work student, in North Brunswick for their March issue. 

The focus of this issue is to highlight social workers’ experiences from emerging and seasoned professionals. The magazine will be released along with a video in March, which is social work month. 

Robin S. Mama, Ph.D., MSS, LSW, Dean of School of Social Work, said, “It is always an honor to have our students or alumni profiled by a national organization. Not only does this help us to demonstrate the work that students are engaged in, it also helps to educate the public on the varied areas where social workers work.” 

Cory Cummings, an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work, explained that a student from Monmouth being featured is important for a few reasons. “It acknowledges the hard work [Macaluso] and her team have been doing to support our social work students and help them develop as emerging professionals. This is exemplified through events like the Teach-In that was hosted last Fall,” he said. 

Macaluso is the current President of the Social Work Society that coordinated and hosted the Teach-In on the Opioid Crisis last fall. “That event involved my entire team reaching out to senators people professionals in the community and also professors here on campus,” she said. 

Aside from on campus organizations, Macaluso has interned at Brain Balance, which works with children who have cognitive and behavioral delays.

This semester, she is interning at 2ndFloor Help Line, open 24/7 for adolescents and young adults to speak about any issues they are facing. 

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Libraries Stack-Up Against Other Pastimes

libraryPeople visited libraries more often than movie theaters, national parks, and live music events, according to a recent GALLUP poll that was published on Jan. 24, 2020.

Adults in the United States reported visiting libraries an average of 10.5 times, while movie visits averaged 5.3 and visits to live sporting events averaged 4.7 times throughout the year. 

Why are people returning to the stacks? Are libraries still important in the age of the internet and search engines? Are library community staples?

Kurt Wagner, Head Librarian at the Murry and Leonie Guggenheim Memorial Library had read the new study, and while he recognized that the library and the movies are not always synonymous, he was pleased to see the trend. 

“I love libraries so much because there’s all that kind of unexpected knowledge and discovery of things. I say that what we do here is we foster kind of an explore, discover, actually can create knowledge that a place like a library by putting together different information and making connections between things you learn here.”

Wagner encourages students and all individuals to go to librarians and peak to librarians in order to get all the information they are searching for. “If you’re not talking to Librarians and visiting libraries you only get what you look for when you do a search especially a Google Search and you might not even realize that you’re only getting what Google is able to find,” said Wagner. 

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Coronavirus Continues to Spread Around the Globe

CoronavirusCoronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from a minor cold to complex, deadly diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV), according to The World Health Organization (WHO).

A new respiratory virus within the Coronavirus family, referred to as the Novel Coronavirus, has recently been first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The new coronavirus has surpassed 20,000 cases in China and a death toll of 425, The Guardian reported on Monday, Feb 3.

Since its identification, the Novel Coronavirus has been recorded in a multitude of other countries. An infographic by John Hopkins University displays 15 cases in North America as of Monday, Feb 3.

Jeffrey H. Weisburg, Ph.D., a Specialist Professor in the department of biology who’s currently teaching the class Microbiology in Health and Disease, addressed the worries of what may happen if the Novel Coronavirus were to appear on campus.

“What you have to realize is that people on the Monmouth campus, even if [a coronavirus] came, it probably would not be deadly because we’re healthy and have an intact immune system,” Weisburg said. “The concern is that it can develop into pneumonia and that can kill you; that’s the problem. It’s the effects of it that can cause other diseases or other problems with your body. It can cause heart problems which lead to heart attacks and you die.”

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University Ends Lease at Pier Village

monmouth universityPVThe University has decided to terminate its 15-year off-campus housing partnership with Pier Village, notifying students of the decision two weeks prior to the housing deposits due date of Feb. 14.

James Pillar, Ed.D., Associate Vice President for Student Life, emailed students to inform them of the decision on Jan. 28. According to the email, “Although many students have enjoyed living at the complex, the demand for these units has decreased over time and, as a result, we are no longer going to lease apartments after the spring 2020 term.”

Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement, added that a lack of student interest as a key component of the decision to cut ties. “The number of apartments [the University] has there today and the number of students that live there today is significantly less than what it was.”

Nagy explained that student demand for Pier Village housing has gone down to the point where the equivalent of three apartments that, if she combined and consolidated them, would sit vacant. “In a continuing effort to make sure that we are as cost-conscious as possible… [the University] did not feel that we could continue to have a relationship with Pier Village.”

As the University approached the end of their contract with Pier Village, apartment rates were changing, and the inflation would inevitably be passed upon to the students, Nagy warned.

“We’re trying to do our best to contain costs, I can’t continue to have empty units, which are going to go up, that I have to pass onto students," said Nagy.

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MLK Speaker: Raymond Santana Jr.

MLK SpeakerThe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Speaker in Social Justice annual lecture, which honors those who carry on the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., featured Raymond Santana Jr. on Wednesday, Jan. 29.

Santana is part of the “Exonerated Five,” a nickname given to a group of teenage boys who were tried and convicted of a crime they did not commit. Each teenage boy spent an individual 5 years in prison before DNA evidence and a confession from the true perpetrator saw the conviction overturned.

Zaneta Rago-Craft, Ed.D., the inaugural director of the Intercultural Center, addressed the crowd and detailed the agenda for the event.

“Faculty, staff, administrators, distinguished alumni, trustees and community members, I want to sincerely thank you for joining us tonight,” Rago-Craft said. “The event is organized on an annual basis by the President’s advisory council on diversity and inclusion. With funding, guidance and support from the officers of the President and Provost, without whom the program would not be possible.”

Before Santana’s keynote lecture, Rago-Craft introduced a spoken word performance of “The King’s Dream” by Key Arts Productions. The performance chronicled different moments of King’s life, intertwining his message with live vocal performances of culturally significant music.

Joseph Patterson, President and Artistic Director of Key Note Productions, led and narrated the performance.

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Story Time at Library

Story TimeThe Guggenheim Memorial Library has begun their weekly Story Time series, in which students from Education, Business, Psychology and Social Work spend time with K-2 children and their parents.

Alex Rodriguez, a senior year social work major, explained the different operations of the weekly meetings.

“We pick a theme, such as today’s ‘pajama day’ theme, and we’ll pick a correlating book,” Rodriguez explained. “We’ll do an arts and crafts project as well that goes hand in hand with the theme. That’s the basis of it.”

The Story Time series has been around for 4 years, according to Rodriguez. “We started off pretty small, with 5 or 6 kids our first year,” Rodriguez said. “Now that we’ve been growing a little bit, we have more co-workers and we probably average up to about 9 or 10 kids.”

Often the same children will come weekly, according to the students involved in the meetings.

“Usually we have a lot of the same kids,” Rodriguez mentioned. “Some of the kids that come are family with Monmouth employees, so it’s convenient for them. We think the kids enjoy it, they always seem to be having a good time and they especially love the arts and crafts portion.”

PHOTO TAKEN by Matthew Cutillo

Changes to 2020 Commencement

default article imageThis spring’s upcoming undergraduate commencement ceremonies will return to campus as a result of renovation issues at their previous location, PNC Bank Arts Center, on May 14.

Morning ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m. with the Leon Hess Business School ceremony taking place at the OceanFirst Bank Center, the School of Social Work at Pollak Theatre, and the Marjorie K. Unterberg School of Nursing and Health Studies under a specialized thousand-person tent on Shadow Lawn.

Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement, detailed the issues surrounding PNC Bank Arts Center’s renovations in concerns to hosting upcoming commencement gatherings.

“I learned from the head of the PNC Bank Arts Center that they were going to undergo a major renovation to buildings that were necessary for us to do commencement,” Nagy said. “Restrooms, concessions, ticket areas, things like that.”

PNC Bank Arts Center soon determined the commencement could not be held until June, which Monmouth found unacceptable, Nagy claims.

Other locations such as the Prudential Center and Atlantic City Convention Center were once considered, but ultimately the decision was chosen to attempt a commencement on campus due to the logistics of student’s families preferring to drive as short a distance as possible.

Professor Phifer-Rixey Presents Research at National Conference

Rixey National ConferenceMegan Phifer-Rixey, Ph.D., an evolutionary biologist and Assistant Professor in the Biology department, presented as part of the Evolution Symposium at the 2019 National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) Conference, on Nov. 14-17 in Chicago. 

Phifer-Rixey presented her research, including a collaboration with John Tiedemann, Assistant Dean of the School of Science, to an assembly of biology teachers. Her talk focused on the use of genetic markers to identify the source populations of the migratory Striped Bass, from both off-shore and near-shore areas.

The project used DNA analysis to identify the stock-specific origin of Striped Bass in Ocean County, to determine the contribution of individual stocks. 

Tiedemann started the project and worked with the Berkley Stripers Club, a local fishing club, that is focused on fishing along the beaches of Ocean County, which inspired his decision to research where the Striped Bass that are harvested in the fall originate. 

The club supported the research and contributed fin clips. Tiedemann explained that “The fin clips are brought back to the lab to extract the DNA. We can analyze the DNA isolated from the fish to match it to a library of DNA fingerprints that identify the spawning grounds.”  

Phifer-Rixey said, “We started doing the work in my lab in 2018 through the Summer Research Program. I thought this was a good fit because students were able to learn how to do molecular genetics.” 

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2020 Library Research Awards Offer Prize Money

Library Research AwardsThe Guggenheim Memorial Library has announced the 2020 Library Research Awards, in which any undergraduate or graduate student can submit a completed research project for a chance to win $250.

Submitted projects must fulfill the requirements of a Monmouth University course, according to the official submission instructions. Research papers must exceed 10 pages and include a works cited page. Applications must also include a cover sheet, a 100 word abstract or summary, and 500-750 word essay describing the different research strategies and application of library tools the student used to complete their project.

Eleonora I. Dubicki, professor librarian, detailed the contest’s expectations of students looking to apply.

“It’s really just the essay that’s additional,” Dubicki said. “We’re asking students to write about sources they’ve used. The essay is only 750 words, which is about 2 pages or so, but it really is meant to explain what [resources] you used.”

Starting back in 2008, the awards came as inspiration from other institutions with similar student evaluation contests.

“The Dean got behind it right away and said it was great,” Dubicki explained.

A panel of 3 librarians view the submissions, utilizing the rubric to evaluate individually before coming together for a final decision, Dubicki explained. Originally, faculty needed to nominate any submitted papers, but now students are free to submit their work regardless of professor approval.

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Debate Team Receives Grant from U.S. State Department

Debate TeamMembers of the University’s Debate Team spent winter break in Mumbai, India, training teachers and students in a policy debate activity as part of a two year grant from the U.S. Department of State, from Jan. 6 to Jan. 16.

The purpose of the grant is to form debate teams at three schools in Mumbai and to work with the teams throughout the year in preparation for a public debate competition at the office of the U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai in January of 2021.

Chyna Walker, a sophomore political science student, and senior political science students Yendeli Bello, Julia Bialy, Madeline Doe, Jon P. Suttile, Alexis Vasquez, and Esther Wellman played a leading role in the debate training program. The Debate Hawks will be traveling back to Mumbai next January to assist the Mumbai debaters in final preparation for the public debate at the office of the U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai.

The U.S. Department of State grant was secured by Rekha Datta, Ph.D., Interim Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Professor of Political Science; and Joe Patten, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science and faculty advisor to the Monmouth Debate Team, with assistance from Anthony Lazroe, the University’s Director of Grants and Contacts.

According to Datta, Lazore sent information about a call for proposals from the U.S. State Department for a Debate Workshop Grant to help establish debate clubs for three schools serving underprivileged youth in Mumbai, India.

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Nursing School Ranked 3rd Best in State

Nursing SchoolThe Marjorie K. Unterberg School of Nursing and Health Studies has been ranked the third best nursing school in New Jersey, according to the 2019 Nursing Schools Almanac report. Monmouth has also been nationally recognized as a Top 100 school, ranking at No.91 in the United States, and No.38 for elite nursing schools in the Mid- Atlantic Region.

Janet Mahoney, Ph.D., RN, Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Studies and a Professor of Nursing said, “I felt overwhelmed and very proud when I saw the rankings. Knowing that Monmouth University’s nursing programs are the best as we continuously strive for excellence and provide the best learning environment for our students to learn is one thing—but I feel very appreciated when others recognize it.”

The factors that determined a certain nursing programs academic prestige and value were graduates capability of paying student debt in opportune time, professional designations and grant funding received for nursing research from the National Institutes of Health, and the amount of years maintaining a graduate nursing education level.

Depth of nursing programs were weighted by undergraduate and graduate programs, consisting of their degrees, diplomas, and certifications offered. Graduate programs were heavily in terms of program enrollment size.

According to the report, data was collected from over 3,000 institutions in the United States. The research team assessed each nursing schools to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Scores were merged and placed in order from highest to lowest.

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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