Last updateWed, 21 Apr 2021 3pm


Volume 92 (Fall 2019 - Spring 2020)

Strategic Plan-a-Thon Sparks Ideas for Campus Improvement

Strategic Plan a ThonMonmouth University administration held a “strategic plan-a-thon,” inviting students, faculty, and staff to share their ideas for campus-wide changes and improvements last Wednesday.

In preparation for the crafting of a new strategic plan following Patrick F. Leahy, Ed.D.’s installation as University President, the administration organized a kick-off event during which the students, faculty, and staff of Monmouth were encouraged to contribute their own ideas and thoughts via sticky notes on boards with different categories.

Responses during the 8-hour event were collected by members of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee to be taken into consideration when building the new plan.

The four headings under which the MU community were able to place their thoughts were: “Start,” for brand new ideas; “Stop,” for current practices which may not have a place in the plan; “Enhance,” for improving current practices; and “Dream Big,” regarding large-scale ideas for positive change at the school.

These four categories together were the focus of the event, which took place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Anacon Lobby of the Student Center.

The focus of the plan-a-thon was the gathering of ideas by the Strategic Planning Steer people of MU and determine how the strategic plan should be shaped to best cater to the requests of the community. Amanda Klaus, Executive Director for Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving and a member of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, explained the format of the event. “The categories are broad enough that they allow everybody who wants a chance to participate to really help the University move in a more strategic direction,” she said. “They provide a really great opportunity for folks to share ideas both big and small.”

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Honors School Sends Students to Present in New Orleans

default article imageFour students from the Honors School presented their research at the National Collegiate Honors Council’s conference in New Orleans, LA, from Friday, Nov. 8 through Sunday, Nov. 10.

The acceptance rate of abstracts into this conference was 68 percent, with 398 students from around the country participating in total.

Students representing Monmouth were: Skylar Daley, a senior English student; Mehdi Husaini, a senior biology student; Chanell Singletary-Eskridge, a junior psychology student; and Angelica Pellone, a junior interdisciplinary education student.

Monmouth competed against 40 other students from Tulane University, Washington State University, Chapman University, Northeastern University, University of Indianapolis, and the University of Idaho, among others.

Nancy Mezey, Ph.D., Dean of the Honors School said that Husaini won Second Place in the conference for his poster titled, “Examining the Role of Fascin in Primary Brain Cancers,” which he researched under Kate Kubera, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor of biology.

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Students Network at Annual Fall Career Day

Career Day 2The University hosted its annual Fall Career Day, providing students with the opportunity to network with 118 employers from a variety of industries, on Nov. 5 from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. on the second floor of the OceanFirst Bank Center.

Open to all students and alumni, the event exposed students to job opportunities and helped to polish their interview skills. Claude Taylor, Advisor-in-Residence for Academic Transition and Inclusion, explained that the event benefits students in two ways. “First, students get to see who is looking to hire people along with the range of jobs that are available. The other way is it allows students to practice the essential skills they need to be a successful candidate, in a safe space,” he said.

Jefferey Mass, Assistant Director of Career Services, said, “I’m a huge fan of face-to face interaction. The Career Day is a great way for students to get out of their comfort zone a little bit. A lot of [students] even prefer it, over virtual interviews. It’s a great way to hone in on their elevator pitch, network, an obtain a business card to follow-up. It’s the ultimate way to practice interview skills.”

Taylor continued, “[Career Day] is a signature event at Monmouth and we have a great relationship with employers in the state and throughout the region that allows us to host employees that represent a wide range of sectors.”

Each year, Career Day has expanded its list of employers. However, Mass explained that the event is about ‘quality not quantity’; the event’s is about ensuring that the employers that do come have jobs and internships for students, rather than having a large turn-out.

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Veterans Day Ceremony Fundraises for Veteran Suicide Prevention

Veterans DayThe Student Veteran Association partnered with Monmouth Veteran Services and The Coming Home Project to celebrate Monmouth veterans and raise money towards combating veteran suicide, this past Veterans Day, November 11th.

Rocco Puzzo, Student Veteran Association President, army veteran and junior Political Science student, detailed the event’s several opportunities for those in attendance to participate.

“[Student Veteran Association’s] philanthropy this academic school year is combating veteran suicide,” Puzzo said. “To my right, you will see a few stations set up to contribute to our philanthropy this year.”

Stations include “Fill The Boot,” in which anyone can make a donation towards benefiting local programs and non-profits combatting the veteran suicide epidemic. “Whether it be 50 cents or $20, it will all be greatly appreciated and sent to a very good cause,” Puzzo said.

In lieu of a cash donation, attendees could also participate in a pull-up exercise station. Each pull-up represented a service member, active duty or veteran, who took their own life, as Puzzo explained. 

“The number [of pull-ups] we are trying to reach is 6548,” Puzzo said. “That is the number of veterans and active duty personnel that took their own life in the year 2018.”

Attendees of the ceremony could also donate towards a “care package” meant to benefit Monmouth University student veterans currently deployed to Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa. 

Michael Callahan, army veteran and Director of Veteran Services and Student Support, as well as coordinator of the Coming Home Project, addressed the crowd and explained a brief history of Veterans Day.

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Communication Department Hosts Career Day

Career DayA networking event for undergraduates in the fields of Journalism and PR, Interactive Digital Media Concentration (IDM), Communication Studies, and Radio and TV was hosted in Wilson Hall on Monday, Nov. 11th.

The event allowed communication students to speak with field professionals in order to learn more about securing a job post graduation.

Larissa Cardozo, Associate Program Manager of Integrity Continuing Education, Inc, detailed the type of communication-based graduate that companies often seek during their hiring processes.

“I think the nice thing about communication is that it’s diverse and everybody has something to bring to the table,” Cardozo said. “We’re definitely looking for someone with people skills… who is organized and motivated, as well as a team player.”

A Monmouth graduate with a degree in communication studies, Cardozo explained how skills learned during her undergraduate years carried over into her professional life.

“I think that more than anything, my position and the company in general is all about communicating with people from all walks of life,” Cardozo said. “On any given day, I could be speaking with banquet managers or talking to doctors at the top of their field, and my communication skills that I learned [at Monmouth] really helped with being able to talk to those types of people and not collapse underneath the weight of it.”

Gina Columbus, Managing Editor for OncLive and spokesperson of MJH Life Sciences, encouraged communication students to seek job opportunities not seemingly related to their field.

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Jon Stewart and The Game Changers

Game Changers 1The documentary The Game Changers was screened at Pollak Theatre with a panel moderated by comedian Jon Stewart that was filled with the film’s stars and producers last Thursday, Nov. 7. The panelists consisted of the film’s main star Wilks, writer/producer Joseph Pace, one of the film’s dieticians Rip Esselstyn, the film’s convert on plant-based diet Nick Berman, and cardiologist Robert Ostfeld, Ph.D.

The evening began with the screening of The Game Changers, which follows the journey of defense trainer and retired UFC fighter James Wilks, who searches for a solution to return stronger from a recent knee injury. Through his research, Wilks discovers that adopting a plant-based diet is the best for building long lasting strength and endurance, despite centuries of messages that promote meat as an essential source of protein.

To back up his claims, Wilks showcases top level athletes who use plant-based diets from strongman Patrik Baboumian to ultra-marathoner Scott Jurek and everyone in between like football players, track athletes, and cyclists. Wilks also has the support of scientists who endorse claims on how plant-based eating is beneficial in many ways especially for your health, the environment, the economy, and animals.

The film was insightful by covering all the bases and debunking the myths behind a plant-based diet. It was surprising to find out how dramatically your body can change for the better just by eating stuff out of the ground. Above all, it brushed aside the masculine stereotype behind eating meat.

Following the screening, the panelists came out to discuss the film and take questions from the audience, which mostly consisted of professionals in the medical field, community members, and some students. For an hour, the panel explored a wide range of ideas on the diet and were not afraid to get personal.

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Model UN & Debate Win Big

Monmouth Competitions 1The University’s Model United Nations (UN) team and Debate Hawks sent a total of 50 students to two respective tournaments, both taking home awards this weekend Friday, Nov. 8 through Sunday, Nov. 10.

The Model UN team won multiple awards at the National MUN (NMUN) Conference in Washington, D.C., representing the United States, Argentina, and Jordan in the competition. NMUN is the second largest contest in the United States, with 966 students from 69 universities across the U.S. and around the world. 

Monmouth’s U.S. Delegation won Outstanding Delegation (top ten percent at the conference). This delegation included: Nick Boice, Mackenzie Ricca, Payton Collander, Kristen Gomez, Paula Echeverria, Liam Crowley, Katelyn Quino, Fradely Delacruz, Nick Gibson, Alexis Vasquez, Maddy Doe, and Julia Bialy.

The Jordan Delegation won Honorable Mention (top 20 percent at the conference). This delegation was comprised of six first-time delegates: Ari Martinez, Grace Joyce, Stephanie Popper, Ari Moctezuma, Gabriella Griffo, & Yoshua Morales.

Ken Mitchell, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Political Science and Sociology and an Associate Professor of Political Science who serves as one of the team’s advisers, explained that these “Fearless First-Timers” are the first team of first-timers to place at a conference at any level. 

The Argentina Delegation included: Sabria Smith, Catherine Melman-Kenny, Sarah Reutti, Eric Machnicki, Zach Dougherty, Kayla Kennedy, Nina Baltus, Anthony Cendagorta, & Amanda Lopez, many of whom were fist-time MUN competitors.

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Journalist Linda Deutsch '65 Honored

Linda HonoredLinda Deutsch ‘65, a Veteran Associated Press (AP) Reporter and Monmouth Alumna, returned to campus to be honored for her achievements and generosity in Jules Plangere, Jr. Center for Communication, at 5 p.m. on Nov. 11.

Deutsch pledged $1 Million to establish an endowed scholarship fund for journalism students at Monmouth.

In recognition of her generosity and career, the university dedicated the office space of the student-run newspaper, The Outlook, as the “Linda Deutsch ’65 Student Journalism Center.” Deutsch was an editor and reporter for the paper from 1961 to 1965.

University President Patrick Leahy, Ed.D., introduced Deutsch at the naming ceremony held on the second floor of Plangere, in front of The Outlook. “At a naming occasion, you take a space on campus that is so important and you link it forever with a person who is so important to our university.”

He continued, “You take a look at The Outlook, published at Monmouth since 1933, and we need to make sure that we have first class space for our budding journalists. When you take that space, you could go through our 53,000 alums and not find a more suitable person to name this space than today’s honoree, Linda Deutsch.”

Deutsch is one of 18 AP reporters designated ‘Special Correspondent’ and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for her work covering the OJ Simpson Trial. She has covered other high-profile legal proceedings, including the trials of Charles Manson, Robert F. Kennedy’s assassin, and Michael Jackson.

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Kaitlyn Petrillo Honored

Petrillo HonoredFamily, friends, colleagues from Monmouth Medical Center and members of Monmouth University’s Marjorie K. Unterberg School of Nursing and Health Studies came together Oct. 28, in the Great Hall of Wilson Hall to pay tribute to Kaitlyn Elizabeth Petrillo.

Kaitlyn, 29, of Colts Neck, N.J., was an outstanding nursing student, committed to her graduate nursing education.  She was eagerly pursuing her MSN in the Adult Gerontological Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program when she became ill.  During her final year in the program, she lost her battle and passed away at home on Wednesday, August 14, 2019.

Kaitlyn was a graduate of Ranney School and Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I.  Besides being a fulltime graduate student, she was a registered nurse in the operating room at Monmouth Medical Center.

Those in attendance were welcomed by Dr. Janet Mahoney, Dean of the Marjorie K. Unterberg School of Nursing and Health Studies, followed by kind words of remembrance from Dr. Rose Knapp, Chair of the Department of Nursing, Dr. Cheryl Leiningen, Assistant Professor of Nursing, Monmouth University Alumni Rebecca Jackewicz, and Dr. Diann Johnston, Chief Nursing Officer at Monmouth Medical Center & Regional Chief Nursing Officer at Southern Region.  Following the remembrance ceremony, kind words were shared by others in attendance.

At the conclusion of the tribute, Dr. Rekha Datta, Provost, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement, presented Kaitlyn’s MSN Degree posthumously to her mother, Carol Petrillo.

PHOTO COURTESY of Roseanna Roberson

Athletic Director McNeil Speaks to Sports Industry Club

Athletic SpeaksVice President and Director of Monmouth Athletics Marilyn McNeil, Ph.D., 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, McNeil not only detailed the many difficulties of her career’s progression, but related these moments to the topic of gender inequality.

Originally from Canada, McNeil spent around five years teaching and coaching Women’s Basketball at Montreal’s McGill University before returning to her alma mater, the University of Calgary, to coach their Women’s Basketball program.

After learning of unequal pay between her and the University’s Men’s Basketball coach, McNeil approached the school’s athletic director with an ultimatum: re-consider her contract, or the search for other opportunities would begin.

“I went to our athletic director and said, ‘I know we’re not as important as Men’s Basketball, but I need from you a sense that you care about Women’s Basketball. I need a sense that you see a future about Women’s Basketball, and I’d like a longer term contract and I’d like a raise. You don’t have to put me where he is, but I want at least a forward thinking movement here,’” McNeil recalled.

The athletic director did not budge on raising McNeil’s pay. In search of greener pastures with more balanced contracts, she left. By the suggestion of her husband, McNeil applied for a coaching position at California Polytechnic State University. According to McNeil, only two women applied for the position, and she was eventually given the offer.

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Millenials and Gen Z Quitting Jobs Due to Mental Health

Millenials QuittingA recent survey found that 50 percent of millennials and 75 percent of Generation Z (Gen Z) respondents have quit a job due to mental health reasons, according to Mind Share Partners. 

Mind Share Partners is a nonprofit that works with companies to improve mental health resources and conducted a study to examine the effects of mental health on employees. 

According to the findings, published in Harvard Business Review, 60 percent of people experienced symptoms of mental health. 

Andrew Lee, Psy.D., Director of Counseling and Psychological Services, explained that national data on mental health issues for Gen Z student, such as anxiety and depression, have been increasing for some time. “I wonder if [the survey’s] statistic is more a function of the ever-increasing mental health needs of the Gen Z generation in general, and less a reflection of difficulties working for companies.” 

Furthermore, the stigma regarding mental health issues has decreased, which allows members of the millennial and Gen Z generations greater access to mental health services along with a greater willingness to discuss these types of issues, Lee said. 

Brittany Macaluso, a junior social work student, agreed and said, “People are more comfortable talking about mental health issues because there’s less of a stigma. It’s a positive shift that people are prioritizing their mental well-being.”

Still, Lee explained that certain work environment can play a role in mental health issues. Specifically, that working with more people introduces a greater possibility for misunderstandings and conflict, which could increase one’s experience of mental health issues.

Jefferey Mass, Assistant Director of Career Services, credited the interplay between corporations and millennials with worsening mental health struggles.

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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