Last updateWed, 19 Feb 2020 2pm


Volume 83 (Fall 2011 - Spring 2012)

Students Commemorate Black History Month Through Read-in Chain

default article imageFaculty and students from the University gathered for the Black History Month Readin Chain that took place at 9:00 am on February 6 on the second floor of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center.

The event was designed to celebrate African-American history in a manner that showcased the importance of literacy in today’s society. This event was organized by University students, as well as Mercy Azeke, Dean of the Center for Student Success. Attending this event were students of the West Side Christian Academy Elementary School (WSCA), a sociology class from the University and New Jersey State Senator Joe Kyrillos.

The room was set up with several chairs for students and a podium where students read poems and literature in front of the crowd. The walls were decorated with several inspirational quotes and words spoken by famous African-Americans, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. The other room was designed to have fun activities where the children were able to write their own poems and literature; they could then hang them upon the “Poetry Clothesline,” where classmates and family members could read them. Children wrote about anything they wanted, such as baking cakes and playing sports. There also was an area where the children could read books to each other.

Children, volunteers, parents and teachers all came together to dedicate the day to reading poems and literature of several different African-American authors. The readings included selections about African-American culture, skin color, how they were raised and life experiences.

“This event is a celebration of literacy and to embrace the African-American literature in general,” said Marilyn Ward, the Coordinator of Service Learning and Community Programs.

One of the poems read was by renowned author and poet, Maya Angelou. Another poem read was about George Washington Carver, who taught himself to read in pursuit of a higher education.

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University Partners With Ranney School

default article imageThe University’s Honors School has formed a partnership with the Ranney School in Tinton Falls to spread their knowledge on ethics in business, science and politics. University specialists and professors have agreed to present different lectures to the Ranney School’s Upper School. The students will be enjoying a six-week symposium where they will be able to ask professors questions, discuss topics with each other and enhance their knowledge on a college level. From February to May, there will be a series of lectures, activities and workshops allowing the students of Ranney to get involved to their full potential and understand the topic that much more.

“Our presentation will highlight the importance of debate in public policy,” said Professor Joseph Patten, Chair of the Political Science and Sociology Department. Many University students also have strived to participate in the program. During Patten’s program, “Ethical and Effective on Capitol Hill are Mutually Exclusive: A Debate,” the students of Ranney will be experiencing what Patten says is a “hands on workshop on how to compete in policy debate.”

Lawrence S. Sykoff, the Head of the Ranney School, is excited to grant their sophomores the opportunity to learn about the value of ethics at a more in depth, experienced level, according to a University press release. “We are always looking for ways to connect with our neighbors in Monmouth County,” he told the University’s newswire.

Giving the first presentation of the group is Dr. Michaeline Skiba about ethics and business on February 24. “The earlier and the more information that is communicated to the students, the better,” Skiba said. “This program will give students an edge that most college students don’t have.”

Skiba added that this presentation will allow the students of Ranney to ask questions and join in open discussions about ethics and business. “These high school students have the desire to change the unethical behaviors in business settings,” she said. “We’re looking to build future managers who think about being business leaders and good corporate citizens. It’s important to stop unethical practices at the issue stage rather than at the crisis stage.”

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Message from the President 2/15/12

Message from President 2.15.12Dear Freshmen, Sophomores and Juniors:

Recently I’ve run across several student situations in which senior students have suddenly found deficiencies in credits that put graduation in jeopardy.

I have a single recommendation: check your academic au-dit each semester, each year, so that you can plan effectively for graduation.  You can get the audit online at: 

Take care of each other.

Paul G. Gaffney II President

Turnitin Follow-up: Professors Finding Software Beneficial

default article imageLast semester, the University introduced a new plagiarism detecting program called Turnitin. The program scans essays that are submitted to eCampus and compares the words to similar papers within the database. The program includes papers from other universities, as well as scholarly databases. The program high lights the areas that are similar and estimates a percentage of how much the paper is plagiarized.

Using Turnitin is not mandated by the University. Instead, professors are given the option to use the program in their classes and will not be penalized if they do not choose to use it.

Professor Noah Lippman teaches in the history department at the University. He said that numerous teachers in the history department have begun using the program. “It is a great program; I have been using it for years,” Lipman said. “It saves me a lot of time and I no longer have to worry about students cutting and pasting. Now I am guaranteed to have students’ original work.”

Other professors view the program as very beneficial. They are able to concentrate on the content of the students’ papers as opposed to trying to determine whether the student has plagiarized. Professor Lauren Sampson has been teaching at the University for several years now and has taught a vast majority of communication classes. This past year, she decided to begin using Turnitin in her classroom. “I believe that Turnitin is helpful to both teachers and students,” Sampson said. “As a teacher, I know there are times when students aren’t fully aware that they’re plagiarizing, so when something comes up on Turnitin, it gives me the opportunity to help them fully understand the concept.”

Professor Susan Stever teaches English 101 and 102, and she also just recently began using the Turnitin program. Stever attended a workshop at the beginning of February and learned how to effectively use the software. “It’s a brand new program and we’re excited to use it,”

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Grad Students Create Documentary on Living a Monsanto-Free Lifestyle

default article imageTwo University students working toward their Masters degrees in social work have teamed up together to document their experience living a Monsantofree lifestyle for six weeks.  Mary Szacik and Jessica Kostenblatt hope to bring awareness to the public about the large corporations that have a strong influence over the global food supply and food policy.  In particular, they are focusing on Monsanto Inc., a multinational agricultural biotechnology company who is the leading producer of genetically engineered seeds in the world.

In December, Szacik and Kostenblatt started filming A Patented Life: Sowing the Seeds of Human Rights.  The first day of their six week endeavor to live completely free from any food products or byproducts which incorporate genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) was Jan. 15.  Any personal hygiene products that have glycerin, or other GMO’s, were discarded, and any new clothing purchased during the six weeks will be free from GMO’s.  Since Monsanto provides the technology in 90 percent of the engineered seeds in the U.S., the nonconsummation and boycott of their products is called Monsantofree.

But Monsanto’s influence on everyday produce is so great that trying to avoid any products containing their genetically engineered seeds seems nearly impossible.  “I never enjoy grocery shopping,” said Szacik, “but when I spent hours reading labels to buy certified organic, my frustration level rose higher than ever.”  Szacik says that if food products are not labeled 100 percent certified organic, then there is a good chance that genetically engineered ingredients are in it.  “Corn, for example, is one of five major commodity crops that are 90 percent genetically engineered, so it is difficult to avoid the biotech influence in such a widely used grain.”  Soy, canola, cotton and sugar (made from beets) are the others.

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New Residence Hall in the Works

default article imageEvery year the time comes when emails are received and lottery numbers are assigned to designate what student gets to pick what room on what day. The better the number, the better the residence hall. Many will be glad to hear that a new residence hall is in the works to help accommodate those who get left out of housing each year.

“We want to build a new residence hall not to address an increased student enrollment, but rather to respond to an increased demand for student housing on campus,” said Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student and Community Services, regarding the reasons for building a new residence hall.

Currently, the only guaranteed housing is for the incoming first-year students who arrive at the University every fall to begin their college career. That is an aspect that the University hopes the new residence hall will fix.

“Most especially, we want to be able to guarantee our first and second-year students housing with us on campus for two years.

Nagy said. “At the present time, we guarantee first-year students, but after that students must participate in the housing lottery process.”

The hope is that the additional space will ease the currently high demand for rooms on campus.

“With additional beds on campus, we are confident that all of the demand by second-year students for housing can be met and they will no longer need to move off campus,” Nagy added.

Raymond Gonzalez, the Associate Director of Housing Operations of the Office of Residential Life, said “We are trying to provide more students the opportunity to live on-campus, including juniors and seniors.  It is my hope that the new residence hall will provide us the flexibility to do that.”

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Students Tweeting @MnmthProblems to Make Remarks on Campus

default article imageA new way to reveal problems about the University became available on the Internet. It is called #MUProblems, which is a trend on the social media website known as Twitter.

Twitter is a site that gives individuals the opportunity to share and discover what is important to them. “Find out what’s happening, right now, with the people and organizations you care about,” says the Twitter homepage in an attempt to attract users.

By “tweeting” or posting an update to the #MUProblems trend page, students have the ability to state their feelings and comment on instances that occurred at the University. The trend has been used by students to tweet about their course load, the teaching skills of the professors, the wireless Internet, tuition money, food and parking. #MUProblems is a trend that speaks about the negative aspects of the University.

 MU is an acronym for different schools, such as Marshall University, so the trend #MUProblems is not limited to solely Monmouth University. Many of the tweets are focused on those schools. However, @MnmthUProblems is a twitter page created specifically for Monmouth University students and faculty. It is not a trend page; rather, it is a separate twitter identity.

“Monmouth should definitely look over the site, if they haven’t already, and take note of things that bother stu dents,” said Nicolette Dimucci, a sophomore at the University. “To please a student, you need to think like one.”

The health and welfare of the University’s student body is promoted by the Student Government Association (SGA). Nicole Levy, President of SGA, said that she guarantees that SGA will begin to look at the Twitter page now that it has been brought to their attention.

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Obama Orders Lowering of Higher Education Costs

Colleges and Universities Failing to Comply May Face Loss of State Funding

default article imageDuring the State of the Union Address made on January 21, President Barack Obama proposed a plan requiring colleges and universities to find ways to keep tuition down. If they are unable to do so, he threatened to take away state funding.

While the risk of losing money from the state looms over the roofs of several institutions, University students may rest assured that they are not at one of the most highly priced universities in the country.

If you were to look at Monmouth’s history of tuition increases versus many of our colleges in the state of New Jersey or around the country, Monmouth has taken the approach of modest tuition increases,” said Claire Alasio, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management and Director of Financial Aid. “I think that there are other institutions out there that aren’t as responsible about their tuition increases. If I had to infer what President Obama was saying, I don’t think they are saying institutions shouldn’t increase tuition. I think they’re saying institutions should do it in a reasonable and responsible way.”

Tuition rises every year in order to maintain rising costs of facilities on campus and to meet the expectations of students and their families, such as maintaining small class sizes, limiting the number of adjunct faculty, providing wireless computer access and making cable television available in the residence halls, according to William Craig, Vice President for Finance.

“We have been working to keep costs down for more than a decade,” Craig said. “We have one of the lowest tuition and fee costs of the private colleges and universities in New Jersey. Over the last 10 years, the average annual tuition fees cost among these private institutions has risen by over $3,800 more than tuition and fees at the University. Accomplishing this has taken concerted efforts by the entire University community to be prudent in making spending decisions and carefully choosing the priorities that can be funded.”

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Psychology Department Hosted 55th Semi-Annual Research Conference

default article imageThe psychology department proudly hosted its 55th semi-annual research conference, co-coordinated by Dr. Natalie Ciarocco and Dr. Janice Stapley, on Saturday, December 10, 2011, in Bey Hall. Attendees, which included both field experience and senior thesis students, their parents, family, and friends, as well as the psychology department faculty, were treated to a full day of poster and paper presentations.  The presentations were the culmination of students’ senior thesis projects as well as students’ field experiences in the fall 2011 semester.  Field experiences included students working with individual faculty members, as well as the students in Dr. Doris Hiatt’s PY 410 Field Experience course. 

The day began with opening remarks from the department chair, Dr. Janice Stapley.  Dr. Stanton Green, Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, also offered remarks that both congratulated and encouraged the day’s presenters.  The attendees were also greeted by Miranda Bobrowski, the president of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. 

Throughout the day, nine paper presentations and 31 poster presentations displayed the results of each student’s original senior thesis project.  Projects, under the guidance of faculty supervisors, were seen through from idea conception to data collection and the display of the results at the conference.  Drs. Demarest, Dinella, Holmes, Lewandowski, and Stapley all served as thesis supervisors this semester.      

This year’s recipient of the best paper presentation was Jacqueline Abate, for her paper entitled, “Evaluating Relationship Partners: The Mere Ownership Effect in Romantic Relationships.”  The best poster presentation award was shared by Kristen Kohm for her poster, “The Influence of Strength of Attachment on Preschoolers’ Self-Regulation” and Chelsea Thomson for her poster, “Who Studies Abroad?: A Look at Birth Order, Personality, and Willingness to Leave Home.”  The best applied psychology poster award went to Juliana Pierce, who worked with Dr. Hatchard’s organization, Making Daughters Safe Again.

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University Members Comment on SOPA Act

Internet Censorship Act Garners University Responses

default article imageAttempts to control copyright infringement and distribution is nothing new. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 criminalized services, with the purpose of circumventing measures that control access to copyrighted works.

This act had exceptions towards materials used for educational purposes; it also stated limitations on the liability of online service providers for copyright infringement when engaging in certain types of activities, according to the US Copyright Summary. Recently, however, governments have become stricter and this past year introduced several new acts in this area.

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was introduced by Texas Republican Representative Lamar Smith with 12 cosponsors on October 26, 2011. In short, SOPA allows the Justice Department and copyright holders to seek court orders against websites that aid in copyright infringement; included is anything from torrent sites to spoofs of pop music on YouTube. Additionally, SOPA includes an anti-circumvention clause that mandates the removal of links to copyrighted material that appear on social media websites. If the sites fail to remove the link, they then face the potential of being shut down. is a website that provides technological news. On November 15, 2011, it carried reports that representatives of LinkedIn, Yahoo, AOL, Google, Zynga, Facebook, Twitter, Mozilla and EBay wrote a letter to the Senate and House of Representatives regarding SOPA. They called it “a serious risk to our industry’s continued track record of innovation and job creation, as well as our nation’s cyber security.”

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Poet Visits University in Conjunction with MLK Tribute

Poet Visits UniversityAs part of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute celebration, award-winning poet Marilyn Nelson came to the University last Wednesday night to read her published works and pieces from a new manuscript.

Marilyn Nelson is an African-American poet born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1946 during the time of segregation.  Her father was in the air force so she grew up around military bases. Her mother was an African-American teacher with all white students, and always thought of her daughter as a poet.

In 1966, Nelson lived in Chicago and worked with the Civil Rights Movement.  Much of her poetry reflects her perspectives on racism and equality, and her personal experiences growing up in a segregated America.

Nelson earned her B.A. from the University of California Davis, an M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, and her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. She has published more than 12 books, and has won numerous awards including the 1998 Poets’ Prize, two creative writing fell o w s h i p s from the National Endowment for the Arts and is a Robert Frost Medal recipient.  She is currently a professor emeritus of English at the University of Connecticut.

At the MLK Tribute event, guests sat at round tables eating cream puffs and fudge cake.  Nelson, dressed head to toe in royal blue, walked up to the podium and stared at the audience over her glasses.

She began reading her poems that depict moments of her childhood. Every piece read worked with themes such as racism, segregation and the desire for equality.

Nelson also read her book A Wreath for Emmett Till in its entirety. A Wreath for Emmett Till is an elegy written as a crown of sonnets about the lynching of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old

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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