Last updateWed, 24 Feb 2021 1pm


The University Formally Welcomes Rechnitz Hall

news-artbuildingAt the end of 2012, the University officially completed and welcomed all 20,340 square feet of the Joan & Robert Rechnitz Hall. It is now home to the Department of Art & Design as well as the Principal Art Gallery, a reception area, three state-of-the-art MAC labs, an animation and editing studio, several classrooms and faculty offices and a student lounge which overlooks the 600 building courtyard.

The building was officially inducted to the University Sunday, January 27 with the dedication ceremony for Joan and Robert Rechnitz. The commemoration, which allowed room for a brief speech from the founders of the building, Joan and Robert Rechnitz, was followed by a gallery viewing of the “Faculty and Friends” exhibit. This was a show which featured the works of over 57 artists from across the nation including, but not limited to present and former faculty, alumni and several artists who had showcased their works at the University over the years.

The show even held pieces completed by Joan Rechnitz herself when she attended the University.

When asked about what she thought of the now finished project, Joan Rechnitz could not help but smile. “It is gorgeous, a little fancier than we thought it was going to be, but I think that it will encourage students to make their own masterpieces. The fun will happen,” said Joan.

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Inmates Hope Students Can Learn from Their Mistakes

inmates-hopeBefore their presentation, four inmates, dressed in loose-fitting brown prison attire, stared out to an audience of over 400 people on Tuesday, December 4 in Pollak theatre.  Next to them hung a sign that read, “The worst thing that you can do is establish a criminal record.”  For them, it was too late; as a result of a series of events topped with poor decision making, their records are forever blemished. 

Cumulatively, their prison sentences combine to over 25 years behind bars.  But in an effort to teach others about the dangers of using drugs and the results of making bad decisions, they participated in Project PRIDE (Promoting Responsibility in Drug Education) and for an hour they told their stories.

Michael Ridder, Coordinator of Project PRIDE, said that the four inmates were once just like  the students who sat in the audience.  “These four people, before they headed down the wrong path, were goal-orientated, talented young adults.  They never imagined that one day they would be prisoners in a New Jersey Correctional facility,” said Ridder.  “Unfortunately, they made bad decisions that led them to where they are today.”

The first of the prisoners to speak was a 27-year-old man named Evan.  After losing his job because of a business merger, Evan said that it didn’t take long for his finances to dwindle down and feeding his family became nearly impossible. “I couldn’t pay any of my bills and within two months I was handed an eviction notice by my landlord,” said Evan.  Making “the worst decision of my life,” Evan robbed three stores with a 9mm gun and was later arrested on armed robbery charges and first degree possession of a gun.  He was sentenced to eight years in prison. “The one thing that weighs on my heart and my mind all of the time is that I acted on impulse,” said Evan. 

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The University Holds Annual Food Drive

The University Store is holding their annual holiday food drive to help donate food to Long Branch families until December 22.

Kathy Booth, Assistant Manager at the University Store, teamed up with Long Branch Middle School in 1999 to help with their efforts in collecting food and has been working with them ever since.

Booth used to walk past the food bins and see that there was very little in them. After that, the store decided to give coupons out as an incentive and a thank you for donating in hopes for receiving more food. When a student brings in five items of non-perishable foods, they will receive a coupon for 20% off Imprinted University Clothing and Giftware. The coupon is redeemable until December 22 at the University Store.

Booth then met up with Marilyn Ward, Coordinator of Service Learning and Community Programs, to figure out who they could give the food to. They decided on Long Branch Middle School. The students there have a food bank and they collect and feed families all year long.

The University Store does two food drives each year: one for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas. “We do it for the whole month of November and December and try to get food for both holidays,” said Booth.

When donating, foods need to be in original packaging and unopened. Items can be dropped off at the front desk in the University Store where they will be exchanged for a coupon. Boxed stuffing, canned vegetables, cranberry sauce and other non-perishable foods will be accepted.

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The Honors School Takes on First Year Long Mission

Honors Students Support The Kourtney Rose Foundation

Honors students are known for being dedicated to their homework, but now they would like to be known for their dedication to philanthropy as well. The Honors School has decided to support a charity this year, The Kortney Rose Foundation. This is the first time that the Honors School has decided to take on a year long service project.

The Kortney Rose Foundation, according to the mission statement on, was created to raise awareness about pediatric brain tumors as well as raise funds to further research for treatments and a cure. The foundation was founded by Kristen Gillette, a secretary in the political science department, after her daughter Kortney died from a brain tumor at age nine.

Ryan Murphy, a junior and head of the mentoring program, wanted to start a philanthropy project for the mentoring program. The Honors Mentoring Program assigns each honors freshman an upper-class mentor to help guide them through their first year at the University.

Murphy felt that this would be an effective way to get first year students involved on campus. “The mentoring program, still young, is trying to expand and present the first year students with new opportunities to reach their full potential here at Monmouth.  As the program head, I believe community service is a great way to give back to others, while also learning about yourself and those around you.”

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COREiculum DVDs Coming Soon

After a year and a half of continued work and dedication to further develop a program for college students’ fitness, COREiculum is set to hit the shelves of the University’s Book Store in January 2013.

COREiculum is a program that includes a variety of kickboxing, yoga, cardio dance, a boot camp and more with two additional courses that they label as “extra credit,” keeping the school theme.

The reason for keeping the school theme revolves around the idea of making this a program for college students, which has not been done before. 

Many typical 90 day programs like Insanity or P90X are built for people with a steady job, who have regular working hours and can plan when to eat meals, as well as work out on a daily basis.  For college students it becomes much more difficult due to the different hours of classes each day, eating late night snacks or even meals, as well as the irregular sleeping patterns.

Andy Stern, the creator of COREiculum, wanted to do all that he could to create a program that would work for college students. He explained, “I carefully developed the program that combined aerobic and cardiovascular training with body weight resistance. In spring of 2011, the pilot program launched at Monmouth University and since then over 200 students have participated in a COREiculum COREse.”

When the program first came out in the spring of 2011, Andy Stern and Alissa Catalano (COREiculum’s head graphic designer), were a part of an entrepreneurship class. With the help of Professor John Buzza, COREiculum’s launch of their first set of DVDs, called the1st Semester, will be ready for the book store, but Stern has bigger plans for the workout that he created.

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Same Sex Marriage Heading to Supreme Court

The United States Supreme Court will take up same sex marriage on the docket for the next term.  There will be two cases; one is based on California’s constitutional ban on same sex marriage through Proposition 8. Despite this, the public approved it via referendum. The other case will be based on a New York law that denies same sex couples federal benefits. This case will take center stage as the public attitude from same sex marriage has shifted.

The California case will decide whether California judges violated the federal Constitution when they voted to deny rights of same sex couples. A three judge panel for the Court of Appeals disagreed with the public, who believe same sex marriage should be allowed.

The Supreme Court will be dealing with a multitude of questions, the key one being: whether the Constitution requires states to allow same sex marriages. This case comes as nine states have legalized same sex marriage; Maryland, Washington and Maine passed it just this past election. Other states, including New Jersey, recognize domestic partnerships and civil unions, not same sex marriage.

The federal case based out of New York challenges the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 passed by President Bill Clinton. Section three of the Defense of Marriage Act defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman for purposes of federal law. This comes forward after same sex couples attempt to file for federal programs but do not recognize their marriage even if the state in which they marry does.

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Wilson Hall’s History Displayed in Pollak Gallery

wilson-hallFrom November 1 through December 21, Pollak Gallery is featuring a Historic Wilson Hall Exhibit sponsored by the University’s Center for the Arts.

The exhibit is free and open to the public for those who wish to view photographs and artifacts from the national historic landmark, including Woodrow Wilson’s desk from the golden age of American Palaces.

The exhibit originally opened for two weeks in the summer of 2011 and expanded upon those original artifacts for the 2012 exhibition.

“We have received such an eager response from the community to share information with us and we have enjoyed learning more about the building,” said Kelly Barratt, Marketing Coordinator for the Arts.

The building has always been a draw for historians and musical lovers (the 1982 film Annie was filmed there), but this year the exhibit features new artifacts centering around Shadow Lawn, and Woodrow Wilson’s stay there during 1916.

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NJ Legislature Passes Minimum Wage Bill

minimum-wageThe New Jersey Legislature handed Governor Chris Christie a bill last week that plans to raise the state’s minimum wage to $8.50 per hour – a $1.25 increase from the current minimum. The bill is a sign of hope for some New Jersey residents, but many are questioning the wisdom of raising the minimum wage, especially when the state’s economy and local businesses are still struggling to recover from Sandy.

New Jersey is one of 23 states whose minimum wage is $7.25, the same as the federal minimum. However, an increase to $8.50 would put the state third highest, behind Washington and Oregon.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (USBLS), New Jersey has approximately 41,000 minimum wage earners. Another 58,000 make even less than that because they have jobs where they rely heavily on tips in order to make ends meet.

While there are many advocates of the bill that believe an increase in minimum wage will benefit the people of New Jersey, opponents counter that with New Jersey’s economy still recovering, the timing is far from appropriate.

The bill, A2612, comes more than six months after the Assembly first passed the measure, and 11 months after Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver announced that she would make the wage increase a legislative priority at the Assembly reorganization ceremony in January.

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EOF Students Inducted into National Honor Society

Twenty-seven Educational Opportunity Fund students were inducted into Chi Alpha Epsilon National Honor Society Thursday, October 4.

The students, advisors and university officials gathered in McGill Commons Club rooms for the induction of honor students with GPA’s of 3.0 or higher for two consecutive semesters.

The ceremony started with a reading of statistics and history of Chi Alpha Epsilon.  According to Lupita Yonker, EOF Assistant Director/Counselor, “Chi Alpha Epsilon was founded to recognize the academic achievements of students in support programs like EOF and Federal Trio programs across the nation.” 

The organization has been around since 1990; it has been at the University for five years.  There are 78 chapters across the country. 

After brief descriptions of the organization, the students were shown the honor material and its emblem, then they signed the ledger. 

University officials, including Provost Thomas Pearson, Dean of the Center for Student Success Dr. Mercy Azeke, Associate Director of Residential Life, Mark Holfelder, and with the EOF staff Program Director Colleen Johnson, Assistant Director/Counselor Lupita Yonker, Freshman Coordinator/Counselor Nicole Martinez, Sophomore Counselor Tyrone Smith and Math Tutor Al Fure were all present.

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Students Participate in Simulation Business Competition

Two University student teams ranked third and 19th in an online simulation business competition against approximately 350 competing teams from all over the nation.

This competition was based on Dr. Randy Chapman’s LINKS complex business simulations. Dr. David Paul, Associate Professor of Marketing and Health Care Management, uses these in his Services Marketing course every year. “This semester was the first time I heard of this ‘competition,’ because none of the teams ever placed high enough that I was informed of it,” said Paul

Benjamin Sutton, WilliamBrucella and Susan Imperiale placed 19th on the Key Performance Indicator of Ratio of Change in Net Income to Revenue, which shows the improvement of cash position over the prior quarter.

Brucella, a junior communication major with a business marketing minor, said he was shocked to find out about his team placing. “There really is no way of knowing how well we do compared to the other teams in the class unless the professor showed us our rankings,” he said.

Third place on the Key Performance Indicator of Forecasting Accuracy was given to the team of Robbie Krienke, Alex Whelan and Joseph Rienzi, which according to Paul this is “a pure signal of management skill and expertise in understanding customers and customer demand generation.” Paul continued to say, “their forecasting accuracy was 94.1 percent, which was 0.1 percent away from tying them for best in the world.”

Paul made certificates of achievement and presented them to the six students in class so the other students would be aware of the accomplishments.

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P- Red Light Camera Bill May Stop in a Flash

A new report from the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) confirms what many opponents of red-light cameras have long suspected: the cameras lead to more accidents, more injuries, and greater costs for New Jersey drivers.

The NJDOT report, released in November, was compiled as an annual requirement of the state’s five-year red light pilot program that began in December 2009. Overall, the report found an increase in the total number of crashes as well as a drastic increase in costs at intersections where the cameras were installed.

The traffic control signal monitoring system, also known as  Red Light Running (RLR), is an “integrated device utilizing one or more cameras and sensors that work in conjunction with a traffic control signal to produce images of vehicles that disregard a red signal or ‘run a red light’,” the report explains.

Although there are many supporters for the program, the costs outweigh the benefits for some New Jersey drivers. Created to increase intersection safety, some red light camera devices have been found to do just the opposite.

According to the report, the costs included, but were not limited to “vehicle damage and repair, damage to property, emergency response, medical care, and even funeral costs.”

Many, if not most of these crashes are the result of drivers who slam on their brakes when a traffic light turns yellow in order to avoid a ticket, the report explains. Motorists who are aware that an intersection is monitored by red-light camera systems tend to get in more rear-end collisions from cars following too closely behind them.

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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