Last updateSat, 28 Mar 2020 1pm


University Mourns the Loss of Professor Kenneth Stunkel

Professor Kenneth Stunkel PassingKenneth Stunkel, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of History at Monmouth University, passed away on Feb. 7 in his Neptune, NJ home at the age of 87. 

He is survived by his wife Mary Carol, his sister Shelley, his daughters Sally and Mirah, his son Reagan, grandson Elon, and three adoring pet cats.  

Mary Carol, to whom he was married for 48 years, has been an adjunct professor of communication at Monmouth for 17 years. She said that her husband had, “a lifelong passion for learning new things; not to specialize too much [in one particular subject area] and to know that understanding comes from the knowledge of a broad range of subjects, so that you understand different perspectives.” 

Stunkel taught through his 80th year, ending a 47-year tenure at Monmouth. He spent time as a professor of history, teaching over 25 different courses. He also served as the Dean of two different schools on campus: Art and Design and Humanities and Social Sciences.  

“As a new faculty member, I remember going to meet with Ken to talk about teaching and I was consistently impressed by the breadth of his knowledge,” said Richard Veit, Ph.D., a professor of anthropology and Chair of the Department of History and Anthropology. “He was incredibly well read and was able to speak at length on all sorts of topics; he was impressive, and I was thrilled to be one of his faculty colleagues at Monmouth University.” 

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University Mourns Loss of Beloved Physics Professor

Garland Grammar PassingGarland Grammer, Ph.D., a physics instructor and professor at Monmouth University, passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 30 at CentraState Medical Center in Freehold Township at the age of 75.

“He was a delightful and really sincerely caring person. He was always willing to take on any variety of coursework,” said William Schreiber, Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Physics.

Schreiber noted, “He was always eagerly sharing any information with his colleagues. Eager to do so, even in his last weeks in the hospital he was doing that.”

A native of Roanoke and Lynchburg, VA, Grammer  received his bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech, Doctorate in Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics from Cornell University, and a former Vietnam War Veteran.

Prior to teaching at Monmouth, Grammer worked as a research associate at the Institute for Theoretical Physics at SUNY Stony Brook, research assistant professor at the University of Illinois, Bell Labs/AT&T, IBM as a senior project executive, and with Martin Perl, Ph.D., at Stanford University.

While working with Perl, Grammer’s contribution led to the discovery of tau lepton, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.

As a professor at Monmouth, Grammer was always involved and searched for methods helpful for physics courses.

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Latest Email Scams

default article imageSeveral scam emails describing potential job opportunities and requesting to click on attached links were sent out to more than 6,300 students earlier this month, on Friday, Feb. 1.

One email sent from a user posing as a student reads, “Hello, my name is Gillian Demetrious, I am a student here at Monmouth University. My uncle is moving to the school area and needs someone who can pet sit or and walk his English Bull dog 2 hours daily within 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Pay is $300 weekly. Kingly email him for more info You are to email him with your personal email NOT school email so he can receive your email because most times I email him with m school email he hardly receive my emails.” 

Another email from a user called Jonathan T. Beebe reads, “You have (2) important unread messages from our admin team, Click on review read it.” 

“Students may have received an email that purports to be a fellow student looking to hire someone as a part time dog walker.  Do not respond to that email.  It is a job scam. We are addressing it,” Jeffrey Layton, Detective Sergeant of the Monmouth University Police Department, writes in an email to students following the incidents. 

The University has since urged students to disregard the emails and remove them from their inboxes, and to report any other instances of scams to the IT Help Desk. In addition, they recommend students change their Monmouth-related password for security purposes if they opened any links affiliated with these emails. 

Robert Carsey, Director of Server Operations, has previously reported that in some cases, online scammers have made attempts to access employee or student worker W-2 information, which includes personal addresses and social security numbers.

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Student Food Pantry in New Location

Student Food Pantry 2The University’s Student Government Association (SGA) has moved the student food pantry, which aids students who experience food insecurity, to the Rebecca Stafford Student Center on Jan. 22. 

“The Nest,” as the food pantry is called to reflect the University’s Hawk mascot, first started in the spring of 2018 and was originally located in Laurel Hall where only 12 students had access to it.

However, it has since been relocated to a more populous location, on the ground floor of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center. 

Currently, The Nest is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., with more hours soon to come. It is nearly fully stocked of non-perishable items such as cereal, oatmeal, granola bars, soup, canned fruit and vegetables, pasta, and even limited gluten-free options.

Toiletry items such as shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushs, and even tampons can also be found at the Nest.

Syed Mehdi Husaini, a junior biology student and President of the SGA, is thrilled to see the positive impact The Nest is bringing to the University.

He said, “On a more macroscopic level, I believe that the presence of an effort like this, as well as the resounding approval it has in the community, will allow for students, faculty, and administration at Monmouth to come together and deepen the relationship we all have by caring for one another.”

Those eligible to use the pantry include undergraduate and graduate University students who do not have a meal plan. Since students who have a meal plan have a free range of food options, they are not titled to use The Nest.

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Wilson Hosts Public Redistricting Forum

Wilson Public Redistricting ForumThe League of Women Voters of New Jersey partnered with the Fair Districts NJ coalition to host a public forum on the legislative redistricting process in New Jersey in the Wilson Auditorium on Wednesday, Feb. 6. 

The speakers included Helen Kioukis, Program Associate for League of Women Voters of New Jersey; Patrick Murray, Director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute; and Yurij Rudensky, Redistricting Counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. 

This forum is one in a series of 10 public programs being organized by the League of Women Voters across the state in order to educate voters on the redistricting process. 

Kioukis, who works to advance statewide legislative priorities and currently serves as the lead organizer for the fairer districts redistricting reform campaign, expressed, “It is important that public opinion drives public policy, especially redistricting reform and how the lines of your (New Jersey) districts will be redrawn after the census.” 

Once every decade, census data is collected to determine the redrawing of districts.

However, there are many historically difficult areas to count in New Jersey because less than half of voters are responding to the census which results in an undercount, Kioukis explained. The Supreme Court upholds a principle of “one person, one vote” so that each district needs to be drawn with roughly the same number of people to ensure fair representation, allowing voters equal opportunity to participate in political processes. 

Participants responding to the census is important in order to acquire equal representation, but New Jersey is currently struggling with is how fair that representation is along party lines. If the state lacks accurate census data, it risks the number of representatives New Jersey sends to the House of Representatives, based off of Congressional districts, as well as $17.5 million of federal funding for state programs.

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Mice in Elmwood Residential Hall

Elmwood Mice 1There continues to be sightings of rodents in Elmwood Hall, one week after a video of residents encountering a dead mouse widely circulated on Instagram, with more than 9,800 views, on Friday, Feb.1. 

According to Patti Swannack, Vice President for Administrative Services, the first Elmwood report of mice in 2019 occurred on the first day of the spring semester, Jan. 22, when students in a third-floor room noticed that their power bars had been eaten. 

After another sighting was reported on the first floor several days later, Residential Life requested that exterminators treat that area, as well as sections of Elmwood Hall where mice had been spotted during the previous semester. 

The last treatment occurred on Tuesday, Feb. 5, and Swannack warned that the mouse bait placed by exterminators would take a little time to work. “I am frustrated because we have never had this kind of a problem in a residence hall,” Swannack admitted. “We will continue to do everything we can to mitigate this problem.”

Swannack added that Shadows Club was treated by exterminators on Friday and they plan to continue sending treatment teams to Elmwood.

As of Saturday night, Feb. 9, Residential Life has not responded to a question over whether residents will be temporarily moved from Elmwood Hall until the mice infestation can be dealt with more effectively. 

Ilya Kirejevas, a freshman psychology student and Elmwood resident, said that he hopes that he will not have to change rooms, adding that he is frustrated with having to live in the current situation.“You can hear the mice at night,” he said. “They are scurrying up on the ceiling.”

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President Emeritus Paul Gaffney Inducted into Naval Oceanography Hall of Fame

President Graffney Naval Hall of FameFormer University President Paul Gaffney, II, was inducted into the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, MS, on Jan. 25. 

The ceremony was attended by current and former staff members, some of whom served with the inductees.

The program also included the unveiling of and ribbon-cutting on the newest Department of Defense Supercomputing Resource Center’s supercomputers that were installed in 2018 and named after Gaffney and other Hall of Fame inductees. 

A member of the first class of three honorees, Gaffney served as commander of the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (NMOC) from 1994 to 1997. He became the first naval oceanographer to attain the rank of vice admiral. 

Gaffney is credited with accomplishing the visionary goal of making Naval Oceanography a world-class supercomputing facility and delivering three oceanographic survey ships into the operational fleet—USNS Pathfinder, USNS Sumner and USNS Bowditch.

“Our competitors strive to shake our confidence. In order to keep our confidence from being shaken we must know what’s happening in the undersea domain. We have that here at Naval Oceanography and no other nation does,” Gaffney said in a press release.

According to the NMOC, these latest installations will now provide users with nearly seven petaflops (a unit of computing speed) of computing capability and are among the fastest supercomputers in the world. 

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Students Meet Frank Pallone in Asbury Park

Students joined local elected officials and members of Monmouth county to meet with New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. at the High Voltage Café in Asbury Park, last Saturday, Feb. 2.

The event, “Coffee with Congressman Frank Pallone Jr.,” was hosted to celebrate Pallone’s newly appointed position to Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is one of the most powerful and prestigious committees in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Monmouth County Young Democrats, Asbury Park Young Dems and the Asbury Park Democrats, in accordance with the Monmouth University College Democrats on campus, all helped to coordinate the affair.

State Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling, who represents New Jersey’s 11th legislative district in the State Assembly, was also present at the event last weekend.

“I greatly appreciated the opportunity to discuss many of the pressing issues facing our state and our country, and I thank Congressman Pallone for his dedication to his district and his accessibility to his constituents,” he said. “I am excited to see so many young people getting involved in politics and government, and encourage them to continue working to improve their communities and our State.”

Landon Myers, a senior political science student and President of the Monmouth University College Democrats, said that the event was very successful.

“We were able to ask Congressman Pallone questions and hear about the process of Congress and a lot of the issues he was going to focus on in the next session,” he said.

Landon noted, “One of Pallone’s biggest talking points was the aspirational policy goals he supports, but having to take a pragmatic approach because Democrats only control the House.”

“Congressman Pallone was excited to hear that Monmouth University finally has a Democratic Club on campus,” said Kayvon Paul, a senior political science student and Outreach Coordinator for the Monmouth University College Democrats.

The Monmouth University College Democrats hope to plan similar informal events with legislative officials, lobbyists, and public interest leaders in the near future.

PHOTO COURTESY of Landon Myers

University Celebrates Black History Month

Celebrating Black History MonthThe University began the celebration of Black History Month by hosting a performance of King’s Dream, presented by Key Arts Productions, in Pollak Theatre on Wednesday, Jan. 30   

The performance is a multi-media live presentation that offers a moving tribute to Dr. Martin Luther, Jr., the Nobel Peace Prize recipient who led America’s peaceful revolution for equal rights for all during the Civil Rights era. It tells the story of an American civil rights movement that is dramatic, powerful, and inspirational.

The Key Arts Productions of Philadelphia explains that in the performance, “The [Civil Rights] era is explained and comes alive with songs, thought provoking live commentary, and captivating integrated video projection in this innovative traveling performance piece.” 

Events throughout the month will be coordinated by the Monmouth University Black Student Union and Tashir Hampton, Assistant Director of Student Activities, to celebrate and honor Black history in America. 

“What I like students to get out of this event is the notion that the struggle still goes on, the fight for civil rights still goes on, and that Dr. King can and has inspired us all to keep up the fight and work together for peace,” said Joseph Patterson, President and Artistic Director at Key Arts Productions. “The college students were very much a part of the modern civil rights movements of the 50’s and 60’s and even today. This program hopefully will inspire young people here at Monmouth to make a difference.” 

February celebrates the sacrifices and achievements of African-Americans from the past to present. This commemoration includes individuals and organizations such as the Black Panther Party, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Jackie Robinson, Muhummad Ali, Martin Luther King, Jr., among many others.

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Leahy Hosts Press Conference

Leahy Hosts Press Conference 1President-elect Patrick Leahy, Ed.D., hosted a student media event as a way of connecting with student leaders in the Rebecca Stafford Student Center on Wednesday, Jan. 30.

The interviews took place in room 202A in the Rebecca Stafford Student Center.

In attendance were student members from WMCX, HawkTV, The Outlook, the Black Student Association, the Student Retention Team, and Student Ambassadors.

Leahy asked the student representatives in attendance about their academics, club involvement, and their experience at Monmouth. 

The press meeting was arranged by John J. Christopher, J.D., Vice President and General Counsel, and Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement, in order to create an opportunity for student representatives to meet with Leahy. Aaron Furgason, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Communication and an associate professor of communication, was tasked with advertising the event to student media outlets to notify them of the event. Furgason said that he believes that it’s important for all faculty to be involved with students on campus and noted that it seems that Leahy is committed to doing so. 

“I think it’s great that Leahy is engaged prior to coming in in August, with every level of the university. Obviously, the students are the most important part, but also the faculty and administrators,” he said.

Furgason continued and said that the newly elected president wants to speak directly to leaders on campus, showing that he is engaged in the full life of the University.

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Graduate School Adds Two New Degree Programs

Grad School New Degrees 1The University’s Office of Graduate Studies are approving two new graduate programs for launch this year; the Master of Science in Athletic Training (MSAT) and Master of Arts (MA)/Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing.

The MSAT will have its first cohort beginning in June 2019 while the MA/MFA in Creative Writing will launch in fall 2019.

Melissa Febos, an associate professor and Graduate Program Director for the MFA in Creative Writing said, “This new program will allow us to keep our most talented undergraduate writers and to share everything that our faculty and Monmouth University has to offer with writers.”

She also explained that the program is ideal for writers who seek a close-knit, creative and academic community that will support them throughout their careers.

Christina Merckx, Ph.D., an associate professor and Athletic Training Chair, will lead the new MSAT program.

Michael Palladino, Ph.D., a biology professor and Vice Provost for Graduate Studies, said, “For the Athletic Training (AT) programs, we were fortunate to hire Dr. Christina Merckx, an experienced AT who led the curriculum development and facilities design process.”

According to Febos, the new MFA courses will include an advanced craft seminar, an internship seminar, and a year-long creative thesis course in which students are encouraged to finish a book-length manuscript.

The MFA will require students to complete 18 credits, but they must first complete the MA in English for Creative Writing.

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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