Last updateSat, 28 Mar 2020 1pm


Social Work Teach-In Educates on Opioid Crisis and Addiction Treatment

Social Opioid CrisisMonmouth’s Social Work Society hosted their 14th annual Teach- In to educate the surrounding community on the opioid crisis, on Tuesday, Nov. 12. 

The event began with opening remarks from the Social Work Society and Robin Mama, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Social Work. 

Afterwords, there was a keynote from former Senator Raymond Lesniak. He said, “I remember getting a tooth extracted and getting a 30-day supply of Percocet. Actually, what I needed was a week supply of Tylenol.”

He explained the complications he faced, while in office, trying to get addictions listed as disabilities in New Jersey. “Unfortunately, it is such a difficult thing to achieve because there is only X amount of dollars available for people with disabilities. If you add another disability, then all the other folks with disabilities will be short changed. So, you would need the increase the [spending] to make room for this.”

William Wood, an Adjunct Professor of Social Work, explained that the speakers and workshop presenters were informative and that, given the ongoing issues with opioids and other addictions, the focus of the event was “timely and relevant.”

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Trash Collection on Campus

default article imageThe Outlook personnel have documented several places on campus this semester in which garbage and recycling receptacles have not been consistently available with one another. This occurrence has been spotted on the residential side of campus, as well as the area surrounding the Jules L. Plangere Center for Communication and McAllan Hall.

While pointing out that the University recycles 827 tons annually, Patti Swannack, Vice President of Administrative Services, ends the comment with a thought: “We believe we can improve that number.” However, one may find it challenging to improve that number when standing outside Plangere Center looking to recycle and there is no bin to do it.

John Morano, Environmental Author and Professor of Journalism said, “I first became aware of the problem when I arrived at campus and had a cup of coffee with me and I tried to throw out the cup and recycle the lid, which seems to be recyclable. When I came to the garbage pails at Plangere Center, there were only two garbage pails, side by side. And when I went to the next set of garbage pails, there were [also] only two side by side. So I had no option to recycle.”

Sierra Sorrentino, President of the Outdoors Club and senior Anthropology major said, “I’ve heard from a lot of people on campus that they’ve seen the recycling and trash being mixed together in the dumpsters by the custodians anyway, but I really hope that that’s just a rumor.”

While one may see campus custodial staff mix garbage and recycling in a seemingly careless manner, Fred Larson, custodian since 2008, says that the situation is more complicated than that. Larson explained, “When [students] come over and just drop a coffee [in the recycling] with all kinds of fluid in it, it’s damaged and the entire bin goes to the garbage. It’s tough.”

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MU Recycling Leader

default article imageMonmouth University was one of nine organizations recognized at the 39th Annual Association of New Jersey Recyclers symposium held Oct. 10 at the Jumping Brook Country Club in Neptune.

The program aims to recycle glass, plastic, metal, aluminum, used light bulbs, batteries, toner cartridges, and more.

According to the October 2019 New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection press release, the institution was a principal for its comprehensive program which recycled 46 percent of garbage produced on campus in 2018. The University recycled an accumulation of 1.13 tons of light bulbs, 268.51 tons of construction and demolition debris, and 5.41 tons of computer equipment. One hundred percent of landscaping waste was consistently reused as mulch or soil amendments on campus grounds or were sent to an area composting facility.

“I commend these award winners for their work to promote recycling and educate their communities about the importance of diverting waste to better protect our natural resources,” Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe said. “New Jersey is consistently a national leader in recycling, and we applaud the winners for going above and beyond to help safeguard the environment.”

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SGA Hosts Forum for Interested Students

SGA ForumThe Student Government Association (SGA) recently held an open forum for interested students to learn more about the organization’s methods of operation and the various roles of their current leadership in Pozycki Auditorium, on Wednesday, Nov. 13. 

Mike Fazzino, SGA President and a senior communication student, detailed his presidential responsibilities and the day-to-day management of collaborating with Monmouth’s administration.

“I’m in charge of handling the more ‘big picture’ stuff like working with administration...  and you’ll hear when [Vice President] Chrissie [Santoriello] speaks, she handles more of the day-to-day actual senate matters,” Fazzino said. “I’m moreseo working with administration and the University itself a lot more.”

Fazzino also mentioned a planned meeting with President Patrick Leahy, Ed.D., to discuss ways in which the University can further their involvement with The Nest, a food pantry facilitated by SGA.

“There’s been a lot of talk from Vice President [for Student Life and Leadership Engagement Mary Anne] Nagy about how the University really wants to take control on the issue of food insecurity,” Fazzino said. “They’d take it out of our hands and solely run The Nest. We’ll be coming up with a plan on ways that the University can kind of step in and possibly give some financial aid.”

SGA meets every Wednesday to discuss current University and student matters, but Fazzino showed interest in scheduling an “outside meeting time” to host a community building talk, open to all.

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Annual Race Conference Explores Identities

Pop Culture RaceMonmouth University hosted its 6th Biennial Interdisciplinary Conference on Race, themed “Race, Memory, and Identity,” which included distinguished speakers and cultural performances in Wilson Hall and Magill Commons from Nov. 14-16. 

The conference aimed to bring together scholars from multiple disciplinary perspectives to broadly explore the intersections of Race, Memory, and Identity. 

Through modern social, political, and media discourses the conference demonstrated the continued need to evaluate the different ways that race and identity impact memory, relating to history, trauma, loss and remembrance. 

The conference was coordinated by Brooke Nappi, M.A., a Lecturer of Cultural Anthropology, and Maryanne Rhett, Ph.D., Director of Graduate Program in History and an Associate Professor of Anthropology and History. 

Featured events included opening plenary remarks on Nov. 14 from William Sturkey, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as the Nov. 15 keynote address by Qiana Whitted, Ph.D., Director of the African American Studies Program and Professor of Literature at the University of South Carolina.

Sturkey specializes in the history of race in the South, with an interest in the histories of working-class racial minorities. 

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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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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