Last updateThu, 14 Mar 2019 12pm


Hispanic Heritage Celebrated

Hispanic Heritage 1The University held the first ever opening ceremony for Hispanic Heritage Month on Monday, Sept. 17, marking the beginning of a series that will run through Friday, Oct. 19.

The event began with a lively musical performance and dancing in front of Wilson Hall, followed by a flag parade to Anacon Hall in the Rebecca Stafford Student Center for a keynote speech by Wilda Diaz, Mayor of Perth Amboy, and a dance performance by Alborada, a Spanish dance company based in New Jersey. 

The event was organized by the Hispanic Heritage Month Committee with the sponsorship of the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Gourmet Dining, and the Educational Opportunity Fund Program, among others. The theme of the series of events is “One Endless Voice to Enhance our Traditions.”

“One of the things I always tell students is that when you come to Monmouth University, you’re coming to get an education and a degree, but you’re also coming to broaden yourself as people and individuals,” said University President Grey Dimenna, Esq., while introducing Diaz. “One of the greatest opportunities you have while you’re here at the University is the ability to meet people from different backgrounds, different cultures, different religions, and get a better understanding of the people that make up our wonderful country.”

“I think it’s really important that we celebrate diversity and most importantly celebrate who we are as students,” said Diaz in her keynote speech, highlighting that the month of events was a great step toward appreciating the Latino culture that she proudly represents as the only Latina mayor in New Jersey. “We can’t continue to allow the [current presidential administration] to diminish and be so disconnected with the Latinos and Hispanics of this nation that only come here to live the American dream and make contributions by their hard work,” Diaz continued.

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Nineteen New Faculty Start at Monmouth

Monmouth Welcomes Faculty 1The University hired 33 faculty members for the current 2018-2019 academic year. Of the 33 faculty, 19 were new to the University whereas 14 were retuning faculty taking on new roles.

Laura Moriarty, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, explained the logistics behind the hiring process. “Whenever we hire faculty, it is to meet the demands of various academic programs and to serve the students in those programs, so hiring faculty is always beneficial,” she said.

According to Moriarty, the University had a net gain of two faculty members for this academic year, having a total of 312 members for the fall compared to the 310 from the previous year.

Moriarty further commented on the reasoning behind why faculty members are hired and said, “Hiring faculty is not only for new-to-budget positions but for replacements of people who have left the University for a variety of reasons.”

University President Grey Dimenna, Esq., played a crucial role in the hiring of these new faculty and touched upon the hiring process as well. “We continue to hire new faculty to meet the demands of various academic programs, both new and continuing, and to serve the students in those programs,” explained Dimenna. “Faculty hires are made based upon the number of students in each program and the number of faculty needed to teach those students.”

Dimenna said that he has confidence in his new faculty members and believes that they are a good fit for the University. “This year’s group of new faculty are particularly great,” commented Dimenna. “I have met them and am very impressed by both their diversity as well as their excitement to be teaching at Monmouth.”

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University Launched New Institute for Health and Wellness

New Institute Health WellnessThe University announced the establishment of its new Institute of Health and Wellness (IHW), a campus-wide initiative that will serve as a central health and wellness resource for the University and surrounding community, on Tuesday, Sept. 18. 

The IHW will leverage the University’s existing academic programs in the health fields and regional partnerships with hospitals and other community-based partners, and will be an organization for education, research, and community engagement. 

Belinda Anderson, Ph.D., the new Director of the IHW, explained that a significant part of her job includes getting funding, managing projects, and creating and strengthening partnerships with other organizations. “My job as Director will involve shaping the Institute’s focus and goals,” she said. “The Institute’s activities will encompass education, research, community service and collaboration, and will be interdisciplinary. I am responsible for collecting feedback from internal and external stake holders to collectively determine the Institute’s priorities.” 

“My goal is to develop the IHW so that it embodies the needs, interests and passions of our faculty, students, staff, and external partners,” Anderson said. “I’d like to see the IHW improve the lives of those on campus and in the surrounding community through education, research and service related to health and wellness.”

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Rock the Vote Event Gets Over 100 Students Registered

Rock Vote Registered 1The University’s Stand Up and Be Counted voter campaign and the Political Science Club hosted the first of two Rock the Vote events in front of the Rebecca Stafford Student Center, on Wednesday, Sept. 26. 

The event succeeded at getting more than 160 students on campus registered to vote, and featured free pizza, t-shirts, and a star-spangled dinosaur mascot. Joseph Patten, Ph.D., an associate professor of political science, and one of the coordinators of the Rock the Vote campaign, explained that the event was organized by a volunteer group, consisting of students, faculty, and administrators from all six schools, as well as University President Grey Dimenna, Esq.  “All six schools gave contribution to help fund the effort,” Patten said. “Our goal is to register 400 students on campus this semester.” 

In order to plan the event, the Political Science Club held meetings once a week on Wednesdays to come up with fun and creative ways to get students registered to vote. “A lot of the ideas come directly from the students,” said Patten. 

One of the ideas that has been utilized has been the “classroom barnstormers,” about 20 students who are going through classes on campus to help raise awareness about elections and helping to register students that way. 

Landon Myers, a senior political science student with a minor in economics, and President of the Political Science Club, explained that the barnstormers have gone through about 30 classrooms to discuss the importance of voting, informing students of upcoming elections, and handing out registration forms. “The professors were really helpful in allowing us to come into their classrooms and talk to their students,” said Myers. “Many of them also helped in organizing the Rock the Vote event.”

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Debate Team Defeats Cornell in Quarter-Playoff Round

Debate Team Defeats CornellThe University Debate Team received four team awards at the Phyllis Schatz Invitational, hosted by the SUNY-Binghamton this weekend. The team went 4-2 on Friday, Sept. 21 and Saturday, Sept. 22, and defeated Cornell University in a quarter-final playoff round on Sunday, Sept. 23.

 “We actually went up against the same Cornell team during the regular rounds and they were a really tough team to debate,” Eric Schwartz, a political science student sophomore, explained. “They were obviously incredibly intelligent and used some pretty intricate and unique arguments. They ended up winning that round. When we learned that we would be facing them in the playoffs, we knew we had to step up our game. Matt and I prepared for the arguments they might run, and ended up beating them and advancing in the playoffs.”

“It felt great to defeat an Ivy League school, and I’d like to think that it reflected really positively on Monmouth and even helped with our reputation as a school to take seriously,” said Schwartz. Cohen also believes that the team’s win against Cornell at the tournament is a major achievement for the University, and he credits their success to the work and commitment of the rest of the team and of their advisor, Joseph Patten, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Political Science and Sociology, and an associate professor of political science.

“Defeating Cornell was a really great win for me and my partner Eric. However, it was all because of debaters like Gregory Harpe, Kaitlin Allsopp, Landon Myers, and Alexis Vasquez who put so much time and effort into gathering evidence and mentoring the Eric and myself,” said Matt Cohen, a junior computer science major. “Debate is all about the team and our leadership is amazing and me and Eric would have gone nowhere without them.”

“And of course without the amazing Dr. Patten to guide us through the good and the bad, debate would just be another academic activity not the fun and enjoyable experience it is because of him,” he added.

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Business Honor Society Recognized Nationally

Beta Gamma Sigma HonorsThe University's chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS), the International Business Honor Society, has been recognized as a highest honors chapter this month by its national organization.

BGS was established in 2000, shortly after the University received accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) for their business program in 1999.

Donald M. Moliver, Ph.D., Dean of the Leon Hess School of Business, recalled the moment when he received the news. “The way I was notified was [by] President [Grey] Dimenna,” explained Moliver. “He sent me an email because he was personally notified that our chapter has been recognized as a chapter of distinction and said if I hadn’t seen this I think you should know about it.”

Unlike some honors societies, Beta Gamma Sigma takes members on an invite-only basis. Students must be at least of sophomore standing and have a 3.8 GPA to receive an invitation to join. Only the top ten percent of business students are accepted as undergraduates; the eligibility for graduate students is a little more lenient, with them having to be in the top 20 percent of their class. Becoming a member is a lifelong commitment that stays with students long after they graduate.

The traditional induction ceremony is held on the night before spring commencement at the Hollywood Golf Club in Ocean, NJ. New student inductees, current student members, families, and University faculty gather around to celebrate the chapter’s accomplishments and listen to a guest speaker. Additionally, awards are distributed to both students and a faculty member who have shown exemplary work that year.

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Anacon Hall Turned into Heat Shelter for Elmwood Residents

Elm Heatwave 1Residents of Elmwood Hall were encouraged to stay overnight in Anacon Hall after a heat wave from Sept. 5-7 prompted student and parent complaints about temperatures in the residence halls.

“I had lived in Elmwood before so I knew they did not have air conditioning,” stated Matt Engel, a junior communication student. “I did not want to stay there, but I had requested a single room and this was the only dorm that had them.”

Elmwood and Pinewood Halls remain the only student housing buildings on campus without air conditioning. While high temperatures are not much of an issue in the middle of the school year, the first few weeks of school are where students are facing the heat. According to the New Jersey Herald,   the first week of September could have been considered a heat wave, with it having felt more like the first week of August than the first week of September.

On the final day of student move-in, Labor Day (Sept. 3), the heat in West Long Branch reached about 90 degrees with no record regarding how high temperatures were in residence halls without air conditioning.

On Sept. 4, Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President of Student Life and Leadership Engagement, contemplated ways to accommodate students living in these non-air conditioned buildings. “We began to get a lot of complaints from students and parents about the conditions so we worked with facility management to gather additional fans to strategically place around those buildings to improve the flow of air,” Nagy explained.

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University Unveils New Hawk Statue

Hawk Installation 1A 22-foot wide bronze sculpture of a hawk was installed in the center of the roundabout near OceanFirst Bank Center on Saturday, Sept. 15.

The bronze hawk is a donation from University alumni, given by world-renowned sculptor Brian Hanlon (‘88), his wife Michelle (‘90), and the Brockriede Family. Senior Associate Athletics Director Jonathan Roos, who coordinated the effort, described the monument as a new point of pride being welcomed onto the campus.

Discussion about the possibility of “The Hawk” began over three years ago, in July of 2015. Vice President and Director of Athletics Marilyn McNeil, Ph.D., said that there was a mutual conversation between the donors and the school about the project, but that “their (the donors’) love of Monmouth allowed the conversation to end beautifully.”

The official start of the project was when the two donors signed funding agreements in October of 2017, and according to Roos, no University operating funds or tuition dollars were used for the funding of this project.

According to Roos, the new hawk statue was built to foster pride amongst the Monmouth community. “We wanted to create a landmark space on campus that would build pride for our students, alumni, prospective students, faculty and staff, and community,” he added.

“I really like it [the statue]. It’s a good way to get people hyped about the school. It shows pride for the school, and that’s something I really like, it’s one of the reasons why I chose to come to Monmouth,” said freshman communication student Anna Maida.

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Honoring the Life of Alice Paul on Constitution Day

Alice Paul Constitution DayA theatrical performance about the life of Alice Paul, a leading suffragist and women’s rights activist, was hosted in Wilson Auditorium on Monday, Sept. 17.

The event was sponsored by the Political Science Department, Office of the Provost, and “Stand Up and Be Counted,” the University’s voting campaign; and featured props to create a scene of Paul being interviewed by reporters in a nursing home, with Paul later ‘transforming’ into her younger self to tell her life’s story.

“Each year, we celebrate Constitution Day, September 17, with an event that brings students together to learn more about the U.S. Constitution. Professor Joseph Patten, proposes an event and the provost office, along with the department, sponsors it,” Laura Moriarty, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, explained. “This year we [had] a theatrical performance celebrating the life of Alice Paul. Ms. Paul and others are credited with securing for women the right to vote; a fundamental right that we must all protect and exercise regularly as we continue to fight for equal rights for all.”

Taylor Williams, Esq., has been portraying Alice Paul since the late 1980’s, when she was first approached by the woman who ran the American Historic Theatre in Philadelphia. Williams said that she was always aware of Paul, and that she was active in the Women’s Movement in the 1970’s. “I remember seeing her artifacts in a shop window on Walnut Street and thinking, ‘These have to belong to Alice Paul,’” she said. Paul’s life and work are what have inspired her to portray this role for over three decades.

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Women’s Basketball Head Coach Gets Contract Extension

W Basketball Coach ExtensionThe Monmouth University Athletic Department announced that Head Women’s Basketball Coach Jody Craig has agreed to a new three-year contract on Tuesday, Sept 11.

“It’s an honor to feel that the work that we’ve put in so far has been noticed and has been recognized that there is progress being made,” Craig said.“To just represent Dr. McNeil and this university, I’m absolutely thrilled at the opportunity. I’m looking forward to building what I believe they want, which is a championship-level program.”

“I am thrilled to extend this contract to Coach Craig,” said University Vice President and Director of Athletics Dr. Marilyn McNeil. “I have always believed in her exceptional coaching skills, and she is proving daily that she has the right enthusiasm and strategy to move our program to the elite level in the [Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference] MAAC.”

Craig assumed all Head Coach responsibilities on Dec. 8, 2017, inheriting a team with a 2-7 record. She guided them to eight wins the rest of the way, including seven in conference play. In the MAAC Tournament, she coached her team through a double-digit comeback victory versus No. 8 seed Canisius. Down by as many as 13 points towards the end of the third quarter, her team outscored the Golden Griffins 20-6 to advance to the program’s fifth straight quarterfinal appearance in the conference tournament.

“Coach Jody has done a great job making our team her own,” said senior guard McKinzee Barker. “She’s asked us to put our heads down and grind, and I think when we look up on the day of our first practice we will be extremely satisfied with where we are. The team is eager for that day to come, so we can see how our trust in coach’s system and the hard work has paid off.”

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Asbestos Found in Bluffs Apartments

Bluffs Asbestos 1Asbestos-Containing Minerals (ACMs), chemicals that can be toxic when released into the air, were discovered in small amounts at the University’s off-campus Bluffs Apartments during a renovation of the buildings this summer. 

“A minimal amount of asbestos was identified in the kitchen and hall tiles, and the spackle,” said Patricia Swannack, Vice President of Administrative Services, who is responsible for the maintenance and care of facilities at the University.

According to Swannack, the renovations included replacement of flooring, doors, kitchen cabinets, counters, and furniture as well as upgrading bathrooms.

“Before the University begins invasive work, such as removing floor tiles, sheetrock, or taping, we request that our independent environmental company perform an evaluation to determine whether any suspect material contains asbestos,” said Swannack. “Our employees have been trained to identify materials that may contain asbestos if disturbed. For example, floor tiles that contain asbestos are not harmful unless they are disturbed. We routinely test any material that we think may be suspect.”

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), asbestos is a term referring to a class of minerals that includes amosite, chrysotile, and anthophyllite. These minerals naturally form long, thin strong fibers. The ATSDR states that individuals may be exposed to asbestos by inhaling these fibers found in the air, swallowing the fibers, or touching through contact with skin. Asbestos fibers can aggravate the lung tissue and cause scarring, which can have side effects ranging from breathing problems to lung cancer.

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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