Last updateMon, 10 Dec 2018 4pm


Students Featured on NJTV News, Establish New Campus Team

Students Learn About Forming Social Justice Movements on Campus

Students on NJTVMonmouth University students met with other students at Rutgers University to form a state-wide social change group called The College and University Social Justice Coalition. 

Eighteen Monmouth University students attended the event, which took place on March 30 and brought together 60 students from around the state. The coalition, which is sponsored by the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (NJISJ), hopes to empower students from across the state to advance their social justice community goals, and will provide support, training, and networking opportunities, as stated in a University press release.

“I think this event was a fantastic opportunity for our students to learn concrete skills in social justice work from those working in the field,” said Johanna Foster, Ph.D., Director of the Sociology Program and an associate professor of sociology. “So many of our students are concerned about social inequality and want careers where they feel they are making a change in the world.” 

At the event, which was featured on NJTV News, professional social justice workers from the NJISJ introduced key concepts and skills in community organizing, event planning, social media, and research and report writing for social justice.

"I think the event was an amazing example of the kind of power and change people can create by coming together to support a cause," said Tyler Castro, a junior psychology student with a minor in race and ethnic studies. "The strong display of intersectionality really showed how much we all cared for one another and our issues, even though we were all from different groups and have had very different experiences." 

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“Festa Italiana” Celebrated

Festa ItalianaThe University’s Department of World Languages and Cultures and the Italian Club presented their 11th annual La Festa Italiana, or Italian Festival, on April 4 in Wilson Auditorium with presentations, performances, and food to celebrate Italy and Italian culture.

The festival began with an introduction by Maria Simonelli, Ph.D., a professor of Italian and Latin and faculty advisor to the Italian Club. Simonelli thanked all for attending, and gave thanks to her Italian language students and club members who helped to set up, provide food, and give performances for the event.

Following the introduction, Annavaleria Guazzieri, Ph.D., the Education Office Director of the Consulate General of Italy in New York City, NY, gave a presentation on “Storie Veneziano” or “Venetian Stories.”

“Dr. Guazzieri’s presentation was excellent, very scholarly and informative,” Simonelli said. “With her ‘Venetian Stories,’ she brought us all to Venice where she illustrated the history of the city from the beginning to our days.”

After Guazzieri’s presentation, the festival segued into student performances that included music, presentations, and poem readings.

One of the performances was by Amanda McTigue, a senior music student who sang “Caro Mio Ben” while her partner, Timothy DiDomenico, accompanied her on the guitar. 

“I have studied voice for four years and already had ‘Caro Mio Ben’ in my repertoire,” McTigue said. “I rehearsed with Tim a few times prior to the show to get the arrangement down.”

The festival was concluded with a dance performance of La Tarantella Napoletana, the traditional Italian line dance. Seniors Juliana Illiano and Samantha Papa, and sophomores Caitlin Mazzella and Rachel Primavera danced while the audience clapped along.

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Anti-Racism Rally to be Held on Campus

Rally to Push for On-Campus Multicultural Center

anti racism rally to be held on campus 1The University's Leadership Team is orchestrating an anti-racism rally that will take place on the steps of Wilson Hall to­day, April 4 at 2:00 p.m.

The Leadership Team is a group of four educational coun­seling students from three dif­ferent sections of the course "Advanced Topics of Race and Racism," taught by Tina Paone, Ph.D., an associate professor of educational counseling. The team, consisting of sophomore Vanessa Bernal, senior Kendall Walker, and freshmen Virginia Biase and Matthew Vargo, will orchestrate the logistics of the rally. The ultimate goal of the group is to establish a Multicultural Center on campus.

Vargo initially thought of the plan for the rally. “Sadly, racism is still alive and well, even here at Monmouth University,” said Vargo. “Last fall there was an incident along the fence of the athletic field on Larchwood Av­enue, where someone had paint­ed a racial slur.”

Vargo and his colleagues’ duties include outreach, social media, and research, among other aspects which will make the rally run as smoothly as possible. Paone handles Uni­versity compliance in regards to flyers, tabling events, and creating petitions for students.

Johanna Foster, Ph.D., Direc­tor of the Sociology Program and an associate professor of sociology, has been studying the effects of institutional racism for two decades. “We continue to experience explicit hate incidents on campus, as well as everyday racial micro-insults that are sadly still routine at predominantly white institutions like ours,” said Foster.  

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University Faculty and Students Work to Increase Strategic Communication for the American Society of Andrology

American Society AndrologyMichael A. Palladino, Ph.D., Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and biology professor, is currently working on a project for the American Society of Andrology (ASA) which will result in new strategic communication plans and an app to be used at the ASA’s annual conference in April. 

Palladino and a team of graduate assistants are working on three fronts to ensure the project’s success. 

“The ASA recently completed a strategic plan and needs to take an objective look forward to continue as a strong organization,” Palladino said. “All research organizations are competing for members, given the funding climate for science and limited travle budget. To keep ASA unqiue as a meeting where physicians and scientists interact is the goal.”

Eugene Simko, associate professor of management and decision sciences, and MBA student Matthew Sheehan are collaborating with the ASA to establish a strategic plan for the organization.

Alexis Nulle, a specialty professor of communication, and Marina Vujnovic, Director of the Corporate and Public Communication (CPC) MA program and associate professor of communication, are working with CPC student Emily Sakowski to develop a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis, as well as a communication plan that will particularly focus on social media platforms. 

“From SWOT analysis, the ASA will analyze where it does well, and where it can improve relative to other organizations and then develop strategies to move forward,” Palladino said. “This will include plans for membership, fundraising, planning the conference, etc. The Society needs to do a better job of connecting with students and young scientists, as well as the public, so here is where social media and marketing will be relevant.”

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University Members Debate the Effects of Divorce on College Students

default article imageAccording to the American Psychological Association (APA), more than 90 percent of people in Western cultures marry by age 50; however, between 40 and 50 percent of those married couples will divorce.

Children are strongly affected by divorce, according to the APA, though the severity may vary based on the circumstances of the situation. University faculty members also stated that college students could be affected by divorce as well, even if it had happened during their childhood.

Andrew Lee, Ph.D., one of the leading psychologists from the Office of Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) on campus works with college students facing a variety of issues, and has seen students going through all stages of a divorce, including the beginning stages, the contemplation of divorce, and even the aftermath. He states that how a student copes with a divorce depends largely on both the family and the student themselves.

“There’s lots of ways it can affect anyone,” Lee explained, saying while there’s not much concrete research between the success of college students from divorced families and college students from traditional families, there are numerous factors that make up someone’s reaction. “It depends on the situation, the age [how old the student was when their parents got divorced], and how the divorce went through.”

While there may be no concrete evidence of the effects, Lee believes that the effects of divorce are seen more in college students’ interpersonal skills than their academic and occupational performance.

“It might make relationships more complicated,” explained Lee. “There may be issues with trust and intimacy.”

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Anti-Racism Rally to be Held

default article imageThe University’s Leadership Team is orchestrating an anti-racism rally that will take place on the steps of Wilson Hall on Wednesday, April 4 at 2:00 p.m.

The Leadership Team, consisting of senior Kendall Walker, sophomore Vanessa Bernal, and freshmen Virginia Biase and Matthew Vargo will orchestrate the logistics of the rally. The ultimate goal of the group is to establish a Multi-Cultural Center on campus.

“We want the community at Monmouth to hear from their fellow students and faculty about experiences with racism, whether personal or viewed by another,” said Vargo, who had the initial idea for the rally.  “We believe that the student’s voices will be more powerful and impactful because we are each other’s peers.”

A petition also exists online regarding the creation of an on-campus multicultural center, as well as an anti-racism pledge.

A full preview of this event will appear in the April 4 edition of The Outlook.

Second Annual Sustainability Panel Presented by Faculty and External Professionals; Nearly 100 Students Attended

2nd Annual Sustainability Panel 1The Leon Hess Business School hosted the second annual Sustainability in Business Panel to educate students on the future of business in tandem with sustainable models of corporate social responsibility. 

Nearly 100 students gathered in Young Auditorium from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. on March 5 to learn from sustainable business professionals who gathered as panelists, about their role in sustainability. For the panel, sustainability was defined as being a wholesome mindfulness of society and the planet at large in businesses’ decision making.

The evening kicked off with a light appetizer reception followed by an introduction of the panelists done by the moderator and primary organizer Scott Jeffrey, Ph.D., an associate professor in the school of business and decision sciences and a member of the New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability (NJHEPS).

Jeffrey proceeded to ask the panelists a round of questions before the panelists held the microphone for a few minutes each and opened the room to questions.

“I feel sustainability is the way of now,” said panelist Kyle Tafuri, Director of Sustainability for Hackensack Meridian Health. “Changes are occurring within businesses of all sizes to account for some of the issues we are seeing today. Companies like Unilever see the threat of these environmental issues to their bottom line. In the future, sustainability will just be ingrained into people’s everyday lives.” 

“At the end of the day, our businesses and communities rely on the health of the planet we live on,” Tafuri continued.

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Debate Team Attends National Championship Tournament for the First Time

Debate Team National ChampionshipThe University Debate Team competed at the Cross Examination Debate Association/National Debate Tournament (CEDA/NDT) national championship, scoring victories over debate teams from the University of Madison-Wisconsin, the New School, Southwestern College, and James Madison University.

The championship, which was held at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA, took place from March 15 to March 18. This is the sixth and final tournament that the debate team participated in during the 2017-2018 academic school year.

According to Joseph Patten, Ph.D., associate professor of political science and the debate team’s faculty adviser, four students competed in the tournament, compared to the usual 16-20 students that attend. Juniors Alexis Vasquez, Sabrina Saenger and Gregory Harpe and sophomore Landon Myers, all political science students, participated in the four-day tournament. Saenger and Harpe competed as one team of two, and Myers and Vasquez competed as another.

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"Deadbolt-Style" Locks Continue to be Installed to Increase Safety

University Offers Various Means for Campus Protection

Safety Increase Deadbolt Locks 1Deadbolt-style locks have been installed in Joan and Robert Rechnitz Hall and the Jules L. Plangere Center for Communication as part of an ongoing effort to increase on-campus safety and security. This precautionary step was taken, according to Patricia Swannack, Vice President for Administrative Services, to improve the time that it would take to lock a door.

According to Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement, the deadbolt-style locks are being installed in stages due to the amount of locks that need to be put in. 

Nagy said that the installation is not due to the Feb. 14 shooting in Parkland, FL, but as part of the “natural progression” of increased campus security.

“There are many different styles of locks throughout the campus, some of which can be locked with a key,” said Swannack. “It is much easier to simply flip a deadbolt from inside a classroom than to have to locate keys.”

Swannack also mentioned, that deadbolts are a cost-effective solution. A deadbolt style lock costs approximately $45 per lock and are being installed by University locksmiths and carpenters. Installation takes approximately one hour per lock.

“I feel this is safe,” said Conor Scott, a senior homeland security student. “The main thing that I can see this measure being useful for is active shooters or other shelter-in-place scenarios. If something happens that forces students and staff to hide, dead bolting classroom doors may help provide an extra level of defense from a threat outside the classroom.” 

Many of the building locks have a button under the latch which, when pushed, causes the door to be locked from the inside, as opposed to a deadbolt. Once locked, a key would be needed to gain entrance, or the door would need to be opened from the inside. Buildings with these locks include the Magill Dining Hall and the offices in the James and Marlene Howard Hall, Samuel E. and Mollie Bey Hall, and the Plangere Center. Locks with a key mechanism cost the University approximately $250 each, according to Swannack.

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Vice President for University Advancement Named

Newly-Appointed Vice President for University Advancement Brings Over 12 Years of Experience

VP Advancement Johnathan MeerJonathan D. Meer has been named the new Vice President for University Advancement by University President Grey Dimenna, Esq. 

According to the University, Meer will champion the University’s key fundraising initiatives with a special focus on raising dedicated funds to support student scholarships and increasing the University’s endowment. Meer’s responsibilities will also be critical to strengthening engagement efforts with alumni. 

“[The Vice President for University Advancement] is a very important position as it is responsible for all fundraising and alumni affairs,” said Dimenna. “These areas are vital, especially for private universities as funds raised from private sources help to fund scholarships for students and other activities which helps keep tuition lower.”  

“One of my top goals is executing a successful Scholarship Campaign that will run through the summer of 2019 and will add substantial current use and endowed funds for scholarship,” said Meer, whose appointment was effective as of March 1. “To help lead this campaign, we will be recruiting a volunteer Campaign Cabinet that is full representative of all University constituencies, including students.” 

According to Meer, his first priority is to bring in more gift revenue to alleviate pressure on the employees in the Offices of Finance and Enrollment Management. 

“In the short run, that means raising more money from alumni, parents, friends, faculty and staff, and local corporations and foundations that can lessen the University’s dependence on the revenue we receive from our students,” said Meer.  “To be successful, my team and I must do a better job of telling the ‘Monmouth Story,’ and encouraging especially those alumni who had positive experiences here as students, to understand why it is so crucial for them to help us strengthen the financial undergirding of the University.”

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“Discovering the Ecological Self” Workshops Use Art and Science to Connect with Nature

Nature Art and Science Monmouth University began hosting nature-based workshops for the social practice project, Discovering the Ecological Self, this February to encourage a connection between the middle school students from the Aslan Youth Ministry (AYM) and the environment, through art and science.

The project is developed and led by artist Kimberly Callas, MFA, an assistant professor in the department of art and design. The purpose of these workshops is to foster environmental stewardship and create environmental leaders and Social Practice artists, according to Callas.

AYM is an after school program based in Red Bank that provides middle school children from underprivileged backgrounds with resources for guidance, tutoring, mentoring, recreational activities, and cultural enrichment programs. 

Some of the students enrolled in the AYM programs have been returning to the University every Wednesday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. where they receive an interactive learning experience focused on marine biology.

“We live so close to the beach, it just makes sense that we would want to connect the students with the ecosystem, that for many, they have known and loved for much of their lives,” said Callas.

Students from the marine biology and environmental policy department, members of the Artists for Change club, and students in Callas’ Sculpture 2 class connect with Callas and ecologist specialist and associate professor of biology Pedram Daneshgar, Ph.D., leading and supporting the various weekly activities.

The workshops generally begin with a science lesson done by marine biology and environmental policy student volunteers Rebecca Klee, senior, and Taylor Donovan, a junior. 

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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