Last updateFri, 19 Jun 2020 7pm


University Warns About Vaping

Uni VapingAn article was released by Suanne Schaad, Substance Abuse Coordinator and advisor to the Students in Recovery Club, and Kathy Maloney, Director of Health Services, in response to the growing vaping epidemic and health concerns last Tuesday.

According to Schaad, there have been 450 reported cases of young persons aged 15-35 years old and five deaths confirmed in the United States.

Schaad warned, “There is a growing epidemic of acute severe respiratory disease associated with e-cigarette products/vaping.”

According to Health Services, indications of the disease begin to appear over the course of 1-7 days, with the first symptoms being coughing and shortness of breath. Later, the symptoms can worsen to chest pain, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea.  

“The severe respiratory disease that occurs as a result of vaping is associated with chemical exposure and does not appear to be caused by an infectious agent such as bacteria,” Health Services wrote in the article. “That means antibiotics are of little use in treating the type of pneumonia, acute lipoid pneumonia, seen with many of these cases.” 

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), most electronic cigarettes contain nicotine, an addictive substance found in other tobacco products and regular cigarettes. Nicotine is harmful to the adolescent brain, which does not fully develop until around age 25. Among the parts of the brains that can be affected by nicotine are the ones that control attention, learning, mood and impulse control. 

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Athletic Department Hosts Barbecue

Athletic Dept BBQThe Monmouth University Athletic Department and MSAAC (Monmouth Student Athlete Advisory Committee) hosted a Welcome Back Event barbecue for over 500 student athletes this past Sunday at Kessler Stadium. 

Assistant Athletic Director for Academic Support, Emily Howard, explained that this was an opportunity for all student athletes to bond and have something fun to kick off the semester. “MSAAC has brought this up as something they were really excited to do and a tradition to bring back. We had done an event like this in the past, and we’re excited to bring it back,” said Howard.

The event was filled with music, food, games, and endless joy. Coaches and athletes were able to relieve stress of the 24 hour, seven day commitment to athletics and bond with others from different teams. Each athlete had the opportunity to express themselves in a nonjudgmental environment. 

MSAAC President and Senior Women’s Soccer Player, Jessica Johnson, explained that the purpose behind the concept of SAAC is to bring all athletic teams together to discuss how we can continue to build our community. “We are a community as athletes, so it’s important for us to remain connected. The BBQ was meant to introduce everyone to the new year but also hopefully get people to talk to others, in a more comfortable setting, from other teams,” said Johnson.

Junior Student Athlete and Criminal Justice Major, Erik Massey, even believed that this event helped athletes come together as one. “The impact that the event left on the students is that we are a family. We aren’t separated by teams, but we are all one knowing we all have each other’s backs. This gives us the confidence to compete better and always support one another,” said Massey. 

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Social Work Retreat

Social Work RetreatMonmouth’s Social Work Department held its 21st annual social work retreat in Magill Commons to provide students with an opportunity to connect with faculty on Wednesday, Sept. 4.

Sanjana Ragudaran, assistant professor of social work, said, “[The student retreat] helps to orient new and returning students (in addition to faculty and staff) to the Social Work Program and the campus in a fun and informal way.” 

These retreats give students a chance to interact with their advisors, faculty, and other students outside the classroom to extend their support network within the program. Students are also able to ask questions about the upcoming year, Ragudaran said. 

The retreat took place from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., ending before freshman welcome. Robin Mama, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Social Work, explained that each year, the retreat has a different theme and this year’s theme was overcoming obstacles. The goal of the theme this year was to get social work students to think about they have overcome obstacles in life and how to excel personally and professionally, as social workers. 

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Athletes Partake in Mentorship Program

Athletes MentorshipVernon Smith, Director of Educational Counseling and Leadership and Assistant Professor of education, Monmouth University Athletes, and the Big Brother Big Sisters of Monmouth and Middlesex Counties have partnered to form a Peer Mentorship program for students of Neptune High School.

Smith commented, “I’m just tired of seeing all the negatives about black males in the news and that’s not all we have to offer. Once I got here at Monmouth, I recognized that within Monmouth County and the community, we had young men of color, especially black males, who faced adversity and we want to make sure their surrounded by a strong support network.” 

Smith believes that this program will be beneficial based on the resources that Monmouth offers. “We have a lot of black males who are involved in athletics, the Equal Opportunity Fund (EOF) programs, and just solid students making a difference. How do we begin to at least give back to our community? I figured this is an important program that helps Monmouth students the importance of giving back and connecting with high school students encouraging them to move forward providing mentorship.”

With mentorship, Smith notes, it helps the mentors to grow, as well as the mentees. “It is a beautiful way to develop an empowering black male leadership opportunity,” he said.

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Datta is New Interim Provost

Datta ProvostRekha Datta, Ph.D., a Professor of political science, was appointed Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs on Aug. 1. 

In this new temporary role, Datta will work closely with President Leahy to provide leadership in planning, developing, implementing, and assessing the academic activities of the University and its Strategic Plan. 

While she serves as provost for this academic year, a new search for a permanent provost will be conducted in the meanwhile. 

“This is my 26th year of service at Monmouth University. I am grateful to Dr. Leahy and to the university community for the opportunity to serve as the university's Interim Provost for this academic year,” said Datta. “The opportunity to work with students, staff, administrators, and with my faculty colleagues to advance the academic mission of the university is energizing, exciting, and above all, humbling.”

She continued, “Since I took office on August 1, as Interim Provost, I have enjoyed working with faculty and the university community on the pragmatic aspects of my role, ensuring service to students and faculty, shared governance, personnel management, and empowering departments and schools.” Datta said that she welcomes the opportunity to work closely with students in order to advance their academic success at the university. 

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Mercedes Crashes into Hesse Hall

file (7)A Mercedes crashed into the front of Hesse Hall on Monday, Sept. 9 at approximately 2:15 p.m., leaving the driver injured. No student injuries were reported.

The 61-year-old man backed his white Mercedes Benz into the rear-end of a parked white Jeep, changed direction, and then crashed head-on into the dormitory. Both vehicles were then towed once the building was deemed safe.

The driver of the vehicle was rushed to Hackensack Meridian Health Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune. His condition is unknown at this time.

Morganne Dudzinski, the Director of News and Public Affairs said about the driver, “I checked in with the university’s police department and as this is an ongoing investigation, no further information can be released at this time.”

The university community was notified of the incident via email by new President Patrick Leahy, Ph.D. around 4 p.m.

“Hesse Hall was evacuated and the building damage is being evaluated by a structural engineer,” Leahy wrote. “Students housed in the affected areas of Hesse Hall will be relocated until those areas are deemed safe for occupancy.”

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Leahy Assumes Role as University President

Leahy U PresidentPatrick Leahy, Ed.D., assumed his role as Monmouth University’s 10th President on Aug. 1, 2019.

Leahy emerged as the Board of Trustees unanimous selection from a nationwide search for President that considered 100 candidates. Robert B. Rumsby, of Alpha Beta Development and a current board of trustees’ member, said, “[Leahy’s] background, his attitude, and vision for the future make him best fit for the position.”

Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement, echoed Rumbsy’s sentiment about Leahy’s qualifications. She said, “[Leahy] is a quick learner, incredibly smart, very well-read on a variety of subjects and weaves that into his work. He knows that we have a lot of positive things going for us while also knowing that the business of higher education is going to be challenged predominately by changing demographics.”

The following questions and answers are from an interview with Leahy that took place on Friday, Sept. 6:

Last year, you explained how in order for Monmouth to move towards higher levels of success we must “broaden our notoriety and recruiting of students.” How do you plan to achieve this?

"To be honest, I’ve only been on the job a month so my answers will be pretty vague at this point, so I encourage [The Outlook and I] to continue to dialogue as my answers will become more refined as time goes on. [In general] I think it’s so important for the president of a university to create a shared vision and not presume to know best; I need a bit of time to create a shared vision for Monmouth. Then, we take that out and promote it widely.

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Student-Athletes Host 1st Mental Health Week

Student Athletes Mental WeekMonmouth’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee (MSAAC) hosted its first Mental Health Week from April 22 through April 26, which included various on-campus events, information sessions, and an extensive social media campaign.

 The week is part of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference’s #A11MAACMinds initiative to bring awareness to mental health. 

On April 22, MSAAC hosted Campus Connect Suicide Prevention Training in the varsity club of the OceanFirst Bank center. This seminar was open to all student athletes who wanted to learn what to do when someone they know is struggling.

Emily Howard, Assistant Athletics Director for Academic Support and advisor to MSAAC, worked with the student-athletes to plan and execute activities of the week.

"I am thrilled to be able to support our student-athletes in a Mental Health Awareness Week.  It is so important that we are speaking about of mental health, and spreading the message that is it okay to ask for help,” said Howard.  I am so proud of our student-athletes for opening up about mental health, and being willing to share their experiences.”

The social media campaign included all 11 member schools in the MAAC. Every post by each institution was tagged with #A11MAACMinds. Events and statistics were disseminated over the various social media accounts. According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), 10 to 15 percent of student-athletes suffer from psychological distress, while only 8 to 9 percent seek help from mental health services.

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Scholarship Week Commences at Monmouth

default article imageMonmouth University has begun its fourth annual Student Scholarship Week from April 22 to April 28. More than 1,000 students will present their work in more than 35 events, including poster sessions, panels, and performances.

Laura Moriarty, Ph.D., Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs explains that Scholarship Week is a week-long conference showcasing and celebrating academic work inside and outside of the classroom, and it highlights faculty-student collaboration. 

Scholarly contributions in research, writing, service learning, clinical experiences, study abroad, internships, musical and theater productions, art exhibits, student development and leadership, and student clubs are all part of this event. “Students should support fellow colleagues by attending events that are of interest to them,” she said. 

The celebration will include faculty-student collaborations, along with poster sessions, panels, and performances. Featured events include Hawk Talks, Interprofessional Exhibitions, and Service Learning Showcases.

“Scholarship is the center of our mission as a university, and we are proud to celebrate the outcomes of our outstanding students and their faculty mentors at this conference. Whether you are a graduating senior, a prospective student, a family member or a neighbor, you will find something to engage your interest in the diverse programming schedule of events,” says University President Grey Dimenna, Esq., in his Welcome Letter. 

A new feature event, Global Scholarship Showcase, ran on Monday, April 22 in the Edison Atrium. It highlighted student achievements away from campus as part of study abroad, international activities, and departmental club activities. The event included students who also are engaged in global learning activities without traveling internationally. 

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Students Attended International Women's Summit

SAGE Women World

Students from the University’s Students Advocating Girls Education (SAGE) attended the 10th Annual Women in the World Summit in New York City this month, on April 12.

The Summit brought together women and men from around the world who are working for gender equity and empowering businesses, communities, individuals, and governments through their advocacy, art, and activism.

Students, and others in attendance, learned the importance of women's equal and full participation for economic growth and development.

Among others, speakers included: former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who discussed about women in political leadership; Cindy McCain, who talked about the prevalence of human sex trafficking in the United States; Indra Nooiy, who talked about how women succeed in business; and Glenda Jackson, who discussed the role of women in British politics.

Other discussions included women's health issues, women and financial literacy, sexual harassment in the workplace, violence against women, and the spread of the #MeToo movement around the world.

The summit also highlighted several young women and their innovative inventions in a wide variety of subjects ranging from food shortage, climate change, and others.

“On the train ride back to campus, students could not stop talking about the panels, and the speakers. They could not wait for next year's summit,” said Rekha Datta, Ph.D., Monmouth’s Freed Endowed Chair in Social Science and a professor of political science, and SAGE’s faculty adviser. “They also talked about having events on campus covering the issues of gender inequality and gender violence.”

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“Celebration of Impact:” Professor William Tepfenhart

Tepfenhart ImpactStudents organized a “Celebration of Impact” for beloved professor of the Computer Science and Software Engineering (CSSE) Department, William Tepfenhart, Ph.D., who passed away March 25. 

The commemoration occurred on April 17 in Howard Hall, the home of the CSSE Department, and was sponsored by the School of Science. 

A “Celebration of Impact” is described by the event’s slideshow as “a gathering of people who revere the strong positive effect that another has caused on either themselves, his peers, and/or his environment.” 

Tepfenhart was a professor at Monmouth University for 20 years and has had a seemingly lasting effect on each student and faculty member at the University. 

The event featured a “Dr. Tepfenhart Memory Board,” which gave attendees a chance to post sticky notes with their fondest and most personal memories of Tepfenhart for all others to read.

Notes ranged from pieces of knowledge students learned in class such as this quote from Tepfenhart: “The more passionate you are about your design, the louder you are,” to some lighthearted memories such as, “I loved seeing him at the Evanescence and Lindsey Stirling concert this past summer at PNC.” 

Tepfenhart wasn’t just a professor of computer science and software engineering, he also served on many different boards within the CSSE Department and was a pivotal voice in the Honors School. He was a permanent member of the Honors Council. Nancy Mezey, Ph.D., Dean of the Honors School, attended the event and boasted  Tepfenhart’s continuous service for the Honors School and honor students.

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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