Last updateMon, 10 Dec 2018 4pm


Alumnus Stands With NJ Against Off-Shore Drilling

Alumnus 1University alumnus Zack Karvelas represented Oceana at the New Jersey Citizen's Rally to insist on ocean preservation and to counter plans by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration to open a majority of the Atlantic coast for off-shore drilling for fossil fuels. 

On Wednesday, Feb. 14 businesses, congressmen, scientists, and environmentalists gathered in Hamilton,  NJ to give the people an opportunity to voice their concerns and oppositions against potential plans to drill along the coast. 

Trump's Executive Order 13795, signed on April 28, 2017, if pursued, will remove current regulation that preserves the coasts and seabeds in exchange for opening these areas to oil and gas drilling by various controversial means of extraction. 

Karvelas, a member of the graduating class of 2017, represented Oceana, one of the world's largest international conservation organization focused on ocean protection at the event as a grassroots field intern.

According to Karvelas, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is hosting meetings with parties interested in the executive order without offering the public an opportunity to speak directly to the assembled attendees beyond a written comment via mail or online submissions. 

“The BOEM representatives speak strictly about how the potential coastal exploration is safe and whatever it is you want to hear in order to support it, but does not give opportunity for the public to voice their opposition. We host press conferences and public testimony to give people opportunity to be heard, and show how strongly opposed the public is,” said Karvelas. 

“The Department of the Interior purposefully does not hold these meetings in the coastal communities because that is where they are going to face the most opposition against their proposals,” said Karvelas. “Coastal communities would be the first and worst affected if there was a spill. These hearings are held in places where there may be less opposition, the counter-rally creates a voice for those in the coastal environment.”

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Debate Team Earns Awards in Tournament

Debate TeamThe Monmouth University debate team reached the semi-final round of a debate tournament hosted at the New School in New York City, taking home several awards.

The tournament, which was the weekend of Feb. 10, is the fifth tournament that the University has competed in this academic year. Twelve students attended the tournament. Sophomore computer science student Matthew Cohen and sophomore communication student Claudia Dimondo reached the semi-final round, and junior social work student Sarah Bowers and sophomore clinical lab sciences student Michael Scognomillo reached the quarter-final playoff round. Freshman business management student Nicholas Goranites also took home a seventh place individual speaking award.

“The experience was so great and my partner and I made it to the semi-finals,” said Dimondo, who was partnered with Cohen. “Going into the tournament, I was nervous because we were going up against some really good, experienced teams, but Matt and I proved that as long as you work well together, communicate, and have fun, you can succeed.”

Other competing University students included seniors Sabrina Saenger and Ryan Kelly, juniors Gregory Harpe and Kaitlin Allsopp, and sophomore students Landon Myers, Alexis Vasquez, and Yendelli Bello. All are political science students.

The tournament included approximately 100 debaters from several universities including Boston College, New York University, the New School, and the United States Military Academy.

“This school year’s resolution was debating if the federal government should implement a single payer healthcare policy,” said Goranites. “Essentially, should the federal government be responsible for funding health care for all people within the United States, as opposed to private insurance companies? After many intense rounds of debating for and against a single payer health care policy, my partner Yendelli Bello and I won two rounds and lost four.”

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Thomas A. Edison Science Hall Construction Completed, Celebrated

Edison Science Hall 1The University celebrated the completion of the $40 million Thomas A. Edison Science Hall construction with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

The event consisted of student-led tours of the building followed by speeches given by prominent figures from the campus and the surrounding area involved in the renovation process, including: Dean of the School of Science Steven Bachrach, Ph.D.; University President Grey Dimenna, Esq.; State Senator Vin Gopal; Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling; Assemblywoman Joann Downey; and Mayor of West Long Branch Janet Tucci.

Featured speakers for the event included a freshman biology student Jesse Bragger, who gave remarks about what the new renovations mean for students in her cohort. 

Bragger spoke about how the new lab facilities and study accommodations make learning easier for her and her fellow students and were crucial to her decision to attend the University.

All of the renovation and additions to the building took about a year and a half to complete according to Bachrach. The building now boasts new teaching and research laboratories, classrooms, study areas, and an atrium with an accompanying multipurpose room.

“The event was really [held] just to thank everybody who had been involved in that project, the people that initiated the idea, the Board of Trustees who supported it through paying for it, [and] some donors that provided funding for parts of the building,” said Bachrach. He also noted that representatives from the State Assembly and State Senate were present and were recognized for their support in getting the State of New Jersey to contribute $5 million to help complete the project. 

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Career Services and Department of Criminal Justice Host Joint Internship Event

default article imageThe Department of Criminal Justice and the Guardians Club held a joint event with Career Services, inviting New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell (NJCCIC) cyber liaison officer Melissa Pisaniello and Sergeant Brad Baylor of the New Jersey State Police to speak about their work and the internship opportunities in their respective fields.

According to Mass, 35 people attended the event, including students from a variety of disciplines. 

“The Guardians Club hosts several guest speaker events,” said Jamie Tilton, President of the Guardians Club and a senior homeland security student. “However, this is one of the rare guest speaker events that encourage all students, regardless of major, to apply for an internship.” 

“We thought it’d be important because cyber security and cybercrime is the 21st century law enforcement now,” said Nicholas Sewitch, Chair of the Criminal Justice Department and Internship Coordinator. “That is one of the key areas in terms of enforcement, particularly at the federal level. In fact, a lot of federal agencies look for students who are qualified in that area or have experience or training in that area, so we thought that this would be good for students.” 

According to Jeffrey Mass, the assistant director of career services, the NJCCIC is New Jersey's "one-stop shop for cyber security information sharing, threat analysis, and incident reporting. The NJCCIC brings together analysts and engineers to promote statewide awareness of local cyber threats and widespread adoptions of best practices.” 

Pisaniello spoke about four NJCCIC divisions that students could apply to intern with. The areas discussed included the Governance, Risk, and Compliance Bureau, which assesses and improves the current risk posture of information management systems across the state. 

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Discovering MU's Graduate Center

MU Grad CenterWhile both undergraduate and graduate students alike are involved on the University’s campus, some graduate students have the opportunity to attend classes at the Monmouth University Graduate Center, located about two miles from the main campus, and has its own community of graduate students, offers four major programs of study, and is still in the process of growing.

The Graduate Center is home to Physician Assistant (PA), Speech-Language Pathology (SLP), Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and Addiction Studies programs. The Center features outfitted dedicated classrooms, clinical skills laboratories, observation rooms, and equipment to support each of these programs in the ways needed.

Michael Palladino, Ph.D., Associate Vice Provost of Graduate Studies, offered that the idea for the Graduate Center stemmed from the realization that space on the main campus had become limited, and the University felt that graduate students needed a place they could go to properly be able to pursue their education at a facility that suited them.

“We are really trying to grow graduate education at Monmouth and create more graduate programs that will enhance the University as well as provide more options for our students. We are restricted to the amount of undergraduates we can have on campus, but with graduate studies, we can really build and part of the plan for graduate education is the graduate center,” Palladino said.

“We want more space for graduate students and we’re committed to creating an environment where graduate students can study apart from undergraduate students.”

Palladino also offered that additional space given to graduate students frees up more space on the main campus for undergraduate students.

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Artists, Biologists Unite for Endangered Species in New Jersey

Fiorentino ExhibitRare Wildlife Revealed: The James Fiorentino Traveling Art Exhibition, an exhibition spotlighting endangered species native to New Jersey, was honored by a reception held in partnership with the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey (CWF) this past Friday, Feb. 9 in Pollak Gallery. 

The event was an opportunity for the public to view this collection, meet artist Fiorentino, and donate to the CWF. All of the displayed paintings are for sale, with a portion of proceeds being donated in support of the CWF and its mission, according to David Wheeler the Executive Director of the Conserve Wildlife Foundation.

The mission of the CWF is to aid biologists in protecting, understanding, and preserving the habitats and existence of these threatened species, according to Martin McHugh, former CWF Board Chairman and current Board member.

The Wildlife exhibition displays the art work of Fiorentino, capturing the “magnificent and minute details of endangered and threatened wildlife local to New Jersey,” said Wheeler.

This event offered an educational experience to the viewer as well an opportunity to connect with threatened animals and other wildlife. Amanda Green, a senior student of fine arts and the President of Artists for Change, said, “I didn’t know these animals were all native to New Jersey. Although, I did see a seal walk across the beach in Midway once. You never know what you’ll find here.”

“When I look at these pieces I feel a call to action. See, if there was just one animal here, like an eagle, it would not be very impactful, but seeing all of these different animals in a collection and knowing that they are all in danger and need our help to survive or their species will be gone forever, is very awakening, motivating, and meaningful,” Green continued.

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African American History Month Events to Continue Through February

default article imageThe University commemorated the start of African American History Month with its annual Flag Raising Ceremony on Feb. 1 in front of Wilson Hall.

The event was sponsored by the Office of Student Activities, the African American Student Union (AASU), and the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW).

Crystalyn Espinal, Assistant Director of Student Activities, described how each year’s Flag Raising Ceremony is “unique.” This year, student input was more focused on the beginnings of African American History Month.

According to Espinal, the original ceremony would have had observers gathered on the patio of Wilson Hall as two student leaders raised the flag with the help of Facilities Management.

Instead, Espinal implemented an impromptu moment of silence and encouraged all students and faculty to stand together with the student leaders as the flag was raised.

“It was just out of respect for those who have fought and represented the meaning of [the flag],” she said of the moment of silence.

Espinal went on to detail how the new format encouraged conversation between attendees afterward.

“I liked standing with the [club] officers and with facilities [management] and with our student leaders versus just up at Wilson from afar," she explained.

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University Mourns Loss of Fellow Hawk

default article imageDane Fante, a second-year business administration and communication student, passed away suddenly on Saturday, Feb. 3 at Monmouth Medical Center following an off-campus car accident.

According to a press release published by the Ocean Township Police Department, the single-car accident took place at approximately 2:40 a.m. on South Lincoln Avenue in Ocean. A preliminary investigation by the department indicates that the car, reported to be a 2006 Audi A8, struck a tree, resulting in injuries to both occupants.

The car was allegedly driven by Jose Rivera, a sophomore business administration student. According to The Asbury Park Press, Rivera was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune to be treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Fante was pronounced dead at Monmouth Medical Center at 3:20 a.m. due to injuries sustained in the accident. Fante and Rivera were the only occupants of the vehicle, according to the police press release.

President Grey Dimenna, Esq., informed the campus community of the tragic incident at 1:33 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

“It is with deep sadness that I inform you of the death of one of our students,” read his e-mail. “The University mourns the tragic and untimely death of a member of our community and extends its deepest sympathies to his family and friends at this most difficult time.”

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S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M. Hosts "Expression" Music Fundraiser

S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M. Music Event Raises Funds for AFC

 Spectrum1Sexuality, Pride, Education, Community, Truth, Respect, and Unity at Monmouth (S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M.) hosted an artistic event called “Expression” in the Rebecca Stafford Student Center on Wednesday, Jan. 31.

This event raised funds for the Ali Forney Center (AFC) and promoted an inclusive community on campus.

"Expression" was open to the public and accepted donations by ticket sales for the AFC, a non-profit organization based out of New York that exists to help homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) youths.

According to the AFC’s website, the mission of the organization is “to protect LGBTQ youths from the harms of homelessness and empower them with the tools needed to live independently.”

“I felt it was important to donate funds to the Ali Forney Center because being on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, as well as being out at a young age, already puts these kids/teens in jeopardy with families that may not be as accepting,” said Jane Lai, President of S.P.E.C.T.R.U.M.and junior english student.

“According to the Williams Institute [at the] UCLA School of Law, the alarming statistic shows that around 40 percent of homeless youth are LGBTQ+ identifying,” Lai continued. “The Ali Forney Center is the biggest LGBTQ+ nonprofit for homelessness in the community. LGBTQ+ youth are already in a disenfranchised group and to add on that they’re homeless because they’ve been neglected by their parents/guardians because they’ve been neglected by their parents/guardians really puts a burden on them.”

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Student Accounts Compromised Following Phishing Scam

IT Department Warns Students of E-Mail Phishing Scam

Student Account Compromised1Two waves of e-mails blasted to over 14,000 University members have been deemed a “harmful phishing scam,” according to Robert Carsey, Director of Server Operations. It is reported that at least 50 student mailboxes were compromised by the scam.

The e-mails told recipients to update their eCampus log-in information using an attached link, posing as a University-affiliated source. 

The University has since urged the campus community to delete the e-mails, report any instances of opening the scam to the IT Help Desk, and change all Monmouth-related passwords for security measures.

Carsey stated that employees began receiving the first wave of e-mails on Friday, Jan. 26 at approximately 1:15 p.m., with the first Help Desk request regarding the e-mail being submitted at 1:22 p.m.

Only minutes later, the IT team began mitigating the blast. The mitigation attempts included deleting the e-mails from users’ mailboxes, blocking the link on the University’s firewall, and notifying users. The mitigation process for the first wave of e-mails was completed by 2:00 p.m. that day.

“We didn’t give the phishing attempt much credit because the e-mail itself was rather unenticing and our employees are generally very good at not responding to such attempts,” said Carsey. “Combined with the fact that we removed the email quickly, we were satisfied this was contained. However, we took the unusual step of notifying employees because this was the first time a phisher had copied our real University login page.”

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Peace Activist Ken Nwadike Visits Campus

Peace Activist Ken NwadikeKen Nwadike, founder of the Free Hugs Project and peace activist, spoke to Monmouth University students and employees at Pollak Theare, recounting his story of becoming a motivational speaker.

The Free Hugs Project is a non-profit organization, founded by Nwadike, following his response to the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013.

“While viewing the devastation of the 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon, I was determined to be a participant in the next race,” said Nwadike. “I failed to qualify by just 23 seconds, so I decided to attend the event in a different way. I provided free hugs to runners as encouragement along the route.”

The video was uploaded to YouTube and Nwadike made national headlines. According to the Free Hugs Project website, his videos have garnered 150 million views and he has been a guest on CNN, USA Today, BBC News, Good Morning America and Good Morning Britain. In addition, he has featured in The Huffington Post, The New York Times, and The Washington Globe.

Nwadike played one of the viral videos and the audience of approximately 50 attendees burst into smiles. "All that mattered was the love,” said Nwadike, as complete strangers were running up to give him hugs.

Nwadike, however, had a change of heart. He felt that running races was getting redundant. “I wanted to inspire love in a place full of hate,” he said, and decided to go to the front lines of violence during protests, riots, and political rallies to spread peace and love, including the protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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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