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Last updateWed, 17 Apr 2019 4pm

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DeRosa Selected for Yale Seminar

default article imageChristopher DeRosa, Ph.D., an associate professor of history, has been chosen by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to participate in a special American history seminar at Yale University in New Haven, CT. 

DeRosa is one of 25 faculty members who were selected from a pool of 51 highly competitive nominations to participate in the “The Civil War in American Memory” seminar, which will run from June 23 to June 27. 

“I’m excited to participate in a seminar led by the eminent historian David W. Blight, whose work on the Civil War in American memory I’ve assigned to Monmouth students many times,” said DeRosa “Especially in light of our own campus’ not-too-distant debate over the legacy of Woodrow Wilson, it is important to help communities distinguish between the alleged ‘erasing’ of history and valid revision of previously enshrined interpretations. I appreciate Provost [Laura] Moriarty nominating me for the opportunity.”

This seminar aims to provide a forum to comprehend and analyze why slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction Era have remained an unending dilemma in American historical awareness. The CIC believes that DeRosa will “play a strong role in the seminar.”

In announcing the selection of participants, CIC President Richard Ekman said, “Strengthening the teaching of American history at colleges and universities is of critical importance to maintaining informed citizen participation in a democracy. The Civil War has been used—and misused—to bolster

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Dimenna Gives State of the University

Dimenna State UniversityUniversity President Grey Dimenna, Esq., released a “State of the University” for the 2018-2019 academic year to the Monmouth Now weekly recap last Wednesday, April 10.

Dimenna highlighted the University’s accomplishments in enhancing academic excellence and initiatives, achieving milestones, improving campus facilities and resources, athletic achievements, the University’s scholarship campaign, and looking ahead to future success. 

“As president I have made student success the guiding principle for decisions that affect Monmouth University. This commitment extends beyond academic, athletic, and career outcomes. It includes engagement with diversity, the arts, community service, and compassion for others,” says Dimenna in his letter. 

He noted that academic quality of the incoming freshman class was the highest in the University’s history, with an average high school GPA of 3.42 and an average SAT score of 1134. Additionally, Monmouth enrolled the highest percentage of out-of-state students, and welcomed the third highest percentage of racially and ethnically diverse students in its history, at 26.3 percent and 27.4 percent, respectively. 

The University has also seen more academic programs and initiatives. In April 2018, the Department of Political Science and Sociology launched the Center for Active Citizenship. 

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Support for Wind Energy in NJ

Support Wind Energy NJA majority of New Jersey residents support the development of offshore electricity-generating wind farms, Monmouth University’s Polling Institute reported last Wednesday, April 3. 

According to the poll, three-quarters of New Jersey residents would back the installment of wind power off the coast of the state. Still, the Monmouth University Poll found that 45 percent of the population would oppose further development of wind farms if their electricity bills increased. 

Patrick Murray, Director of the University’s independent University Polling Institute, said, “[Residents] could become more willing to shoulder some of the investment if they are convinced it will lead to real environmental benefits.”

“There is broad, bipartisan agreement that moving forward with offshore wind projects should be a priority,” said Tony MacDonald, Director of the University’s Urban Coast Institute. “If [the state reaches] Gov. Murphy’s goal of generating 3,500 MW of electricity from offshore wind by 2030, it will put the state on a path to a green energy future.” 

“In terms of climate change, and the long-term future of our students, we’re better off with sustainable energy sources than geologic ones,” said Greg Moehring, Ph.D., an associate professor of chemistry.

Jeanine Cava, an adjunct professor of chemistry and physics, agrees that wind farms would benefit the Monmouth community. “The less pressure on the need for natural gas and the more energy we can get from wind is better long-term,” she explained. 

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Provost on University Administrative Growth

Provost University Administrative Growth

 The following questions and answers are from a conversation with Laura Moriarty, Ph.D., Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Because she said that she was unable to meet in-person or conduct a phone interview, the provost responded to questions via email instead:

In speaking with President Dimenna, he said, “We recognize that investments in administration are investments in student success.” Do you subscribe to this same thinking?

“President Dimenna and I agree that we need to invest in people and programs that enhance the student experience.”

Does this notion then not suggest that administration is the superior way in bettering the lives of students?

“All employees—faculty, students, and staff—support and contribute to that experience. In the Provost’s Office, we have made staffing decisions designed to support initiatives outlined in the Strategic Plan. These decisions have included the hiring of new faculty as well as reorganizing the Provost’s Office to support this ambitious plan. Each vice provost area has at its core a commitment to providing services to both faculty and students so that students have a quality education.”

If the University had operated well before the creation of [more] administrative positions, why change?

“There is a definite difference between Monmouth now and Monmouth in 2014. We have experienced significant growth in terms of both academic reputation and offerings... Essentially, this reorganization helped us to both create efficiency through centralization and consolidation, and add value with an infrastructure that positions us to successfully carry out the Strategic Plan.”

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President on University Administrative Growth

President University Administrative Growth 1After another increase in tuition, students may worry how their money is being spent.

Some suspicions of rising administrative expenditures remain, and students wonder if Monmouth’s growing administration is contributing to annual tuition hikes.

The following questions and answers are from an in-person meeting with University President Grey Dimenna, Esq., on Friday, March 29:

What is the correlation between tuition and administrative costs?

 “Any time we add expenses, it impacts on tuition. But even when we don’t add expenses, it impacts on tuition. Costs go up; inflation happens; we negotiate in salary increase for employees and those are well deserved. Our employees work very hard, and they should be paid a fair wage and they should get good benefits…The federal government imposes all sorts of requirements that not only impose costs, but require us to hire administrators to handle those areas. For instance, Title IX; we have to have a Title IX coordinator because we’re required to by law. That has costs. Some of those costs are not avoidable…”

Regarding the creation of new administration level, in looking at the current operational chart and ones from previous years, operations under “Vice President of Academic Affairs/Provost” had either been occupied by Deans or simply did not exist; all positions beneath the Provost reported directly to the Provost.

“There was a whole host of positions beneath the Provost that reported to the provost, they just had different titles…There has been an expansion; I don’t think it’s a huge expansion and I certainly don’t think it’s the cause of tuition going up. Tuition is basically set to, as you know because you pointed out in your thing, we are very highly tuition-dependent so when we do the budget each year we estimate all the revenue that will be coming in, which will be: tuition, room, board, comprehensive fee, outside money donated by donors, interest that we earn, ticket sales from sporting events from other events. All those sources go in. We also do enrollment projections of undergraduate and graduate levels.”

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Bench Mob Gets Sponsporship

Degree Sponsors Monmouth BenchThe nationally-recognized Monmouth  Bench Mob that captured the hearts of the sports world in 2015 is back in action for the 2019 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) March Madness Tournament.

While this season’s Men’s Basketball team did not make the cut for March Madness, alumni Greg Noack ’17 and Dan Pillari ’18 have teamed up with Degree Deodorant to bring the Bench Mob back through a social media campaign. 

Noack and Pillari, along with their bench celebrations have returned through a series of Twitter posts made by Degree’s account (@DegreeMen). The Twitter promotions started on March 19 and ran through the duration of the 2019 March Madness tournament, which came to a close on April 8.

The posts featured short clips of bench celebrations centered around Noack and Pillari sporting Monmouth warm-up shirts with the Degree logo on the shoulder. The hashtag #BenchMoves was also included in the posts. 

Some of the celebrations that are featured in the posts include “The Big Run,” “The Admiral,” “The Matador,” “Human Hoop,” and “All Hail!” The series of tweets were posted by Degree as replies to game highlights pushed out by the official NCAA March Madness Twitter account (@marchmadness).

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Students Participate in Third Annual Battle of the Charities Event

Students Third Annual Charity BattleLive music, food, and arts and crafts were on display for all those who attended the third annual Battle of the Charities on Sunday, April 7 at the Library Lawn. 

Battle of the Charities is an annual event hosted by the University’s Youth Activists club, in which local bands and charities come together to celebrate activism within the community. 

This year, Blue Hawk Records collaborated with Youth Activists to create this year’s festivities. The organization raised a total of $922, which will be evenly between nine charities.

“Battle of the Charities is important to Monmouth University because it exposes students to good will and non-profit sector forms of business,” said Davina Matadin, a junior computer science student and President of the Youth Activists. “Having an event where charities & organizations can attend shows students first hand that we can make a difference for these organizations all while having fun.”

Artists that were in attendance included upcoming rapper Russo, alternative band Good Luck Brother, Shark Club, and reggae band Sunny Side Up. 

Among the local bands performing at the event were Good Luck Brother, Sunny Side Up, Ella Ross, Shark Club, C.B. and the Mother Leeds Band, Kasper Park & MKM , Matt Russo, Max Adolf and Club 27.

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Annual Networking Event for Criminal Justice Students

2019 Criminal Justive EventThe Criminal Justice Department held its 7th annual networking event in Wilson Hall on Wednesday, March 27. 

The event was orchestrated by Nicholas F. Sewitch, Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice, with assistance from the Criminal Justice Department Secretary Helen Leary. 

Presenters included criminal justice practitioners from Federal Law Enforcement, State, County, and Local Law Enforcement, Homeland Security, Crime Scene Investigation, Rehabilitative Services and Victim Assistant Services. 

The event was marketed to the entire university. “Different areas of expertise are what these employers are looking for,” Sewitch said. 

As a criminal justice professor, Sewitch would like to claim that students must be criminal justice majors in order to work in one of the represented fields, but that is not the case.

“There’s a lot of interdisciplinary work in these fields. For instance, the FBI loves to bring in a diversity of qualifications,” he explained.

Last year, 200 students attended the event, representing 18 different majors. Shannon Cunningham, Ph.D., an assistant professor of criminal justice, said, “[The department] invites a number of different practitioners in the field to come and interact with our students. It’s open to everyone.” 

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Model UN Wins

Model UN WinsThe University’s Model United Nations (UN) Team took home awards at the Southern Regional Model UN (SRMUN) contest in Charlotte, NC, last Thursday, March 28 through Sunday, March 31. 

The team of Mackenzie Ricca, a sophomore political science student, Kristen Gomez, a sophomore English student, Dan Gerdon, (a sophomore political science student, Jackson Pope (a senior political science student), and Nick Gibson (a junior political science student) took home a coveted Best Delegation award for their country, South Sudan. 

These students competed on three different committees and their combined policy resolutions earned them the team victory. 

Ricca, who served as the team’s captain, also won an individual Best Delegate prize representing South Sudan on the Group of 77 (G-77) committee.

On her committee, she tackled two issues: (i) Combating Poverty in Developing Member States through Agricultural Development and (ii) Improving Inter-State Conflict Prevention Strategies. 

“My experience at the (SRMUN) this weekend was unlike any other I have ever had,” said Ricca. “I was extremely honored to be awarded as single best delegate in my committee, as I worked incredibly hard to pass multiple resolutions and promote policy development through allies with other students.” 

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Free Speech on College Campuses

default article imagePresident Donald Trump signed an executive order that requires colleges to certify that their policies support free speech as a condition of receiving federal research grants, last Thursday, March 21.

The directive would bar institutions of higher education from receiving federal research grants if the Department of Education decides they do not "avoid creating environments that stifle competing perspectives," according to the president’s order. The president conditions research funding on "compliance with the First Amendment" and directs federal agencies to ensure that institutions receiving federal research or education grants "promote free inquiry."

“President Trump’s Executive Order does not appear to impose any new legal obligations on educational institutions with respect to freedom of speech,” explained Paul Dement, the University’s Director of Government and Community Relations. “It seems to just emphasize that institutions receiving certain federal research and education grants must comply with existing federal law.”

Dement continued, “It appears that private institutions will remain entitled to establish their own free speech policies, but with heightened federal pressure to ensure these policies are being followed.”

According to Dement, the University already ensures that there are varying perspectives and ideologies represented fairly. “In terms of selecting our Public Servant-in-Residence, we make sure we have varying perspectives with both sides of the aisle represented over time,” he explained. 

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Poltical Students Host Bipartisan Event

Political Students Host EventThe Monmouth University College Democrats and College Republicans hosted a bipartisan event in the Center for Active Citizenship, last Wednesday, March 27. 

Both clubs invited speakers from their respective parties to come and talk to students about civic engagement and being politically active. Democratic state Assembly members Joann Downey and Eric Houghtaling, who have represented the 11th district of New Jersey since 2016, and former Republican Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, who represented New Jersey’s 16th district, talked to students over food and light refreshments. 

“The event wasn’t billed as nonpartisan at first, but once we realized that we scheduled them on the same day and time, I wound up working out nicely,” said Mike Manning, a senior political science student and President of the Monmouth University College Republicans. 

Nick Gibson, a sophomore political science student and President of the Monmouth University College Democrats, agreed that the unplanned incident went well, and demonstrates comradery among students in politics. “It was really great to have speakers from different parties,” he said. 

“Considering we had students from both clubs moving between the events to hear what each politician had to say shows that students on campus are interested in becoming politically engaged and learning about issue that are close to home, especially for New Jersey residents,” said Manning.

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Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu