Last updateSat, 28 Mar 2020 1pm


Monmouth University to Continue Remote Learning Throughout the Semester

default article imageOn Tuesday, March 24, President Leahy announced via email the decision for Monmouth University to continue remote, online learning for the remainder of the spring semester in response to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Remote instruction began on Monday, March 23 and was previously scheduled to end on April 10.

“We held out on making this decision as long as possible in the hope that we might all be together again before the end of the semester, but, unfortunately, that no longer looks possible,” Leahy wrote in the email. “While we will be unable to gather on campus as one Monmouth community, we remain committed to offering you in this remote learning environment the personalized education that you expect from us, enabling each of you to continue to make progress on your academic journey.”

All on-campus events were cancelled for the remainder of the semester, in addition to summer study abroad trips.

The decision came eight days after New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order 104, which ordered the indefinite suspension of in-person instruction at colleges and universities beginning on March 18. The more recent Executive Order 107, signed on March 21, directs all New Jersey residents to stay at home until further notice.

The President’s email also mentioned an optional pass/fail grading policy, prorated refunds on unused room contracts, meal plans, and parking fees, and the transition to remote work for student employees. Residential move-outs will take place over a 14-day period beginning on Thursday, March 26, and will require students to schedule appointments to recover their belongings.

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Graduate Student Fights for NJ Expungement Reform

Graduate Student Reform 1Nicole Tierney, a clinical men­tal health counseling graduate stu­dent and disbarred attorney, is one of many nonviolent offenders facing difficulties with New Jersey expunge­ment laws.

Expungement refers to the court-ordered procedure through which the legal record of an arrest or conviction is erased from an individual’s crimi­nal record, according to New Jersey Expungement Lawyer, Katherine O’Brien, Esq.

Tierney pled guilty to a child en­dangerment charge involving her youngest son in 2007; she lost cus­tody of her children and was sent to drug court, from 2008 to 2011.

In 2010, Tierney tried to obtain a property and casualty insurance li­cense since private employment did not appear to be an option. She was denied the license because she was a felon and in drug court.

After graduating drug court in 2011, Tierney tried to obtain a title in­surance license. She passed her exam in Aug. 2013 but had to contest and appeal her initial denial for months before receiving her license. Tierney specified that because it was difficult to find private employment, she pur­sued a Certificate of Rehabilitation: designed to help rehabilitated offend­ers find employment and prevents the state from denying a former offender licensure solely based on their crimi­nal conviction.

However, even after being grant­ed the Certificate of Rehabilitation, Tierney did not receive written con­sent to be employed in the insurance business until Dec. 2013. Despite her li­cense, Tierney was unable to find work as an agent at a title insurance company due to her criminal record. She was able to work as a sales agent, making 25 per­cent of commission, compared to the 80 percent commissions on premiums that appointed agents make. “Again, my potential and earning capacity were re­duced because of my past,” Tierney said.

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Monmouth Competes at Harvard Model United Nations Contest

Harvard ContestThe University’s United Na­tions (MUN) Team recently sent a delegation of 31 stu­dents to compete at the 66th session of the Harvard Na­tional Model United Nations, Feb. 13-16.

Kenneth Mitchell, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Political Science and Sociol­ogy and an associate profes­sor of political science, served as the faculty advisor on this trip.

“[The event] is the oldest and most competitive MUN contest in the world, and this year it attracted universities from 39 separate countries as well as 70 [more] from across the USA,” Mitchell said. “MU’s delegation represented the countries of Brazil, Aus­tralia and Mexico. MUN con­tests model the actual United Nations system, and students compete on different commit­tees – UN Economic & Finan­cial Committee, UN Human Rights Council, UN Commis­sion on the Status of Women, UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Jus­tice, World Health Organiza­tion, World Trade Organiza­tion, etc.”

Committees tackle specific world policy challenges, ac­cording to Mitchell. Students represent their respective countries while committees operate dependent on the roles of the United Nations system.

“The goal is to write policy resolutions that bring together different countries and bal­ance national interests to the benefit of the world,” Mitch­ell said. “The contest started Thursday evening and end­ed Sunday afternoon.”

MU’s Head Delegates (also known as Team Cap­tains), were Nicholas Boice, a senior political science major, and Payton Colland­er, a junior political science and criminal justice major.

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Traveling Museum Makes a Stop at Monmouth

Museum 1“A Tribute to The African- American Journey,” a traveling museum which displays arti­facts from significant moments in African American history and culture, made a stop in the Rebecca Stafford Student Cen­ter, Anacon B, on Feb. 21.

Displayed artifacts ranged from many culturally impor­tant civilizations in Africa, as well as through the Transatlan­tic Slave Trade, Slavery, The Civil War, Reconstruction, The Jim Crow Era, The Civil Rights and Black Power Movements, and through to the modern day. The collection also celebrates and highlights contributions of African Americans in the arts, sciences, sports, entertainment, politics and education.

Fred Saffold, Community Outreach Coordinator for The True Black History Museum, explained the personal connec­tion he feels with all artifacts of the traveling collection.

 “I don’t have one particular fa­vorite piece, because everything is of significant importance,” Saffold said. “However, I’d say the Jim Crow [section] is important because I feel like that area of his­tory and time has had the most impact. That false narrative of Af­rican Americans still resonates in the world to this day.”

Artifacts contained within the Jim Crow era collection included self-addressed mailing envelopes of Thelms “Butterfly” McQueen, an African American actress who was best known for her starring role in the 1939 film “Gone With The Wind” as Prissy, a maid, as well paraphernalia from the Klu Klux Klan, a U.S. white suprema­cist hate group whose primary target was African Americans.

“It makes me feel empow­ered,” Saffold said. “It makes me feel like we’re doing this work for a reason. Our goal here is to bring back value to people of African descent, so seeing this false narrative, living through it, surviving it, protesting against it and seeing some progression, it’s amazing. The mission is to re­store value to people of African descent, in the black community and outside.”

Zaneta Rago-Craft, Director of the University Intercultural Center, explained her love for the political components of the trav­eling museum’s collection.

“I really like the Shirley Chi­solm piece because I think that her history, specifically as a po­tential candidate for president, is lost in history a lot,” Rago-Craft said. “She was just such a powerhouse and I think it’s cool for people to be able to experience a lot of her story, especially with the presidential election coming up.”

Rago-Craft was referring to a signed article by Shirley Ch­isholm, the first African Ameri­can woman elected to the U.S. congress, as well as becoming the first woman to run for Demo­cratic presidential nomination in 1972. This item sits alongside a signed photo of President Barack Obama.

Janay Craft, Director of Operations for True Black His­tory Museum, expressed interest in adding more modern items to the collection.

“I definitely would like to add more modern stuff, as there are activists and people that are making history right now,” Craft said. “With Kobe Bryant’s recent pass­ing, I would love to get some arti­facts of his. There’s so many arti­facts you could collect, but off the top of my head it would be more modern things that are happen­ing now, and the legendary Kobe Bryant.”

A sports related table includes a signed pamphlet by African American boxer, activist and philanthropist Muhammad Ali, as well as a signed jersey by Martin Briscoe, the first starting African American quarterback in profes­sional football. A signed card by Kareem Abdul Jabbar, an activist and retired hall of fame basket­ball player who played 20 sea­sons in the NBA, is also included in the collection.

Jihad Johnson, student advis­ing mentor and representative of the Intercultural Center, reflected on the American educational sys­tem’s inability to properly convey African American history.

“As a student, to realize how much you weren’t taught as a kid, and then to come in [to the traveling museum] and see so much, you feel robbed almost,” Johnson said. “You’re like ‘wow, this is so much history with so much to know, and so many interesting things that people like me have done,’ and I was never taught it. I have to learn all this information through museums and things like that. This information should be in textbooks; it’s something I should be learning and taking exams on growing up as a kid, especially as a black man.”

PHOTOS TAKEN by Matthew Cutillo

NJ Gang Experts Speaks with Guardian Clubs

default article imagePresident of the East Coast Gang Investigators Asso­ciation Edwin Torres spoke with members of the Guard­ians Club regarding orga­nized gang activity within the state of New Jersey as well as nationwide in Bey Hall, on Feb. 19.

Torres is also a special agent for the NJ Commission of Investigation, as well as a former lieutenant with the NJ Juvenile Justice Commis­sion where he commanded the Gang Management Unit.

Serving 33 years in law enforcement, Torres began his career as a housing unit officer at The New Jersey Training School (NJTS), the largest single correctional facility for young men in the state of New Jersey, accord­ing to Torres, where he also founded a specialized gang unit.

“I started a gang unit because right in the middle of the 1990’s, our facility got crushed by the Bloods [street gang],” Torres said. “The Bloods started explod­ing all over New Jersey.”

1990’s era law enforce­ment officers did not believe in the existence of “real” Blood street gang mem­bers operating in the state of New Jersey, according to Torres. Convinced the ju­veniles were not legitimate and merely faking their gang affiliation, less focus was placed around their rise.

“Fast forward from 1993 to now, gangs account for at least 15 percent of all the ho­micides in the state of New Jersey,” Torres said. “We fell asleep at the switch.”

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Climate Change Discussion

Climate Change 1Monmouth University’s Department of History and Anthropology invited stu­dents and faculty to discuss their concerns regarding climate change in obser­vance of National Anthro­pology Day on Wednesday, Feb. 19.

Heidi Bludau, Ph.D., Lecturer of Applied An­thropology, hosted the school’s second annual themed event, on behalf of Monmouth’s History and Anthropology Department and the American An­thropological Association. During the event attendees were asked for their in­sights on climate change.

Often perceived to be one of the most imminent threats to humanity, cli­mate change consistently ranks among the issues concerning college stu­dents the most. For the 2017 World Economic Forum Global Shapers Survey, responses were recorded from over 31,000 people aged 18-35 in 186 countries; of these, 48.8 percent listed “climate change” or “envi­ronmental destruction” as the most serious issue impacting the world.

The discussion, which took place in Edison Science Hall, began with an interac­tive poll which asked faculty and students: “What worries you the most about climate change?” By answering via their devices, attendees were able to anonymously add their responses to a word cloud projected at the front of the room, which would grow in correspondence with the fre­quency of key terms. Among the dominant concerns in­cluded “biodiversity,” “sus­tainability,” “ethics,” and “extinction.”

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Students Present Research in D.C.

default article imageBiology students Jive Jacob, and Subah Soni presented their research on the effects of manuka essential oil on the viability of cancer cells at the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) annual meeting in Washington, D.C. in December.

Soni and Jacob began this project while enrolled in the 2018 Summer Research Program under the supervision of Biology Department Chair, Dr. Dorothy Lobo. The project was an extension of work being conducted in the laboratory of James Mack, Ed.D., Professor of Biology, who had been analyzing the anti-bacterial properties of several essential oils.

“Dr. Mack gave us a list of all of the essential oils he works with in his lab where he tests their effects on different bacteria species,” said Soni. “From this list, we looked up which oils had or had not been used in previous studies dealing with cancer cells.”

Soni continued, “There are not many studies on Manuka oil and its effects on cancer cell lines, and after further research on Manuka oil we discovered that it has many properties that work to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells.”

Manuka essential oil is found in a variety of skincare products, and has known anti-inflammatory properties, but the effects of this oil on specific cancer cells has not been made clear. Jacob and Soni’s work shows that manuka oil decreases the proliferation and viability of two different cancer cell lines (HT-1080 fibrosarcoma cells and HeLa cervical adenocarcinoma cells) and normal fibroblast cells.

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MLB Executive Coppotelli Speaks to Sports Industry Club

MLB ExecutiveVice President of Account Services with Major League Baseball (MLB) Media Courtney Coppotelli spoke with members of the Sports Industry Club for their weekly guest speaker series. The reoccurring program aims to allow students with an interest in sports-related careers to engage with tri-state professionals and alumni.

During her speech, Coppotelli detailed the evolution of her career while offering advice for those looking to break into the world of sports.

“I’ve been in the baseball industry for almost 17 years now,” Coppotelli said. “I did not go to Monmouth, but I’m a New Jersey native so I always like to help and support.”

Graduating from Fairfield University with a B.S. in Marketing, Coppotelli entered the sports industry through an assistant position with Penn State Athletics.

“I worked [with Penn State] for 9 months,” Coppotelli said. “Football was awesome, but after the season was over, I quickly realized I didn’t want to work in college athletics.”

Staying in touch with her contacts, Coppotelli began job searching in the New York area. After a few interviews, she was able to secure a spot with MLB Advanced Media, the “digital arm” of baseball at the time.

“They were looking for a coordinator, and with my little bit of experience I got from my internships in college, as well as my Penn State experience, I was able to get that job,” Coppotelli said. “I was extremely ecstatic. It was amazing and it’s crazy that I’ve been there ever since.”

Coppotelli’s involvement with baseball came during a time of accelerated digital growth, as new marketing methods of socialized internet, media and mobile became useful yet confusing tools.

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Toni Morrison Day Highlights Historic Literature

Toni Morrison 1Monmouth University’s first annual Toni Morrison Day celebrated the life and legacy of the African American novelist, Pulitzer Prize winner in fiction, and Nobel Prize winner in literature, on Tuesday, Feb. 18

Sponsored by the Department of English, the Guggenheim Memorial Library, and the Honors School, the honorary event was first planned in September, a month after Morrison’s death in August.

“We thought that this was a really fitting celebration of her legacy,” said Beth Swanson, Lecturer of English and faculty advisor of Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society. “This is something we actually had a thought about since the fall semester but we really didn’t start to put into motion until January.”

The all-day event began with a welcome speech by Courtney Werner Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English, opening remarks by Swanson, and a keynote address from Walter Greason Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair of Educational Counseling and Leadership.

Other exhibitions included a presentation on the works of Toni Morrison given by Anwar Uhuru Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English, a screening of the 2019 film Toni Morrison: The Piece I am, a pedagogy panel titled “Teaching Toni Morrison” facilitated by Assistant Professor of English Alena Graedon, and a marathon reading of Morrison’s 1973 novel Sula by student and faculty volunteers.

“I was really interested in involving [Sigma Tau Delta] in a way that would showcase the talents of our English majors by having our students do a readathon,” said Swanson.

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Students Protest Divisive Dramatization

Social Work AbortionA group of social work students peacefully protested the screening of an anti-abortion film organized by the Campus Catholic Ministry (CCM) in the Wilson Hall Auditorium, on Monday, Feb. 17. 

The film, titled Unplanned, is a 2019 drama based on Abby Johnson’s memoir of the same name.

Johnson was a Director at a Planned Parenthood facility, but after assisting with an ultrasound guided abortion, she became an anti-abortion advocate.

Kailey Monteiro, a junior social work student, organized the protest.

She said: “As a social work student, I am held to a strong ethical and evidence-based position on reproductive justice from the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics. I did not want to stand by while this event occurred on campus, as I feel it is my responsibility as a future Social Worker to advocate for a woman’s right to choose.”

Brittany Macluso, a junior social work student, participated in the protest of this event because it violated the NASW Code of Ethics.

Macluso said, “We have to abide by these laws and I feel like this as a social worker, and my friend who is also here also agrees… This says a lot about what we stand for as a community at [Monmouth University] and I don’t think that’s representative of all people that are here.” 

The screening was promoted via the University’s official Instagram page, and that was seen as unacceptable by Monteiro.

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Hawk Network's Digital World

Hawk Network 1The University is soon to invite students to the "Hawk Network," a digital community for professional networking and development available to undergraduates and alumni alike, on Mar. 2.

Users will be able to search and filter fellow Hawks by industry, professional experience, general location and more. Built-in video conferencing tools, as well as connection through email and text, allow the site's users to "build meaningful mentoring relationships," the official Hawk Network FAQ states.

William Hill, Assistant Dean of Career Services, considers the Hawk Network to be a "game-changer for Monmouth."

"This system harnesses the potential networking power of tens of thousands of alumni and students in a robust yet user-friendly website," Hill said. “Over time the possibilities for career connections and advice is nearly endless. Initial response from alumni has been overwhelming, with over 700 signing up in the first two weeks since launch. I am confident Hawk Network will have an important impact on our current and future students’ professional success.”

Jeffery Mass, Assistant Director of Career Services, considers Hawk Network to be a tool which will allow students and alumni to succeed before, during and after Monmouth.

“Students are able to gain networking contacts by connecting with alumni and friends of the University. Hawk Network also offers resources to help budding professionals as well as a forum for users to discuss how they have navigated their own personal career development.

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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