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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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Foster Elected New FAMCO President

Foster New FAMCO PresidentJohanna Foster, Ph.D., will assume her role as the Faculty Association of Monmouth University (FAMCO) President this July.

Foster is the Helen McMurray Bennett Endowed Chair of Social Ethics and an associate professor of sociology, and has been actively involved with FAMCO since coming to Monmouth in 2003.

The following questions and answers are from an email exchange that took place from Friday, March 19 to Sunday, March 21:

Have you always aspired to be the faculty union president?

"[I] have been continuously involved in social justice movements in some shape or form for 30 years now. I first got involved in feminist movement organizing as a Women’s Studies major in college back in the 1980s, and those experiences inspired me to seek a professional career where I could continue to be part of collective struggles for equity and justice. That aspiration to be among those fighting to do the right thing is actually what got me into the field of Sociology.  It hit me in college that in order to really confront exploitation and inequality, whether it’s labor exploitation or any other manifestation of injustice, you can’t just change individual people, but also have to work to change the systems.  Since college, I’ve consistently been connected to gender justice movements, as well as racial and economic justice work, which are all interrelated.

This latest opportunity to serve as President of the MU Faculty Association for the next three years is truly a high point for me in that work. I cannot tell you how excited I am to be working together with all of the members of our faculty, as well as our students, to protect the rights of professors to do what they do best: inspire and critically challenge students in their areas of expertise so that students can find their own paths in the world in ways that feel right for them."

What does a change in leadership mean for the university community?

"I think the change in union leadership signals a deepening and widening concern among many of our faculty about persistent problems in higher education overall, and more importantly, increasing faculty concern that those disturbing national trends have made their way to our campus

I also think any change in union leadership affords all of the faculty the chance to consider and appreciate the power and responsibility of an academic union, especially at a time when the mission and values of higher education are being coopted at every turn.

It is also a chance for professors, students, and administrators alike to remember that professors join academic unions not only to fight for better salaries and benefits, which is key to any union, but to fundamentally protect the central role and power of the professoriate such that the university, itself, and our students, do not become targets of anti-democratic sentiment or predatory government and commercial interests.”

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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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Campus Discusses First Year Seminars

Campus First SeminarsLast month, The Outlook reported that Monmouth University will be reducing the 128-credit requirement for graduation to 120 credits, effective in the fall of 2020.

One of the traditionally required courses that may be getting cut due to this change is the First Year Seminar.

The First Year Seminar is a three-credit course that currently fulfills a general education requirement for all first-year students who enter the University with 18 credits or less. The requirement must be completed during the student’s first semester.

The University’s policy states, “Within the course, students have the opportunity to sharpen higher-level academic skills, enhance awareness of ethical issues in academia in general and the course topic in particular, and expand their learning through University resources, activities, and events.”

According to Marina Vujnovic, Ph.D., Chair of the Faculty Council and an associate professor of communication, First Year Seminars became a requirement for students following the University’s general education reform in 2009. Vujnovic said that a few major reasons for originally implementing the First Year Seminar were concerns with engagement and retention amongst students. 

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Monmouth Concludes Public Servant-in-Residence

Monmouth Concludes ResidenceThe Office of the President and Department of Political Science and Analogy hosted the final Public Servant in Residence Panel of this year discussing ocean protection and climate change. The panel was moderated by former state Senator Joseph Kyrillos, in Wilson Hall on Friday, April 5.

“When I was first elected to the state Legislature, there was a true crisis out there,” said Kyrillos, discussing the condition of New Jersey’s beaches. 

Kyrillos continued, “However, a rare collective effort among government, along with the help of non-governmental groups pushing for change, managed to turn the table.”

He explained that shortly after, the beaches were clear of garbage and filled with people again. 

While his time in the legislature, Kyrillos established New Jersey’s Shore Protection Fund, sponsored the original Environmental Infrastructure Trust, and helped close the – Coastal Area Facilities Review Act (CAFRA) loophole to protect the shoreline from overdevelopment.

“Lawmakers ended ocean dumping and curbed inappropriate development along the shore and among other steps,” he said.

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Students Participate in First World Ethics Event

Students First Ethics EventThe University held its first World Ethics Café where students were invited to deliberate on ethical issues in the Magill Club Dining Hall on April 10.

Faculty facilitated ethical discussions with students in seven rotating sessions, each focusing on a different ethical dilemma.

Students were asked to consider questions like “Is it ethical to clone humans?” and “Is fair trade really fair?”  Students also weighed in on whether it is right to pay CEOs 300 times the median pay of workers, or if the death penalty should be abolished.

The event was funded by the Helen McMurray Bennett Endowment in Social Ethics and was co-sponsored by the Honors School. Johanna Foster, Ph.D., the Helen McMurray Bennett Endowed Chair of Social Ethics and an associate professor of sociology, organized the event. 

Others who were instrumental in organizing the event were: Claude Taylor, the University’s Advisor-in-Residence for Academic Transition and Inclusion and a lecturer of communication; Heide Estes, Ph.D., a professor of English; Manuel Chavez, Ph.D., a lecturer of World Languages and Cultures; Scott Jeffrey, Ph.D., an associate professor of business; Kevin Dooley, Ph.D., an associate professor of political science; Catherine Duckett, Ph.D., Associate Dean of the School of Science; and Nancy Mezey, Ph.D., Dean of the Honors School. 

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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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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