<![CDATA[Cougar's Byte Feed]]> Sat, 14 Dec 2019 03:54:50 -0500 Sat, 14 Dec 2019 03:54:50 -0500 SNworks CEO 2019 The Cougar's Byte <![CDATA[Staying on Track with Your Budget]]> The final Chapter After event for the semester was held Tuesday, Dec. 10. Hosted by the Leadership Institute, the last installment of the lecture series focused on money management and financial literacy.

The Chapter After series featured lecturers to help students succeed, the first focusing on internships, and the second about resume building.

Representatives from Bank of America, Zakiyyah Singley, Perle Desir and Michelle Lawrence, spoke to students on how to properly manage funds and why creating a budget and establishing credit are so crucial to college students.

First things first, when making financial goals or when making long-term plans, a good tip is to make sure it's a SMART goal:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

Worksheets were distributed to students featuring a budgeting sheet, and a place to write down goals for next year. Students were encouraged to track their goals and their budgeting style to better apply the money management strategies to their everyday life.

Once a goal is established, it is time to start analyzing funds and begin the budgeting process. This includes tracking salary, fixed payments like bills or insurance, groceries, utilities, and other expenses. Fixed expenses and variable expenses are two types of spending that should be identified when beginning to budget.

"Variable incomes," Desir explained, "are wants, not needs."

Variable incomes include payments or subscriptions like Amazon Prime, UberEats, Spotify or Apple Music, gym memberships, and Netflix.

"If you don't sit down and look at your budget, you have no idea what you're doing with your money. It just goes," said Desir.

One thing that people never remember to do is to pay themselves once they get their paycheck, Singley says. It is important to establish a percentage of your paycheck that goes directly into a savings account so that money is not quickly spent.

"Out of your biweekly paycheck, if you were to pay yourself $50 each paycheck, you'd have $1200 by the end of the year," Singley said. "Do you see the simplicity of it?"

Singely went on to explain the basics of credit and what a credit score means. While some like to stay away from credit cards, Singley says establishing a good credit score is essential.

"If you have not established a certain line of credit by the time you are 21 years old, you are looked at the same way as a person that walked away from a credit card bill of over three grand and never paid it," Singely said.

In addition, students should keep in mind that some employers and companies will only consider hiring people with a certain established credit score. Any credit score over 700 is acknowledged as a good score.

They also add that, it is not about the amount of money spent on a credit card, but the efficiency in how quick the credit is paid back.

"Credit works both ways," Lawrence said.

"When you use the credit, it has to be paid back. If you don't pay it back, or pay it on time (there's a monthly payment due), it impacts your credit score. That's when your credit score can decrease," said Singely.

Students were encouraged to reach out to any of the financial specialists for extra information or questions about money management. Pamphlets were also offered for students to better their financial literacy.

The Leadership Institute concluded their series of Chapter After events for the semester. For more information on this event and others like it, they are located i5 the Miron Student Center, Room 215. They can also be contacted at (908) 737-5170 or leadershipinstitute@kean.edu.

Bank of America representatives Zakiyyah Singley (left) Michelle Lawrence (middle) and Perle Desir (right). ]]>
<![CDATA[On the Rise to Lift Others]]> Each year, the Greek Senate at Kean University plans the Kean Dance Marathon (KDM), a fundraiser in which the proceeds are donated to the Children's Specialized Hospital in Mountainside, NJ. Each year they try and improve and top their earnings from the proceeding year. To kickoff this year's fundraising efforts, the Greeks at Kean were invited to a KDM Informational Monday, Dec. 9 from 3:15 to 4:30 in Miron Student Center (MSC), Room 228.

This event was held to get the members of the fraternities and sororities on campus excited for this year's event as it is going to be bigger and better than the following. Additionally, the members were given tips and tricks on how to improve their fundraising efforts. They were also reminded why this event is so vital, as all of the proceeds directly impact the children a part of the Children's Miracle Network.

"The Children's Miracle Network goes hand and hand with the Children's Specialized Hospital. It is directly where the money goes when we donate toward the hospital. It helps children and their families, who will need medical assistance for the rest of their lives," said Ericka Ambrose, Greek life specialist with the Center for Leadership and Service.

Since the Greek Senate started hosting KDM five year ago, they have collectively raised over $231,000 all for the kids. The event is a twelve hours long dance marathon in which students and attendees dance for the children who cannot. There are games, food and activities throughout the event to keep everybody on their feet and excited throughout its duration.

This year, KDM will be hosted on April 17 from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. in Harwood Arena. The theme for this year's marathon is "We Rise to Lift Others" and will feature superhero themes as well. The goal is to have Harwood Arena filled with enthusiastic attendees for the duration of the twelve hours. The Greek Senate also wants to expand the event and raise more many than ever before, which will lead to more children getting treatments.

At the KDM Informational, Alex Louis, assistant director for the Center for Leadership and Service, as well as the Greek Life Specialists and representatives from the Greek Senate spoke on how they want to take this KDM to the next level.

Louis gave the attendees a pep talk to get them excited for the upcoming event.

He said, "We have to go to the next level. We need your help to get to the next level. I know we can do it. I know we will do it."

A slideshow was presented to the sisters and brothers of the on-campus Greek organizations giving a background on the event for those that are new. It also included information to help the members raise money for the event.

One of the suggestions that the attendees were given was to reach out to alumni to donate to the event, as they know that the proceeds of KDM go to such an important cause. Also, tips were given on how to utilize mobile payment methods, such as apps like Venmo, CashApp and PayPal.

Also included in the presentation were dates for other events that are going to transpire in the upcoming spring semester in which the proceeds will benefit KDM.

For example, last year was the first annual KDM Color Run, in which attendees ran through campus and had color powder dusted over them. They raised $3,200 in the first year at the Color Run alone and are only aiming to make this event even more successful.

Another event to support KDM will be the KDM Tricky Tray, which is the first time that this event will transpire. It will include raffle baskets and donations. This will take place on Feb. 7 in Downs Hall, and the Greek Senate is very excited to host this for the first time.

Through all of these efforts, the Greek Senate aims to make this upcoming KDM the best one yet!

Pictured is the grand total from last year's Kean Dance Marathon.]]>
<![CDATA[Lighting for the Holidays]]> On Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, the Catholic Newman Club got festive at their Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in the Miron Student Center Atrium. Students were able to wear festive accessories and enjoy treats while celebrating the holiday spirit.

Complimentary frozen hot chocolates and pretzels were provided by Auntie Anne's.

"This was an opportunity for us to come together and light the tree," said Jessica Onorati, vice president of the Catholic Newman Club. "We read a part of the nativity to get ready for the season."

When asked about the impact of the event, Onorati felt that it was challenging to put together.

"We had to reschedule the event because of the previous snowstorm," continued Onorati.

"There weren't that many people as we anticipated, but this was a good way to get everyone ready for the Christmas season and enjoy the fellowship of others," Onorati said.

Christmas trees have a significant history dating to the use of evergreens in ancient Egypt and Rome. Many people during that time believed the sun was a deity, and that whenever winter would come, that deity would fall ill.

The solstice was celebrated because it gave people a sign that the sun god was recovering from its illness. Evergreens reminded them of all the plants that would come back to life once summer returned.

Germany is known for beginning the Christmas tree tradition in the 16th century, when Christians would bring decorated trees into their homes. The tradition came to America in the 1800s.

According to History.com, people from ancient times hung evergreen boughs over their doors and windows. It was believed that evergreens kept away evil spirits, illness and ghosts by different cultures.

Tree lighting ceremonies are commonplace all over the world, with one of the notable ones being in Rockefeller Center in New York. The first tree at the center was placed in 1931 during the Great Depression.

"We prayed over the tree to ensure it was blessed, hanging with ornaments which were made from the ornament making party," said Jennifer Garza, president of the Catholic Newman Club.

The ornaments were made a week prior to the event by the club, at an ornament making party.

When asked about the ornaments, Garza explained how the club started making them.

"We had the materials for everyone to make ornaments, which were blank," continued Garza. "There [was] confetti, markers, plastic spheres and star-shaped ornaments, which were all used to be hanged for the event."

Garza felt that students learned more about the readings of nativity the club presented, helping them to stay in spirit.

The Catholic Newman Club provides Kean University with a supportive community for Catholics on campus, along with educational programs on Catholic and Christian values, through fellowship, community service and the continuous exploration of faith while striving to integrate its religious values with college life. More information about the club can be found on Cougar Link. They can be emailed at catholic@kean.edu.

Kean's Catholic Newman Club held a tree lighting ceremony to honor the holiday spirit. ]]>
<![CDATA[Season of Lights]]> On Monday, Dec. 9, the Earth Science Club and the School of Environmental and Sustainability Studies co-hosted the Season of Light Planetarium Show, a holiday-themed presentation using astronomy to explore the holiday traditions that feature lights. The show ran from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. in the Science Building, Room 330 and was the last of five performances of the show.

A crowd streamed into the planetarium and were immersed in the atmosphere even before the show began. Professor William Heyniger, a lecturer with the School of Environmental and Sustainability Studies and the adviser to the Earth Science Club, who hosted the event, noted that it was the busiest audience the event has yet seen.

Heyniger introduced the presentation by describing the visuals and themes of the light show and ensuring cell phones were put away (both sound and light from phones would interfere with the pitch-black silence of the room). He joked that the crowd should do their best to keep awake despite the dark, soothing show and the inclined seating.

Most importantly, he highlighted that the show was meant for audiences of all backgrounds, featuring all sorts of beliefs and histories. In the cold of winter, a bit of educational and charming entertainment is a welcome event for everybody.

Heyniger explained, "Kean University likes to reach out to not only the campus community, but also to our community at large. So, holiday shows like this...[are] a really good way to achieve a couple of easy accomplishments: A little de-stress before finals...something a little [science-related] and something a little holiday [related]."

As the show began, a star map filled what Heyniger noted is a "hemispheric dome," so named for the way it resembles the shape of a hemisphere. Focus shifted across the sky, highlighting areas of space that inspired many star-based traditions over millennia, then to designs of traditions of nature and spirituality and historical figures whose presence are still felt during the holiday season.

The presentation was structured like an entertaining documentary. While it offered good cheer and referred to warm holiday festivities, it was also incredibly detailed in exploring the historical and philosophical backgrounds to many of the holiday traditions practiced today, and for thousands of years. The show tied connections between the modern celebrations of Christmas and Hanukkah, for example, to Roman and Celtic celebrations of the sun and the promise of Spring, and so on.

All of these traditions use light to guide people through dark, cold winters by keeping them close to family and the reassurance that Spring always follows. Hanukkah candles, Christmas lights, the Yule Log and so on - were all meant to inspire optimism and good will during the time of year that, historically, was challenging to endure.

"[It] really meets all [our] goals by exploring the world of astronomy, lowering pressures before the finals start, and getting our community involved...And we like doing these events for our community," Heyniger said.

The planetarium hosts other shows during the year "on demand" according to Heyniger.

Heyniger said, "We try to incorporate some of these into the Introduction to Astronomy classes we have...We'll do community groups, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, some science groups, so, we really just make it available for everyone, when it's topically available."

For more information about the Earth Science Club, they can be reached at by email at esc@kean.edu; for more about the School of Environmental and Sustainability Studies, they can be contacted at sess@kean.edu.

A projection of Orion and other stars in deep space.]]>
<![CDATA[Kean Triple Helix]]> Kean Triple Helix is the Kean chapter of Triple Helix, Inc. Kean Triple Helix is dedicated to educating the Kean community in everything within the sciences and new developments happening across the globe.

Triple Helix, Inc. was first founded in 2004 by Chairman Kevin Hwang. Since then, Triple Helix, Inc. has grown to be the world's largest, completely student-run, non-profit corporation. There are over 28 existing chapters across universities around the world.

Fortunately, Kean University has tapped into this large network of dynamic intellectuals by way of creating Kean Triple Helix.

In line with their mission, Kean Triple Helix has created a blog and a podcast to share new information and ideas with the community. Since 2018, Kean Triple Helix has been updating their blog on a variety of topics within the fields of science. Some topics they've discussed include automation, climate change, Alzheimer's disease and more. Their podcast was created at around the same time, and now features 13 episodes, with new episodes in development.

"The purpose of the podcast is to extend the invitation to relay science news digitally, rather than formally writing papers," said President Evan Wilson. "It serves as another platform to engage our members to convey updates in science vocally rather than [in writing]. It provides diversity in the content we create."

Any output created by Kean Triple Helix can be viewed on their website.

Every member of Kean Triple Helix is especially passionate about sharing their love for science.

The club's full mission, located on their Cougar Link, reads, "The purpose of Kean Triple Helix is to take an interdisciplinary stance in educating students about contemporary issues regarding science as a whole. Such fields include, but are not limited to, business, ethics, law, science and society. We hope to also instill academic interest in these subjects to all students regardless of their background and beliefs. To foster critical analysis, students will communicate to the general public by practicing skills such as writing, editing, revising, and researching with professional guidance. As a whole, our organization aspires to create leaders who will be apart of a national scientific institution conveying current events and issues revolving science and its relative fields."

Current President Wilson continues the club's tradition in forwarding their ultimate mission.

"As president, I want to help others understand the value of science regardless of [their] major or background identity," said Wilson. "Science is the utmost force we need to focus on and invest in, if we all wish to thrive and live well in the near future." 

Part of their club's promise is that "All are Welcomed," which continues to be fulfilled with their current executive board.

"Everyone in the Kean Community is welcome to visit us!" said Wilson. "We extend the invitation in open arms regardless of your major or focus. Science is the forefront and we want everyone to help out in the best way possible by spreading the news that Kean Triple Helix has to offer. If a commitment can't be made, even spreading the news about us goes a long way for us!"

Kean Triple Helix meets every Monday from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the STEM Building, Room 318. For more updates on future events check out their Cougar Link page. Interested students may also contact the club at keantriplehelix@gmail.com.

Kean Triple Helix sets out to inform the world about all things science. ]]>
<![CDATA[It's Time to Shout!]]> On Friday, Dec. 6, the Human Rights Institute hosted the Shout! Poetry for Suffrage event presented by the Kean University Theatre Conservatory. The event was hosted to bring awareness to the fight for women's rights and how it affects modern day society.

The Theatre Conservatory decided to put on a show that brought awareness to a topic that has been talked about for centuries. Directed by Professor Ernest Wiggins and written by Professor Susanna Rich, the show speaks to the souls of many about an issue that has been addressed since even before the beginnings of the women's suffrage movement. Students portrayed many famous and influential figures throughout history, such as Susan B. Anthony. Both students and patrons of all ages were welcomed to attend this fantastic experience and time-travel throughout history, witnessing these famous figures fight for what they believe in.

"The purpose of this project was to bring this history out into the world in a way that people could identify with these characters, and not just think that it is...just history. We wanted to make these women and righteous men something that is a living presence...to inspire us to create history for righteousness and for human rights," said Rich, the writer of "Shout! A Poetry for Suffrage."

The actors who participated loved the idea - that they would be playing famous figures throughout history to bring an experience that is thrilling and evokes emotion to life through their performances. It allowed the actors to break out of their comfort zone and actually become the influential figures who have fought for women's rights, even to this day. As an actor and poet, it is common to go the distance and put on the experience of a lifetime for a crowd who appreciate the work of art.

"It was interesting to learn more about these incredible women that we don't hear about in class, and to be able to not just read about them, but to experience their lives and portray them on stage." said Katharine Kingsley, one of the performers in the show.

The performers had nothing but positive things to say about the entire experience, and would love to thank everybody who made it possible.

"I believe I am much more educated now than when I first started this experience. This really showed me how our lives are not that different. Keep on pushing for what you want, and you will be heard," said Katie Davis, another performer.

The Kean community appreciated this performance, and is now more aware of these issues that continue to this day. Society must keep fighting for these rights, and, as suffragist and activist Inez Milholland said, go "forward into light."

The Theater Conservatory hosting Shout! Poetry for Suffrage in the Human Rights Institute]]>
<![CDATA[Dean for a Day Delivers!]]> Going to college is a rewarding opportunity to advance future career choices. Imagine trading places with the Dean of your academic department and getting to experience the responsibility of running it. This year, the College of Liberal Arts held its third annual Dean for a Day on Wednesday, Dec. 4th with senior Melanie Oliveira.

The College of Liberal Arts has held this special event since the Fall of 2017, and after going through an extensive application process, Oliveira was ultimately selected as the winner of this exciting opportunity. She took on the position and switched places with Acting Dean Jonathan Mercantini, who attended her classes throughout the day.

Oliveira is a senior double majoring in psychology and community recreation. She is also currently a general education mentor for the School of General Studies in the Center for Academic Success, as well as a residential assistant for the Office of Residential Student Services. Oliveira also serves as a Senior Class senator for the Class of 2020 in the Office of Student Government.

"I applied to put my ideas out there about being involved on campus and the importance of being involved. It really allows students to have a different appreciation for the university, and for all the hard work the staff members put in to making everything that is going on campus possible for the community," said Oliveira.

As the Dean, Oliveira started off the day with the Council of the Dean, where she got to meet and network with the Deans of other colleges on campus. At the council, Oliveira got to do a presentation on the importance of student engagement and how it applies to commuter students as well as residential students. Then, Oliveira went on to have a meeting with Suzanne Bousquet, Ph.D., the vice president of Academic Affairs, on how to get Kean faculty more engaged with the residential life programming on campus.

After the meeting with Bousquet and a quick lunch, Oliveira then went to the University Planning Council (UPC) where President Dawood Farahi gave a presentation on the state of the university, as well as his ideas for the future for Kean.

"When I became Dean and created the event, I wanted it to be an opportunity for a student [to really get] a sense of...a day in the life of a Dean. At the Council of Deans this morning, Oliveira talked about a lot of things she is aware of going on at Kean. For me, it was an opportunity to experience a day through the eyes of a student, and get a sense what it is like from a student's perspective," Mercantini said.

The entire opportunity was a rewarding experience for Oliveira, as she got to network and make her voice heard when it comes to how involvement can make a difference in students' academic lives, for both commuters and residential students.

Senior Melanie Oliveira doing her duties as Dean for a Day.]]>
<![CDATA[A Life-Changing Transition]]> The adjustment from high school to college can be daunting and sometimes overwhelming for many students. For Justin Antonio, it was a life-changing experience that he needed.

Antonio was first featured in The Cougar's Byte during Freshmen Move In Day, when he was first moving into the Freshmen Residence Hall. With his bags and guitar case in hand, he was eager to start a new journey and chapter of his life.

"I want to do my best to help the community and grow myself as a person," said Antonio on Sept. 1, 2019.

It is safe to say that Antonio has been very successful in those goals, he now holds the position as President of the Freshmen Residence Hall Hall Council.

Antonio's involvement with the Freshmen Residence Hall Hall Council happened mostly by chance, as he was simply approached by one of his resident assistants (RA).

"One of my RAs asked if I was interested, and at first [I] didn't know if I could handle the responsibility, but it has become very manageable and beneficial to growing my responsibilities," Antonio said.

As president of the Freshman Residence Hall, he oversees the building and the Hall Council of the building. He makes sure the facilities of the building are all running smoothly, and he plans events and programming to keep the building exciting and lively.

"I plan on hosting a talent show at the Freshman Residence Hall. My overall goal is for the building to be more fun, and I hear people complain about that and I really want to change that," said Antonio.

As a business management major with a minor in psychology, Antonio is able to grow himself as a professional by holding prestigious positions like his presidency so early in his Kean career.

"I combined a psychology minor with my business management major because they go hand in hand. As a business management major, you will be working with and managing a group of people, and with psychology I will have a better understanding of how they think," said Antonio.

Speaking on the transition from high school to college, Antonio was very happy to make the adjustment, as he much prefers the college lifestyle over that of high school.

"I love my experience at Kean so far. I am trying to get a few of my friends to apply here. Personally, I am an introvert, but seeing the culture here is nice...I spend a lot of time in the library and in the community," Antonio said.

He continued on the deep nature of personal relationships with other college students, "People are more open here and less insecure, friendships are more healthy and events are always happening, and people are so nice."

Even though he considers himself introverted, he feels connected to the university by surrounding himself with the culture and community of Kean. Being here has brought him out of his shell, and he is looking to find a good balance of introversion and extroversion.

As for what is next in his college career, Antonio is looking forward to getting more involved in his classes, and taking courses in his major. He wants to maintain a great GPA and see where his involvement can take him.

Justin has hit the ground running with involvement this semester.]]>
<![CDATA[KeanTV Social Media Summit]]> On Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, students filled the STEM Auditorium for the Social Media Summit hosted by KeanTV. Attendees had the opportunity to have an open discussion with influencers in a panelist Q&A about content creation, engagement and what it takes to build a brand.

The event kicked off at 5:30 p.m. with an introduction of the hosts and panelists. Afterward, there were a few giveaways.

An interactive panelist Q&A was held with several influencers in the Kean community. Attendees were free to ask questions.

The seven panelists were a mixture of Kean alum and current students such as Amanda Lovelace (@ladybookmad), Ruby Asabor (@lavishruby), Welena Noel (@lena_much), Rich Zeller (@itsrichz), Matthew Skibniewski (@vowels.only), Khristian Woods (@trendsetterkalm) and Alyakim Meadows (@theculturecustoms).

In addition to the panel, there were 24 VIP social media influencers present at the event, along with the KeanTV crew.

After the panel, at 7:30 p.m, students had the opportunity to network with the influencers who were on the panel and other attendees. During the summit, prizes and gifts were raffled off to students.

Throughout the night, KeanTV posted updates and streamed the event to their social media accounts (@keantv).

The Social Media Summit gave students a deeper understanding of what it means to become who they aspire to be, and hear stories of those who took that leap of faith. It was a wonderful opportunity for attendees to build meaningful connections.

Questions aimed at the panelists included how they got to where they were and what motivated them to keep going. When asked if they were obsessed with social media, they had interesting answers.

"If you want to get anywhere in life, you have to be obsessed, in a way," said Meadows. "I'm on it constantly, paying attention to trends. You have to be in it to understand what's actually going on, because you're networking with so many people."

Meadows spoke on how one of his vines went viral.

"It consisted of me being up late and noticing there are certain people doing stuff at that time," Meadows continued. "If you are not in tune with what is going on, then things are going to just pass you by. When a door opens, I want to be the first one there."

"At the end of the day, social media is my full-time job," said Asabor.

Asabor spoke of how staying on top of what's happening in the world ensures prosperity.

"People who were consistent in the beginning became successful," continued Asabor. "It's always about thinking of how you're going to take what you're doing to the next level."

"I'm obsessed with Instagram because I have ten siblings, and one of my siblings, I do her videos," said Woods.

Woods spoke of how he follows people who pursue the same craft as him.

"I don't follow celebrities," continued Woods. "I follow people who are photographers as well, just to connect with them and better each other's work."

KeanTV is a television station entirely run by students that provides programming to the Kean community. In their studio, students are able to utilize state-of-the-art broadcast equipment.

For more information about KeanTV, their website can be found here. To contact KeanTV, they are reachable at keantv@kean.edu.

<![CDATA[SLAM the EXAM and Write-In]]> The Office of Student Success and Retention and the Nancy Thompson Learning Commons (NTLC) will host two opportunities for students to SLAM the EXAM and Write-in. The events will be held at the NTLC from 6 to 10 p.m. for those late night study sessions. The first of these events takes place Wednesday, Dec. 11 with another session taking place Thursday, Dec. 12.

As the semester comes to a close, many students must suffer the weight of multiple projects, presentations, papers and exams. For students, this may mean many late nights at the NTLC. To relieve some of the stress and provide assistance during these testing times, SLAM the EXAM and Write-In will combine all the resources of the NTLC into one space for the convenience of students.

"The idea for Slam the Exam and Write-in is a result of continued collaboration between the Office of Student Success and Retention and the Learning Commons, more specifically, Tutoring, Writing, Public Speaking and Supplemental Instruction, to provide students with resources to be successful throughout their college journey," said Managing Assistant Director of NTLC Michael Fabio. "During this two-night event, students will receive support as they prepare for final exams, papers and presentations."

The events will feature writing specialists from the Writing Center, a blessing for students given the papers they must finish. Students will be able to have the drafts of their papers reviewed by the specialists in 20 minute sessions. This event may be of particular interest of students as they can drop by at any point during SLAM the EXAM and Write-In and receive assistance without an appointment.

Supplemental Instruction (SI) Leaders will also make their services available to students during SLAM the EXAM and Write-In. SI Leaders are students who offer academic assistance to students. This resource may be of particular interest to students as SI Leaders have already taken the difficult courses the students may be currently facing. Therefore, SI Leaders are able to share their real-life experience, free of charge, to their peers during informal study sessions. Study sessions with the SI Leaders will be held on the second floor of the NTLC.

Adding to the wealth of knowledge, tutors from the Tutoring Center will also be present to assist students. Tutors from the Tutoring Center particularly specialize in the fields of Science, Mathematics and Business.

Furthermore, representatives of the Public Speaking Lab will be present at SLAM the EXAM and Write-In to practice their presentations with the instruction and guidance of a specialist. Their services are not limited just to presentations, but also interviews, professional speeches and anything else students may need. Partaking in these sessions may help students become more comfortable with public speaking, an important skill to develop before graduating.

"The Slam the Exam and Write-In event will offer students an opportunity to gain support from librarians, tutors and SI leaders to prepare for final exam week," said Fabio. "By coming to this event, students will have an opportunity to go over questions or concerns they may have with regard to final assignments and/or exams and provide them an opportunity to be well-prepared for finals."

Students will need to utilize these academic resources at some point in their academic careers at Kean. Active participation and use of these resources may help students succeed in their classes and graduate on time.

SLAM the EXAM and Write-In is just another way Kean supports their students and gives them the means to succeed. For more information on the event, students can contact Gillan Scott at gscott@kean.edu, managing assistant director of Academic Technology for the Office of Student Success and Retention, or Fabio at mfabio@kean.edu, both of who led this initiative.

SLAM the EXAM and Write-In is an event full of all the academic resources available at Kean.]]>
<![CDATA[Take What You Need]]> On Tuesday, Dec. 3, the sisters of Omega Sigma Psi set up a table called Take What You Need, which encouraged students to create and receive affirming messages, in the Miron Student Center Atrium.

The table was draped with the sorority's logo. A black poster board was placed at the right, where students were able to retrieve sticky notes with reassuring messages written on them.

In turn, students wrote their own comforting messages and stuck them to the board, where they received a complimentary candy cane of their choosing after doing so.

"We decided to do a program based on positivity," said Brianna Brion, program coordinator and sisterhood chair of Omega Sigma Psi. "This allowed students to come up to the board and take a positive message, while writing another to a different student who came to the table."

Affirmations are used to reprogram the mind, overcoming self-limiting thoughts and beliefs. They encourage optimism and confidence, helping to create a change in someone. Affirmations serve as inspiration to shift attention to daily tasks and goals. Many times, they help lead one to success, happiness, health, and money.

Repetition of these messages has long-term benefits which rewire the mind to remove negative thoughts and beliefs. Affirmations are known to treat depression and boost a person's self-esteem.

According to Psychology Today, writing affirmations is useful because the act of writing something helps root the message into the subconscious mind.

When asked about the impact this tabling had on students, Brion felt that it was an uplifting experience.

"Since it is December and the end of the semester is approaching, we want students to feel confident enough in themselves to finish strong," Brion continued.

Finals are around the corner and there will be students feeling a lot of pressure to do well. Because of this, many students may experience a high level of stress.

The signs of stress during finals are:

  • increased irritability, impatience and frustration
  • being disorganized and forgetful
  • frequent headaches
  • difficulty sleeping
  • feelings of anxiety or panic
  • difficulty making decisions

It is imperative that students take proper care of themselves during these times. There are many ways to do this, such as exercising, eating healthy, avoiding drugs and alcohol, scheduling personal time, and limiting excessive consumption of sugar and caffeine.

Take What You Need is one of many events happening around campus that will aid in easing the worries and stresses of finals time.

Omega Sigma Psi is a diverse organization that stands for friendship, sisterhood, and trust.

The sorority frequently gives back to the community through the work they do, such as fundraising for Lou Gehrig's disease, cleaning up the campus, volunteering at the Hillside Food Bank, and hosting their annual Multiple Sclerosis Walk.

More information about the sorority can be found here. They can be contacted at osp1966@kean.edu.

The sisters of Omega Sigma Psi encouraged students to give and receive messages of positivity. ]]>
<![CDATA[Mapping Personal Histories]]> The newest of Kean University's 19 graduate programs is in Genetic Counseling (M.S.). Utilizing a diverse skill set, the new program combines science with real work practice to create and advance treatments. This program will give students the opportunity to research, advance medical science and establish new diagnostic produces.

Starting with a select group of six students, the program will be one of only 46 genetic counseling programs in the country. Genetic counseling refers to the process of working with individuals and families to understand and point out risk factors of genetic disorders, to adapt to, prepare to avoid or deal with future health concerns.

Genetic counseling evaluates personal and family medical history. Graduates with a degree in genetic counseling can work in a variety of different medical fields, including but not limited to: prenatal, pediatrics, oncology, endocrinology, cardiology and neurology. They can also find employment in multiple locations of work, not only clinical settings but also in hospitals, doctor's offices, laboratories, research, insurance and more.

Offered through the New Jersey Center for Science, Technology and Mathematics (NJCSTM), the master's program began its development in 2018. The five-semester, 65-credit process includes components of classroom learning, research and clinical training. This program gives its participants the opportunity to work with real patients and take classes in medical genetics and counseling. Counseling courses will be offered in partnership with the Department of Counselor Education at Kean's Nathan Weiss Graduate College.

Applications for the genetic counseling graduate program are now being accepted. Individuals looking to apply should be aware of the mandatory requirements:

  • Baccalaureate degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) from all colleges attended 
  • Official transcripts from all institutions attended
  • Prerequisite coursework (Science courses should be of the level required for a science major or premedical course of study and the recommended minimum GPA for prerequisite coursework is 3.0.)
  • Official GRE score report
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Current professional résumé/CV (include NMS assigned Match number*)
  • Personal statement
  • Additional writing requirement:
    Describe how shadowing a genetic counselor, advocacy work/volunteering, or personal experience(s) affected you as a person and defined your desire to become a genetic counselor. Include the reason(s) you are interested in the Genetic Counseling Graduate Program (GCGP) at Kean University. Essay should be less than or equal to 1200 words.
  • Related Experience
  • Interview is required. 
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores (if required)

More information on the new genetic counseling master's program can be found on the Kean website.

Offered through the New Jersey Center for Science Technology and Mathematics (NJCSTM), the Genetic Counseling graduate program offers courses and education on medical genetics and counseling courses offered in partnership with the Department of Counselor Education at Kean's Nathan Weiss Graduate College.]]>
<![CDATA[UNA-USA Unites Kean Students]]> The Kean chapter of the United Nations Association of the United States of America is a relativity new organization on Kean's campus. Abbreviated "UNA-USA" for the United Nations Association of the United States of America is a group made up of chapters around the country, with the mission of supporting and advancing the United Nation's global initiatives.

As part of their global mission, UNA-USA works toward inspiring and mobilizing the American people, and gathering more recognition and involvement for the vital projects the United Nations does for the world.

Hasan Tariq is the president of UNA-USA's Kean chapter. Within their chapter, objectives change every semester in order to incorporate all of the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals. These goals include:

  • No poverty
  • Zero hunger
  • Good health and well being
  • Quality education
  • Gender equality
  • Clean water and sanitation
  • Affordable and clean energy
  • Decent work and economic growth
  • Industry, innovation, and infrastructure
  • Reduced inequalities
  • Sustainable cities and communities
  • Responsible production and consumption
  • Climate action
  • Life below water
  • Life on land
  • Peace, justice, and strong institutions
  • Partnerships for goals

This semester, UNA-USA's Kean chapter has made their mission to advocate for human rights, promote gender equality and maintain worldwide peace and security.

"The chapter helps members focus on their desire for social service, so they can help better the world. We encourage students to be proactive and socially conscious in every aspect of the society we live in," said Tariq.

UNA-USA's Kean chapter hosts workshops, events and informational sessions in order to accomplish these missions. Additionally, UNA-USA's Kean chapter works closely with the Human Rights Institute on campus, as well as the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, in order to better meet these goals.

Across the country, there are over 20,000 members within the overall UNA-USA organization, and 60% of the members are under the age of 26. The Kean UNA-USA chapter is part of 200 UNA-USA chapters nationwide.

"UNA-USA members are united in their commitment to global engagement and their belief that each of us can play a part," Tariq said.

The overall UNA-USA also works alongside its partner organization, the Better World Campaign. Together, these two organizations comprise the largest groups of UN advocates in the world.

UNA-USA, at large, is a program under the United Nations Foundation. Collectively, these organizations strive to help people reach their goals and desires to make the world a better place.

Kean's UNA-USA chapter has meetings every Thursday in the Human Rights Institute, Room 207. For more information on how to attend, contact keanuna@kean.edu or reach out to Hasan Tariq, the president of Kean UNA-USA at tariqhas@kean.edu. Sara Compion, the academic adviser, can also be found in the Center for Academic Success, Room 409, for more information.

UNA-USA at the Samantha Power event, courtesy of UNA-USA president Hasan Tariq.]]>
<![CDATA[Can You Unlock the RA Position?]]> The time has come to apply for a Residential Assistant (RA) in 2020-2021. The Office of Residential Student Services (RSS) is currently seeking students who are looking to take charge of being a leader in their community, serving as a guide to their peers through the provision of a safe and comfortable living experience for the students residing on campus.

Students who are interested in becoming an RA must attend at least one of their information sessions, located either in the Upperclassman Residence Hall Multipurpose Room (URH), Freshman Residence Hall Multipurpose Room (FRH), Miron Student Center (MSC) or the Center for Academic Success (CAS). The upcoming sessions are as follows:

  • Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019 from 9 to 10 p.m. in the FRH Multipurpose Room
  • Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020 from 7 to 8 p.m. in CAS, Room 106
  • Friday, Jan. 24, 2020 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in CAS, Room 106

A few requirements must be met before applying to become an RA.

Students must have at least a 2.75 cumulative GPA or higher and be a full-time undergraduate student at Kean University, in good conduct standing. It is vital that a student attends at least one information session, or they may not be considered for the position.

Being an RA comes with a lot of obligations. While in the position, a student is responsible for the following:

  • Enforcing the rules and policies of the university
  • Sharing information about the residence hall, workshops and campus activities with residents
  • Conducting events
  • Mediating conflicts between residents or other staff members
  • Assisting in the opening of the hall once the semester begins and closing once it concludes
  • Conducting monthly room checks

The benefits of being an RA include improving communication skills and obtaining valuable work experience.

They also get better with multitasking, since students in the RA position will likely be attending classes, partaking in extracurricular activities and working at the same time.

Students will learn how to properly mediate conflicts and solve problems. It will also give students the opportunity to interact with many people, granting them visibility as a campus leader.

However, the RA position is a huge commitment. An RA must make themselves accessible at all times. This could include having to work late and on weekends.

Students will be required to adjust their lifestyles accordingly, as they may no longer be able to have as much free time.

Being an RA comes with many expectations and standards, so it is imperative that a student conducts themselves cordially and avoids any situations which could cost them their position.

The advantages of being an RA certainly outweigh the challenges. Students will have a unique and unforgettable experience that'll follow them through their future. For more information, the Office of Residential Student Services is located in Whiteman Hall, and can be contacted via phone at (908) 737-6800 or via email at rssjobs@kean.edu.

The Office of Residential Student Services (RSS) is now selecting students to become RAs for 2020-2021.]]>
<![CDATA[Luke Agojo and the Importance of Leadership]]> The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) is an honor society at Kean and other universities that focuses on helping students become leaders of today and prepare for their future. Luke Agojo, the current president of the society, brought the NSLS to Kean University and is looking forward to continuing to help students work toward their future goals.

Agojo did not begin his college career at Kean University. Before coming to Kean in the fall of 2018, he spent two years studying at Middlesex Community College. After graduating, he was looking for an internship and ended up getting tasked with bringing the NSLS to Kean University. Currently a senior at Kean University, Agojo wants everyone to know that the NSLS is focused on much more than making sure that students have high GPA's. It is focused on making leaders.

"Often times when students go to college they just think about 'oh I need to get a 4.0 GPA,' but at the NSLS, we understand that there's also an importance in building your professional networks and setting up to be a leader. This society is pretty much helping you build your social skills and how to be a leader," said Agojo.

As the president of the NSLS, Agojo does his part to set an example for being a a good leader. He takes it upon himself to personally answer every email that the NSLS receives and makes it a priority to keep spirits high within the society. The NSLS is a new organization here at Kean University and Agojo feels it is his responsibility to be inviting and let people know that the NSLS is an option when it comes to getting involved on campus.

Agojo, himself, has benefited from his time spent working with the the NSLS. Through his time working with the society, he has learned the importance of answering questions and making himself available. Agojo does his best to never leave a question open-ended and to search for an answer, even if he doesn't have one right away. He also provides his phone number and email with students so they can contact him whenever they need help.

While the NSLS has given Agojo the chance to be a leader in his own right, it has also provided him with the opportunity to connect with people he normally would not have been able to had he not been in the society.

"[I have gotten opportunities like] meeting some amazing advisers... [and] getting to meet so many different kinds of students, especially from different backgrounds and career fields...I have students where they're really shy and just getting them to get involved in something like this makes them more open, more confident in a sense. So, I really like seeing that and I see the smiles on their faces. Afterwards they're like, 'thank you so much, I was never really involved until this happened,'" said Agojo.

Agojo continued to explain why he felt things like the NSLS is important.

"I feel like honor societies are good, but just because a student doesn't have a good GPA doesn't mean they're academically not gifted. It just means that they're gifted in other areas. And that's where I feel like giving an opportunity like this to students that didn't have a chance to be in a honor society, builds up the morale and the confidence to move out and transition into the real world knowing that it's not just about the GPA," said Agojo.

The NSLS offers plenty of opportunity and programs to help students build up their foundations for their future careers and to learn that college is more than just worrying about one's GPA. Further, NSLS also offers unique scholarship and grant opportunities to members.This lesson is important to Agojo and he has advice for any college student, whether they are thinking of joining NSLS or not, on why it's a good idea to get involved.

"I feel like it's really beneficial to your own life and your academic and professional life to be more involved. [It is important] to meet other people and widen your perspective about the world, because college only happens once for some of us, so do as much stuff as you can...It's not just about the grade. Strive to be as involved as you can," said Agojo.

Luke Agojo, current senior and National Society of Leadership and Society (NSLS) president, pictured at the Center for Academic Success (CAS).]]>
<![CDATA[Be an Advocate for Our Environment ]]> New to the Center of Interdisciplinary Studies is the Environmental Justice academic minor. This 18 to 19 credit minor educates and addresses issues and challenges of environmental and social justice. Students in this minor can expect to participate in a variety of classes in multiple disciplines such as communications, environmental science, global business, public administration, health education, philosophy, psychology, sociology and sustainability. The topics of this minor emphasize the importance and severity of global issues such as diminishing toxic waste disposal, ecological resource protection, water and air quality control and climate change.

The new minor also resulted in a new class, ID 1350, Introduction to Environmental Ethics. This course outlines the moral issues surrounding humanity and its interactions with the environment. It tackles issues of sustainability, the distribution of environmental burdens and benefits and the treatment of animals.

"This course was the result of conversations and collaborations with Dr. Sara Compion, director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, and Dr. Daniela Shebitz, executive director of the School of Environmental and Sustainability Sciences," said Jonathan Parker, Ph.D., professor for the new Introduction to Environmental Ethics course and assistant director of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

"The purpose of the class is to introduce students to the ethical and philosophical issues surrounding environmental challenges, like climate change and sustainability. Problems like these generally cannot be solved through the lens of one discipline alone. This course analyzes environmental problems and solutions through the lens of ethics," said Professor Parker.

By way of the new course, students will be able to learn a foundation for being environmentally ethical. Students may then choose to pursue a full minor in Environmental Justice.

"Environmental Justice as a minor came about through the realization that to holistically examine environmental issues, and the way they impact human health and well-being, for example, you need to integrate multiple perspectives. Environmental Justice has a foundation in environmental science, but also draws on ethics, philosophy, and is itself also a social movement. The Environmental Ethics class is intended to serve as an introduction to range of issues students will study towards completion of an Environmental Justice minor," said Professor Parker.

A minor in Environmental Justice requires that students take three required courses:

  • ID 1350 Introduction to Environmental Ethics
  • SOC 2000 Introduction to Social Justice
  • ENV 1000/1100 Foundations of Environmental Science or SUST 1000 Introduction to Sustainability Science

Students must also take nine credits out of the specified list of elective courses approved for the minor. For more detailed information on the options for electives and on the Environmental Justice minor, students can check the minor's guidesheet.

The Center of Interdisciplinary Studies works to educate the Kean community on a multitude of world issues. It offers a degree program in global studies as well as minors in Africana Studies, Asian Studies, Chinese Studies, Environmental Justice, Jewish Studies and World Affairs, Latin American Studies and Women's and Gender Studies. Students can benefit from many of the academic minors offered through the Center of Interdisciplinary Studies as they each offer a unique contextual knowledge of different regions or world issues.

For students interested in taking the course, you can register for it online on KeanWise. For information on the course and the Environmental Justice Minor, students can visit the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies' page on the Kean website.

The Center of Interdisciplinary Studies offers academic minor programs in Africana studies, Asian studies, Chinese studies, environmental justice, Jewish studies and world affairs, Latin American studies and women's and gender studies. ]]>
<![CDATA[Trevor Noah is "Loud and Clear"]]> On Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, Student Organization of Kean University is bringing renowned comedian Trevor Noah, veteran of nine comedy specials and host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, to Wilkins Theatre for an evening of stand-up comedy. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show runs from 9 to 11 p.m.

After moving to the United States in 2011, Noah became the first South African comic to perform on The Tonight Show as well as The Late Show with David Letterman. He joined The Daily Show as a contributor in 2014, and succeeded Jon Stewart as its host in 2015. Noah's often politically driven comedy has been described as surrealist and deadpan.

Tickets for the event went on sale on Tuesday, Nov. 19. They are priced at $15 for Kean University students and $25 for guests, plus fees. The tickets were made available exclusively online as the university demonstrates a new system for online sales that makes it faster and more convenient, to purchase tickets for events on campus. All students were emailed with a direct link to the ticketing web page, and after submitting their name and student number, could proceed to choose their seats directly through the ticketing portal. Tickets are limited to one student ticket and one guest ticket per sale.

Noah premiered his latest stand-up special, Trevor Noah: Son of Patricia, on Nov. 20, and has spent much of 2019 bringing his "Loud and Clear Tour" to theaters, halls and arenas around the world. It is his first time touring arenas, giving hundreds of thousands of fans the chance to see his latest material live.

Sheldon Williams, a junior business management major, expressed enthusiasm not only for the event, but also for the opportunity for the Kean community to be exposed to such a high-profile and talented comedian.

"I think it would be awesome to have a famous comedian come on the Kean University campus," Williams said.

The fact that Trevor Noah is the comic in question only sweetened the deal. Noah's popular tour makes few stops at intimate settings in for more local communities, so his appearance at Kean is a rare treat and is sure to provide a unique experience for stand-up.

Kean's Student Organization represents the university's full-time undergraduates by helping maintain open, diverse community dialogue and involvement. The organization will follow up Noah's performance with Stress No More on Dec. 9 and Fuel for Final: Pet Therapy on Dec. 11, a pair of events designed to help the student body try to relax and stay calm and focused for final exams.

Anyone interested in getting involved with Student Organization can reach them by email at stuorg@kean.edu, or visit their offices in the Miron Student Center (MSC), Rooms 304, 309 or 313.

<![CDATA[Alcohol Safety]]> On Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, Kean University's Peer Educators and Student Health Services set up a table to educate students on alcohol safety and prevention in the Miron Student Center atrium.

Stories about students drinking and getting into life-threatening accidents filled a poster board to inform students of the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption.

Booklets with facts about binge drinking, alcohol poisoning and info on wellness resources and hotlines were neatly laid across the table for students to take.

More information about the effects of alcohol were provided through a mock beer pong game, where participants played and received candy for prizes.

On each cup, there was a question about alcohol with the answers at the bottom. Students were able to try on an array of beer goggles with different mimicked Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) levels to learn about the effects alcohol has on someone's vision and balance.

"We are hoping that students walk away with more mindfulness about drinking and getting behind the wheel of a car," said Lillie Barber, a Kean University Peer Educator.

Barber feels the table provided enough information to inform students of the dangers of excessive drinking.

"We believe it was effective," continued Barber. "The focus was about different definitions on drinking."

Per data from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, about 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually.

This makes alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States.

When consumed heavily, alcohol leads to a lot of problems. It irritates the stomach which causes vomiting. It also slows a person's breathing and heartbeat, along with their gag reflex (which prevents choking). It is possible for someone to choke to death on their vomit because of it.

Binge drinking is when a large amount of alcohol is consumed in a short period of time. Binge drinking is most common during drinking games, dares and bets.

For men, binge drinking is typically means consuming five or more drinks in two hours, and for women, it's four or more.

This a huge problem among young people. Alcohol use during adolescence interferes with brain development, increasing the risk of Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).

1 in 4 college students report academic consequences from drinking such as missing class, receiving poor grades and falling behind in their workload.

1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die annually from alcohol-related injuries, such as motor vehicle crashes. Three-quarters of the total cost of alcohol use is in part from binge drinking.

Alcohol poisoning is considered a medical emergency which can lead to death. It could cause the brain to shut down, which affects functions controlled by the brain.

When someone has alcohol poisoning, the heart can cease beating or breathing could stop. Signs of alcohol poisoning include:

  • confusion or slurred speech
  • poor coordination (e.g. stumbling)
  • clammy or blue skin
  • slow breathing (fewer than eight breaths per minute)
  • seizures
  • severe vomiting
  • low body temperature
  • passing out and not waking up

Knowing these signs and taking proper action can save a person's life. Alcohol affects everyone differently, depending on their weight, age and gender. It is important to drink responsibly and know the limit.

Student Health Services aims to complement the educational mission of Kean University through the removal of health-related barriers to learning and promoting wellness through its many programs.

Information about Student Health Services can be found their web page on the Kean website. They are located in Downs Hall, Room 126 and can be reached by phone at (908) 737-4880.

Kean University's Peer Educators and Student Health Services taught students about alcohol safety. ]]>
<![CDATA[Getting in the Holiday Spirit]]> The holiday season is right around the corner, and it is never too early to start getting in the spirit this year. Whether it is decorating Christmas trees, shopping on Black Friday for the best deals or simply following family traditions, the holidays are a time for peace, love and acceptance. On the subject of decorating, on Monday, Nov. 25, the Catholic Newman Club hosted an ornament making social in preparation for their annual Christmas tree lighting.

The Catholic Newman Club decided to host the ornament making social to bring together the entire Kean community to express their creativity, by making ornaments of their own to help in decorating their Christmas tree. The tree will be put up in the Miron Student Center Atrium for all to see. The Catholic Newman Club also believes that bringing the community together for an event such as this allows everybody to meet new people, as well as to ease their stresses, especially since finals are approaching in the coming weeks.

"This is our annual tree lighting event and our annual ornament making party, which we started a couple semesters ago, which has, since then, become a big hit for us. We're making ornaments for our annual tree lighting party, where we hang up all the ornaments that we made, and it is a lot of fun for the whole Kean community to come and join in spirit and celebration and community," said Amanda Owen, secretary for the Catholic Newman Club.

The Catholic Newman Club provided the necessary crafts for students to really express their more artistic sides, and to create ornaments that speak to them. The event allowed everybody to bond with each other while doing something that will benefit the Kean University student population.

Participants did not need the best art making skills to be involved. Students of all different backgrounds and experience levels were welcome to participate and have a good time. Ornaments can vary from saying things such as "Merry Christmas," "Happy Holidays," or customizing the ornament with 3-D stickers of holiday themed festivities like a Christmas tree.

"I believe an event like this is a really great idea to bring everybody together in faith, and we learn a lot about our Catholic religion. We also do a little narrative on the importance of Christmas during our tree lighting ceremony. We encourage everyone to come out and participate regardless of your religion," said Owen.

The tree lighting will take place in the Miron Student Center Atrium within the following weeks. Students should check Cougar Link to find out more details about the tree lighting event. For any more information regarding the Catholic Newman Club and the events that they host throughout the year, please contact them at catholic@kean.edu.

The Catholic Newman Club hosts the Ornament Making Social to de-stress and express students' artistic levels.

<![CDATA[Get Paid to Playwright]]> Writing stories and crafting plays can be a creative way to express a writer's feelings through the characters that they create. Creating these stories transports a reader or viewer to a reality where everything they see and hear comes to life. Are you interested in turning your stories into big bucks? Premiere Stages at Kean University is now accepting submissions for the Bauer-Boucher Kean Student/Alumni Playwriting Award.

Premiere Stages is a professional, on-campus theatre company based at Kean University. The residence was created back in 2004, and through the partnership established with Kean, they are able to develop educational initiatives and professional developments for those who want to get a chance to experience what it is like to be a part of a professional theater company.

The Bauer-Boucher Kean Student/ Alumni Playwriting Award was created back in 2014 by John Bauer and Nancy Boucher, who are both supporters of Premiere Stages. The award was created to recognize the work of a playwright each year among the Kean University student and alumni community.

Premiere Stages starts accepting submissions of unpublished plays and stories that have never received a professional production during the fall semester of each academic year, from writers who are currently attending, or are alumni of, Kean University. The submission period began on Nov. 15, 2019 and will run until Dec. 15, 2019 this semester. Other qualifications to be considered for this award include:

  • Playwrights must be current students in good academic standing or graduates of Kean University.
  • Scripts must be one-acts, full-length, or solo shows.
  • Scripts that are incomplete must contain at least 25 pages and attach a scene breakdown for the entire play.
  • Previous script winners & script finalists are ineligible.
  • Playwrights must be available for the development of their script (see schedule).
  • Submissions are accepted Nov. 15, 2019 through 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 15, 2019.
  • All plays must be submitted as a PDF via email to premiere@kean.edu. Hard copies will not be accepted.

The Bauer-Boucher Award also requires plays to include a brief synopsis which can be no more than half a page, a character breakdown (a list of characters in the show and a brief description of each of them), the playwright's bio or resume and the script. The script does not have to be the final version, but rather as much of it as is already written and the scene breakdown for the rest of the play.

After the submission period closes on Dec. 15, 2019, finalists will be called for an interview by Premiere Stages in early January of 2020 to discuss their work, and winners will be selected in mid-January. One current Kean student will be awarded a cash prize of $1000, while one alumnus will receive $2000, for winning the contest. Additional playwrights who are selected as finalists will receive a $100 award. The student winner will then get to perform a staged reading of their play on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020 at Kean, and the alumnus will do the same on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020 at the Lantern Hill Rutgers Room in New Providence, New Jersey.

"The Bauer Boucher Award provides more than just a cash award. It's an opportunity to hear new work with professional actors and learn from a live audience, which are essential to developing a play," said Nick Gandiello, Education and Play Festival manager at Premiere Stages.

Premiere Stages is fully encouraging writers as well as playwrights of all backgrounds and ages to apply and submit their plays for a chance to win recognition and a cash prize for their skills. For more information regarding the contest, please contact Premiere Stages at premiere@kean.edu.

Premiere Stages staff members with John Bauer and Nancy Boucher.]]>
<![CDATA[Say Hey to WKUSA!]]> When studying abroad, students have to face the challenge of dealing with new surroundings, new people and possibly feeling out of place. At Kean University, that feeling is being combated by the creation of Wenzhou-Kean University Student Association (WKUSA).

Kean University's Union Campus and Wenzhou-Kean University are Kean's campuses in Union, NJ and Wenzhou, China that give students at both institutions a chance to travel to each other's countries to study, learn more about the culture and experience a new way of life. With all that traveling, it became important to create an organization where students could comfortably integrate into their new lives.

To do so the Division of Student Affairs came up with the plan of creating an organization like WKUSA, alongside the pilot mentor program for Wenzhou students. This organization was established at Kean University in January of 2016. The plan for WKUSA was not only to make it easier for students from the Wenzhou campus to adjust to life at Kean a little easier, but also to provide events and functions that would bring the students of Wenzhou-Kean University and Kean University together.

This is achieved through events like their past study abroad workshop on Thursday, Nov. 21 held during college hour. Together with the Center for International Studies, WKUSA was able to provide information and answer questions about what studying abroad at Wenzhou-Kean University would be like. The events continued that night from 6 to 9 p.m. witha Hot Pot Asian Style event hosted by Student Organization. This event was held in Downs Hall and was a chance for students to meet organization members, enjoy some Hotpot together and make some new friends.

The club is for both Kean Students and Wenzhou Kean students to interact, learn more about each other and create an environment that both celebrates and brings together the differences in all of us. All students on campus are welcome to come to events and meetings. This club is a chance for people to immerse themselves in Chinese culture and make new friends along the way.

Mei-Ling Cheng the club adviser said, "WKUSA's vision is to unite students from both Wenzhou-Kean University and Kean University campuses through social, cultural and community-based activities to bridge differences, promote cultural awareness and celebrate diversity. The philosophy of WKUSA emphasizes promoting respecting cultural differences and encouraging cross-cultural interaction on Kean campus."

WKUSA's next event is their general body meeting on Thursday, Dec. 5 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Center for Academic Success (CAS), Room 245.

For more information on WKUSA, student's can visit their page on Cougar Link. If anyone is interested in learning more about Wenzhou-Kean University they can visit their website.


Wenzhou-Kean University Student Association is a way for Wenzhou Kean and Kean Union students to connect and learn more about each other.]]>
<![CDATA[How to Satisfy Your Academic Progress]]> Financial Aid is just one of the many resources college students have at their disposal when it comes to paying for their college tuition. At Kean University, a system has been put in place called the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy, which focuses on ensuring financial aid recipients are earning the credits they need to stay eligible for aid.

The Satisfactory Academic Progress policy states that all students that receive financial aid need to be in good academic standing, and making academic progression towards their degree, in order to continue receiving financial aid for the following semesters. Students' academic standing and academic progression will be checked at the end of each fall, spring and summer semesters to be sure they fall within the guidelines necessary to be considered for SAP.

For a student to maintain good academic standing, they need to meet or exceed the minimum cumulative grade point average required by the college for them to continue to be enrolled, and eventually graduate. For undergraduate students, that would be a 2.0 GPA, while for graduate students that would be a 3.0 GPA. Exceptional Education Opportunities (EEO) students should refer to their program guidelines to see what their grade point average should be.

Academic Progression is the second component within the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy. Academic Progression is determined by the pace of completion and maximum time frame.

First is the pace of completion, which is calculated by the number of credits students have completed divided by the number that were attempted for that semester. Classes from which students withdrew, or that were left incomplete, are considered attempted credits. Once calculated, the credit amount must equal or exceed 66.67 percent of the credits they were enrolled after the add/drop period to be considered on-pace for completion.

Credits from duplicated classes and redemption credits are counted toward pace of completion, but this is only allowed once, and students should know that this decreases their pace of completion. Something like advance standing hours, which include transfer and AP credit, are counted toward the hours attempted and the hours completed. Advance standing hours that are accepted as credit, like transfer and AP credits, are counted for both the hours attempted and the hours completed.

The second component of the Academic Progression is the maximum time frame. The maximum time frame involves multiplying the average number of credits a student must finish to complete their degree by 150 percent. The resulting number determines how many credit hours a student can take and still maintain their SAP. Students can only continue to receive financial aid as long as they do not exceed the credit hours determined by the maximum time frame calculations. Advanced standing hours are also included in maximum time frame.

Any students with disabilities, learning or otherwise, should be sure to contact the Office of Counseling and Disability Services to ensure the right accommodations are being made for them. This should allow for them to complete their Satisfactory Academic Progression without issue, once accommodations have been made.

For more information on which class credits are included in the SAP policy, and on how to proceed if one does not meet the requirements for SAP, students can visit the Satisfactory Academic Progress page on the Kean University website.

The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy is a way for students to make sure they continue to be eligible for financial aid.]]>
<![CDATA[Lecture from a Believer: David Axelrod Visits Kean]]> On Thursday, Nov. 21, political strategist and commentator David Axelrod visited Kean University for the Distinguished Lecture Series, an ongoing effort to host the public sphere's news-making intellectuals. His lecture, and a followup Q&A, were held in the STEM Auditorium at 4:30 p.m.

Admission to the event was free, but advance tickets needed to be reserved to guarantee entrance. 300 guests crowded the auditorium, with many more gathering in the upper floors of the STEM building to view the lecture by live-stream.

Axelrod is well known for his commentary on CNN, as well as his podcast, The Axe Files. Through each, he engages in rigorous discussion and debate with other noteworthy strategists and pundits from across the political spectrum, and throughout the world. Since 2013, Axelrod has directed the Institute of Politics, which provides opportunities for learning and involvement to students interested in public service and political careers, through his Alma Mater, the University of Chicago.

Perhaps most notably, Axelrod led the campaign strategy for Barack Obama's historic presidential victory in 2008, which saw then-Senator Obama win a decisive electoral victory of 365 votes to 173 against John McCain (as per The New York Times), as well as for the successful 2012 re-election effort. Between elections, he served as the former president's senior adviser.

The common theme reiterated throughout Axelrod's lecture and the following Q&A was "belief." The lecture discussed belief in the political and governmental systems that tether together the nation's diverse and unique communities, belief in the future of America and belief in oneself through diligence and passion.

It is also the title of his 2015 book, Believer: My Forty Years in Politics, which reviews the lessons of Axelrod's time as a political reporter in the complex Chicago scene of the 1970s and 1980s, as well as the decades he spent concocting strategies for 150 campaigns across the nation.

In the book, Axelrod describes an unrivaled formative experience: watching then-candidate John F. Kennedy address the citizens of Axelrod's native Stuyvesant, New York, during his 1960 campaign for the presidency. At five-years-old, Axelrod was hooked on politics. He may not have yet understood every word - he joked that, years later, he "Google-searched" the speech as a reminder - but the vital energy forged between Kennedy and the crowd illustrated to a young Axelrod that politics was a road to both personal fulfillment and worthwhile contribution to the world. Perhaps most astutely, he learned that those ambitions are not mutually exclusive.

That was a lesson Axelrod's never forgotten. A certain optimistic idealism seems implicit in Axelrod's role as the director of the Institute of Politics, where he encourages the political careers of wide-eyed young students. His belief in the future of American politics rests on the effort of a new generation to answer the challenges he has addressed for decades.

Addressing the current political times, Axelrod said, "When our system is being tested, let us fight for it. Our rights to political involvement are also an obligation: The nature of democracy is that we're a self-reflecting system."

It was the commitment to these philosophies that brought Axelrod to the decision, in the Summer of 2002, to try to help Barack Obama win a contested U.S. Senate seat in Illinois. According to Axelrod, it was also an effort to "renew [his] sense of idealism" in American politics. Their success over the decade that followed seems to have renewed that idealism in millions of Americans, too.

And Axelrod, who coined the slogan, "Yes We Can," remains hopeful.

"Despite what you see on your TV...it's not about whether the red team or the blue team wins, it's about how we use the tools bestowed to help people," said Axelrod. "You have the tools to make an enormous difference."

Axelrod concluded his lecture challenging and inspiring the young people in the audience.

"Never forget why we do the work...why you donate yourself to public service: Because that work can change lives," said Axelrod.

Kean's Distinguished Lecture Series continues in the Spring of 2020 with human rights and community leader Martin Luther King III (February 13) and columnist and futurist Jamie Metzl (April 27).

David Axelrod for Kean University's Distinguished Lecture Series on Nov. 21, 2019.]]>
<![CDATA[Way To Go, Delta Rho!]]> Kean University is popularly recognized for its work in the field of education, marking it as one of the top schools for education studies in the state of New Jersey. It is no wonder, then, why Kean's Delta Rho chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society for Education, is doing remarkable things while still embodying the university.

Kappa Delta Pi represents the words knowledge, duty and power. Many of the members of Kappa Delta Pi are inducted as they complete their undergraduate or graduate degrees in education. In its ranks are educators from all over the world.

Leana Malinowsky, the associate counselor for Delta Rho, has been a valued member of Kappa Delta Pi for 12 years. She says that in all her years of being a member, the value of it continues.

"With a membership you receive professional development including free webinars, scholarly publications, leadership training, opportunities for scholarships and classroom teacher grants, as well as networking opportunities at the annual Convocation which is held in a different city every year," Malinowsky said.

Delta Rho is a highly distinguished chapter of Kappa Delta Pi. Additionally, their chapter has received many great awards and achievements. These include a programming award for membership, a distinguished chapter officer award for their membership chair and a gold award for the society's signature initiative project, Celebration of Teaching.

The ACE award, which stands for Achieving Chapter Excellence, is granted to select chapters worldwide. Earlier this year they won their second ACE award, and received another remarkable recognition: the ACE of the ACE. Malinowsky said this was a surprise award that they had the honor of accepting at the annual Convocation in Virginia.

"The Florence B. Stratemeyer Award for Chapter Excellence, known as the ACE of the ACE, is given to one chapter each year out of all of the chapters that apply for ACE awards," Malinowsky explained. "This year, 16 chapters received the ACE award, being recognized as top chapters in the organization. Out of the 16, our chapter was selected as ACE of the ACE, which means we are the top chapter out of over 650 chapters world wide."

Through Delta Rho, future educators and education students can have the opportunity to network, gain professional development experience and participate in service opportunities.

To be eligible for initiation into the chapter, the following must be met:

  • GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • Must be a sophomore, junior or senior undergraduate student or a graduate student
  • Attend two meetings, at either Kean Union or Kean Ocean
  • Complete a service project
  • Attend the annual induction dinner (April 2, 2020)

For more information about Kappa Delta Pi and the Delta Rho chapter, call Delta Rho at (908) 737-3866 or email kdp@kean.edu.

Delta Rho accepting the Dr. Florence B. Stratemeyer Award in Norfolk, VA.
Courtesy of Kappa Delta Pi, Delta Rho Chapter.
<![CDATA[The New Home for History]]> Located right next to the Liberty Hall Museum is one of the newer installments to Kean University: the Liberty Hall Academic Center. The new academic center is the new home for Kean's Department of History on campus.

Built over the summer of 2019, students and faculty can now utilize research centers, archives, exhibits and classrooms specifically for history. Elizabeth Hyde, Ph.D., the department chair for the Department of History, says the space is exactly what the history department needed.

"[The building] is the realization of a concept that we've developed in the last two to three years, to provide the setting for the kind of teaching that we do here in the history department," Hyde said. "We encourage our undergraduate students to do original, primary source research in their courses."

A feature of the building that distinguishes Kean's history department from most undergraduate history programs in the state, is that Liberty Hall incorporates the academic, classroom space with archival space, where undergraduates can get a first hand look at the primary resources available to them.

"Students are getting to explore 18th, 19th, 20th century documents as they are learning about the past," said Hyde. "...[Students are] learning how to do critical thinking and analysis of a data set in historical documents to figure out what they can teach us about the past, and this building allows us to do that."

Additionally, a gallery exhibition space is located on the first floor of the building. Currently the exhibit displayed is Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, which explores the founding of the nation, of Kean University and of Liberty Hall. It uses documents from the Liberty Hall Museum, the Kean University archives and even the New Jersey state archives.

"The exhibitions will be rotating," said Hyde, "but this was the inaugural exhibit for the opening of the building."

The space is a means for both students and museum spectators to take advantage of accessible exhibits and historical artifacts. In this way, students and the community can find themselves surrounded by the history of the Kean family and the Livingston family, who lived in what is now Kean's Liberty Hall Museum.

Before Liberty Hall Academic Center was built, the Department of History used to be in Willis Hall, which is no longer a building on campus. After that, Townsend Hall housed the Department of History before finally relocating to Liberty Hall.

"What really is special about the building is that we can combine the archives with the classroom space, on a historic location," said Hyde.

The Department of History is located within Liberty Hall Academic Center, Room 212. For more information regarding their department, contact them at (908) 737-5310 or by email at kuhist@kean.edu.

For more information on on the Liberty Hall Museum call (908) 527-0400 or email libertyhall@kean.edu.

The Liberty Hall Academic Center entrance. ]]>
<![CDATA[Celebrate the Holidays with Kean Stage]]> As December draws near, holiday shows and events are becoming necessities. At Kean University, Kean Stage is preparing for the holidays with four shows: The Klezmatics, A Very Electric Holiday, Darlene Love: Love for the Holidays and A Christmas Story (film). Each of these events will be taking place between December 8-15.

Kean Stage provides Kean University, as well as the surrounding Union area, with shows and theater performances year-round. During December, they lean towards holiday themed shows, and this year they have four events that audiences can choose from to get into the holiday spirit.

On Dec. 8, The Klezmatics will be starting off the holiday season with a show at Enlow Recital Hall. Mary Ann Bourbeau, Kean Stage's Marketing Assistant, explained that The Klezmatics are an American music group who play Klezmer music, which is old-fashioned, Eastern European Jewish music.

"It's just in time for Hanukkah, which begins on Dec. 22 this year," said Bourbeau.

For more information about The Klezmatics, visit their site.

After The Klezmatics make their appearance, the holiday events will continue with the stage show A Very Electric Holiday on Friday, Dec. 13. A Very Electric Holiday tells the story of a young bird named Max, who is blown off course while traveling south for the winter with his family. He ends up in the North Pole, and encounters all sorts of interesting things while trying to make his way home.

Bourbeau described that it is "a cool show that's done in the dark, with dancers, dressed in black, wearing neon lights that they turn into characters."

For more about A Very Electric Holiday, check out the show's site.

On Saturday, Dec. 14, Darlene Love will be making an appearance at Wilkins Theater to perform Darlene Love: Love for the Holidays. Love will be singing holiday-themed songs like "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)," as well as her own hits, such as "He's a Rebel" and "Today I Met the Boy I'm Gonna Marry."

Bourbeau provided some background information on Darlene Love, for those who may not know her history.

"She [Darlene Love] has been performing since the 1950s and had a resurgence in recent years thanks to supporters like Steve Van Zandt and Bruce Springsteen. She was also the subject of an Academy Award-winning documentary a few years ago called 'Twenty Feet from Stardom.'" Bourbeau continued, "She performed on producer Phil Spector's 1963 Christmas album singing the popular 'A Marshmallow World,' as well as 'Christmas, Baby Please Come Home,' which she performed every December on Late Night with David Letterman for 27 years. Those songs are still among the most popular Christmas songs today."

For more on Darlene Love: Love for the Holidays, see her website.

Finally, on Dec. 15, in the North Avenue Academic Buildding (NAAB), A Christmas Story (film) will be shown to end the holiday events. A Christmas Story is a film about a young boy named Ralphie, in early 1940s Cleveland, who wishes for a "Red Ryder Carbine Action BB Gun" for Christmas. It is based on a story by Jean Shepherd. Bourbeau explained why this film was chosen to end out Kean Stages holiday events.

"Kean Stage hosts a family film series every year, and we always pick a different film each Christmas. We thought this film would appeal to both children and adults," said Bourbeau.

For more information on Kean Stage or any upcoming shows they will be hosting, visit their website. Students and staff of Kean University should also be aware that Kean Stage offers "Cougar Seats" a few days before shows, so they should check the Kean Stage website or sign up for email alerts to be notified about when they go on sale.

Kean Stage will have four different shows for people to enjoy from Dec.8-15.]]>
<![CDATA[Networking with Social Networkers]]> On Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 5:30 p.m., students will be able to gather in the STEM Auditorium for the Social Media Summit. Hosted by KeanTV, the Social Media Summit is a chance for aspiring influencers to meet people that are already working hard in their field and discover how they too can grow their brand.

KeanTV is a student run television station that provides TV shows for the Kean Community and beyond. With the help of the KeanTV Adviser Gina Gili, KeanTV is bringing Kean social media influencers together in one room to form an engaging panel.

"I am looking to achieve a couple of things: First of all, community. I want the greatest influencers on campus to be able to network, and get to know the person they've been following online," Gili said. "This is also an excellent opportunity for students to network with alumni influencers. Second, I want to have our panel discussion include content creation and influencing, which any social media user can benefit from."

This event is about allowing anyone hoping to break into the influencer world to get a better understanding of what it takes to make their dreams come true as well as making connections with people that can help them on their journey.

Students will have a chance to have an open discussion with seven different influencers: three alumni and four students, who have a combined social media following of about 300,000 people. There will be an opportunity for students to send in questions before the event or they can wait and ask their questions that day.

The Kean alumni influencers featured at the summit include Amanda Lovelace (@ladybookmad), an award-winning poet; Ruby Asabor (@lavishruby), an entrepreneur and YouTube personality and Welena Noel (@lena_much),who is a brand ambassador for Nike and Under Armour.

Current Kean student influencers to be featured include, Rich Zeller (@itsrichz)and Khristian Woods(@trendsetterkalm), Matthew Skibniewski (@vowels.only) and Alyakim Meadows (@theculturecustoms). The event will be hosted by KeanTV President Beba Zilkic and KeanTV Vice President Tori Honore.

There will also be several VIP social media influencers at the event, including News 12's Mike Rizzo, Professor William Kolbenschlag, Jada Broadnax, Trinity Wade and more.

For anyone who wants to go, but is worried this event is only for communication majors, Gili wants them to know that that is not the case. Anyone who likes the idea of social media or is considering starting their own brand is welcome to come to the event.

"I'm looking to attract anyone in the Kean Community who is interested in social media, has an account in which they are looking to gain followers, or looking to network with other students and alumni influencers," Gili continued, "Even if you are brand new to social media, or looking to grow an account, this is the event for you!"

If that's not enough to get everybody interested, there will be plenty of mini events happening during the Social Media Summit for students to look forward to. There will be a raffle of door prizes and gifts that students will be able to take home. The Social Media Summit will also be streamed on KeanTV social media accounts (@keantv), so anyone unable to attend the event can watch it there.

For more information students can check the Social Media Summit page on Cougar Link. To register for the Social Media Summit, students can search tinyurl.com/keantvsummit.

The Social Media Summit will take place Dec. 4 in the STEM Auditorium. ]]>
<![CDATA[Let's Talk About Relationships]]> On Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2019, the Omega Phi Chi Multicultural Society, Inc. and Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc. hosted Let's Talk About Relationships, an open discussion around relationships and dating which took place in the Center for Academic Success (CAS), Room 455. It began at 7:30 p.m and concluded at 10 p.m.

The room was moderately filled with students having conversations about dating in the 21st century.

Questions were answered on what would be considered a deal breaker in a relationship, who should make the first move, the difference between talking to someone and being with them, the proper age to date, and how social media plays a role in relationships.

"Let's Talk About Relationships was a way to get men and women to discuss the answers of everyday questions about relationships and learn of other people's opinions on the subject," said Andres Batista, current member of Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc.

Batista feels that students who attended the event will have had a lot to take from it.

"They will have a better understanding of how to perceive relationships going forward with the ability to take proper action when communicating with someone," continued Batista.

With the internet, it has become easier for young adults to seek dates through the use of online dating apps and social networks. This has given people the opportunity to connect with individuals they would have not crossed paths with in real life.

Having open discussions around romance and relationships is essential because there are so many ways to date now and it can be dangerous since people could easily pretend to be something they're not by lying on their profile or promoting a lifestyle they aren't living.

The same connection that could be built in person is not achievable through a screen because there is a lack of genuine human interaction.

Dating and being in a relationship are two different things. When one dates, there is no serious commitment involved. Dating is short-term and teaches a person what they want or don't want in a relationship. Dating prepares people for being in a relationship since relationships are more than just going out on fancy dates and hanging out.

Omega Phi Chi is a multicultural sorority aiming to generate unity among all women by fostering and nurturing the ideas of sisterhood with the concepts of love, honesty, loyalty, respect and responsibility. Information about Omega Phi Chi Multicultural Society, Inc. can be found on their Cougar Link web page. They can be emailed at opctheta@gmail.com.

Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc. seeks to meet the needs of the Latino community though academic achievement, cultural awareness and community service with the promotion of Latino culture. For more information, students can check out their Cougar Link web page or email them at elitelambdas@kean.edu.

The Omega Phi Chi Multicultural Sorority, Inc. and Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc. held a discussion about relationships in all aspects.]]>
<![CDATA[Getting the Job ]]> The second installment of the Leadership Institute's Chapter After series took place on Wednesday, Nov. 20. This event featured how-to skills on writing resumes and enhancing proper interview conduct and procedures.

Blanca Rosales-Ahn, managing assistant director of Career Services, who hosted the event, went through why the resume process is so important and what employers are looking for.

"Your resume is your connection to networking opportunities, applying for jobs, grad school applications and so on," Rosales-Ahn said.

Rosales-Ahn says that a bit of everything should be included:

  • Education
  • Work History
  • Internship experience
  • Volunteer / Community service
  • Skills
  • Leaderships experience (ex: sports teams, club, student organizations)
  • Academic Accomplishments (ex: Dean's List)
  • Career profile

"Also, make sure you have your elevator speech prepared," said Rosales-Ahn.

The elevator speech, or elevator pitch, is a quick, 30-second introduction to what makes the applicant qualified for the position they are applying for. It is recommended to have one rehearsed for when employers ask for the applicant, "Tell me a bit about yourself."

Important information to remember when writing a resume includes making sure it is only about one page in length, that it is accurate and that everything is reviewed for typos or mistakes.

"Employers see that if a potential applicant can't pay attention to such tiny details like a typo, then they show they cannot be detail-oriented" Rosales-Ahn explained. "It's very important to read over your resume out loud to avoid making those little mistakes."

For interview prep, Rosales-Ahn recommends doing some research on the company one is applying for. Some employers ask applicants what they know about the company, so it is best to be prepared. Some of the tips for interviewing are below:

  • Dress for success (when in doubt, dress more conservatively)
  • Research the potential employer
  • Review the job description
  • Prepare an elevator speech
  • Bring extra resume copies
  • Show enthusiasm and be positive
  • Have questions prepared for the employer

"When employers ask for how much you are looking to make, go to BLS.gov" Rosales-Ahn said.

Rosales-Ahn explained that the federal site has the information for what the average salaries are at most companies, so that students can be realistic with their requests.

She also noted that having a LinkedIn account is extremely beneficial for students. Through LinkedIn, networking opportunities can be made with potential employers, and one can easily search for their desired field of work, location, experience, education requirements and so on. Rosales-Ahn recommends that one actively looks for employment or internships using LinkedIn. A LinkedIn link can even be included on a resume.

Chapter After is hosted by the Center for Leadership and Service's Leadership Institute, which can be found in the Miron Student Center, Room 215. Their next Chapter After event, focusing on money management, will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 10 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Miron Student Center, Room 226. For more information on these events and others like them, the Leadership Institute can be contacted by phone at (908) 737-5170 or by email at leadershipinstitute@kean.edu.

Students may also visit the Office of Career Services, located in the Center for Academic Success, Room 201. Representatives of the office can be reached by phone at (908) 737-0320 or by email at career@kean.edu.

Blanca Rosales-Ahn, managing assistant director for Career Services, discussing the importance of resume building and interview prep.]]>
<![CDATA[A Glimpse Into the World of Public Relations]]> Being a student and having to choose a career path or internship can be a very daunting task. Fortunately, communication majors had the chance to hear from Kean alumni currently immersed in the world of public relations (PR). Representatives from Coyne PR came to share their experience and expertise to students on Tuesday, Nov. 19.

Coyne PR is known to be one of the top 10 independent PR firms in the country. Additionally, they were titled the 2019 North American Creative Agency of the Year. The agency is headquartered in Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ with an additional office location in New York City on Broadway. Three representatives from this company came to speak on a panel for the annual School of Communications, Media and Journalism (CMJ) Fall PR Symposium, which took place in the North Avenue Academic Building (NAAB), Room 507.

The first representative from Coyne PR was Stacey Cooney who is a senior account executive. She graduated from Kean in 2015 and has worked at Coyne PR for about four years. Cooney explained that she works with consumer health and beauty brands.

Jaclyn LaSpata, a senior social media manager for Coyne PR also represented her five years working with the company in the healthcare realm. She explained how she works on social media strategy and influencer relations.

Account Coordinator Tori Brown was also present to give her input on working for Coyne PR. She had unique point of view as she has just recently been hired in July 2019 after graduating from Kean.

After an introduction and peek into what the company does, the three participated in a question and answer forum with the audience. This was led by Professor Jeremiah Sullivan, who is also the faculty adviser for the Kean chapter of the Public Relations Students Society of America (PRSSA), director of the undergraduate public relations option and internship coordinator. During their undergraduate years at Kean, Cooney and LaSpata were influential in creating the Kean PRSSA chapter.

Students eagerly raised their hands as they wanted to know all about internships and entry level jobs, competition and the PR industry as a whole.

Students were very curious on how to prepare for interviews, whether it be for an interview or entry level position. The guests said that it is vital to know about the company that one is interning for, as well as tailor one's resume to PR, whether that be through experience or classes that one took.

LaSpata said, "Sell yourself, but also sell your passion for PR and the company."

Other advice that was given to students was to never have downtime when at work, even if it means volunteering to do a task that no one else wants to take on. This will show one's hard work and dedication to their team or supervisors.

The panel was also asked about making mistakes on the job, since they are bound to happen one way or another. The panel responded that the most important tip is to not make excuses. Instead, ask how one can fix it and what can be done better next time to avoid the same situation. Also, it was noted that one should be accountable for their actions.

Cooney said that when she started at Coyne her supervisor told her, "You can never bring a problem to the table without a potential solution, so even if you know your solution isn't going to work,if you made a mistake, try and think of a way to fix it first before you go to your team."

Overall, Cooney, LaSpata and Brown gave good insight into how to apply oneself in the PR field, as well as their own experience in it. Students went away with a greater knowledge and understanding of the world of PR.

Brown, LaSpata and Cooney gave their expertise from working at Coyne PR. ]]>
<![CDATA[Kean's All In ]]> The culmination of student voter registration and participation has earned Kean University a Gold Seal and Best in Class Award in the national ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, going to show that each vote counts.

When Kean University students set voter registration tables in 2018 to engage their peers to register to vote, little did they know that their efforts would earn Kean the honor of the Most Improved Undergraduate Voting Rate at a Medium, Public, 4 Year College for the 2018 Midterm Election. On Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019 Kean University was recognized for this achievement at the All IN Challenge Awards Ceremony in Washington, DC. Kean University was also granted a Gold Seal, a designation allotted to campuses with 40 to 49 percent voter participation in the 2018 Midterm Election.

Representatives from the Human Rights Institute, Director Lauretta Farrell and student Patrick McEachern, as well as representatives from the Center for Leadership and Service (CLS), Director Scott Snowden, Managing Assistant Director for Community Service and Civic Engagement Susan Figueroa and Service Specialist Jason Pleitez, received the award on behalf of Kean University.

"It was interesting to see how many young people do care about voter registration," said Pleitez. "When it came to people talking about their own experiences and how hard they work to have other people register, it pushes me to do more...It opened my eyes, especially more now that next year is the presidential election."

Pleitez, who specializes in Global Citizenship: Human Rights and Disaster Relief, had taken over voter registration tabling efforts for this year, following last year's efforts by CLS Service Specialists Kristen Fallia and Gabriella Lapointe. Continuing the recent voter accomplishments, Pleitez and Figueroa are currently working together to strategize new ways to engage Kean students to register and vote, especially in light of next year's presidential election. This new plan will then be submitted to the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge to be critiqued, recognized and supported for maximum effectiveness of the plan.

"If young people vote, our voices will be heard," said Pleitez. "The problem is that young people don't vote, so [politicians] won't try to complete the needs we want. [Consideration will] go to the people that actually vote. So, if older people vote on issues like Medicaid and stuff like that, they won't vote on issues like tuition and colleges and stuff like this, so we need to have our voice heard and the only way to do that is by voting."

The All IN Campus Democracy Challenge is a national awards program that challenges universities to increase student democratic participation and citizenship. The challenge emphasizes increased student voter registration and involvement and helps universities create action plans for each year. It commits participating campuses to increase their students' voter participation and form well rounded, active citizens. 1058 campuses, 572 institutions, and 48 states (along with Washington D.C.) participate in the All IN Campus Democracy Challenge. The challenge also celebrates the accomplishments made by students and encourages future accomplishments.

Center for Leadership and Service Managing Assistant Director Susan Figueroa (left), Service Specialist Jason Pleitez (center) and Director Scott Snowden (right) at the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge Awards Ceremony in Washington DC. ]]>
<![CDATA[Express Some Love for Cougar Express ]]> Everyone likes the idea of fine dining, but not everyone has the means to enjoy it all of the time. The Kean community now has a chance to delight in some discounted fine dining, as Ursino Steakhouse & Tavern, a restaurant in their own backyard, has rolled out a Cougar Express Lunch Menu for the Kean community to enjoy.

Located behind the STEM building, Ursino Steakhouse & Tavern is a restaurant with a diverse menu of food and drinks. Its name derives from Liberty Hall, which is located not too far from the restaurant, and is where the Kean and Livingston families lived. The named was changed to Ursino by Susan Livingston after she married Count Julian Niemcewicz.

Ursino Steakhouse & Tavern rolled out a discounted menu to allow the Kean community to enjoy its food at a lower price. The Kean community can stop in to order something from their menu before continuing on their way to class, work or wherever else they need to be.

Prices on the Cougar Express Lunch menu range from $6 to $10, and the menu features a curated list of food for guests to choose from. Some options include the Cougar Burger, BLT, Italian Press, Ursino Wings, Kean Quesadillas, Personal Pizzas and the Chef Salad. These items are also served with either fries or salad, except for the Quesadilla.

This offer at Ursino Steakhouse & Tavern is exclusively for students and faculty of Kean University, so providing a Kean ID is necessary to receive the discount. The deal is available from Tuesday through Friday, from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For anyone who is wondering, these are not the only deals that Ursino Steakhouse & Tavern has to offer. They often provide different weekly deals, like the Cougar Express Lunch menu, for people to partake in. Presently, they have Super Sunday Football events going on, for football fans and anyone else in the community looking for a fun evening with delicious food. Recently, guests have also been able to attend brunch at Ursino Steakhouse & Tavern, which started back in January.

In addition to the Cougar Express Lunch Menu, Ursino Steakhouse & Tavern has a large variety of food and drinks to choose from, including different soups, salads and steaks. For anyone curious about the rest of the restaurant's options, a comprehensive menu is available on the restaurant's website.

For more information, and to see what else Ursino Steakhouse & Tavern has to offer, visit the Ursino Steakhouse & Tavern website or their Instagram page (@ursinosteakhouse).

Ursino Steakhouse & Tavern is located behind Kean University's STEM Building.]]>
<![CDATA[Standing with a Statement ]]> November is known as a time to reflect and give thanks for whatever one may have, whether it be food, clothing, loved ones or even a roof over one's head. Unfortunately, some people are not able to celebrate these things even though they seem to be basic human necessities. For this reason and many more, the Center for Leadership and Service (CLS) holds Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week every November to raise awareness for those who are suffering and need their voices to be heard.

One of the most impactful events of Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is the Stand Campaign. For this event, students sign up to participate as well as complete an informational orientation. At this orientation, they are educated on the statistics of hunger and homelessness, not only in the Kean community but also around the globe. Volunteers then made signage on cardboard regarding the information they learned.

On the day of the Stand Campaign, Monday, Nov. 18, the student volunteers gathered at the clock tower outside the Miron Student Center and stood to raise awareness for the less fortunate. It was a cold and rainy day, which contributed to the importance of the event, as many of the people impacted by hunger and homelessness do not have a roof over their heads.

Passersbys were able to read the statistics and become more educated on these important social issues, and saw how they directly impact people close to home. Students stopped in their tracks as they were intrigued by the signs and wanted to learn why the volunteers were gathered. Many who stopped to read the signs were shocked by the statistics.

The signs included a variety of statistics and verbiage regarding hunger and homelessness awareness. For example, one student held a sign that said, "75% of homeless or runaway youth have dropped out or will drop out of school." Another student showed their support with a sign that read, "I'm not cold, I'm not hungry, but 9,398 New Jerseyans are."

A sign that stood out read, "I have a warm bed at night but 8,864 people in NJ don't!"

Marcus Evertz, a service specialist for CLS with a content in hunger, homelessness and housing helped make this event possible.

He said, "The purpose of the campaign is to spread awareness on campus, and to the world, about the thousands of people that are homeless, food insecure, and just to simply take a stand for the people who don't have a lot of the things we have."

Evertz continued, "The real issues that should be broadcast aren't really recognized, and little things like this can make a huge difference."

To learn more about how one can help those that face the issues of hunger and homelessness, be sure to reach out to the CLS service team via email at serve@kean.edu, or by visiting their office in Miron Student Center, Room 219.

Students and participants learned a lot about the topics of hunger and homelessness at the Stand Campaign. ]]>
<![CDATA[Clementoni's Journey to Kean]]> Kean University is known to be home to many transfer students. Transitioning from one college to another can be a difficult and overwhelming time, but senior Andrew Clementoni shared that he had a positive experience when transferring to Kean.

Clementoni first came to Kean when he was in sixth grade as his older sister was on a college visit. He recalled the welcoming atmosphere during the tour which left an impression on him. When applying to universities years later, Clementoni remembered this and made Kean one of his options. Come time to decide on a college, Clementoni assessed his options, but ultimately chose Kean.

After receiving his A.A. in Media Studies from Brookdale Community College, Clementoni is currently attending Kean to work toward a B.A. in Communications with a concentration in Media and Film.

Clementoni said, "Transferring to Kean has enabled me to become more involved on campus and open up to others. Before Kean, I would have considered myself a shy person, who rarely engaged in extra-curriculars.  After transferring to Kean, I have realized there is more to college than just going to class."

Becoming involved on campus is something that Clementoni realized either makes or breaks one's college experience. Because of this, he is now a part of the Outdoor Adventure and Recreation Club as the vice president and Kean's Point and Shoot Club, a photography club, as the head researcher.

Clementoni works as a Peer Mentor for the School of General Studies. He recalls how helpful the peer mentors were to him when he took the course himself. They assisted him in many ways, such as when he was making his schedule or trying to navigate his way through campus. Now, Clementoni gets to pay it forward and help other students with the same issues.

The peer mentors are on campus to assist professors in the GE 1000 and 3000 courses, which are intended to help transition freshmen and transfer students to Kean. They also meet with students one-on-one and mentor them while registering for classes. Clementoni also answers students' questions, encourages them to be active on campus and helps improve their Kean experience in any way that he can.

Clementoni said, "Nothing makes me happier than seeing my past students strive to open up and become more involved on campus. A greater college experience for them is a greater college experience for me."

Being a transfer student can feel overwhelming because one is in a whole new environment surrounded by unfamiliar people. Clementoni explained that Kean has a lot of resources to help transfer students get on the right track and feel at home in their new school.

When asked what advice he would give to incoming transfer students, Clementoni said, "Enjoy the ride, because it will go faster than you think."

Clementoni reflects on his time as a transfer student at Kean.]]>
<![CDATA[Dive Into the World of Anime ]]> Kean University's Anime Society (KUAS) is a one-of-a-kind club on campus that encourages all to join! Members of the club get a chance to watch and appreciate new anime every meeting, while allowing themselves to bond, discuss and share their love for Japanese art and culture.

Secretary of the Anime Society, Evan McFadden, spoke about what makes the club so unique to Kean.

"The purpose of the club is to expose our members to the different kinds and varieties of, not just anime, but visual media... things that keep us interested and wanting to do more," McFadden said.

Each club meeting, members are encouraged to present an episode of an anime of their choosing that is pre-approved by the executive board. Afterwards, everyone gets a chance to express their thoughts about the show. McFadden says this system grants even the executive board the opportunity to learn and be exposed to anime they did not know about before.

"I love the way the stories are written," said McFadden about why anime is special to him. "When it comes to certain anime, the ones that stick out to me are the ones that have characters that, not only you can relate to, but also have a driving narrative."

About two anime episodes are allotted within the time of a regular meeting for members to present.

In addition to their regular club meetings, the anime club takes occasional trips outside of campus. Last year they were able to attend the Anime Convention in New York City, which was opened to the general student body at Kean. Next year, they are discussing plans on attending the Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom festival in Brooklyn, NY.

Certain events, such as Halloween, for example, even allow the club to cosplay. Cosplay is where the members of the club get the opportunity to dress in costume as their favorite characters. Although cosplay is encouraged, it is never required.

"I know me and the [executive board] actively cosplay, but it is never demanded or requested for the members to do so," said McFadden.

Interested students are more than welcome to join KUAS at any time.

"Come in and join!" McFadden said. "It is open to anyone, even if you've never seen an anime before. If you are interested, come in and see if you enjoy it."

Currently KUAS meetings are in the Center for Academic Success (CAS), Room 106 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Students may reach out to any member of the executive board for any room relocation, as they tend to change rooms from semester to semester.

The KUAS can be reached on Cougar Link, where all of the active executive board contacts are listed. There is also a Facebook page available for the club. By searching 'Kean University Anime Society,' in Facebook, students can find contact information through there, as well.

For more information regarding club meetings and activities, President of the Anime Society Renee Draper, can be reached at draperr@kean.edu. To reach the Secretary McFadden, email him at mcfadeva@kean.edu.

The Kean University Anime Society meets every Monday in the Center for Academic Success, Room 106.]]>
<![CDATA[Coffee & Tea with the Director]]> On Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, Kean University's English Department held Coffee & Tea with the Director of Graduate English Writing Studies, Mia Zamora, Ph.D, to discuss with students the endless possibilities that will arise by taking their education to the next level. The event took place in the Center for Academic Success (CAS), Room 314.

This was an opportunity for students to sit down with Zamora and learn more about the Graduate English Writing Studies program. Additionally, were plenty of coffee and tea flavors for students to drink along with cookies for them to eat.

Kean University's 30-credit Master of Arts program in English Writing Studies is tailored toward students seeking to improve their writing skills and further their careers, understanding the basis of great writing to pursue their passion.

"Sometimes, we have five students sitting around and just talking. Other times, it's just two. It's quite small," said Zamora. "We just started doing these Coffee and Tea with the Director events last spring. We had two then and now we've had two this fall. We'll probably have two or three more in the forthcoming Spring semester."

Zamora typically teaches graduate courses but will teach undergraduate classes every once in a while such as World Literature. For the Spring 2020 semester, she will be teaching Ethnic American Literature, which answers the questions of what it means to be American through the eyes of America's literary traditions.

Zamora feels that Coffee & Tea gives students an idea of what the Graduate English Writing Studies program is.

"I usually tell people what the programs are like and the kinds of students we have," continued Zamora. "I talk to them about what people do when they get a Master's in writing studies."

She believes the turnout of Coffee and Tea throughout the semester is a reflection of the graduate program itself.

"The incoming class this year was fifteen students, which is a big class for us. In the past, our normal entry was around eight students or so. Fifteen is sort of a tick up," says Zamora. "It's an intimate program. All the students know and work with one another, which creates a sense of connection between them."

The English Writing Studies program gets students on the path taking their education further. Zamora gives a bit of insight on what it would take for a student to become an English professor.

"Obtaining a Ph.D takes a student through the first step, which is the Masters," says Zamora. "The Masters would prepare a student to teach first-year, undergraduate students. If they desire to become a professor, then they would have to get a doctoral degree, which requires them to do different research as they teach."

Having a Masters is essential to those looking to go into the publishing field. Zamora feels that this will provide additional bolstering.

"It will help you understand text," she says. "Having an M.A. in writing studies would be useful in trying to get publishing jobs," Zamora says.

For more information about the School of English Studies, students can visit its web page on the Kean website. To learn more about the Graduate English Writing Studies program, contact Zamora at mzamora@kean.edu or check out its web page on the Kean website.

Students had the opportunity to have coffee and tea with the Director of Graduate English & Writing Studies, Mia Zamora, Ph.D.]]>
<![CDATA[Paws For a Cause]]> Have you ever wondered what it was like to have a service dog? How about the reasons people need service dogs? The Kean University Council for Exceptional Children (KUCEC) hosted a workshop about Service Dog Education, in association with Kayla's Paws Service Dog Training, Education, and Assistance Foundation, on Thursday, Nov. 14th in Hennings Hall, Room 113 to answer those questions.

The KUCEC wants to provide students with the opportunity to learn more about Kayla's Paws and what their mission statement is as an organization. At the workshop, service dogs were discussed in detail: how to get one and all the necessary training required on how to use their service dog.

Kayla's Paws is a non-profit, charity-based organization and their main goal is to provide assistance, training and other general service dog assistance for law enforcement officers who are disabled in the line of duty. The organization was founded by Director and Chief Service Dog Instructor David Nowak, who, in fact, is an alumnus of Kean University. He created the non-profit organization to provide the opportunity for qualified disabled individuals to obtain training for their very own service dog.

"We decided to host Kayla's Paws because we are an organization that promotes acceptance and awareness. Basically, we wanted to have an organization that helps and trains the service dogs and what types of disabilities they do that for," said Jessica Garner, the president of the KUCEC.

Nowak, along with another representative from Kayla's Paws, came to talk to students about all the services the organization has to offer, ranging from service dog training to how to become a service dog trainer. Nowak even brought along two service dogs from his organization to present to students. The dogs' names were Nikita and Bella, and they were highly energetic in meeting the students at Kean. The organization understands how important service dogs are to the individuals that need them to help with everyday activities.

"We have not done an event like this before. I have been in the club for three years, and every year we have tried to find an organization like this to come out and do this for Kean students, and Kayla's Paws agreed to come out and showcase what they do. It is a big deal for us and we are very happy that Kayla's Paws came out for this," said Garner.

Students were glad to have learned so much on how service dogs are crucial to helping out individuals with major disabilities, as well as knowing the ins and outs of how service dog training works. They even got a chance to meet the two service dogs, Nikita and Bella, and had a chance to take a picture with them. If students know anyone in law enforcement with a special disability or are interested in becoming a service dog trainer, they should consider Kayla's Paws Service Dog Training, Education, and Assistance Foundation. Dogs such as Nikita and Bella are here to make sure everyone is welcome no matter the circumstance.

Service Dogs such as Bella are trained to assist law enforcement officers who have special disabilities.]]>
<![CDATA[Help Save a Life]]> New Jersey Blood Services and Kean University united on Thursday, Nov. 14, to host a university-wide blood drive. Located in the Miron Student Center (MSC), Room 228, this event lasted through most of the day, giving students and staff members the opportunity to donate at their convenience.

According to the New York Blood Center, there is a critical shortage in blood donations, and an increase in blood demand. Blood transfusions are a life-saving procedure that as many as 95% of Americans need at some point in their lives, according to the New York Blood Center.

Students who participated in the blood drive were greeted by a number of nurses, beds to lay on while donating and plenty of food and water available. Volunteers at the event helped speed up the process by registering students, and distributed stickers that read, "I donated!" A line was formed outside of the door by eager students waiting to donate.

Wynter Ragsdale, a volunteer at the event, said that volunteering for events like these are proactive, and as an added bonus, they are a great resume builder. "Now is the time to start volunteering," she said. "Instead of just sitting down and doing nothing, you're actually being productive."

Students who successfully donated blood were also able to receive up to two hours of volunteer service hours for contributing.

For any students looking to donate blood in the future, there are a few rules of thumb to follow:

  • Eat and drink something before donating
  • Bring a valid State ID and Student ID
  • Make an appointment for less of a wait time
  • Relax

Ragsdale supports donating, encourages everyone to donate and says there's no excuse not to. "This is for an actual person in need. Your blood is going to be used. Blood donations should be promoted more on the news and people should participate more."

This is the second blood drive the Center for Leadership and Service (CLS) has hosted this semester. CLS works toward goals of providing student opportunities in leadership development training, community service involvement, service learning and campus organizational development and serves to connect students with volunteer activities.

The Community and Volunteer Services department under CLS frequently holds community service opportunities for students to gain hours serving the community while making a difference, networking themselves and broadening their horizons.

Regarding information on this event and future events like this, please contact the Center for Leadership and Service with any questions. They are located in the Miron Student Center, Room 219, and can be reached by phone (908) 737-5170 or by email serve@kean.edu.

The next upcoming Blood Drive will be taking place on Dec. 5 from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Students lined up outside of the blood drive, waiting to donate]]>
<![CDATA[Painting Smiles]]> World Kindness Day transpires every year on Nov. 13, which is a day to remember the importance and impact that small acts of kindness can have. The Kean community celebrated with the help of Programming for Unique and Lively Student Experience, also known as P.U.L.S.E., as they held their Paint a Smile event.

Paint a Smile: World Kindness Day was from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Nancy Thompson Library Learning Commons (NTLC). Representatives from P.U.L.S.E. ran the event which included many activities for the students to participate in. They also had an informational table not only on World Kindness Day but also on the other programming that The Office of Student Government is hosting for the remainder of the semester.

P.U.L.S.E. is housed under the The Office of Student Government and is led by students who plan events and programs for their peers. They are dedicated to expanding the Kean community involvement through their diverse, academic and entertaining events.

As soon as students entered the door of the NTLC, the World Kindness Day tabling could be seen with friendly faces behind it. Students were invited to learn more about the purpose of World Kindness Day and the affect that one small act of kindness could have.

Students were encouraged to spin a wheel, and depending on what it landed on they were engaged in different activities. For example, some of the options were encouraging the student to text a friend a compliment to spread kindness, giving the student a thank you card to fill out and give to their loved ones and getting a Polaroid picture taken of them to make their day.

Another option on the wheel was for the students to give a social media shout out on their @keanstudentgov Instagram story. Those who landed on this option could tag a friend and share why they are thankful for them or to send them a positive message.

Students also had the option to write what kindness meant to them and post it on a bulletin board so that a passerby could learn about the various reasons to celebrate World Kindness Day. Some of the submissions included, "It means helping others whenever you can because you never know what someone is going through," and, "It means to me that everyone has the chance to be themselves freely and safely."

Celina Edwards, an assistant coordinator for P.U.L.S.E. Committee, spoke on how during today's day in age, it is especially important for people to know that they are loved and appreciated.

P.U.L.S.E. also gave out books titled, 100 Days of Kindness: Spreading Happiness, Joy and Love with 100 Acts of Kindness by Jacob Reimer. This is full of fun ideas to make peoples days a little brighter, whether it be through paying for another customer's coffee or letting someone into a lane when driving.

To learn more about P.U.L.S.E., be sure to check out the Student Organization of Kean University's Cougar Link page, which is where their events are posted.

World Kindness Day reminds the community of the large impact one small act of kindness can have.]]>
<![CDATA[Embrace Your Flag]]> On Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, the Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority hosted Embrace Your Flag, an event highlighting and embracing cultural awareness. It took place at the Miron Student Center (MSC), Room 228, beginning at 6:30 p.m. and concluding at 8:30 p.m.

The room was packed with students, and there were stations with poster boards about each country members of the sorority decided to focus on. Those countries were Morocco, Peru, Cuba, Japan, the Dominican Republic and Brazil.

"Embrace Your Flag was an opportunity for us to partner with multiple organizations and have a well-rounded discussion around culture," said Emily Hernandez, current member and chapter orientation advisor of Lambda Theta Alpha.

Students went to each station and learned about the geography, history, culture and demographics of each country. Each station also had a dish native to that country which attendees were free to help themselves to.

There was also a note-taking component of the program that allowed students to keep track of what they learned at each country's station they visited, in the form of a "passport" they held onto.

Embrace Your Flag brought students together to celebrate the importance of diversity.

"These events where everybody gets to choose a country and express a bit of the culture there are always my favorite," said Johnny Martinez, member and current chapter president of Lambda Sigma Upsilon.

When asked why these events were his favorite, Martinez talked about having the opportunity to showcase an underrepresented country.

"Countries that are overlooked have a chance to shine," continued Martinez. "I am not Japanese, but I have a passion for Japanese culture which has always been a thing for me since I was young. I have enough knowledge of the country and its culture to represent it."

Martinez feels that Kean University does well with diversity. "This has to be one of the top schools that promotes diversity among the nation because [in] every room that I walk into on campus, there is always a mixed group of people," he continued.

"There isn't always one society which makes it interesting to learn more about other people's cultures and helps you make friends. If you don't have the funds to travel, the first thing you could do is to be informed of other people's knowledge and experience of them doing so."

Diversity is prevalent in today's world. One must be willing to embrace other backgrounds and cultures to ensure success in both academic institutions and the workforce.

Among students, diversity has a direct impact on performance. Students seem to work better in an environment that is diverse, enabling them to push themselves further and to take on new challenges for growth.

Learning about different backgrounds and cultures helps students to think more critically and efficiently. This also brings comfort to oneself, giving one a sense of safety within themselves and the world around them.

Lambda Theta Alpha's mission is to provide sisterhood based on unity, love, and respect to foster development of those who are willing to take charge and lead by providing and practicing political, social, and cultural activities. Lambda Theta Alpha aims to bolster unity through charitable and educational programs.

Information about the sorority can be found on their website and on Cougar Link. Anyone wishing to reach out to Lambda Theta Alpha can email them at alphalta@kean.edu.

<![CDATA[Securing the Bag]]> The fast-paced life of a college student allows for little room to actively search for scholarship opportunities and other means of financial aid. There are usually hundreds of scholarship resources to sift through, which can take hours of searching, sorting, and applying. However, Kean makes this tedious process simple. From Oct. 1, 2019, through March 1, 2020, Kean students are given access to the Kean University Foundation Scholarship Application.

Qualified students can apply for hundreds of scholarship applications across various online platforms through Kean's scholarship search.

Students can access the array of available scholarships, and the online application for Kean scholarships, through the scholarship services page. There, scholarships are categorized into specifics, such as undergraduate and graduate scholarships, major specific scholarships and incoming freshman or transfer student scholarships. Scholarships are also available for students of different races or ethnicities, gender, and even military background.

Brian Treanor, the director of scholarship services, says the online application is simple to complete. A free account can be created online at the Kean University Online Scholarship Application with their student email. Once able to access the application, the student will be asked to fill out a short questionnaire including what their major is, annual household income and any clubs or activities they may be involved in. A short essay is also required.

"The application does not need to be completed in one session. As long as you save your password, you can go in and work on it whenever you like, as long as you submit it by March 1st," Treanor says.

It is also highly encouraged that every student complete an online FAFSA application, in order to apply for more federally funded financial aid, such as grants.

External scholarship links are available on the Scholarship Service's page as well. They include various websites that are free to use, that go outside of Kean's resources to help students narrow down their scholarship search.

"It is our goal at Kean to help reduce your net cost of attendance (your bill), and earning a scholarship can certainly help to make this possible," Treanor said.

Some of the outside sources for scholarships include:

College Board Opportunity Scholarships

The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans







These scholarship opportunities become a lifesaver for most students, as the application process is easy and not very time consuming. Kean's essay portion in particular is a useful tool that students can use to their advantage.

"Keep in mind that many applicants are going to exhibit strong academic merit, and many will also have good references, as well as a solid record of community service," Treanor explains. "The essay is your chance to rise above and beyond those aspects, and tell the review committee exactly why you need this scholarship, how it will benefit you and ultimately how you will benefit the world once you move beyond Kean University."

Priority deadline for submitting the online application for incoming freshman is Feb. 1, 2020. Current students can access the online application at any time up until March 1, 2020. The office of scholarship services is located in the Center for Academic Success (CAS), Room 124. They can also be reached by phone at (908) 737-0415 or by email at kuscholar@kean.edu.

<![CDATA[Get Tested Today for Free]]> In an effort to assist and educate Kean students to be aware of their sexual and personal health, the Student Health Services department at Kean University is offering HIV testing dates. Not only does Student Health Services provide these testings, but they are also both free and confidential, as long as patients are currently attending Kean University.

Student Health Services is a department on campus that is committed to maintaining and promoting optimal wellness in the Kean community. Student Health Services is dedicated to making sure that all of their student-available resources are affordable, accessible and high quality, and to providing ambulatory health care which meets the needs of the diverse student population. Other essentials that Student Health Services provides include:

  • Cold and flu
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Pregnancy tests
  • Strep tests
  • Abdominal pain
  • Injuries
  • Rashes
  • Allergies

HIV is a virus which harms the immune system and puts an individual at risk for more serious infections and cancers. HIV is usually spread through sexual contact and can be treated but not cured. It is highly recommended that individuals at high risk for HIV get tested at least once a year to avoid any further health damages and spreading of the disease.

The option for free, rapid HIV testing, however, is no longer available, due to the funding being cancelled by the New Jersey Department of Health's Division of HIV, STD, and TB Services. However, in order to keep providing the free services for Kean students, the department has partnered with the Iris House of Plainfield and have PrEP counselors and HIV testers come to Kean University twice a month. Dates will usually fall on the first and third Tuesdays each month of the semester, and take place from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. No appointment is required on these dates. The upcoming dates for the rest of the semester are:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 19
  • Tuesday, Dec. 3
  • Tuesday, Dec. 17

As long as the patient is a registered Kean Student, they are welcome to go to Student Health Services, located on campus in Downs Hall, Room 126, on these upcoming dates to get tested to see if they may or may not HIV. It is always safer to be sure than not.

Kean's Student Health Services also offers pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medication. PrEP is a pill that protects the user when they are in an HIV-risk situation. This medication only works for people who are HIV negative and greatly lowers their risk of getting the disease. When used correctly, PrEP has a 90 percent success rate of preventing HIV from sex.

If a student has any other questions, they can email Student Health Services at hsnurses@kean.edu, call them at (908) 737-4880, or stop by their office today. The office accepts walk-ins. Remember, all information provided is highly confidential and any information that is shared in the office stays in the office. Student Health Services is committed to providing the necessary essentials to meet the needs of the student community.

Student Health Services offers free HIV testing for Kean students on certain dates throughout the semester.]]>
<![CDATA[Becoming the Kean Cougar]]> Ever wonder what it is like to become the Kean Cougar itself? The mascot that walks across campus and shows up to almost all major events bringing high energy and enthusiasm, wherever it goes? Well, now is the time to roar.

No matter what type of event there is, the Cougar mascot represents the entirety of Kean University. For many years, the Kean Cougar has been the spirit for all of Kean University. Whether it means welcoming incoming freshmen at Undergraduate Open House or entertaining a campus-wide event hosted by different organizations, becoming the face of Kean University can be a life-changing opportunity for those who want to become more involved or practice their networking skills.

Formerly known as the Kean Squires, the university voted and adopted the Cougar as the new mascot back in 1985. Expressing the cougar pride, the university even adopted 2 living cougars named Scout and Sage, who are located at Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, New Jersey.

There are many different departments on campus that have their own versions of the Kean Cougar mascot outfit to wear at events. Some of these organizations are:

Many more departments and organizations have their own versions, as well.

Becoming the Kean Cougar allows the person in the costume to become the best version of themselves and allow everyone around them to embrace the mascot's energy. Everyone can join in the excitement of representing Kean University as both an institution and a welcoming environment for students to call home. The people inside the costumes are highly motivated, current Kean student volunteers who are willing to take the time out of their busy schedules to put on the many different components of the outfit and go out into the world representing Kean.

"You are your own person with the costume. You develop a better characteristic and a more open personality after wearing a costume like that, because then you understand that people actually do have passion...usually, when you initially meet people, they have either a sour face or don't seem that happy, but with the Cougar costume, people always seem happy and are always excited to meet you. So, that's a good way for attention seeking, or just a great way to just interact with other people," said Yaa-sin Abdul-Qawily, a current Kean student, who reflected on his experience of wearing the Cougar mascot costume.

The student volunteer does not even need to speak to express their excitement and pride for Kean. If a student is not a very social personality, that is okay. The costume completely hides the person who is wearing it and allows the individual to show their cougar pride through movement and expressions. Becoming the Cougar mascot is a huge responsibility, but it is definitely a rewarding experience for those who want to showcase their passion for attending Kean University.

If you are interested in becoming the beloved mascot and want to represent Kean at the many major events that are hosted across campus, then this is the opportunity for you. Please contact one of the organizations mentioned above and find out how what it means to be a motivational inspiration for incoming Freshmen and the entire Kean Community. For Admissions, contact Jordan Cascino and for the Office of Student Government, contact Alexa Cantres. It is time to showcase that Kean pride and hear that roar as cougars climb higher.

Student, Amirah James, with the Kean Cougar.]]>
<![CDATA[Lending a Helping Hand to the Hungry]]> Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week is an annual event that takes place in November. It is typically the week before Thanksgiving and this year it falls on the week of Saturday, Nov. 16 and will end Sunday, Nov. 24. Kean University's Center for Leadership and Service (CLS) will be hosting the week's events this year.

CLS is an organization focused on preparing students to become good leaders as well as developing ways to get the Kean community involved on campus or volunteering in their community. Every year, since the center began, they have put on service projects and events to aid in Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week, a week focused on reminding people to consider those that may not have enough to eat during this time of thankfulness.

During this time, people are encouraged to volunteer, host events and educate others on the prevalent issue of hunger in our country. CLS is able to do this with the help of their non-profit partners off campus and their on-campus partners that provide programs like the Food Bank Luncheon, which is hosted yearly by Student Organization, and last year's Human Rights Conference which focused on the Politics of Food.

CLS' Managing Assistant Director for Community Service and Civic Engagement Susan Figueroa believes that this is an important time and that people should realize that hunger is a prevalent issue in not only our country but also the world today.

"The thing I most would like people to take away from this is to realize that the issue of hunger is something that is everywhere," said Figueroa. "Food insecurity is in every city and every county. The good news is if it's everywhere then we have an opportunity to be of service to combat it everywhere too. There is room for impact for us all."

With the goal to combat hunger in mind, CLS is asking the Kean community to come out and help them in this fight against hunger. There will be several different events throughout the week that people can participate in.

A list of service trips for Kean's Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week is as follows:

For more information on each event or to register, students may check Cougar Link.

Kean University also has its Cougar Pantry in the Human Rights Institute, Room 211, where students can go to drop off food for anyone who may need it. Questions about the food pantry can be emailed to cougarpantry@kean.edu. In addition to dropping off food directly at the food pantry, students may opt to join the Cougar Pantry during their Tabling and Food Drive events on Tuesday, Nov. 19 and Wednesday, Nov. 20. Kean has also launched a Food Recovery Program where students will receive text alerts about free food on campus. To opt into the program, students may text @keanfood to 81010.

While Figueroa believes that starting the fight against hunger during Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week is a step in the right direction, she wants people to remember that the ending of the week does not mean people should stop giving or volunteering.

"This issue is a 365 day issue and not just an issue that can be combated one week a year," said Figueroa. "I encourage students to always try to be good citizens of the world and look to be of service to our very own campus students, our neighbors and our community at large. Host food drives, pay attention to those who are struggling and share resources. Volunteer your time, energy and money. We have to believe that we can make a difference in the lives of others."

Anyone that would like to volunteer their time outside of campus or would like to learn more about Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week can visit their website.

The Center for Leadership and Service (CLS) encourages the Kean community to join the fight against hunger. ]]>
<![CDATA[Honoring Kean's Veterans]]> On Monday, Nov. 11, the Office of Veteran Student Services, Student Government and the Kean Veterans Educational Transition Services Program (Kean V.E.T.S.) held a special event to honor Veterans Day and all of Kean student veterans in the community and around the world.

Director of Kean V.E.T.S. Vito E. Zajda opened the event and served as a master of ceremonies, of sorts, to keep the flow of the event. He welcomed all in attendance and spoke on the significance of the veteran community on campus.

The event included special performances of the "Star Spangled Banner" and "God Bless America" by the Kean Gospel Choir, as well as an invocation by the Catholic Campus Minister Mariama Roldan.

Kean was recently ranked number one in the nation by Military Friendly's 2019-2020 Top 10 Schools survey. This rank is attributed to all of the hard work and dedication of the Office of Veteran Student Services.

With the help of Student Government, nearly $20,000 was raised in funds to help support Rebuilding Warriors. Rebuilding Warriors is a non-profit organization that provides veterans with trained service dogs to assist them with the transition to and hardships of civilian life.

As a part of the Veterans Day Ceremony, Jason Pryor was the recipient of a service dog to help him cope with severe anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The service dog, Keen, will serve as a tool for Pryor to cope with different stressors in his day-to-day life.

"People see people with service dogs, they see us walking and talking. They look as us and wonder, 'Why do they need a service dog?' What you can't see is that PTSD is invisible, it stays with you your entire life and it is not easy," said Jeff Mullins, vice-president for Rebuilding Warriors. "Its our goal to provide veterans and first responders with service dogs to help them achieve what their new 'normal' is. Jason has his new best friend, Keen."

Mullins urges members of the Kean community to be aware that all the service dogs seen on campus are doing a job. If owners of those service dogs do not allow community members to pet their dog, that is their right because the dogs are their tools for life and staying alive. The dogs are invisible until the owners decide they are not invisible.

President of Student Organization Francois Zebaze spoke on the efforts to raise money from Student Government to help train Pryor's new service dog, Keen. He also read aloud a poem that honors veterans on the day of remembering those who serve for our country.

Following the presentation of the service dog to Pryor, Kean V.E.T.S. presented an award to Juan Leon-Torres for his exceptional work as a veteran mentor. Torres said a few words, after receiving the honor, about how he fell into the role of becoming a mentor, and began to make changes within the Veteran Student Services office to help make Kean a great place for student veterans.

The ceremony closed with the retiring of colors and the placing of a wreath next to the flag pole in the university center. What can be taken from this day of honor is that, while Veterans Day is one day out of the year, we should always be grateful and respectful of those who fight for the country to remain safe and secure.

Student Veteran Juan Leon Torres (right) accepts an award for his work within the Office of Veteran Student Services.]]>
<![CDATA[Squeaky Wheel Gets the Oil]]> Veteran student, business owner, and single mother of four: these are only some labels to describe the hardworking and humble Ashley Tufuga, who far surpasses any one title.

This semester marks Tufuga's first at Kean as she pursues a bachelor's of science in marketing after transferring from Coastline Community College. This degree is not the first one Tufuga is working to earn as she has already earned a diverse set of associate degrees over her lifetime. It is, however, Tufuga's first time pursuing a bachelor's degree on campus.

New Jersey born and Scotch Plains raised, Tufuga chose Kean University to stay close to home with her four children as she pursues her degree within a classroom setting. The transition from online classes to an in-classroom setting has been an interesting experience for Tufuga, who has found it humorous to observe the differences and similarities between herself and her younger classmates.

"It's definitely been interesting to see the generations behind me go through classes with me," said Tufuga.

With her varied experience, Tufuga has been able to act as a mentor for some students, sharing life advice that she wished she had known in her 20's. This is especially pertinent in her Communication 1402: Critical Citizenship class where she makes sure to curate her speeches to be informative and offer life lessons to the class.

"It feels good being able to help out someone where I didn't have help," said Tufuga.

Her interesting speeches have made her a key speaker in the class, even inspiring her instructor to encourage her to give a TED Talk one day, although Tufuga has not yet followed through with the idea.

Part of her wealth of knowledge for her presentations comes from her diverse background and experiences. Tufuga has had her hand in multiple industries and interests including nuclear power, human resource management, general business, the U.S. Navy and cosmetology.

Tufuga expressed that her time in the U.S. Navy was some of the most fun of her life. She worked as a nuclear machinist mate, learning how to build and operate nuclear power plants. At the time, she worked in a field where the male to female ratio was typically about 33 to 1. Tufuga has found that that experience of working alongside mostly men has given her a better understanding of the differences between how men operate and how women operate. As a result, Tufuga feels that it has better equipped her to work alongside men since being in the Navy. She remarked that this particular line of work had been her favorite.

After leaving the U.S. Navy, Tufuga proceeded to try her hand in different fields, eventually falling in love with the marketing field. Recently, Tufuga has even begun her own freelance business contracting company, Legacy Business Solutions, LLC. This entrepreneurial venture is part of why Tufuga had decided to earn a bachelor's in science in marketing as to be best equipped to manage her company.

Owning a freelance company has allowed Tufuga the necessary flexibility she needs to be able to balance being both a student and a single mother. As CEO of the company, Tufuga enjoys the ability to make her own work hours and decide what projects to take on.

"Having a full time job was definitely 10 times more stressful, believe it or not," said Tufuga. "Some people are like, 'Oh, I like the stability,' but when you have children, when you have school and then you have work demands, [it's difficult.]"

Owning her business has allowed Tufuga to be able to cater her time around her four children, two of which have special needs. Being available for her children is incredibly important to Tufuga, who makes sure to shift her school schedule with this consideration in mind.

Tufuga's children have been especially supportive of their mother going back to school to earn her degree. Tufuga shared that her home's slogan is "Nerd Life: think different, stay weird." Tufuga has impressed in her children the importance of constantly being curious and learning, and has enjoyed having her children take interest in the process of earning a college education.

The Office of Veteran Student Services (OVSS) has also helped Tufuga to navigate her time at Kean, offering her resources and a community to lean on. A common obstacle veteran students face is waiting for documentation to be processed. The office has been especially helpful in this by advocating for and supporting veteran students through these frustrating circumstances.

One of the most significant ways the office has helped veteran students is by inviting a representative from Veteran Affairs (VA) to come to Kean every week. Tufuga notes that this has been especially helpful as veteran students are largely dependent on VAs processing their documentation to receive their necessary payments, benefits and more. Tufuga notes that having a VA representative available to sit down and discuss questions and concerns in person has been especially helpful for veteran students by shortening what otherwise would have been a longer and complicated communication process. The support offered to veteran students through OVSS is a feature largely unique to Kean University, earning them first rank in Military Friendly's 2019-2020 Top 10 Military Friendly University in the Nation lineup.

"To have someone on campus on a regular basis to help [veteran students] anytime we need is A1 service. A lot of places don't offer a lot for vets," said Tufuga. "I like that we're heard. So, if we ask for something or we say we need something, Kean and [Vito Zajda, director and VA certifying official of OVSS] do their best to accommodate us."

Tufuga believes her ability to balance all her responsibilities is in huge part because of the effort she puts in to advocate for her needs.

"I'm a firm believer in 'The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Oil,'" said Tufuga. "If you don't ask, [people are] not going to give it to you."

This was a fun saying Tufuga's doctor had shared with her that has now become an important slogan for her life and that she hopes to impart to the whole Kean student body.

"Don't get discouraged. My advice would be: if you know what you need to do, or know what you want to do, or know what you need to ask, don't be discouraged by one person giving you an answer you don't like, go somewhere else. It's okay to get a second opinion or to ask 'Can I get a second chance?' It's okay to advocate for yourself," said Tufuga.

Tufuga continues to use her unique background and experience as a dedicated parent, professional and veteran to make the most of every day she spends at Kean University.

Ashley Tufuga challenges the bounds of what it means to be a Kean student.]]>
<![CDATA[Get Familiar With Your Co-Curricular]]> Becoming a well rounded individual is a major key throughout a student's time here at Kean. Tracking community service hours and all of the organizations a student is currently a part of can be very important when applying for graduate schools as well as positions both on and off campus. The Co-Curricular Transcript (CCT) is an official record of students' involvement at Kean University and helps keep track of all the organizations they were or are currently a part of as well as any academic awards that were granted.

The CCT is an official document bearing the university seal which can be customized to compliment a student's academic transcript or resume. The CCT is primarily used to increase students' marketability to prospective job employers and graduate schools. It is also used to showcase a personal journey throughout Kean providing a view of a student's skills and abilities. The CCT is provided by the Center for Leadership and Service.

The CCT is all about the student's learning experience and is used to highlight important life skills such as leadership, decision making, team building, communication, problem solving as well as goal setting and networking skills to make individuals stand out in their applications.

The CCT lists the exact dates a student joins an organization and how many community service hours a student has accumulated throughout their time here at Kean. It is important that the student regularly updates their CCT because often times, employers may want to see what the student has done in their college community beyond academics.

The CCT is organized into four sections based on:

1. Awards, Honors and Scholarships

2. Student Organization and Leadership Activities

3. Educational Workshops and Programs

4. Community Service and Civic Engagement

Even though most activities a student may do will show up on their CCT automatically, all other entries must be manually entered by the student to ensure that it shows up on both the unofficial transcript and the requested official transcript that is provided by the Center for Leadership and Service.

Students have the option to view a copy of their Unofficial Co-Curricular Transcript by logging into Cougar Link with their username and password, clicking on their profile picture on the top right of the screen and selecting the option of viewing the unofficial transcript.

If you would like to request an official copy of your CCT, make sure your unofficial one is accurate and up to date. Once that is done, search on Cougar Link for the Center for Leadership and Service and scroll down to the forms section of the organization and click on the request form. Official transcripts will only be released to the student and will not be sent directly to employers or graduate schools. Students may either pick up their form in person within four business days or have it mailed to them within ten business days.

Kean University is here to provide success for all of its students so they can truly "climb higher" at achieving their goals beyond college. For more information on the Co-Curricular Transcript Program, feel free to contact the Center for Leadership and Service at (908) 737-5170 or stop by their main office located in the Miron Student Center (MSC), Room 219.

Co-Curricular Specialist Kaila Velez showcasing the benefits of having an excellent CCT.]]>
<![CDATA[Calling Up the Vote]]> On Wednesday, Nov. 6, from 2 to 4 p.m., members of the Center for Leadership and Service (CLS) and other student volunteers set up tables in the atrium of the Miron Student Center (MSC) to encourage Kean University students to register to vote - and to provide the necessary information and paperwork for registration.

The table gathered young students, who are often registering for the first time, to educate them about the electoral process as well as the power and importance of their vote is a vital part of any university community. New Jersey's primary vote in the 2020 presidential race will take place on June 2, 2020, and the general election will follow on Nov. 3, 2020.

One tabling volunteer, Isabelle Zapytowski, a freshman sociology major who registered for the first time at an earlier registering table, indicated that from the early sample size, many of those registering were commuter students. This illustrates a lot of the value of the university promoting student involvement in the electoral process. The community at Kean is fostering that students who might not otherwise have had a convenient window into the process or access to all the information they would like, can easily get registered and begin to research important political matters before the 2020 elections.

Francesca Merlino, a freshman journalism major, also tabling for the afternoon, described, "It's very important that this generation starts to vote because we are voting for our future, and we should have a say in how our future pans out."

Those sentiments could not be more true. According to a Pew study of 2016 election voters, nearly 62 million people under 36 (millennials) were eligible to vote, representing about 27 percent of the U.S. electorate; this is nearly equal to the largest, pool, the Baby Boomers (aged 52 to 70), who comprise 31 percent of voters, and a much larger group than the Silent Generation or Generation X. However, only about 51 percent of millennials voted - 10 percent less than the national average (61 percent).

The discrepancy between the number of young people who are eligible to vote and those who exercise their right, translates to less representation and defense of their values in the government. It is important that universities like Kean and all around the country provide all of the resources and information available to promote how imperative voting registration and election participation is. Because the majority of university students fall into the millennial and post-millennial groups, the involvement of those groups can be hugely improved by voting and registration campaigns on campuses.

Further, the percentage of voter turnout among millennials grew to 51 percent in 2016 from 46 percent in 2012. As with every gap between cycles, the four years since the 2016 election will mean hundreds of thousands, or millions, of post-Millennial voters are eligible for the first time.

At Kean students have a great opportunity to learn and get involved in their local and larger communities. In the world of politics, that can mean the difference in a town, a state or a whole country.

<![CDATA[A Moment with the Devin Hour]]> WKNJ-FM 90.3 is where Kean University's radio DJs can be found. Located in the Center for Academic Success (CAS), Room 401 the radio station houses shows like The Devin Hour, a talk show run by Devin Wilson that creates a safe space for people to come together and share their differing opinions.

Wilson, the program director at WKNJ-FM 90.3, is currently a senior at Kean University majoring in communication with a specialization in media and film. During his time in the Exceptional Educational Opportunities (EEO/EOF) program, Wilson was searching for something to be a part of on campus when he came across WKNJ-FM 90.3, a student-run and managed radio station, and became interested in joining the team.

"I was mainly looking just to join anything, but then, as I started to think about it more, I was like, 'Okay, maybe I should do a radio show,' because all I do is talk," said Wilson. "And I have strong opinions on a lot of things, and I feel like some of the things I talk about or my opinions differ from others..."

Wilson's show is mainly based on opinion. He talks about the things that interest him, like music and the social world. But, he also dives into wider cultural issues, like advocating for the LGBTQ community.

"I talk about a lot of LGBTQ topics. One of the main things I advocate for is trans rights and the visibility or representation for people who identify as non-binary, people who kind of fall in between or people who just don't want to fall anywhere, like they just want to be who they are," Wilson said.

Wilson knows that when speaking on these topics he has to keep the dialogue open. His show is about opening the door for everyone to discuss their opinions openly and respectfully.

"Everybody listens to the show, so it's not just people who are like-minded or people who are LGBTQ. I have people come on [that have] different opinions; people who might identify as cis-gendered or heterosexual. They come on the show and we just have an open conversation," said Wilson.

Wilson works hard to keep things fair both within The Devin Hour and WKNJ-FM 90.3 as a whole. Since becoming the program director at WKNJ-FM 90.3, he has made sure people know the program was not just for communication majors.

"I definitely encouraged people outside of the Communication Department to come in. Now we have people who are psychology majors, theatre majors, finance, marketing - everybody's here because everybody has an opinion. It's important to get everybody so you can get those different perspectives," said Wilson.

Wilson's efforts have appeared to garner good results as he has been contacted by people who follow his work on Twitter or Instagram to compliment his show, or even to ask for advice for starting their own shows. Wilson advises everyone not to be afraid to try and fail.

"I would [advise] trial and error. Try it out, fail and then pick yourself back up. Learn from what didn't go well. Continue with it and just be yourself on air. People can really hear if you are truly being yourself or not, so that's very important," said Wilson.

This is something Wilson aspires for himself, as he has taken many lessons from his years working at the radio station.

"I learned how important it is to just be yourself. As I said, people can hear it, so that's really important...learning how to be yourself, how to express yourself properly and how to be open to different perspectives," said Wilson.

Wilson hopes to continue to make WKNJ-FM 90.3 a place where everyone can feel welcome and comfortable, as well as continuing to pursue a career as a radio DJ.

"Currently, I'm doing an internship with a syndicate for radio promotions. I've been doing background work on how people send out music and how people promote music, which is really cool because you should be getting the background information of any job you do," said Wilson.

Anyone who would like to hear Wilson's show can catch it live from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. It can also be found afterward on streaming services like Spotify and SoundCloud. For more information on WKNJ-FM 90.3, people can visit their website.

Wilson in the central hub of the WKNJ-FM 90.3 headquarters.]]>
<![CDATA[Kean Stage Presents: Sunday in the Park with George]]> Award winning musical Sundays in the Park with George is coming to Kean from Friday, Nov. 15 to Saturday, Nov. 23. The musical is based on the painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat and will be a Kean Theatre Conservatory production.

Sundays in the Park with George is a musical utilizing music by Stephen Sondheim and a book by James Lapines. The musical is a fictional take on real-life French pointillist painter Georges Seurat's process of painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. It follows a fictionalized Georges Seurat as he strains to balance life, love and art. Since its first production in 1984, the musical has since won multiple awards, most notably a Pulitzer Prize for Drama and two Tony Awards.

Part of the musical's success was its ability to creatively convey and develop the story of Seurat's relatable work-life struggle.

"There are many themes and lessons in this musical. The first that comes to mind is the balance between work and play - Georges, the artist, is so obsessed with his work that he sacrifices meaningful relationships, thus leaving him ultimately lost," said Director of Kean Theatre Conservatory Holly Logue.

Sundays in the Park with George was a popular pick with Kean Theatre Conservatory faculty who curates their production according to specific considerations.

"When we choose a season, selecting material that we feel passionate about is certainly one of the factors," said Logue. "We also choose material based on the skills we think our students need to be developing both as actors and designers or technicians. Last, we choose material that we want our audiences to be exposed to." 

It is this attention to detail and genuine passion for the arts that usually makes the musicals the Kean Theatre Conservatory a hit with guests.

"I always think audiences enjoy our work because they appreciate the talents of our performers, all of whom are amazingly devoted students who aspire to continue their work in the profession," said Logue. "Our audiences always complement the students, surprised that they were so very good! I also expect that the audiences will find the story an interesting one, about an artist and the characters in his paintings."

Dates for performances of Sundays in the Park with George is as follows:

  • Nov. 15 at 8 p.m.
  • Nov. 16 at 8 p.m.
  • Nov. 17 at 2 p.m.
  • Nov. 20 at 8 p.m.
  • Nov. 21 at 5 p.m.*
  • Nov. 22 at 8 p.m.
  • Nov 23 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

*Nov. 21 will also feature a special Q & A session with the cast, director and Kean art historian, Lewis Kachur, Ph.D.

All performances will take place in Wilkins Theatre. Tickets are $10 for students with a Kean ID, $12 for faculty, staff and senior citizens and $15 for general admission. Tickets may be purchased online on the Kean Stage website.

Sundays in the Park with George is coming to Wilkins Theatre starting this coming Nov. 15.]]>