<![CDATA[Cougar's Byte Feed]]> Wed, 20 Mar 2019 20:03:28 -0400 Wed, 20 Mar 2019 20:03:28 -0400 SNworks CEO 2019 The Cougar's Byte <![CDATA[Building Up Over Break]]> Kean University students partnered with Habitat for Humanity for this year's Alternative Spring Break project. The project took place from Tuesday, March 12 to Saturday, March 16 at an Asbury Park Habitat for Humanity project that will be home to a single mother and her four children.

Kean's Alternative Spring Break with Habitat for Humanity has been an annual project for students since Hurricane Sandy impacted the East Coast in 2012. Alternative Spring Break is an opportunity for students to give back to the community, during their break in place of the intended resting period. This year marks the seventh year since the projects began. The project boasted 16 volunteers in total to help out with the house. Volunteers were tasked with a variety of jobs including house sheathing, general labor, woodworking and more. Volunteers had varying experiences in carpentry, so it was a learning experience for everyone.

"I had a really great time [at Alternative Spring Break] because it was my first time trying to build a new house, and it was really lucky that we got to meet the family that was going to move there. It was a great experience, " said Zijia Zhou, a sophomore English major.

Throughout the trip, all the volunteers had to work together. Service Specialist Priscilla Boa-Amponsem was impressed by how quickly everyone on the service trip befriended each other.

"The best thing [about the project was that] everyone had so much energy working on the project, nobody seemed tired, everyone was happy to be there...and they were happy to get going. The energy on the site was great throughout the whole day so we made so much progress that the volunteer coordinator there was surprised," said Boa-Amponsem.

Along with new friendships and experiences, volunteers came out of the event with newfound realizations.

Boa-Amponsem said, "My biggest takeaway is that we should not take anything for granted, even having a roof over your head. You think it's so easy, but people go through so much just to get a roof over their head. [The owner] is working so hard. This house is going to take a whole process, it's going to take her about two years to get it and she's still paying her rent and everything. We shouldn't take anything for granted. We should be very thankful for what we have because it's not easy."

"I really hope that for the next [Alternative Spring Break] there would be more people joining the project because it's a really good opportunity to give back to the community, and it's a good chance for us to learn how to use a saw, how to climb a ladder and how houses are built," said Zhou.

For more opportunities to work with Habitat for Humanity or other service projects through Kean, students can visit the Center for Leadership and Service page on Cougar Link.

<![CDATA[Loving Embrace]]> The National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and Sigma Gamma Rho sorority will be hosting Embracing the Crown: I AM in Miron Student Center (MSC) Room 228 March 25 from 8 to 10 p.m. This workshop will feature the groups' members in their mission to facilitate positive communication and conversation.

The NCNW is a non-profit organization founded in 1935 by Mary McLeod Bethune, and Kean received its own chapter in the spring 2018 semester. The council advances and works to generate opportunities for women of color, their families and their communities.

"Our mission statement would be to provide resources and advocate for and empower women of color or African descent and their families," said NCNW First Vice President Tierra Hooker.

According to Hooker, the group was inspired to organize this event both in light of the time of the year and given the opportunity to collaborate with Embracing the Crown, an organization founded in 2014 that dedicates itself to elevating and uniting women of color by creating networks of support and giving women a platform to share their experiences.

"March is Women's History Month and Embracing the Crown is a women empowerment organization that travels country-wide to universities to embrace women," Hooker said.

This specific workshop, titled "I Am: The Power of Words," is a part of Embracing the Crown's larger #CollegeWorkshopTour, which takes place annually in partnership with schools and universities such as Kean.

"The workshop is more open discussion. There are a few break out activities and then interpersonal breakouts," Hooker said.

One focus of the workshop will be the topic of mental health, which both the NCNW and Embracing the Crown believe is especially important to address within the college demographic.

"We're at the age when a lot of mental health issues arise in America. In college, we have a lot of stressors and pressure to rise over the stigma on education," Hooker said. "So while we're doing that, we tend to lose focus on our mental health. As women, and specifically women of color, we try to quiet our feelings sometimes just to overcome that education stigma. We have to focus on making sure that our well-being is okay in order to do that and achieve that."

Those wishing to learn more about the NCNW or the Sigma Gamma Rho sorority and their other upcoming events should visit the group's pages on Cougar Link. These groups can also be contacted respectively via email at NCNWKEAN@gmail.com and KeanSGRhos@gmail.com.

The National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) is partnering with Embracing the Crown to present their workshop, I Am: The Power of Words. Photo courtesy of the NCNW.]]>
<![CDATA[Love in Color]]> The Pan African Student Union will be hosting Black Love Thursday, March 21 on the Sixth Floor of the STEM Building from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. This event will be an opportunity for students and the Kean community to come together to learn about, embrace and celebrate black culture.

The Pan-African Student Union is an organization on campus that works to unite students of African descent to learn about their roots, embrace their heritage and educate the community on history, activism and civil rights. With a mission to provide knowledge and empowerment of pre-colonial roots to strengthen the future, the organization is very active on campus in providing informative and uplifting lectures, flag raising events and more.

Black Love is an event that honors the Black Love holiday typically celebrated in February. On Black Love, members of the black community spread love and attribution to the members of their community and the figures of the past. Black Love is an observance of atonement, reconciliation, celebration and 24-hour demonstration of love through the five specific acts. These acts are also known as tenets: love toward creator, self, family, within the black community and the black race. It is also during Black Love that people of all races show love and appreciation for the black community.

This year the theme for Black Love is Midas Touch. Midas was an African King who wished for the ability to turn everything he touched into gold. It worked for him for some time until he accidentally touched his daughter and she turned into gold. The moral of the story of Midas Touch is to prioritize the right things and focus more on love, community and unity rather than materialism.

For the Black Love event at Kean, the Pan-African Student Union will be hosting an evening of positive vibes and attribution. The dress code theme is Black Hollywood, honoring the historic and iconic ancestors who have been on the silver screen. Refreshments and soul food will be served along with performances of spoken word poetry and dance performances from individuals.

"As a member of the National Council for Negro Women and executive board representative, I think Black Love is important [for] our campus community to embrace our culture and show the necessity of embracing those around us," said Tierra Hooker, executive board representative and member of the National Council for Negro Women.

Kean University prides itself on its incredible diversity. Therefore, Kean has 12 cultural organizations as well as numerous cultural Greek organizations. Moreover, Black Love will be another event at Kean University that celebrates the diverse community that walks around the campus everyday.

To purchase tickets, there are $3 and are available in Wilkins Theatre Box Office. If one is interested in an evening of cultural celebration attend Black Love, visit their Cougar Link page or email pasu@kean.edu for more information.

Black Love takes place Thursday, March 21 on the Sixth Floor of the STEM Building from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $3 and are available in Wilkins Theatre Box Office.]]>
<![CDATA[Lent There Be No More Meat]]> To honor those of Kean University who celebrate Lent, the Catholic Newman Club and the Office of Campus Ministry will be offering meatless food options for students every Friday lasting through April 12. Beginning March 22 in the Miron Student Center, Room 226, the event is an opportunity for students partaking in Lent to enjoy meatless food options and commune about how their Lent is going.

"Once a year, Catholics and other Christians all over the world enter into the season of Lent. The Lenten Season is comprised of 40 days starting on Ash Wednesday and leading up to Holy Thursday and is known as a time of added fasting, prayer and almsgiving for the Christian people," said Campus Minister Mariama Roldan.

The Catholic Newman Club is an organization on campus that provides a safe, positive environment for Catholic students on campus. Through community service, educational programs and campus involvement, the Catholic Newman Club offers a welcoming community for Catholic, Christians and students looking for God and spirituality.

As an involved group on campus, the Catholic Newman Club holds monthly meetings and frequent events. In addition to the Lenten Lunches events, they will be holding a Soup for the Soul event April 11. The club will be offering a free soup lunch accompanied by a featured guest speaker who will talk about topics on faith and spark discussions for the group. This event will take place Thursday, April 11 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Miron Student Center, Room 228.

In correlation with the Catholic Newman Club, the Office of Campus Ministry offers religious events, opportunities and masses for all students, regardless of faith or membership in the Catholic Newman Club. The Office of Campus Ministry holds weekly masses Tuesdays in the Miron Student Center, Room 314 at 3:30 p.m. and Sundays in the Miron Student Center, Room 226 at 6 p.m. In addition to masses, the ministry holds weekly Bible studies and Lenten Book Study events for students to read sacred scriptures.

"Catholic Newman Club and the Office of Campus Ministry are both organizations that are here to help Kean University students to encounter God on campus in a real way through worship, prayer, fellowship and service-based events. Through these Lenten Lunches with accompanying talks, we hope to help those in attendance to enter more deeply into the mystery of Christ's passion, death and resurrection while providing a meatless meal for our Friday fasting," Roldan said, regarding the two Catholic organizations at Kean.

For more information on the Lenten Lunches, you can contact the Catholic Newman Club at catholic@kean.edu or contact the Office of Campus Ministry at campusmin@kean.edu. Through these contacts, you can also learn more about the Catholic Newman Club and the Office of Campus Ministry.

Throughout the Lenten season, the Office of Campus Ministry and Catholic Newman Club will be hosting meatless lunches on March 22, March 29, April 5 and April 12 at 12 p.m in MSC, Room 226.]]>
<![CDATA[Get Ready, Grads! ]]> The spring semester is quickly wrapping up, which means that the Class of 2019 is counting down the days until they finish their senior year and earn their degrees! In the midst of all the excitement, there are also several important deadlines and announcements regarding graduation that must not be forgotten. This will outline all of the information that soon-to-be graduates need to remember.

Firstly, there are a few tasks that need to be completed before commencement. The deadline to order a cap and gown is Tuesday, March 26. They can be ordered online through Oak Hill, which is where bachelor's and master's students can order their regalia. Kean Union students can pick up their orders at the Kean Bookstore in the Green Lane Academic Building (GLAB), and Kean Ocean students can get theirs at the Ocean County College Student Center & Bookstore when the time comes.

Senior Portraits will be transpiring on multiple occasions. For Kean Union graduates, they will take place from March 25 through March 27 and April 1 through April 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Miron Student Center (MSC), Room 315. For Kean Ocean students, senior portraits will take place March 6 through 7 at Gateway 104 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To schedule a sitting, visit the website or call 1-800-OUR-YEAR (687-9327). Kean Union students are directed to use the school code 518, while Kean Ocean students use the school code 7518. The dress code is business attire.

If one takes a senior portrait, their picture will be included in the 2018-2019 Kean University Yearbook. To order a yearbook, visit the Josten's website.

This is also the time where students order class rings to acknowledge their hard work and dedication to achieving their degree. The vendors will be on campus to show students the various designs and styles from March 25 through March 27 and April 22 through April 24 in the MSC Atrium from noon to 5 p.m. If one cannot attend the viewings, rings can also be ordered online.

Another important event to note is the Honors Convocation, an invite-only event at Harwood Arena, which is set to transpire Friday, May 3. This is where students who achieved exceptional grades will be honored for their diligence.

Lastly, the Office of Student Government has planned the annual Senior Formal, this one being "A Midsummer Night's Dream," at the Sheraton Parsippany Hotel April 26 from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Limited to two per student, tickets can be purchased for $50 at the Wilkins Theatre Box Office until April 18 on a first-come, first-served basis. This event is only for graduating seniors that have either completed their requirements for December 2018, or will be filing for graduation for May or August 2019.

The Senior Formal ticket price includes dinner, unlimited soft drinks, entertainment and other amenities. Additionally, the hotel is offering a discounted rate of $109 for students that mention that they are calling in regards to Kean University: Senior Formal. Make sure that, if one wants to stay the night after the formal, they book a room by April 15. To book a room, visit the website or call (973) 515-2000. For any other questions or concerns regarding Senior Formal, make sure to contact the Office of Student Government at stuorg@kean.edu or (908) 737-5190.

The actual commencement for the undergraduate Class of 2019 is May 23 at 8:30 a.m. at the Prudential Center. Graduates are instructed to come promptly at the Prudential Center at 7 a.m. with one's cap, gown and reader card. Next, they are instructed to go to the Ford Tower entrance, which is where the graduates will be lined up.

For photos, Island Photography will be at the ceremony taking pictures of the graduates. They will contact all of the graduates within 48 hours of the ceremony with the pictures so that one can order them if they would like. The use of cameras by guests is only for personal use, and guests will not be allowed to approach the student-seating area or the stage. For any questions regarding photography, contact Island Photos at (800) 869-0908.

The end of the semester is a very exciting time for upcoming graduates. As long as one stays on top of these tasks, the end of the semester will be very smooth for the Class of 2019!

As long as seniors stay on top of their tasks for graduation, the end of the semester will be very smooth for the Class of 2019!]]>
<![CDATA[Distinguished Lecture Series: Chelsea Clinton ]]> Best-selling author Chelsea Clinton will be discussing the issue of endangered animals as well as her new children's book Don't Let Them Disappear during a special lecture event and book signing at Wilkins Theatre Thursday, April 4.

The Lesniak Institute for American Leadership co-sponsored this event with Kean's Distinguished Lecture Series. The Lesniak Institute seeks to develop the next generation of American leaders by offering firsthand experience and partnering with grassroots organizations.

Former State Senator Raymond J. Lesniak, for whom the institute was named after, sponsored hundreds of laws that aided various issues including human rights and animal welfare. Moreover, Lesniak will moderate a discussion with Clinton about the unnerving rate at which endangered animals are disappearing around the world. They will also discuss possible solutions on how the public can help or alleviate the issue before it gets out of hand.

"Chelsea Clinton's book, Don't Let Them Disappear, is a marvelous presentation to young children of the importance of humans treating animals humanely and of the recognition of their value as fellow inhabitants on Earth," said Sen. Lesniak. "It's an honor for New Jersey, which was the first state in the nation to ban ivory transactions to save elephants from poachers and to ban imports of trophies of endangered species, to host a forum and a book signing with Chelsea Clinton."

Among many of the lecture series that have taken place this year, Clinton's lecture is the latest effort to bring this issue to the Kean campus, as a means to discuss one of the most important issues in today's society.

President Dawood Farahi, Ph.D., is honored to have Clinton at Kean University and is appreciative of the work she has done as an activist and leader.

"It's a fantastic opportunity for our students and others to hear from a person who grew up on the world stage and is now making a difference around the globe," said Dr. Farahi.

Aside from being the only child of former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State and U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Clinton has written various children's books including The New York Times best-selling picture book She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World. Clinton also holds the title of vice chair of the Clinton Foundation, where she facilitates initiatives that empower the next generation of leaders.

Furthermore, Clinton worked with acclaimed author and illustrator Gianna Marion on Don't Let Them Disappear. Clinton's lecture seeks to increase the awareness of the threats to endangered animals and her book aims to introduce younger readers to this issue. Some of the animals included in the book are rhinos, pandas and polar bears, and shares what makes them special and what people can do to help them survive.

In order to attend the event, students and guests must order tickets.

Students with a valid high school or college ID can purchase $5 tickets at the Wilkins Theatre box office. It should be noted that students will not receive a complimentary copy of the book, but they can purchase one if interested. Other guests are encouraged to buy their tickets online through Vendini, where tickets are $25 with a complimentary book. Group discounts are also available.

Doors open at 5 p.m. to allow time for parking and other options for transit. The event will begin at 6 p.m. and will follow with a conversation between Lesniak and Clinton, an audience Q&A session and a book signing.

For more information, students and guests can visit the Kean website as well as the The Lesniak Institute's website for further details

<![CDATA[How to Come Out of One's Shell]]> One issue that is prevalent in college students is the fear or inability to interact with peers. Many students find this intimidating, yet in order to succeed in today's society it is a vital skill to have. To help combat this issue, the Student Organization Class of 2019 hosted a professional development workshop March 5 titled, "When You're Not a People Person: How to Come Out of Your Shell." The intention of this workshop was to help students communicate more effectively and comfortably with those around them and ultimately help students understand others better.

This professional development workshop was led by Martha Salama, a part-time communications professor here at Kean. Additionally, Salama works at Kean for the McNair Scholars Program, and she is also an author of two books, "I'll Carry You" and "The Millennial Guide to Public Speaking." She is currently studying for her Ph.D. in social and community services, as she claims to love working with people and the community.

Salama began the workshop with defining the terms introvert, extrovert and ambivert. These are three different personality types which everyone can be categorized as. They explain how people interact with others, themselves and the world around them. Being able to understand these three types of personalities will help one better comprehend how to communicate with and understand others.

She described introverts as people who are usually quiet and keep to themselves more. Introverts are more likely to think and listen, as their communication style is more focused and slower than others. They want to be able to think about their words to ensure that they say the right thing. Additionally, introverts like being in solitude and usually feel as if they need to be alone to recharge.

Salama also described what an extrovert is, which is on the other side of the spectrum of introverts. Extroverts thrive off being surrounded by people. They usually do not have doubts about conversing and interacting with others, as they love to talk. They are more likely to actually do rather than simply think about doing.

Somewhere in the middle of the introvert to extrovert spectrum lies the ambivert, which is a mix of the two. This is someone who shares the qualities of both an introvert and an extrovert. For example, it may be someone who loves being surrounded by others, but at the same time still feels uncomfortable communicating.

In most situations, Salama explained that the extroverts are usually the ones aiding the introverts in opening up. She gave tips on how one can make introverts feel comfortable. For example, it is important not to interrupt an introvert, as they will feel as if what they're saying is simply being overlooked. Additionally, it is important to make the other person feel comfortable, because one may not open up if they are not comfortable. One can achieve this by relating to them through one's own personal experiences. If one opens up about themselves first, then the other person will be more comfortable with opening up as well.

Other tips that Salama gave included meeting in a quiet, more personable place as many people feel uncomfortable in busy, loud environments. Also, to keep the conversation going one can try asking questions to keep the other party engaged. Overall, Salama said that one of the most important things is to never ask someone why they are quiet, as that will not make them want to open up, rather it will deter them from the interaction.

Next, Salama gave advice on how introverts can open up to people and not feel so uncomfortable. She suggested that if one cannot think of how to continue a conversation, to look at one's surroundings and make observations to spark conversations. Also, think of the similarities between both parties and ask open-ended questions to keep the conversation flowing. Also, she recognized that introverts are going to feel out of place; however, it is important to step out of one's comfort zone sometimes.

Salama wrapped up the professional development workshop by saying that we need to "accept people for who they are. Appreciate them."

"Always ask questions, reflect on yourself and provide more personal experiences. It shows more that you appreciate them, relate to them and that you would love to talk more about them. Always show them that you're always still there with them," Salama said.

After the workshop was completed, attendees were able to reflect on the presentation between each other. Some even got to practice the new techniques that Salama had just mentioned. Additionally, two books were raffled off to the students that attended the workshop. Overall, students gained an understanding of how to comfortably converse with their peers, which is a skill that will follow them for the rest of their lives.

Furthermore, the Class of 2019 is always hosting events for the betterment of the Kean community. For more information, visit their Cougar Link page under "Events" to learn about other similar opportunities.

Salama educated attendees on how to come out of one's shell and develop their communication skills.]]>
<![CDATA[A Week of Unity and Inclusion]]> The Student Organization will be hosting its Unity Week Kickoff March 18 at 3:30 p.m. on the Miron Student Center (MSC) Patio. This marks the beginning of an entire week of events dedicated to promoting unity and celebrating diversity at Kean.

According to Carli Hench, the managing assistant director of the Office of Student Government, Unity Week is an annual Kean tradition that was born back in the 1990s.

"It started at a leadership retreat that was sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs and Student Organization," Hench said. "The students basically came together and wanted some kind of week full of events that just united the entire campus. Therefore, Unity Week was born."

This year's Unity Week starts with the kickoff and continues until March 22. When planning this particular week each year, different niches throughout the campus are invited to contribute their own events centering on diversity and inclusion to the week's roster.

"Every year the programming board decides what events they're going to have during that Unity Week, but it's not just programming board; it's everyone around the entire campus. We basically invite the entire community to a meeting and talk about the history of Unity Week and what it's meant to do, while inviting departments and organizations all around the campus to program during that week," Hench said.

The complete rundown of the week's events has yet to be officially listed, but it will be compiled into a calendar once it is finalized and approved.

"Anything that's approved the week before or two weeks before we'll pull off Cougar Link and then make that as part of our Unity Week calendar," Hench said.

Hench believes that the overall purpose of Unity Week is extremely important in its ability to increase interaction among groups on campus that don't always have the means to build relationships with each other.

"A lot of the times we operate in these kind of separate silos. Unity Week was designed to bring the departments together so we're not operating in separate silos and embracing everything that makes Kean the diverse campus that we are, while embracing the differences in each other," Hench said.

For more information on Student Organization and its upcoming events, make sure to visit the group's page on Cougar Link. Students can also contact Student Organization directly by phone at (908) 737-5190 or email at stuorg@kean.edu, or by visiting the group's offices in MSC, Room 309 and Room 313.

The Unity Week Kickoff will be taking place March 18 at 3:30 p.m. on the Miron Student Center Patio. Photo courtesy of Student Organization.

<![CDATA[An Introduction to Hynes Hall]]> As an exceptional institution, Kean University is always looking for ways to implement new opportunities for students to excel. After an approval from the Board of Trustees, a contract for the College of Business and Public Management building was created for students interested in those studies.

In his welcoming address, President Dawood Farahi, Ph. D., introduced the initiative for this building.

"This magnificent building will be located across the street on the old Merck property, and it is expected to be open in September 2020," President Farahi said.

The College of Business and Public Management (CBPM) gives students the education and experience needed in order to succeed in the global economy. As previously mentioned, the building will be created on the former Merck company through the Natoli Construction Corporation of Pine Brook, hosting opportunities to prepare students for the modern business world.

Undergraduate students have the following options: accounting, criminal justice, finance, global business, management, marketing and public administration. Graduate students can find programs under accounting, business administration, criminal justice and public administration.

On the Kean website under CBPM, students are also aided in the following areas:

  • Choosing the best degree or programs that will benefit them under "Degrees and Programs"
  • The offerings of the Global Business School
  • Information on the School of Management and Marketing, School of Criminal Justice and Public Administration and School of Accounting and Finance
  • Upcoming events or information on internships and cooperative education opportunities
  • Development of students looking to build a small business with counseling and training

As per the CBPM building, construction began in 2018 with an expected opening in Fall 2020. The structure of the building is set to span over 90,000 square feet, where students can utilize intelligence software, classrooms, study lounges and high views of New York City.

Students have alumni Jim and Carole Hynes to thank for the name of this building. The Hynes family are no strangers to the Kean community, as they have been generous with the stadium and field house as well.

Back when Kean University was known as Newark State College, Jim Hynes credited the school for the education and tools he used to expand his career.

"I want to give back," Hynes said. "It's that simple. I am so driven to pay back to a school that gave me a chance. I had a lot of confidence in my ability, and Newark State (now Kean University) gave me the opportunity to find myself, to identify myself and to know that I had what it takes to get into the business world."

For further information about the progress and the background on the building, students can visit Kean's website for more updates.

Hynes Hall is set to open in September 2020 for students interested in CBPM programs.

<![CDATA[Pisa Cake]]> As president of the American Sign Language club, General Education Mentor (GEM) and recruit for the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, Jianna Pisa has a lot of responsibilities on her plate. However, she makes it look like a piece of cake. Diligent and focused, Pisa masterfully juggles all of her duties in addition to her academic obligations. She aims to carry this work ethic and determination forward into her future.

Pisa, a junior psychology major with a minor in American Sign Language, advocates for student involvement. From her own experiences, Pisa knows that being a part of the organizations on campus can truly make one's college experience even better. Not only will involvement assist in the personal development of students, it will open up many doors - doors that lead to one's future.

"The organizations I am a part of have taught me responsibility, time management skills, networking skills and leadership skills. I have met so many people through these organizations that have opened so many doors of opportunity for me," Pisa said. "As I got more and more involved here, I found myself growing not only as a student but as a person."

Her academic, professional and personal growth has definitely been bolstered by her role as president of the American Sign Language club. This club is committed to spreading awareness for the Deaf community. Moreover, the group is involved in many ASL events and seeks to develop each member's ASL skills. Inexperienced signers and interested students are most certainly welcome to join.

"We have so much fun at our meetings! We learn different signs, talk about Deaf culture and go to Deaf events. We also hold our own Deaf events. I think it is really cool to learn about a group of people who are not exactly like yourself. It is very interesting to learn about the history of Deaf culture and learn about the lives of Deaf people," Pisa said.

"The club makes it so the students who are interested in the language and the culture, but don't have any experience, can learn just the same as the students who are in the classes or the minor," Pisa said. "Learning makes the world a more accepting and more equal place. This is why we do what we do in the club."

Pisa also enjoys her time as a GEM, an upper-class student who aids freshmen in their transition from high school to Kean University. GEMs guide students via the following interactions: one-on-one peer mentoring to students in Transition to Kean (T2K), year-round campus workshops and events, New Student Orientation (NSO) and more.

"We were all there once. We were all scared freshmen who wanted to succeed but had question upon question about everything [concerning] college," Pisa said. "[Such questions were] 'What is this class going to be like?', 'How do I make more friends here?', 'How do I balance my time?', 'How do I register for classes?' [and so on]."

Recalling her vulnerable, inquisitive moments as a first-year student, Pisa continually strives to be an exceptional GEM.

"My job as a GEM is to enlighten and help the freshmen with any of their first year problems...I love being there for students when they need me. I really enjoy working alongside T2K professors," Pisa said. "I feel that a student's perspective in a course like T2K is very crucial. Giving my personal experience and being real to students in T2K creates comfort and trust, enhancing the first-year students' experiences."

In moments when she is not focusing on her duties as the American Sign Language Club president or GEM, Pisa has offered her efforts at the Community FoodBank of NJ in Hillside, NJ. Last semester, she helped put together Thanksgiving baskets for those in need.

"Volunteering has taught me to be thankful, helpful, and more understanding. I would love to continue volunteering this year, it is my new year's resolution to volunteer more!" Pisa said.

Pisa's time at Kean has certainly impacted her for the better. Her goal is to become a clinical psychologist and do research in her field. Pisa envisions herself with her license to practice and perhaps her own practice.

"Kean has given me the opportunity to complete research in my field. This is a very big plus for my career," Pisa said. "I also have worked closely with faculty, giving me the professionalism and experience I need to get into a graduate school. Also, some of my professors have pushed me to thoroughly learn about my subject of study and I love that. I feel as if the academic opportunities I've had here at Kean have pushed me to be the best version of myself."

Dr. Verneda Hamm Baugh, the executive director of the School of Psychology, spoke highly of Pisa.

"I first met Jianna when she served as Dean for a Day in the College of Liberal Arts and have since had her as a student in two courses," Hamm Baugh said. "Jianna is what I call a 'star student'. She is highly motivated to succeed and is dedicated to doing so. She is very personable and friendly and a natural leader. She will be a star wherever her career choices take her."

Dr. Richard Conti, the coordinator of the Forensic Psychology Programs at Kean, also can attest to Pisa's ability to succeed.

"Jianna is an intelligent and perceptive individual who has the unique ability to inspire others. She is able to develop complex ideas and present the complexities of the concept in terms that are not only comprehended but also appreciated. She will undoubtedly be a future leader in her field as both a scientist and practitioner," Conti said.

Whether it is as president of the American Sign Language Club, GEM or simply a student, Pisa has proven that she is more than capable to play a crucial role in the development of her peers as well as herself. Pisa is set to leave a mark on the the world, and her time at Kean continues to gradually set the stepping stones toward her future goals.

For more information on the American Sign Language Club, please visit its Cougar Link web page or contact the organization via at aslclub@kean.edu.

Pisa masterfully juggles all of her duties in addition to her academic obligations.

<![CDATA[A Fresh Start At Kean]]> Kean University intends to create an environment full of resources that eases the transition from high school to college for freshmen. One of the departments that is based around first-year students is the School of General Studies. Moreover, the department seeks to prepare undergraduate students for success and strong skills.

For freshmen, this department offers the following:

  • General Education Mentors (GEMs) - GEMs are upper-class students that are trained to assist first-year students with their social and academic transition to Kean.
  • Transition to Kean (T2K) - In this required course, students learn about Kean's programs and services to develop academic skills to function successfully on campus.

Furthermore, the following freshmen have adjusted to Kean and understand the impact the resources made in their transition.

Karen Garcia de la Cruz, an Asian studies major, spoke of having an eye-opening moment upon arriving at Kean.

"As a freshman, coming to Kean was a new experience for me. [I became] independent ... which forces you to do things on your own," said Garcia de la Cruz. "As a studious student, one of my huge worries was not being the same student I was in high school solely because others have always mentioned college is different. It's something more serious and realistic."

With that being said, she would go to the Center for Academic Success (CAS) for financial support, mentors and guidance from staff members.

"During my freshman year, after interacting with these staff members, they impacted me positively. I didn't have an...issue to worry about because I knew that whenever I needed it, they were going to be there to provide it," said Garcia de la Cruz.

Her advice: "New experiences in life aren't always bad. They are great challenges because you never know what is out there in the real world."

Shayla Feliciano, a criminal justice major, recalls the nerve-wracking feelings she had living far from home, which were quickly alleviated by the friends she made.

"I live so far from my friends and home so I felt alone at first. However, I made friends quickly and really noticed how much I've grown as a young adult in just one semester," said Feliciano. "I honestly was concerned about making friends because friends and the people you know are very important, and [they] lead to better opportunities and experiences."

As a part of the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) program, she was able to get the guidance she needed from her counselor, noting that programs like this are helpful resources.

"I also use my online resources, whether it is the school's website or email for help. I've [also] met a lot of friendly people who are willing to help and guide me through my issues, which created a great impact on my success so far."

Her advice: "College is an experience, so take every opportunity given and create something you and others will be proud of."

Prospective students or even seasoned students are encouraged to visit the Kean University website to learn about the plethora of resources on campus.

At Kean University, freshmen are given opportunities to develop and succeed during their first year at college.

<![CDATA[Month of Empowerment]]> The month of March is dedicated every year to International Women's History Month, a month for remembering and honoring the historical and influential female figures throughout history and those around us in the modern day. To commemorate the beginning of International Women's History Month, Kean University, Student Organization and P.U.L.S.E. hosted the Women's History Month Kickoff to start off a month of events in commemoration women. This year Women's History Month's theme is Visionary Women: Champions of Peace and Nonviolence, referring to generations of women who fought to end war, violence and injustice.

Many of the activities at the Women's Month Kickoff centered around the empowerment of women. The event took place Monday, March 4 in the Miron Student Center (MSC) Atrium. One key feature was a wall of sticky notes where students were asked to write down something they always wanted to remind themselves of such as influential sayings and key phrases. Also with this was a table for writing a letter to oneself. Beginning with "Dear Self", students could write a letter to their future selves.

The Student Org staff were determined to get students involved with the event and interactive with the activity tables. One such table was the reoccurring wheel of trivia. This table is a prominent feature for many kickoff events on campus. Students were encouraged to spin a wheel and were asked a question based on what they spun. If they got the question right, they received a Women's History Month t-shirt. Another fun game that makes appearances at different events is the Who Am I table. It is here that students look at the table of cards with a brief biography, facts and, if they guess who the historical female figure is, they receive a prize. The prize was a pin that had an inspirational quote about empowerment.

Many of the other tables wanted students to express their creativity and reflect on their lives. Students could plant their own flower at the You Grow Girl table. They could write down the name of someone who inspires them on a colorful rock at the Who's Your Rock table.

The Women's History Month Kickoff is only the beginning of a plethora of different events designed to acknowledge the contributions women have made in history and empower the women of today to shatter the societal expectations placed on them.

Keep an eye out for all of the exciting events happening this Women's History Month!

The Student Organization staff worked to make the students feel comfortable to interact with the different activities designed to commemorate women's historical figures and empower women. ]]>
<![CDATA[Let the Countdown Begin!]]> The countdown until the last day of the semester for seniors officially began March 6 at the Grad Fair. Seniors flooded into the Miron Student Center Atrium (MSC) to celebrate their achievements and their time spent at Kean. Additionally, there were many tables set up with useful resources for seniors as they complete the last days of their undergraduate years.

The MSC Atrium was lined with tables, each designated to a different office or resource to benefit and inform students. When attendees walked through the door, the Office of the Registrar was set up to answer any questions regarding students' credits for graduation. Students were able to tell the representative their name, who then looked up their transcript to reassure the students that they are on track to graduate this semester. Also, they were able to check and make sure that students applied for graduation, since one cannot walk at the commencement without applying.

To reach out to the Office of the Registrar, call (908) 73-REGME. For general inquiries, email regme@kean.edu. For graduation information, email stuserv@kean.edu or visit the first floor of the Administration Building.

Representatives from the Office of Graduate Admissions also tabled at this event. Students were able to ask questions relating to graduate applications. Additionally, the Office of Graduate Admissions answered questions regarding graduate events.

The Office of Financial Aid had representatives at the fair to answer questions regarding paying back student loans. Kean requires students to undergo entrance and exit counseling for all students that receive loans. The representative answered any questions students had regarding paying back loans and exit counseling.

For any questions regarding exit counseling or loans, reach out to the Office of Financial Aid by calling (908) 737-3190, emailing finaid@kean.edu or visiting the Maxine and Jack Lane Center for Academic Success (CAS), Room 124.

Career Services had information for students relating to the services that they offer students. Their mission is to aid students in achieving professional success through resources such as help with resumes, mock interviews, career development workshops and more.

For more information on these services, call (908) 737-0320, email career@kean.edu or visit CAS, Room 201.

There was also tabling regarding the Co-Curricular Transcript (CCT) through tabling from the Center for Leadership and Service (CLS). Representatives explained to students what the CCT is, which lists all of a student's clubs, activities and service hours that one completes at Kean. This transcript is vital because it shows employers that one is a well-rounded candidate, not just a good student. Also, CLS representatives stressed the importance of becoming involved on campus.

Jonathan Lopez, coordinator for Student Involvement, said, "Employers are no longer looking for just someone who has a degree and a 4.0 [GPA], they're trying to look for someone who brings something else to the table and the CCT is a great way to do that."

For more questions on the CCT or how to get involved at Kean, call (908) 737-5270 or email groups@kean.edu.

Other tables in the MSC Atrium included Kean Stage, which offered information regarding graduation and ticketing. Also, the Alumni Association, presented information about Kean alumni opportunities.

There were also fun activities for attendees to complete at the Grad Fair. The Student Organization for Kean University had a table with an activity to highlight the seniors' achievements throughout their time at Kean. Students were invited to decorate a piece of paper that posed the statement "At Kean I...", which showcased the student's hard work.

Students were also able to browse various accessories relating to graduation. For example, there was a table for students to order class rings, which is a great piece memorabilia for one's time at Kean. Also, there was a table for seniors to order their cap and gown if they have not done so already. Finally, Barnes and Noble, the official bookstore of Kean University, had a table adorned with various accessories for students to purchase, such as stoles, tassels and Kean t-shirts with the year 2019.

Senior Khamayah McClain said, "[Students got] a more in-person experience because some students still have questions, even with the flyer information, because some of them may have certain special cases. I feel like it's just good to be able to provide that to the student body, so this is really [beneficial] that Kean is making this accessible to everybody."

Good luck to all of the seniors in the final stages of completing their degree. Let the countdown continue!

<![CDATA[Hunger: The Politics of Food ]]> The Human Rights Institute will be hosting its 12th annual International Human Rights Conference, Hunger: The Politics of Food, at Wilkins Theatre from 9 a.m. to noon Friday, March 22 to spread awareness about worldwide hunger and ways to prevent it. Moreover, the Human Rights Institute is an organization that prides itself on providing information, events and programs for human rights issues around the globe.

The Human Rights Institute brings notice to an increase in sustainable agriculture and declining food prices, which allow for food insecurity to expand. Food insecurity is the lack of access to good, healthy and culturally appropriate food. Unfortunately, there are many food insecure individuals that are affected by chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure, which link to food insecurity.

Other factors of food insecurity include the following:

  • Climate change
  • Natural disaster
  • Conflict
  • Global food policy

Aside from learning about this issue, Tom Colicchio, award-winning chef, food policy activist, head judge and executive producer on Bravo Television's "Top Chef", will be a featured speaker. For more information on Colicchio, students can visit the Kean website.

Additionally, Karen Washington, a leader in the urban farming movement and Kean alumna Lovely Randle '16, a researcher on the correlation of food desserts and childhood obesity will be discussing these concepts.

Valeria Dibrova, graduate student studying communication studies spoke of the events HRI hosts in an effort to spread awareness of issues.

"President Dawood Farahi, Ph.D. developed the idea of the Human Rights Institute at Kean University in his presidency and, with support from the Kean Board of Trustees, the Holocaust Resource Center and Kean community, launched both the institute and annual Human Rights Conference over 12 years ago," said Dibrova. "Everyyear since,we've made it ourmission to provide students and community members with the information on current human rights issues confronting us today. As the president said, this year we're focusing on hunger. When you consider the statistics, you'll understand why."

In order for them to create a more just and peaceful community, Dibrova believes they need to know what problems are faced on a international and local scale.

"We are hosting a Human Rights Activities Week, which can be found on Cougar Link. In order for us to raise awareness among college students, we decided to create hunger awarenessweek to teach ourstudent and colleagues what they can do to help end the hunger," Dibrova said.

As a solution, Dibrova believes that people need to change their own habits in order to help individuals around them.

"Well, in my opinion, we always need to start with ourselves. However, on a bigger scale, the support of local farmers and small agricultural businesses, especially women and indigenous people, can be very helpful. We also need to raise awareness because the more people know, the fewer people suffer," said Dibrova.

For students interested in this event, it is free but pre-registration is required. Guests can check in starting at 8 a.m., with lunch provided after the conference.

To spread awareness about worldwide hunger and ways to prevent it, the Human Rigths Institute's 12th annual conference, Hunger: Politics of Good, will take place March 22.

<![CDATA[Leonardo Polo is a Man with a Plan]]> Since coming to Kean the fall of 2018, Leonardo Polo has hit the ground running, immediately embracing everything Kean had to offer. Presently, he excels in his academics as a mathematical sciences major, participates at the Bronze Leadership Level for the Leadership Institute and serves the president of Chance at Performing (CAP).

Even before coming to Kean, Polo was interested in finding ways to be involved. With encouragement from his peers, he ran for class president of his high school only to lose by one vote. Still, this ignited a newfound passion for leadership in Polo, which propelled him to look for other outlets to develop and use his inherent leadership skills. Little did he know that the Leadership Institute at Kean University would be perfect for his interests come time to apply to college.

He first heard of the Bronze Leadership Level offered by the Leadership Institute when he came to an open house. The information he gathered from that visit piqued his interest and he decided he would apply. After being accepted into the program, Polo had the opportunity to go to the Bronze Leadership Retreat over the summer. This retreat motivated him more in his pursuit for leadership skills as he was inspired by his peers and motivated by the program leaders.

"[The Leadership Institute] impacted and changed my mindset. I learned new ways of using my time wisely and excelling in my academics as I learned new study habits according to my personality. Also, on the retreat I made new friends, which meant I had someone to eat lunch with on the first day of school. With this experience, Kean University became not only my school but also my home," said Polo.

As Polo went about his business as a regular student, he also happened to notice one thing was missing from his new home: a musically inclined club. Having enjoyed a guitar ensemble class in high school, Polo had hoped to find a similar experience in college. Although he had tried out the guitar classes offered at Kean, he felt that students like him with similar interests could benefit from a full-fledged club.

Polo took it upon himself to help establish Chance at Performing (CAP), a new club on campus for Kean students hoping to improve their musical skills. The club is set up with fellowship in place of formal instruction so that members can all learn from each other. The club also hopes to prepare their members to potentially perform on campus.

His term as president for CAP is only the start of what Polo hopes to accomplish as a developing leader. Polo is currently working toward earning his bachelor's degree in mathematical sciences and later a Ph.D. in mathematics. He aspires to become a professor at a university one day.

"Coming to Kean University, I knew I wanted to reach higher goals. I knew I wanted to become a leader, to achieve higher academics and to be involved on campus," Polo said. "The Bronze Leadership Program has taught and encouraged me to use all of Kean's resources [for my] benefit. I used my freshman year wisely and took steps that will have an impact on my later years at Kean University as I [work to] reach my goals. I advise anyone to make this step and make use of all Kean has to offer their students."

Freshman mathematical sciences major Leonardo Polo has big goals for the future.

<![CDATA[Snack & Chat ]]> The Graduate and Part-Time Student Council, the Nancy Thompson Library Commons and the Office of Student Success and Retention teamed up to host an event called Snack & Chat Feb. 28. The purpose of this event was to invite freshman and transfer students to ensure that they are educated on all of the resources that are available to them to help enhance their learning.

Snack & Chat began in the lobby of the Library, where students signed in and were able to meet some of the tutors that work at the Tutoring Center. The students were then given a punch card and were assigned a tutor, who led the students on a scavenger hunt tour of the Library. This allowed attendees to get to know the tutors and become more comfortable with them, in case one wanted to schedule an appointment at the Tutoring Center.

The first stop on the punch card was at the Writing Center, which is located in Room 108. Students were informed about the Writing Center and the different ways students could utilize the center. For example, students can schedule tutoring sessions where tutors will examine and aid students in their writing process. They help students with assignments in all subjects, such as lab reports, essays, job applications, creative writing and more.

The Writing Center has a few different options for appointments. They offer the traditional in-person sessions, which are 45 minutes each. Additionally, they offer two types of online tutoring. They have a live-chat, which allows students to talk to their coach online and help them with their writing. This is recommended for shorter sections of papers in order to focus on a specific component or aspect of a piece. The second type of online tutoring is through email, where students can upload a file and send it to their coach who will edit it and then send the document back. Email tutoring is recommended for longer pieces and pieces that are in the final stages of writing.

To book an on-site appointment with the Writing Center, visit TutorTrac, call (908) 737-4793 or book an in-person appointment in Room 108. To book a live-chat appointment, visit mywconline.com. For any questions, feel free to visit, call or email writingcenter@kean.edu.

The next stop was the Kean University Speech and Presentation Lab, also known as the Public Speaking Lab, located next door in Room 107. This lab helps students who need assistance in public speaking and is available to all majors. Students can come here and practice their presentations in front of the staff and receive tips for improvement.

To contact the Public Speaking Lab or make an appointment, call (908) 737-4604, visit TutorTrac or email speechlab@kean.edu.

Lastly, students were guided to the Tutoring Center, located on the second floor of the Library. This is where students can make appointments to get help in courses from introductory-level to senior-level courses. Sessions can be one-on-one or in groups to fit students needs. Tutors are specialized in certain subjects to aid students in their learning, ultimately positively impacting their grades.

To schedule an appointment at the Tutoring Center call (908) 737-4681 or visit TutorTrac.

After students visited the three destinations and got the corresponding punches on their card from each location, they were invited to Room 213. Students indulged in pizza while chatting with their student peers. Additionally, there was a questionnaire game where students spun a wheel and answered a question regarding Kean based on where the wheel landed. If students answered correctly, they won a pair of warm ear muffs.

Cole Morrissey, a tutor at the Tutoring Center, said, "A lot of times people don't realize the resources they have, so this is a good opportunity for people to be able to not only see what we have, but interact with the people they're actually going to receive these services from."

The Snack & Chat event was a beneficial way for Freshman and transfer students to become educated on the helpful resources that are offered at the Nancy Thompson Library Commons.

For more information visit the library's website.

Students were led throughout the Nancy Thompson Library Commons to learn about the resources that are available to them.

<![CDATA[See Something, Say Something]]> The Human Rights Institute declared the week of Feb. 25 through March 1 as Say Something Week. This week was designed to educate the Kean community on issues like bullying, bystanding and exclusion. The hope was for students to understand how their actions affect others and how the signs that something could be dangerous to an individual or the community may present themselves.

The week began with a Start with Hello photo booth in the Miron Student Center (MSC) Atrium, where students were able to take pictures with their friends with props and quality cameras. Students were excited to walk by and see the table of props and the booth. They were able to keep the photos and choose how they received it.

The Say Something Call to Action Day took place Tuesday, Feb. 26 and invited students to listen about the dangers of not recognizing warning signs. The students gathered in the Miron Student Center (MSC) Little Theater and listened to a presentation that went over the different warning signs and signals that something is going on with someone. When individuals are unable to see the signs that is how tragedies happen especially those that involve gun violence, which was a major topic of discussion for the event.

The presentation was heavily inspired and promoting of the Sandy Hook Promise, a non-profit organization created by the families affected by the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Dec. 14, 2012. Their goal and mission is to prevent gun-related violence and death, whether it be from shootings, crime, suicide or mishandling.

The Say Something Call to Action presentation included many videos created by the Sandy Hook Promise that focus on recognizing signs before it becomes too late and raise awareness of these issues. Too often people are passive with the signs they come in contact with and are quick to dismiss potential threats because they think nothing can happen. It is important that when one sees something they say something in an effort to not only protect themselves but also each other.

Here are the three steps to saying something:

  1. Look for warning signs, signals and threats
  2. Act immediately and take it seriously
  3. Say something to a trusted adult

The presentation went into the integral part social media plays in the sending of threats. Thirty-seven percent of threats of violence were sent electronically and 28 percent of those threats were sent through social media. This statistic was explained further by going over the different things on social media that can be taken as a threat of gun violence.

The next day was Wear Green Wednesday, where the community wore green to honor and show support for the Sandy Hook community and acknowledge the lives lost from gun violence. Also on this day students were able to attend the Step Up: Bystander Intervention event. At this event, students were educated on the dangers of standing by and ignoring signs, signals and threats or not taking them seriously. As children, people learned that being a bystander is just as bad as being a bully and a step up from that is not saying something that could have saved lives.

On Thursday Feb. 28, Random Act of Kindness Day served as an encouragement for everyone in the community to go out of their way to do something nice for someone else. Random acts of kindness could make a huge impact on someone's day or even begin new friendships. Being a stranger who was kind can prove that the world is not all bad, and it could prevent a tragedy. Following Random Act of Kindness Day was No One Eats Alone Friday, which closed out the Say Something Week with a pizza party where everyone is invited to get to know one another and no one is excluded.

Housed in the Nancy Thompson Library, the Human Rights Institute at Kean was established to shine a light on human rights issues and violations across the globe in hopes of inspiring the next generation of activists to create a more just and peaceful world.

Kean University is passionate about raising awareness for human rights and educating students on the atrocities that have plagued the world. This week was an opportunity for the Kean community to become more educated on a prevalent issue that they should try to prevent with their new knowledge.

For more information about the Human Rights Institute and its upcoming events, visit their website or call (908) 737-4872.

In response to the growing number of gun-related tragedies, Say Something Week was created to educate the community about issues that involve bullying, bystanding, and warning signs.

<![CDATA[Annual Women's History Month Lecture]]> Christine Thorpe, Ph.D., the dean of the Nathan Weiss Graduate College, presented for the Annual Women's History Month Lecture on Friday, March 1. Her topic, titled "Free from Slavery, Bound by Historical Traumas: The Economic Bondage of Chronic Health Issues Among African American and Native American Women", sparked insightful conversations among the audience.

The event was co-hosted by the College of Liberal Arts, Women's and Gender Studies Program and the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies (CIS). To begin, Thorpe explained that the inspiration for the topic of conversation came about as she was doing her dissertation as a doctorate student, where she studied the health practices of African American women. She then continued to dive into the subject by looking into health disparities of communities of color, eventually becoming an expert through years of study on the subject she was to present.

From the beginning of her lecture, Thorpe invited students to share whatever knowledge they had learned about African American and Native American women, opening up the floor for a presentation that encouraged audience participation. After the initial discussion, Thorpe then proceeded to go through a timeline beginning at the arrival of Columbus in 1492 and onward, driving home key points that would give context to the rest of her lecture. Each date within the timeline was a time in American history that exemplified ways African American and Native American women's humanity and dignity were diminished and endangered. She marked the beginning of this practice for her lecture as 1619 with the start of chattel slavery. Thorpe explained that chattel slavery is the practice of perceiving humans as property, whereas slavery implied servitude like that of a willing indentured servant. Thorpe noted that chattel slavery led to African Americans and Native Americans to be used as currency and tools to progress the wants of those in power.

Thorpe went on to explain other key points in American history in which African American and Native American women were marginalized through a variety of practices. She discussed the Indian Removal Act of 1830, Carlisle Indian Industrial School in 1879, Henrietta Lacks in 1951, coerced sterilization in the 1970's and more, which exemplified the struggles African American and Native American women have endured in their constant fight for public health care.

Thorpe explained that this long history of women's struggles was also created as a result of the internal colonial practices of America. As discussed by Thorpe, internal colonialism is the practice of the colonizer not only colonizing a group of people, but also inhabiting that land. This forces the indigenous people to conform to the new expectations of the conqueror, marking demarcations between the colonized and colonizer.

An example of this was the power struggle discussed by Thorpe between European patriarchy and Native American egalitarianism, in which the European men had a difficult time accepting that women were esteemed and held positions of power within Native American tribes. This posed a challenge between the two groups and affected the way Native American societies were perceived and negotiated with by the European societies. Thorpe explained that this discrepancy led to the forced redistribution of power by the Europeans onto the Native American peoples in an effort to keep women marginalized. The Europeans did this often by separating mother from child, impeding the spread of their culture. As a result, the Native American communities lost huge parts of their culture that had traditionally been passed down maternally. Thorpe connected this to the similar practices of uprooting African American slaves from their mothers and home countries.

Thorpe explained that all bodies were seen as commodities to be used for economic benefit within the practice of chattel slavery. Thorpe concluded that slavery was a huge business, which was why the Civil War of 1861 through 1865 had been so intense.

As a result of the years of oppression African American and Native Americans suffered, Thorpe suggested that these communities are now experiencing and coping with historical trauma. Historical trauma refers to the cycle of emotional stress experienced by a community of people and passed down between generations resulting from a traumatic event the community experienced such as persecution, genocide, enslavement and more. As a result, members of a community may suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, suicidal ideation, substance abuse and other health problems according to Thorpe.

Within Thorpe's studies she has found that there is a huge discrepancy in public health practices and attainment for African American and Native American women. Thorpe then proceeded to disclose statistics on health issues that affect these communities and suggested that these health issues may be supported systematically against the communities. She opened this topic up for discussion toward the audience who had a lot to say about personal observations that evidenced such systematic racism.

Thorpe then concluded her presentation with a call to action. She asserted that everyone in the audience who had heard her lecture should take steps to advocate for others who may be oppressed,and to empower and educate other women on the choices available to them for the betterment of themselves and their families. These choices may include becoming educated on proper public health practices or joining support groups. Nonetheless, Thorpe believes people must all support each other in order to bring about positive change within the society.


Thorpe explained to the audience key points in American history in which African American and Native American women were marginalized through a variety of practices.]]>
<![CDATA[Getting on Track]]> From March 18 through March 28, Kean University is hosting a week dedicated to advisement. Advisement Week is a group of events that are dedicated to student networking and getting set up for graduation.

The first of the many events happening during Advisement Week will be taking place March 20 and is an event dedicated to the One Stop Service Center. The One-Stop Open House is meant for students to get to know the services offered to them by the One Stop Service Center located in the Center for Academic Success (CAS), 1st floor.

On March 21, Career Services and the Office of Alumni Relations are hosting an event to promote student and alumni networking with potential employers. Alumni-Student Networking Night will begin from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the North Avenue Academic Building (NAAB), 6th Floor. This event is for students to connect with alumni and grow as professionals in a variety of fields. This event is the third of its kind and gives students the opportunity to connect with alumni that are in the careers they are pursuing. It is encouraged that students are professionally dressed. Moreover, the event is restricted to Kean juniors and seniors. A featured Kean University alumni Sara Peña of the Class of 1996 works for the Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development with the State of New Jersey. Another featured Kean University alumni Mark Franciotti of the Class of 2010 works as a Senior Wealth Strategy Associate for UBS Financial Services.

The Alumni-Student Networking Night is co-hosted by Career Services. This office offers a multitude of different resources to students, including resume critiquing and improving. With an appointment, students can sit down with a representative from Career Services and go over their resumes. They will help to expand and highlight key attributes and accomplishments catered to the intending position. They will also explain which things need to be removed. To make an appointment, contact Career Services located in CAS, Room 201 by phone at (908) 737-4626 or by emailing career@kean.edu.

Presented by the Financial Aid office, the Making Money Moves, Funding Your Academic Success event will help students learn about how to manage their finances while being a student. Taking place Tuesday, March 26 from 3:15 to 4:30 p.m. in CAS, Room 234, the event will educate students on Financial Aid processes, such as FAFSA, loans and grants.

On Wednesday, March 27 from 10 a.m. to noon, there will be an event dedicated to getting ready for graduation. Located in CAS, Room 106, the Ready, Set, Graduate! Staying on Track to Degree Completion event is for students to learn about studentprogram evaluations, the new application process, deadlines, commencement information and the Graduation Incentive Program.

Hop Off The Struggle Bus: Pathways to Academic Success is an Advisement Week event to help students who are struggling to keep up with their course week and completing their degree requirements. This event takes place March 28, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in CAS, Room 106.

All of the events taking place during Advisement Week are designed to assist students in reaching their professional and educational goals. Kean University is passionate about students reaching their graduation day as efficiently as possible.

For more information, visit the Advisement Week web page on the Kean University website.

The One Stop Service Center, located on the first floor of the Center for Academic Success, is a resource for advisement on campus.

<![CDATA[Ball for Life]]> The Student Organization Class of 2022 will be hosting the Hoops 4 Hearts basketball tournament Tuesday, March 19 from 8 to 10 p.m. to raise funds for the American Heart Association. Students are invited to round up a group of friends to enroll into the basketball tournament. It only costs $5 to participate and all proceeds go to a great cause.

Each group should have five players, and there should be four teams in total. Students who do not wish to play in the tournament can watch the games with a $2 entry fee.

The event was inspired in part by the Class of 2022's sentiment that the American Heart Association, for all the good that it does, still doesn't get enough recognition.

"I believe fundraising for the American Heart Association is extremely important because innumerable people suffer from heart diseases and heart conditions. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both women and men. One out of four people in the United States die from heart disease each year. By fundraising, we are funding research and providing our services to better the world," said the Class of 2022's Senator Amani Saleem.

The American Heart Association was created in 1924 by six cardiologists with the intention to fight heart disease and stroke. Heart disease is a leading killer in the U.S. and, until the creation of the American Heart Association, had gone largely untreated for lack of knowledge.

The founders of the American Heart Association thus teamed up together to use scientific research to find more treatments and preventative measures with the ultimate goal of curing the disease. Since it had first set out to change the world, the American Heart Association has touched many hearts through its life-changing innovations and work. To help forward their mission, the Class of 2022 wants to invite the Kean Community to become educated on its incentives and raise money for the organization through this event.

The event had taken a lot of planning and consideration on the behalf of the Class of 2022.

"The planning process took a lot of thinking, but with all of our great minds that came together, we put together the event. During our last freshman class meeting, we got right to work [with] no hesitations. We created the flyers, designed the shirts and planned out how the event will function," said Saleem.

In support of the Class of 2022's diligence, President Mekhia Baker asserted that students should look forward to an entertaining halftime show and an overall fun night.

To sign up for the Hoops 4 Hearts basketball tournament, students can visit the Office of Student Government in the Miron Student Center (MSC), Room 309. For more information, students can visit the event's Cougar Link page or contact the Office of Student Government by calling (908) 737-5190.

The Hoops 4 Hearts basketball tournament will take place Tuesday, March 19 to raise funds for the American Heart Association.

<![CDATA[Kean University's Black History Month Recap]]> Kean University prides itself on being a top-five most diverse university in the entire nation.

One of many student representations on campus is the African American community, and Kean University looks to celebrate this by hosting several events centered around Black History Month in February.

Featuring a variety of ways to get involved, Kean offered several outlets for students to participate, including trivia shows, social events, historical seminars, museum visitations and more.

A detailed list of the events over the course of the month is below:

Monday, Feb. 4:

Black History Month Flag Raising:

Hosted by the Kean Student Organization and the Pan-African Student Union to begin Black History Month, guest speaker Assemblyman Jamel C. Holley helped commence the month.

Black History Month Kick-Off:

After the flag raising, students went to the Miron Student Center (MSC) Atrium to continue the Black History Month celebration with a variety of activities, food, music and a good atmosphere.

Tuesday, Feb. 5:

Eat N' Play Black History Trivia Show:

Students were tested on their knowledge of Kean and black history in The Cougar's Den's very own trivia game show. Contestants competed in several rounds of fun and intricate questions against each other to find the ultimate trivia champion.

Thursday, Feb. 7:

GBM: Hip Hop Evolution:

Hosted by the Poetry Club, the group took a closer look into the art of hip-hop and its undeniable influence on verbal and visual creativity in today's society.

Friday, Feb. 8:

Lessons Learned: Race in the American Classroom:

Keynote speaker and Rutgers University professor Dr. Melissa Cooper presented to over 50 teachers and administrators who belong to the Holocaust Resource Center's Council on Global Education and Citizenship, as well as Kean students during the workshop. The workshop discussed ways to help better determine the current state of racism in the nation's school systems, while discussing what needs to be done to help better combat said ignorance in a healthy and educational manner.

Saturday, Feb. 9:

Screening of Black Panther:

The North Avenue Academic Building (NAAB) auditorium played host to the Academy Award-winning Marvel film Black Panther, starring Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan.

Friday, Feb. 22:

Kean PRSSA Celebrates Black History Month with visit to NYC:

Students spent the morning at 5W PR, one of the Top 10 Independent PR Firms in the country. Additionally, Kean students attending also had the unique opportunity to visit The Museum of Public Relations,whereduring an educational recap of the industry's history featured artifacts handled in the museum's"Celebrating Black PR History" exhibit.

Kean students, staff and alumni understood the importance of this month, through celebrating and fostering the diverse values and rich history of Black History Month through a variety of mediums.

It is Kean University's mission to continue to foster diversity, creativity and togetherness on its campus and throughout its involvement with the community.

For more information about other events like this one, visit Cougar Link under events.


<![CDATA[Student Organization Sponsors Affordable Bus Trips]]> Students will be able to affordably experience Broadway's re-creation of "King Kong" with the Student Organization's help March 2. This is the most recent addition to the series of bus trips to New York City organized and sponsored by the Student Organization.

Past Student Organization bus trips have allowed students to see "Wicked," "Aladdin" and the Kean Gospel Choir's performance at Radio City Music Hall's "Christmas Spectacular." According to Carli Hench, the managing assistant director of the Office of Student Government, this "King Kong" bus trip, as well as all the others, was organized to give students the means to attend certain events that aren't always widely accessible.

"We do bus trips to popular destinations, whether it be Broadway shows or athletic events. Essentially what a bus trip event is always geared to is exposing students to a cultural experience that they otherwise wouldn't have access to," Hench said.

Because attending Broadway shows can be hard to afford, especially for students, the Student Organization took action to find a way for Kean's student body to frequent these types of events without breaking the bank.

"Typically, one of the top reasons for students not having access to the types of experiences that we go to is because of the cost, and that's why I would purchase the tickets in bulk and then we offer them to the students at a nominal fee," Hench said.

While the tickets for "King Kong" have already sold out, students can still look to attend other upcoming bus trips courtesy of the Student Organization's efforts. Tickets for "The Lion King," taking place March 30, will be going on sale Feb. 28 at the Wilkins Theatre box office. One ticket will be sold per Kean ID for $15, and students must bring a completed Student Activity Participant Agreement (SAPA) to submit when making the purchase. This form can be found on the Student Organization's Cougar Link page under the "Documents" heading.

These trips can typically accommodate around 50 students at a time, and they always sell out. Students are urged to take advantage of opportunities such as these, as part of the funding for them is actually obtained from tuition payments.

"All students have to pay some sort of Student Government fee, and a large portion of that Student Government fee goes toward programs. So, if students don't attend programs, whether it be on or off campus, they're basically not utilizing the money that they're paying toward the fee," Hench said. "By having these built-in fees in your tuition system, we're able to then negotiate discounted rates, send groups and save money in the long run."

For more information on the Student Organization and its upcoming events, student should visit its page on Cougar Link.

Members of the Kean Gospel Choir travel to New York City for their performance at the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular.

<![CDATA[Not History, but HERstory]]> In 1987, Congress officially designated the month of March as Women's History Month. Since then, this time of year has become a 31 day tribute to the contributions and unique past of women in society. In honor of the meaning behind this month, numerous departments and organizations throughout Kean have organized events to celebrate and inform students about the various facets of women's history.

The first event of the month will be the Women and Gender Studies Program's annual lecture given by Dr. Christine Thorpe, the dean of Nathan Weiss Graduate College. Taking place March 1 at 12:30 p.m. in Hennings Hall, Room 113, the lecture will cover the topic of chronic health issues in both African American and Native American women.

Iota Phi Theta will be hosting its event, "Flower Her Beauty", March 7 at 3:30 p.m. The brothers of the organization will be tabling in the Miron Student Center (MSC) Atrium, while passing out free flowers to women in order to demonstrate their appreciation and affection for the qualities and skills they bring to the world.

The next event will be the Women's History Month Kickoff, organized and hosted by the Student Organization. On March 4 at 3 p.m. on the MSC Patio, the kickoff will provide an introduction to this year's theme for Women's History Month, which is "The Visionary Women: Champions of Peace and Non-Violence."

International Women's Day will be celebrated March 8 by the Center for Leadership and Service (CLS). Representatives from the department will be tabling on the first floor of the Center for Academic Success (CAS). This tabling will display biographical information about an assortment of important women throughout history, and those in attendance will also be able to make their own suggestions and displays in order to feature other women they wish to recognize.

The Women and Gender Studies Program, along with the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies and the College of Liberal Arts, will be hosting a second lecture March 20 at 2 p.m. in MSC, Room 226. This lecture, titled "Joan of Arc: History and Legend," will be given by Dr. Christopher Bellitto, a history professor at Kean.

Finally, the event, "HERstory Trivia," will be taking place March 26 at noon in the Commuter Resource Center (CRC), located in Hutchinson Hall, Room 130. This event will test attendees on their knowledge of famous women in history, award prizes and allow students to create cards for women in their lives who have had an important impact on them.

For more information on any of these events or the organization hosting them, be sure to check out their individual pages on Cougar Link. Students can also explore different ways to engage with Kean's celebration of Women's History Month by visiting the Involvement Center in MSC, Room 303.

Kean will host numerous events throughout the month of March to celebrate Women's History Month.

<![CDATA[Kean Thinks Green]]> Interested in trying to make the Kean community a greener place? The Earth Science Club (ESC) is dedicated to doing just that by educating students on the state of the environment and influencing others to help make a change.

President Maura De Palma said, "The Earth Science Club is about promoting our love for the Earth and the environmental sciences, as well as sustainability approaches. We have various activities and events to promote how Kean students can be environmentally conscious through easy life choices."

De Palma continued, "Our organization stands for protecting the environment and helping Mother Earth. We believe that one small change can [jumpstart] a positive reaction."

ESC emphasizes that small changes in one's everyday life can make an impact on the environment as a whole. They raise awareness to the fact that being environmentally friendly and sustainable is not as hard as it may seem. One example of how they demonstrated this was at the Earth Day Fair, where they handed out canvas bags for students to decorate and reuse instead of wasteful paper and plastic bags.

De Palma joined ESC when she was a freshman because she wanted to become more involved on campus. If one is passionate about nature and the state of the environment, joining ESC is a great opportunity to meet students with similar passions.

Joining ESC is a great way to become educated on different aspects of earth science as well! Members will learn about different fields such as meteorology, geology, astronomy and more. This helps students expand their knowledge on the earth science industry if one is interested in getting a job after graduation.

While this is a science-based club, it is open to students of any major as the members of ESC are extremely welcoming to new students and all of their ideas. Its meetings are held in the Maxine and Jack Lane Center for Academic Success (CAS), Room 250 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. The next meeting will be March 28.

Additionally, ESC has many upcoming events if one is interested. They are as follows:

  • Campus Cleanup with Nu Delta Pi on March 23
  • The Lorax Movie Viewing on April 15 in the Miron Student Center (MSC) Little Theatre
  • The Earth Day Fair Tabling on April 16 at the MSC Patio
  • The Raptor Trust on April 17 in MSC 226
  • The Elizabeth River Clean Up on April 18
  • Fossil Hunting on April 27 at Big Brook Park

If one is interested in learning more about ESC and their events, make sure to check out their Cougar Link page.

ESC has many events to help preserve the environment, such as this River Clean-up.

<![CDATA[African Art & Origins: The Creative and Spiritual World of George Nelson Preston]]> Kean University is proud to present "The Creative and Spiritual World of George Preston", African Art & Origins exhibit from now until May 15.

The exhibition is on display in the Karl and Helen Burger Gallery, located on the first floor of the Center for Academic Success (CAS) on Main Campus.

Featuring only three select exhibitions a year, the Karl and Helen Burger Gallery is both the largest and most prestigious of the galleries featured at Kean University.

The gallery focuses on providing opportunities for students, faculty and the public alike to better understand the diversity of society through art and their multicultural initiative.

Fostering the aforementioned values through a celebration of his life and many accomplishments, George Nelson Preston features pieces that represent all aspects of his well-traveled and diverse career.

Preston's career is nothing short of both fascinating and extremely varied, having contributed to several areas of society during his travels.

Preston is an "artist, scholar, writer, critic, collector, professor, world-traveler, baseball enthusiast, inventor, poet of the Beat Generation and an honored Akan chief in Ghana," according to the Burger Gallery's exhibition description. "George Nelson Preston is a renaissance man, a cultural visionary with a unique outlook on the world as he has lived it."

Born in New York City in 1938, Preston grew up in a family heavily involved in the art and music movement in Harlem at the time.

After attending the High School of Music and Art and then City College of New York, Preston graduated with a Bachelor of Arts. Directly after college, he began writing political stories in Cuba, which began his seemingly endless travels throughout his illustrious journey.

Preston has traveled to Asia, Europe, South America and Africa on multiple occasions. In 1966, he entered himself into the Program in Primitive and Pre-Colombian Art in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Colombia University, where he later garnered both a master's and doctorate in the subject.

In his time, Preston has advocated heavily for the recognition of the fusion of cultures and the overall impact Africa has on modern society. His focus remains to explain the birth of modern cultures and their struggle for identity after centuries of European oppression.

Continuing his dedication to his ancestors and passion, Preston founded the Museum of Art & Origins, located on 162nd Street in New York City. This museum houses hundreds of African artworks and pieces, antique photographs and even some of Preston's personal collection.

Taking all of this into account, Preston aims to display a little bit of everything in his showing at Kean University.

Additionally, Preston's pieces urge one to explore and expand the depths of their mind and imagination.

"What if I could give you visual cues to the experience of the painting as layers of consciousness beyond the image and between the consciousness of the viewer and the consciousness of the painting?" Preston asks of his viewers.

Using the installation as a capsule of all the unique elements and philosophy of his life, Preston interconnects each piece within the gallery and in turn relates it to the past, present and future.

Attendance is free of charge, but hours vary.

Those interested in obtaining more information about the Karl and Helen Burger Gallery, visit Kean's official site.

Free educational group tours lead by trained docents are also available upon request. For more information, contact galleries@kean.edu or call (908) 737-0392.

George Nelson Preston greets a colleague at his "African Art & Origins: The Creative and Spiritual World of George Nelson Preston" exhibition in the Karl and Helen Burger Gallery Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019.

<![CDATA[Making Waves at Kean Ocean]]> The Kean Ocean campus first opened in 2006, making history for Kean University and Ocean County College. The partnership is a joint effort on the behalf of Kean University and Ocean County College to help students from both north and south New Jersey achieve a higher education at a more manageable cost.

The Kean Ocean campus is located in Toms River, NJ about an hour south from Kean University's main campus in Union, NJ.

"Kean Ocean has offered students in the Monmouth and Ocean county areas the chance to stay local and complete their bachelor's degrees; as well as being one of the most cost effective degree completion programs NJ has to offer. This program offers a seamless transition from the associate degree at [Ocean County College] to the bachelor's degree at Kean University affording an opportunity for students to apply all of their credits towards their bachelor's degree," said Associate Director of Kean Ocean's Administrative Office Maureen Morlando- Byrne.

Kean Ocean offers a multitude of undergraduate associate degrees in the following programs:

  • Accounting
  • Communication
  • Community Health Education
  • Elementary Education
  • English
  • Finance
  • Global Business
  • History
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Nursing
  • Physical Education
  • Psychology
  • Public Administration
  • Recreation Administration
  • Sociology
  • Therapeutic Recreation

Kean Ocean also offers a growing range of graduate degrees. So far they offer degrees in counseling, exercise science and nursing at the graduate level. To view more information on Kean Ocean's available degrees, check out the Academic Programs page on the Kean website and check off the "Kean Ocean-Toms River" option in the "Filter by Location" box.

To register, Kean Ocean students must make an appointment with their adviser using AdvisorTrac and must continue meeting with their adviser at least once every semester to be able to register for the following semester. To register for classes, Kean Ocean students will also utilize Keanwise like all Kean students regardless of campus location. However, Kean Ocean students should confirm that the classes they are registering for take place at the Ocean County College campus by noting that the location for their classes is listed as "Ocean County College." All Kean Ocean classes take place at Ocean County College's Gateway Building (GATE) for the convenience of its students living in southern New Jersey.

Students who may have first applied to and are on route to receive their associate degree from Ocean County College can easily apply into the Kean Ocean program to take classes at Kean Ocean for a Kean attributed bachelor's degree. Students from Kean Ocean can also transfer to the Kean Union campus so long as they have at least a 2.0 GPA and 30 college credits. For more information on the transferring process, check the Kean Ocean Transfer Admission page on the Kean website.

Fortunately, students who prefer to stay at the Kean Ocean campus still receive the same high quality education and have similar involvement opportunities available.

Kean Ocean students can get involved in:

  • Funded Groups
  • Kean Ocean Programming Board
  • Students Advancing in Leadership (SAIL) Program
  • Student Government, Student Organization and Student Council

Like Kean Union, Kean Ocean clubs, activities and events can be found on Cougar Link for more information, while campus coverage of Kean Ocean can also be found in The Cougar's Byte.

Some amenities in place for Kean Ocean students include the following:

  • Community Standards and Student Conduct
  • The Counseling Center
  • Disability Services
  • Health Services
  • Involvement Center

"Kean Ocean is unique in that our program provides all services necessary to students at this location, with the idea that students do not have to travel to Union. The size of the Kean Ocean campus community offers a unique, small and friendly environment where everyone knows students by name. Students are most welcome to visit the main campus, we encourage it, but for those unable to travel, the Kean Ocean Administrative Office has you covered with staff within the Registrar's Office, Financial Aid, Student Accounting and Transfer Services," said Morlando-Byrne.

For a general description of any one of these programs, check out the Kean Ocean Campus Life page on the Kean website.

For more information on everything Kean Ocean, visit the Kean Ocean page of the Kean website or contact a Kean Ocean representative at (732) 255-0356, email at keanocc@kean.edu. Moreover, one can visit the Kean Ocean Administration Office in the Gateway Building, Room 103.

All Kean Ocean classes take place at the Gateway Building (GATE) of the Ocean County College campus.

<![CDATA[Link Up, Cougars!]]> Cougar Link is a hub of information relating to the student groups and events that transpire here at Kean University. This is a great tool for students to use to learn more about the events that happen every day on campus and the groups that host them. Students utilize Cougar Link to see which clubs best fits them, in order for them to become as involved as they possibly can.

For each student group on campus, there is a corresponding Cougar Link page. This page includes a description of the group, its mission, photos and more. Also, there is a section that lists the executive board of each organization with their email, in case one wants to reach out to a member with questions regarding the group.

Groups are also able to post their events and flyers on Cougar Link. To view all of the events, simply click the "Events" tab at the top of the screen. This will bring one to a page where every single event is listed in chronological order. It is possible to search and narrow down the results to what one is specifically looking for, such as by date, theme, categories and perks.

If one is in a student group and is trying to advertise their events, make sure to post about it in the "news" tab.

The "News" section allows student groups to post about upcoming events or just news in general relating to their organization. This tab allows students to see what is happening now or in the near future.

For a group to post in the "News" tab, simply follow these instructions:

  1. Click on the organization.
  2. Go to the top right corner and click the gear icon that says "Manage Organization."
  3. Go to the top left of the page that states the organization's name.
  4. A menu will appear on the left. Click "News," and then "Create Article."

This is where student groups will be able to post flyers and articles pertaining to their upcoming events, donations they are accepting for service events, upcoming meetings and more. It will then appear on the "News" page in chronological order, making it more visible and accessible to the Kean community.

Involvement Specialist Sarah Otero said, "[The 'News' tab] keeps students up to date on what's going on at Kean, and it helps them know what organizations are doing what."

If one has any questions regarding Cougar Link, do not hesitate to reach out to the Involvement Center, located in the Miron Student Center (MSC), Room 303 by emailing groups@kean.edu or calling (908) 737-5270.

Involvement Specialist Sarah Otero delves into detail concerning the "News" section of Cougar Link.

<![CDATA[The New Voice for Kean Greeks]]> The Greek Senate at Kean University is an accumulation of students from various Greek Organizations on campus who come together to be the voice for all of the Greeks at Kean. They have meetings, plan programmings and fundraisers, while aiding the sororities and fraternities toward success.

Ultimately, they are role models and mentors to not only those in the Greek community, but to every students on campus. They are involved and dedicated to upholding their positions. Recently, elections were held to elect the new Greek Senate representatives for the following school year.

The Greek Senate's purpose is to encourage and aid students to uphold the ideals of scholarship, leadership, campus involvement and brotherhood or sisterhood. The Greek Senate also prides itself on assisting students in their personal development to ensure that they are being the best versions of themselves. The new representatives on the Greek Senate are responsible for not only showing these traits in themselves, but helping other students do the same.

Eight members compose the Greek Senate, each having to be from a different Greek Organization. To get voted onto the Senate, one must first be nominated for the position. At the Greek Senate meetings, representatives from each organization are present, therefore each organization has one vote to cast for each position, ensuring that everyone has input.

A list of the newly elected Senate, their positions and duties are as follows:

  • President Gabriella Lapointe, sister of Delta Phi Epsilon. This is the lead role in the executive board and they are in charge of overseeing the rest of the Senate.
  • Vice President of Programming: Emely Hernandez, sister of Lambda Theta Alpha. This role is responsible for the programming that the Senate holds, including events for Kean Dance Marathon, career building and more.
  • Vice President of Rush and Membership Development: Roshorn Shivers, brother of Lambda Delta Chi. They are in charge of new member intake, and the biggest recruitment event of the semester, Meet the Greeks.
  • Vice President of Multicultural Affairs and Community Service: Tiffany Osoria, sister of Omega Sigma Psi. This role is dedicated to all of the service opportunities that are offered through the Senate.
  • Vice President of Standards and Conduct: Isaac Taylor, brother of Phi Beta Sigma. This position is responsible for helping resolve any issues that arise within Greek life.
  • Vice President of Public Relations: Erika Ambrose, sister of Sigma Gamma Rho. This role runs the social media accounts and makes Greeks look good to the community.
  • Secretary: Jeremy Volin, brother Gamma Psi Epsilon. This role is responsible for keeping everyone organized, going through agendas and preparing for meetings.
  • Treasurer: Michelle Gitlin, sister of Nu Theta Chi. This role offers many fundraising ideas and is responsible for money.

The Greek community at Kean prides itself on Greek Unity, meaning that all of the organizations collaborate for the same fundraising efforts, help each other in times of need and overall respect each other. The Greek Senate is a prime example of Greek Unity as it has members from different organizations coming together to strive toward the same goals.

Lapointe said, "I think working [not only] for your organization but working for the community as a whole together with organizations is a big thing at Kean."

She continued, "I'm really excited to be able to be the voice for all the Greeks at Kean. I'm proud that they nominated me and that I was elected, and I feel like that means they have faith in me, which I hope they do! But I'm really excited!"

Kean University has a large Greek community, where the Greek senate come together for the interest of Greek life and others.

<![CDATA[Lessons Learned: Race in the American Classroom]]> "Lessons Learned: Race in the American Classroom" is an annual workshop hosted by Kean University, with this year's rendition taking place Friday, Feb. 8.

Keynote speaker and Rutgers University professor Dr. Melissa Cooper presented to over 50 teachers and administrators who belong to the Holocaust Resource Center's Council on Global Education and Citizenship, as well as Kean students during the workshop.

The goal of the workshop is to help better determine the current state of racism in our nation's school systems and what needs to be done to help better combat said ignorance in a healthy and educational manner.

"We have to talk about social justice issues in the classroom, in faculty lunch rooms and in faculty meetings," said Dr. Melissa Cooper.

"Racism has been historically perpetrated in the school and justice systems since 1740. The time for change is now," Cooper said, calling the audience to action.

Dr. Adara Goldberg, the director of the Council on Global Education and Citizenship, built upon Cooper's remarks on the importance of bringing racial disparities to the forefront of educators' discussions.

"We need to educate more teachers and students on the issue of race, bias, prejudice and how it affects all of us. Teachers have a distinct responsibility to make schools a safer and more inclusive space," Goldberg insisted.

Each year, the Council on Global Education and Citizenship (CGEC) presents a series of general assembly meetings for educators to grapple with issues affecting their students and to identify strategies and approaches for creating safe and inclusive classroom environments.

The theme for this year's programming is "Everybody Has a Story", with additional seminars and events occurring in October of last year and again in April.

The October workshop presented a variety of perspectives on the immigrant and refugee experience in New Jersey, while the upcoming April meeting will present a panel on LGBTQ student experiences.

"We are committed to diversity and global citizenship," said Mary Sok, Council on Global education and Citizenship president.

"These programs help us address inequities in our schools," Sok continued.

Dr. Goldberg also commented on the benefits of applying the Council's and workshop's principals to actual school and classroom environments.

"A number of the historical issues Dr. Cooper brought up are also contemporary issues that could be raised in the classroom today or even framed into lessons that would allow students to analyze their own educational experiences," Goldberg explained.

Formerly known as the Diversity Council of Kean University, CGEC was founded in 1990 in partnership with Kean's College of Education, with it's only goal "to empower educators and students alike to create safe, inclusive learning environments through Common Core-aligned professional development", as per its mission statement on their website.

Looking to foster the "continued growth of active and compassionate individuals in order to reduce intolerance, harassment/intimidation, and to promote social justice in a democratic society", CGEC now proudly serves over 80 member school districts.

Those interested in obtaining more information on the CGEC or about how to join may visit their official webpage.

Keynote speaker and Rutgers University professor Dr. Melissa Cooper presented to over teachers, administrators and students at the "Lessons Learned: Race in the American Classroom" workshop.

<![CDATA[Exhibiting the Industrious]]> A transportation project created by a group of Kean's industrial design students was chosen to be exhibited at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. One of only five universities chosen to be represented throughout the country, the exhibit, titled "A Day in the Life of a Kean Student," has been on display since December and will continue to be shown until March 31.

The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is an institution in the Upper East Side of New York City dedicated to showcasing historic and contemporary design. The Kean project is being shown as part of a larger exhibit dubbed "The Road Ahead: Reimagining Transportation," which presents a total of 40 design projects that imagine the future of transportation in our cities.

The student team consisted of sophomore James D'Orazio, sophomore John Almeida, senior Michael Daniel and sophomore Jared Torres, all of whom are studying industrial design in the Robert Busch School of Design. According to D'Orazio, the inspiration for this project was born from their collective experience navigating the trials and tribulations of getting to school.

"As all four of us are students, we notice the flaws in our daily commutes to class and back as well as around campus. Therefore, we were determined to create an idea that students both on and off campus could benefit from and enjoy," D'Orazio said.

One part of their transportation vision focused on providing commuter students with an inclusive and efficient way to get to campus.

"We have come up with autonomous shuttle systems that run from Kean University to the major hubs in New Jersey within a 45 minute radius. They only have one destination besides Kean so the annoyance of frequent stops has been removed and they will have their own route to make travel time as quick as possible," D'Orazio said.

Additionally, their design included services and accommodations for those who reside in the campus dormitories.

"For on-campus students, we have an autonomous cart system for those who are handicapped, injured, have an excess of materials to carry for class or are simply running late," D'Orazio said. "Along with that, we have come up with the idea of assisted pedal bicycles for those who want to get to class in a timely manner while getting their fill of exercise, or for anyone who wants a more enjoyable commute to their class."

Although the work of Kean students has been featured in this museum before, D'Orazio said he considers the recognition a source of pride.

"Being exhibited in the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Museum is a huge honor and has been amazing experience for my team and I, as well as a great opportunity to get exposure into the design world," D'Orazio said.

For more information on either the Robert Busch School of Design or the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, those interested should visit their respective websites.

James D'Orazio (left) displays his group's transportation exhibit alongside Efecem Kutuk (right), the coordinator of the industrial design program.

<![CDATA[What's Taking Over Kean Stage]]> Kean Stage will feature a bevy of fascinating performances throughout the remainder of the semester. Students and faculty are encouraged to attend these performances to show support to Kean Stage for working hard to form intriguing lineups.

The exciting lineup of performances that require tickets is as follows:

  • "A Midsummer Night's Dream" will take place from Feb. 22 to March 2 at Wilkins Theatre. Peer into Shakespeare's treasured, hilarious comedy. For tickets and showtimes, visit a "Midsummer Night's Dream's" webpage.
  • "Murphy's Celtic Legacy" is Saturday, March 16 at 7:30 p.m at Wilkins Theatre. Students and faculty can enjoy an exciting, elaborate performance of traditional Irish dance with a new twist. Seats are still available so be sure to purchase your tickets in time on the performance's webpage.
  • Patina Miller will take the stage Saturday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m in Enlow Recital Hall at East Campus. Miller debuted on Broadway in 2011's "Sister Act," which she received a Tony nomination. For tickets, please visit the event's webpage.
  • Sharon Isbin is set to serenade attendees Friday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m. at Enlow Recital Hall. The two-time Grammy award winner will perform with special guest, Romero Lubambo. For tickets, visit the event's webpage.
  • "Pinkalicious, The Musical" is Sunday, April 7 at 3 p.m at Wilkins Theatre. This play is about Pinkalicious, a girl who turns bright pink after eating too many pink cupcakes. This performance is kid-friendly and set to entertain the entire family. Tickets are going fast, so be sure to purchase tickets on the event's webpage.
  • "The Doo Wop Project" takes place Sunday, April 14 at 3 p.m. Stars of Broadway's "Jersey Boys", "Bronx Tales" and "Motown: The Musical" will take the audience on a journey into the evolution of pop style, doo wop. To purchase tickets, visit the webpage.
  • Jon Secada is coming Saturday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m. to the Enlow Recital Hall. The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter will wow the audience with his blend of charting English and Spanish songs. Tickets can be purchased on the event's webpage.

All tickets can be purchased on the Kean Stage ticket webpage or at the Wilkins Theatre box office. Tickets purchased online are subject to processing fees. Ticket prices vary for most events. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to purchase tickets as soon as possible.

Kean Stage also presents a number of events with free admission, including the following:

For more information on Kean Stage or to view their lineup of performances, visit their webpage. To contact Kean Stage, call (908) 737-7469 or email ticket@kean.edu.


Kean students rehearse a moment from "Midsummer Night's Dream". Pictured Top L-R: Chris Grant as Oberon, Katie Mestres as Robin (Puck). Bottom L-R: Christopher Centinaro as Lysander, Meghan Landon as Helena, and Edward Wagner as Demetrius
Photo courtesy of Krystle Seit.

<![CDATA[A Little Taste of Soul]]> The Commuter Resource Center (CRC) hosted A Little Taste of Soul on Tuesday, Feb. 20, enticing attendees with spoken word artists.

The event was hosted in Hutchinson Hall, Room 100 and was meant to reflect a different aspect of Black History Month. Upon walking in, guests were entranced by the mood lighting of the auditorium made by the use of colored lights on the stage and rope lights leading the way into the auditorium.

As students filed in, event workers encouraged students to sit close to the stage for a more intimate encounter with the performers. As the event went on, this simple step forward resulted in a close-knit group of attendees by the end of the show.

To begin, a Commuter Resource Center student worker introduced the first poet of the night: Treasure.

Treasure gave five spoken word poems on her life experiences in love, loss and family. Her spoken word style was a mix of singing, spoken word and performance. Her poem performances earned applause from the audience and was followed by an introduction of the next poet by another Commuter Resource Center student worker.

Avery was the second poet of the night. Avery began by doing a short spiel on spoken word etiquette as many of the audience members had never been to an event such as this before. He taught the students that spoken word events were meant to be an interactive art. In contrast to other events, the audience is urged to react throughout the performance to encougaged the performer. Avery explained that one should snap their fingers when something was good. When something was great, one should holler "Yes". Avery cautioned that claps are reserved for the end as one does not want to disrupt the progression of the poem. Avery executed this lesson with humor, relieving the crowd of any tension and allowing students to freely comment throughout his performance as they were moved by it.

Avery gave poem performances on love, inmates and life lessons. His poems earned snaps and comments throughout his performance and concluded with a wholesome applause.

To wrap up the event, Commuter Resource Center workers went to set up food at the Commuter Resource Center and allowed guests to stay in the auditorium as they waited. One audience member asked the performers if they could do a couple more as everyone waited for the food. The performers proceeded to do their first spoken word collaborations together, taking turns speaking on the subjects of toxic relationships, self-love and spirituality as chosen by the audience. The spontaneous performances were appreciated by the audience, and the whole event was an overall success.

"I think this was inspirational. There were things I didn't know were kind of relatable to me and actually made sense. That also makes me want to write what I'm feeling because I'm the type of person where I don't speak about my feelings, so I see them as brave people. That [spoken word poets] actually come up there and spend the time to talk about their deepest desires and the deepest feelings that they have. I envy that because I want to do that too, so that's why I appreciate listening to them. One day, hopefully, I can share my own feelings and what I see in the world," said Danielle Olistin, a sophomore forensic psychology major.

For more upcoming events, check out Cougar Link.

Poet Avery performed at A Little Taste of Soul on Tuesday, Feb. 19.

<![CDATA[College of Liberal Arts Hosts Annual Fine Arts Exhibition]]> Kean University strives to not only educate its students, but also to provide opportunities and outlets for those interested in displaying their creative abilities to both the campus community and the general public alike.

One of the best examples of this philosophy is the Fine Arts Exhibition, held each year in the James Howe Gallery in the Vaughn Eames Building on Kean's main campus.

The Fine Arts Exhibition serves as a bridge to allow students to display assignments from either their previous or current classes or personal selections in which were completed elsewhere besides the classroom.

The exhibition features work from Kean University fine arts majors, non-fine arts majors enrolled in fine arts classes and alumni as well. Providing a fabulous outlet for those interested in taking their artistic talents to a public and professional forum, the gallery has over 50 pieces on display, featuring a wide array of mediums used.

Some general areas of concentration within the exhibition include paintings, sculptures, sketches, portraits, photography, hand-crafted items, metals, ceramics, printmaking, video art and much more.

Works chosen to feature in the exhibition are voted upon and further selected by faculty within Kean University's Fine Arts department.

Thoughtfully divided into themed sections, the James Howe Gallery assumes a new look as one walks through carefully assorted displays of various creations and decorated walls.

Perhaps the most intriguing and thought-provoking element of the exhibition is the vast and stark differences between each piece featured.

Additionally, the talent level and quality of the works on show mimic those of a professional gallery, which can be directly attributed to the hard work of both the faculty in the Fine Arts department as well as the actual students and participants.

"The James Howe Gallery is the premier teaching gallery of Kean University and features shows by visiting artists, graduate students and faculty. Shows are generally related to the Fine Arts studio program," states the official Kean University webpage.

The individualism, creativity and skill on display clearly illustrates the aforementioned Kean University philosophy of fostering an environment of learning skills and applying such skills into a professional-style environment, aiming for student growth and opportunity.

The attention to detail and enormous effort clearly portrayed in each creation certainly does not go unnoticed.

Some of the featured artists participating in the exhibition include Haoting Wang, Barbara Breese-Rogers, Sable Arias, Mary Skrzyniarz, Aliyah Bradley, Ashley Buttino, Anthony Cullington, Eric Schiabor, Joana Lopes, Evelyn Altamirano, James Ferretti, Sabrean DeBlasio, William Kmec, Richard Mahon and many more to mention a few.

The exhibition will remain open on select days from now until March 18. Gallery hours are from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Below is the remaining viewing schedule which can also be found on Cougar Link:


Friday, Feb. 22

Monday, Feb. 25

Tuesday, Feb. 26

Wednesday, Feb. 27

Thursday, Feb. 28


Friday, March 1

Monday, March 4

Tuesday, March 5

Wednesday, March 6

Thursday, March 7

Friday, March 8

Wednesday, March 13

Monday, March 18

Kean University fine arts students, staff and alumni participated in the annual Fine Arts Exhibition in the James Howe Gallery, running from now until late March.

<![CDATA[Rise, Resist, Unite]]> One Billion Rising was an event held in the Center for Academic Success (CAS) First Floor Feb. 14, in response to the shocking statistics that state 1 in 3 women will be beaten or raped during their lifetime. On average, over one billion women on the planet experience abuse of some sort. Thus, One Billion Rising started on Valentine's Day in 2012 as a call to action against violence toward women.

This event was small but effective in its message. Representatives of the Center for Leadership and Service (CLS) stood at a table and informed students passing by about the shocking facts and statistics concerning violence against women. Students could also spin a trivia wheel to get a certain type of question that had facts about violence against women.

A special poster was created that showed differences in the preparations for dates. The poster showed how a girl would get ready for a first date and then how a boy would. From the poster, we can see that typically girls, when preparing for a date, tend to be considerably aware and anxious of not knowing the person they are going on the date with. The surveyed girls said they prepare by letting their friends know where they were going, sending them their location and being aware of their safety. The surveyed boys, however, worried about simpler things like hygiene and thinking of what to talk about.

One Billion Rising is a yearly campaign that started in response to the staggering number of women affected by abuse in the world. The event hosted by CLS gave students an opportunity to learn about the different laws put into place to defend and stand for women. One of these acts, Title IX was displayed at the table and states that "no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

The Center for Leadership and Service is working to host a self-defense class for any person regardless of gender to come and learn how to defend themselves when in a dangerous situation. More information on the class is to come, feel free to contact the Center for Leadership and Service for updates at (908) 737-5170 or visit the Miron Student Center (MSC), Room 219.

Students were welcomed to learn about the billions of women who are affected by violence all around the world.

<![CDATA[Speech Now or Forever Hold Your Peace]]> For the first time this spring, the School of Communication, Media and Journalism will be hosting a speech contest. The preliminary round of the contest will be taking place April 1, 2 and 3 in the Miron Student Center Little Theatre, while the final round will take place May 1. This contest will allow any and all interested students to showcase their public speaking skills and compete for a $100 prize.

The inspiration and organization of the contest came from Professor Allison Edgley, who recently became a lecturer at Kean's School of Communication, Media and Journalism after working as an adjunct across multiple universities.

"Other schools ran similar contests with their public speaking courses, and I decided I would urge some of my best to enter," Edgley said. "When one of my students won, I saw how much confidence was gained, so I thought it would be a great way to showcase our department as well as give students a larger voice. This is a way to increase discourse among all departments on campus and also get students invested in their interpersonal skills."

To apply, the application can be found at Center for Academic Success (CAS), Room 402, and the completed application can be dropped off at the same office. Otherwise, students can request an application by emailing Edgley at edgleya@kean.edu, and email the form back to her once it's filled out. To be eligible to participate, the application must be submitted by March 15.

Once again, the preliminary round of the contest will be taking place April 1, 2 and 3 in the Miron Student Center Little Theatre, while the final round will take place May 1. All speeches must be five to seven minutes in length and persuasive in style, based off of the persuasive speech format taught in the Communication as Critical Citizenship (COMM 1402) class all Kean students are required to take.

While this contest is being run through the College of Liberal Arts (CLA), students from any area of study are welcome, and even encouraged, to participate.

"We strongly urge students from outside of the CLA to enter. Public speaking is not just for communication or education students," Edgley said. "It is not just about listening to the sound of our voice, rather connecting to and with others.By having students from all backgrounds and fields enter, we can help to reduce stereotypes and misconceptions as well."

Edgley believes that taking part in this opportunity can benefit students in ways that intersect with both their personal and work lives.

"My hope is that students increase their confidence and gain courage speaking in front of audiences. I want students to be able to express themselves freely and ethically by furthering the skills they have learned in class as well. This is also a positive talking point for a resume and can set a student apart during an interview," Edgley said.

Additionally, Edgley believes that mastering the art of public speaking is a skill that can translate positively to multiple situations in life.

"Public speaking is a skill that can help a student express their feelings, attitudes and beliefs in a constructive manner. Many employers want to hire individuals who can clearly articulate ideas and negotiate," Edgley said. "Students who excel at public speaking exhibit ethics by using critically evaluated research, logic through rational evidence and support, and passion when connecting with others through stories or anecdotes."

For additional information, questions and inquiries can be directed toward Edgley via her email at edgleya@kean.edu.

The application for the School of Communication, Media and Journalism's speech contest is due by March 15.

<![CDATA[New Semester, New Groups]]> As an institution that encourages student involvement, Kean University houses over 160 clubs and organizations that allow students to express their interests and missions on campus. Through the Involvement Center located in the Miron Student Center (MSC), Room 303 students are aided in the process of becoming a recognized group.

In order to become recognized as a student group, one must utilize the various resources available on the Student Group Recognition webpage. With that being said, five student groups have been created and added to Cougar Link as of spring 2019.

  1. Chance At Performing: Chance At Performing (CAP) has a mission to teach and build the aspirations of students who want to perform in their future endeavors. Through its teaching system, this organization seeks to help each other apply what they have learned to an audience of people. This organization encourages everyone to practice their performance skills, while teaching others what they have learned. Students can look forward to different branches of performance such as piano, percussion, guitar, singing and other artistic mediums. For students interested in joining this organization, visit Chance At Performing on Cougar Link.
  2. Kean Got Talent: This organization acknowledges the talent of the Kean community, through welcoming all majors and levels of performing to join their club. Individuals interested in singing, dancing, acting, instrumentals and other performing platforms can rest assured, knowing that they will develop their skills in this club. Students interested in structuring their potential should visit Kean Got Talent's Cougar Link page.
  3. United Nations Association at Kean University: As a membership organization, the United Nations Association at Kean University (UNA-USA) is devoted to informing, inspiring and rallying the Kean community to support the ideal and mission of the United Nations. This organization houses many chapters ranging from youth, engagement, advocacy efforts, education programs and public events. With a diverse university like Kean, this organization seeks to fulfill the duties of bringing awareness on campus. Students can join UNA-USA on their Cougar Link page, while visiting their national website for more initiatives.
  4. Hallyu Club: "Hallyu" translates to "Korean Wave," which refers to South Korea's popularity in pop culture, entertainment, music, television and movies. Furthermore, its purpose at Kean is to spread knowledge and love for Korean pop culture, while bringing people together. In the meetings, students will have the opportunity to learn and perform Korean songs and dances during the semester. Students interested in the Korean culture can visit Hallyu Club on Cougar Link.
  5. The National Society of Leadership and Success: Leading as the nation's largest leadership honor society, this organization selects students through college-based means like college academic standing or leadership potential. Moreover, Kean is one out of 651 chapters that provides step-by-step programs for leadership skills on campuses worldwide. Upon completion of the program, students receive their leadership certificate and leave with a beneficial lifetime membership. Students interested in learning more about this program and its mission can visit the NSLS page on Cougar Link and its national website.
  6. Kean University Afro-Latinx Dance Project: This club is an inclusive, dance group that welcomes all level at Kean University. Each class will have different styles of dance that are diverse and emphasize the Afro, Afro-Latin and Latin genres around the world. Although they are fairly new, students can visit the KU Afro-Latinx Dance Project Cougar Link page for more information.
  7. Economic's Club: This club hopes to be a home for students studying economics or those wishing to grasp the knowledge of this study. Economics ranges from production, distribution and consumption of goods and services, which can help students in their future careers. Students interested in joining the Economic's Club can visit their Cougar Link page for more information.
  8. Interior Design Student Organization (IDSO): This organization has a mission to inform and express the significance of interior design, by providing students with opportunities to learn the design process. Aside from learning, interested students have the option to experience the methods, while gaining a deeper understanding of the profession. IDSO implements events and service projects for interior design that will benefit the students. Students willing to grow in an accessible and sustainable environment should look into IDSO on their Cougar Link page.

Coordinator for Student Involvement Jonathan Lopez said, "It's important for students interested in starting a student group to understand that you are creating a small organization. This means that it's not only important, but necessary to create a constitution or by-laws that govern the organization, as well as create a mission that will drive the group's purpose and activities."

All in all, welcome the new student groups and look into them if interested!

Chance at Performing is one of many new student groups that have a mission to build and support the Kean community.

<![CDATA[Michael Gonzalez: Making the Most of It ]]> The college experience can vary between each and every student not only at Kean, but all around the world. What differentiates these experiences is what students choose to do with their time in university. Being involved in a variety of clubs and organizations makes a student feel connected to their campus community and helps with different aspects of their career. Michael Gonzalez is a student who is putting in his time to get all he can out of his experience at Kean University.

In his freshmen year at Kean, Gonzalez received the Volunteer of the Year award for serving over 180 hours of community service. He holds positions in four different organizations on campus including the following: President of Biology Club, President of Outdoor Adventure and Recreation, Director of Public Relations for Gamma Psi Epsilon and Treasurer for Kean Rotaract Club.

"My clubs, even the ones I am no longer a part of, have impacted me. I thrived in them and gained many friends and new passions," said Gonzalez.

When students are involved, they make new connections and friendships throughout the Kean community. Gonzalez is recognized on campus and people feel comfortable speaking to him when he is around.

The Biology Club is a club for those in and around the biology major. They come together with a common interest in biology and work together to raise funds for their club events and serve the Kean community. By offering hands-on experience, the Biology Club works to help network young professionals in the biology and science fields with possible employment opportunities.

The Outdoor Adventure and Recreation Club is for students looking to explore different activities with a group of peers. As a group they foster an appreciation for the outdoors and travel around New Jersey on different trips to Turtle Back Zoo, Delaware Water Gap, Grounds for Sculpture and more.

"We [Outdoor Adventure and Recreation Club] have been to parks where entire paths are filled to the brim with something out of a Disney film to possibly going to all new places. We [OAR Club] boiled down to a family who want to see what is hidden and be experienced," said Gonzalez.

As president of both these organizations, Gonzalez works to keep members engaged and inspired by the groups. A lot of responsibility is placed on the president of an organization but the payoff is worth the effort.

"It is not easy, but it is rewarding. Inspiringothers to go the extra mile and to manage things smoothly," said Gonzalez.

To students looking to work their way up to the position of president in an organization, Gonzalez said, "You need patience and the courage to lean on others for support."

In addition to being president of both Outdoor Adventure and Recreation Club and Biology Club, Gonzalez is also director of public relations for his fraternity, Gamma Psi Epsilon, and treasurer for Kean Rotaract. Kean Rotaract Club is an organization that invites students to work as young leaders in their communities. They work to address issues in their community and grow their personal development. Rotaract focuses on international service projects and educating the community on issues and actions to be taken.

Gonzalez's most recent involvement achievement is joining the Gamma Psi Epsilon fraternity. The Gamma Psi Epsilon fraternity is a group of young men who work to make a difference at Kean University. One of Kean's youngest fraternities, they promote brotherhood, unity and respect.

The primary focus of Greek organizations is to provide awareness of social responsibility, social and personal development, respect for human diversity and intellectual achievement. While every fraternity and sorority are different, they all have the same core values for service and achievement. Greek Life offers a wide range of benefits to those involved. The sororities and fraternities on campus promote and preserve the ideals of scholarship, service leadership, campus involvement, and brotherhood/sisterhood. With over 30 Greek organizations at Kean, there are plenty of options for anyone who is interested.

It has shown that students who make the effort to get involved in activities and organizations on campus are more successful academically. This is a result of working on a routine schedule and working out when things will be done. In addition to academically, it is the students who were involved who look back at their time in college and think fondly of the things they did, the clubs they joined and the people they met.

Kean University recognizes over 160 different clubs and organizations. These organizations are separated into the following eight categories: professional, service, cultural, recreational, religious, performance, governmental and special interest. All of the organizations are unique and have strong goals to better their community, themselves or personal skills.

"If you are looking to actually get something more from Kean, go on a trip with OAR and see what is possible," Gonzalez said. "If you want to further your career in the medicalfield join, the Biology Club and see what we can do at our Biology Career Conference. If you want to know how to volunteer and get community service and build a family, join Rotaract Club. If you are a young man looking to better yourself, join Gamma Psi Epsilon."

For more information on organizations that one could be a part of, visit Cougar Link.

<![CDATA[United We Stand]]> Black Leadership Union (B.L.U.) seeks to build an environment that welcomes the encouragement of multicultural diversity. It consists of five e-board members: President Shannon Assing, Vice President Vanessa Hubbard, Secretary Keiana Curry, Treasurer Christian Pemberton and Director of Public Relations Dominique Thomas.

This organization has a mission for the acceptance of cultures, especially in the improvement of the black community at Kean. B.L.U. is open to all students, as it is inclusive and serves as a proponent for the progression of the members and the community. B.L.U. wants prospective members to know that they will be supported, included and have the opportunity to express themselves.

Upon considering joining this organization, students should be ambitious, open-minded and interested in expanding their knowledge of the cultural impacts of the Black community.

President Assing, a senior studying communication with a minor in Africana Studies, founded the club with a mission to serve as an open forum for the community. Beginning with himself and Vice President Hubbard, the two assembled multiple passionate students who shared their values and goals.

"Our organization was started last semester when my e-board and I had the idea to provide an open forum for solution-based discussions," said Assing. "Our organization was originally inspired by 'The Grapevine', which is a well-known social media brand that practices much of what we hoped to emulate. We had very little understanding of student involvement at Kean and how things worked so we wanted to create a comfortable place for us and other students to actively engage in discussions on hot topics related to the Black community and create events based on these discussions."

In order to become the organization they are today, B.L.U. filled out a petition through the Involvement Center to become recognized.

"We wrote up a constitution, bylaws and developed a mission statement that reflected our desires. It took a great deal of time to distinguish ourselves from other Black organizations because, at face value, we seemed very similar to them. All in all, our dedication and passion for change was recognized and our organization came to fruition," said Assing.

Aside from being an advocate for the Black community, Black Leadership Union's other goals are to provide a safe, comfortable forum where members can be honest in discussions about issues within the Black community.

"We seek to instill leadership in our members by allowing them to recognize their potential for change and how much their influence on this campus can be revolutionary," said Assing. "We not only celebrate Black culture, but we challenge it on a daily basis in order to better define and then refine the idea of blackness into something that will push our community forward and create pride for our future Black leaders."

Aside from founding Black Leadership Union, Assing also mediates all operations and provides his members with administrative advice and assistance necessary to build their abilities as e-board members.

"I am the main channel of communication on major endeavors as well as the neutral voice of reason concerning any conflict of interest. My goal as president is to keep the ball rolling and be the rock that holds everything together while personifying my organization's beliefs," said Assing.

Vice President Hubbard, a sophomore studying communication, agrees that "the mission of Black Leadership Union is to engage in discussions that allow a variety of black perspectives to come together and create a better understanding of their community around them."

As vice president, Hubbard helps Assing prepare for upcoming general body meetings and events, like creating agendas and developing topics for conversation. She also helps moderate conversations during our general body meetings.

"In my opinion, I think this club is important to Kean because encouraging these discussions promotes positive connections in the black community here at Kean," said Hubbard.

Secretary Curry, a sophomore studying psychology, said, "We created B.L.U. to help students become more active and to find a way to promote themselves, their businesses and possibly network with others."

Within Black Leadership Union, her main responsibilities lie in keeping track of attendance, as well as the meeting minutes.

"I believe B.L.U. is an important club to have at any campus," said Curry. "There's always a need to have a safe space for those to come and speak their mind. For some, it's a form of much needed therapy and gives them a platform to speak on things they have a passion for."

Public Relations Director Thomas, a junior studying biology, said, "This club is very important at Kean. I believe it provides a forum for our students to connect over similar experiences and support each other. Our meetings feel like taking a weight off your shoulder with people who have that same weight, and I think everyone on campus deserves to belong to a group like that."

As public relations director, Thomas runs the organization's social media accounts which include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, while maintaining a healthy connection between B.L.U. and other organizations.

Treasurer Pemberton, a senior studying public relations, said, "This club is invaluable. Having grown up in a predominantly white community, I myself struggled to fit in among my very own community. However, B.L.U. was one of the first organizations that made it easy to form black relations, by total acceptance of my personality. Evolving from high school students into college scholars, B.L.U. can aide one's transformation with a tender and wise touch."

Furthermore, Treasurer Pemberton handles all the monetary aspects of Black Leadership Union, from banking to budget plans per the approval of the e-board.

All five e-board members want students to feel comfortable and to make B.L.U. an option for insightful open discussions and useful knowledge.

Students interested in joining B.L.U. can visit their Cougar Link or email them at BLU@kean.edu for more information.

The first Black Leadership Union (B.L.U.) meeting was a success, with members interested in building Black culture.

<![CDATA[Believe, Succeed and Be The Student Trustee]]> The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs is accepting applications for the 2019-2020 alternate student trustee representative for the Kean University Board of Trustees student election through 2 p.m. Friday, March 1.

The online student trustee election will take place Tuesday, April 2 at 9 a.m. until Thursday, April 4 at 6 p.m. All currently registered students are eligible to vote.

The alternate student trustee representative will be elected for a two-year term, holding the position as an alternate member during the first term and a voting member during their second term.

As per application, there are requirements that should be considered before one embarks on the journey to become student trustee.

The requirements are as follows:

  • Must be a full-time matriculated student in good standing with no history of student misconduct
  • Must be 18 years of age or older and a citizen of the United States
  • Undergraduate students should maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 and have completed at least 30 degree credits with a minimum of 15 credits completed at Kean
  • Graduate students must be full-time, have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and have completed at least 12 credits at Kean

Once the criteria is met, the elected student trustee will begin their first term July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020. As a member of the Board of Trustees, Student and University Affairs Committee and the Kean University Student Leadership Council, trustees are expected to engage in deliberations of the board while attending public meetings.

Additionally, the Student and University Affairs Committee seeks to benefit the Kean community by advocating for policies and decisions for the students. They also meet to discuss various student affairs, athletics and enrollment programs and issues.

Alongside attending public meetings, trustees are required to meet with the Vice President for Student Affairs Janice Murray-Laury, Student Organization, and the Graduate and Part-Time Student Council (GPSC).

For those interested in applying for the 2019-2020 year, Voting Representative Kristen Failla spoke of her experience in the position.

"One thing I took away from this experience that I truly hope the next person will get is the friendships and connections I have made on campus with students, particularly those from Wenzhou-Kean," said Failla. "I met students from Wenzhou-Kean who came to Kean USA to study the same major as me, and engaged in meaningful conversations with them about how Kean was going to help us become psychologists. I learned that listening to others is an important part of being a student trustee and any leader on campus. [It is also essential to] hear their stories and ideas and project those thoughts by utilizing your professional platform."

Failla notes that this position allowed her to sit down and collaborate with other students who had unique and individual experiences that played into her decisions as trustee.

"A piece of advice I would give to someone interested in the position of student trustee is to use your voice and meet new people," said Failla. "This position provides you with opportunities to attend university events and meetings where you are surrounded by all different kinds of faculty members and students, including our students from Wenzhou-Kean."

Moreover, Failla encourages individuals who want to be challenged to take this position, as it enhances skills like public speaking, which will be important in many careers.

"The responsibilities I've had as student trustee have become life lessons that can be applied to any area of study and any career path I choose," Failla said. "I've had the privilege of learning how ideas are introduced and articulated in meetings filled with faculty who are in positions to facilitate change. I learned how to carry myself in a professional setting and network with people, which is something that can open doors to even more opportunities to grow and establish a career."

Furthermore, an application form can be found on the Kean website under Division of Student Affairs, where forms and policies can also be accessed.

"If you are interested in taking on a leadership role on campus that allows you to become even more connected on campus, then this is the perfect position for you," Failla said.

If students have any questions about this position, please contact the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, (908) 737-7080 or stop by Kean Hall, Room 124.

An election for the student trustee representative for the 2019-2020 academic year will be held this spring for interested candidates.

<![CDATA[Nice Night on the Ice]]> Greek Senate in partnership with the New Jersey Devils will be hosting its first annual Greek Life Night on Thursday, Feb. 21 to help raise funds for the Children's Specialized Hospital. The hockey night will take place at the Prudential Center beginning at 7 p.m., featuring a match between the New Jersey Devils and the Ottawa Senators. For tickets, email bkatz@newjerseydevils.com.

Annually, the Kean community works year round to raise money for the Children's Specialized Hospital in Mountainside, NJ. The Kean community raises funds throughout the school year until the final event, Kean Dance Marathon (KDM), where the total amount raised is revealed. With KDM in mind, the Kean community is always looking for new ways to encourage students to come out to events while also raising money for the charity. Last year Greek Senate hosted its first annual Winter Wonderland Gala, which turned out to be a success.

This year Greek Senate had set out to try canning at a New Jersey Devils game which turned out to be unattainable due to their policies. However, this rejection led to the upcoming hockey night.

"As fate would have it, the program coordinator informed us that, due to their polices, we would not be able to do canning. [However, he] told us of an alternative project we can be a part of. The NJDevilsteamed up with multiple universities to host a Greek Life event, in whicha portion of their ticket sales would go to a charity of their choice. Without hesitation, we thought this would be an exciting and new way to raise money for KDM. We talked to our Greek community first to see how they would feel about selling tickets and received an overwhelming 'Yes,'" said Graduate Intern of Greek Affairs Ashley Buchanan.

A ticket costs $40 and a portion of each ticket will be donated to the Children's Specialized Hospital. The first 45 people to purchase tickets will have the opportunity to take photos on the ice after the hockey game. Students who had purchased tickets by Friday, Feb. 8 had been entered into a raffle to win two free tickets for a to be determined New Jersey Devils game in March. For tickets, email bkatz@newjerseydevils.com. Students should note that transportation for the event will not be provided by the school.

"This program is good for hockey fans or for ordinary people just looking to experience a night of fun. What makes this event so great is not only are you able to go out and enjoy yourself, but also you are helping a child in need at The Children's Specialized Hospital. What more of a reason do you need to go and support this cause?" said Buchanan.

For more information, contact Graduate Intern for Greek Affairs Ashley Buchanan at buhchana@kean.edu or Assistant Director for Greek Affairs Alex Louis at alouis@kean.edu. To donate directly to Kean Dance Marathon, visit the webpage.

Come out to Greek Senate's hockey night and support the Children's Specialized Hospital as you enjoy a match between the New Jersey Devils and Ottawa Senators.

<![CDATA[Become a Part of the Conversation!]]> Applications for Student Organization, Graduate and Part-Time Student Council (GPSC), P.U.L.S.E. and Funded Group executive board positions are out now on Cougar Link. Students are encouraged to apply for the plethora of positions available as soon as possible as the application closes Friday, March 1 at 2 p.m.

There are 65 positions open for Student Organization which include the following:

  • President
  • Executive Vice President
  • Vice President of Funded Groups
  • Vice President of Programming
  • Vice President of Kean Ocean
  • Treasurer
  • Assistant Secretary
  • Senior Class President
  • Junior Class President
  • Sophomore Class President
  • One Class Officer for each class
  • Nine Class Senators for each Kean class
  • Five Class Senators for Kean Ocean

To be eligible to apply for any one of these Student Organization positions, students must be a full-time undergraduate student. For more specific information regarding each position's eligibility criteria and responsibilities, check out the "2019-2020 Student Organization Executive Board and Senate Application" on Cougar Link.

Twenty-nine positions for Graduate and Part-Time Student Council are also open, for any student wanting a leadership position that falls under the part-time undergraduate or graduate student category. The open positions are as follows:

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • 23 Graduate or Part-Time Student Council Senators

More information on any one of these positions can be found on Cougar Link in the "2019-2020 GPSC Executive Board and Senate Application."

The 21 positions for P.U.L.S.E. Programming Board are separated into three separate applications:

  • 2019-2020 P.U.L.S.E. Programming Board Coordinator and Assistant Coordinator at the Kean Union Campus
  • 2019-2020 P.U.L.S.E. Programming Committee Application at the Kean Union Campus
  • 2019-2020 Kean Ocean programming Board Committee Application

P.U.L.S.E. works as a sub-committee whose primary purpose is to help plan and host events for the university. In contrast, Student Organization and Graduate and Part-time Student Council (GPSC) work more within the realm of addressing student body issues.

All executive board positions for each funded group are also open to apply for. There is a variety of 18 funded groups that fall within the funded group category. These include:

  • Accounting Club
  • Association for Computing Machinery
  • Biotechnology Club
  • Catholic Newman Club
  • Criminal Justice Club
  • Earth Science Club
  • International Student Association
  • Kean Ocean Criminal Justice Club
  • Kean Ocean Forensic Psychology
  • Kean Theatre Council
  • Kean University Anime Society
  • Kean University Hillel
  • Muslim Student Association
  • Pan-African Student Union
  • Physical Therapy Club
  • Pre-Medical Pre-Dental Association
  • Social Work Club
  • Student Occupational Therapy Association

Each funded group has positions open for a president, vice president, treasurer, secretary and director of public relations within their executive board. To apply for any position within any of these groups, check out the "2019-2020 Funded Group Executive Board Application" on Cougar Link.

All of these applications are run through Student Government. For any non-funded group, students need not apply through Cougar Link applications posted by Student Government. Non-funded groups typically run their own separate elections for their executive board.

These positions serve as a great opportunity for students to acquire important life skills for any future career they may aspire toward.

Managing Assistant Director of the Office of Student Government Carli Hench said, "The leadership that comes with [the position], the team work, the collaboration and the communication skills are all important. We talk a lot about 'soft skills.' Employers are not seeing that our graduates are always having the soft skills."

Hench emphasized the importance of gaining experience, not only for oneself but also in regard to finding employment in the future. Students gain a multitude of critical experience and skills such as the ability to negotiate, team build, plan and more, all of which will be a necessity for graduates to relay to potential employers come time to find a full-time job.

Hench also encouraged students to campaign for themselves around campus to help in the voting process that takes place on Cougar Link once all applications are processed. Hench has found that students who collaborate with others to help promote each other have a greater likelihood of success in the election although it isn't guaranteed that the whole collaborative group will be elected.

For more information on any of the positions or to apply, check out Cougar Link.

Applications are out now for Student Organization, Graduate & Part- Time Student Council, P.U.L.S.E and Funded Group positions until March 1!

<![CDATA[Enthralled with Being Involved]]> Involvement Week was a chance for students to be interactive with the campus community, meet new people and learn about the opportunities they have available to them. A series of events were scheduled by the Involvement Center to get students to enjoy fun events, get information and explore their personal wellness. Held every semester, Involvement Week falls right around the third week of the semester. Typically around this time student involvement begins to subside. The Involvement Center uses Involvement Week to combat this and gain student interest in the options available to them.

The Shazam It! event took place in the Miron Student Center (MSC) Cougar's Den Monday, Feb. 4 from 6 to 8 p.m. and was meant for students to put their music knowledge to the test in a fun way. Contestants were asked to listen to songs without knowing the artist or title and be the first to guess the name of the song.

The Eat N' Play: Black History Trivia occurred Feb. 5 in the Cougar's Den. This specific Eat N' Play was Black History themed so the questions related to different key parts of black history and historical figures.

In addition to the events dedicated to student involvement, the week offered many workshops that promoted students' overall personal wellness. The wellness workshops all happened together Feb. 7 throughout the day and consisted of guided meditation, yoga and smoothies. The first of these wellness workshops was Guided Meditation where students were invited to relax and decompress from their stress. Similarly, later that day was Yoga Day. Yoga and meditation are unique in that they are able to relieve stress and get students to exercise.

The Student Involvement and Employment Fair took place Feb. 6 where students were shown many ways for getting involved on campus. The levels of involvement are campus employment, clubs and organizations, community service and volunteerism, leadership programs, events and activities, recreations and intramurals, and arts and theatre. The event consisted of tables with representatives from different departments on campus looking to hire, as well as clubs and organizations looking to gain new members.

Involvement Week's goal was to remind students of the great programs offered at Kean University. The events showed students the benefits of student involvement.

"Kean's involved students find more satisfaction in their college experience as they make contacts and gain professional experience through their involvement. During Involvement Week, we were able to meet the plethora of students Kean has to offer. We saw first-hand the passion they have for their school and their eagerness to gain new experiences. Students are always receptive to the opportunities Kean has to offer," said Dominick Crouchelli, graduate intern at the Involvement Center.

For more information about the clubs and organizations on campus and all the ways one can get involved, contact the Involvement Center located in the Miron Student Center, Room 303 by calling (908) 737-5270 or by visiting their website.

<![CDATA[The College of Liberal Arts Recognizes Outstanding Freshmen]]> President of Kean University Dawood Farahi, Ph.D., approved an incentive for students to achieve a 4.0 GPA for the Fall 2018 semester. First year students with an undecided major or in the College of Liberal Arts who received a 4.0 GPA were rewarded with $100 worth of Kean Bucks. The College of Liberal Arts (CLA) and the School of General Studies view this as a way to get students started off on the right track for the time that they will spend at Kean.

A program was held on Jan. 31, 2019 in the first floor of the Center for Academic Success (CAS) to recognize the students who were able to achieve a 4.0 GPA during their first semester at Kean.

The College of Liberal Arts's acting dean, Jonathan Mercantini, along with his office staff and the School of General Studies staff, hosted a reception for the students. This showed the attendees that their hard work paid off and that the University staff recognized their academic dedication.

The students were presented their gift certificates along with Kean gift items to congratulate them on their hard work and achievements. It should be noted that a lot of the students who received this incentive are highly involved on campus, whether it's through organizations or sports teams. This shows the benefits of being a well-rounded student and becoming involved on campus!

Mercantini said, "Ultimately, [students] have to do the work. But all students should know that the College of Liberal Arts faculty and staff, as well as others are here to support them and provide help including tutoring, time management help and much more. "

He continued, "Getting a 4.0 isn't the only measure of success.As long as you are working hard, challenging yourself and learning, our students should be proud of what they have achieved."

One may be curious as to where the students will be able to spend their Kean Bucks. They are accepted at the following locations:

  • The Residence Dining Hall
  • The Miron Student Center Cafeteria
  • The Cougar's Den
  • Starbucks
  • Smashburger
  • Auntie Anne's
  • Jersey Mike's Subs
  • Outtakes
  • Barnes and Noble
  • Barnes and Noble Campus bookstore
  • Au Bon Pain
  • Northside Cafe

If one has more questions on the different Kean currencies, make sure to check out the article "Lets Talk Money" by Petruce Jean-Charles.

To learn more about the CLA, make sure to check out its Kean web page.

Freshman in the College of Liberal Arts who received a 4.0 GPA their first semester were honored by Dean Mercantini at this recognition ceremony.

<![CDATA[Eat Your Heart Out]]> The Student Organization Class of 2019 hosted its first ever Sweetheart Brunch in the Miron Student Center's Cougar's Den Feb. 8. This free event gave students the chance to enjoy a brunch while socializing and participating in Valentine's Day-themed activities.

According to Khamayah McClain, the president of the Student Organization Class of 2019, the inspiration behind organizing this brunch, apart from celebrating the spirit of Valentine's Day, was to inspire students to interact more.

"I just wanted to create a social event because normally we just have formal at the end of the year, and I wanted to bring people together and help them get to know each other through the progression of the year," McClain said.

Additionally, McClain also believes that events such as these aid in stress management and give students the opportunity to unwind from the pressure of their schedules.

"We're always working hard at school, and I feel like it's good to let students relax," McClain said.

Decorated with red roses and heart streamers, The Cougar's Den served an assortment of breakfast foods and desserts, such as cinnamon rolls, muffins, bacon, and chocolate covered strawberries.

Some of the games students could play included a "Guess that Song" challenge, blindfolded candy eating and "People Bingo," where participants had to talk to other people at the event in order to win. Additionally, there was a photo booth and an arts and crafts table where attendees were given the chance to create cards which would later be given to children with autism.

Freshman Amanda Morales-Lopez said that she decided to attend the event because connecting with other students provides more of a challenge since she does not live in the residences.

"I wanted to be more involved on campus. Because I'm a commuter, this is how I meet other students," Morales-Lopez said.

Furthermore, she felt a connection to the opportunity to brighten the day of a child with autism, since the cause has touched her life personally.

"I have a brother with autism, so I found it really nice that there's an opportunity for that," Morales-Lopez said.

The Sweetheart Brunch was only one of a series of events the Student Organization Class of 2019 will be hosting. Others include the Attraction Theory event Feb. 20, where attendees can listen to a lecture by Martha Salama about adult relationships, as well as multiple dates to order senior class rings and obtain senior portraits.

To find more information on Kean's Student Organization or view their upcoming events, make sure to visit the group's page on Cougar Link.

The Sweetheart Brunch fed students brunch and allowed them to participate in a variety of Valentine's Day themed games.

<![CDATA[A Warm Welcome Back For T2K Students]]> The School of General Studies as well as its General Education Mentors (GEMs) welcomed back the freshman class with a Valentine's Day Themed Social in the Cougar's Den Thursday, Feb. 7. Students enjoyed complimentary food and drinks, coloring, games and more. The purpose of this event was to keep freshmen involved on campus throughout their second semester.

Every freshman and transfer student is required to take a Transition to Kean (T2K) course which aids students in many ways which includes getting acquainted to the university, building one's resume, community service, getting involved on campus and more. Along with this course, students receive a General Education Mentor (GEM), who is a student who works for the School of General Studies and helps them with their transition into college life and acts as a teacher's assistant.

The GEMs hosted this event to welcome back their first year students. Even though the T2K course lasts for only one semester, freshmen still keep their GEMs for their entire first year just in case they still have questions or still need assistance in terms of adjusting to college.

GEM Kathleen Conaty said, "It's like a way for us to check back in with them in the spring semester. What we like to say is that we're still their GEM in the spring semester, so we're still with them to help them with any problems for the whole year. It doesn't just stop in the fall. We try to make sure that their whole first year goes as smoothly as possible."

At the event, students could participate in several activities. The event had a coloring station filled with Valentine's Day themed pictures, giant Connect Four, card games, guess the candy, and raffles. There were also pizza and chocolate-covered strawberries.

When asked about the event, freshman Molly Pair said, "I'm excited just because I like being out with everybody and just like seeing all of the freshmen. It's just like friendly faces."

The GEMs are very helpful to students throughout their transition to Kean, and they showed it through this event. In regard to having a GEM, freshman Anna Ferster said, "She just talked about opportunities and jobs I can do, because I was looking to get a job on campus. She was just generally really helpful."

The Valentine's Day Welcome Back Social was a great event to get students interacting with their peers and building more of a community here at Kean.

Students and GEMs got the opportunity to hang out and get to know each other at this social!

<![CDATA[Feel The Love]]> Kean Cougars had an opportunity to come out and celebrate the upcoming Valentine's holiday with Kean After Dark: Valentine's Day Edition, Wednesday, Feb. 6, from 9 p.m. to midnight at the Cougar's Den.

The event was a joint effort from P.U.L.S.E and the Class of 2022 and sported a multitude of Valentine's Day themed games, activities, snacks and decorations.

At the beginning of the night, the Class of 2022 Senator Candida Rodriguez said, "I'm really pleased with [the turnout] actually. I think the decorations, food and stuff were better with us having collaborated instead of just [the Class of 2022] doing it ourselves."

Upon signing in using one's individual Event Pass, students were given a raffle ticket and a Valentine's Day themed bingo sheet. The bingo sheet posed as an interactive icebreaker for attendees. The students were challenged to meet other attendees who had certain attributes written within the slots of the bingo sheet. Some of these attributes included the following: "first generation college student," "watched a rom-com," "wearing red," "is a resident student," "loves dark chocolate" and more. Upon completing the bingo sheet, students were eligible to win a prize and leave with new friendships.

Freshman biotechnology science major, Grace Ngoy said, "I've definitely [made new friends]. I just realized that there's a lot of people who have the same interests as [I do]. I'm having fun and getting to know more and more people."

The raffle ticket came into play at the snacks and activities tables. Students could walk up to the tables, submit their raffle for a goodie bag and fill the bag with any variety of candies available. These candies included Starburst, M&M's, Skittles and conversation hearts. There was also an activity table with craft supplies where students could make Valentine's Day cards or heart dollies for their significant other or friends.

As well as doing these individual activities, students were also invited onto the stage to play collaborative games with and against one another. Some of the games included a song guessing game "Boo'd up" where students guessed cartoon couples and a romance movie guessing game.

"The 'Boo'd Up' game was my favorite one because it was a collaborative event, and I'm really into teamwork," said Ngoy.

Kean After Dark was a success because of the hardworking students from P.U.L.S.E. and the Class of 2022. Many students left the event with a couple prizes, fond memories and new friends.

"[Kean After Dark] was basically just a way to get the students together to socialize, and [P.U.L.S.E and Class of 2022] have been working on this since last semester. So, it's really cool to see everything come into fruition," said Khamayah McClain, the Class of 2019 president.

Student Organization will be hosting more Kean After Dark events in the Cougar's Den on the following dates throughout the semester:

  • Wednesday, March 6
  • Wednesday, April 3
  • Wednesday, May 1

For more information on these events and more, check out Cougar Link.

Students enjoy a fun-filled night at Kean After Dark: Valentine's Day Edition.

<![CDATA["Taking Aim: Power Gender and Firearms" Exhibit Opens]]> World-renowned sculptor and contemporary artist Linda Lighton introduced her newly-opened exhibit "Taking Aim: Power Gender and Firearms" in the Human Rights Institute Gallery Feb. 5.

The exhibit, running until May 5, aims to express the connection between gun violence and violence against women in the United States.

Lighton's artistic background is extremely diverse and extensive, having both her education and works span the globe.

According to the The Lighton International Artists Exchange Program (LIAEP), she originally attended The Factory of Visual Arts in Seattle, Washington from 1971 to 1974. From 1974 to 1976, Lighton lived on the Colville Indian Reservation in Eastern Washington State to help gain a better perspective on Native American art.

Continuing her studies and travels, she studied painting and ceramics from 1976 to 1978 at the University of Idaho. Finally, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with honors from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1989.

Lighton has had 54 solo shows since 1974 and helped contribute to more than 150 group exhibitions internationally, including representing the United States as a member of the International Academy of Ceramics on multiple occasions.

Some of the places in which her artwork was featured include Missouri, New Jersey, Washington, Ohio, Texas, Japan, Korea, Germany, China and more.

Additionally, the pieces on display are focused on evoking imagery revolving around capitalistic greed and the human preoccupation with power, control and status.

The exhibit features over 20 ceramic works from Lighton's personal studio with the entirety of the collection spanning over 14 years to finalize.

Also focusing on advocacy, Lighton touched upon her call to action behind "Taking Aim: Power Gender and Firearms" and the importance of understanding her work.

"It's our job to ensure our youth's future," Lighton said. "Gun safety is a fundamental right. We want our children growing up in safe communities nationwide."

In addition to the numerous pieces of art and sculpture, various statistics lined the walls, aiming to magnify and enhance the experience for the prospective viewer.

Said statistics included information on gun violence, domestic violence and violence against women and minorities.

Tanya Hartman, a contributor and curator for Lighton, described the raw elements that went into the basis of the exhibit.

"The brutality that Lighton references in this exhibition is directly connected to a materialistic love of weaponry, its proliferation in homes across the United States and a disconnection between easy trigger fingers and tragic consequences," Hartman explained. "Great artists make works that address the culture in which they live."

"Through the repeated motifs of the gun, the flower and the bullet, Lighton presents the viewer with a visual representation of the conflicted psyche at the heart of the national debate on the right to bear arms," Hartman said.

Those interested in viewing Lighton's works can visit the Kean University Human Rights Institute Gallery, located in the Nancy Thompson Library on the main campus.

Gallery hours are as follows:

Monday through Wednesday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Thursday: 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Friday: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For additional information on the exhibit or the artist, one can visit Linda Lighton's official website.

Attendance for the exhibit is free of charge.

The exhibit, running until May 5, aims to express the connection between gun violence and violence against women in the United States.

<![CDATA[Aspiring Teachers and Student Leaders]]> The Early Childhood Education Club is an organization that aims to help future teachers further develop important career skills, such as communication and leadership, outside of the classroom. Created only two years ago, it is one of Kean's newer clubs, but it still has established itself as a resourceful niche for anyone interested in education, working with children and personal development overall.

Jessica Henriques, who is studying early childhood education P-3 and K-6 with a concentration in math, is the president of the Early Childhood Education Club and one of the founding members. She partnered with Dominique Cunningham, the current vice president of the organization, to establish the club and get recognition back in spring 2017.

"I was inspired to start this club because I wanted to work with children in a variety of settings to not only gain experience within my major, but also support children in our local communities with any resources they may need. I also wanted an organization where education majors could fellowship with each other and develop important skills needed for our field," Henriques said.

While education majors at Kean strive to hone their teaching abilities inside of the classroom, Henriques designed the Early Childhood Education Club to add another dimension to their skill sets through working with other teachers-in-training and participating in community service that benefits children similar to those they would be interacting with in the future.

"The mission of our club is to provide opportunities to help future teachers develop in leadership and communication skills. Members will have fellowship together, participate in service projects related to young children and be given opportunities for professional development," Henriques said.

Apart from Henriques and Cunningham, other members of the club's executive board include Secretary Hannah Egan, Treasurer Jolene Sinclair and Director of Public Relations Ashley Figueiredo. While this club is geared specifically toward students aiming to go into the education field, membership is open to all.

"The club is not just for education majors; we welcome all majors... If you like working with children, this is a great club to join," Henriques said.

The Early Childhood Education Club usually meets once a month. However, according to Henriques, they meet more frequently when necessary to sort out the fine details of any upcoming events. The club has been especially proactive in the past year with its planning.

"This past year, our organization collected toys during the holidays, which were donated to the children at the Goryeb Children's Hospital in Morristown. We held a Praxis Core workshop and we volunteered our time with the organization Need Quest for their School-A-Palooza event, which provides resources for special needs children," Henriques said. "This spring semester, we will be hosting a winter fest for a local daycare and working with other organizations and schools to hold fun events for children."

Henriques believes that membership in this club underscores the importance of early childhood education in general, as educators have the ability to shape the students as they grow up.

"Early childhood education is important because emotional, social and physical development of young children has a direct effect on their overall development," Henriques said. "Therefore, it is important to invest in very young children so as to maximize their future well-being."

Those interested in learning more about the Early Childhood Education Club can visit the group's page on Cougar Link. They can also be contacted at earlychildhoodclub@kean.edu or at (908) 377-8900.

Members of the Early Childhood Education Club collected and donated toys to patients of the Goryeb Children's Hospital in December as one of their service projects.

<![CDATA[An Unrivaled Rookie]]> Kean University does its considerable best to churn out students who employ an exemplary work ethic throughout their academic careers. This applies to Kean's beloved student-athletes who carry the grit and determination from the fields and courts into their respective classrooms. Anthony Bassani strives to do just that.

Bassani is a redshirt freshman for the University's football program. Striving to be a vital contributor to his team, Bassani has outshined many of his competitors even in his first season of play. His outstanding play translated into being named the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Rookie of The Year and was named All-ECAC Second Team Defense as a defensive back.

"When I found out [about those awards], I was actually shocked because I wasn't expecting to win these awards," Bassani said. "Yet I was also very happy and proud."

Despite these accolades, Bassani remains grounded, knowing that his talent on the field is dedicated to the overall performance of the football program and not the recognition he receives. His contributions to the team are cherished by his coaches and teammates. In fact, playing football at Kean has contributed bountifully to his own life.

"My involvement in the football program has prepared me for the rest of my life because it has taught me how to be accountable and responsible. It has developed in me a mental toughness and [equipped me with the tools] to become a better man," Bassani said.

Bassani hopes that his football career extends past his time here at Kean. Additionally, he has the goal of obtaining a job after he graduates with his criminal justice degree. Kean University has carved the way for him to do exactly that.

"Kean has prepared me for my career professionally by having great professors and giving us everything that a college student needs to be successful..." Bassani said.

His efforts are not one-sided; he is intent on being successful on the field and in the classroom. Kean provides the necessary tools to excel at both.

As a redshirt freshman, Bassani urged current freshmen and incoming freshmen to "work hard inside the classroom." In order to participate in the football program, Bassani must maintain his GPA. Similarly, freshmen should succeed in the classroom so that they can remain on track to their future goals.

Bassani aims to perform just as well next season both athletically and academically.

For more information on Kean athletics, visit their webpage.

Bassani is a redshirt freshman for the university's football program.

<![CDATA[Judy Smith Delivers for Kean's Distinguished Lecture Series]]> Judy Smith - one of the world's best crisis managers, inspiration for the ABC television series Scandal and former Deputy Press Secretary in the White House for the late President George H.W. Bush - delivered a powerful and inspiring lecture to Kean students, faculty and the general public, February 6 at Kean University New Jersey Center for Science, Technology, and Mathematics (STEM) auditorium.

Having dealt with some of the highest profile crisis management cases in the modern era, Smith shared her valuable knowledge and experience to the audience and potential interests in the crisis management and communication fields.

Her firm has advised such notable clients as Monica Lewinsky, Michael Vick and Sony Entertainment Network.

Despite the powerful and professional manner in which Smith conducted herself, she still exhibited extremely friendly and down-to-earth vibes to those attending, fostering an open-forum environment where students were encouraged to participate and ask questions.

For an hour or so, Smith answered questions from both the moderator and Vice President of University Relations Karen Smith and members of the audience, focused on the focal points of crisis management, communication, her life and more.

When asked about how to go about preventing or dealing with any potential crisis in one's life, her answer was direct.

"The most important piece of information in any situation are the facts," Smith started.

"There are a lot of things I can't fix. My kids are still on my payroll for one," she said, laughing.

Continuing with her dive into crisis management, Smith issued a stern warning to those on social media.

"Be mindful of the importance and impact social media may have on your image," Smith continued. "How long do you guys think it takes for bad news to travel internationally on social media?"

She fielded many interesting answers.

"Five minutes," one lady shouted among the chatter.

"Well, it takes an average of 17 seconds for bad news to travel [on social media] internationally," Smith said.

The audience had quite an audible gasp in reaction to the sheer time that it takes for news to travel everywhere.

After an in-depth analysis of the inner workings of crisis management, questions began to be directed toward the more personal side of Smith.

When asked about her role in creating Scandal, Smith wanted to see herself in Olivia Pope, the main character played by Kerry Washington.

"[Before Scandal,] I knew nothing about television," Smith said, shrugging.

"It was important to me that the woman who played me was strong, independent, intelligent..."

Additionally, Smith touched upon the importance of why only she could be the inspiration in the lead role.

"It was the first time that an African American woman was a lead in a TV show in 35 years," Smith said with pride.

As the lecture continued on, Smith branched off from her main focal points to offer some valuable advice and perspective.

"As you grow into who you are, you have to know what's important to you..." Smith said, "...ethics, lines and values in which determine who you become."

"Have the confidence that you can do whatever you set your mind to. Life involves action...Action makes it so."

As she concluded her lecture as a whole, Smith left with one more parting piece.

"Take risks. Don't place limits on yourself. The greatest growth for me personally was when I stepped out of my shoes and found out more about myself," Smith said, followed by a standing ovation.

Currently, Smith serves as counselor to Fortune 500 corporations and recently wrote the book titledGood Self, Bad Self.

The next lecture and discussion in the Distinguished Lecture Series will occur March 6 at 4 p.m. in the North Avenue Academic Building with the screening of The Armor of Light.

Information on the aforementioned lecture or any Distinguished Lecture Series presentation can visit its official site.

For an hour or so Smith answered inquisitions from both the co-host and members of the audience, focused on the focal points of crisis management, communication, her life, passions and all in-between.