Campus Briefs

News and notes from the spring 2020 semester.

Celebrating the Class of 2020

While Commencement might have looked different this year—and a future in-person ceremony is still on the horizon—Monmouth University is proud to recognize the Class of 2020 graduates for their academic achievement, which came as a result of personal ambition, dedication, and sacrifice.

Business students beat the S&P 500

Hawk Capital, an investment fund managed by Monmouth University students, finished 2019 up 36.4%, in the process outperforming its benchmark, the S&P 500, by 5.1%. The fund is run as a finance course (BF 452/Hawk Capital). Student in the class manage an equity portfolio of some $300,000, and in the process gain real-world security analysis and portfolio management experience.

Simplemente la mejor

The WMCX show “Nuestros Sonidos Latinos” won the 2020 Intercollegiate Broadcast System’s first place trophy for best foreign language broadcast. The win makes Monmouth the first university radio station outside the state of California to achieve the honor. “Nuestros Sonidos Latinos” has been nominated for the past three years since the category was introduced, making it the only radio show to be consecutively nominated.

Debate Hawks finish 21st nationally

Monmouth University’s debate team wrapped up the 2019–2020 season ranked No. 21 overall in the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) national rankings. It was the program’s highest-ever ranking, and put Monmouth ahead of teams from such schools as Georgetown University, Cornell University, Baylor University, and the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to this year, Monmouth’s highest CEDA national ranking had been 56th.

Polling Institute still one of the best

The Monmouth University Polling Institute maintained its A-plus rating from Nate Silver’s respected FiveThirtyEight (again), earning the highest rating from the news site for the fourth straight time. The Monmouth University Poll was one of just six to receive a top grade out of 453 polling operations reviewed by FiveThirtyEight, which calculates ratings by analyzing the historical accuracy and methodology of each organization’s polls. This is the fourth straight time the Monmouth Poll has received the top rating from FiveThirtyEight. 

A virtual showcase

In lieu of an in-person show, graduating art and design students presented the fruits of their creative endeavors virtually this spring. Explore the artists’ creations in animation, graphic design, photography, and studio art.

Bio department sweeps faculty awards

Associate Professor of Biology Pedram P. Daneshgar was honored with this year’s Distinguished Teaching Award (DTA), while his colleague (and former DTA winner) Professor James Mack ’62 was honored with the 2020 Eugene Simko Faculty Leadership Award.

Monmouth garners national recognition for its commitment to first-gen students

The Center for First-Generation Student Success and The Suder Foundation recently recognized the University in its 2020–21 cohort of First-Gen Forward Institutions, a designation that recognizes Monmouth’s demonstrated commitment to improving experiences and advancing outcomes of first-generation college students.

The show must go on

In the days before COVID-19, Tuesday Night Record Club gatherings included a live rendition of music from that evening’s featured album performed by students in the Blue Hawk House Band. But when in-person events were canceled on campus, the Record Club gatherings went virtual. Luckily for fans, the performances did too. Band members have been recording themselves playing individually at home and editing the footage into a virtual group performance. That’s the band covering Beyonce’s “Freedom” above. Click here to watch their covers of songs by the Beatles, U2, and the Who.

Model UN team wins big abroad

Monmouth’s Model UN Team took home five awards at the King’s College London Model UN competition in February. The event is the largest Model UN competition in Europe, and this year drew teams from 148 universities around the world. Monmouth and Columbia University were the only U.S. schools in the competition.

Power player

Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, was named to the 2020 NJBIZ Power 100 list, which recognizes the most powerful people in New Jersey business. While calling Murray “a legitimate political celebrity,” NJBIZ went on to say that his “candor, his experience as a campaign-watcher, and his media-friendly demeanor make him one of the most authoritative voices in politics, both in New Jersey and across the country.” Murray frequently appears as a commentator on national and regional TV and radio, including appearances on various programs at CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, PBS, and NPR.

Three Students Earn Prestigious NOAA Scholarships

Sophomores Aidan Bodeo-Lomicky, Hannah Craft, and Johanna Vonderhorst were awarded the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s prestigious Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship. Each year, NOAA offers just over 100 of the highly competitive scholarships to students nationwide. The scholarship includes a two-year academic award, a paid summer internship at any NOAA facility nationwide, and funding for the students to present their NOAA research projects at national scientific conferences.

Off the charts

Monmouth was named one of the “2020 Top Music Business Schools” by Billboard magazine, one of just 28 colleges and universities to be cited as such by the venerable music publication. The article focused on Monmouth’s Bachelor of Arts in music with a concentration in music industry program, highlighting areas of study such as “publishing, recording, marketing, talent acquisition, artist management, concert production, media relations, technology and merchandising.” The student-run record label, Blue Hawk Records, and the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music were also noted as highlights of the program.