Campus Briefs

News and notes from the fall 2020 semester.

New Campus Sim Lab Takes Health Care Education Into the Future

The Linda Grunin Simulation Lab and Learning Center, a 7,000-square-foot state-of-the-art health care education and training facility, was dedicated at the University’s Graduate Center earlier this academic year. The lab, which was created through a partnership between the University and Monmouth Medical Center (MMC), with funding from the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation, provides hands-on learning and training opportunities to students in the University’s nursing, physician assistant, and occupational therapy programs. It also serves MMC’s resident physicians and medical students, and will be a resource for training local first responders.

The ultramodern facility boasts four high-fidelity simulation suites with attached observation rooms for training with computerized manikins in simulated real-life settings, as well as six standardized patient exam rooms. The lab design and equipment incorporate the latest technology and best practices in simulated learning in OB/GYN, pediatrics, medicine, surgery, and intensive care.

The lab is “a terrific example of the service culture that is at the center of Monmouth University’s mission,” says President Patrick F. Leahy. “We feel a strong obligation to partner with our host communities, and we believe this facility will provide exponentially greater long-term benefits to health care in our region. To be truly great, we believe universities must be anchors of community enrichment, and we are proud of our partnership with Monmouth Medical Center.”

Abele Minded

Students in Professor Melissa Ziobro’s Fall 2020 Museums and Archives Management Basics class curated a virtual exhibit on Julian Abele, the pioneering African American architect who played a key role in designing the building now known as the Great Hall. Their work, which includes an interview with Abele’s biographer, Dreck Spurlock Wilson, can be viewed at

We’re Down With OTD

Monmouth University will launch its third doctoral degree-granting program this summer when it welcomes the inaugural cohort of the new Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program. The three-year, full-time OTD program requires 105 credits over nine semesters, including summers. Students will take a mix of traditional and hybrid courses that place a heavy emphasis on experiential learning and hands-on training. More information is available at

We Just Made the List

PR News named Monmouth University to the inaugural “Education A-List” earlier this year. The list showcases the top 35 educational institutions that are advancing the careers of public relations and communication professionals in the U.S., and includes Columbia University, Harvard University, and Georgetown University, among other national institutions.

Daughter Knows Best

Just how solid was the business plan that senior business management major Lex Walker submitted for her Small Business Management and Marketing class last fall? So solid that it persuaded her father, Robert, to start his own company. “He was kind of thinking of doing it already but was unsure if he could make it work,” says Lex. But after reviewing his daughter’s plan, Robert liked what he saw and opened a landscape design and supply business in Edison, New Jersey. He’s even renting the location that Lex recommended in her plan.

The Force is Strong With This One

Senior communication major Sean Gerhard’s Star Wars Show on WMCX was named “Most Innovative/Creative Program” in the 2021 Intercollegiate Broadcast System (IBS) Media Awards. Each week, the broadcast highlights a different movie from the franchise and features music from that film and discussions of related topics by Gerhard and, occasionally, special guests. The end of each episode is reserved for Star Wars news, which most often covered the newest episode of The Mandalorian. In addition to his Star Wars show, Gerhard also serves as the station’s sports director and was nominated by IBS for Best Men’s Basketball Play-by-Play.

Nursing School Named One of the Nation’s Best

The Marjorie K. Unterberg School of Nursing and Health Studies was named one of “The 100 Best Private Nursing Schools in the United States” by Nursing Schools Almanac. According to the Almanac, a research team collected data on more than 3,000 institutions throughout the U.S. to evaluate each institution’s academic prestige and perceived value; the depth of nursing programs offered; and student success, particularly first-time National Council Licensure Examination pass rates, in selecting the top 100 list.

A Powerful Message

“I think it’s important for us to know that when we say ‘I don’t do politics,’ what we’re actually saying is ‘I don’t do power.’ Politics is another word for power. Think about what we’re saying when we say ‘I don’t do power.’ … The implication of that is—dominate me. Control me. I don’t need to be at the table of my own existence. I don’t need to be a voice at the table fighting for justice. Do whatever you want to me—I am your slave.”

Ibram X. Kendi, speaking with a Monmouth audience via Zoom about the importance of civic engagement in the ongoing struggle for racial justice. The award-winning author, who was named one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People of 2020,” delivered this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Lecture in Social Justice. (Photo: Montclair Wikimedia Commons.)