Monmouth University Seal

Monmouth University
President’s Report

Academic year 2021–2022
Monmouth University Gardens

From the President

Dear Friends:

s I think back on all that the Monmouth University community achieved together during Academic Year 2021–2022, I can’t help but be filled with a sense of pride, as well as excitement for what the future holds.

Building on the momentum created by the endorsement of our strategic plan last year, we continued to make progress toward becoming a national leader at integrating excellence and access. This past year we welcomed our most academically prepared first-year class ever as measured by GPA. Equally important, given our commitment to cultivating a more inclusive community, this class was Monmouth’s second-most ethnically diverse and had the second-highest number of first-generation and Pell Grant–eligible students.

During the past year, our students and faculty pursued scholarship that addresses some persistent issues facing society today—bolstering coastal resiliency, combating cancer, and halting the spread of misinformation, to name but a few—while winning prestigious postgraduate scholarships and national research grants. I am proud that our efforts to further academic excellence and enhance the student experience are flourishing.

This Is Monmouth


ocated along New Jersey’s northern coastline, Monmouth University is a top-tier private institution that is home to innovative academic programs, expert faculty, and nationally ranked Division I athletics. Comprehensive in scope, Monmouth enrolls approximately 5,675 students in more than 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including four doctoral programs.

The University houses six Centers of Distinction: the Monmouth University Polling Institute, the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music, the Urban Coast Institute, the Kislak Real Estate Institute, the Center for the Arts, and the Institute for Global Understanding. Run by experts and professors, these centers enhance the academic experiences of Monmouth students while meeting the needs of local and global communities.

Founded in 1933 as Monmouth Junior College, the institution became Monmouth College in 1956 and received its university charter in 1995. Today, Monmouth University consistently ranks among the best regional universities in the country in a host of measures related to excellence and access, offering proof that it is possible to make an exceptional private education affordable and accessible.

A city landscape photographic perspective of Asbury Park in New Jersey
A landscape photograph of the New York City skyline at night
An aerial landscape photograph perspective of the Monmouth University campus
A landscape photograph of Monmouth University students fishing on a boat in the ocean

Our Unrivaled Location


ess than one mile from the Atlantic Ocean and one hour from New York City and Philadelphia, Monmouth University’s beautiful coastal campus sits at the heart of a vibrant culture that is rich in history, the arts, technology, and entrepreneurship. This unrivaled location directly impacts and enhances the academic experience.

At Monmouth, students study marine and environmental biology aboard one of the University’s three research vessels. They build their professional networks by interning at Fortune 500 companies in New York and Philadelphia. They perform and pursue their artistic passions in Red Bank’s renowned theater district and Asbury Park’s legendary music scene, where such artists as Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi got their starts. They complete service-learning projects in the coastal forests and on the sun-splashed beaches that lie just beyond the campus’s main gate.

At the center of it all is Monmouth’s picturesque campus, which has been named one of the 10 most beautiful in the world. The University’s 170-acre campus houses state-of-the-art labs and learning spaces, multiple theaters and art galleries, Division I–level athletics facilities, and two historic buildings: the Great Hall, which is a National Historic Landmark, and the Guggenheim Memorial Library, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

A portrait photograph of a Monmouth University student standing and posing for a picture with his beach towel over his back as he looks upon the sunset at the beach
A group of Monmouth University students lay back on the grass outside as they chat amongst each other
Woman's soccer
Athletics Womens Hurdles
Athletics Football
Monmouth student basketball player playing game
Athletics Men's Lacrosse
Women's Basketball
Blue eagle illustration
University Athletics

Monmouth Joins
the CAA

The University’s move to the Colonial Athletic Association will enhance competition for Hawks student-athletes and bolster the University’s brand recognition and reputation.

new era in Monmouth athletics began on July 1, when the University officially joined the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) in all sports the league sponsors. The move, which was unanimously approved by the University’s Board of Trustees, was announced in January during a press conference held inside the OceanFirst Bank Center and live-streamed on ESPN+.

digital illustration of a bridge
A Banner Year for the

Springsteen Archives

The Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music at Monmouth University announced a new permanent exhibition space and launched a national touring exhibit of its artifacts.

he Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music at Monmouth University launched a new collaboration with the Borough of Freehold, New Jersey, to create a permanent exhibition space that will celebrate the early life and story of the borough’s most famous son, Bruce Springsteen. The partnership was announced in March at a press conference that the Boss himself attended.

Joe Kyrillos, Steven Oroho, Nicholas Scutari, and Vin Gopal sitting on stage
illustration of building
Distinguished Speakers,

Diverse Viewpoints

This year, the University hosted lectures by several nationally and internationally recognized figures and thought leaders.

t Monmouth, there is a tradition of welcoming visionary leaders to campus to engage with our community members on the issues facing society. These events enrich the academic experience for students and enlighten members of the University and local communities.

Although the pandemic necessitated that some events be held virtually last year, the University still welcomed a multitude of distinguished authors, educators, and civic leaders to speak on such diverse topics as social justice, politics and spirituality, and sustainable development. Here are some of the highlights.

Brick archway illustration
Modernizing Infrastructure

The Parton Broadcasting Center

Monmouth celebrated the opening of a state-of-the-art broadcasting center that will fuel hands-on learning.

he students who produce the live broadcasts of Monmouth University’s Division I sporting events are doing so from a new, state-of-the-art control room thanks to a generous gift from Trustee Emeritus and former board chair Charles T. Parton ’01HN and his wife, Trudy.

Academic highlights from the previous year.

Faculty & Student Achievement

Megan Phifer-Rixey wearing a lab coat and smiling while standing in a lab

Biology Professor Wins $1.1 million NSF Grant


egan Phifer-Rixey, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, was awarded a five-year, $1.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) initiative for the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program. The grant will support her research on the evolutionary impact of urbanization on house mice while expanding educational experiences and resources across campus and beyond.

Phifer-Rixey’s research, which focuses on how living in an urban environment impacts mice differently than living in more rural environments and how, over time, those differences can shape a population’s evolution and adaptability, aims to further our understanding of how urban environments affect all wildlife. Students will be involved in the genetic analysis of tissue samples, analyzing traits, and preparing natural history specimens from the mice collected to help fill gaps in natural history collections.

Phifer-Rixey will also be developing projects that will allow students who aren’t in her lab to use the data to complete bioinformatics projects. Assistant Professor of Chemistry Nikita Burrows, whose expertise is in evaluating project-based approaches to learning, will be assessing the effectiveness of these projects to see how they improve student outcomes with the goal of formally publishing it as a classroom exercise. In the final year of the grant, Associate Director of First-Year Writing and Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Composition Courtney Werner will help create a science writing class in which students will learn to communicate the results of this work to the public.

New & Noteworthy

Campus updates, philanthropic highlights, key hires, and more from the previous year.


Monmouth Receives Federal Funds to Improve Coastal Resilience


onmouth’s Urban Coast Institute (UCI) received federal funding for two projects that will bolster resilience to extreme coastal storm and flooding events in Naval Weapons Station (NWS) Earle and its surrounding communities and help economically disadvantaged New Jersey municipalities improve their resilience and readiness for climate threats.

Rep. Frank Pallone secured $450,000 as part of the Department of Defense (DOD) appropriations for the NWS Earle project, which will be led by Thomas Herrington, UCI associate director and New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium Resilient Communities and Economies specialist. The project will build upon a 2019 Raritan/Sandy Hook Bay Coastal Resilience Planning Study conducted by Monmouth County and the DOD that created 11 concept plans for projects that would improve resilience in and around NWS Earle, including steps to address worsening bayfront erosion that could jeopardize the long-term operation and safety of the installation’s pier, facilities, and navigational channels.

The funding will advance one or more of the highest-priority projects through the design and engineering phases needed to make them shovel-ready. The project team is expected to include Monmouth University faculty and students, NWS Earle, and other partners involved in the 2019 study.

monmouth university campus

University Leadership | Academic Year 2021–2022

Senior Staff

Edward W. Christensen, Ph.D.
Vice President, Information Management

John J. Christopher, Esq.
Vice President, General Counsel

William G. Craig, CPA
Vice President, Finance

Annette Gough ’16
Executive Assistant to the President & Board of Trustees

Amanda Klaus ’09
Vice President, University Advancement

Robert D. Mc Caig, Ed.D.
Vice President, Enrollment Management and Marketing

Emily Miller-Gonzalez, J.D.
Chief of Staff

Mary Anne Nagy ’91M, ’01M
Vice President, Student Life and Leadership Engagement

Zaneta Rago-Craft, Ed.D.
Director, Intercultural Center; Advisor to the President on Diversity and Inclusion

Pamela Scott-Johnson, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

WIlliam Siemer
Executive Director for Campus Planning and Facilities Management

Jeff Stapleton
Director of Athletics


Steven M. Bachrach, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Science

Raj Devasagayam, Ph.D.
Dean, Leon Hess Business School

John E. Henning, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Education

Robin Mama, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Social Work

Ann Marie Mauro, Ph.D.
Dean, Marjorie K. Unterberg School of Nursing and Health Studies

Nancy J. Mezey, Ph.D.
Dean, Honors School

Richard Veit, Ph.D.
Interim Dean, Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Board of Trustees

Jeana M. Piscatelli ’01, ’02M, Chair
John A. Brockriede Jr. ’07, ’10M, Vice Chair
Leslie N. Hitchner, Vice Chair
Christopher D. Maher, Treasurer

Miles J. Austin III ’19
Michael V. Benedetto, Esq., ’90
Tasha A. Youngblood Brown ’97, ’03M
Karyn F. Cusanelli ’89 (Ex officio)
Mary Vaden Eisenstadt
Stephen E. Gerard ’89M
Jeremy Grunin
Raymond G. Klose ’77
George Kolber
Patrick F. Leahy, Ed.D. (Ex officio)
Nancy A. Leidersdorff ’97
Dean Q. Lin, FACHE
Lisa McKean
Thomas J. Michelli
Valerie Montecalvo
Tavit O. Najarian, Sc.D.
Michael A. Plodwick ’82
Christopher W. Shaw
Mark J. Skesavage ’11M
Carol A. Stillwell
Webster B. Trammell Jr., Psy.D., ’70, ’73M

Life Trustees

Marianne C. Hesse
Harold L. Hodes ’65
William B. Roberts

Trustees Emeriti

Stanley S. Bey ’59
Alan E. Davis, Esq.
Paul S. Doherty Jr. ’67, ’04HN
Judith Ann Eisenberg
Alfred L. Ferguson, Esq., ’13HN
Frederick J. Kaeli Jr. ’61
John H. Kessler ’69
Henry D. Mercer III ’87, ’17HN
Stephen M. Parks ’68, ’07HN
Charles T. Parton ’01HN
Thomas A. Porskievies ’82, ’86M
Steven J. Pozycki ’73
Alfred J. Schiavetti Jr. ’11HN
Robert B. Sculthorpe ’63, ’15HN


Rose Knapp, DNP, RN, APN-C, Chair Associate Professor, Department of Nursing


Carolyn Ciervo ’18, Chair
Senior Data Specialist, Advancement Services


Maria Monzon, President

As of June 30, 2022

Monmouth University students sit on the sand next to each other at the beach
Monmouth University Seal

Monmouth University
President’s Report