Academic highlights from the previous year

Faculty & Student Achievement

Keith Dunton, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Biology, and Jason Adolf, Ph.D., an endowed professor of marine science

Monmouth Researchers Are Working on First-of-Its-Kind Fisheries Monitoring Plan Survey


eith Dunton, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Biology, and Jason Adolf, Ph.D., an endowed professor of marine science (above, left to right), are working on parallel studies that will help determine whether the development of offshore wind has an impact on fish populations along the east coast.

Thanks to a $1.2 million grant awarded through the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Research and Monitoring Initiative (RMI), Adolf is leading a team conducting a first-of-its-kind study that uses genetic materials extracted from the ocean to determine whether the development of turbines and power infrastructure has an impact on fish populations and demographics, as well as the diversity of organisms in wind lease areas located in the waters off the New Jersey coastline.

The team will sample the waters before, during, and after construction for DNA shed by marine life in the area and compare the findings with data gathered through traditional trawls and fish-tagging methods.

The project is the first to monitor potential changes to fisheries in a wind energy area using environmental DNA, or “eDNA.” This crime scene investigation-style approach to marine detection, which Monmouth scientists have helped pioneer, has emerged as a more humane and less expensive means of studying fish populations than traditional methods that require their capture.

Also through the NJDEP’s RMI, Dunton was awarded a $1.9 million grant to use telemetry to track fish movements along New Jersey’s coastline and in offshore wind lease areas. Through a partnership with the New England Aquarium, the team will tag species of interest—including endangered species and those that are important to commercial and recreational fishing—with transmitters that will record their movements. The project will provide baseline data on these crucial populations and become part of a larger acoustic telemetry network along the Eastern seaboard.

Faculty-Student Paper Analyzes Industrialization in India


ekha Datta, Ph.D., professor of political science and Freed Endowed Chair in Social Services (right), and Honors School student Lenien Jamir (middle) presented a co-authored paper at the Interdisciplinary International Conference on Morality, Spirituality, Culture, and Society: East and West, in Kolkata, India, in January 2023. The paper, “Confluence and Anomaly of East-West Perspectives on Development: The Advent of Tata Steel on Local and Adivasi (Indigenous) Communities in India,” traces the story of industrialization in India through the growth and expansion of Tata Steel in colonial and post-colonial India and the impact on the lives of the local community. Datta and Jamir—a junior political science and sociology student who was the only undergraduate student presenter at the conference—received an invitation to publish their piece as part of a peer-reviewed collection. Their work is currently undergoing revisions for an edited volume to be published by an international academic publisher.

Rekha Datta, Ph.D., professor of political science and Freed Endowed Chair in Social Services (right), and Honors School student Lenien Jamir (middle) on stage
Katherine Parkin, Ph.D. in red blazer next to classic car

Professor’s Article Featured in International Journal


atherine Parkin, Ph.D., professor in the Department of History and Anthropology, published “The Women’s National Abortion Action Coalition & the Abortion Tribunals, 1971–1972” in the Journal of Family History. In the article, Parkin covers the creation of the Women’s National Abortion Action Coalition (WONAAC) and the focused activism of the group, from its inception in July 1971 to the organization’s disappearance in January 1973 following the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade. Parkin notes the creation of WONAAC as an inclusive, far-reaching network that called for reproductive justice, an end to forced sterilization, and accessible birth control, in addition to holding men in power accountable for the oppression of women. The Jules Plangere Jr. Endowed Chair in American Social History, Parkin is also the author of Food Is Love: Food Advertising and Gender Roles in Modern America and Women at the Wheel: A Century of Buying, Driving, and Fixing Cars.

Professor Edits New Essay Collection that Examines the Limits of Autofiction


riscilla Gac-Artigas, Ph.D., professor of Spanish and Latin American literature in the Department of World Languages and Cultures, is the editor of a new volume of essays titled “Collectfiction: Pushing the Limits of Autofiction / Colectficción: sobrepasando los límites de la autoficción,” published in July 2022 by Iberoamericana/Vervuert (Madrid), a leading publishing house in the field of academic studies on Iberian and Latin American literature. The essays provide a considerable corpus of works that invite the reader to move beyond what Spanish literary critic Manuel Alberca describes as the “stagnation” of autofiction and to advance the theorization of “collectfiction,” a term coined by Gac-Artigas in 2017 to describe a new way of narrating reality(ies) and fiction(s), of telling and reconfiguring stories. Gac-Artigas, whose essay, “About ‘Collectfiction’ and Literary Translation,” was recently published in the forum, “El coloquio de los peritos: A Forum on Literary Translation,” is a Fulbright scholar, a full member of the North American Academy of the Spanish Language, and a correspondent member of the Royal Spanish Academy.

Priscilla Gac-Artigas, Ph.D.
Susan Meyer, M.F.A. in navy turtleneck

Professor’s Artworks Featured in New York City Exhibition


usan Meyer, M.F.A., specialist professor of foundations in the Department of Art and Design, was included in the exhibition “SHAPESHIFT,” at the Fridman Gallery in Beacon, New York. Meyer—whose artwork included two sculptures and two wall-based works that echoed the psychedelic tones and architectural pursuits of utopian communities of the ’60s and ’70s and explored the tension between the environment and manufactured world—received a Creativity Grant as well as an Urban Coast Institute (UCI) Faculty Enrichment Grant from Monmouth University. As part of the UCI Grant, Monmouth students Yasmin Abdul-Moniem, sophomore, and Victoria Abels, junior, assisted Meyer with research and creative work. Earlier this spring, Meyer also presented “Exploring Place Through Cell Phone Images” as part of the session “Smartphones and Tablets,” at the Foundations in Art: Theory and Education (FATE) conference in Denver, Colorado. In her presentation, Meyer shared a collaborative photographic installation focused on the color spectrum created by students in her fall 2022 Basic Design & Composition class along with photographic “found sculpture” images and short animations by Monmouth University students.

Examining the Role of Rap in Music Education


onathan McElroy, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Music and Theatre Arts, published an article, “The Power of Rap in Music Education; A Study of Undergraduate Students’ Original Rap Creations,” in the British Journal of Music Education. The case study examined an undergraduate music class that incorporated the creation of students’ individual original raps to understand the value of studying rap and its impact upon students’ education. McElroy, who oversees Monmouth’s Music Education program, also recently co-published the chapter, “Students as the Educator: A Student-centric Model for Curriculum Development,” in The Routledge Companion to Creativities in Music Education. The chapter examines the inclusion of undergraduate students in the development of a portion of a music course’s curriculum for a single semester.

Jonathan McElroy, Ph.D. in blue polo
Samantha Badilla, Michelle Bulnes, Nayeli Conill, Sherly Gonzalez Lopez, Cassandra Salas ’23, and Gabe Torres ’23

Monmouth First-Gen Students Share Insights at MIT Summit


irst to Fly students Samantha Badilla, Michelle Bulnes, Nayeli Conill, Sherly Gonzalez Lopez, Cassandra Salas ’23, and Gabe Torres ’23 virtually participated in the 10th annual Class Action First Gen Summit, at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Boston. Conill created the summit logo as the design and marketing co-leader of the Student Planning Committee; Gonzalez Lopez served on the committee as a general member; and the First to Fly e-board, including Gonzalez Lopez, Badilla, Bulnes, Salas, and Torres, presented on the panel “Building Leadership Through Your First Gen Club: A Conversation with Monmouth Hawks!” During the panel, students shared their experiences and enlightened viewers about the strengths and obstacles of the University’s integration of first-generation students into the campus community and discussed Monmouth’s First to Fly Club, a student-run organization that serves as a space for first-generation students and first-generation allies.

Student Wins Undergraduate Research Award at National Conference


onors School student and English and elementary education major Mary Schuld won the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) Sloane Prize in Undergraduate Research award at the council’s 57th annual conference held in Dallas, Texas, in November 2022. Schuld presented on social emotional learning and competed against 17 students in the Education and Pedagogy category. She tied for first with her poster, “Creating and Restoring Mental Health Education Through Children’s Literature,” and is the first Monmouth student to win in any category. Schuld is just the second to win a prize at the NCHC conference, which highlights faculty and student research presentations from across the nation.

Mary Schuld in white knit sweater
Hettie V. Williams, Ph.D. in magenta blazer

Examining the History of Black Women and Reproductive Rights


ettie V. Williams, Ph.D., associate professor of African American history in the department of History and Anthropology, organized one of the most comprehensive public-facing essay series by a historian on Black women and reproductive rights for the African American Intellectual Society’s (AAIHS) award-winning blog, Black Perspectives. The project, “Black Women and Reproductive Rights,” launched in August 2022 with an introduction authored by Williams and provides the public with a set of easy-to-read essays by world-renowned scholars that engage the history of race, gender, class, medicine, and reproductive justice to help us better understand the present moment. Williams is the current president of the AAIHS—the nation’s leading voice in Black intellectual history and Black cultural analysis—where she oversees the blog editors and contributors.

Student Is the First to Earn International Honor Society Scholarship Award


iran Ramjisingh ’23, a senior computer science student, received the 2022 Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE) Scholarship Award, the first time a Monmouth student has earned this distinction. Ramjisingh, who was selected for the award based on academic record, extracurricular activities, and the recommendation of his UPE advisor, Ling Zheng, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering, is a peer mentor and the vice president of the UPE honor society chapter.

Kiran Ramjisingh ’23 in plaid button up

Awards & Accolades

  • Tjeerd Boonman, Ph.D., specialist professor of finance and economics in the Leon Hess Business School, won the Best Paper Award in the 2022 annual conference of the Northeast Business & Economics Association for the co-authored paper “Drivers of U.S. REIT Returns and its Volatility: A Bayesian Model Averaging Approach.”
  • Annemarie Dowling-Castronovo, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Nursing, was inducted into the National Academies of Practice as a distinguished fellow in the Nursing Academy in recognition of her commitment to interprofessional practice and accessible, affordable healthcare for all.
  • Drift, a feature-length documentary about the Barnegat Bay created by Monmouth University’s Production Services, was named Best New Jersey Film at the 2022 Indie Street Film Festival. Erin Fleming, director of Production Services, directed the feature-length film and four recent graduates—Jared Garcia ’21, Nicole Amatucci ’21, Azalia Whitlock ’21, and Dan Rosario ’21—worked as student crew members on the film while attending Monmouth.
  • Mihaela Moscaliuc, Ph.D., associate professor of English, was awarded the 2023 Individual Artist Fellowship for Poetry from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Moscaliuc, who is an award-winning poet, translator, scholar, and director of Monmouth’s English graduate program, was lauded for her outstanding body of work, which largely focuses on the immigrant experience.
  • The Monmouth Debate Team won four team and individual awards at the American Debate Association Fall Championship held at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in November. In total, 18 Monmouth debaters competed in person against debate teams from over 40 colleges, including New York University, the University of Indiana, and James Madison University.
  • The Monmouth University Model United Nations Team earned top honors at the Oxford University Model United Nations competition held in November. Overall, Monmouth won “Most Outstanding Small Delegation,” beating out such universities as Cambridge, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. The team’s head delegate, senior Nick Yalch, took home top individual honors as “Most Outstanding Delegate.” In addition, Yalch and senior Oliver Gaines received compliments from the committee chair on their debate performances and background research.
Nahid Aslanbeigui, Ph.D. in black and white vine patterned dress, and Jordan Petchel ’21, ’22M in green dress

Faculty-Student Paper Examines the #MeToo Movement


ahid Aslanbeigui, Ph.D., professor of economics and the Kvernland Endowed Chair in Philosophy and Corporate Social Policy, and Jordan Petchel ’21, ’22M (above, left to right), presented their paper “The MeToo Movement and Gender Diversity on IT Boards of Directors,” at the International Association for Feminist Economics 30th annual conference “Transforming Global Governance for Social Justice: Feminist Economics and the Fight for Human Rights,” held in Geneva, Switzerland. Their paper, which was co-written with former Monmouth assistant professor Katerine Ramirez, Ph.D., focuses on how the #MeToo movement influenced the gender composition of boards of directors at technology companies and is currently in the peer-review process for publication. In addition to her co-author role, Petchel was responsible for data collection and analysis for the project and transformed raw and dissimilar datasets into data to analyze and interpret. As a Summer Scholar, she also managed the budget as well as the international presentation.

Professor Presents at International Conference


olam Mathbor, Ph.D., professor in the School of Social Work and director of the Doctor of Social Work program, was the keynote speaker at the International Conference on Social Administration and Justice at the University of Malaya in Malaysia in August 2022. Mathbor delivered his speech at the hybrid event that hosted delegates from more than 20 countries and covered topics including the social and cultural well-being of individuals, families, and communities; sustainable and ethical practice in human services; educating for change, human rights and equality; and more. Mathbor, who recently co-authored “Ubuntu Philosophy for the New Normalcy” (Palgrave Macmillan), a comprehensive introduction to the philosophy of Ubuntu, which loosely translates to “I am because we are,” or “our common humanity,” in Zulu, a Southern Bantu language of the Nguni branch spoken in Southern Africa, is also a visiting professor at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Golam Mathbor, Ph.D. in navy blue suit
Tina Paone, Ph.D. in blue and white patterned suit

Professor Testifies on Guardianship Abuse Before U.S. Senate


ina Paone, Ph.D., professor of educational counseling, presented testimony at the Guardianship and Alternatives: Protection and Empowerment hearing convened by the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging in Washington, D.C., in March. Paone, who was chosen to represent victims nationwide, advocated for more robust protections and empowerment for victims of flawed guardianship actions. After sharing a personal story of her mother and the challenges she faced under the current guardianship system—such as the court-appointed guardian’s failure to pay bills and the mounting late fees that followed—Paone called on the senators to create meaningful and lasting reform.

Professor and Student Present Beatles-Related Research at National Conference


enneth Womack, Ph.D. (right, top), professor of English and Popular Music, and junior education and English major Carlee Migliorisi presented a collaborative keynote address at the Pop Culture Association’s (PCA) 2023 National Conference in San Antonio, Texas, in April 2023. The presentation, “The Mal Evans’ Beatles Archive and the Truth About His Untimely Death,” focuses on one of the most recognizable members of the Beatles entourage, Mal Evans, who managed the band’s equipment, prepared their meals, acted as their chauffer, and often performed in their songs; the address is described as a world premiere on the PCA conference website. In 2020, Womack and Migliorisi were granted exclusive access by the Malcom Frederick Evans estate to materials—including manuscripts, personal diaries, photographs, and audio—most of the which had been concealed for five decades. Womack, who is considered one of the world’s foremost writers and thinkers on the Beatles, is working on a biography about Evans. Migliorisi, who works in the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music and hosts “Getting Back to the Beatles” on Monmouth’s WMCX 88.9., is a researcher for the biography, the first part of which will be released in November 2023.

Kenneth Womack, Ph.D. and English major Carlee Migliorisi
Rajnarind Kaur in patterned blazer wearing a yellow pagri

Professor Presents at the UN Commission on Population & Development


ajnarind Kaur, adjunct professor in the Leon Hess Business School, presented “Pluriversal Epistemologies to Support Sustainable Development” at the United Nations Commission on Population and Development 56th Session. Kaur’s presentation addressed the importance of mother tongue education and the advantages of multilingual capabilities and focused on promoting a plural, inclusive, and sensitive education to help individual development in diverse and sensitive communities for the benefit of all. During the session, which was organized by the Sikh Human Rights Group, a nongovernmental organization with U.N. ECOSOC status, Kaur explored topics ranging from whether it’s possible for individuals to feel a sense of empowerment and communicate without knowing the same language to how innovative technologies can be used to bridge the communication gap across cultures, societies, and countries.

Professors Featured on Cultural Competency Panel at National Forum


avid J. Ford Jr., Ph.D., LCMHC, LPC, NCC, ACS (left, top), associate professor and acting department chair in the Department of Professional Counseling, and Lawrence Jones, adjunct professor in the Department of Political Science and Sociology, participated in the 2022 National Cultural Competency/Sensitivity Forum for Mediators, Lawyers, Judges, and Legal Professionals: East Meets West, an online event held on Oct. 20, 2022, which is National Conflict Resolution Day. The five-hour forum presented by the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators (NJAPM) Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Cultural Competency, featured five panels of 26 speakers and presenters from around the United States offering different perspectives on issues of cultural competency in the legal profession. Ford and Jones—who served as the chair of the NJAPM committee and co-chair of the forum—were featured on the fifth panel, covering cultural competency/sensitivity and disabilities, with Ford as a presenter and Jones as a co-moderator.

David J. Ford Jr., Ph.D., LCMHC, LPC, NCC, ACS and Lawrence Jones, adjunct professor in the Department of Political Science and Sociology
Madyson Lagotta in white cardigan

Fine Arts Student’s Work Selected for International Juried Competition


adyson Lagotta, a junior pursuing her BFA with a concentration in graphic and interactive design, had her poster, “Shaping the Future Together,” accepted by the 2022 SIGGRAPH SpaceTime International Juried Student Poster Competition. The SIGGRAPH annual conference is the world’s largest conference on computer graphics, and the competition jury panel consists of international art professors. This year’s competition theme was “Enabling Everyone to Tell Their Stories.”

Professor’s Work Featured in Award-Winning Literary Journal


ssociate Professor of English Mihaela Moscaliuc’s creative nonfiction piece “Extractions” was published in the spring 2023 issue of Ploughshares. The piece focuses on the topic of abortion in Romania during the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu, which lasted from 1965 to 1989. Moscaliuc, who emigrated to the U.S. from Romania when she was 24 years old, is an award-winning poet, translator, and scholar, and much of her work focuses on the immigrant experience. She is the recipient of two residency fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Château de Lavigny in Switzerland as well as a Fulbright fellowship to Romania.

Associate Professor of English Mihaela Moscaliuc
Denisse Quintanilla ’22 in peach blazer

Student Receives Award for Outstanding Achievement


enisse Quintanilla ’22 received the 12th Mario Vargas Llosa Award during the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese National Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in July 2022. The award is granted annually to one undergraduate Spanish major or minor who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in all upper-division courses and exemplary involvement in extracurricular activities related to Spanish. Quintanilla graduated with a 4.00 GPA in each of her upper-level Spanish courses in a demanding BA in Spanish with a Concentration in Communication/MSP. She was also a member of the team that worked on the award-winning student-run radio show “Nuestros Sonidos Latinos,” one of the very few college radio shows broadcast in Spanish in the nation. There, she aided in the creation of a 10-minute audio piece that won an award at The Intercollegiate Broadcast System for “Best Foreign Language” show in March 2020.

Appointments & Elections

  • Raj Devasagayam, Ph.D., dean of the Leon Hess Business School, was elected to the Mid-Atlantic Association of Colleges of Business Administration’s board. He was also recently appointed to the inaugural International Advisory Board of Woxsen University’s School of Business.
  • David Ford Jr., Ph.D., LCMHC, LPC, NCC, ACS, associate professor and acting department chair in the Department of Professional Counseling, was elected to the board of trustees of the Brookdale Community College Foundation.
  • Golam Mathbor, Ph.D., professor in the School of Social Work, was appointed chair of the Commission on Global Social Work Education, one of six commissions affiliated with the national association, the Council on Social Work Education.
  • Nicole Pulliam, Ph.D., chair and associate professor in the Department of Educational Counseling and Leadership and director of the Social Justice Academy, was appointed to the editorial board for the Journal of First-Generation Student Success.
  • Robert H. Scott III, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Economics, Finance, and Real Estate, was named the Arthur and Dorothy Greenbaum/Robert Ferguson/NJAR Endowed Chair in Real Estate Policy at Monmouth University.
  • John Tiedemann, assistant dean of the School of Science and director of the Marine and Environmental Biology and Policy Program, has been appointed to serve on the Ocean County Soil Conservation Board of Supervisors by the State Soil Conservation Committee of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.
Robert H. Scott III, Ph.D., and Jonathan A. Daigle, Ph.D.

Professors’ Article Examines Property Tax Inequities


obert H. Scott III, Ph.D., and Jonathan A. Daigle, Ph.D., (above, left to right), professors in the Department of Economics, Finance, and Real Estate, published the article “Shoring up property tax assessment inequities in Monmouth County, New Jersey,” in The Journal of Property Tax Assessment & Administration. The duo examined whether Monmouth County’s Real Property Assessment Demonstration Program (ADP), which was intended to improve real property tax assessment fairness and efficiency, has actually reduced tax assessment inequalities. Using data from the past six years, Scott and Daigle analyzed the effectiveness of Monmouth County’s ADP by comparing assessed values to actual sales while controlling for town-level effects. They found that while both vertical and horizontal inequity of residential property tax assessments decreased after ADP implementation, progressive tax assessment inequities still persist within the county.