Published August 24, 2016

Summer’s Top Ten Stories

A roundup of the top ten news stories from Summer 2016

Monmouth College receives major grant from Lilly Endowment
Monmouth College has received a $451,000 grant from Lilly Endowment to establish the Lux Summer Theological Institute for Youth. It is the largest grant the liberal arts college has received from a national foundation.

The grant is part of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s High School Youth Theology Institutes initiative, which seeks to encourage young people to explore theological traditions, ask questions about the moral dimensions of contemporary issues and examine how their faith calls them to lives of service.

“The Lux Summer Theological Institute for Youth’s mission is to nurture and equip students to become servant leaders who are spiritually enlightened, globally engaged, socially responsible and vocationally driven,” said Monmouth Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies Dr. Dan Ott.

Monmouth group studying food security in Senegal learns about ‘teranga’

A group of Monmouth College students and faculty members gained a new appreciation for the meaning of hospitality.

That was one of the lessons the three faculty members and five students learned while on a 17-day interdisciplinary trip earlier this summer to the western Africa nation of Senegal to study issues related to food security.

The eight members of the Monmouth community discovered the role the word “teranga” plays in Senegalese culture.

“’Teranga’ is Wolof for ‘hospitality,’” said faculty member Germain Badang, who is a lecturer in modern languages, literatures and cultures.

Badang, who is fluent in French, served as the group’s translator between English and the Wolof language spoken in Senegal.

“They work closely with each other and enjoy it,” he said. “They take teranga very seriously. They take it to the next level. They cry with each other, they help each other with everything. They lend money, they give food. They help each other in all instances and they rely so much on each other. If they have problems, it becomes less of a burden, because it’s shared with others.”

Monmouth students, alumni discover Ireland’s many shades of green
Monmouth College psychology professor Joan Wertz didn’t know “there were so many shades of green” until she led a study-abroad trip to Ireland.

Wertz oversaw a group of 22 – which included 11 Monmouth students – on a May 16-28 trip to Ireland.

“The countryside is beautiful,” she said. “I didn’t know there were so many shades of green.” 

In addition to exploring Ireland’s pastoral landscape, the Monmouth group also learned a lot more about the nation’s people and culture – lessons they could have learned only by traveling abroad.

“We got close with some of the Irish people there and listened to Irish music in an Irish pub,” said Monmouth student Michelle Ravel ’17 of Monmouth. “That night we got the true Irish experience, and I will not forget it.”

The trip to Ireland also included 11 alumni and friends. That idea came from associate development officer Jeri Candor, who said she wanted to “engage alumni and friends in the work that our faculty and students are doing on campus and abroad.”

Art and history come alive in Paris, Amsterdam for Monmouth College group

Hannah Rillie ’18 has studied great works of art at Monmouth College. But it wasn’t until she saw some of them in person that she truly appreciated their magnificence. 

Rillie was one of six Monmouth students and three faculty members who traveled to Paris and Amsterdam in May on a trip that focused on the art and history of the two major European cities.

“It was amazing to get to see all these famous pieces of art in the Louvre that I’d only seen on a computer screen before,” said Rillie, an art major from Morrison, Ill. “I’m so glad we got as much time there as we did. I was in there for hours.”

Even art lecturer Stephanie Baugh was affected by the art, and she had been to Paris previously.

“In both Paris and Amsterdam, I was very aware of how much art is integrated into the cities,” she said. “To see time, energy and resources spent on increasing the aesthetic and visual qualities of a city affirms my commitment to sharing the discipline of art with my students.”

Baugh helped lead the trip along with her department colleague and husband, Brian Baugh, and assistant professor of history Christine Myers.

Highlighting Monmouth’s coverage of the Republican National Convention
12121”>A “plagiarized” speech. A non-endorsement. Donald Trump’s (long) acceptance speech.

12121”>Monmouth’s trio of Republican National Convention reporters – professor Joe Angotti and college students Gareth Cordery and Jacob Mark – saw all of that and then some in Cleveland. True to their word, they left the coverage of such major stories to mainstream media, for the most part, and posted blog entries and tweets on story angles that were receiving less attention.

12121”>Marx, a senior political science major from DeKalb, Ill., wrote about meeting some Illinois delegates.

12121”>“Two memorable interviews were with Cynthia Shaffer (IL-3rd) and Bob Bedner (IL-10th). Both were avid fans of Trump, and both had dramatic things to say. Shaffer thought that Trump was ‘a buffoon’ before she heard him speak for the first time, but now believes he is ‘terrific’ and says ‘everything we were all thinking, but afraid to say.’ Bedner was unhappy with his Congressman, Bob Dold, for not endorsing Trump, saying Dold ‘needs to figure out he’s a Republican.’”

Monmouth science students benefit from summer research program
Monmouth College students who conducted research on campus this summer didn’t discover a cure for cancer or diabetes, or identify a new comet.

But the experience gained by the nine students in this year’s eight-week Kieft Summer Research Program gave them intensive hands-on experience with the type of instrumentation and research methods they will need to master should they continue on paths toward related fields of study.

The nine students worked closely with five Monmouth faculty: chemistry professors Brad Sturgeon, Laura Moore, Michael Prinsell and Audra Sostarecz, as well as assistant professor of physics Ashwani Kumar.

“It is amazing how students grow academically, both in knowledge and outlook, when doing research,” Sostarecz said. “This is magnified when we have an entire summer to work together. The concentrated time allows them to explore their own curiosities.”

Kappa Kappa Gamma chapter wins national award for high ‘Standards’
Monmouth College’s Alpha Deuteron of Kappa Kappa Gamma brought home a prestigious award and several honorable mentions from the 71st Bienniel Convention, held in San Diego in June.

The Monmouth chapter was presented the Standards Award, given to chapters in four size categories with the best comprehensive standards programming, ensuring “positive Kappa attitudes and individual responsibility.”

In addition to the Standards Award, the chapter received honorable mention for: Chapter/Advisory Board Relations, Panhellenic, Ritual and Heritage, as well as the Patsy Bredwick Levang Philanthropy Award.

Chapter president Jessica Irons ’17 of Abingdon, Ill., who received the Standards Award at the convention, said, “This is one area our chapter has been striving to improve upon for many years, so winning this award gave us gratification that we are doing things right.”

Irons credited Arianna Keleher ’17 of Orion, Ill., the chapter’s 2015-16 standards chair, for creating the inspirational acronym “PAC,” which stands for professionalism, accountability and confidentiality.

Monmouth College receives grant to strengthen peer mentoring
Monmouth College has received a grant that will help the liberal arts college expand its peer mentoring programs.

An $11,900 grant from the Associated Colleges of Illinois (ACI) will support the College’s transitional programming and also provide emergency funds to students, said Michelle Merritt, Monmouth associate dean of students and director of student success.

“This gives us an opportunity to help the students in a financial way,” she said. “For example, we can help them pay for books with the emergency funds. The transitional programming will also be a big help to students in need. Our peer mentoring programs were effective last year, with students reporting they had a better understanding of what was required of them in college and by their professors. I’m excited that we’ll be adding the ACI program to the ones we already have in place.”

Monmouth offers entering students peer mentors through programs such as Bridge and New Beginnings. Last school year, the Fighting Scots athletic teams assigned mentors to new members of its 22 varsity teams.

This fall, student orientation leaders will serve as mentors for each of the College’s 19 sections of “Introduction to Liberal Arts,” a required course for first-time freshmen.

Monmouth College trio helps light up night skies with local fireworks displays
For most people, the Fourth of July is a time to relax and enjoy fireworks.

For three members of the Monmouth College community, however, the Fourth of July is a busy time of the year. That’s because in addition to their work at the College, they are also professionals who design and launch fireworks displays.

Monmouth’s Mark Ogorzalek, Brad Sturgeon and Steve Distin work to ensure that the art of fireworks shows are backed by sound science.

Ogorzalek, who is the College’s electrician, has been involved with fireworks displays for about a quarter-century. An associate professor of chemistry, Sturgeon has six years of experience, and Distin, the chemistry lab manager, got his start last summer. All three work for J&M Displays.

Sturgeon said that fireworks range from a three-inch shell, which flies about 300 feet into the air, to a “pretty hefty” 12-inch shell, which rises 1,200 feet. The specialty shells, such as willows and happy-face cubes, cost between $30 and $100 apiece.

Prince: Pokémon Go’s legacy could be the way it changes advertising
In less than a week, Pokémon Go has become one of the most popular games in the history of smart phones. And a Monmouth College professor says the augmented reality game could also be “the next big thing” in advertising.

Since the game was released in the United States, Monmouth College professor Tom Prince noted that Nintendo’s net worth has grown by $2 billion in a week.

“They have a huge hit on their hands, and they’re going to monetize it as best they can,” said Prince, who is a faculty member in the College’s department of political economy and commerce.

One way Niantic, the game’s developer, can monetize it is by adding paid elements to the game, but Prince said that an even bigger way to realize revenue from the game is through advertising.

“Can you imagine if one of the Pokémon characters is wearing a Corn Flakes T-shirt? Or Coors Light?” he said. “There are millions of people interacting with this app, and that huge has implications, I think.”

Prince said that although media such as radio, newspapers and traditional TV are all becoming “outdated” forms of advertising, the reverse is true for mobile media.

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Did you know?

  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 99% of Monmouth students received some type of scholarship or financial assistance.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/offices/student-financial-planning/types-of-aid/scholarships/" target="_blank">Scholarships</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 98% of Monmouth graduates were employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/wackerle-center/career-services/" target="_blank">Career Preparation</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We’re no stranger to winning. Last year the Fighting Scots won Midwest Conference championships in Football, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Basketball and Men’s Track and Field. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="" target="_blank">Fighting Scots</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers several international trips each year during 2-week Scots Terms in January and May. Recently students have traveled to Botswana, Greece, Scotland, Japan, and more. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="" target="_blank">Scots Term</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an educational garden and 6.7 acre farm. Students grow and harvest fruits and vegetables to sell at the local farmer’s market. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="" target="_blank">Garden & Farm</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p><strong>Monmouth College is the birthplace of the women’s fraternity movement. Pi Beta Phi, the first such collegiate women’s organization, was founded at Monmouth in 1867. It was followed three years later by Kappa Kappa Gamma. The two pioneering organizations today boast a total of 275 active chapters nationwide.</strong></p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/student-life/sororities-fraternities/" target="_blank">Sororities & Fraternities</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an active Pipe & Drum Band. Each year on Scholar’s Day in April the bagpipers wake students up at 6:00 a.m. by playing in the residence halls!</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/music/pipe-band/" target="_blank">Pipe Band</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers unique academic minors in Global Public Health and Global Food Security for students who want to use their education to address global challenges. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-public-health/" target="_blank">Global Public Health</a></li><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-food-security/" target="_blank">Global Food Security</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College is proudly test optional. Applicants may choose whether or to submit SAT or ACT scores for admission and scholarship consideration. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/admission/apply/test-optional/" target="_blank">Test Optional</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We offer a certified Peace Corps Preparation program that gives Peace Corps bound graduates a leg up in the application process.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/peace-corps-prep/" target="_blank">Peace Corps Prep</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College covers the cost for all current students to get a U.S. passport. Unlock access to over 198 different countries! We’ll even help with the paperwork :)</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/study-abroad/" target="_blank">Study Abroad</a></li></ul></div></aside>