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“It has caused me unnecessary anxiety,” said an anonymous professor.

Kean professors fear disciplinary action over ‘excused’ Professional Day absences Photo by Zeete

Kean Hall

By Joshua Rosario Thirty five Kean University professors have been threatened with disciplinary action from the university’s Academic Affairs department for not attending their professional development days after they were excused by their deans, according to Kean Federation of Teachers President, James Castiglione. According to Castiglione, the professors were excused by their deans because of research, teaching, or service commitments that they were assigned to by their deans. “They followed the procedure to be excused from attending [professional development days] to do other work for the university and now the university is threatening to discipline them,” said Castiglione in a September interview with The Tower. If disciplinary action is pursued , a letter is placed in their files and would affect decisions made on perks such as travel funds, research money from Kean for scholarly activities (for presenting at conferences) , the opportunity to teach summer and winter

classes, and other requests they submit to the administration. “[The University] is threatening to haul people in for disciplinary hearings and we are concerned how that might play out,” said Castiglione. Professional development days are for faculty and employees. These four days are filled with sessions to help train and teach new things that they can use with students or for their own use as professionals. According to the University website, some of the sessions from 2017’s January professional development days were “How to Get your Content on Kean’s Website,” “Managing Disruptive or Emotionally Distressed Students” and “Creating a World Class Experience.” These days take place some time before and after the spring semester. Professors are currently not paid for these professional days. “It was my understanding I had permission not to attend,” said a professor who is facing disciplinary action and has asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution by the administration. “ I was shocked.”

The anonymous professor received a memorandum from Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Jeffrey Toney, that had a little checklist indicating a referral to Human Resources for a disciplinary inquiry regarding a “behavioral infraction” for missing the professional days. “It has caused me unnecessary anxiety,” said the anonymous professor. “ It is my understanding that most of us who have received these letters are professors who have earned tenure. It’s a little bit insulting.” The professor is concerned this issue will continue to be an issue and understands the majority of the people who work for Kean University and the administration are “not evil” and understands they’re “as important as the professors.” “I believe they just have to do their jobs,” the professor said. “ I wish more would be done to encourage unity instead of division. The spirit of professional days is not for our betterment.” Kean spokesperson Margaret McCorry said no disciplinary action has been issued

as of Nov. 16 and disciplines are never issued without an employee having the opportunity to present his or her point of view. The University does not comment on specific personnel matters. “All faculty are required to attend 32 sessions of professional development each academic year as part of the University’s continuing commitment to providing a world-class education and outstanding academic services to Kean students,” said McCorry. “Faculty who missed in excess of 90 percent of their mandatory obligation have been referred to Human Resources for further review to determine if their absences are excused.” Chair of the Grievance Committee for the Kean Federation of Teachers, and a fulltime tenured Political Science Professor Jacqueline Keil said there are people receiving notices for impending meetings. Those who have met with Human Resources have received no feedback. “The really disturbing part in all of this is faculty thought they were following protocol,” said Keil. “In other words, continued on page 2

Kean’s new ad campaign promotes low cost and proper pronunciation By Sara Ridgway In July 2017, Kean University revealed its newest advertising initiative: 10, 48 foot-wide billboards with the message “KEAN /cane/ noun 1. NJ’s most affordable comprehensive university.” The billboards can be spotted along highways in New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania and are scheduled to remain through June 2018 according to Director of Media Relations, Margaret McCorry. “This billboard literally defines Kean by name and by values to a huge new audience in the community,” McCorry said. The website elaborates the effectiveness of billboard advertisements. “When you consider that billboards remain a visible part of the landscape almost everywhere you go, and that advertisers continue to invest heavily in them as part of their marketing campaigns, it suggests that there is more to

billboard advertising than meets the eye,” the website states. It claims that advertising through the use of billboards is one of the most valuable and effective advertising mediums at an organization’s disposal. “A common misconception is that the messages on outdoor billboards are too brief and simple to be persuasive. Advertising industry professionals will tell you that those who think like that are probably missing the point,” according to It is clear that Kean University is not ‘missing the point’ as $313,000 was spent on the ‘brief and simple’ advertisements scattered among the tri-state area for the next seven months. McCorry said the concept was generated in University Relations as the team was brainstorming marketing strategies. “One thing our research has shown is that many people in New Jersey and the surrounding region do not know how to pronounce the name

The University’s new billboard takes a stand on pronouncing “Kean”.

of the University,” McCorry said. A video produce by the University Relations team asking students to pronounce the University’s name, found that the confusion surrounding the pronunciation of “Kean” exists

Photo courtesy of Kean University

right here on campus. “Think of it this way: if someone mispronounces your name, do you correct that person or do you let the mispronunciation continue,” McCorry asked rhetorically. “You continued on page 2


November, 2017

PRSSA and Starbucks collaborate on coffee By Kiara Mays This past Halloween through Nov. 6, Kean University’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) members invited students and staff to “Wind Down After Midterms” with one of two exclusive drinks at the Nancy Thompson Library Starbucks location. For a second year in a row, the organization came up with the two new drinks to offer the Kean community as a fundraising event. This year featured the “Pumpkin Patch Frappuccino” and the “Pecan Pie Latte”. “Everyone loved it the first year, so we decided to bring it back again,” said Evan Hewitt, senior, communications major and member of PRSSA. Both drinks, which cost $4 for a “Grande” size and $5 for a “Venti” size gave customers the option to add a special topping. The “Pumpkin Patch Frappuccino” featured a green whipped cream topping, caramel drizzle, and pumpkin spice while the “Pecan Pie Latte” featured a whipped cream topping as well, crushed graham cracker, and sea salt. “I actually tried the ‘Pecan Pie Latte’ and it was sooo good,” said Chanel Wells, junior, and business major. Whitney Edwards, graduating senior, current employee at Starbucks and chapter development [manager] for Kean’s PRSSA chapter came up with the idea for the organization to create their own drinks last year. “We started this fundraiser last semester in order to bring awareness to our organization,” said Edwards. “We are a non-funded group here on campus so creating a fundraiser that was different from the standard bake sale was our way to make ourselves stand out.” Edwards also mentioned that they’ve surpassed last year’s earnings and the money raised will go towards future events and apparel for the organization. The members of PRSSA would like to send a special “Thank You” to Gourmet Dining and Starbucks for helping them bring their idea to fruition. Also, to stay connected with Kean University’s PRSSA chapter, follow them on most social media platforms @KeanPRSSA.

“Everyone loved it the first year, so we decided to bring it back again,” said Evan Hewitt, senior, communications major, and member of PRSSA. PRSSA

“Wind Down After Midterms” Flyer.

MSA holds event to dispel stereotypes By Rafaela Teixeira The Muslim Student Association (MSA) held the Tea Time with a Muslim event on Nov. 9 during college hour at the Miron Student Center. The goal of the event was to create a judgement-free Islamic platform for students of different backgrounds to come in and ask questions. “We’re trying to generate two things, social interaction because people should be hanging out with people outside their culture and also to educate people,” said MSA president Najiba Syed, a senior majoring in biology. “In America there is a lot of ignorance and if we can help with that, then we should.” Members of the association emphasized the importance of shedding some light on stereotypes and misconceptions of the religion, like the distinction between religion and culture. “Muslims have been portrayed in a negative way in media and this event helped others understand the religion


better,” said Syed. The event consisted of speed-dating like activities where each member had one topic to discuss and went around to each table for about five minutes to answer any question. The topics discussed were marriage, women in Islam, hijab, terrorism and open-ended questions. When the activity was finished, a quiz was passed to guests to show what they learned. The guest with the most questions answered correctly won a gift card. This event was the last one hosted this semester by MSA, but students can look forward to Islamic Awareness Week, which will take place in April of next semester. The week long series of events will consist of poetry night in collaboration with the poetry club at the Cougar’s Den, paint night and Friday prayer. This will give students a chance to get to know the Muslim community at Kean. “It’s better to get answers directly from the source than to hear it from a third party that can leave some things out,”

said Syed. “We’re trying to bring these events to campus so people can know that we’re nice people and we’re trying to put ourselves out there so they can come to us and ask for clarification on any matter.” MSA meetings are held every Tuesday during college hour at CAS 441. They consist of a short message, board games and food so members of the MSA can build solid friendships and community. MSA also has a prayer room located in CAS 442 for students and staff to come in and pray, meditate or have quiet moments


(Continued from page 1)

probably make the correction because your name is vital to your identity.” She added that the same is true for Kean in regards to promoting its proud tradition and location on the former estate of the Kean family, which McCorry referred to as one of New Jersey’s most prominent families. McCorry said that so far the campaign has been fun and successful based on the interest generated from social media, students and alumni. “They have been sharing Kean’s social media posts about the billboard and tagging friends and family who may still need a lesson on how to say the name of the University correctly,” McCorry said. Junior, math education major Dawn DeMarco had a twofold perspective of the advertisement initiative. “How to pronounce Kean has been a debate

Members of the MSA discussing Islamic topics.

for as long as I remember,” DeMarco said. “People who didn’t even go to school here would try to correct me. I think it’s funny and educational but I also think they could have made it more cost efficient.” She added that with the technology available today, the video alone would have been just as effective and more cost efficient. While the advertisement campaign addresses the proper pronunciation of Kean, the goal is to deliver a key marketing message of the University: affordability. “However, the pronunciation of the University’s name - whether it is “keen” or “cane” - doesn’t change Kean’s status as the most affordable comprehensive university in the state, or its mission to provide a world-class education to a diverse group of students,” McCorry said.

Photo by: Afifa Syed

to themselves, as well as enjoy group prayer everyday at 1:30 pm. “In the meetings we don’t want students to leave their classroom environments to come and sit through an Islamic lecture,” said Syed. “We started having story time every week to remind members of our prophets and what they went through and it’s an encouraging message so students can remember who they are.” For further information, contact Najiba Syed,, or

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they had permission to be absent from Professional Development Days from a manager/supervisor. There is documentation supporting their absence(s), but they are still being notified about an HR meeting.” Kiel added that, “people are not receiving clear directives about how many PDDs to attend, and what the consequences are.” Keil was the KFT representative in two meetings so far and stated when faculty asked to have a written document about these investigatory meetings, they were told there would be no written record. “In other words, there was an information gathering meeting, but faculty could not see a written document describing what information from the meeting would be passed up to “higher ups” who will be

making a final decision about any possible consequences. This is very disturbing, and seems like something out of Kafka’s “The Trial,” ” said Keil. (Franz Kafka’s “The Trial” is a book about a man arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority, with the nature of his crime not revealed to him or to the reader, according to The Kean Federation of Teachers (KFT) is a union for the professors. The Tower reached out to several professors involved who did not respond or were concerned about speaking out. The Tower contacted Managing Assistant Director of Human Resources, Dr. Yvonne Catino, who directed all questions to McCorry. Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Jeffrey Toney, did not respond to a request for comment.

November, 2017


Earth Science Club cleans the beach By Monica Sudfield The Earth Science Club gathered at Keansburg beach on Oct. 21 to participate in a beach sweep hosted by Clean Ocean Action, a nonprofit earth science organization working to protect waterways. “Participating in beach sweeps are important because debris harm our environment and marine life that naturally inhabit it,” said Paige Bollman, secretary of the Earth Science Club. “By cleaning the beach, we are giving marine animals another chance to thrive.” Cleaning beaches immediately impacts the environment, but working with Clean Ocean Action (COA) also offers positive long-term changes. “COA collects data about the trash that

is picked up. Not only did we want to help clean the beach, but we also wanted to collect data used for other programs,” said Danielle De Mesa, Earth Science Club vice president. According to, the data collected during the sweeps is presented in annual reports that are used to advance federal, state and local programs to reduce litter. “Every time a volunteer throws something away, they write it down on a chart so the organization can analyze it and help enact change,” said Bollman. Participating in events such as beach cleanups correlate with the Earth Science Club, as one of their goals is to participate in at least one volunteer event a semester. “During spring semester, we have a week-

long Earth Week event around Earth Day. This includes cleaning up Kean river,” said Bollman. “The beach sweep felt similar to this as the end result was the same – cleaning our environment.” Another goal the club has is to give students the opportunity to get involved with nature while learning about it, which is fulfilled with hands on work with the environment. The club’s official advisor was unable to attend the event, so the club asked Professor Sarah Nasse, lecturer for the School of Environmental and Sustainability Science, to tag along. “I help out with club events and field trips when I can. I have acted as advisor for past trips to the American Museum of Natural History, the New York Botanical

Garden, and last spring I led the club on a hike up Mount. Tammany in the Delaware Water Gap,” said Nasse. In addition to the trips Nasse mentioned, in the past, the club has organized a medical plant walk at Norvin Green State Forest and dune grass planting at Bradley Beach. Their next excursion will be to Atlantic County Utilities Authority to take a tour of their wastewater and recycling facilities. “Some have the impression that Earth Science Club is for science-related majors, but I’m an English major and communication minor and I love being a part of the club,” said Bollman. The club is open to all majors. To find out more about the Earth Science Club and their trips, follow their facebook page at KU Earth Science Club.

Photo by: Paige Bollman

Photo by: Paige Bollman

Clean Ocean Action provided gloves, trash bags, forms and pencils for collecting data, snacks, and water.

Kean alum uses radio program to help Puerto Rico By Lena Zhu Jose Cotto has been in charge of the Spanish Radio program at Kean University’s 90.3 FM radio for approximately 12 years, since his start in 2005. On Sept. 20, a category four hurricane, Maria, hit his home, Puerto Rico. As a result, many people lost their homes, including Cotto’s mother. As a Kean University Latino alumnus, Cotto decided to use his power as the broadcaster of the Spanish radio station at Kean to help bring supplies to Puerto Rico with the help of local listeners from Elizabeth, Linden, Roselle, Roselle Park, Hillside, and parts of Newark. “This microphone right here is very powerful. This radio station reaches seven cities around NJ. So we’re talking about 700,000 people that can listen to this radio show every weekend,” Cotto said. “So far, the people are pouring with stuff. I mean we are…right now we have about 5 containers that are being shipped as we speak to Patillas, Puerto Rico as we speak. It should be arriving in the middle of November,” Cotto said. “By the end of November, I should be flying back to Puerto Rico to help the people of PR to get food and clothes and [to simply] be there for them.” He did not do this alone, however. The Puerto Rico Alliance based in Elizabeth, New Jersey had reached out to him to advertise their cause for collecting items for PR. The news reached a lot of people locally and one woman even contacted Cotto. “One day there was a person who listened to me through Facebook Live and she contacted me and said ‘What can I do to bring a truck over full of stuff for PR?’,” said Cotto. A new group of Puerto Ricans in Allentown are also collecting items for the town of Patillas, Puerto Rico. “We are trying to collect as many items

Kean University Department of Public Safety police blotter By Cody Louie and Jasmin Kee

The Kean University Police Department daily blotter contains incidents and crimes reported to the police. It has been edited and condensed by The Tower. For the month of Nov. there have been six medical emergencies, six thefts, five motor vehicle accidents, and 14 incidents of found property among other things.

Police Blotter

Volunteers carried an “items collected” sheet to record data during the clean up.

Nov. 1- About 25 people were asked to leave the U.C. after a noise complaint around 9:38 p.m. At the health services in Downs Hall a male was transported to the hospital after experiencing abdominal pain at 3:49 p.m. At the D’Angola Gym a person took a cell and debit card from men’s pool locker at 6:30 p.m. Nov.2- In Burch Hall, a person was trapped in a elevator after it started malfunctioning at 6:44 p.m. it was reset and started working again. A hit and run accident occurred in the Kean Lot in the 1:22 p.m. Photo by: Lena Zhu

Cotto stands smiling in his safe haven on the fourth f loor of the CAS building.

Nov. 3- A fire was started in the Freshman Hall after a faulty electrical outlet started sparking and smoking around midnight. Nov. 5- A man in the Vaughn Eames Lot was having trouble breathing and was taken to the hospital around 1:45 p.m.

as we can send,” said Cotto. Cotto is not looking for fame or recognition for helping Puerto Rico. “I’m doing this for my heart. I don’t get paid for what I do,” said Cotto. “I love to help people and right now we have a lot of people behind. I am not the one in front. I am just the broadcaster. I am just the messenger. I don’t want to take any credit.” Little by little, Cotto is slowly influencing locals to help out with the situation in Puerto Rico. “It’s gonna take years to get Puerto Rico back in shape, but we will. That’s for sure.” For more information, contact Jose Cotto at the Kean Spanish Pro Bono Radio Station at (908) 737-0446 on Saturdays and Sundays at 12 p.m. Donations such as toiletries, cans of food, batteries, flashlights, clothing, and other items are appreciated.

Nov. 6- A Bank of America debit card was found in the Hardwood Arena at midnight. A hit and run accident occurred in the Vaughn Eames Lot at noon. Nov. 9- Rachel Oil Supply Company spilled five gallons of diesel fuel on the blacktop in front of the loading dock around 2 p.m. At 3:30 p.m. unknown people tried to scam someone into sending them an iPad. Nov. 10- A noise complaint was filed against the radio station in CAS around 4 a.m. Nov. 11- An unknown person wrote graffiti in one of the stalls in a Bruce Hall bathroom at 1:30 a.m. Another incident of graffiti was found in Townsend hall around 2 a.m. on several of the desks in the common area.


November, 2017

CoynePR executive visits alma mater By Jennifer Padilla The senior vice president behind one of the Top 10 Independent Public Relations (PR) Firms in the U.S.—Coyne PR— is Kean alumnus, Brian Murphy. CoynePR was ranked No. 3 in New Jersey and New York, and No. 9 in the U.S. by O’Dwyer PR, a news website for PR and marketing communications. Among the clients represented by Coyne PR are The Walt Disney Company, Shell Oil, Timberland, and Hard Rock International. The ‘97 communication studies graduate has helped conduct some of the agency’s most successful PR programs, including a campaign for the 60th birthday of the board game Candy Land, which was highlighted by the famous Lombard Street in San Francisco transformed into a giant game board, according to Coyne PR’s website. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my degree,” said Murphy. “I ended up getting a PR internship in New York and I liked it.” Murphy began his career with entry-level jobs and baseline experience, such as sales representative for a cabinet company. He said there are things about PR that you can only learn through experience. “I watched the way others worked and developed my own ways,” said Murphy. “Internships are valuable because one firm’s way can function different from the other.” Murphy visited Kean on Oct. 19 as a guest speaker in one of Professor Sullivan’s public relations classes. He spoke fondly of his former communication professors and his time as a student at Kean. “I remember taking a public speaking class with Dr. Baker,” he said. “I still use the techniques that I learned in his class.” Dr. Bailey Baker, communication professor, said his goal when teaching public speaking and other communication classes is to instill audience centeredness. “Why should the audience listen to your speech? What’s in it for them?” said Baker. “Developing a rhetorical ear allows the student to be attentive not only to the concept of speech, but also to be critically attentive to strategies used to engage the audience.” Jessica Perez, program assistant of alumni relations, was present during Murphy’s visit. What stood out to her was his “obvious passion for what he does” and how his education at Kean helped him throughout his career.

“Everyone seemed very interested in what he had to say,” said Perez. “He told good stories about his experiences in the business and successful projects that he worked on, which appealed to the students.” However, Murphy’s position at Coyne PR comes with many responsibilities and obligations. He takes his position very seriously and doesn’t stop thinking about work— even when he’s home. “I run the risk of losing good workers or business,” he said. Furthermore, Murphy acknowledges that he’s “in a position to build something” and believes the most exciting part is feeling like he can construct practices the way he wants. “It’s almost like having your own company, or being a CEO,” said Murphy. “I like being able to think three to five years down the line.” To be successful in PR you need to be a team player, able to multitask, personable, open-minded, and willing to “get out of the office” to interact with people— a topic that Murphy highlighted. “One of the biggest challenges he sees with young people today is that they are so focused on technology,” said Perez. “They are often lacking the skill of being able to sit across from someone and talk face-to-face to develop relationships.” Murphy believes that being able to form relationships and communicate effectively will be your “best friend” in any field. His advice for students who are pursuing a career in PR or communication is to join the PRSSA and participate in as many opportunities related to communication and PR. He added that while focusing on PR is good, students should also take classes in advertising, marketing, business and accounting, since they will be relevant down the line. “He stressed that students needed to find what they were passionate about and use that to determine what they should do in their career,” said Perez. “He was willing to give back his time to speak to and mentor our current students.” During his visit, a student asked Murphy what he can ascribe his success to; he said knowing his strengths and weaknesses and working with people who have those other strengths. “Roll up your sleeves and get the work done,” said Murphy. “That’s a beneficial mentality in being a professional.”

Photo by: Evan Hewitt

Brian Murphy speaking to kean students

Photos courtesy of

Photos on Brian Murphy’s bio at

Thanksgiving: turkey, traditions, and thanks By Monica Sudfield People from all over scramble to their destinations to ensure the holiday is filled with family, loved ones and mouth-watering meals. USA Today declares Thanksgiving one of the top 10 busiest travel days of the year. In the United States, certain traditions are expected to occur on Thanksgiving Day. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will go on in New York City, turkey and pie will be prepared and football will be watched. Let’s not forget post festivities of the holiday, including Black Friday shopping, that within the past few years, have started even earlier than Friday with malls opening Thursday evening. Over the years, families have created their own traditions and have even added their own dishes to the typical feast. “My mom makes these cheesy potatoes where she basically makes a baked potato but she takes out the potato and mixes it with sour cream, bacon bits and cheese,” said Kristen Calderoni, an English major senior. “She then adds more cheese on top and bakes it for five extra minutes.” Because the US is filled with so many cultures, it is common for Thanksgiving dinner to no longer only include the specific foods associated with the holiday. Margie Rosado, junior majoring in communication media and film, not only enjoys turkey at her family’s Thanksgiving dinner, but also a dish prepared in Spanish culture. “We cook what we call pernil, which is pork shoulder,” said Rosado. “We also make macaroni salad, potato salad and your regular

green salads as well.” recognizes dishes beyond turkey that have become more common at holiday meals. Dishes from Eastern Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Italy and South America are great substitutes or additions to the classic feast. When we indulge in such feasts, it’s easy to forget what the holiday is really all about. With our family and loved ones surrounding us, it is important to reflect on what we are thankful for. Michelle Rodriquez, senior majoring in PR, said she is most thankful for her family and being healthy. Her boyfriend Nicholas Margolin, also a senior, agreed with her. “I am thankful for good health and the people I am close to,” the computer science major said. Rosado and Calderoni also shared they are thankful for their loved ones, but each of them included another thing they are grateful for. “I am most thankful for being alive,” said Calderoni. “Everyday is a new adventure and I’m always learning something new. Not everyday is promised so living each day as if it were your last is a big deal to me.” Rosado gave a little shout out to Kean by saying, “I am thankful that I have the opportunity to attend college.” There are so many things people are thankful for that slip their minds on a dayto-day basis. This holiday is a chance to highlight the little things. Wherever you travel this Thanksgiving, or whoever travels to you, enjoy spending time with the loved ones you may not always have the chance to see.

Photos by: Monica Sudfield

According to National Public Radio, a law was passed in 1941 stating Thanksgiving would be held on the third Thursday of November.

Photo by: Monica Sudfield

November, 2017


ASL comedian “Wink” performs at Kean By Kiara Mays

Kiara Mays


Windell “Wink” Smith Jr. performed a 90-minute comedy show in American Sign Language (ASL), in which he shared his experience growing up as a hearing Child of Deaf Adults (CODA), among other topics, at Kean University’s Little Theater Nov. 10. Growing up as a CODA, Wink now shares his passion with the world by traveling across the United States full time, promoting ASL, Deaf rights, and his comedy shows. Aside from that, he also tours the US presenting his workshops, known as “Winkshops.” A few attendees shared their thoughts about his Kean performance. “I thought it was awesome,” said Kiara McCall, senior, business management major at Kean. “I love seeing the Deaf and the hearing community come together.” While the crowd consisted mostly of students currently learning ASL, there were some Deaf and hearing impaired attendees as well. For those who knew little to none of the language there was Kiva Bennett, Wink’s voice interpreter. All of that is to say, no one was excluded from the event. “It was amazing,” said Kelly Seylaz, an ASL deaf studies major at Union County College. “I thought it was funnier than I thought it was going to be.” Wink made sure his show was not only funny, but also a learning experience. Through a crowd incorporated rendition of the classic game “Telephone,” in ASL of course, Wink was able to showcase just how difficult learning the language could be, but how just as rewarding it could be as well. Unlike Kiara McCall, who took up an interest in ASL and the Deaf community after watching

ABC Family’s “Switched at Birth,” Hannah Friedman, senior and public relations major, had a more personal reason for doing so. “Yes, my uncle is deaf,” said Friedman, whose mother is also a sign language interpreter. “I became interested in ASL through my parents, family members, and figuring out a way to communicate with my uncle.” Alnae Bailey and Nicole Henriques, however, held similar viewpoints in regards to Wink’s performance. “It was great,” said Bailey, senior, special education major and ASL minor at Kean. Henriques “loved” the show as well, as she recalled taking an ASL course back in high school. For those who’ve never attended a comedy show, much less a comedy show performed in ASL, “My Father’s Gift,” was nothing short of incredible. For more information on upcoming shows and events, visit his official website at or follow him on most social media platforms @Winkasl.

Kiara Mays

Wink (Center) with two attendees after his comedy show at Kean University.

Kean history: Newark State Teachers College at war By Leanne Manna Only twenty-one years after the War to End All Wars, the world found itself plunging into another conflict. 16.1 million Americans, roughly 9% of the nation’s population, would join in the fight both in Europe and in the Pacific. The students of Newark State did their part to answer the call to action. About 180 students, alumni, and faculty members served. Nancy Thompson, the school’s librarian reached out to as many of them as she could and received over 800 letters and cards in return which she compiled into a scrapbook. The Nancy Thompson WWII Scrapbook Collection is now housed in the Kean University Archives and Special Collections and reveals a lot about college life and the life of a student soldier during a time of war. One student’s name will be familiar to most Kean Students now, Ralph Sozio. Sozio was in the Industrial Arts program at Newark State and wrote the wildly popular musical “College Daze” which was performed at the school by male students dressed in drag. Sozio left the college in May 1943 to join the Army Air Corps. There Sozio continued working with entertainment, putting on shows and

Kean University Archives and Special Collections

Industrial arts student at Newark State, Ralph Sozio

dance classes, as well as working as a weather observer. Sozio’s life ended tragically short however. He passed away from rheumatic fever on June 18, 1945 just 3 months before the war would end. The class of 1945, which would have been Sozio’s graduating class had he stayed at the college, had signed and sent him a yearbook. According to Thompson, Sozio took it into the oxygen tent where his bed was, read it, and died shortly after. Following his death, letters poured into Newark State for Nancy Thompson. Students recalled their fond memories of Sozio and what he meant to them and the college. One student, Albert Bashover wrote “Perhaps I’m getting sentimental, but Ralph’s personality is one you can’t forget. It cannot and will not die as long as you and I and all the other fellows are around to remember. We are going to have “College Daze” again.” Another NSTC soldier was Sydney Leigh, formerly Liebowitz. He entered the military in December 1941 as part of the Army Air Force. He made it up to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant before his plane was shot down. He was held in a Nazi prison camp for officers for several months. He told his family that while there was a limit on how often he could write, there was no limit on packages he could receive. His understandably worried parents sent him supplies constantly. However, several months later he wrote again saying he had not received any supplies. Leigh eventually was able to escape from his camp and join a German underground organization in Munich until the American forces arrived. During this time he occupied one of Hitler’s hideouts and brought home several survivors. There are many other fascinating stories of the NSTC and World War II. Each individual had their own unique experiences and the College itself underwent extreme changes as a result of the war.

NSTC soldier Sydney Leigh The Nancy Thompson WWII Scrapbook Collection will soon be fully available for people to search online along with student work, and teaching resources at www.

Kean University Archives and Special Collections

Thank you to the Kean University Archives and Special Collections for the images and information and to the History Department for all of their work with the collection.

Anime Society Club brings Kean students together By Lena Zhu The Kean University Anime Society club gathered Monday, Nov. 6, to participate in and discuss local activities and future planning of TowerCon, Kean University’s form of an anime convention. The meeting was hosted by the club’s president, Amanda Miller, and advisor Craig Anderson to discuss current events and Japanese animation. At this particular meeting, members watched the two hour science fiction/

drama film called “Shin Godzilla.” “Every meeting, there is someone presenting, whether that’d be game presentation, anime, or manga. We do not limit the presentations. It just has to be in the circle of Japanese culture,” said Miller. Through having a commonality of loving and appreciating the Japanese culture and animation, the club is able to bring the community together. “We want people to be more comfortable around us,” Miller said. The club simply helps bring everyone

who loves anime together in one place to discuss their passions for Japanese animation. The discussion of TowerCon brings about excited whispers to the great amphitheater style room in the Center for Academic Success building. Every week, a different presentation is shown. The first week of the semester, the presentation was the first episode of Assassination Classroom, an anime in which when a mysterious creature destroys half the moon to create a permanent

crescent, the class of 3-E has to learn to defeat the creature who is responsible for destroying the moon. Their teacher? The exact alien creature who is responsible for destroying 70 percent of the moon. Participating in events such as TowerCon, AnimeNext and watching presentations, helps Kean’s Anime Society with their goal of bringing those who have a passion for Japanese culture together a success. A bond is formed within the community of these local anime lovers.


November, 2017 Photo: Craative Commons

The 2017 Great American Smokeout: Make it your year to quit

Department of Communication Kean University Center for Academic Success 1000 Morris Avenue Union, NJ 07083 Telephone: (908) 737-0470; Fax: (908) 737-0465 Email:;

The Tower is an independent, laboratory newspaper of Kean University’s journalism option in the communication major program. It is published monthly through the regular academic year and supported by advertising and the Department of Communication. The Tower is not responsible for claims made by its advertisers. The Tower is a public forum and is free from censorship and advance approval of content by the university administration. The Tower staff is responsible for its content.


MONICA SUDFIELD Photo courtesy of Creative Commons


The Great American Smokeout encourages smokers nationwide to put out their cigarettes for good.

By Dr. Josh Palgi Every year on the third Tuesday of November, smokers across the nation take part in the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout -- an annual event that encourages smokers to make a plan to quit or to plan in advance and quit smoking on that day. The 42nd annual Great American Smokeout will be held on November 16, 2017. The idea for the Great American Smokeout grew from a 1970 event in Randolph Massachusetts at which Arthur P. Mullaney asked people to give up cigarettes for a day and donate the money they would have spent on cigarettes to a high school scholarship fund. Then in 1974, Lynn R. Smith, editor of the Monticello Times in Minnesota, spearheaded the state’s first D-Day or “Don’t Smoke Day”. The idea then caught on, and on November 18, 1976 the California Division of the American Cancer Society got nearly 1 million smokers to quit for the day. That California event marked the first smokeout, and the society took it nationwide in 1977. Since then, there have been dramatic changes in the way the public views tobacco advertising and tobacco use. Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, many state and local governments responded by banning smoking in workplaces and restaurants, raising taxes on cigarettes, limiting cigarette promotions, discouraging teen cigarette use, and taking further action to counter smoking. These efforts continue today. About 36.5 million Americans still smoke cigarettes. Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the world. According to the Center for Disease Control, smoking is responsible for one in three cancer-related deaths, and one in five deaths from any cause. Worldwide, tobacco use causes more than five million deaths per year. The Center for Disease Control states that life expectancy for smokers is 10 years less than that of non-smokers. Over 50 billion dollars annually is lost and healthcare costs increase due to cigarettes. Worldwide, the toll exacted by tobacco use is two to three million deaths per year. Of the world’s 1.2 billion smokers, the world health organization estimates that 500 million of them will die because of smoking. This means that 9% of people now alive will die from cigarettes. Second hand smoke can cause chronic-respiratory conditioned, cancer and heart disease. It is estimated that around 35,000 non-smokers die from heart disease each year as a result of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. It is never too late to quit using tobacco. The sooner you quit, the more you can reduce your chance of getting cancer and other disease. Free help is available at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) and 1-855-335-3569 for Spanish speakers. Call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 to find out what resources might be available to help someone quit and stay quit.







OPINION PIECES AND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Tower welcomes guest columns and letters to the editor from any source. Such material should be submitted to or left at The Tower’s offices. To verify sources of written material, submissions must include the writer’s name and contact information. Students should include their class (sophomore, graduate, etc.) and major. Faculty and staff should include campus title or position. On request, names may be withheld from publication if The Tower staff determines there is a legitimate reason to do so, but no anonymous letters will be accepted for publication. The Tower reserves the right to edit, and refuse publication of any submission.

Take the quiz: how to quit smoking 1. What is the average weight gain for those who quit smoking? a. Less than 10 pounds b. 10-15 pounds c. 15-30 pounds d. more than 30 pounds 2. Signs of cigarette addiction do NOT include which one of the following: a. Smoking within 30 minutes of awakening in the morning b. Smoking more than three 3 cigarettes per day c. Smoking even when sick and in bed d. Difficulty eliminating the first cigarette in the morning 3. Other healthy habits may make up for smoking. a. True b. False Answer key: 1. A, 2. B, 3. False 4.What kind of substances are contained in a cigarette?


By Quincy Rodgers

a. b. c. d.

Chemicals used in wood varnish Chemicals found in nail polish remover Chemicals found in rat poison All of the above

5. Which symptom is most likely to be associated with smoking cessation? a. Blurred vision b. Dry mouth c. Anxiety d. Stomach pain 6. Smoking and ___________________ are risk factors for heart disease. a. High cholesterol b. Human papillomavirus (HPV) c. Blood infections d. None of the above Answer Key: 4. D, 5. C, 6. A 7. Of the options below, the best advice for quitting smoking is: a. Don’t go cold turkey b. Don’t set a quit date

c. d.

Don’t tell anyone Don’t exercise right away at first

8. Addiction to nicotine is the same as addiction to cocaine or heroin. a. True b. False 9. Stop smoking aids can include drugs that normally treat depression. a. True b. False 10. Which of these statements is FALSE? a. Chemicals in cigarettes can reach breast milk b. Cotinine is the breakdown product of nicotine c. At least 250 chemicals have been found in secondhand smoke d. Smoking increases pain perception Answer Key: 7. A, 8. A, 9. A, 10. D


November, 2017


Men’s basketball preview

Men’s basketball prepares for upcoming season

Photos by Larry Levanti

Micah Kerr holds ball deciding his next move

By Greg Patuto The Kean University men’s basketball team is coming into this season with a hope of making the postseason, something they failed to do last year. The Cougars return their two leading scorers from last season, juniors Micah Kerr and Michael Summerer who both averaged just under 11 points per game. Kean added many players this season to join Kerr and Summerer. “We truly believe we have added eight

quality people and players to our roster,” Kean head coach Robert Kurzinsky said. “With seven transfers and only one true freshman, I feel like we have brought in a sense of urgency and maturity with the group.” These new players will have plenty of opportunity to prove themselves to the coaches both in practice and on the court. The Cougars will go into the season carrying 17 players on the roster and expecting to play 12 per game. “There is opportunity everyday in

Jodrell Thompson looks to drive to the basket

practice to prove you belong on the floor on the first game night,” Kurzinsky said. “For us it comes down to having a defensive impact, valuing the ball, your ability to finish at the rim and/or the foul line and your ability to make three’s. We have a number of guy’s through the first three weeks of practice but the bottom line is your ability to step up and do it come November 15th.” Commitment and competition will be key for the Cougars as they prepare for the upcoming season. If they compete hard in

Keenan Williams Jr. looks to run a fast break with his team

practice and believe in one another, then they will be put in position to win every time they step on the court. “I really feel like we have a group that will compete,” Kurzinsky said. “We have been extremely competitive in practice and I certainly think the guys have pushed each other to raise level of play.” The Cougars begin their season on Nov. 15 against Baruch College. Conference play will begin on Nov. 21 against Montclair State.

Women’s basketball preview

Women’s basketball prepares for upcoming season By Craig Patuto The women’s basketball team at Kean University is coming off a season where they finished with an overall record of 16-10 and 13-5 in conference play. This was good enough for them to make the New Jersey Athletic Conference tournament but they suffered a loss in the semifinals. The Cougars graduated only two seniors from last year and have most of their main contributors back. Junior Marajiah Bacon has led the team in scoring the last two seasons with 24.7 points per game as a freshman and 22.5 per game last season. She will look to continue her success on the court as a captain. Head coach Mandy King trusts her captains and believe they will succeed as leaders. “Our captains are locked in and give us the ultimate competitive advantage,” King said. “They will bring us to a whole new level and as long as we are tough, disciplined and together, there is nothing we can’t accomplish.” After a playoff loss last season, Kean has some unfinished business to take care of. Returning a lot of players with experience paired with hard work is how the Cougars will be able to reach their goals. King has high expectations for her team but the main one is that they play hard and compete until the end. “Our expectations are that we will play fast, tough, and disciplined basketball. We will compete relentlessly every rep, every practice, every possession and every game,” King said. “And we will play passionately and together all season long. We will win the NJAC and advance to the NCAA tournament and we will have a crazy amount of fun along the way.” The Cougars have put a lot of work in during the offseason to prepare and that will help them get to where they want to be. King also spoke about the newcomers on the team and the immediate impact they will have. “Our team has worked harder and longer than any team I have coached in 15 years,” King said. “There is something so special about this group of young women.” The season tips off on Nov. 15 against Brooklyn College and Kean will begin conference play on Nov. 21 against Montclair State.

Photos by Larry Levanti

Above: Marajiah Bacon looks to drive to the basket Below: Miesha Bacon dribbles up the court

Danielle Oakley calls out a play for her team



November, 2017

Field Hockey captures first NJAC regular season title

Larry Levanti

Senior Raykena Brown weaves through the defense

By Greg Patuto The Kean University field hockey team has had a season to remember. The Cougars finished 18-1 overall and 5-1 in conference play while spending much time ranked in the top 10 nationally. All of these accomplishments helped Kean capture its first New Jersey Athletic Conference regular season title in program history. The Cougars won an overtime matchup against powerhouse TCNJ, who is ranked

fourth in the country. Their lone loss in the regular season came against Montclair State, who is also ranked in the top 10. “It is really one of the pinnacles of success for our program,” Kean head coach Leslie LaFronz said. “And this accomplishment is something that our players will always remember.” A season like this is a credit to all of the hard work and dedication put in by the players and coaches. LaFronz gives all credit to her players for never taking a day off. “I am extremely proud of how hard my players have worked to achieve this national

level of success,” LaFronz said. “It is always fun winning but every day we are looking forward to the next game and the next goal and we try to keep pushing forward.” The Cougars’ magical season continued as they reached their first ever NJAC title game. Kean paid back Montclair State for their regular season loss by defeating them in the semifinals by a final score of 3-2. Kean was taken down in the NJAC championship game by TCNJ with a final score of 2-1. That does not wipe out all of the previous successes and accomplishments for

this team though. They entered the NCAA Tournament with an overall record of 19-2. The Cougars picked up a pair of 2-1 victories over Juniata College and Christopher Newport University to reach the quarterfinals of the tournament. They faced Franklin and Marshall College with a trip to the Final Four on the line but were defeated by a final score of 2-0. “Hard work has made this team succeed,” LaFronz said. “It has been several years in the making and players from the past have set the groundwork for this team.”

Men’s Soccer finishes wild season By Craig Epstein In a season where they were predicted to finish seventh in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Preseason Coaches’ Poll, the Kean University Men’s Soccer team defied the expectations. With a new head coach in Peter-John Falloon at the helm, the Cougars finished their season with a 10-7-1 record overall (5-4 NJAC). The culmination of their regular season came in the final game when they defeated Ramapo College by a final score of 1-0 and locked up the four seed in the NJAC tournament. “It was supposed to be a ‘heavy rebuilding year’ after we lost a dozen or so seniors who helped mold the program into the successful one it has become,” said junior goalkeeper Derek Phells. “The preseason polls had us tabbed at coming in seventh place in the regular season and that helped motivate us all into proving the conference wrong.” Kean’s wild season came to a controversial close on Saturday, Oct. 28 when they lost to Stockton University by a final score of 2-1. The controversy came when Stockton backfielder Ervin Gjeli scored what would be the game-winning goal just after Phells was down in the box after being hit in the head. As heartbreaking as the loss was for the Cougars, there is no doubt that they will be hungry to prove themselves once again next year. Going 4-5-1 in the month of September, Kean had its work cut out for them in order to get where they wanted to be. Losing their final two games that month to rivals Montclair State University and Rowan University by a combined score of 13-4,

Larry Levanti

Junior goalkeeper Derek Phells making a tremendous grab

things looked pretty bleak for Falloon’s squad. But, the Cougars knew there was still a long way to go and plenty of opportunities to get back into the swing of things. “As the season progressed we began to click more on the field and started performing to our best and we ended the regular season in

2017 Kean Men’s Soccer Team

the top half of the conference with a home playoff game,” said Phells. “This was all because of the hard work each and every one of my teammates, from freshman to senior, put in on the training ground and it showed on the field.” Through grit and determination, Kean

Larry Levanti

was able to go an impressive 6-1 the rest of the way and finish their regular season on a strong note. Posting key wins over RutgersCamden and The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), the Cougars proved that they were not going to let their sluggish start prevent them from achieving success later on down the line. “The team had a very slow start to the season, losing the first four games in the conference,” said freshman forward Vinceroy Nelson. “However, we were able to build our chemistry and finally start playing as a team which enabled us to turn our season around.” Recently being named the NJAC Rookie of the Year, Nelson had a good idea of what the season had in store for him. “Starting a new season with a new coach would always be somewhat difficult but it’s all about adapting.”

Tower Nov. 17  
Tower Nov. 17